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Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Year New Country

Hello wonderful family and friends!

HAPPY NEW YEARS!! Goodness, how can it already be January? It still feels like the end of september here... Im not complaining at all the weather is wonderful! 

I never thought I could be so homesick for Thatcher. I miss that little town more than anyone could imagine. It was the hardest thing to say goodbye to the people I love so dearly. I am praying I get to spend my last transfer there on a bike! 

Hereford 

My new area, Hereford, is interesting to say the least... Lots of dirt roads and people who won't come to church because they cant carry their concealed weapon. Its been a hard hard hard last few weeks regardless we still see little miracles every day! My companion got so much polynesian food for Christmas. Bin bins are my new favorite thing. Also everyone gives us polynesian food. Its great. We live in a members attic and sometimes do studies on the roof. At night we can see the lights of the border! On Christmas after skyping my most amazing family we got to watch the best 2 years which was a million times funnier as a missionary. Today a member drove us to this cute historic mining town and then the border. I got to stick my hand through the fence. So my right hand has officially been to Mexico.


MLC

Friday we had the greatest Mission Leadership Council up in Tucson. I got to see all my best friends from around the mission and President Browning just hit us with spiritual goodness. I am realizing how much stretching I have to do as a  missionary! After the meeting Sister Kennach and I went to the Tucson Temple to do our studies. I can't describe the peace I felt just as we stepped foot on that sacred ground. I know temples are dedicated holy places, but the Tucson temple has a unique sacredness to me after the many hours spent there in trainings, working at the temple open house, and seeing others feel of the spirit there.


Shou

One of Sister Kennachs investigators from her old area drove 3 hours to have a lesson with us! Her name is Shou and she is one of my favorite people in Arizona. She is from China, here teaching Chinese immersion and came to the missionaries hoping to find an understand of who God and Jesus Christ are! She has progressed so much since they first met and just loves the Gospel! 



 This week I was thinking about the Old Testament scripture story of Lot's wife. The moment she looked back she turned into a pillar of salt. She wasn't moving forward with faith. Had she experienced a mighty change of heart she would have eagerly pressed forward aligning her will with the Lords. 

Step one to changing our hearts is to remember how merciful the Lord has been. 
Moroni 10: 3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

Over the last two weeks I have felt much like Lot's wife. I keep looking back on my time in Thatcher and how incredible it was. It has been a tremendous struggle to look forward, to take the past and learn from it. How grateful am I for the constant reminder the scriptures give us to see how merciful the Lord is and to move forward with faith. I know that when God tells us to do something we shouldn't question it, we should do it because we love Him (1 Nephi 3:7). A pillar of salt doesnt sound all to fun...so I hope has we begin a new year I hope each of us can learn from our past, avoid looking back, and press forward with faith! 
I know the Lord loves us too much to keep us from happiness, but I know it takes work on our end to align our will with His. Though there is no more fulfilling struggle than doing just that! I hope you each have a Happy New Year and can be motivated the next 365 days (and many more after that) by the love of our God!

love,
Sister Carter 

1. Happy new years
2.Bisbee
3.yummiest cafe
4. hey Mexico 
5. Shou
6.Mission Leadership Council 

7. TEMPLE💛


A Time of Change

Transfers

The time has finally come...my reign as longest biking sister in the mission is finally over. I am being transferd to the Sierra Vista Zone (also the boonies of our mission.. once a boonie missionary, always a boonie missionary:)) and am very excited!! I will be serving as a sister training leader with one of the greatest sisters, Sister Kennach. She is Polynesian, supper fun, and has been out a little longer than me. The people here in Thatcher have become by family, the last few days have been so hard to say goodbye to the people who have helped me be the Sister Carter I am today. It is bitter sweet to be leaving Thatcher but I know the area is in good hands with Sister Church and I can come back and visit in a short 6 months!  

Referrals 

This week we also were able to help our recent convert, Felissa Murphy, send a referral to the missionaries in California where her middle sister lives. When Felissa got baptized her youngest sister lived with her and was so against the church. We were able to teach her a few times before she left and now she is meeting with missionaries in Coolidge, AZ. She loves what she is learning and feeling!! This middle sister in California has had great heart softening as well and can't wait to meet the Sister missionaries there. The Sisters there even have the same exact first names as Sister Church and I! (not sister, Emily & Sabrina) 

This experience was such a testament to me of why we as missionaries are here- to help families be eternal. I am filled with so much joy knowing more of the Murphy family is coming to feel and know the truths that have changed Felissa's life.


