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Saturday, February 14, 2015

February 9, 2015 Transfer to Palo Alto, CA

Happy Preparation Day!

Hello from Palo Alto California!!!!!

Woooo.  I am so incredibly happy.

We are currently in the Family History Center with part of our zone emailing.  Life in Palo Alto is pretty different including the fact that I am in a trio!  More on that later.

Well, I LOVE Palo Alto!!!!!!

I love my companions!  I love the five, yes five wards that we cover.  I love my apartment.  I love pretty much everything.

Transfer meeting started out a bit scary on Tuesday morning.  I had to stay up the night before, pretty late to pack all of my stuff, and the Sunday before as well as the day before that.

All of the missionaries in Livermore knew that transfers would be intense because all of the companionships knew that they would be expected. . . every companionship would lose a companion!  Crazy!

Transfer meetings are pretty dramatic.  All who got a transfer call on Friday night are asked to report to the San Jose mission office on Tuesday.  On that morning, we all meet in the chapel at 9:00 a.m. and it begins!  A giant white screen comes down and the name of the area pops up.  The picture of the Elder or Sister that is currently in that area shows up on the screen and President would say, "and serving with her", or ""Meet your new companion" or "and training. . ." and their companion's picture pops up next to their's!! It is super dramatic.  Lot of crying, lot of oohs and ahhs, and lots of hugs take place.  When we see our picture are to quickly go sit by our new one. . . (or new ones in my case).

My sweet new companions!!! Sister Fraser is from Columbus, Georgia.  Yay!  For two companions from Georgia.  She leaves in March along with Sister Packard and Sister Gregerson, my trainer.  I am so depressed and sad at the fact that all three of my companions will be leaving in March!!!  Next transfer!  That really makes me sad.

My other companion to make up the trio is Sister Uelfe from Samoa!!!  She moved to Hawaii about 3 years ago and has spent most of her life in Samoa.

I LOVE them and we are already making so many good memories and spend a lot of time laughing.

Here are some (funny to me, at least) of our good moments already:

Scene 1:  It has been raining like crazy here and despite the fact that we have a car, we can't seem to stay dry.  We were driving to our dinner appointment and got out of the car to it it pouring down raining.  Of course, we ran to the door and ring the door bell soaking wet because of course, none of us had an umbrella.  So we covered ourselves with our sweaters etc.  We rang the doorbell and were welcomed inside but here is the catch:  Since we cover 5 congregations, 4 wards, 2 family wards, 1 Young Single Adult ward and 1 mid-single adult ward plus a Samoan branch, we have our work cut our for us, but we are also in the Polonesian program which means we learn a new language, new people names, customs, and cultures.  In Polynesian/Samoan culture, you take your shoes off and if you don't, you're in trouble. . . back to the story.

Picture three soaking wet sister missionaries in the pouring rain ringing a doorbell.  The mom opens the door andshe is Tongan.  I freak out because I need to take off my shoes!  My companions are wanting to get inside (as am I) but if I walk into their home with my shoes on, I will probably lbring shame to everyone, right?!  So, Sister Frazer is literally shoving me through the door frame and I am just not budging.  I'm screaming about to fall over but refuse to take a step inside because I've got my shoes on!  Meanwhile, it's still raining.

Laughing, giggling, screaming, wet.  Needless to say, all is well.  I didn't bring shame to anyone by not taking off my shoes.

Five wards is already an amazing experience.  Being in a branch is an amazing experience.  Serving in Palo Alto is amazing.  Being in a trio is amazing.  I LOVE this.

I'm grateful.  Still so grateful.

Sister Carter.

Friday, February 6, 2015

January 29, 2014 "And Mary kept those things and pondered them in her heart."

Happy Preparation Day!

"And Mary kept those things and pondered them in her heart."

I had a really touching experience at our member dinner, one of which I will truly keep and ponder in my heart, just as Mary did while she raised our Savior Jesus Christ because some moments and times are just so incredibly sweet and tender and precious, they should truly be kept in our hearts.

I will just say that I am so incredibly grateful to be one of the Lord's messengers on His errand.  As a missionary we are given what to say at the exact time that it needs to be said (so long as we remain worthy).  I am grateful that the Lord allows us to be His voice of sorts.

In the moment that I said the words that the Lord directed me to speak (which I don't even remember by the way), I looked up to the sweet dad of the family, red as an apple, with tears flowing from his face and his eyes piercing right into me clinging on to every word.  Again, I have no idea what I said but I will never, ever forget the strong spirit in that home at that time.

We can be the Lords' hands while on this earth.  We just need to be willing to do what He wants.

Transfer time is coming!  This transfer is 7 weeks and it just may be my time.  I have been in Livermore since October!  And I can't leave!  I refuse to actually.  :)

I love Livermore.

I love you all. 

I love the Lord.

Sister Carter