This is Carly's letter from last week. She was having computer issues and asked that I wait to post this until I received her hand written letter in the mail, so I could add to it. She goes into a little more detail when she writes the letter home. It's longer than usual, Please read to the end. It is wonderful!
Howdy fambam. I'm stressing. HOLLY HANNAH. I left my camera so I'm singing "I am a Child of God" so I don't start raging. And I've been out for two months 2 day? LIKE WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE. Please slow down. BUT I'M IN COLUMBUS NEBRASKA SINCE I GOT TRANSFERRRRREDDDD. And I'm loving it! President Weston asked me if I was okay with the new changes coming my way and seriously I couldn't be more excited for the opportunity to learn and grow and find ways to be a better missionary. It hasn't even been a week yet and I feel like I've already learned so much. I KNOW that this is going to be one fabulous 6 weeks.
Goodbye Sioux City, Iowa and helllooo Columbus, NE. Everyone got to stay the same with their companion and everything in my district EXCEPT FOR ME. Hashtag haterz. So that really upset me...but I'M WITH SISTER DUMONT AND COULDN'T BE HAPPIER. In the words of Sister Vogel--I'm the only one qualified to touch the people of Columbus, NE at this time. I have something special to offer--so here I go!
In the words of Elder Gray, The RS was DEVASTATED that I was leaving. People were straight up crying! I can't believe I had made such strong relationships in such a short amount of time. I LOVE SIOUX CITY. Grandma Crandell was of course on the list to say 'see ya later' to. (You better believe I didn't say the G word ( goodbye) to anyone.) When we went over to tell her I was leaving she burst into tears and said it wasn't fair. When we were taking a picture she was squeezing me SO tight and saying she was never letting go and that I needed to stay. She started tearing up again when we were walking out the door. My heart full on broke. Mina, our sassy Hispanic, wasn't too happy either but OMH I love our picture together. She's the best.
We stopped at the Dean's because they were my mission Mommy and Daddy. I love them and their willingness to help the missionaries at all times. Nessa is in the Spanish branch but she's my little bestie and their family loves missionaries. When I called Sister GboGbo she straight up started yelling on the phone when I said I was getting transferred. she was NOT happy. Wahhh I just love everyone there, but all is well. I'm excited for the adventures headed my way.
Leaving Sister Vogel was tender, but since she's my new Sister Training Leader, all is well. When the Zone Leaders called and told me that SISTER DUMONT was going to be my new companion I started SCREAMING on the phone. Soooo, background story on Sister Dumont... Her companion, Sister Gomez was/is Sister Vogel and I Sister Training Leader and came to Sioux City for exchanges. For some reason I was terrified about exchanges and stressed and uh it wasn't pretty. When the four of us were in a companionship, study I kept saying " I can't do this"
(LIKE WHAT??) But, I was feeling SO discouraged about life and my ability to be a missionary.
Randomly during the study/planning session, Sis Dumont handed me her scriptures and had me read PHILIPPIANS 4:13. Then she gave me a sticky note that said "Sister Case can do all things through Christ which Strengthen her."
I don't know why, but that helped in SO many ways. So basically instant besties. Like Really. Oh and when the two of us were together we got lost ( of course) and she goes " I have this song I want you to hear. IT WAS, I FEEL MY SAVIOR'S LOVE/ I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES mash up. The one Xan and I sang, and I start FREAKING OUT! We sing it together and it straight up sounds fabulous. It's on my camera, but it's too long to send. RAGE! So then I basically fell in love.
When Sister Gomez called to get our numbers for the week and Sister (Courtney) Dumont ( so now I have to have a companion named Amanda. her last companion was sister Ashley vogel) asked how I was feeling about transfers I jokingly said " If I have anyone but you I'll bawl and be terrified if Sister Vogel and I get changed.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?! S. Dumont is from Riverton, UT. 21 but acts like a 5 yr old. and I'm obsessed. She went to SUU and when she gets home she wants too apply to nursing school. Mom do you love her, or do you love her?! OMH I JUST LOVE HER! She is a spiritual giant, AND she's a sorority girl!!! Delta PSI OMEGA.( I'm in love I'm in love and I don't care who know it!)
Columbus Nebraska is oh so grand. I'll have to take a pic of our building. We're a branch and so it is the tiniest thing I have ever seen in my ENTIRE LIFE! Like 90 active members? Relief Society is in a tiny classroom. Sacrament room is also the party room and everything else. It's insane. We're the only Sisters and then there's an English and Spanish set of elders. I love 'em to pieces.
