Friday, February 21, 2014

Confessions and Blessings

Sister Eisert discovered the child lock in our car and finds it hilarious when I get locked in. That's okay though because Sister Beach always saves me! Plus I can reach sister Eisert from the back seat when a slug bug drives by way easier than she can reach me from the front seat.

So, as many of you know, I have gone completely off of dairy because of allergies. I get the most hilarious questions about it all the time because people want to make sure that when they feed me I don't die at their homes (my allergy is not terribly serious). My favorite and most common question that I get is, "So, can you have eggs?" This questions cracks me up ever time, and I get it at LEAST once a week. last I checked, eggs come from a chicken, and dairy comes from a cow... I don't tell that to them though, I just say, "yes, I can have eggs."

Our apartment has a tradition that we call Confession Friday. it stems from a tradition that my family has back at home. The rules are that you get to confess anything that you want, and you're not allowed to get in trouble for it. The confessions are always so funny! This last week when we went around the room with all of our sisters we laughed and laughed at all of the confessions. then it got to my turn. I confessed that 3 days after I made my new years resolution of no dairy I relapsed. That night when no one was looking I stuffed about 5 cookies full of milk and butter in my mouth as fast as I could, and enjoyed every moment of it. Part of the reason I have gone off of dairy so strictly is to support those of our investigators who have to quite smoking, drinking, etc. in order to be baptized. So whenever I eat dairy it is just as if I have relapsed. Haha, my companions like to keep track of the time since my last relapse.

Last night we dropped one of our investigators. It was heart wrenching!  I love that girl so much. When we first started meeting with her she had such a light about her. She would read the book of Mormon, pray, receive answers to her prayers, experience miracles, and attend sacrament meeting. The windows of heaven were truly opening up to her. But something changed. She stopped reading, praying, and coming to church. She started denying the miracles that she saw, and that brightness that we felt when we were around her turned to darkness. It broke my heart. last night as I prayed for her I felt a warm assurance that Heavenly Father placed my companions and I into her life to get her started on the right path back to Him. She may not be willing to accept it now, but one day she will remember the sweet and tender feelings of the Holy Ghost that she felt as we taught her. Letting her go was so hard, but we knew it was the right thing to do. There are people waiting for us to share the message of the gospel with them, who are ripe and ready, but we will miss them if we spend all of our time on people who are not ripe and searching earnestly. I am grateful for these lessons.

We experienced several incredible lessons this week too. There is a girl we are teaching who is SOOO close to baptism we can almost taste it I'll call her Sally. Last week we finished all the lessons with her, and are now working towards helping her to make that next leap of faith. She wants to be baptized but won't commit because she is scared that her parents will be upset. We decided to invite a member along with us to our last lesson who is a convert of 2 years. During the lesson she felt inspired to share with Sally a little bit of her conversion story. The spirit entered the room so strong as she explained how she was in almost the same position before getting baptized, but she knew that she had come to a point where she couldn't learn any more about the gospel without first being baptized. She invited Sally to pick a day like she did when she could sit her family down, explain to them how much the decision meant to her, and then to pray about a date when she could be ready for baptism. It was such a powerful moment. Sally said she would pray about a day to do these things and would let us know on Wednesday. I can hardly wait for Wednesday to come!

We had another moment this week with some other investigators that we thought we were going to loose. We invited our ward mission leader to come with us to the lesson and prayed pretty fervently that the Lord would guide the lesson. Somehow we were able to get to the bottom of things to discover that they had a real problem with the priesthood and the Book of Mormon. As we read about the functions of the priesthood in the bible, one of our investigators stopped us and said well with your "priesthood" can you actually do all of these things that the bible says? We looked at our ward mission leader, Chad, and said "well actually, Chad holds that very priesthood, why don't you ask him?" They were a little bit taken back, but Chad was able to share the most powerful testimony on the priesthood. I was then able to testify of the blessing it has been in my life, and shared a personal first hand experience when it blessed my life. You could tell our investigators hearts had been touched. They were almost speechless. I know the work we do, and the things that we teach are of God. I know that I have been called by a prophet of God to facilitate an environment where the spirit can teach. God is with His missionaries.

