Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First Mission in the world without Boundaries!!

The night before preparation day we call p-day eve. It feels like christmas. who knew that sorting out laundry and planning out what you would be eating that week could be so exciting? And reading your emails from friends and family is like opening presents.
This week was incredible!! To all of my friends and family, I am no longer just a Santa Rosa California missionary.. I am a global missionary who can teach anyone across the world by Facebook, Face Time, Skype and soon more! If you have friends or family that you would let me teach I will gladly teach them. Words cannot describe my excitement! The California Santa Rosa Mission is now the 'First Mission in the World' without boundaries. We have gone Global as of Tuesday. And we are already teaching the gospel outside our mission and around the world. We are literally teaching the four corners of the earth! These are the last days!! Through Facebook we are teaching the whole world! on Tuesday our entire mission received iPads!!! Our mission made history! we are the first mission in the world to all have iPads!!! we were going crazy with excitement this week. Bro. Donaldson the head of the mission department in Salt Lake City came to our mission and brought us ipads. They test a lot of things on our mission. He said they designed these Ipads only for the most obedient and that is why we are the first, because mission wide we are one of the most obedient in the world. He and President Alba tested our obedience as facebook missionaries for a while to see how we would do. They gave us 20 minutes a day to teach only those within our areas. Now we can teach anyone in the world including our nonmember or inactive friends and family back at home at any time for as long as we need. Sister Van Wie and I laugh because they seem to think we are pretty responsible and yet we still have to back the car with one of us guiding the other (usually me). Bro. Donaldson and Pres. Alba said they are in the process of allowing Iphones, and getting them to our mission as soon as possible. There is a district in one of the missions in Utah that is testing the idea of having friends and family from back at home be the member present in lessons over Skype as long as it is fulfilling our purpose as a missionary. I got a referral from Steven Smith last night who wanted so badly to be the member present. But unfortunately it isn't allowed in our mission yet. I am officially teaching someone from Washington, Utah, and Alberta through Facebook. the Lord is hastening his work. we call our ipads the 88:73. If you read in D&C 88:73 it says "Behold, I will hasten my work in its time." That time is now! President Donaldson explained to us that Elder Holland compared the June 23rd announcement of missionaries being on facebook, with ipads, and in meeting houses with the restoration of the gospel and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, because he felt that it was be huge in the spreading forth of theses truths. These tools will help the work roll even faster. Catch that wave everyone, because it is getting bigger and bigger, and there is no stopping it. Might as well ride it than watch it go by. We have our area books, pamphlets, Mormon messages, scriptures, facebook, Skype, and other things on our ipads. We can see a map in our area books that shows everyone in our teaching pool including formers and potentials that are close to us at that exact moment we are looking. The ipads are speeding everything up! They are working on creating an app with the pamphlets that now have videos in them. we can rehearse to them what happened in the grove of trees when joseph smith prayed, or we can let them watch a little video clip. Haha, I'm not sure if you can tell how excited I am. But I could go on forever about how cool this is!
So I love my mission! Let me just tell you, after being here for only 2 weeks I have already had ribs, steak, pulled pork twice, pork tender loins and Applebee's . I am serving in a very wealthy area right now, and not complaining. We ALWAYS have a dinner appointment. It is weird if we don't. I don't allow myself seconds, or dessert if it isn't homemade, and if it is, only a small amount. I have also buckled down on making sure that I am full out exercising in the mornings.
Okay this was definitely the line of the week:
Reina, is one of our recent converts that we are teaching. She is 13 years old. We were teaching her about the roll of the Holy Ghost in our lives this week and she asks, "do you think the holy ghost helps you when your playing candy crush?" My companion and I burst out laughing. We didn't really answer her cause we were laughing so much so she proceeded to answer her own question, "yeah I think it does, because right when I think I am going to loose I suddenly see a spot that I didn't know was there before and it always helps me stay in the game." She is such a crack up. She is addicted to candy crush!
This little girl got baptized last week, and Sis Van Wie and I gave the missionary moment. We basically give a short version of Christ establishing his church, the apostacy and the restoration and then invited everyone to baptism who hasn't already partaken of that ordinance. It is so powerful to do baptisms. The spirit testifies so strongly.

