Monday, July 22, 2013

Greetings from the land down unda!

     Hola! Greetings from the land down unda! Here i am in Brisbane Australia! Boy what and adventure it has been! So let me start from the beginning here. So i got my visa and left from Newark to Dallas on Tuesday (July 16). The lady sitting next to me was from Costa Rica so i used my amazing spanish skills (sarcasm :) and bore my testimony to her. She was so sweet. I got her info then booked it to my connecting flight to Brisbane! Mercifully i had the help of a Mormon flight attendant who also gave me a bunch of food and told me where to go. Actually everyone was helping me in the airport! This pilot was telling me which stop to get off on, on the skylight and then this latino family was helping me haha. Everyone who saw me was just like this girl needs help! and thank goodness i made my connecting flight to Brisbane and arrived. Except i am still missing half my luggage but thats okay. They sent it to the mission office.
     So i arrived in AUSTRALIA where the mission president and his wife picked me up! Boy are they so nice. I went grocery shopping with Sister Henderson and let me tell ya this place is just like England but with palm trees! i love it! The grocery store had like all the same brands and stuff and a lot of the language is the same! So then i hung out in the office and tried not to fall asleep when two other new missionaries came and we went to the mission home and got our new companions!
Sister Cocker and Sister Schaelling
     So my companion is Sister Cocker and she is Tongan! Ah she is amazing! i love her! She is so kind and awesome. But more on that later. After we got our new companions it was time to go back to our areas. So how do we get back to our areas? We have to drive. Guess whose companion doesnt have a liscence? Sister Schaellings! Guess who got to drive a car full of three other missionaries through down town Brisbane on the opposite side of the road for 40 minutes? Sister Schaelling! HOLY COW. Alls im gonna say is it is not as easy as it looks driving through the city on the opposite side of the road without dying!! Good grief good thing we are on the Lords errand here!
     So that was an adventure to say the least. We came home and had some bomb companionship study! Sister Cocker talked about how she loves role plays and they are so important. She goes all out during role plays its amazing. These polynesians are just so great. I felt the Spirit so much just during one hour of comp study. Thats how it should always be! We live in a flat with two other Sisters. Sister Bennelack who is Australian and Sister Fau who is from New Zealand and she is Samoan/Cook Islander. They are both lovely.  i love living with other missionaries :)
     The next day was great, we tracted and taught some lessons. That night we taught Leann an investigator about tithing at a members home. She is great and the members were so lovely! Samoans and all so nice. There was like a million of them everywhere :) Saturday was awesome we went and did service for a lady Debbie she had been tracted out earlier. She is moving out so we were helping her move and both her and her nephew who were there were just so grateful and so kind. We taught Debbie for a little bit before she left and we were talking about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and she just started crying saying how hard her last few years have been. We gave her a book of Mormon for her to always keep, to ready and to pray about, to find comfort and peace. She told us when we came to her door and offered to help she felt that God was looking out for her. :) It is such an opportunity and a blessing to be the Lords hands.
     That night we were tracting in Park Ridge and this is a place where driveways are really really long and people live far back in the bush as they call it. So we were walking down this driveway and it was forever long! And we saw like seven kangaroos by the way! That was awesome :) Anyway we were joking that hopefully these people listen to us or are interested because at this rate we will only tract this one house before it gets dark and we have to stop. But i honestly didnt think they would be interested. Finallyyyy we made it and we knocked the door. This lady answered. Were missionaries, we said. We have a message for you. She looked at us both. "Come right in." She said. With eyebrows raised we stepped into her house. She got us some juice and then just turn and looked at us. "I can't believe yous are here." She said. She told us how she had just been at her darkest hour, thinking of her life and all the many mistakes she had made. How she had just been wondering if there was anything worth it anymore--how she had just made so many mistakes. She just started crying in from of us saying she just couldnt believe we knocked on her door. "Yous must be a blessing in disguise." she said. We sat with her and listened while she told us of all the hard, terrible things she had been through. hard hard things. We listened for a long while and then taught her about Jesus Christ. How when he came to earth He suffered for her. How everything that she had ever been through so had He. How he was on the cross for her, how He rose again on the third day for her. It was just so emotional for all of us especially her. She said she was so happy that we came but she knew that when we left it would just be terrible again. So we gave her a book of Mormon and told her how this was a piece of us, a piece of love from her Heavenly Father to her, how this book has power to chase away darkness and fill our souls with light. "Id like yous to come back," she said to us :) We accepted that invitation no problem :)
      So i was pondering this experience after it happened. And i thought about her, Sherrillee is her name, and all the hard things she has had to go through. Like hard, hard stuff. Things i have never ever had to deal with. I thought of how strong she must be to keep going. I thought of what might have happened if we hadnt decided to walk down her forever long driveway. And i learned more about the Spirit. How our lives are not really our own. We as missionaries were needed to help Sherrilee. How the many times i have been helped by others, my family my friends- how people have said or done things that have had great impact on me and they didnt even know. Its amazing how the Lord works through us when we show him we want to follow him. Because i am such an imperfect missionary and have so much to learn about teaching and listening and working hard. But i am thankful the Lord still works through us all despite our imperfections. it is by grace we are saved after all that we can do :)
      Allright, so after Saturday, comes Sunday! Church was lovely yesterday and the Park Ridge ward is HUGE! and it is full of Poly's! Tongans and Samoans! They are beautiful people and all so loving!  Also there are New Zealanders and Chinese and bunch of other nationalities in the ward it is amazing. And they do the latino cheek kiss here which i just love:) Church was so good and after we went to this big dinner with a bunch of members which was way fun!

