Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Monday October 17, 2011


I am officially in Fresno, wahoo! We flew here on a tiny little plane.  Things are great. My companion for the day thinks I'm hilarious, so that's a good thing.  Talked with President Gelwix--he's awesome. 
Anyway love you all and will talk to you again soon.  Already gone and talked to people. Wow it's pretty scary, but we'll get better at this soon!
Sister Caramella

Almost ready to GO!


So, we're headed out next Monday!  We leave the MTC at eight in the morning, a small miracle considering the missionaries in our district going to Denver are leaving at five! Yikes! There are the four missionaries from our district heading to Fresno, and then three more Hermanas headed to Fresno who I met when I got to sing in the choir!  We got permission from our Branch President to skip a workshop so we could go participate in the choir!  It was absolutely amazing!  We sang "Were Can I Turn for Peace."  It was a beautiful arrangement, and I had a fun time singing alto with some girls in my branch who are going to Finland! 

The speaker at the devotional was Julie B. Beck!  She gave such an amazing talk about how the eternal family and the covenants we make in the temple are central to the gospel of Jesus Christ that we are spreading.  It was so amazing, I don't know if there is a way for you to watch MTC devotionals, but if you can you should! (Also if you find a way to watch the devotional and it has the song still with it, I'm wearing a pink sweater I kind of stand out, so keep your for eyes peeled for me!)

We had our first Relief Society at the MTC on Sunday, and they are very different here.  We have a guest speaker.  This past week it was someone very dear to me!  Sister Jean A. Stevens, the First Counselor in the Primary Presidency!  It was such a treat to see her again.  After she spoke I went up to her and said, "Hi, remember me?"  She did remember me, and gave me such a big hug!  She was just as excited to see me!  It was just so nice, another tender mercy of the Lord!

I loved going to the temple last week, the Provo temple is beautiful inside, and it is so amazing to go with other missionaries!  I will admit a bit of homesickness hit as I was sitting in the Celestial Room.  I was one of the first in our session through and I went and sat down waiting for everyone else to come in.  As I was sitting there I realized that mom and grandma wouldn't be coming in to be with me. 

We had the most amazing teaching experience last week!  At the MTC, our teachers pretend to be investigators from their missions, and we practice teaching them. My teacher, Brother Nate, is pretending to be a man named James.  Sister Ingram and I were lost as to what we should teach him, and then finally it came.  It was so amazing to be inspired by the spirit!  I have also been focusing a lot more on listening when others are speaking and not worrying about what to say next.  It is amazing how when you put your trust in the spirit, it really does direct you as to what you should say!

 Also for those of you who have been asking--I see Daniel all the time!  We have the same mealtime so it's a daily, sometimes twice daily occurrence.  I've been able to meet his companion too, he seems really nice!  As for his headaches he seems to be doing ok, but he did show me all of his medicines the other day.  I also got a picture w/ Daniel, but we're in nasty clothes in the MTC bookstore.

My time is just about up; I loved all the mail from everyone!  I got the pie, and the Halloween package yesterday!  Thank you for your love and support, I can really feel it everyday!  Love you all and can't wait to write to you from Fresno next week!!!

Sister Catherine Caramella

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Hey Family and Friends!

I absolutely love the MTC! I have such an amazing companion, district and branch. Heavenly Father has just surrounded me with wonderful people and I feel so blessed.  I already told you that Sister Ingram is my companion.  It was so good to see a familiar face that first day and she is such a help to me.  She is kind and patient and treats the Elders with such respect I really admire that about her!  My district is composed of six Elders and four Sisters.  Elder Fisi-Hoi is from New Zealand and Elder Coles is from Idaho, they are both going to Fresno with Sister Ingram and me.  Elder Fisi-Hoi is a rugby player and apparently President Gelwix sent him a letter a couple of years ago asking to him to come and play for Highland.  Elder Fisi-Hoi respectfully declined.  I guess President Gelwix is going to get him on his team one way or another...Everyone else in our district is going to the Colorado Denver South Mission.  Elder Hill is from Alabama, but doesn't know Aunt Diana, Elder Elton is from Dublin, OH and actually knows my friend Patria from BYU, Elder Carlston is from Sacramento, CA, and Elder Oliphant is from Magna, Utah.  There is another set of sisters going to Denver, Sister Partridge from Arizona, and Sister Lethcoe from Texas.  So we only have one missionary from Utah!  My district is amazing and works so hard!  We also love to sing, we sing all the time going everywhere.  The Elders are pretty good too, so it's pretty fun!

Speaking of singing we have a workshop durning the MTC choir rehearsal, so sadly we can't sing in the choir.  We're trying to get something worked out for next week, but we keep hitting dead ends.

