Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Leaving Davis

One last picture with my darling companions. Notice my tear stained face.

After 6 months of the best area of the mission with the best investigators and the best companions, Heavenly Father has decided to transfer me to Eureka. 
I have dreaded transfers. I knew It was coming. Staying in Davis was way too good to be true. The night of transfers all of us sisters gathered around the phone on the ground in the living room in anticipation/panic of where we would all be going or staying. I laid face first on the ground struggling not to plug my ears when they got to my name. All I wanted was to stay another transfer. I had a lot of teary nights this last week knowing that the inevitable was coming, and sure enough it did. One of our investigators whom we taught from beginning to end will be getting baptized three days after I leave. Another one of our investigators who I have taught for 6 months straight will be getting baptized that same night. We have 3 other baptismal dates set for next month and all of our investigators are progressing so well and so fast. Sometimes I feel so much love for them it doesn't feel like it can all fit inside of me and I could burst at any moment. 
Saying goodbye has been HARD. I have had some selfish moments of wishing I could be there for the progress of all of our investigators but I know my work here is done and I am needed in a new area. Even though it has been hard to be transferred right before so many baptisms I feel So incredible honored to have been a part of their conversion experience. Their experiences are so tender and wonderful, and as my mom always says, it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all. 

Last night we had a HARD drop. A guy who we have been teaching since Christmas eve got into anti-Mormon literature. I hate that stuff more than anything. I have seen it change people from vibrant, happy, bright, and full of the spirit, to angry, irrational, dark, and hopeless people. It destroys all faith. It is so wrong. I don't even have to look at it to see the literal visible affects of what it can do to a person. It will eat at your spirit and keep you as far away from the tender truths of the gospel and the blessing of the atonement as possible. Satan does not want you happy, and the fact is that truth brings joy, and the truth is found in this Church. Therefor it is the most attacked church in the world. If you have questions, go to the source of all truth, God and his son Jesus Christ who are at the head of this Church. I testify of that, and know it to be true. Their words can be found in scripture. The Bible and the Book of Mormon. You can speak to God through prayer, and he can answer through the Holy Ghost. Be patient with your questions, I guarantee you will not receive your answers all at once, but through careful and patient study and faith. I love the words of Elder Uchtdorf, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."

I have heard SO much about Eureka. It is one of the most coveted areas to serve in the mission. I hear it is beautiful, and full of drugs! Haha, bring it! I guess I am going from crazy "Born Again" Christians to crazy druggies. I also know my new companion. I served around her in Windsor. Her name is Sister Buckner. She is super sweet! I'm excited! She came out with my trainer, so she has lots of experience. I am excited to go get things done and to learn to love some new people. I will now have reached one of my hopes to hit all three temples in my mission. If I get to stay there for the next transfer as well then I will get to go to the Medford Oregon Temple! YAY!

Fun Fact:
This week Davis reached about 100°F.
It is HOT here!
I am a walking waterfall. Okay that's sick, I don't sweat that much. My face and arms are about 10 shades darker than they were last week. I am rockin' the farmers tan!

Moment of the week.
We were teaching one of our investigators who is addicted to tobacco, marijuana, and ADD medication. He tends to loose focus and drift off in our lessons. At one point sister Whimpey was pouring out her heart to him about the importance of living the word of wisdom. What she said was so beautiful, and sweet. once she finished he blinked a few times and said, "come again?"
I have never laughed at an investigator before ever. But I could not contain myself.It was so funny! all three of us BUSTED out laughing. We laughed so hard we could barely contain ourselves. He didn't hear a single word she said because he was so high he could barely focus.
Good news, He went to the 12 step program put out by the church yesterday and all he smoked was 1 cigarette yesterday! I LOVE THE GOSPEL!

We flushed two packs of cigarettes down the lou for one of our investigators.

Love you all!

Sister Carter

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Surprise from the Ukraine!

