Monday, November 18, 2013

Free Silver Toyota Corolla Car Wash!!

This week we had a free car wash and free church tour! Best idea ever! I was mostly on sign waving duty since not many other missionaries wanted to. That's okay though because I can easily entertain myself. It turned into a game to get the people in their cars to turn toward the church. My favorite part was when I saw the UPS truck driving by I yelled out "FREE UPS TRUCK WASH! The guy thought it was pretty funny and actually turned around and came back! Hilarious! He didn't actually get his truck washed but he gave us some good entertainment.
We were very clever, and pushed the cross walk button so we could put on a good show for all the stopped-for-no-reason cars. They probably loved us. My favorite cars were the ones stopped that pretended they couldn't see us. With one I yelled out staring right at him "FREE SILVER TOYOTA COROLLA CAR WASH!!" You could see a little smile start to form, but he wouldn't give in. We convinced one guy who was stopped by yelling "FREE BLUE F250 WASH THIS WAY!!" He laughed and actually turned to get his truck washed. it made my day!
Unfortunately by being on signs we couldn't actually see what was going on at the car wash and if it was even very successful. After a couple hours we decided to see if anyone would rotate with us. When we got to the church there were about 4 cars being washed and someone was in need of a church tour. I grabbed a sister and away we went. It was truly the highlight for me. the spirit was so strong in that tour. The lady we were touring had all sorts of questions that we were able to answer. The spirit amplified as we showed her the baptismal font and talked about the sacred covenant of baptism. When we got to the chapel I felt like I could burst with joy as we shared the importance of the sacrament.
Cars quickly dispersed with no one being on signs, and no else wanted to go so away we 4 sisters went. My voice was pretty much gone after 3.5 hours of yelling. I was a little disappointed I didn't get to be a part of the actual washing and more of the tours, but I learned a very valuable lesson that night. After nightly planning our zone leaders sent out a text with the number of tours and car washes. In 3.5 hours we washed over 60 cars and gave over 30 tours. I was shocked! At that moment I realized how valuable my little roll was in the car wash even though I couldn't see what was happening. I related it to missionary work, sometimes it feels like what we are doing is fruitless, but we don't get to see the big picture that heavenly father is seeing. There are so many seeds of faith being planted every day. I am simply just a servant in the lords vineyard. Even when we come across people like Wendy who apparently knows "ALLLL about [us]" and slams the door, we can never really know if our interactions are really just fertilizing the seed. If that makes sense. 

By the way, I did get those facts wrong in my last email. It was the time of the Babylonian Captivity when king ZEDEKIAH was king. The people that fled went to the land of ZERAHEMLA. They both begin with Z. Same thing...

Super cool: We met a lady who died and went to heaven. She was told that her time in this life was not finished and got sent back. We are going to teach her about the Plan of Salvation this week! YAY.

I can't wait to go to the temple this week! I get to do some of my family names the day after my birthday!! Greatest birthday present ever! Thanks to our amazing friend Lonnie McMullen!  Plus I get to load up on Mormon tabernacle CD's that are not "Consider the Lilies." wonderful CD, but not after 3 months of it. I refrained a few times from throwing it out the window. Proud moments.

Moment of the Week:
I heard one of the elders complaining about the button falling off of his suite jacket yesterday. He was explaining his buttons sewing disabilities. Out of the kindness of my heart I told him I would use my button sewing talent to fix his suite jacket for him. I probably made him the happiest Elder in the mission. Last night I heard a knock at the door. We opened it to two elders with a small handful of suit jackets, pants and ties in need of repair. Lucky me!

I forgot to mention Freida! We have been teaching her on Skype. She is older with a LOT of health problems. We were finishing our lesson about the Plan of Salvation and our purpose here in this life when she asked us if we could sing. Sister Decker (I was on exchanged at the time) and I looked at each other kind of surprised, but said yes we love to sing. She asked us if we would sing her a song. We decided to sing "I Am a Child of God". The Spirit filled the room as we sang to her all the way up in Canada. Music is so powerful. I had to refrain from crying as the song testified of everything we had just taught her. It was a beautiful moment. Our hearts were as full of the spirit as they could be after we ended the Skype call. We sat there in silence for a few minutes soaking up the spirit. I love being a missionary.

Love you all,
Sister Carter

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm growing up...

Mom, you would be so proud of me. I think I'm growing up. Last P-Day we were driving and the sun was super bright in our eyes. We decided to pick up some sun glasses while at Walmart. Normally shopping would take me an eternity to decide what to buy. Then I would take them home, hold on to them for about a week, decide I don't like them, take them back, then a week later buy them again and ask my mom for approval.You would be proud to know that I did it under 5 minutes, AND I didn't even need her help. Mom, I hope tears are coming to your eyes at the thought of me being all grown up. 

When we were at Walmart I realized I forgot my tag (greenie mistake). I got to be Sister Becker for the afternoon. It was fun. When we were getting our pictures developed the man who was helping us was so confused. He kept look back and forth at both of our tags, but not actually asking us why we both had the first name Sister and the last name Becker. For the sake of all other missionaries we decided to clarify so he didn't think we were all named Sister Becker.
Wal-Mart adventures

I got some fun mail this week! It made me so happy. You know your a missionary when you curse the mail man for keeping the Sabbath-day holy. Especially when he holds it hostage during the other days of the week.