 Also the story of the picture of me and the guy in the superman shirt: he finished his mission this week (the day after we got Ipads, bless his heart) and was known for having the most aweful singing voice. That was his legacy! He knew it, and he loved it! So he made that microphone for himself out of pipe cleaners and put on one last performance for us singing "The Spirit of God". At the moment in the song where it says, "the veil o'er the earth is beginning to burst" he rips off his white button up shirt, sending all of the buttons flying (which is what I was holding in my hands). it was hilarious. This guy can not stay in tune to save his life. It is hysterical. And when he sings he sing SO LOUD! It is especially ironic when we are actually all singing "The Spirit of God" together trying desperately to actually feel the spirit, but can't over the sound of his voice

Love you all so much!

Sister Carter
PS- I have officially been a missionary for over a month! The 24th was my 1 month mark!
PPS- If you send me an email, send me your mailing address too! It helps me a lot!

We committed 2 cats and a praying mantis to baptism last week....

There is so much to talk about I dont know how I can possibly get it all in. But this week has been incredible. I can't believe the miracles and blessings that happen as a missionary. I have seen the Lord put my companion and I in exactly the right place at the right time so many times! Being a missionary is so humbling. You constantly have to put your pride away and get over yourself. There is too little time, and too many people that need you for you to get all caught up in yourself. It is interesting watching some missionaries get caught up in themseves, by being distracted by other missionaries (of the opposite gender). And I don't know about the Elders, but some of the Sisters are so hungry for leadership. It is silly. We are all leaders, but we are all part of a team. There is no one above another, the Lord is just using them in different ways. It is so interesting to be on the inside of missionary work. The stake president here is pretty much a rock star. He is 37 years old, and was never a bishop. He went straight from being a ward mission leader to a stake president. He is mSO missionary minded. He held a fireside for us last night for all the new missionaries and basically established that we are all on the same team and that part of the stake vision is missionary work. It is SO COOL! He is an amazing man, vibrant and full of energy.

Trying to find poeple to teach has been a little bit frustrating.  Things have been going slower than I expected. It can be a little bit discouraging but I know it is good. The Lord is allowing me to stretch and grow first before allowing me to see the fruits. Ether 12:6 "dispute not because ye see not, for ye recieve no witness until after the trial of your faith." My companion is so great. Her and I are able to keep a super positive attitude because missionary work is FUN!!! There are incrediblel moments where you can almost see the hand of the Lord litterally touching the hearts of poeple. The spirit is almost visible sometimes. When we don't reach numbers that we set goals for it can be a little bit 
discouraging, although last week we did commit two cats and a praying mantis to baptism which was pretty rad.

Santa Rosa is so pretty. Although a little confusing at times. Mother nature can't decide what season it is. Trees have been changing color since July... And for some reason everywhere we go it smells like dog poop... It is very pretty though. There are vinyards and farmland with livestock everywhere. My comapnion and I make the sound relevant to every animal we see together. It provides for a lot of entertainment especially when we see animals like ostriches and have no idea what they sound like. Don't judge us. Oh and be jeaulous because this week I ate a peach straight off of a tree. Nevermind that they were rock solid becasue they weren't in ripe yet... Still pretty awesome! I also saw a pomegranite tree! And there are orange trees, lemon trees, and lime trees everywhere!!

Definite highlight of the week:
We were in the area of our ward mission leaders home (who by the way has one of those super awesome french mustaches that are turned up at the sides) and we needed to use a washroom really bad. So we stopped at his house, knocked on the door, and were greeted by a completely naked 4 year old little boy. He blurted out "sorry you already missed dinner" and shut the door. Oh my hilarious. That was definitly not what we were expecting. Sis. Van Wie and I could not stop laughing! We almost didn't need a washroom anymore. Have no fear though because we eventually did use the washroom, and the little boy evendtually did put some clothes on.

Love you all! Email me, or better yet send me letters. I can reply a lot easier to letters than emails bcause I only get an hour and a half to email. Friends, if you do email, send your address too so that I can write you back.
My MTC companion by the window 
Sister Carter

At the SLC Airport on the way to California

Santa Rosa Here She comes!!
A Plane full of Missionaries.. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First week in the Mission field