      My time is running out! Australia is amazing! A lot like England! and they have cadbury and MALTESERS here! i ate some and it was a beautiful moment! :) My companion is amazing and a master listener and teacher. Seriously when she teaches i just wanna soak it in she is so good! She is helping me know how to listen to the Spirit and not worry so much about what to say. I am still struggling with my nerves when i teach but i am getting a little better each time. I love being a missionary especially here in the land down under!!!   aussies forever!
love you all
Sister Schaelling
p.s.  also they say "Yous" for you plural here and a bunch of other things! my comp is tongan from new zealand and sometimes she says things and i just look at her like whaaat did you just say? haha

Monday, July 15, 2013

AUSTRALIA here I come! .... Tomorrow, leaving at 5 a.m.!

oh HELLO there family! well, first things first i guess!

I GOT MY VISA! PEACE OUT JERSEY TOWN! wow i am leaving on a plane tomorrow (tuesday at 5 a.m.) to the land down under! It was scarey because President called me to tell me haha. Man i am excited now but when i found out i was sad! I totally started crying on the phone. Who will take care of Jasmyn and Eileen and Steve and Mina and Pegah? My trusty companions of course. Im just glad i was able to come here to Jersey and have this amazing experience! And go to the Manhatten temple and street contact in New York City :) How lucky i am.
View from the Ferry on the way to Liberty Island
Allllrrrighty to this week my friends was awesome. We taught lessons and then taught some more. Miracle time? Okay. So we were out tractin the other week and this family said to come back later. So what did we do? we came back later ! But they werent home, and then we saw this man walkin down the road and we drove up to him and rolled down our windows and started talking with him. So GET THIS. He's read half of the Book of Mormon! Say what?? And he is a pastor at Church of Christ! And we had this amazing gospel discussion with him! And he told us miracles he had seen and we answered his questions about the Book of Mormon. And the spirit was felt. And his name is Pablo. And we tried to get an appointment with him but he wouldnt, but we got his number. But our talk with him was so good and we prayed together. What are the odds my friends? He told us he goes walking at night to pray and be close with God. And then we, missionaries of the Lord Jesus Christ drive up and we talk. Maybe its a sign, said Pablo. I think so!! 
Sister Schaelling and Kranewitter on their way to work at Liberty Island
So story time again. We went to say hi to a PM family but they werent home. (are we seeing a theme here?) So i had seen this family in an apartment near by and wanted to knock their door, so we did. They werent interested. So we knocked to door next to them and this Jamaican lady comes out. So backstory, i have been praying to have charity and love for everyone even if they are super rude or frustrating. And praying to not have contention when i teach. Because sometimes it makes me angry or upset when people diss my religion or my Savior. So anywhoo Joy, the Jamaican lady starts talking to us in her mesmerizing accent about how organized religion is all man made and terrible and we were hypocrites etc etc...and as she was going off i just looked at her and realized how calm i was. I wasn't upset or contentious. I really just loved her. And when she was finally done i just bore testimony and we left her with a Book of Mormon. Everything calmed down when we bore testimony and didnt argue. Then i got in the car and thanked God for helping me have charity and love and answering my prayers. Because Carly would have been like you crazy lady! you got issues! But Sister Schaelling whom the Lord helps because she needs it, is much more calm now. hurrah! 
Just landed, and excited to work at Liberty Island
One more story! So at the beginning of the transfer we met this man who had lost his cat. So we prayed with him that he would find it and asked him if he or anyone he knew wanted to learn more about our message. he said maybe his daughter and showed us where she lived. So in our planners we wrote Carol the Cat Lady. And she lives my less active Sister Stewart. So we always planned on visiting her but never did! (shame on us!) and then yesterday we went to visit sister Stewart and who comes out and says hello to us? CAROL THE CAT LADY. hurrah! She joined the lesson for a few minutes and we got a return appointment and she was already planning on coming to church on sunday with Sis Stewart! wow that was awesome. 
Sister Schaelling and the Manhattan view
So yesterday during personal study i was reading in the Book of Mormon. I was thinking about how i am leaving to Australia and how everything is so unsure and what if i dont make my flight on time and what if i get eaten by a kangaroo etc etc....and then this verse stuck out to me in 1 Ne 17: 13 "And I will also be your alight in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the bpromised land; and ye shall cknow that it is by me that ye are led."
how special! The Lord will always guide us and be our light in the wilderness when we show our love for him by keeping His commandments :) i love you all!! Remember He who leads you :)

