Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Autumn in Virginia

Raking leaves with a helper

William & Mary Campus

Sisters Specialized Training

Ha, Ha!

So basically this has been the coolest week of my entire mission! First of all I can't believe that it is November 17th. Time is going quickly. I'll start by talking about what is most on my mind- The General Authority Tourrrr!!!!! So sweet. Ok ,so Mervyn B. Arnold came and visited my mission..I think I am still trying to process it all because I don't even know how to describe it. He started out the day with all the missionaries in Virginia, split into 3 parts-all the mission leaders were with him and President Baker in the cultural hall and then the all other sisters with his wife, Sister Arnold, and then...all the other elders went...somewhere... idk. Ha,ha. He started talking to us, telling us that he didn't come to our mission with any kind of agenda, topic, or outline but that he would take what we said as leaders the mission most needed to hear. Talk about faith to follow the spirit! We talked about so many things in the leadership meeting and he portrayed it perfectly when it came time to have everyone else in there. All throughout the conference he was so straight forward and just wanted us to be honest. He created such an open atmosphere and made it so easy to receive revelation! He made it so every single missionary got to participate in some way. Every time he was about to say something important he would say "write this down!" here are some of my notes....

-There is not a part of God's vineyard that has a hole

-Never make any excuses for anything ever

-Never talk negatively about anything or anyone.

-When was the last time you made cookies for your bishop?

-The only way we're gonna win this is to love love love love love love love love love love love the tar out of em!

-When you came into this mission, you promised to give Him your will

-Those that are for us, are much greater than those that are against us

-The greatest motivator is love- *with tears in his eyes:*'ve got to learn how to succor people

-Go home with no regrets- GIVE IT UP AND GIVE IT TO GOD

-If there's something you have done in your past and you've repented of it, don't. look. back.

-(In speaking of marriage) Go home and find your best friend who is going to be steadfast to you and the Gospel.

-It's better to be HAPPY than anything else

-Strive not to be seen, but for others to see Christ in you.

-The closer you get to God, the less relevant time is.

-Sometimes we are going to have "broken bow" experiences like Nephi. Are you going to sit on a rock and cry about it, or are you going act?

-You're poor if you DONT pay tithing.

-Sometimes he answers no because he knows better :)

After the conference, he interviewed all of the leaders in the mission. If my mission wasn't already made, that interview made it. it was the coolest experience so far in this whole experience. He asked me about my family. He asked me how long I had left on my mission. I told him about a month and a half. He told me how grateful he is for all the hard work I have done and told me how much I still have left to do! He said don't let up a single bit! You keep moving and working and becoming. He asked me if I had any questions and I sat there for a moment and almost said nope and walked right out! But then the spirit was like Sister are sitting across from a General Authority who just asked you if you had ANY questions. So, I said yeah, whats the best advice you could give to me right now? He said: Never lose sight of your potential. Don't let anyone or anything get in the way of what you want to do with your life. So many missionaries go home and forget who they had in mind for themselves. They forget about all the goals and plans they had. I can see so much potential in you, but you are going to have to work for it! Will you do that for me? 

Me: Yes sir. 

Elder Arnold: I want you to read your patriarchal blessing every week. Will you do that? 

Me: Yes sir.

And then as I was leaving he said: One last thing Sister Carlson, please thank your parents for me and give them my love and the love of the brethren, for raising such a steadfast, strong young woman. Will you do that? 

Me: I will!

XO, Sister Carlson

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