Moment of the Week:
Yesterday one of our investigators surprised us by coming to church for the first time. We didn't expect to see him at all. He walked in with 4 other friends just as the meeting was starting and whispered, "I hope you don't mind that I brought some friends with me." We chuckled to ourselves thinking, HECK NO TECHNO WE DON'T MIND!! And quietly whispered back, "yeah, that's just fine."


Sister Carter
We all decided to get dressed up for valentines day.
Seriously this town is infested with Wild Turkey's. Dinner anyone?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dumplings and Broken Hearts

This week we discovered a new game, it is called "what are the odds?" It is highly entertaining for everyone except those that don't have the odds in their favor. Basically, Someone asks you a question such as "what are the odds you will cook me lunch today?" That person who got asked then chooses a number between 1 and 18 such at 6. Somebody then counts down "3, 2, 1" and the two people call out a number between 1 and (in this case) 6. If both people say the same number then the person who had the question asked to them originally has to (in this case) make the other person lunch.
Hermana Whitney LOVES this game. She has a skirt that we call The District 1 skirt. The District is a series of episodes that glance into the lives of real life missionaries. There is The District 1, and The District 2 (you can find these on It is hilarious to see the evolution of what sister missionaries are or are not allowed to wear. The district 1 takes place in the early 2000's when sister missionary style was very strict and pretty frumpy. Whenever we are having a bad hair day, or bad outfit day we call it a district 1 hair day, or a district 1 outfit...
So, on Thursday night I heard Hermana Whitney call out from her bedroom, "Hey Sister Carter, what are the odds you will wear my district 1 skirt tomorrow?" I called back, "18!" thinking there was no way I would have to to wear that skirt if I chose a high number. Sister Eisert counted down for us and we both yelled out "14!" Everyone laughed at me so hard! I have no pictures of it, but Friday was definitely a district 1 day!

This week our English class threw a Chinese New Year party! It was so fun! I am now a Chinese dumpling making pro!

Mastering the art of Chinese Dumplings

Our English Class making the dumplings

What a fantastic meal!

My heart BROKE yesterday. I have been serving in 2 wards. the Davis 2nd Ward and the Elmwood YSA Ward. Yesterday we had Ward conference combined with Davis First ward and Davis 2nd ward. The stake president got up and announced that the two wards would be combining into the Davis Ward. I felt like my heart had been ripped right out! This meant that we wouldn't be needed in the Davis ward anymore because they already have 2 sets of Elders, so we will only be serving in the YSA now. It was like getting transfers without knowing transfers were even coming. We had no warning ahead of time or anything (nor did any of the ward members). One moment we were missionaries of the Davis Ward, and the next moment we weren't. This means that all of our investigators will get transferred to the elders. I know the Elders are great missionaries, but my heart was so broken. I also couldn't believe that we would no longer have our incredible ward mission leader anymore, or any of our incredible ward members anymore. I had no idea how much I loved all of these people until they were taken right out from under my feet. I cried and cried that day. I had put my heart and soul into trying to build up their ward, and suddenly it was gone without warning. We finally got to talk to the stake president and president Alba about what we would do and I felt an overwhelming peace that the Lord was going to take care of our investigators, and that this was going to help further the work of salvation for the Davis area. I am so grateful for the Spirit that is able to help me to see the bigger picture, and for the comfort that it brings me.
I love being a missionary. I love the people I serve, and the members of the ward I serve in. I love my area so much, and I am so grateful for that experience this week that helped me to see how much I truly did love the work I was doing. Our investigators are in good hands because they are in the Lords hands, not ours.

Moment of the week:
This conversation pretty much sums up our companionship to a tea.
During companionship inventory (which we do weekly) Sister Eisert said, "Sister Beach, if I were in jail I would call you to bail me out." But then she decided, "mmmm, no, never mind, you would probably just chastise me." So then she turned to me and said, "Sister Carter, if I were in jail I would call you to bail me out." But then immediately she changed her mind and said, "mmmm, never mind, you would probably be in jail with me." So then we turned back to Sister Beach and said, "Sister Beach, if we were in jail, would you bail us out?" She thought about it for a second and said, "Hmmmm, maybe after a stern finger waging I would."
Haha I love my companions. We have so much fun together. Companionship inventory is always so entertaining.
For the record, we don't plan on being in jail any time soon.

I love being a missionary!!! I never want it to end!!!