I got to Columbus Wednesday and we had a singing performance Thursday. WHAT?! Our Elders like to Sing? Elder Tatafu ( from Tonga) plays the Ukulele and S. Dumont plays the piano and it's just a great jam sesh. So ya -- we sang at 2 nursing homes. The 6 of us did a Preach My Gospel Restoration performance. So we read the bullet points to each category and sing a song that goes with that. I love oldies. I love my Mission. I LOVE SINGING. I LOVE LOVE LOVE TO SING and the whole time I sang solos and duets and I wasn't nervous. EVER. I'll probably go off the mission and be nervous. ( Setting apart powers.. Grrr) but it really made me think of my talents and how I need to share them with others. Like why hide them? Heavenly Father gave them to us to make us all special and unique. Now I'm doing some soul searching to find other talents that I have. Isn't Heavenly Father just the best?!
Funny moments: I've been called a Singing Nun and a Gangster for God. Like I won't complain with those nicknames. and OMH the Elders call me SISTER TANGLED because they say I sound and remind them of Rapunzel. BEST COMPLIMENT EVA!!!
We live with members now. It's lovely! Now I don't have to sleep with my letter opener under my pillow. ( Yes, I really did back in Sioux City) The Peschke's-- They're retired loveies, We live on a lake. They love Nauvoo and to travel. Bro. Peschke use to be a photographer so there are pictures and cameras everywhere. They're Grand!
Random-- but during our weekly planning meeting,we now look up Birthdays in the Branch for the upcoming week and call them on their special day. I just love it because birthdays are the Bomb, and who doesn't want a Happy Birthday call from the Sister Missionaries? Less actives let us come over afterwards so YEEHAW!
We have 2 investigators that we set for Baptism on Nov. 23rd. (if it's Nov. it's my b-day, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!) Bubba (11) and his Grandma Val. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and it was so good. I LOVE teaching little kids. Those two are so prepared. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL AND THE HAPPINESS IT BRINGS OTHERS!!
When President Weston spoke to us about transfers on Wednesday, he said " See how long you can be positive for." That really stuck with me. How long can I be positive for? Now it's like a little game I play with myself-- probably for the rest of my life-- or how long I can last and when I say or think something negative I start over. There really is something good in every situation. I have sticky notes everywhere of the question and BE POSITIVE, for helpful reminders. I challenge each of you to do the same. It's truly incredible!
I love 1 Nephi 19:9 of the Book of Mormon. "And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, BECAUSE OF HIS LOVING KINDNESS AND HIS LONG-SUFFERING TOWARD THE CHILDREN OF MEN.
Jesus Christ is AMAZING! He died for each of us and I'm sure he was still crazy positive with everything happening to Him. If Christ can, with all the pain he went through, then we can too, with our silly little problems and annoyances.
We went to the Trail Center with a less active named Victoria on Friday. It was amazing. She's thinking about going on a mission now. We took a picture in front of the model of the Salt Lake Temple and she wants us to take a picture in front of the real deal someday! Man that place is great! My testimony grew so much!
In our lesson with our new investigator Tayna ( who is so prepared it's insane) I didn't bear my testimony. Like Sister Case!! HELLLOOOO! You're on a Mission! S. Dumont did great and I didn't feel like I had anything to offer but she told me to NEVER SKIP OR MISS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY! And that is a promise I plan to keep Forever!
So I just want to bear my testimony to say that I know the Book of Mormon is true. Each time you read it, pray and ask if it's true. You don't need to wait until the end. Each time you read it, Heavenly Father can reaffirm it's truthfulness to you. Thousands of people across the world dropped their lives and became pioneers all because they gained their own testimony that the words written in the blue book were true. The Book of Mormon is the Keystone of our religion. Once you know the Book of Mormon is true, you'll gain a testimony and understanding of so many other things. The Book of Mormon goes hand in hand with the Bible and with BOTH we have the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I may not have had to push a handcart, but my ancestors did, and that makes me want to work even harder as a missionary. I want them to be proud of me. I want them to know that their efforts did not go to waste for their future generations.
"It may not be on a mountain height, or over the stormy sea. It may not be on the battle's front my Lord will have need of me. But if, by a still small voice He calls to paths I do not know, I'll answer dear Lord with my hand in thine: I'LL GO WHERE YOU WANT ME TO GO."
I would invite everyone who reads this to take the time to read from the Book of Mormon with a sincere heart and ask Heavenly Father if it's true or not. I didn't come on a mission for 18 months for fun or to meet new or crazy people-- but because I KNOW that the Book of Mormon is true and that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to this earth once again. We are all children of God. I know that we can pray to our loving Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere, Always. I know that Families can be together Forever.
If Heavenly Father wants me in Columbus Nebraska right now, then I'll go where He wants me to go.
I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.