I love this time of year. We have many opportunitues to reflect on our Savior and how we are striving to be like Him. Espically this year for me as I also look back on my time in Thatcher I am in awe at the number of changed hearts I have seen. This truly is HIS work. I know I am merely and instrument in His hands. I also know am not the same Sister Carter I was 7 1/2 months ago when I first got to this area. I can feel the Saviors love more in my life and I have a firm testimony that this church is the only church which contains the fullness of the Gospel. I know that by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ everyday I am a happier person, and a much better one than I would be with out it. I know that He never stops performing miracles. My time in the Gila Valley has been the biggest testament of that. I know that Love is the source of everything we do. If we can love like the Savior, and like the people here do, others can't help but be drawn to the church. I will forever love the people here and pray the work will continue with the sweet sisters serving here. 


President Monson said, 

 "If the Savior were among us today, we would find Him where He always was—ministering to the meek, the downcast, the humble, the distressed, and the poor in spirit. During this Christmas season and always, may we give to Him by loving as He loves. May we remember the humble dignity of His birth, gifts, and life. And may we, through simple acts of kindness, charity, and compassion, fill the world with the light of His love and healing power."


 A few lines from the favorite musical The Sound of Music suggest a course of action all might well follow:


A bell is no bell till you ring it,
A song is no song till you sing it,
And love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay—
Love isn’t love till you give it away.


1 Corinthians 16:14 "Do everything in love"

I love you each very much and wish you a Merry Christmas! 
Love, 
Sister Carter 

Pictures: we had a 1/2  mission conference! To give at the conference Sister Church and I thought it would be a grad idea to put together a 12 days of Christmas for 21 championships haha this is the first week we can finally walk in our apartment! 


-- 

Sister Emily Carter


Light the World

Hello! It has been the most miraculous, service filled, wonderful, cold (it got to 65 degrees and I am freezing), exciting week! 
I will write more next week about all the miracles Sister Church and I have seen as we work on a special project. 
As for this week..... 
Deegan Murphy bore his testimony and I have never been so proud! Elder Maynes of the 70 came for a special conference about the Book of Mormon, finding, teaching, and baptizing. It was incredible. I got to see my best friend Sister Gadd. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we helped at the Live Nativity the church held at the church next to the temple. Outdoors was a live pageant, indoors was music performed by many congregations and displayed nativities from members of the community. Many people came and many miracles followed them. There is the most tangible spirit and light in the valley this time of year. We have caught multiple scorpions inside our apartment.. all under my bed.(yikes) This is the most joyous time of the year! 

A light the world reminder... 
Matthew 22:39 
"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
I hope you find ways to serve your neighbors & community today! 

Love you all!
Sister Carter 

1. FHE with our murphy boys
2. Conference with Elder Maynes 
3,4 Not happy at all to see her 
5. The weekly breaking into the library
6. Sister Ellett and I both got ourselves with screw drivers.. same finger and eveything 
7. The livr nativity

 

Consider the Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving to those I am most thankful for!!! 
Sending a very Happy Birthday to Uncle Doug and Sister Kami Cullimore this week

This week we saw the miracles that came after trials. We had 6 of our investigators move this week and we were heartbroken of the unexpected changes. Our mission has also had some hard things happen that has caused more heartbreak. And I have been down with some crazy migraines. Alma 10 Amulek is talking about who he/ his frinds/ riches/ reputation then says,  "Nevertheless, after all this, I never have known much of the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous power. I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power; yea, even in the preservatiom of the lives of this people."If there is one thing I have learned on my mission it is the importance of the word nevertheless. Proceeding this word is always a promise of something better than what came before. There are always hard things that will happen nevertheless God sends miracles because he loves us! So many other good things happened this week I wish I had time to share all of them. 

Gift of Tongues 

Salvador is the crossing guard at the middle school. Sisters here use to teach him and we talk to every time we go by but have never had the opportunity to talk to him about anything gospel related. On Wednesday he asked if we could sit down and talk about Christ with him. We had the impression that we should invite the Hermanas as well. At first Salvador was a little frustrated we brought more people because he didn't feel comfortable but as he got to know them he opened up.  As Salvador was able to speak in Spanish to them he opened up so much. It was incredible to sit and watch them communicate. There was the strongest spirit and a unique bond between the 3 of them. With the limited Spanish I have picked up I was able to follow most of the conversation it was incredible to see the gift of tongues working miracles.  