Sister Carter

I Love My Companions!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Worst Drought in History- Miracles abound

LOVE my mission President and his Wife. President and Sister Alba

This week I got flooded with mail!! I LOVE mail!! Mail is a missionary's best friend! i will do my very best to respond to all of your letters in what little time I have today, but I cant guarantee they will all get responded to by today.

Sorry if I go kind of cap lock crazy, because I am SO excited, and SO happy! Aside from the part of my week when random men from different parts of the world confessed their undying love for me over Facebook (It is getting pretty old), this week has been filled with pure joy!
Just one of the many examples of the undying love and affection I receive on facebook.

ELDER PRINCE IS HERE!!! I haven't seen him yet though, and it's killing me!!! Missionaries keep telling me there is an Elder from my home town in Canada named Elder Prince who just got to the mission! I am beyond excited to see him, but I have no idea when that will happen.

I GET TO GO TO THE SACRAMENTO TEMPLE THIS MONTH!! I am SOOO excited! I can't wait to do some more work for my ancestors. Mom, most of the names that got sent to me a few months ago didn't have their initiatories done, and as missionaries we only get to do the endowments. Is there any way that you might be able to do a session for them sometime this month before the 20th? If so that would be AWESOME!

I got a package from Tanisha (my sister) this week full of all sorts of fun stuff. All of the missionaries want pictures with the shirt that says"Finish the Mission -Nike." Sister Eisert thought for sure you had sent me an ugly sweater by the feeling of the package. I told her all about your hideous sweaters that you love, and how you probably sent me one just to bug me. I laughed so hard when I found the pens that had adventure time all over them. She knows how much I hate that dumb cartoon. I especially loved the pile of unsent letters that took about 6 months to finally get to me! Haha!

Sister Eisert and Sister Beach may or may not write a letter to the family sometime. They always talk about how badly they want to meet you because of all the things I tell about you.

I HAVE MORE MUSIC!!! I was this close ---->    |______|      to throwing my 1 good CD out the window, when it was saved by a package of new CD's from the Muirheads! It was the best surprise ever! My companions and I screamed and jumped for joy at the news of being able to listen to different music. "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho" is only so great until the 164th time listening to it...

Sister's come in all sizes!!

So I have a little request... If there is no way for it to happen then I completely understand. For the past few years I have done the Valentines Day service project making valentines for all of the elderly, widowed, and people going through challenging times and may need to feel some love in different wards of the stake. If there is any way that someone could take that little project under their wing, it would make my February! I will do my best to see if I can do it here in my ward as well.

MIRACLE!!!! So California is in the worst drought it has ever been in since California ever started keeping records. The Prophet and first presidency asked all of the members to fast and pray for rain on Sunday (yesterday). We invited a bunch of our investigators to join with us in the fast for rain. one of our investigators who is SOOO close to getting baptized joined with us in the fast and came to fast and testimony meeting. That morning we checked the weather forecast and it said there should be rain on Thursday. We decided to bring our rain jackets and umbrellas "just in case" there was a sudden change in weather. Sacrament meeting happened, incredible testimonies were born, our investigator got to listen to members share conversion story after conversion story over the pulpit about all the exact things she needed to hear, and finally we walked out of the chapel to see rain!!! It rained and rained all day Sunday!!!! I know that Heavenly Father hears prayers!

I need to go, but I love you all!

<3 Sister Carter
Sister Eisert's sister is having a baby. We sent these pictures home to her to show what we think she is having.

The Eternigator

This week I met a 3 legged cat named Luis... Sister Beach and Sister Eisert named it Luis... It was either that or Three Legged Cat, and we felt like it deserved more dignity than that.

TRANSFER DOCTRINE CAME, AND WE ARE ALL STAYING TOGETHER! I prayed so hard that we would all stay together. Heavenly Father answered my prayer! I am so spoiled. This transfer I will be hitting my 6 month mark!!! AHHH I don't want to hit my 6 month mark! TIME GOES BY SO FAST AS A MISSIONARY!

