Monday, October 20, 2014

Allergies, accidents and silly jokes

It finally rained!! I love the rain!

Alright, this was my week in 19 minutes worth of slow typing:

-4 missionaries were involved in an accident and were hit by a drunk driver. 2 walked away fine. One was taken to the hospital in Eureka and the other was flown from Eureka to the hospital here in Santa Rosa. All are okay though. The two hurt were Elder Shen (from Vancouver, Canada), and Elder Makoni (from West Jordan, Utah). Elder Makoni was in the worst shape but should be released from the hospital today. 

-Sister Harper and I found a family who has been inactive and has had a lot of health problem similar to mine. Because of me being able to relate to being allergic to everything, they have opened up their hearts and their home to us and are going to come back to church! Miracle! Turns out God wanted me to be allergic to gluten and dairy for good reasons

-We found a family via tracting who welcomed us into their home, let us pray with them and welcomed us to come back to teach them all about the gospel! It was one of the most tender experience I have in Santa Rosa so far. The spirit filled their home, the love of God wrapped around their whole family, and the best part is I think they felt it!

-Sister Harper isn't a teenager anymore! She turned 20 this week.

-While eating dinner at one of my favorite family's home their 7 year old boy was trying to understand what it meant to be allergic to gluten. His mom said, "she can't have bread or anything with flour in it. You know cookies?"
"She can't have those"
"Wait! What about doughnuts?!" 
"Nope, she can't have those."
Haha. His dad's face turned bright red and told him that their were probably more appropriate ways to sympathize with me, like saying that's too bad, or that's unfortunate...
I laughed so hard!

Sister Harper's joke of the week:
Q: How do you make holy water?
A: You boil the Hell out of it!

Why is it that Mormons laugh so hard when another Mormon uses the word hell. I died laughing. 
Well, time is up.

Love, Sister Carter

Monday, October 13, 2014

Then sings my soul, My Savior God to Thee. What an incredible day!

THE WOODDS DID IT! They are so incredible! I asked if I could share their story and they were more than happy to share.

I don't know what the time frame has been for them but they have been through so much. Both have gone from growing and selling drugs, being addicted to them as well as alcohol, being homeless, in and out of jail, on probation (for most of mike's life) and losing their children to CPS claiming the kids to be adoptable, all this to being the happiest, most humble family I have ever met. At his baptism he shared with us that the day they took his children was in the parking lot of the same church that he was getting baptized in was the worst day of his life. He told us that it was on that day that he lost the one things that was most precious and important to him in his life. He had become homeless and family-less. He told us that the day of his baptism was the best day of his life being at the exact same church. They now have their family together, they are free of addictions, they live and honor the law, they are married, they have a gospel centered family where the spirit of the Lord dwells, and the head of their home is now a worthy, pure, and humble priesthood Holder. He Can now bless the sacrament. His boys pass the sacrament each week. And Olivia is the most incredible mother of 5. She was never supposed to get her kids back and now her goal is to be sealed to her family in the temple in a year from now, and to raise her children to be missionaries. They have family home evening every Monday night. They pray together, and they read the Book of Mormon together. Mike and Olivia have read the Book of Mormon more than 3 times and are moving on to read other books of scripture. Whenever Sister Harper and I are having a hard day we can always count on feeling the spirit in their home. The day they met the missionaries, Mike was outside and saw an elder with his head down who looked really sad. He had just been unkindly rejected by someone. Mike had never met missionaries before and called the Elder over to talk to him and ask why he was so sad. Mike told all of the missionaries in our mission at a conference where a Elder Falabella of the seventy presided to never get discouraged, and to never loose hope because there is a family like his out there who needs to know of their Savior.

On the day of the baptism both Mike and Olivia were beaming from head to toe. The next day on Sunday I cried as they were officially confirmed as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. They told us over and over again for weeks leading up to that day that all they wanted was to be Mormon. It was so cute. Then after Church Mike was ordained a Priest. I floated home yesterday after church in awe of the love of God that has pored out upon that family.

