Monday, September 22, 2014

Smooth sailing and becoming an orphan

One of our investigators is getting baptized this Saturday! His name is Larry (name has been changed). He is so incredibly prepared! Mom you told me that somewhere in my mission was a little "John Carter" who was being prepared to receive the Gospel.  (My dad was searching for truth at a young age and because a few obedient young men faithfully followed the Lord and served missions my dad found the Gospel and it completely changed his and my families life.) This young man is one of those. He started being taught less than 12 weeks ago. A few weeks ago Sister Harper and I knelt down and prayed about a baptismal date to extend to him. The date that we both felt right about was September 27th. We then extended the invitation for him to pray about that date also, and he got back to us saying that he felt right about it too. He is the nicest young man who comes from a very broken family. He soaks up every ounce of information that is shared with him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in lessons, in church, and through observation of the members of the church. He is a miracle, and loves the Savior.
I keep freaking out at the realization that he is actually getting baptized. There have been no complications whatsoever, just smooth sailing. That is unheard of when teaching investigators. There is always some sort of hurdle to overcome, but not with him. He basically lives the gospel in every way, he just isn't baptized yet. I pray that all will work out for him in this quest nothing will come in the way of him finding the Joy of the Gospel.

Another significant approaching date is the 23rd where two of our other beloved investigators Mike and Olivia will officially be smoke free. Last fast Sunday we invited them to fast and pray about a date that they could choose to put down cigarettes once and for all. They did, and they chose the 23rd. Their family is incredible. Their oldest three kids have been baptized and they will be following shortly. They have had to overcome so many obstacles and have done it! All because they have developed faith in Christ.
Sister Harper and I had fun putting together a quit smoking kit for them this week. They LOVED it! Their reaction was adorable like it was Christmas or something. They were both so touched and kept saying, "where do you people come from!?"
"who does this?!"
"This is so awesome!"
It was the VERY least we could do to help them, but they were so touched! It was like they had won the lottery. Mike told us if he could hug us he would! It was so sweet!
We see their family almost every single day. between new member lessons, investigator lessons, family home evening and eating with them they feel like my second home! I love them so much! You would have no idea the changes they have had to make because of the love they have in their hearts and spirit of God that is so strongly with them. We call them dry Mormons. They just have a few things to work through first, the biggest being smoking. But considering how much they were smoking before and how much they are now they are well on their way.

Sister Alba's Birthday party was last night. We had fun singing, laughing, and eating (in my case looking at) cake and ice cream. There was a recent convert there too of about a month and a week named Thomas who always hangs out with the missionaries. We love him! He is so awesome. He has had no support from his family at all but now holds the priesthood and plans to serve a mission as soon as he can.  We took Larry to the Institute to meet some of the people his age and he recognized Thomas immediately. They share a class together and have been talking a lot. Thomas was able to share his testimony to him of the priesthood and the temple which really touched Larry. Last night Larry told us that he wants Thomas to baptize him. So when we saw Thomas and broke the news to him he was so excited!

Converts are POWERFUL missionaries. Mike and Olivia aren't even baptized yet and are constantly sharing the gospel too as well as fellowshipping our other investigators. I love these people! I love them so much!

Sister Harper and I did a musical number on Sunday. It was the most stressful thing of my life and I am so glad that it is over with, but it was also special to be able to help others to worship the Savior through music. After sacrament meeting we got asked to share it again in Relief Society. SCARY! But it ended up being better the second time because this time I could relax more and feel the spirit. We played "Savior Redeemer of My Soul." I played the violin, Sister Harper sang, and our Relief Society president played the piano for us. That was the first time picking up the violin for almost 2 years and it scared me half to death. It brought up A LOT of different emotions, but I was grateful to have been able to share a talent with others in a spirit of worship. It was no great performance by any means, but it conveyed a spiritual message which is the most important part.

We are going to the temple on Wednesday. I'm so excited! It has been waaaaay too long since the last time, and I feel well over due for a temple visit. I am excited.

Oh yeah, we had a Canada Party!! It was awesome! Everyone loved it! They especially loved the Poutine! Elder Taylor couldn't believe his eyes at all the delicious goodness that didn't exist in the US. Everyone loves his accent. He gets teased all the time. Elder Prince helped make the Poutine and claimed the rest of the Ketchup chips after the party. I couldn't have anything except soda and french fries, but it was fun sharing it with everyone.

Moment of the week:
Definitely saying goodbye to my trainer for the last time. I am about to become an orphan. Mommaless and poppaless. My sister is even dead. She sadly had to go home because of health problems. I feel so alone in this world . Just me, ma daughter and ma son.
My Trainer (I call her my momma) Sister Van Wie

P.S. I went to the Chiropractor last week and am going again today. His name is Doctor Ambridge and he is really cool because he specializes in Neuroscience, and Gluten allergies. Without doing any major tests he can diagnose people to be allergic to Gluten or not and is wrong about 2% of the time. So he told me that I am most definitely allergic to Gluten and that almost every gluten allergy is coupled with another allergy, usually dairy... I can't wait to get tested to find out for sure... But Basically my destiny involves being gluten and dairy free.

Until next week.
Love, Sister Carter

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