Search This Blog

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Till We Meet Again

My heart has surely grown these past 18 months. I can hardly believe its all over. These are my people and Arizona has become my home.

Stepping off the plane a year and a half ago I had no idea. No idea what to expect, how the Lord could strengthen me, who I would meet, how I could love nor how I would change. My life felt like a blank canvas. 

I hated the desert at first. I would say prayer after prayer that my perspective would change and that the earth would come to life. Now, I can't stop talking about how green it is! It's like God threw some splashes of saguaro green and Arizona sunset onto that canvas. The desert is beautiful!! Just as my perspective of the desert has changed, so has that of the gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is beautiful. It is the most precious thing to me. By living the gospel every day is how we find not only happiness but everlasting JOY. I recognize that the last 18 months have been heavens investment in me. I have been stretched and molded into someone I never imagined I could be. There is no more fulfilling struggle than understanding and aligning my will with His great plan. But it's not easy. A mission is not easy. However, it is beautiful when you step back and see the big picture. I can see now how God used me as an instrument, merely a paintbrush, to create something magnificent on that canvas that now represents my mission. That too is beautiful. 
I pray that I can remember this picture for the rest of my life. Remember the people, the happy, the sad, the miracles, the sweat, the exhaustion, the work, and the bad that makes the good better. This has not been about religion or numbers. It has been about helping my brothers and sister return home to the God who created us. I know that God is ever aware of each of his children. I want to always remember this. 

I know that when I step off the plane Wednesday I will be a very different person than the one who stood in that same airport 18 months ago. I am a far from perfect missionary, but I know I am more like my Savior than I was when I first put my name tag on

My gratitude for God can't be put into words, I owe every day of my mission to Him. I owe Him. And every day of my next journey.  

I am willing to die for this, but I know God is asking me to live for it. And that is my plan. To live every day of the rest of my life for this gospel. To live it, to share it, to fight for it. 

My life is changed forever and ever and ever. My testimony of this gospel is unshakable. 

This has all be so very worth it. 

can't thank each of you enough for every ounce of support you have given me. I love you all more than you will ever know! 

See you soon, 
💕 Sister Carter

He lives, my kind, wise heav’nly Friend.

He lives and loves me to the end.

He lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing.

He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King!

Pictures: Saturday I was able to attend the baptism of little Kayla Hargreaves! Her family was baptized in my first area and she just turned 8. I am so lucky I was near this area and able to attend! Lots of goodbyes, our greatest investigator Josh, exchanges, and good memories. 

For all my missionary friends my new email is :)
10 Attachments

9 days

Hello hello!!
This week was a combination of tennis lessons, crazy old ladies singing to us, drawing chalk on side walks, shoveling lots of chicken poop, playing jumping frogs with a sick sister, the fire alarm going off in the middle of the night, attending MLC, hearing from incredible leaders, and seeing all my mission friends one last time. 

Josh is just doing great! We asked him to read D&C 89 in preparation for our lesson and he accidentally ready D&C 88... all 141 verses.... haha he is amazing. 

I got to talk to the greatest convert, Felissa Murphy from Thatcher. It made my day to hear from her for just a few minutes! Crazy to think a year ago I met her and her kids. They are forever part of my family now. 

We killed about 60 roaches in our apartment this week. 

Things here are just so so good. I could not love my mission more. It is bitter sweet to think I only have 9 days left. Its really funny because right when I think I have the hang of things, or know how to be a missionary, I learn something I new. At our conference on Friday Elder Wakolo taught me so much. One thing I loved was at the very beginning of his training he had President and Sister Browning stand up. He talked about their sacrifice to be here, the sacrifice of their 4 kids that live here, and the sacrifices they will make the next 2 years they are here. Elder Wakolo then told us that what is on President and Sister Browning's minds is not the 4 kids with them or the 4 kids at home, but all 150 of us missionaries serving in the Arizona Tucson Mission. Elder Wakolo asked us what we have learned from President and Sister Browning. I am so grateful for these leaders who have not only changed my life but helped this mission to grow so much. I am so so grateful. What a privileged it has been to serve as a full time missionary the last year and a half. I will never be able to express how much my mission means to me. 

Love you all and I hope you are all doing great!!
Sister Carter 

Playing jumpy frogs with the sick sisters, MLC, seeing old friends again 
4 Attachments

I'm running out of pens, paper, and laundry detergent


I cant believe I only have 2 weeks left as a full-time missionary. Each week I continue to be amazed at how alive this gospel is. There are miracles around every corner. There are blessings that rain down as we live in obedience. There are hearts softening everywhere. I am so so so very grateful to see just a small part of all this in my little corner of the world. 

