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Monday, May 22, 2017

A week filled with conferences

My spiritual cup is overflowing with goodness after this week! We had both Zone Conference and Stake Conference this week. I absoutley love President Passey and Sister Passey. They are incredible and I will be so sad to see them leave in July. The whole Tucson Valley is filled with the most unique spirit, and buzz as the temple open house is around the corner. I am SO lucky to be apart of this special time in the Lords work. 
and.... we found out at Zone Conference all the sister missionaries near the temple get to work the open house EVERYDAY!!! I am praying I get to be one of those lucky missionaries as transfers are next week, fingers crossed!!!

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together" -Vincent Van Gogh 
Simplicity. Many times this last week at both conferences we were told to simplify. Its so easy to fill our lives with things that are good, but is that the best thing we could be doing? Elder Dallin H Oaks said, "We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families."
There's not enough time to do just the good things, we must do the best things. And by doing small things that are best we will see great things happen in our lives! 

Love you all so much!!
Sister Em Carter 

1. Lunch fiesta with my favorite gals 
2. Birthday celebration for Edgar with my favorite YSA sisters
3. South East Zone 

Sister Emily Carter
Arizona Tucson Mission
939 West Chapala Drive 

Tucson, AZ 85704

Metaphorical Moths

My Family!!!! I can’t even describe how happy yesterday was being able to talk to you and see your faces! I wanted to reach out and give you the biggest hugs. The blessings of being born into the most supportive, strong, funny, loving, generous family flooded over me. I am so BLESSED.
After being over 100 degrees last week this week dropped into the and 60's and 70's it was so wonderful!! it even rained monday and tuesday
-Last P-day we went on this amazing hike with a member in the elders ward. At one point we lost the trail and were walking up this river bed and it turned more into climbing boulders instead of hiking but it was lots of fun. And it was so pretty and green and cool weather. We were supposed to be hiking to these 'pools' they turned out to be cute little puddles
-We were at service at the farm on Tuesday weeding, harvesting carrots and planting peppers. Theres something incredibly tranquil about sitting around green plants, dirt on your hands as the sky lets little drops fall around you. So peaceful and wonderful! 
-I still haven’t gotten over how awkward/ hilarious it is when everyone is yelling at each other in spanish and you and your companion just sit there, look at each other and continue smiling. 
-WE ARE NOW OFFICIALLY ON THE RITA RANCH CRIME WATCH FACEBOOK PAGE. not only once.... but TWICE. hahah there’s a video of us and a picture of us by our car. yay for a no witnessing area:))
-Wednesday we were working with the Desert Willow young men and teaching them door approaches and how to invite people to the temple open house. On our way into the church we ran into Edgar (investigator we passed off to the YSA last week) ridding his bike home from work- what a great surprise! He then offered to come in and help with the young men. It was so cool to have an Investigators point of view as we taught the young men and heard about their challenges and successes. As we were leaving Edgar told us that, " im like a moth because im attracted to light!"
- One night this week I was trying to get my chap stick taht big huge one that happens to be the same size as my glue stick on my desk.. Yes i glued my lips instead of moisturizing them I don’t recommend trying that!
-The Henderson/ Green family: We have been working with the grandparents in this family a recent convert and recent reactivation, and their daughter who is less active and their son-in-law who is an investigator and their 3 less active kids. Yesterday they came to church all together and they were filled with light and love and the look of worry and stress was gone from their faces. We have been encouraging them to say prayers together more frequently, and in doing so miracles are surrounding this family. It is amazing to watch as they become stronger individually and as a family as they strengthen their testimony in our Savior and look to the light!
One of my favorite scriptures is found in 3 Nephi 18:20–21

20 And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.
21 Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed.
Yesterday as we said a prayer as a family over skype I felt so much love and strength from each of you. I know that I can’t always be with you but I can feel this same unity when I pray for you as well or when you are praying for me at home. I know that Heavenly Father is blessing our family as we ask Him for support, love, safety, and continued strength. And I know that through your faith He is also helping other families to be attracted to this same light. I can’t thank you enough for everything you do!