Fun fact:
Doorbell = Salvation Button

We saw some super awesome miracles this week. For example: We are teaching this one guy who has been an investigator for years. He has gone through 7 sets of missionaries, and has taken the discussions 3 times. We call him our eternigator. He called us up randomly one day, introduced himself, told us he hasn't met with the missionaries for over a year, and said he wanted to try it out again. We were so surprised! Our first lesson was so tough! It is hard to teach someone something that they have already learned 3 times over. We didn't want to do that so we mostly spent our time trying to discern what he really needed. He has read through the book of Mormon 3 times and says he has never felt the spirit before. He doesn't know if any of it is true, but he really has a desire to believe. It is heart breaking. The lesson was rough, but we felt prompted to see if he would be interested to read the Book of Mormon together. He accepted. Our next lesson was very simple, but very powerful. The spirit was clearly with us. He may not have felt it, but we as a companionship were definitely inspired as we read with him. We were so guided by the spirit in the things that we shared with him. We challenged him to read the Book of Mormon as if it were actually the word of god, and not just religious text. We challenged him to do a few other things and you could tell he left a little bit more enlightened, and inspired as to how he could come to know that the things we shared with him are true. It was cool, and very humbling.

I LOVE opposition! That might be weird to say but I DO! We have talked to so many people lately who have really challenged my faith. Without the opposition my testimony would not grow. I wouldn't have an opportunity to study harder to strengthen my faith if I just knew all of the answers to every question that investigators threw at me. Questions are humbling and empowering! Just because we don't know doesn't mean we can't know. Questions are opportunities to learn, and I love learning. I even love it when born again Christians throw Bible verses at me trying to prove their points. I have never been good at come backs. Ever. I would make an awful bible basher. But it is humbling because I get to simply bare my testimony of what I know to be true, go home, study up on the verses that they threw at me, and strengthen my testimony on what I know to be true.

This week I got asked out via text by one of our investigators... That was awkward...

We are teaching 2 best friends with the same name! It is hilarious! Both of their names are Andre. At church it was so entertaining to introduce them to the members, "This is Andre and Andre." Most of the time the members thought we were kidding.

Moment of the Week:
We were just about to have a Skype lesson with a guy in Colorado. I was having a moment of frustration and really felt like I needed to pray before starting the lesson, but he was already calling. At last second I threw my hands over my face, and said a super fast prayer out loud. I yelled amen, threw my hands in the air, looked at the screen and there was our investigator looking right at me... My face turned BRIGHT red, as he said "Well that was an interesting prayer!" I was SO embarrassed. Moral of the story, don't allow yourself to get frustrated... Embarrassing things happen.

XOXO... Minus the X's... Those aren't allowed as missionaries.

Sister Carter

Sister Cata

This week I got asked how to pronounce my name... I never thought the day would come when I would have to help someone pronounce my name. He asked me if it was pronounced "Cata, or Carter"? Haha, I was amused.

Her name is Julianna. I wanted to be there so bad, but there was just no way of making it. That's okay though because I am so happy for her!

I just spent 3 minutes trying to figure out which 'there/their' I was supposed to use -_- . Thankfully I have an English Nazi companion to save the day!

I made a few new years resolutions over the past few weeks. I'll share some of them:
1. No dairy! AT ALL! I would allow myself some here and there, but it hates me. It is seriously out to get me, and I will not let it win. Therefor I have gone off of it completely.... For the record I am allergic to it...
2. Journal writing EVERY DAY! I was reading in my journal the other day my writings over the past 5.5 months and it was so fun to read about the good, sad, hard, miraculous, exhausting, incredible days that I have had. I was so sad when there were days missing because those will be memories lost. SO I decided to commit to writing every night before I go to bed. My mothers email lecturing me to write more often may have swayed my resolve to journal write a little bit too. ;)
3. I want to be EXACTLY obedient. No matter what. It has been so incredible the miracles our companionship has seen out of this. Our teaching pool has grown so much over the past few weeks. I am more focused, more engaged, more determined, more receptive to the spirit, and happier. There are so many blessings that come through obedience.... Not that I was disobedient before... I'm just really strict now, and it feels so good.

I can't get over all of the miracles from this last week! We had 4 different people walk into sacrament meeting from off the street to check it out yesterday. We have had a people we don't know calling us to set up appointments. And, we have been given referrals that we have actually started teaching!
Yesterday I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about missionary work. The night before I was feeling so strongly about the talk that I was going to give. I knew that the message I was going to share was really important. I literally felt like I was being an instrument in the Lords hands. I was so worried that we would have a small congregation like we normally have been having, because I felt like the message that Heavenly Father wanted me to share needed to be heard by a lot of people. So I prayed. I told Heavenly Father how I was feeling and I asked him if he would provide a miracle and somehow fill the pews. When we got to church, it was PACKED! It was a direct answer to my prayer! There were so many people there I had never met before. Active members, inactive members, and the people that came from off the street. It was incredible. The spirit accompanied me so strong as I spoke, and The Lords message was able to be delivered to more than just a small handful of people. God is so great!

