Wednesday, November 30, 2011
"I know that my Heavanly Father knows and loves me personally. I know that he sent his Only Begotten Son to this earth to die and atone for our sins. And for that I am eternally grateful. I can never repay Him of that. I do my best to follow Him and His atonement each and everyday. And to be that example that I know Christ would be if He were on the earth today. I try to live the light of Christ and share that with others. I know Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, and that he restored the true church on the earth today. I know that Jospeh Smith also translated the Book of Mormon and did that through the gift of God. I know that to be the most correct book on the earth and along with the Bible we know the truth of all things. I know that Thomas S. Monson leads and guides Heavanly Father's true church on this earth today. I know that I can be with my family for eternity and that we will be able to be in the precence of our Savior if we follow His path. I love being a member of this church and I'm proud to represent Christ everyday. I say these thngs in" the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
This letter is just for ya'll! Yes I've said ya'll a few times just cause you feel like an idiot if you don't say that. I've gotten quite a few compliments on how well i say it! Well, I'm in Many! It's pronounced Manny. Like Manny Rameirez.My companion is Elder Davidson. He is a good guy. He got to serve on the LSU campus for 7 months! I was so jealous, he said he loved it. I hope I can serve there someday. He is from Sacrmento, California and has been out for about 16 months. He just got released as zone leader to train me. I really like him so far and see a lot of potential in teaching with him. The first few days here in Many we both were pretty sick. I still had my cold and then I think we both got food poisoning. I think it was something we ate at Thanksgiving.
We ate Thanksgiving dinner over at the Relief Society President's house, she is a member and he is not. But, he goes to church every Sunday, pays tithing and is a more active member than half the members in the world! We also went and saw Sis. Leone! She really likes us and has done so much for us! We also went and saw the Ward Mission leader and then the bishop! All the members here are really nice and supportive.
This is my cool story for the week! Elder Davidson threw up all night on Thursday, so in the middle of the night at like 3 am he woke me up and asked if i could give him a blessing! I had never given a blessing before let alone in the middle of the night. So, I rolled out of bed and flipped through our handbook to where it states how to give a blessing. I quickly memorized it and gave him a blessing. I'm sure the Lord has a sense of humor because I can just picture him seeing these two missionaries sitting in the living room at 3 in the morning, one brand new one, giving a blessing in their pajamas. It must have been a funny sight! I'm sure he had compassion on us! So that was really cool, I gave my first blessing!
On Friday I started throwing up too, so we called it quits early and then we were both in bed all day Saturday. So, we haven't gotten a chance to teach at all. We are planning a lot and hope to teach a lot this next week. Our goal for this area is to get a lot of the less active memebers to come back because there are a lot!
Sunday was a good day, it was so nice to go and take the sacrament. The ward isn't very big, only about 65 to 80 show up. But i guess thats pretty big for Louisiana!"
From President Wall: "We were pleased to meet your son, Elder Carter Everett Bailey, when he arrived at the airport in Baton Rouge. I had the pleasure to interview him, and it was a choice experience to feel his fine spirit and hear his testimony at our orientation meeting for incoming missionaries....We, as a mission, are working with all our "heart, might, mind, and strength" to bring souls to Jesus Christ...We invite you to include the Louisiana Baton Rouge missionaries in your prayers. We pray that you and your loved ones will find great joy as you participate in this missionary experience with us."
"We have a ward here in Many. We average about 80 people each Sunday. Our boundaries are pretty wide. The boundaries are pretty much the same as our parish (county) boundaries. Some of our members drive around 20-25 miles to come to church! Most of our members are above age 40. We have about 15-20 Primary children...on a good day....and we only have one young man and no young women! We're a close ward though because pretty much we're all related. Most everyone is either related to the Hardy/Hayes family or the Wagley/Slay family! I've been a member all my life. I'm a 5th generation Mormon! On Sundays we have 5 generations that attend...my grandmother, my mother, me, my daughters and my granddaughters! So my granddaughters are 7th generation Mormons! We feel very blessed!