Love always,
Sister Emliy Carter 
1./2/3 last weeks hike 
4. Most lovley place  that doesnt look like it belongs in az that we found out by the farm
5/6/7 r a i n !! And some real good dancing in the rain + windy
8. Running into Edgar 

Sister Emily Carter
Arizona Tucson Mission
939 West Chapala Drive 

Tucson, AZ 85704

Goodness all around

I am full of so much joy this week! My heart fellt like it was going to burst as I got to skype in and watch Jackson open his mission call. I am so proud of you and the choices you have made to be the Lords servant!! And I am so proud to call everyone else there my family. Each day I teach people about family my gratitude for my own grows and grows and grows! I love you all so much thank you for your examples and support!! What a blessing to know I get to be with you for eternity. I know Jackson has the best support system as he prepares to come out to the field:)

This week we learned that we are really great at finding.... people for other areas haha. We have had a bunch of referrals for the YSA and for the wards in north west tucson. The work is hastening, quicker in some parts than in others but regardless it is hastening!

We have been prayerfully going over a potential investigator list and through out the whole day wednesday one name on that list kept popping into my head but i kept justifying that we have tried him so many times and no luck so far. Finally by 8 I think the spirit was about to knock me over if I didn't act on that prompting. Turns out... the gentleman finally answered his door and let us in and offered us water and wants to go to the temple open house and wants us to come back next week. His name is Shaun and he is this incredibly tall man who played basketball and football in college and is now a barber. He is the most loving genuine person and I know that God has been waiting for us to listen so that we could be guided to him. I learned to apply Elder Rasbands counsel from conference to ALWAYS be a spiritual first responder!!

Fast Sundays as a missionary are about a billion times more spiritual. I love hearing members share experiences and testify of Christ. I had the proudest mother moment as Ray Kallatsa bore his powerful testimony of his conversion story. I have been so lucky to be apart of his new member lessons. My testimony has grown so much as I watch people like him change their lives. I am so lucky to have grown up with the knowledge of the gospel and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life sharing what I know with others! 

"The Gospel brings not only hppiness but deep rooted JOY" 

1. 4 months woooooo
2. Studies at the prettiest apartment complex with grass and a pond!!
3. Just your average pet
4. Happy cinco de mayo
5. Prior to inhaling a decent sized bug 

6/7. Go together like salt and pepper 

A God of Miracles

… and just like that its MAY!!!
I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the beautiful spring while it lasts!  