Moment of the week:
Well, there are two... We got a text from one of our potential investigators this week saying, "Sisters, I fear I haven't been completely honest with you...I'm... Muslim" My companions and I were like And?! Haha I think he thought that might be a clever way to get us off of his back. Unfortunately for him we read right through it saying, "That's okay, when can we meet with you this week?"

The other time was when we were in the home of one of our other potential investigators. We sat down about to start off our lesson when he interrupted us, stood up and exclaimed, "Good news, I have been baptized!!" I think he was expecting that our work would be done, that we would congratulate him, and be on our way... Fortunately for him it segued perfectly into him learning about the importance of being baptized by the proper priesthood authority of God.

Love you all!
Sisa Cata

Missionary Pay Day

 Last week I never mentioned the BEST part of Christmas! How could I have forgotten?! I got to skype my family!!! I got 45 minutes of pure joy. I love my family SO MUCH! Poor Sister Eisert has a brother out on a mission who got to skype her family for 2 hours while she only got 45 minutes. As much as I would have LOVED to skype longer I sure was grateful for that 45 minutes. I was a happy, giddy, blubbering mess. I felt like I was going to burst with happiness to see all of their faces, and to hear their voices. I was one of the best Christmas's I have ever had.

Good news! Sister Eisert and I almost converted a whole flock of wild turkeys. Sister Beach took an entertaining video of our efforts. Unfortunately they kept running away from us so we couldn't quite pop the baptism question, but we were so close! I guess I would probably run away too if a bunch of sister missionaries were chasing me down the street waving book of Mormons at me and trying to speak my language. Well for all it's worth we are getting really good at speaking turkey...

Sister Beach is the BEST! She lets us make her do all sorts of things for our entertainment. We have resorted to calling her the Lorax. We always walk by this tree stump and ask her to stand on it announcing "I speak for the trees!" And she does, happily! It never ceases to entertain us.

This week we had a SUPER AWESOME lesson with Patti. It was what you would call a missionaries PAY DAY. Actually we have had a lot of super awesome lessons with all sorts of different people, but she has been progressing the most. It is so neat to see the amount of love that Heavenly Father has for every single one of his children, and how incredibly aware he is of each of our needs. It's the coolest experience being an instrument in the Lords hands. but it can only happen when we are humble. Poor Patti is dealing with all sorts of new trials. We have been praying for her a lot lately. The other night we decided that we just needed to stop in to see her, but not teach her. So we did. As we visited with her and listened to her express the trials she is going through we felt very prompted to share with her the story about Esther from the Old Testament. Sister Eisert had a video about it downloaded on her iPad, so we showed her that too. It brought the spirit so strong. The next day was fast Sunday, and even though we had never taught her about fasting before we felt very prompted to teach her about fasting. The spirit guided that WHOLE lesson. The words that we spoke were NOT our own. The scriptures that came to our mind as we taught her were placed there by the Holy Ghost. It was an incredible lesson. She felt the Holy Ghost comfort her so much that night. She told us that she wanted to fast with us the next day, and would come to church for the first time. We walked out of her apartment speechless! We were so humbled by that experience and were so grateful that we were worthy to have the spirit with us so that she could be taught. Yesterday after church we sat in the chapel talking about the feelings that she was having there in the church. We talked about the testimonies that she heard. She loved them! One of the members who referred her to us sat with us and bore her testimony to her, bringing the spirit even more powerfully than it already was.
I know I say this all the time, but it is true: I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!

God is good!
Sister Carter

Oh yeah I forgot moment of the week...

Moment of the Week:
This week we got a text from one of our potential investigators saying, "Hey, when you come by, could you give me a lesson on cheating?"
Ummm... "What kind of cheating are we talking about?"
"the adultery kind."
We all looked at each other and laughed, "well this is going to be an interesting lesson." So we texted him back, "We will see what we can do."
Sadly the lesson fell through when he didn't show up to the appointment, which is pretty common as a missionary. It was too bad though, we had quite the lesson in store for him!

Ha ha Just kidding.. But I certainly felt like I ate that much!!