Let me just start by saying, I am in the best mission in the world! No but really, the Santa Rosa mission is one of the most obedient missions in the whole world. This mission is a pilot mission. We were one of the first to get put on Facebook and will soon have iPads as well. With that in mind, all of the Santa Rosa missionaries are facebook missionaries and therefor have to disable our facebook accounts. 
I love it here! I have officially been in the mission field for 5 days. I am serving in Windsor in the Shiloh Park ward. If you want to send any letters the fastest way for me to get it is by mailing it straight to my apartment. If you mail it to the mission home it could sit there for weeks. My address is:
Sister Malia Carter
5203 Old Redwood Hwy
Apt 43
Santa Rosa, CA
If you love me, you will send me mail ;) Not to guilt trip you or anything. 
Well I am officially known as the Canadian Missionary. I get laughed at for all sorts of things that I say. I get laughed at for saying "washroom" instead of "bathroom" for taking my shoes of at peoples front doors. for getting caught saying "eh?" at the end of sentences, for saying pasta, bag, flag, tag, wagon, and other 'ag' words funny, for pronouncing foyer the way it SHOULD be pronounced, and for calling it a "garborator" instead of a "garbage disposal". I have provided so much entertainment for these blessed Americans. One of the elderly couples know how to make Nanaimo bars so they brought my companion and I over what they called "American style Nanaimo bars." They have peanut butter in them, and were super tasty. My companion can never remember what they're called so she calls them "Namaste bars".
I love my companion. She is SO easy going and awesome. She is the sister training leader (STL) in our zone, and she is training for the first time after only being out for 3 transfers. She is a rock star. I am so lucky! Oh and just to brag a little, I am serving in the leading area in all of the Santa Rosa mission. Kind of cool! Another fun fact, Robin Williams (the actor) lives right across the street from one of the members in our ward, and Guy Fieri (Not sure how to spell his last name) from diners, driv-ins and dives (or whatever that show is called) lives here too. His very first restaurant is in my area and apparently the food in amazing. Yeah don't be too jealous.
These past few days have been so crazy! I feel like I am basically learning to walk all over again. I am so outside of my comfort zone all the time. I had to laugh yesterday at church when I was asked to read a quote and almost had a mini panic attack because of it. Normally I would not be scared at all. This mission is bringing out all sorts of insecurities. but then at the same time I have been SO blessed. I went on what is called a blitz 2 days ago where one missionary partners up with one member in the stake and goes to less active and potential investigators homes. SCARY!! I had no idea what I was doing, but neither did the member I was with, haha so I had to pretend I knew what I was doing. I prayed so hard and asked for strength, and I ended up having such a good experience. no one was actually home, but we ended contacting a number of new people, giving out Book of Mormons, and pamphlets. I really left the Lord guiding me. Oh my first day here the mission president, President Alba, challenged all the new "green" missionaries to invite someone to baptism before Saturday (this was on Wednesday). I was so freaked out, but kind of excited at the same time. Turns out I was the very first person on the very first day of 30 new missionaries. Haha, I was kind of proud of myself. But I have such a great trainer, she has a lot of faith in me.
There are SO MANY Native Americans here. They are mostly Pomo. On of the main families that we teach are of the Pomo tribe. It is so exciting!  It is so exciting for people when I tell them my father is Cree. I really think it would help if I had a little bit better knowledge of who I am and where I came from as far as my Cree heritage so I am trying to learn more from my dad (hopefully he will send me letters with our cultural traditions so I can learn even more.  People want to see pictures of him all the time. And they always want to see pictures of my family. It boggles their mind that my father is Native American, and I have blonde hair. Well it boggles my mind too actually.
Everything in my apartment squeaks. You name it, and it squeaks. trying to be quiet in the middle of the night to go to the washroom is an epic fail. We get a pretty good laugh out of it all the time.
Haha, sorry, my thought's are all over the place. I say that cause I was just thinking about how the Elders live only a few doors down from us, so it is a constant pranking war between us. Elder Tubbs and Elder Makoni are super fun. they have 4 elders in their apartment. them, and 2 other Spanish elders. We went over there yesterday with a plate of 2 Nanaimo bars for the Spanish elders and gave them the plate right in front of Elder Makoni and Elder Tubbs. It was pretty funny. We also find every opportunity to park right in front of them so that one of them is forced to get out and back them up. It's pretty funny.

Anyway, I love you all and miss you. I am so happy being here. This week so far has been amazing!

Sister Carter.
Malia can be found in the center -The blonde in the Black and white polkadot dress with a grey cardigan.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Blessing of Letter's from home!!