This week was a pretty tough week as all of our investigators dropped their baptism dates, majority of our lessons canceled, and people are playing the hide and go seek game. Except they are much better at the hiding part than we are at the finding/ seeking! 
NONETHELESS  God is a mighty miracle worker. Sunday everything seemed to flip around. The less active recent converts we have been trying so hard to get ahold of came to church, the entire Holt family (our miracle self referred 2 less actives and 2 potential investigators) came to church, and we met a new less active that set up a time to meet with us, AND the cutest little family that we accidently ran into wants us to come back tonight. After such a discouraging week I was am humbled to know that this is the Lords work. Everything is done in His time. With faith, diligence, obedience, and a large dose of humility miracles WILL ALWAYS come. 
-Exchanges with Sister Steele! Sister Steele is one of the most diligent, determined, bold missionaries I have ever met and it was so great to learn from her. We had a goal to find when we teach and teach when we find. Throughout the day she would see people on the road walking and she would whip the car over and roll down my window and have me just start talking to them adfaagaklga;lgha;eio; ahhhhh it was so scary but after a few tries I got the hang of it and it became so fun to talk to everyone! 
-Edgar got passed over to the YSA sisters:/  but he invited us to come eat dinner at the only Mexican restaurant in our area... and it was amazing! He is such light in our lives and I can't wait to see him progress. He won't be getting baptized for a while but we can go to his baptism when he does! 
-Saturday we went on the hunt for a less active lady. We drove down this dirt road & had to pull the car over and walk because it was too bumpy. By this point we didn’t have service and there was only a few houses. And for some reason her house didn’t exist anywhere! we knocked on almost all the houses there and no one knew who she was or where the house was supposed to be... i mean its a desert... how lost can a house really get?!? haha anyways we never found it but it made for a fun time! 
Later the AP's had to drop something off at our apt. they drive a minivan and as they were walking to their car one of our thuggin neighbors was showing his friend the new bass in his car that was parked next to the AP's mini van. He is blasting his music so loud all the windows in the building were vibrating. He was messing around with the AP's being funny and so Elder Jackson look at him with a big grin and said oh yeah, check this out and pressed the button on the keys to open the sliding doors on the mini hahaa it was so funny everyone couldn’t stop laughing who knew we could befriend our neighbor with a minivan?
SO MANY Miracles are happening at the Temple right now. All of the construction workers are under strict rules as they are on the temple grounds regarding their language and conduct. Many of the 'harsher' men have softened their hearts and get mad at others who use bad language they will tell them, "This is sacred ground, you cannot say things like that here". They have felt the unique spirit that surrounds the temple and are protective of it!
A member told us about ‘The Miracle of the Tile’ yesterday
One man who is very good at his job measured all the tile for the hallway and got to work. At the end of the first day he wasn't even half way done and he knew there was no way that the remaining tile would finish the job. He asked the other men to give some of their tile to him so that he could finish the main hall. In the morning he came back to find that no one had given him any tile. He became frustrated and felt inadequate. He couldn't figure out why he had measured wrong and why he wasn't going to have enough tile. After thinking it over, he decided to get to work and finish what he could and he wouldn't look at the pile so he couldn't get discouraged. By the end of the day he had one spot to fill, and he finally looked back at the tile pile. There was one piece remaining. By a small miracle he completed the job with exactly enough of the original pieces. He now goes around to the other workers stating, "I LIVED THE MIRACLE OF THE TILE" 

God does work many miracles. Not only at the temple grounds but in the hearts of the people here in Arizona. I am so grateful to be witnessing God reach out in love to so many of his children!  

Moroni 9:15 "... God has not ceased to be a God of miracles."

Sister Carter 

1. Olivia is incredible!!! is Edgar!!
3. So is Mexican food
4/5. Incredibly lost on the dirt road just hoping for a ride back to our car 
6/7/8. The most beautiful GREEN oasis we found all the way out by the horse therapy farm on the far side of our zone. And the cutest cows/ house  
9. Sister Steele 

Sister Emily Carter
Arizona Tucson Mission
939 West Chapala Drive 

Tucson, AZ 85704

O How Great the Plan of Our God


wow such a whirl wind week I don't even know what all happened. The days are weeks and the weeks are days they say:) 

-Sister Adams and I have been running around like chickens with their heads cut off all week. Sister Drown left on Tuesday and President handed me the keys to the car and said to get to work! Luckily no accidents yet but it feels so strange to be driving after a few months of sitting in the back seat. The area is a chaotic mess and we have lots of 'house keeping' to do. We have been making calls and running around trying to get new lists for everything and set up appointments with people. I am so excited for this transfer with Sister Adams she is hard working and ready to put everything on the table!   

-On the way home the other day i was driving and i see this spider crawling on the windshield. Then it starts getting closer and closer to me im still trying to drive and focus on the road and flipping out that this spider is almost on me so Sis Adams grabs her shoe and starts frantically trying to swat at it as she smacks the steering wheel and honks the horn. Im still trying to drive and not look like we are drunk driving because there is no where to pull over and then the spider lands in my lap and Sis Adams is whacking my lap with her shoe over and over and over till it finally died hahahha

-We have some lovely neighbors who are more of the nocturnal type. they love to stay up all hours of the night and our bedroom walls touch so this week Sister Adams decided to drag our beds out into the living room and now we have this cute squished room with desks and beds and tables and such, i feel like we are 'glamping' hah:) She designated the bedroom to be our craft room! We threw all the thank-you notes, paper goods and what not into that room and only use it when we have to. Its always fun to mix things up! 