Sorry about not writing last week. Let me tell you all about it:

Last Saturday morning at about 11 AM we got a phone call from Sister Alba. As I have mentioned before, getting phone calls from the mission president or his wife always sends a lump to the pit of your stomach. They have so many missionaries to take care of that they don't usually just call to say hi or chat. So we all of a sudden got very nervous. Sister Alba Asked us how we were doing, and if everything was going alright. Then she proceeded to tell us that we would be having an emergency transfer. Both Sister Whimpey and I both frantically looked at each other and said, "okay...?" Sometimes when companionship are not getting along or are being disobedient there are ET's. The first thought I had was which one of us did something wrong?! The second thought I had was which companionship in the mission is struggling and is needing an ET (emergency transfer)?! I SO was not ready to leave sister Whimpey! Then before anymore scenarios could race though my mind, Sister Alba continued, "One of the missions in Ukraine has been evacuated because of the political unrest between Ukraine and Russia. It is getting very dangerous there. Four missionaries- two elders and two sisters- have been evacuated to our mission and just arrived late last night. We have prayed to know where to place these missionaries and feel to ask you sisters to take one of these sisters." We managed to say okay, and she continued, "How long will it take you to get to Santa Rosa?"
"About 2 hours."
"Okay well we need you to be here by 1:00 PM."
The next thing we knew, we were cancelling all our lessons and plans, and racing through the door to get to Santa Rosa on time. We had about every emotion come up in that car ride. Excitement, fear, worry, and love for this new sister. We couldn't wait to meet her!

Once we got there we found 4 exhausted missionaries who had been travelling for 30 hours. They were also feeling every emotion as well. One of the sisters was very teary. they didn't get to say good bye to anyone. One day they were stocking up food, the next day they were in lock down, and the next day they were told to pack their bags. They left baptisms that would be happening that weekend, and tons of investigators. many of the missionaries had seen barricades, shootings, people dead in the street, and all sorts of public demonstrations. As they were leaving they saw Russian tanks crossing over the border. It was very scary for a lot of them. All of the missionaries had been sent to their home countries. We finally found out who our new companion was. The sweetest girl from Utah who had been out on her mission for 7 months, Sister Finlinson. We loved her instantly! We went home and got her all settled in.

The next day was mothers day!!! I had the greatest 45 minute long conversation with my family! I just love my family so much! Sister Whimpey  and I attempted to sing our mothers day song to our mothers that we had practiced, but our minds were so all over the place and happy to be talking to our families that our song was an epic fail.

After talking to our families, Sister Finlinson was not feeling very good so we let her lay down for a nap. when she awoke from her nap she went to go to the bathroom and when she got there she collapsed on the ground in extreme pain. We rushed her to the mission doctor in our area and he told us to rush her to the ER! Meanwhile she was shaking and almost passing out from the pain. Finally after several hours we found out that she had appendicitis and had to go in for surgery right away. Sister Whimpey and I were up until about 2:40 in the morning, and finally were given a cot to sleep on beside Sister Finlinson. Lets just say that was the most exhausting night I have had in a very long time. Our poor companion Sister Finlinson has had quite the crazy last 2 weeks! Needless to say, trying to formulate words into an email was next to impossible! So that is why I didn't write last week.

It was a MIRACLE that Sister Finlinson was not in Ukraine or in the airport when her appendix decided to hate her. Heavenly Father is VERY aware of her.

Moment of the week:
We had found her collapsed on the ground in the bathroom and she said, it's okay, all I need is some Ibuprofen.

I love being a missionary! It is crazy! Haha.

Sister Carter
Cinco De Mayo

My darling companion before we were made into a trio.

After a tough week of being stuck indoors after the Surgery -this Amazing Missionary Mom (a mom who also has a missionary out in the field who talked to my mom on facebook through a missionary mom facebook page) dropped by with a whole bunch of goodies for us sisters and a couple of good hugs!!Tender mercies!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Worn out shoes in the Sistrict.... just ask our fearless Relief Society President Elder Chia.