This week couldn't have ended better. Lemine was baptized!!... In UTAH... and Mom and Dad got to go!!! Such a special day. Lemine has taught me so much about love and serving others. I am so grateful to have met this man who has a heart of gold. A few weeks ago on splits, Sister Cooper and I met a man who wanted to meet at some tennis courts. Instead of meeting this man again we met Lemine who owns the courts. Since then its been a wild yet spiritual journey to help Lemine understand Gods path for him. Now he has made covenants with God, and you can see how alive the gospel is in him. 

I attended my very last zone conference this week. It amazes me how the answer is ALWAYS in the meeting if you come prepared to listen. I gave my departing testimony in front of 4 zones and 2 mission presidents.  I believe that was the most terrified I have been my whole mission. The feeling of wanting to throw up is finally gone though! After zone conference there was a bunch of watermelon left over so we decided to have a watermelon eating contest:)

Josh our miracle investigator is doing amazing. He has a baptism date set for June 15th, came to a baptism this week, made us breakfast at our lesson, and has the most fantastic questions. I feel so grateful to be able to teach him! 

Its been the greatest blessing to serve in this zone and work with the sisters here. I went on exchanges with Sister Cooper this week. She has the most pure heart and is always serving everyone we meet. I love learning from the other sisters because they are the best examples of Christ. 

We have mission leadership council this weekend. Elder Wakolo and Wilson of the 70 are coming to give a special training. I am excited to learn from them! Lots of exciting things these next 2 weeks. 

I hope each of you have a fantastic week! 

and I want to wish a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Aunt Eden, Cade, McKell, Tyler, and Rylee!!!!! Lots of fun birthdays to celebrate back home! 

Love, Sister Carter

pictures of the baptism, zone conference, east zone leadership and previous companions/ other sisters 
6 Attachments

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Chalk the block

Hello hello! I hope everyone is doing great!

Its been a good and busy week this week. Full of exchanges, new schedules, and lots of miracles. 

One of the sweet sisters that I trained in Thatcher, Sister Church, has grandparents that are non members who live in Tucson in my area. About 2 months ago Sister Church gave me their address to stop by. On Tuesday we had back to back lessons all day. We had planned perfectly, then everything fell apart. Sounds like God had a better plan for the day! By night time we had time to go visit Sister Church's grandparents. When we knocked on the door they had just sat down to rest from a busy week. Her great grandma had just passed away. We were able to talk with them, share a scripture and pray with them. It was the neatest experience to see how perfectly God orchestrated everything. And how perfectly the Spirit guides. I am grateful for a Father in Heaven that knows what we need and has miracles in the making long before we are even aware of them. 

I was biking on exchanges with Sister Miller. She is such a powerhouse missionary! We had a great day talking to so many people. But let me tell you, biking in the city is VERY different from biking in Thatcher! I saw my life flash before my eyes multiple times haha. I miss being able to bike in the middle of the road. I also forgot how hot bike seats get here after being left outside during a lesson. ah.   

Because summer will be a toasty one our schedule changed. We now go proselyting at 8 in the morning. Since most YSA are either sleeping or going to work at that time we have been going to bus stops and drawing the Plan of Salvation! On Saturday some of the Elders joined with us and we drew this big calk 'masterpiece' (according to them hah). It was a great way to strike up lots of conversations. Someone who saw it after we left has been messaging us because they loved it so much! 

During studies this morning I read a quote from the talk "One More Day" it reads, "Regardless of the time the Lord, in His wisdom, determines to grant each of us, of one thing we can be sure: we all have a "today" to live, and the key to making our day successful is to be willing to sacrifice." I love this quote! Over the last year and a half I have truly learned that sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. I hope each of you can find something today that you can sacrifice to bless others in behalf of the Lord. Thank you for all the sacrifices you have made for me!! I really am the luckiest sister missionary in the world. 
I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week!!
Sister Carter 

Its getting hot over here!


Happy Mothers Day yesterday to all the wonderful mothers I know!!! I am forever grateful for you!!

Skyping home yesterday was the best thing ever. I keep being reminded over and over again how lucky I am to have the most lovely family. I could never have asked for better!  

To shorten a really great long story.. last Monday we were all upset because the Elders didn't tell us we needed special cards to do our laundry at our new apartment. After putting soap all over our clothes in the washer a man in the laundry room of our complex informed us that we were out of luck. If you have ever served a mission or are on a mission you know how p-days go by and if anything gets behind it throws everything off. We had lots of grand plans for this day and were in a bad mood because we had no way to do our laundry. This nice man ended up talking with us for a while. We send him the Elders number that cover this area so he could come to church and left it at that. 
... Come Tuesday morning we get a text from Laundry Guy saying that he thought about some of the things we talked about and would like a copy of the Book of Mormon!!!! Some things got complicated with getting him the book but in the ended we started the lesson giving him the book and the Elders finished it when we had to leave. Turns out he investigated the church 5 years ago but wasn't ready. He recognized that he was ready to accept the teachings of Jesus Christ now and knew he could get over some of his little hang-ups. At that lesson, the Elders were able to set a baptism date with him!!! God really does have a beautiful plan for each of us! Even if it takes some humbling of some sister missionaries doing their laundry to help someone receive the gospel! 