Sister Schaelling with Sister and Brother Murray, the ward mission leaders in Newton, NJ
oh and ALSO  i got to volunteer at Ellis Island! Well actually Liberty Island but it was amazing! We were just in charge of sign up sheets and i met a ton of people from all over the world! and i attempted to use my spanish haha :) Did i mention my trainer speaks five languages? Yeah so now i can pray in German and Spanish. yay! haha
Sister Schaelling

p.s.  pictures are of the ferry to liberty island and Manhatten skyline and also Sister and Brother Murray at church. we are at their house all the time and i totally love them. 

Morristown New Jersey Missionaries
(Sister Schaelling is right above the 2nd "e" in Jersey in the caption, 2nd person from bottom, well maybe you
would say 3rd from bottom, hair pulled back)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hello Hello!!

Dearest friends and family,

     Hello! Sounds like the fourth of July was a success!! Thats so awesome all the fam got together and way to run that race Dad and Scott! Exciting Alyssa went thru the temple (and is getting married!!) i got that announcement in the mail by the way a while ago at district meeting and everyone was passing it around. :) So this week was lovely! Here goes...
     So we had zone meeting on tuesday where we learned about the gathering of Israel and the monthy focus of The Book of Mormon was introduced. Also complete with role plays. I really like the second two paragraphs of the Inro to the Book of Mormon, they are dynamite. Then on Wednesday we had Specialized Training meeting in Morristown. This is where the trainees all meet together with the president and the trainers meet with the assistants and you talk about your experience so far. I really love being with other missionaries and feeling that unity of purpose. And especially with other new missionaries because we're all kind of going through the same thing being trained and all. That night we taught a member, Brother Murray about the Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost. The lesson went well because we taught in unity so the Spirit was there. I usually get pretty nervous to teach, especially at the beginning of the lesson, so that lesson that went smooth was reassuring. 
     On Thursday we had...dun dun dun...Weekly Planning! So let me just set this up for you. We live on the third floor. We live in New Jersey where it is like 80 degrees and 80 percent humidity. And we....dont have air conditioning! hahah so we just sit around our table and plan and sweat and plan some more! We do have ceiling fans however so thats good. But planning man, its so hard for me! Dad teach me your ways!! :)  Later that day we got to go to Denville and watch fireworks with our zone! It was so fun. Fire works in New Jersey are amazing! And it was so fun to see everyone and talk. 
      On Friday we had exchanges! woot! Sister Swann, our sister training leader, came with me and Sister Kranewitter and Sister Pack, went with Sister Herrera to her area. Okay folks story time. So our ward mission leader is Brother Mathusek and his son, Eric, is 18 and has a mission call. Eric has been talking to his good friend Jasmyn about the gospel and plan of salvation. So Eric invites her over for dinner and us over to teach her. Member referrals are amazing because they already have a connection to the church and someone they know can bear testimony. So the dinner was that night, and the elders came too.  So we are teaching a member referral with the Mathuseks, our sister training leader is there and the elders, (one of which is my District Leader) are there and my trainer is there. So this is not helping my nerves. And my trainer says "Sister Schaelling you are going to lead the lesson and we're just gonna back you up! And then you are going to invite her to be baptized." Man my stomach is flipping just remembering it! So now that i have that set up HERES WHAT HAPPENED:
     Sister Schaelling is super nervous and contemplating faking sickness. Sister Schaelling is praying all through dinner that she will have the Spirit with her and she won't mess up. Sister Schaelling goes to the bathroom before the lesson to pray some more. Sister Schaelling sits with the four other missionaries that are there and starts the lesson. Sister Schaelling is trying not to look like a nervous wreck. The lesson gets moving and Jasmyn feels the Spirit. Eric bears testimony about his Savior Jesus Christ. The Spirit fills the room and calms Sister Schaelling a little. All the missionaries offer testimony and teach. Sister Schaelling leads the lesson.
