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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Suzanne's baptism!

Happy Preparation Day!! 

Here is a picture of Sister Triana, Suzanne Janzen, Walt Janzen her husband who has been a member for the past 22 years, me or course being awkward and Eric their youngest son (who is next to be baptized ;)

Suzanne's baptism!

Suzanne's baptism!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

11 May 2015 The Inconvenient Messiah


After 22 years, she's getting baptized!  An announcement was made in both Sacrament meeting and Relief Society and it felt like we were at a Giant's game!  Remember that part-member family that Sister Triana and I went to go visit randomly?  Than, a visiting teacher called us to give us a referral and turns out that it was the wife of that non-member family?  Well, we invited her to be baptized on May 16 and she quickly accepted.  It was like she was waiting for us to finally ask her!  

Image result for baptism lds
She was ready to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized.

We have gone over every morning since our invitation/her acceptance and teaching her has been a testimony builder for me of people who are truly prepared to not only hear but to live the gospel.  It also shows me that though some of the people we are teaching now may not be ready to change their lives, maybe in 22 years (hopefully shorter!) they will be!

I am grateful for missionaries past and present who never give up.  We LOVE, absolutely love the people we teach and want them to experience and feel what we experience and feel because of this gospel. 

In the morning study today, I read a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland titled "The Inconvenient Messiah."  

It's a talk that has many themes but one that stands out to me is that the cost of discipleship is a high price but so worth it!  Sometimes we won't get answers when or how we expect or want them, but it's worth it.

He says, "It is not easy to go without---without physical gratifications or spiritual assurances or material possessions, but sometimes we must since there is no guarantee of convenience written into our christian covenant.  We must work hard and do right. . ."

I am grateful for missionaries who have worked hard no matter the result.  Because it's worth it.

I love you all.  The church is true.

Sister Carter

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015 Change, Miracles, Mother's Day

Hello and Happy Mothers Day to so so so many of the wonderful Mothers that I love!

My Mothers Day started with giving a talk at Stanford. yes. at Stanford. It was intimating to say the least, but I found it a privilege and blessing to speak in front of so many brilliant people on such a special day.


Suzanne is getting baptized on Saturday!! After 22 years of searching, she has decided to be baptized. Sister Triana and I could not be more excited to be her guides. We love being missionaries and love seeing peoples lives transform as they apply the principles found in the gospel and put off the natrual man. 

Mosiah 3:19- For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

I have learned MANY things on this mission but something that has changed my life, and may seem like common or basic knowledge that you become who you want to become. No matter circumstance or position  you become what you want. 

That statement is something one of my previous companions said to me and I will never ever forget it. Although becoming what I want is something I have always been taught and even have told people myself but, It finally clicked. I can literally become who I want; And this morning during my personal study, more on this topic was relieved to me. Not only do I become who I want, but I can become that person when I want to as well. 

You may be laughing because it's so simple right? yeah, not for hard headed Sister Carter. 

I think about Suzanne and how for almost 70 years, lived her life the way she wanted, and now for some reason has now decided that she wants to change. This is a blessing and miracle, but maybe we can apply the principle of becoming who we want right now and choose to not put it off for later, no matter how convenient. 

I was reading a talk given by Clayton M.Christensen titled Why I Belong Why I Believe (which actually just helped to convert a U.S. senator). In this article he describes his reasoning for belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an organized institution. He says "because of the way the church is organized, it puts opportunities to help others in my path every day. It facilitates my efforts – and in some instances almost compels me – to practice Christianity, not just believe in it...and of course his reasoning for believing in the doctrines are because they are true.

He goes on to talk about how we help each other in the church, but also how we learn from each other. No person is greater than another. He describes and instance when he learned something from someone, who in other religions may be considered less than him because of his position in the church. He says "... about a decade ago I was serving as the bishop, or lay minister, of the congregation of college students in the Boston area. We had assigned a college sophomore to give a sermon about repentance in our service on a particular Sunday. I still remember his key point: “We often view repentance as a slow process. It isn’t. Change is instantaneous. It is not changing that takes so much time.” I had been struggling to overcome a particular bad habit; and I resolved that I would change my behavior right then and there – to quit “not changing.” Where else but in this church could a young, inexperienced student have taught a bishop such a profound lesson?"