I am so happy today.

One day this week while tracting we were in a retirement community and kept talking person after person who was nasty and mean. I got to the point of being on the brink of tears, so I told Heavenly Father that I couldn't talk to one more mean person or I would probably bawl on their doorstep. The very next door the sweetest lady answered. She was not interested in learning what we had to share but she was so warm and pleasant. Her kindness brought me renewed hope and I felt like I could keep on going. It was a tender mercy from the Lord.

Moment of the Week:
While filling out Mike and Olivia's baptismal records every small mistake mike would make on the paper he would exclaim, "Well, too bad, looks like I'm going to Hell" On the day of the baptism he couldn't find the right suit to wear and said, "forget it, I'm going to Hell." Then we were sitting in the bishops office waiting for all his kids to come in for the ordination and as we were waiting, he said "Well, we can't find them, forget it, I'm going to Hell." Haha he is so funny! Him and Olivia crack me up.

I love being a missionary.

Sister Carter

Monday, October 6, 2014

Piglets on the run

This week while weekly planning a lady rushed into the mission office in a panic to tell us that two little pigs were digging up the grass at the front of the building. I probably should have had a concerned reaction, but all I could do was laugh. It was hilarious! Sister Harper and I got to piglet sit them while we waited for animal control to come get them.

Good News and Bad News:

Good news first. The Woodds are getting baptized THIS SATURDAY! They are the most incredible family! They are officially living the Word of Wisdom and LOVED general conference this weekend. We had a fun night this week when a bunch of missionaries who had helped the Woodds through their conversion process were all in town and got to visit with them all together. It was a special moment to sit in a room full of missionaries who love this family and have worked for them for so long.
they were on TV yesterday on a KSL program along with my companion and a bunch of other missionaries from my mission.

The bad news is that our other investigator who was supposed to get baptized a couple Saturday's ago completely dropped off the face of the planet. It was awful! The lesson before his baptism after his baptismal interview and everything we sensed something was very very wrong. He wasn't going to tell us, but finally did by the way we were struggling to bring the spirit in. He open his note book and read to us that he had not been truthful. He told us that he doesn't believe the things we shared with him were true, that he doesn't want to get baptized, nor does he ever want to get baptized. He dropped us right there and then and we haven't seen him since. Sister Harper and I struggled pretty bad after that! We both got pretty depressed. That was the very last thing we ever expected to happen. He went from vibrant and happy, to frustrated and confused. We were so sad. We went a few days feeling numb and not knowing what to do to get out of it. All we wanted to do was cry, but were too shocked and confused to be able to. We had literally watched him feel the spirit, change and experience true happiness. But it was as if he had developed a few doubts and questions in his mind, and the adversary was able to use those to destroy all faith he had ever developed. He is to the point now where he doesn't even know if God exists. It's tragic. If I could I would punch Satan in the face so hard! I really hope that his journey in life brings him back to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ one day. I sure have grown to love him. All I want is for him to be happy.

My district

Elders from my district

Love my Companion

Elder Prince from My home town... Love seeing old friends

Anyway, it's time for me to go. I love being here. And though sad things happen in missionary work, there is so much more joy.

Moment of the Week:

A few weeks ago I gave Sister Harper permission to snap me with a rubber band every time I eat seconds at dinner, or if I eat food late at night when we get home at the end of the day. I thought it was a good idea at first until i realized how much fun Sister Harper was going to have with it. She went and found the fattest rubber band she could so it could reach as much surface area as possible and she saves them up until I least expect it, and when I am most vulnerable. Like when both of my hands are preoccupied with doing my hair she will run in the bathroom snap me under my arm in the tender area, and run away as fast as she can, and laugh her head off! I can't even retaliate because I gave her permission. I have had red marks on my arms and legs for days. You would think I would learn my lesson or something. It has been helping me a little bit, but not enough, so I'm not quite ready to end it.  She is so funny.

Love, Sister Carter