there are seven minutes left. (I am switching back to first person now) and i am wondering if i should invite her to be baptized. I get butterflies. Sister Kranewitter gives me the "do it now" nudge. I look into Jasmyns eyes aand say "Jasmyn, as you come to know these things are true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" My heart is beating super fast and i feel tears in my eyes. 
     She smile and nods her head and whispers "Yes."
     We ask her about July 28. One of the elders helps with that. She agrees. We kneel in prayer. (back to third person:) Sister Schaelling walks out of the house in awe at what just happened. Sister Schaelling prays all the way home thanking God that He helped her and that the Holy Ghost was there. Sister Schaellings testimony of our reliance and need for the Holy Ghost and the Savior is strengthened. Sister Schaelling is so happy her trainer had her lead the lesson even though she was a nervous wreck. Sister Schaelling agrees with Paul when he said, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." 
     Man that night was awesome becuase i was so nervous but the Spirit came and corrected all the times i fumbled over my words. It was a miracle my friends! Some missionaries can teach with ease and dont have nerves because of their firm testimony or their personality and that is awesome! But i get nervous every time so i really have to rely on the Spirit to help me or it would just be a mess let me tell ya! Thank goodness for the Holy Ghost my friends. 
     So then on Saturday we went and saw our friends Jim and Jane in the nursing home. Nursing homes are sad. We went and saw recent convert Judy Teets who is preparing to go to the temple. It was lovely meeting with her. We also taught recent convert Bro Robertozzi about the Book if Mormon. He is starting to understand the importance of the book of mormon more now and its awesome. We went and saw Bro Carrol who is in the hospital again and talked about repentance! He is great and wants to get active in the church again. We are teaching his non member wife Eileen who has a baptism date of 21 July. She is on her 3rd round of cancer and has chemo treatments a lot but she is so nice and so strong. They have New Jersey accents which i love :)
     Eileen came to church on Sunday! Yay. And We had dinner with the Murrays they are awesome. We are at their house all the time. We just walk in and start eating their food, its great :) haha really they love us so its okay. Sister Murray is RS pres and awesome we are close with her and their kids are awesome. I love their home. We went and saw brother Carrol again and his non member sister was there visiting him so we sneakily taught them both about the Book of Mormon :) We gave her  one and our number. Something that's hard for me is that were supposed to have the investigator or less active or whoever we are teaching say  the prayer at the end, kneeling preferably, which is great. But a lot of times people don't want to pray, and were supposed to work through that until they feel okay praying. But if someone tells me they don't want to pray in front of me, i  have a hard time...making them do it? If that makes sense? But then again they say if they don't pray with you they're not going to pray on their own, so its hard. We had that happen with Ernesto who we taught that evening about word of wisdom, he is less active and the lesson went well. then we asked him to pray and he was like "oh my mouth is too dry" and then to my surprise i said at the same time as my comp, "if you can talk to us you can talk to God!" haha old Carly would have just been like okay fine ill just pray. That night we also taught Marlene Briones, whose husband is a member. We have taught her before and we talked about God is our loving HF and Gospel Blesses Families. She has lots of concerns but is so kind and bold. Love her. 
     Family i love you all! I am learning and growing so much here in the Garden State. The sister i came out with who is also going to Australia got her visa so who knows when i will get mine? I will let you know. i may even get to call! haha but probably not. i love you all!

sister Carly Schaelling

Monday, July 1, 2013

Another week in New Jersey

Hello family! Thank you for the updates on Kaysville! It sounds like the fourth of July will be splendid! And good luck Dad and Scott on the 10K! And Scott wow! Ragnar huh? Sounds amazing to me! Way to be! 