-There has been some bumps in the road with our special ops, gang banger, red neck extraordinaire investigator Donald. We had a lesson with Ray the recent convert and things did not go so well so this week President Passey is coming in to help us work out some stuff. We really want to make sure he is ready for baptism May 10th and right now we feel like that is a stretch. He is keeping all his commitments but we want to make sure this is 100% for him and that he has the best heart making this commitment. It has been really hard to back track but we have felt very strongly that this is what is best for him. 

-On the flip side of things, we had the most incredible lesson with Edgar last night about the Plan of Salvation. He set his baptism date for May 2nd. He is one of the most prepared people I ever thought I would come across. He has the biggest welcoming heart and loves his Savior. He is willing to make sacrifices to follow Christ and it has been incredible to watch his love grow. During our lesson he kept exclaiming, "this is BEAUTIFUL. I can't believe I never understood this before, but I feel like I have known this all along.' The Plan of Salvation is indeed BEAUTIFUL.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, 
"... think of how you felt when for the first time you believed and understood that you are truly a child of God; that Jesus Christ willingly suffered for your sins so that you may be clean again; that priesthood power is real and can bind you to your loved ones for time and all eternity; that there is a living prophet on the earth today. Isn't that wonderful and amazing? "

I know that the Plan of Salvation is perfect, beautiful, and flawless in every way. I can't describe the joy I felt as I watched Edgar understand his role here on earth, his endless possibilities to improve because of the Atonement and for him to more fully understand why there is a temple being built here in Tucson. I love this gospel and I love the opportunity I have to help others understand that they are a child of God. 

All my love, 
Sister Carter 

1. Dad i found your favorite place!
2. Perfect treat for 100 degree weather;) 

Sister Emily Carter
Arizona Tucson Mission
939 West Chapala Drive 

Tucson, AZ 85704

He is Risen!

Hello!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! 

The trio is splitting up! 
Sister Adams and I will be staying in this area and Sister Drown will be heading to North West. It will be strange not having so much going on but I am excited for whats ahead with Sister Adams! 
Sister Adams explanation of her in a trio: "Being in a trio is like straddling the bar between two seats on a tandem bike"

This week at the farm we made some wonderful cccooommmmppoossttt!!! haha SO nasty. We had layers of hay and chicken poop and llama poop that we would spray down with water and turn it. As we were doing this we got covered in chicken/llama poop and other goodness from our waist down. Our car smelt beautiful on the way home:))

Another service activity we had was for a part member/ less active family. We raked their rocks for a few hours... haha the landscape here is so bizarre to me!! 

Miracles with Donald: 
Our lesson with Donald this week began quite hectic. There are a lot of people living at their house which makes for loud distractions. During our lesson we asked the teenagers to turn of their music. One of them, Brandon, walked over and happened to mention something about golf so I jumped on that! Thank you Aunt Rose for updating me on the Masters.. little did you know that information would be a small and simple miracle because Brandon ended up joining us for the entire lesson. Everything we had planned directly answered questions he asked. It was an incredible teaching moment, all that occurred because of the beautiful game of golf:) 

Easter Sunday was such a unique experience being a missionary. I was missing out on the family egg hunt and eggs benedict but the joy and love I felt here made up for it times a thousand. The members here reached out to us so generously and we jumped from family party to family party. There were many opportunities for missionary work with extended familys and I was amazing at how accepting they were of us! I truly saw many Easter miracles! Plus we had a German dinner with the Wienzinger family thats was one of the best meals ive had in my life!! 

I loved to see the purest Joy that comes from Christs resurrection. He already paid the price so that we can receive the priceless gift of being with our families for eternity. If you are not jumping for joy at this thought, then get on your feet and do so now!! We are promised so much light at the end of our journey here on earth! Our journey also contains an immense about of light itself. Easter has brought so much light into my life as I focus on Christ and the gratitude I have for all he has done. Easter symbolizes everything I am living for! Christ is the King of Kings and he stands triumphant over death, He is risen! What Joy this sweet sentence brings. I hope each of you can see the joy in your life that comes from our Savior and the sacrifices he has made for each of us. Look to His Light for hope, continued faith, and undoubting JOY!