A Corn Kernel 

Though I am not with our familly this year to hold my kernel of corn Ido have much I am grateful for. I am most grateful for family. Those I am directly realted to and those who have become my family. I am also very grateful for the ability to remember. To remember the love our family has, to remember the love our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ have, and to remember the many miracles. This week searched the word remember and 444 times we are told to remember. Remember the good, the bad, the commandments, the blessings, the love, the life we have because of our Savior. Someone in church made a comment saying, "The only appropriate way to thank someone who has saved your life is to always remember them" I hope this week filled with much giving and thanks we can all remember those individuals who save us and most importantly the One who has saved us. 

I love each of you and I hope you can remember all the blessings you have this week! 
Love, 
Sister Carter 

1. Wiggle car races with our favorite investigator (he won)
2. Hermanas

3. Picking cotton in the wee hours 


Scatter Sunshine

Hello my wonderful family!! 
I am sending the biggest congratulations to the Newboulds. The wedding looked beautiful and you each look so happy! Welcome to the family Adam! 

A Mistake 

The sweetest Sister Whitmer told us to let her know anytime we needed a ride. Saturday evening we give Sister Whitmer a call and asked her if she could give us a ride. The phone conversation was more than awkward. We were incredibly worried we were invading on her day or something. Walking outside when Sister Whitmer arrived we quickly realized it was the wrong Sister Whitmer!!! Neither of us had any idea who this woman was!!! It was uncomfortable and so funny trying to explain what happened. Turns out she is the mother-in-law of a former investigator.. and he wants to meet with us again... and Sister Whitmer ended up bringing him to stake conference yesterday. Heavenly Father turned our mistake into a miracle!! 

A Musical 

The Lamb of God musical was performed several times this weekend and the missionaries got to help usher. It was beautiful and the most perfect way to turn our hearts to our Savior as this magical season arrives. 

A Miracle 

President Browning decided that Halloween was not a night we should be out trying to proselyte.  He said we could either go home early and do some extra studies or... got to the temple and do work for the dead!!! My spirit needed to be inside the walls of the temple for 2 precious hours. Never have I felt like I did Tuesday as I was able to commune with my Heavenly Father and feel the weight on my heart and mind lift. Answers to prayers have a way of flooding in while in this holy building. I am very grateful to have a temple so close! 

In yesterdays broadcast Elder Christofferson encouraged us to heed the counsel President Monson has given us. One thing I notice about President Monson is his drive to serve along with encouraging us to serve. In 2009 his birthday wish was for us to share our service opportunities with him- how wonderful is that!? 
In the words of of beloved Prophet, 
"The Savior taught His disciples, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.

I am confident it is the intention of each member of the Church to serve and to help those in need. At baptism we covenanted to “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light.” How many times has your heart been touched as you have witnessed the need of another? How often have you intended to be the one to help? And yet how often has day-to-day living interfered and you’ve left it for others to help, feeling that “oh, surely someone will take care of that need.”"

James Barrie, the author of Peter Pan suggests: “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”

As the month of giving begins I hope each of you can find little ways in which you can bring sunshine to others, and as a result see how happy serving is!  

Sending much love to each of you, 
Sister Carter 

1. FHE with Gabriel!!
2. Our cutest grannie friend we sing hymns with 

3/4. Cotton fields and a real good book! 





Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Its the most wonderful time of year!!

Hello!! 

It really is the most wonderful time of the year!! Mostly because this whole week it was in the 80's (really and early Christmas miracle!), the cotton is starting to cover the valley in 'Arizona snow', and because we found some christmas cds and decided its about time to try them out!
We just had the greatest week filled with zone conference, fun service activities, and BAPTISMS FOR THE DEAD WITH THE MURPHYS.

When I was in the MTC I was told to picture people in white in the temple and by doing so I could love, serve, and teach anyone. Teaching, serving, and loving the Murphys came quite easy, it was the most joyous day at the temple performing work for our ancestors with Felissa, Madison, and Hayden. Felissa was so comfortable in the temple and when we went to get her baptism clothes the temple worker assumed she was endowed and asked "are you endowed?" and Felissa replied "Yeah! A little!!". I was standing behind her with a big smile trying to get the temple workers attention and let her know that Felissa was just baptized 2 weeks ago! I don't know why but it was the cutest funniest thing at that moment:)  Heaven would not be heaven with out the Murphy family. 
Last week in Sister Cullimores email she talked about a recent convert recieving the priesthood and said it best,
"it was such a testimony builder to me that baptism is not the end, but it is the START of a journey and a lifetime of righteousness back to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. So exciting!" What a promise of progression we have! 