Our cute Russian friends are doing better than ever! Crazy story... One of the sisters actually grew up in Virginia and went to girls camp. Her best friend that introduced her to the church knows and loves the Madsens! 

At our booth on campus this week it reached 113....😓 

Last week a member of another YSA ward was challenged to bring a friend to the devotional. The friend felt the spirit so strong and wanted to know more. We met with him this week and had an incredible lesson. He also came to church and LOVED it! Member missionary work is the best!! 

Words can't explain how grateful I am for the last almost year and a half. My mission has been the best thing of my life and the best thing for my life. I have grown and stretched in ways I didn't know I could. I am thankful for every hard day, and every good day that made them worth it:) Everything these past months have been possible because of my Savior and His love. It is the greatest privilege to share this message. I love my mission and I am so grateful for these experiences.
I love all of you and I hope you all have a great week! 
Sister Carter 

knocking on doors of all shapes and sizes


This has been a crazy week! It was the worst thing to have to say good bye to Sister Hammond on Tuesday. I picked up my new companion after dropping her off. My new companion is Sister Williamson from Huntington Beach California. She has been out a little over 7 months. She went to BYU-H before this and is part Polynesian! 
We taught our Russian friends a few times this week. One of the girls even came to our ward Cinco de Mayo Fiesta! It is so exciting to teach them. They are full of the greatest questions. 
On Friday we had mission leadership council and it was so fun to see mission friends. We had amazing trainings given on light and truth, ministering, testifying, purpose, and what it means to be anxiously engaged. I love when my spiritual bucket gets filled at meetings like these!
On Sunday we watched the YSA Broadcast at the U of A institute. We went with a recently reactivated convert and it was so amazing to hear her testimony as we drove in the car. Some of the things said during the broadcast she felt like were meant for her. Many moments of revelation and inspiration this week. One of my favorite things I heard this week was, "service is the highest, best, and most tangible way to follow our Savior". I am certain there is someone you can serve this week, I hope you can all find who that is! 
Love you all very much! 
Sister Carter

6 Weeks

Hello family and friends I hope you are doing great!! 

On Saturday I recieved my last transfer call!! I will be staying in YSA 2nd and training a new STL. Her name is Sister Williamson and this will be her second area. I dont know much about her but I hope to know more by next week:) 

This week was a crazy one. It Sister Hammonds last week which made for lots of good byes. Because of everything that happened last weekend we now have to move apartments which has made everything that much crazier! We are moving to the Elders nasty nasty apartment, and they get our luxurious 2 bathroom apartment😓We have been furiously cleaning and packing and trying to get everything done. To welcome them to their new home we pranked the whole apartment and put odd little things up. We even had a bouquet of fake flowers and a welcome basket with face masks and nail stuff haha hopefully they enjoy it

We set up a booth on U of A campus with the other YSA missionaries. We were handing out otter pops and talking with lots of people. It was such a fun time! 

On Friday we met Natalie and Yelana. They are sisters who were adopted from Russia into different families here in America. They just met each other about a year ago and now live together. They are the greatest! Natalie actually went to girls camp in Virginia with one of her best friends. Because she knows a bit about the church she has a bunch of brilliant questions! I am so excited to be teaching them!! 

In district meeting we were told a really neat story about 1% improvement. A cycling team riding in the Tour de France started making 1% improvements to each area of their lives and equipment. All of these small improvements lead to the team winning the race. We talked about all the little improvements we can make in our lives. Even just telling the Lord one more thing you are grateful for. Over time this accumulation of things builds and helps us succeed. We talked about how success is a few simple disciplines practiced every day. Failure is errors in judgement repeated every day. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so perfect because it helps us to practice these simple disciplines every day. And living the Gospel of Jesus Christ every day is what brings us happiness. I hope each of you can find ways you can improve by 1% today! 

It feels very surreal to be beginning my very last transfer as a missionary.  I still feel like there are so many things I need to do/ learn/ become in the next 6 week. I know God still has a lot of growing and stretching prepared for me. I really love it here. I love the people we work with. The sisters we work with. I love the feeling I get every opportunity I have to testify of Christ. I know with all my heart the Gospel of Jesus Christ is good. And all good things come from God! Life is just so so good right now! 

Love you all!
Love, Sister Carter