This week was great. We met with Steve again on Tuesday and Wednesday. He should be getting baptized soon but he is having a hard time because he feels like he doesnt for sure know yet that it is true. He came to church this Sunday and he loves it. We will work with him. We had a great district meeting about accountability and goals. Dad you should see me now setting goals and makin plans like nobody's business! We had dinner at a members house with the elders which was good.

On Wendesday we had our summer event and all mission conference! it was super fun. We played a bunch of games outside with everyone. There are three missionaries who went to Davis here! And two that know Sarah Meservy from Bingham. Small world! The Manhattan Temple president and his wife spoke to us during the conference and it was awesome. On Thursday we had...weekly planning!!!! (best day ever! :) and then we went and visited Bro Caroll! He is going to be okay! He was up from his coma! Hurrah! So his wife, Eileen who is a non member was there. We went to teach her in the waiting room. We talked about the plan of salvation and then my lovely companion Sister Pack invited her to be baptized. Man it was amazing- Sister Pack said, "Will you follow the example" then Eileen was like "Yes! I will i will!!" then Sister Pack was like "...and be baptized?" And Eileen was like yes yes! Ah it was awesome. She has a date for July 21. She is on her third round of cancer and has chemo treatments and hip issues so its going to be hard getting her to church. We love her!

We went to Sister Ollivares, a lady from Peru for dinner that night and she brought her non member friends over! Man sister Ollivares knows missionary work! :) We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them and they were nice. Her friend who was there, Madonna, came to bible study with us later that night. Bible study is taught by Sister Izquierdo who has the wisdom of Grandpa Meservy. It is so interesting listening to her. We want to meet with Madonna again. She gave us a ride to bible study and we sang to her in the car. we like singing :) 

On Friday we went to see Jim in the nursing home. He is less active. Nursing homes depress me. We talked to him about hope and patience. We then came home and taught a bunch of people over the phone. We went to the Robertozzi's for dinner. Bro Robertozzi is a recent convert. We read thru some chapters of the Book of Mormon with him and read together. We want to help him understand the importance and power of the book of Mormon. That its not just a history book, but the keystone of our religion. We were supposed to teach our street contact, Joe that night but it didnt work out. Which is sad because i really wanna teach him! 

On Saturday we planned for our lesson for the ward in 3rd hour which was on loving one another. We practiced that and then we went and saw Jane in the nursing home, she was upset because she couldnt find a ride to church so we found her one. We sang to her of course. We then went tracting in Newton where we live! Yay for tracting. We got a potential investigator who said to come back later. We were walking back to our car i was talking to my companions about how i want to talk so someone who is in there car or contact while i am in our car. Then this car drives by and he stops and looks at me and iwas like roll your window down! hahah he did and we went and talked to him and he said he had met with missionaries before like a year ago. We got his address and an appointment and prayed with him. James is his name! kind of a gangster. Teaching him should be great!

Then when we were walking into our apartment we talked to the group of Hispanics that is always right outside our building barbecueing. One of them, Santiago seemed interested. And this crazy lady Tricia hugged and kissed me! how kind of her! She was high on somethin. Or just crazy! 

On Sunday we taught Mina, a muslim woman and her autistic daughter Pegga during 2nd hour. It was great, Mina is so kind and loving and patient. We taught half of 3rd hour combined with all the ward, we talked about loving one another and forgiveness, and how important it is in a ward family. We then had dinner with Sister Ollivares again with the elders and we talked about faith and hope. Sister Ollivares feels the spirit so much and brings the spirit to every lesson. Its awesome. We went to Sister Izquierdos after and drilled her with bible questions :) Also on Thursday we called Bro Sanchez, a non member (his wife is a member) and he said he loves church and wants to get the ball rolling on his baptism. That was amazing. We didnt even have to invite him!!

Being a missionary is grand and hard and amazing. I love it. I am learning so much, especially about humility. One of my favorite verses is some where in proverbs i think and it says "Despise not the chastening of the Lord, neither be weary of his correction, for whom he Lord loveth, he correcteth, even as a father the son in whom he delighteth." I love that. I am trying to internalize that especially now while i am being trained and getting corrected all the time. I was sitting on the ground in our kitchen last Sunday listening to vocal point sing Savior Redeemer of my soul. My favorite line "Chasten my soul til i may be, in perfect harmony with Thee. Make me more worthy of thy love, and fit me for the life above." To be fit for eternity we must be tried and tested! and there never was testimony without the test.

i love you all!!
Sister Carly Schaelling