Now back to my point--I have discovered that not only can I become what I want, but I can become that person when I want to. All of us can. Repentance is not slow. We can decided right now. Change is instantaneous.

Of course we are not perfect, we make mistakes. We fall and mess up, but we can get back up and try again, in that very moment. That is the miracle of repentance, and forgiveness. That is the miracle of the Atonement. 

I am grateful for my Savior in allowing me and all of us to try and try and try again. 

-I love the Lord, and you all!
Sister Carter

Sunday, May 10, 2015

May 4, 2015

Happy Preparation Day! 

Another great day in the mission field.

Miracles!!  One of our part member families is no longer going to be a part member family.  After 10+ years a new investigator of ours has decided that she wants to be baptised.  "It is time," she said.  I have come to realize that the Lord really does have plans for ALL of His children--maybe even specific timelines.  This wife sho has said that she is now ready may have known that this church was true for years, but is now deciding that she is ready to make the commitment.  It's not stated in my job description as a missionary to push, coerce, rush, or force anyone to be baptized.  We need to invite.  And I know that is what the past 20+ missionaries have done over these yars with her.  My companion and I just have the blessing of being able to also be a part of her miracle conversion.  She has truly experienced a change of heart.  There are and have been plenty of people that I have had the blessing of teaching and inviting to come unto Christ.  Just because they didn't get baptized within that six weeks of my knowing them, doesn't mean their time won't come.  For those who are earnestly seeking, we shall find them and they will find us.  The Lord doesn't want any of us to be confused or mislead or misguided.

It is in our best interest as missionaries--full-time and member--to go about doing good.  People will see us and recognize what we have and want it.  No effort is wasted.

Doctrine and Covenants 4:3-4
"For behold the field is white, all ready to harvest, and lo, he that thrustest his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul."

I love the Lord.

Sister Carter

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015

Bishop Peery of the Palo Alto 1st ward is amazing. Absolutely amazing, and has reminded me of an important principle that is found in the Book of Mormon. 

Ammon from the Book of Mormon never forgot the smallest of details.

 ALMA 8:10: "Now when king Lamoni heard that Ammon was preparing his horses and his chariots he was more astonished, because of the faithfulness of Ammon, saying: Surely there has not been any servant among all my servants that has been so faithful as this man; for even he doth remember all my commandments to execute them."

I am thinking of the small and simple things that I participated in, and heard about this week that wrought mighty miracles. 

A wonderful mom in our ward during fast and testimony meeting Sunday shared with the ward of an experience how she felt God's love for her. Her day was crazy to say the least as a mother of 5 children under the age of 12 and she found herself stuck in a rut. When she opened her refrigerator she realized she had no milk to prepare the meal that she had so graciously signed up to make for an activity. With her day planned out literally to the T she had no time. Crying, she rushed to put shoes on, not only on herself, but on all of her children so she could run to the store, when she heard the doorbell ring. Too flustered to answer it, she avoided it. When her daughter asked for the 4th time why she wasn't getting the door she finally answered it. As she opened the door, right in front of her stood, a neighbor that she had only spoken to once with 2 gallons of milk in her hands. 

Image result for gallons of milk

Sister Triana and I decided about 2 weeks ago to start visiting with our part member families. Going down the list we met with Sister Janzen. As we taught her Lesson 1, the Restoration, we realized we weren't even sure if was she who was the member or if it was her husband. We left the home with a return visit to help her around the house and do some service. We went back 2 more times the following week to do more service and learned that it was indeed Sister Janzen who was not a member. A week ago, Sister Triana and I got a call from a Sister Taylor whom we have never spoken to, who said that she had a referral for us. She said that she was visiting teaching someone who is ready to be baptized. It was none other than Sister Janzen. 

I tell just two of these stories because they are of great significance to me. That mom who felt Gods love through 2 gallons of milk experienced a miracle and certainly a tender mercy.

Sister Triana and I were blessed with the inspiration to visit with this part member family. We had the blessing of being able to serve them in their home and build a relationship.

Lets all do our best to be like Ammon. Do the smallest of things. Do the littlest of things. They are important. 

I love you all, 
Sister Carter