All my love, 
Sister Emily Carter

1. In the STL's area we found the mosr beautiful GREEN pecan grove!!! Reminds me of Gwa and Grandpas orchards! 
2. The Sisters made us all a cute little fort for transfer calls๐Ÿ’›
3/4. The District 
5. Easter with the Padillas 

6. Easter 

Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus

Hello I hope everyone had a wonderful week

Though there are no spring tulips here, this week I found out there are beautiful flowers blooming on cactus!

We had dinner with a family named the Scotts and their daughter brought her boyfriend. HE IS THE MOST PREPARED PERSON I HAVE EVER MET! 
He worked at taco bell when they met and is the most genuine loving person. He even offered to teach us how to home make crunch wrap supremes... haha YES! 
He texted us with some questions before our lesson on thursday and he asked what he needs to do to be baptized and its something hes always wanted!!! Then he asked a bunch of questions about prophets and how their called, then about temples and families then about God's love for him. He kept texting us all these questions for us to answer, finshing with telling us he has never been so excited, peaceful, and curious in his life!! We are SO excited for him! He is YSA so we will have to pass him off to them soon but we get to start teaching him for now. 

Zone Conference!
We were combined with the spanish zone so lots of translating going on which made things interesting. I am so luck to have President and Sister Passey as my misison presidents, they are incredible. It will be so sad to see them leave this summer. We went over our Book of Mormon reading challenge for majority of our meeting. After lunch we went into the chapel and he called on 2 people to share  their experience with reading... and guess who was one of those people.. me! I had this feeling the whole time that i really wanted to share what i had learned and I think he had that same feeling. The topic I have been studying as I read the Book of Mormon these last two months has been 'how can my trials bring me closer to God' I cant even describe the things i ahve learned nor the gratitude I have gained for trials. God wouldnt give us anything we couldn't handle and out of love for us he sent Christ to help us walk every step of the way and even to carry us when needed. For this next month President challenged us to begin a 40 day fast. A fast from something that is keeping us from being a missionary that turns their heart and will to the Lord. I am really excited to see the progress that can come from striving to be exactly obedient and becoming the missionary the Lord needs me to be. 

This week I was studying to answer all of Edgars questions and read an incredible talk by President Uchtdorf, 'O How Great the Plan of Our God' it spoke of a time he traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland. While there he noticed the Belfast coat of Arms "Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus" meaning "What shall we give in return for so much?". This sunk incredibly deep into my heart. I truly have been given a tremendous amount. I am so blessed with an amazing family and life. For me to give up a year and a half of my life is hard but in return I have already been given so much. To help make a difference in even one persons life will be worth it. I love personal and I am so grateful for the opportunity we have to draw closer to our Savior and understand our roles as children of a loving Heavenly Father. 
I want to ask you all to think about this week what you can give in return for so much?

Happy Easter! I hope you all have an 'eggcelent' week;) 

Lots of Love, 
Sister Carter  

1. Last P-day a member in the Elders ward taught us how to sword fight!! Their family is really into LARPing(?) live action role playing i think its called? and they told us about these crazy battles they are preparing for.. i had no idea that was a thing! 
2. my favorite Hargreaves 
3. The sweetest Sister in the ward gave us Easer baskets!
4. my cilantro at the farm is growing so well:)))
5. pretty pink flowers 

6. cacti flowers 

Spiritual Frying Pan

So uplifting yet eye opening at the same time! SO many things to improve on... therefore we decided conference is much like a spiritual frying pan to the face haha๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜Š

So exciting 5 New temples!!!! Sister Adams thought President Monson was going to say April Fools after announcing the Pocatello temple (her hometown) haha. 
I loved every minute of conference. I wish I could share every thought of mine but that would take entirely too much time and I am hoping most of you gained your own insights:) One talk I did love was Mark A. Bragg who spoke of the Light of Christ. He compared seeking light as part of our spiritual DNA. We need to take comfort that there is ALWAYS light to be found. He mentioned a quote by President Boyd K. Packer: "The Light of Christ is as universal as sunlight itself. Wherever there is human life, there is Spirit of Christ. Every living soul is possessed of it.... It is the inspire of everything that will bless and benefit making. It nourishes goodness itself" 
I have been witness of this Light over the last few weeks. When light is discovered-better yet uncovered-,love shortly follows, understanding of the gospel occurs, love of the Savior is recognized and conversion evolves. I am so lucky to see this light consuming individuals in the Arizona Tucson mission. With the temple open house around the corner so many doors are being opened, hearts softened, and evidences that the work is hastening TODAY!!! 