Worn out Shoes!! From sooooo much walking and spreading the Love of God!!

I don't think I mentioned this before but our district in almost completely made up of sisters right now besides our district leader and his companion. We call it a Sistrict. Poor Elder Chia is our fearless district leader. He gets called the Relief Society President by all the missionaries.
Our Adorable and amazing Mission president. Pres and Sister Alba.

We went tabling on campus again this week. I met some VERY interesting people - my two favorites were the one guy who wore a cape and a hat that looked like it belonged to Robin Hood who explained that he only worshiped Lord Sparrow who is the ruler of the universe. The other was a lady who is an ex Mormon who served a mission a number of years ago and has since left the church and is now part of the "Ordain Women" movement in Utah. It was interesting... Sister Whimpey and I had a good long conversation with her. She was one angry woman. The things she talked about were awful, and made me so sad. Its so easy to become distracted away from the LIGHT of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I walked away quite rattled by her, and even started to cry. It was interesting how I could feel so much love and desire for someone to come back.

This is what we call TABLING

One of our investigators in HILARIOUS. whenever we are teaching him we can always tell when he is picturing something funny. For example we were reading with him in Alma 32 about comparing your faith to a seed. We read and talked about the things that he could do to nourish his seed of faith, and how he would feel that faith begin to grow within him. As we were talking he started to get this great big grin on his face and started to giggle. It was apparent that his mind was elsewhere. Finally we said, "Joey (Changed the name), a tree is not going to grow inside of you." he laughed and said, "awe dang it!!" and finally we were able to focus again.

I love our investigators. They are incredible! The different lives they live, and the different trials they face, make them so much more lovable. There are some that are facing severe trials in their lives. I just want to gather them in my arms so often and tell them everything is going to be okay, you can do it, don't give up. and as Elder Holland would say, "there is hope and happiness ahead."I know this because It has happened in my own life.  I so badly want them to accept and realize the blessings that await them in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. But they get to choose, what a blessing that is, we can all choose for ourselves. All I can do is pray for them, and prepare the very best that I can so that the Lord can speak through my companion and I. It can be hard when there is so much love attached, but it is worth every moment spent on their behalf. Which reminds me of the movie , "The Butterfly Circus." If you haven't seen it, watch it! It is incredible! I cried like a baby watching it in Zone Conference this week.


Moment of the Week:
We were at the farmers market tabling for family history on Saturday and while we were there a balloon making clown came up near our table and started making balloons for all of the little kids. one of the Hermana's (Spanish Sister's) got a brilliant idea to ask the clown if she could make us an Angel Moroni. We showed her a picture and she had it made in no time. It was pretty funny, so we got a picture with her.

Then about a half hour later after the clown was gone two actors in costume came up advertising for their play that they are putting on called "Seusical the Musical" They were both so funny so we decided we wanted a picture with them too. Hermana Billat had my camera ready to take a picture for Sister Whimpey and I. I walked up to one of the Characters dressed up as the Cat in the Hat, and asked him if I could get my picture with him - in the next moment He says , "OH CERTAINLY!" and throws his arms around me forcing me into a hug with him. It took me by complete surprise. I was so embarrassed as people around me watched as I laughed and yelled, "NO, NO!" I could not believe how uncomfortable I felt and all I could do about it was laugh because I couldn't get away!  Then Hermana Billat snapped a picture for proof.

 For anyone who is confused there is an "unwritten law" as a missionary that Elders and Sisters do not hug individuals of the opposite sex. It is the funniest thing because in no time you find that you have become the most awkward person on the face of the planet when someone who is unaware of that rule decides to go in for the hug. After that experience I realized that I will not be surprised if I come home extremely awkward when it comes to physical contact with males. For those of you who thought serving a mission would make you more marriageable, think again! I am living proof.

Sister Carter


PPS. don't forget to look up The Butterfly Circus

Got To Play a little on our PDAY!! Yay for bowling!!