Our family was very impressed with Elder Bailey. In fact my mother and I were talking about him today and how at ease he was yesterday visiting with our family. Most new missionaries are quite for awile but he was very engaging in conversation. Plus, I was very impressed when all the seats were taken in the living room and my 35 week pregnant daughter walked in. Elder Bailey stood immediately to offer his seat to her. That proved you've done a fine job rearing your son! Plus Elder Bailey sure won us over when he talked about LSfootball....we are die- hard fans!"
Friday, November 25, 2011
We got this wonderful email from a member of the Many, LA ward:
I wanted to let you know your sons have arrived in Many, LA and they have hit the road running! We are thrilled to have them here and are excited to get to know them. Today they had Thanksgiving lunch with our Relief Society President and her family and then came to my brother's home to meet our family and then they were headed to the Bishop's home to meet him! Tomorrow they plan to meet with the investigators the previous elders were working with. We certainly enjoyed our visit with them and were very impressed by the Spirit they carry with them. I'm attaching a few pictures for you that I took of them today. I'm grateful to have the same opportunity to take care of your sons. If you need anything while they are here, please call me or email me. Thanks so much for sharing your sweet boys with us! Happy Thanksgiving!"
Monday, November 21, 2011
I have seriously grown so much in the gospel these past two weeks. The MTC is like a gospel time machine. The spirit that is always here is like being in the temple 24/7. I'm a little scared because I've been in this place where the Spirit is here all the time, but I know I am prepared to take on the outside world.
I want to share an experience I had the other day. We were teaching a pretend-investigator, Chris. During the lesson, for some reason I felt inspired to ask Christ to bear his testimony. I had never in my life felt the Spirit stronger than when I asked him to bear it. And when he actually bore it, I knew that him hearing and thinking those things pushed him and got him to commit to a baptismal date that we had been trying to get him to commit to for a long time. He wasn't a real investigator. It was our teacher in character as an investigator. But, the spirit was still there and I knew that I was a mouthpiece for it. We were also able to give an Elder in our district a blessing. His back has really been bothering him, and was causing so much pain that he couldn't sit anymore. As soon as we began walking back to our rooms, his pain went away. My testimony of the preisthood was strengthened tremendously!
I miss and love you guys so much! I pray for your safety every night and I know the Lord is watching out for each and everyone of you because he loves you!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
"Everyone else in my district is awesome. We have 9 elders and no sisters. 5 of us are going to Baton Rouge and the other 4 are going to Fortworth,Texas. The other elders in my district are Elder: Lopez, Penrod, Bawden, Fulcher, Hubbert and Border. Elder Border has been my homie here at the MTC. He's a big 6'6 dude from Ogden, Utah. I'll be sending pictures home sometime this week! So all you girls out there if you want to write Border just let me know ;) And Elder Lopez has a story for everything! yesterday we kept track of all the stories he told. I stopped counting at 110!! haha he literally has a story every 2 min! Sometimes its annoying but we love him anyways!
Last night we had a district study, and we decided to go around and tell each of our experiences of how we decided to serve a mission. It was so spiritual, to see how each of the kids had a different story. I think the reason why we are all put in the same district was to share those stories to stregthen our testimonies of why we are here. I think the reason why Elder Border and I get a long so well is cause we have a similar story. We both had chances to play college ball. He had a chance to play basketball, me with football. But we both set that aside to serve the Lord."
The MTC is awesome! The first day was pretty hectic. As soon as I got here, I dropped my bags off and I went straight to my classroom. My companion didn't show up, so I was assigned to two other elders. Jake Bawden is in my district! I was so stoked to see a familiar face. I love being here! The Spirit is so strong and I love having so much time to study the scriptures and just learn about the Gospel. We have such awesome discussions, and we actually got to teach someone on our first day! He was an actor, but still. I was able to say a few things that I was inspired to say by the Spirit. It's crazy how much more sensitive to the Spirit I am now! I am loving how I feel while I'm here--everyone coming together for the same purpose, to serve the Lord. On the first day we had a meeting with all the newbies and the MTC presidency spoke and we got to sing "Called to Serve" for the first time! The Spirit was overpowering! It is awesome to see how much the Gospel is being taught throughout the world. We have missionaries here that are going to countries all over the world. I love you all and miss your like anything! But, don't worry I am too busy to be homesick!"