Also another tender mercy of the Lord, a member of our branch presidency came to speak with us last Thursday, and guess who it was?!?!  Brother Stice, I know you don't know who that is, but I do! He is one the deans of the Marriott Schoool at BYU!  I am so excited to get to know this man who will make a big difference in my life when I get home from my mission.  It couldn't be a bad thing to have a special connection with one of the deans of my school.

I also want you to know that the MTC is amazing, there is really no way to describe it, you really just have to experience it! I know that everybody says this, but the spirit is so strong here, it just hits you like a ton of bricks!  I have the most amazing teachers, and the way they have us learn how to teach is by teaching, our teachers pretending to be investigators they had on their missions.  It is incredible how real this roleplaying is.  We pray, we teach, and we are guided by the spirit.  It is such a powerful way to learn how to be a good teacher.

Also wasn't general conference AMAZING?!?!  I loved the arrangement of "I am a Child of God" that the MOTAB sang during the Saturday morning session.  As I listend to the words of the second verse I just started to bawl.  Instead of hearing the voices of little children calling out to their parents I heard the voices of the people I will teach on my mission.  "I am a child of God, and so my needs are great.  Help me to understand his words, before it grows too late."  Every person that I meet is a child of God, and they need the gospel of Jesus Christ.  If I'm learning anything, it's that as a missionary I am a literal representatvie of Jesus Christ and I need to develop every Christ-like attribute I can.  I need to learn to see people through Christ's eyes!

I love you and miss you!  Hope everyone is doing well!

Lots of Love!

Sister Catherine Caramella

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Old News at This Point...

 For anyone who hasn't heard, at the end of June, I received my mission call to the California Fresno Mission. The process of actually putting my mission papers in took much longer than I had anticipated, and honestly I just couldn't wait for the mail to bring my call to me. So, I headed up to Salt Lake and picked up my call myself from church headquarters (I was already up in Salt Lake to pick my mom up from the airport). We got a little bit lost in the building looking for the missionary department, and I felt like we were wandering around the Ministry of Magic for Harry Potter...I was having sortof a magical day. We did finally find the missionary department and the sweet senior missionary at the desk asked me what I needed. I could see the envelope with my mission call in it sitting on her desk and I said, "That's mine, I'm Sister Caramella," as I pointed at the envelope.  She was so excited and leaped to her feet.  I kindof think she wanted me to open it right then and there.  We did manage to snag a picture together! :)

With my white envelope! :)

Oh you know, just basking in the glory of temple square with my mission call!

I waited until I got back to Provo to open her up, and I decided I wanted to open it alone.  I wanted a minute to react by myself.  I didn't want to have to put on a show or act because of who was around.  We drove over to Kiwanis Park and I found a nice tree to sit under all by myself.  And I opened the envelope:

Dear Sister Caramella,
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  You are assigned to labor in the California Fresno Mission.  It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

The letter goes on to give more details about when I'll be serving and the work I will be performing as a missionary.  I'm not going to lie I was a little bit surprised.  I really thought I would be going to another country, or at the very least learning a language.  But, at the end of the day I know I'm going where the Lord wants me and needs me, and there is nothing more thrilling than that!

For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.  Alma 29:8

Calling my family and friends to tell them the good news!

Oh, and you know it was Tuesday, so we headed over to El Azteca for our regular taco tuesday ritual :)

As a fun sidenote...my friend Maddy, directly to my right, received her mission call today to the Brazil Santa Maria Mission! I couldn't be more thrilled for her!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I'm still working away on my mission papers, we're hitting a couple of snags with the insurance section, but we'll get it all worked out soon.  I'm just wondering why can't I put that Obama will take care of my insurance?  (Please excuse my reference to politics, but it's a family joke.) Anyway hopefully I'm still on track to get them submitted on May 8th!! I can't wait.  I can't wait for the moment I can open my mission call and see where the Lord will use me as an instrument in his hands.  When you fill out your mission papers you have to enter the address where you want your call to be sent (duh!) and this little box pops up for you to confirm your address.  It says your call will read "Dear Sister Caramella,"  I cannot wait to get a letter with that salutation!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I've started!

It's official! I've started my mission papers.  I met with my bishop and got an account on lds.org and have started filling them out.  I've also been to the dentist and heard the bad news that I do have wisdom teeth that will need to be removed before I go...sad day :(  When my little sister got hers out she was depressed and loopy for days, not really looking forward to that.  I've also been to the doctor and had my blood drawn, and all that fun stuff, and it has been determined that I am perfectly healthy and can go anywhere in the world that the Lord would have me serve!  That was definitely a relief to hear.  I've had some health issues in my life, and it was very reassuring to know that I've been able to work through everything and will be able to serve wherever the Lord needs me.  Oh, and another fun fact, I have O- blood, universal donor!  I should probably start donating blood, but my fear of needles just might prevent me from doing so...anyway just thought I'de share the good news.  I can't submit my papers until the beginning of May, so I've still got some time to wrap up my loose ends.