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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Second Week in Tucson!

Thank you for all the birthday wishes and packages this last week!!! I truly have the most wonderful family and friends!!!! 

I thought I had done some pretty hard things in my life and that I knew exactly what hard work was, but I can say with out a doubt this is the hardest thing I have ever done. Emotions are such a confusing thing. I have been trying really hard to discern what is my own doubt, what is the adversary and what the Holy Ghost is trying to tell me but they all seem to be mushing together. Creating a very mushy emotional me:) Through this though, I have been able to see some of the greatest tender mercies. 

One of the hardest things here has been the car. That sounds so ungrateful, I am glad we have a car it's just been a challenge for me. During the long quiet drives in the car my mind often wanders to thoughts of home, the things I want to be better at,or the things I could be doing. Which leads to zero motivation. And boredom. And lack of interest. 

 Wednesday was one of the best days, not because it was my birthday but because God gave me the best gifts. 

All of our lessons canceled and the only thing we had to do was deliver thank you notes to members who fed us. I convinced my companion that we should park the car walk! And she said yes!  It was a beautiful 75 degrees outside and it's a lot easier to talk to people walking around than stuck in a car! This was a huge shift in attitude for both of us as we changed the situation to be more productive. We were able to talk to several people, found actual green grass/ bushes, gave out multiple pass along cards and Book of Mormon's, talked to less actives,  and we even set up an appointment with a man who the missionaries have been trying to get a hold of for a few months! (though it was borderline stalking because I said we should wait outside his house till he left to work. Which happened to be 5 minutes after we got there but the encounter was still a little awkward because he knew we were waiting for him haha)  I finally know what its like to have sore missionary feet:) 

Another funny story from this great day...  one of the people we were talking to was a man holding a sign on the street corner dancing. We get talking to him and I told him if he took a Book of Mormon we would go to the store he was advertising for. He gave me the craziest look but was smiling super nicely and was so kind to us! Well when i read the word 'smoke' on his sign I was thinking like a bbq pit or we left my companion explained to me that it wasn't a smoke pit/ bbq store or anything.... it was an actual smoke shop. hahahah I keep reminding myself that I'm not in Utah 

To top it all of the Hargreaves family (who got baptized on Thursday!!) had us over for dinner. Twice baked potatoes. AND steak!! It was a 5 star meal! I have only known them, for 2 weeks but i can see their light and love so strongly. Their grandparents who are members -the grandpa is performing the baptism- got to watch them pray for the first time. This family is amazing. 

It was a very unique birthday experience not being with Madison for our first birthday apart, but regardless I saw the hand of God in so many ways. 

Some things about the ward: 
The ward members are so great here. Every Friday we send them a spiritual though and ask them to pray for certain things with investigators. I am loving working with members. 

Along with serving at the horse therapy center we help out at a farm! 
1. we cut bags and bags of spinach
2. turned chicken poop for a few hours
3. I MILKED A GOAT (I also managed to wear half of the milk hah) 

As I was studying this week I read the following line from Elder M. Russell Ballard,  

"You can never do more for the Lord than He can do for you"

This is something I have seen in my own life many times over the last few weeks, and even in the lives of people surrounding me. It is humbling to know that ultimately God is the one behind everything I am doing here and He will make everything possible. This doesn't mean we should discontinue our diligent efforts, it is a meant to be a support.  

Allow yourself to see the work of God in your life this next week. 

All my love, 

Sister Carter 

Sister Carter holding a tiny turtle!
A cool door in Tucson.
Sister Carter on her Birthday!

Sister Carter opening her cute Birthday Box!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

First Week in Tucson!

Hello family and friends!

First and foremost.....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY THIS WEDNESDAY TO MADISON!!!! The big 15 wahooo! You have the  most caring character. I love your concern for others and your eagerness to help make others happy. This will be your first birthday without me there and it makes me incredibly sad to miss this special day with you, but I hope this new year of teenage fun brings much excitement!   Everyone watch out when she gets her learners permit;) 

Other fun mission updates: 

The Tucson Temple open house will be the first few weeks in June and the dedication will l be in  August. The members are very excited!

Mission schedules world wide have changed! The biggest changes are that we are now in control of when we have personal and companion study. If have things to do in the morning then we can move study around our schedule. Second, instead  of planning at  night, we plan in the morning. This leaves us with 30 minutes at night to write in our journals! 

I made it safely to my first area in Tucson! I am serving in this tiny little are in south east Tucson. We live in an apartment complex about 25 minutes away from our area- which means we get to drive a car! We cover two wards in this area. There are pretty strict laws against proselyting in this which means we can only teach people who ward members refer us to. A bunch of part member families or less active family's live in the area and they are the main focus for us. About two transfers ago some elders were in this area and offended the members, so we are working really hard to gain some trust back. My companions name is Sister Drown, from Kearns Utah. She has been out for about 8 months and in this area for 2. 

Some funny things about my first week: 

There is a little boy named  Aiden who is cousins with a family that was just baptized. He absolutely loves the church. Every day he is on the gospel library app reading the children's Book of Mormon. He wants to be baptized so bad, but his mom is very against it. She is pure crazy. Hefsy is her name. The first time I met her she welcomed us into her house with her loud voice and just went off talking about all this art in her house that she stole from different bars in Mexico. (for this next part everyone remember that I am a innocent girl born and raised in Utah) She goes around the house showing us her pets and art and what not. Then she starts telling me about her dog that died last year. Right then and there she dropped her pants to show me the tattoo of her dog on her upper thigh. Though she did have underwear on I was in complete shock. (And not hiding it very well haha) So she starts busting up laughing at me. But I was able to help her pray that night and the missionaries have never been able to get her to even stay in the room for a prayer! Any ways I hope her heart will soften towards her son wanting to join the church. 

Favorite things: 
On Thursdays we have service for several hours at a therapy center! Guess where it is located... on a horse farm!!! Even if our service is typically scooping poop or adding volunteer hours I am so happy to be there, I love it! 

Challenge for everyone: 
In meetings this week we talked a lot about studying. I want to challenge everyone to study Enos 1:3-4. And apply that we shouldn't study out of duty, but study out of desire. 

Thank you everyone for your love and support. LOVE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU


Sister Carter

The Elders and Sisters doing their weekly grocery shopping.