So much happened this week. A common phrase that you hear in the MTC is "the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days." It's true! We learn so much in one day.. The closer I get to entering the mission field, the more excited and nervous I get. I have only 3 full days left in the MTC. I think my next P-Day will be next monday. So I have a little bit of a wait before my next email.
Okay my companion is so great! She provides me with so much entertainment all the time. On Tuesday we had a lesson with our roll play investigator named Jess (one of our teachers roll plays Jess). During around the middle of the lesson Jess abruptly states that he realized he needed to go and that we would have to continue another time. Sister Beach (my companion), panics, throws her arms in the air, and shouts out "BUT WAIT, GET BAPTIZED!!" We all burst out laughing. It was so funny! Hopefully she doesn't use that approach in the mission field.
Also, she is so great because she has been adopting all of my Canadian lingo. For example, she always calls it a washroom now instead of a restroom or bathroom. All of the other missionaries in our district think that is the weirdest thing. Haha I think it is hilarious because I didn't even tell her to, she just started randomly one day.
There are so many great people here too. Sister Pyper is my favorite Sister Missionary. She is from Texas and grew up in pretty much every southern state, so she has a super thick southern drawl. It is so great. She would always say things like "come on sisters, put a little hitch in your giddy up." My favorite was how she would say "bless her heart." She sat us all down one night in the residential halls and explained to us the "proper" way to use "bless her heart" She said basically you can say whatever you want about any of the sisters without being too mean, and by ending it with "bless her heart" you just cancelled out everything you just said about her. Haha. She was such a character and super spunky. Bless her heart. One night her and her companion burst through our bedroom door making Indian sounds, jumping up and down and all over the place. Her companion yells, "It's a Lamanite! She wont leave until you convert her to the gospel! Quick, someone teach her!" Haha so we jumped right in on it and proceeded to teach her the first discussion as quickly as we could before she destroyed the whole place. Those sisters were so fun!
Roll play is a funny concept. It is so good, and sometimes is so challenging. But it is super helpful. It is so good for being able to step outside of your comfort zone and learn new things. My companion and I discovered that doing roll play with any of the senior staff members here on campus is completely fruitless. Don't do it! Our class was given the challenge to go outside and get practice committing random people to baptism. it was really fun, and super funny. So, obviously everyone on campus is already a member, and usually they would understand the concept of roll play. Well Sister Beach and I went up to this one lady who looked to be in her early 60's and proceeded to give her the baptismal commitment. Well we could barely get through it before she looked at us appallingly and says, "sisters, I am already a member." We tried to play it off by asking what church she was baptized into and proceeded to explain the priesthood authority. She was just not getting it. She says, pointing to her name tag, "see, look at my name tag, I am already a member, why else would I be here on this campus" and then actually ran away from us. Sister Beach and I look at each other and burst out laughing. Maybe next time we will stick to the Elders and Sisters to practice on. Seniors just DO NOT understand roll play AT ALL. My teacher said he experienced that several times too when he was in the MTC.
True story, there is actually a tree that smells like cream soda on campus! When I was giving the new sisters and orientation of campus they would not believe me until we passed by and saw a huge group of poeple actually sniffing the tree. No lie! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of it right now. But I will for sure send one next week.
Getting letters as a missionary is probably the greatest thing in the whole entire world, besides when people accept the gospel. You can NOT get your hopes up though because if you do it is SO disappointing when you don't get anything. Especially when everyone around you is getting 2 or 3 each. Jenaya Thompson, Gabi Carvalho, Daniel Dromey, and Jessica Tippetts pretty much made my week this week. I literally squealed and jumped for joy when I got letters. BUT  don't send me letters cause you feel guilty, haha, send other people you know that are out on missions. You have no idea how happy it will make them. And if there is anyone out there who would be willing to do a service. My companion has not gotten even one letter since entering. She is so great and says its not a big deal. But I swear I can see her heart break night after night. Her name is Sister Beach. We have the same address. AND sending mail through dearelder.com is SUPER easy and its gets to them same day which is great since we only have 3 days left.

I love you all! I am out of time to write. But I love it here. I love everything about being a missionary. I love how incredibly hard it is, because it is 10 times more rewarding!
Sister Carter

NOTE from Malia's Mom - If you are trying to send a letter to Malia or Sis. BEACH at the MTC through DEARELDER.COM the you will need her unit #87 and Mission Code AUG06 CA-SRO