On the down side of this week.. the lice are back:/ also there was a giant trantula in our screen door and Sister Church just stood there yelling at me to kill it. So here's me, Sister Carter, with a rock in my hand, repeatedly squashing this giant spider. oy vey

I keep being reminded of the fact that we have ordinances and the priesthood to bless us. How grateful I am for these sacred promises we are privileged to make. From baptism, to confirmation, receiving the priesthood for men, partaking of the sacrament, baptisms for the dead, endowment, and sealing. God loves us and he has provided a beautiful path for us to return to Him if we will just be obedient and follow the commandments we are given! A scripture in Ezekiel 11 comes to mind,
 "That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God." I know we are truly blessed and happy when we obey these commandments and perform sacred ordinances (Mosiah 2:41) Its these things that show our love for our Savior and our desire to follow him! There is nothing better than seeing these people I love so much in Arizona accept these ordinances and make covenants! 

Life is just really great here and hope it is at home/ where ever in the world you are! Love you all very much! 

Happy Birthday Ethan and welcome to the family little Mayra I can't wait to meet you😊

Love,
Sister Carter 

Pumpkin Carving, Zone conference, and the beautiful cotton fields! 

-- 
Sister Emily Carter
..............................
Arizona Tucson Mission
939 West Chapala Drive 
Tucson, AZ 85704

A God who loves us...

Hello family!! I am so grateful for each of you especially this week! The letters/ packages came exactly when I needed them the most and I cant tell you thank you enough times. 

Happy Birthday this week to two of my best friends in the whole world, Kari Ann and Annie!

I don't even think words in the english language can describe this week. It was an extremely challenging week. As our favorite ward mission leader, Brother Palmer, would say, "scratch is back at it again". I wouldn't trade this week for anything though because I have never felt more gratitude for my Savior and his infinite atonement. I know with these trials of faith and hardships miracles always follow because God loves us. That is exactly what happened this week. 

Amber: She is Felissa Murphys sister that came to live with her. She came to the Murphy's baptism last week and felt the spirit so strongly! At the beginning of this week she was pretty suborn about her religion and didn't want to hear much about our church. As the week progress she was willing to listen to the restoration. Mid lesson a situation occurred and the spirit fled the room so quickly. After a while of sorting things out and settling down emotions I felt like I needed to text the Zone Leaders and ask them to come give a blessing. Amber and Felissa didn't know I asked them to come but once the Elders showed up we were able to explain a little more about who they are as priesthood holders. I can't even explain the rest of the lesson but just know it was amazing. We were able to finish teaching the restoration and as we were Amber said, "I just felt the holy spirit tell me that everything you have said is true. I know you are the fruits of something so good. I can tell you are children of our Heavenly Father sent here to tell me this." Amber is INCREDIBLE!! After she received a blessing and the things promised to her were so specific and incredibly needed. She now has the strongest testimony of the priesthood. 
The next day we found out her husband, Kasey, works for a man in Gilbert (yay to all my friends from Gilbert!!) who gave Kasey his Book of Mormon from his mission and Kasey has been reading it for the last few weeks. He is full of questions, and his desire to learn more is so strong. Such prepared souls!!! 

Some other really happy things: 
-Hayden received the Aaronic priesthood yesterday, and Felissa, Madison & Hayden Murphy got their temple recommends!!! 
- We had a lesson at the temple with Chris, the boyfriend of my Apache mama Sister Irving. And he committed to be baptized!!!! His heart softening really has been nothing short of a miracle!
-My greenie only crashed once on her bike! And she didn't get lice from me so all is really good.
-Having Facebook is actually really cool. We can contact our Investigators every day and we also make funny videos for our recent converts to help them understand the Book of Mormon/ sing people songs and send them to them. Maybe one day you can all see your famous sock puppet movie of the Book of Mormon:) 

This week I realized how very grateful I am that we have a Heavenly Father who knows and loves us individually. He wants to bless us and he wants us to feel joy, we just have to have faith and be obedient. I love my Savior. I will never be able to adequately show my gratitude for him. I love His restored church. I love teaching the restoration and seeing people understand how beautiful Gods plan really is. I love my mission. I love my cute farm town and every single person living here!
I love each of you!
I hope you all can find the peace the gospel brings each and every day this week!
Love,
Sister Carter

1. Praying that I get to be companions with sis freeman some day
2. Deegan Murphy providing the worlds best free car wash
3. Deegan also told me I need to work on my form... haha
4. Lesson in the park
5. Felissas cutest grandparents