I had so many wonderful experiences this week. I couldn't possibly write them all so I will share one that I thought was very special. During personal study hour one morning I was reading in Mosiah. I have read the book of Mosiah several times and always get confused as to who is who, where they came from and why. So this time I put my foot down and decided once and for all I was going to figure out the chronological order of everything. I made up a super messy diagram that probably only I would understand. It showed who was who and where they came from and why they came/left. It was so very enlightening. Over the next two study periods I did the same thing. I felt kind of guilty that I focused so much more on the historical part of the Book of Mormon, rather than the spiritual part so I prayed and asked heavenly father that he would find a way to use my preparations. That day I was on exchanges with Sister DeRurange. We were doing some street contacting and saw a man washing his car. As we were approaching him and introducing ourselves he cut us off saying "Sorry I'm Atheist". We got to know him further and learned that he studies science and history. Both Sister DeRurange and I felt very strongly that he needed to have a Book of Mormon (which we found out as we discussed the scenario afterwards). As we testified of the Book of Mormon, he cut us off saying,"look this is all wonderful but you are talking about religious things to a man who doesn't even believe in God" He was right. No matter how much testifying we did, it was fruitless. Then I remembered the things that I had studied that morning. Yes, the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and another testament of Jesus Christ, but it is also a volume of historical documents of the people of the ancient Americas. I was able to share with him the things that I studied. I shared that a group of people who came from Jerusalem during the time of the Babylonian captivity and settled in the Americas in a land that they called the land of Zedekiah and so forth (don't judge me if I don't quite have those facts right). I told him more about King Limhi in the land of Lehi-Nephi and the kings that followed him. I told him that what we were holding in our hands was history. After careful, and spiritual direction we were able to leave the Book of Mormon with him. What was interesting is that both Sister DeRurange and I felt that the Book of Mormon would probably sit unread, collecting dust for years and years and years. But we both knew that It needed to be in his home. One day in maybe 30 years from now he is going to read that book, or maybe 60 years from now one of his grand children will find that book and read it... Neither of us know, but it is all in the Lords time.

Something amazing happened this week in our zone. There was a baptism of a guy who had been taught over Skype. Elder Cullimore was teaching him and got asked to give a talk at the baptism over Skype. He got permission from President Alba and was able to speak at this mans baptism where both of Elder Cullimore's parents were present. Amazing things are happening!

Family, I have 2 birthday wishes:
1. To have a family name to take to the temple. We are going November 21st (day after my birthday). The name has to already have had their baptismal ordinance done.
2. That you will set up the Christmas tree on my birthday! I loved when you did that while I was at school! Keep the tradition!
Both of those would mean the world to me.

Moment of the week:
It is probably not the smartest thing in the world to put unknown temperatures of small red peppers in your mouth. Nevertheless, we did! Sister Becker and I got them from some Mexican man while street contacting. We didn't know what else to do with them either than dare each other to eat them. We got a nice recording of the whole thing.

My favorite moment this week by far was when I was backing the car (which I am a pro at doing). After completing what I would call a successful backing, I walked back to the passengers side to get in but couldn't because it was locked. Sister Becker rolled down the window, whistled, and said "hey pretty lady, want a ride?" Sister Becker kills me.

Love you all,

Sister Carter

Friday, November 8, 2013

Mission Life.. I have a "Dad"!

My Mission Family (Mission Mom and Sister)
How could she leave me!? 

Fun and Rather Silly Facts About Mission Life:
(Whoever came up with this stuff must not have been keeping very busy) Your first area is where you were born. Your last area is where you die. Your trainer is your mom, your follow up trainer is your dad( hence the Title), when you train, you get a kid. My poor trainer has a tough life, she is an orphan with 2 kids. Both her parents finished their 18 months and are home now. Sister Van Wie abandoned me for her new child (she is training again) therefor I now have a sister, and a dad :)
My new companion Sister Becker is a licensed massage therapist. Lets just say life is pretty great! I'm probably the luckiest missionary ever. But actually, I love her so much. It is amazing how aware Heavenly Father is of me in knowing exactly who I need as a companion. She has all the strengths I wish I had. I am so excited to learn from her.  

I get to go to the temple again this month! I am so excited. There is so much to learn in the temple. There is a lot of spiritual preparation that goes into attending the temple as well. I have been studying a lot about covenants. Baptismal covenants and the covenants that we make in the temple. The scriptures are chocked full of so much insight about covenants. I am learning so much about the ordinances that are necessary for our salvation, and how those ordinances MUST be done with the proper authority of God (priesthood authority). I love the temple because in it we get to take part in those saving ordinances.
I could go on forever about how grateful I am that we have temples.

As you may be aware, our mission is a pilot mission. We just got new word from mission head quarters in Salt Lake that we need our family to send us family genealogy names that we can take to the temple to do their saving ordinances for. Mission Head quarters is going to start implementing family history work into missionary work, and we get to be one of the first to try it out! I am so excited! We haven't yet figured out what it is that they are going to have us do, but a member of the 70 will be coming to train us this transfer. As a start we need those names within the next 4 weeks. You can send as many names as you want especially for those missionaries who wont be able to get any. But they have to be from my family lines. I am so excited about this!

I have to go, but I love you all.
Sister Carter

We were out teaching and look what we bumped into!! 

P.S. I made a list of first world missionary problems.
First World Missionary Problems:
-Not having enough Miles in your car  (so we have to walk or find other transportation) Mileage is limited per month.
-Having to share a mirror
-Cell phone dropping calls
-Forgetting to charge the iPad the night before
-The breaker popping because of the hair dryer
-Having to reset the alarm clock because of the breaker popping
-2 dinners in one night
-Getting a run in your nylons
-Getting a run in your nylons twice in a row
-Getting a run in your nylons 3 times in a row and giving up on nylons
-The heat not working fast enough in the car
-The AC not working fast enough in the car
-Conference talks, Mormon messages, and bible videos not downloading fast enough on your iPad

Life can be really hard as a first world missionary.

Sister Carter
We always get made fun of for being the foreigners. Elder Gunter is from Germany.

XOxO big X little o, little x, O