I hope each of you took to heart President Monson's powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. The day I got to the mission field they made us run half a mile up a hill to a Mormon battalion monument with a Book of Mormon in our hand. I started reading this copy of the book that afternoon and finished it this conference weekend. What a steadfast testimony President Monson added to my own. This book is true and I can tell you that with every bit of my heart!!!! 

A little update on the area: 

We received an online referral from this does not happen in our area so we were overjoyed!!! Turns out this mom named Olivia Holt referred herself and her 2 sons! WHAT. haha she is amazing!! She got baptized 8 years ago but fell away shortly after because of unanswered questions. After all these years the last 2 weeks her and her husband decided this is the church for them and we are so excited to help her come back and answer her questions! And her sons are our 2 new investigators!

Donald is doing great. We had the most amazing Plan of Salvation lesson at the church with different rooms set up for each step of the plan. It was so powerful!! 

Sunday morning we watched conference with a less active/ potential investigator family (the 2 9yr olds are potential investigators) It started off in spanish for the first little while and we read the english subtitles hah but no worries we figured out how to change it to english. In opening song the little boy Aiden (he has ADHD and a little autism but watched more than half and was so good!) but he stands up and said

 "Oh my gosh I see Donald Trump!!!" 

hahahhahahahha he saw a man in the choir that had hair that look similar to Donald Trumps and assumed it was him. We had a conference bingo to keep him focused. At one point he looked over at sister Admas and slapped his hands on his face exclaiming

 "Ah I cant stop thinking about mind craft but I know I need to be listening to this so bad and I know if I get baptized it will make all my problems wash away" From the mouth of babes hah๐Ÿ™ƒ

Sunday afternoon we were just sitting at the church doing our companion study and a woman walked into the chapel and started talking to us. We found out that she was homeless and hadn't eaten anything. We had the veggie tray in the fridge that had just been given to us and were able to give it to her along with water bottle. It was so humbling to see someone being so kind when they had so many needs. The worst part about being a missionary is there is a rule that we cant give money to people. It was so hard to see money in my bag that i had no need for and couldn't give it to this woman. 
Luckily we saw Bishop walk into the church he offered to let her stay the night at his home and to feed her dinner. She didn't take the offer I think she was a little overwhelmed by everything we had offered her she kindly declined. we gave her a list of libraries and our email in case she needs anything. I hope that she stays safe. 

We also found out Hefsy is going to jail... :(( but no worries we got permission from president to go teach her there!!! should be interesting..she could really use a spiritual frying pan 

Our neighbor moved out of his apartment & happened to move 30 minutes away into our area! (And in a non stalker like way we found out his exact house๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š) So we got a new neighbor and he thinks its the most awesome thing in the world to either blast music, turn the tv on or chat (loudly) with friends outside every hour of the night๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™
Sister Adams is soo not happy with this so every morning at 6 she blasts hymns right back at him hahhaha.we are working on our Christ like love:)

Some of my favorite things from conference: 
Gary B. Sabin - "Be ALL in and stand up on the inside"
Yonn Hwan Choi - "Look UP during challenging times!"
L. Whitney Clayton - "He knows the way because he is the way"
Dieter F. Uchtdorf - "Let us replace fear with Christ's perfect Love" 

My challenge to everyone is to share the Prince of Peace Easter video with at least 1 person this week!!! 

Sister Carter 

1/2. The hike we went on last monday in this little creek in the middle of nowhere!
3. Golfing with sis schot she is the best 
4. Elder burns cousin of a highachool friend 
5. Sister Spencer / Haskins

6/7. THE PADILLA kids! They wanted to give me 'missionary super powers' hence the goggles hahahh