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Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015 Member Missionaries are the best!

This week was wonderful! We had a a blast teaching and finding. Our numbers were higher than usual which is a huge blessing and all credit of course goes to the Lord. We as missionaries and even as people must admit our own shortcomings and give credit to the Lord when we succeed! 

We had 5 investigators at church yesterday!! Mitch and Rich came, as well as our new investigator Thomas, and an investigator family. We were really busy and excited to say the least.

The exciting news about our new investigator Thomas, is that he is a referral from one of my absolute favorite families the Talivacaolas. We invited the Talivacaolas a family to help us with missionary work. 

President Hinckley taught: “The full-time missionaries may do the actual teaching,but the member, wherever possible, will back up that teaching with the offering of his home to carry on this missionary service. He will bear sincere testimony of the divinity of the work. He will be there to answer questions when the missionaries are not around. He will be a friend to the convert who is making a big and often difficult change. … The process of bringing new people into the Church is not the responsibility alone of the missionaries. They succeed best when members become the source from which new investigators are found” (Ensign, May 1999, 105–6).

As Bednar said some of us need to stop praying for people to come to church and go out and get them!

The Talivacaolas stuck to their commitment and had not only Thomas over for dinner with us the other day, but even another neighbor who is not a member! It was a beautiful dinner full of the spirit and delicious food! We are so grateful to be able to teach Thomas, and now he has a perfect family to help fellowship him. They live nearby and are able to take him to church with them every Sunday. They even bought him a shirt for church because he did not have one. The Talivacaolas are not a rich family, but they decided to give. 

Jacob 2:17 "Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you."

We don't need to give away everything we have to be right in the eyes of the Lord but because we have been given much, we truly too must give. Especially when it comes to the gospel. We must share what we have and know to be true! 

I am grateful for the Talivacaolas and their example of charity and know they will be blessed. I am a perfect example of people giving. I am certain I would not be where I am today if it was not for people giving a whole lot to me! And I'm not talking monetary things or items. I was given Charity: "The highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, not merely affection; the pure love of Christ" and for that, I am so so so grateful.

As a mission we set monthly goals for what we are to do to push ourselves. For whatever reason the spirit promoted us to set a goal of two investigators baptized this month, which we were hopeful could happen but were unsure. Yesterday at church our bishop completely ecstatic, nearly tackled us to tell us that two of our investigators committed to being baptized on the 25th!!!!! Wahoooo. Horray for Bishop Peery who is a serious missionary and so dedicated to not only the ward as a whole, but supports the missionaries and their efforts. And of course thanks be to God for his goodness and mercy for allowing this goal to be reached. 

Transfers are soon and I feel like I'm going to get the boot from Palo Alto! I love it here, but just like I loved Livermore, I'm sure I'll love my next area. 

We will seeeeeee, I'll keep you all posted ;)

The Church is True!!!!!!
Sister Carter

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015 Report on July 4 in Palo Alto, Mitch and Rich, Sheep story

There's nothing like the 4th of July in DC but the pancake breakfast was a hit here in Palo Alto!! There were MANY members of the community in attendance! So many in fact that both us and the Elders were a bit overwhelmed! We hope to see those new faces at church. 

This Sunday Sister Triana and I taught Gospel Principles with 2 investigators present! It was great to have them surrounded by such wonderful members. We often have a very packed gospel principles class. 

A couple of weeks ago, Sister Triana and I got a referral from the Redwood City Elders in our Zone. They were passing two men over to us named Rich and Mitch because they lived in our area. They told us they lived in a veterans home and have some disabilities but it would be worth our time to see them. We are grateful for all of the referrals we receive and nothing happens in missionary work unless you are teaching someone so we took the opportunity to do so! 

We went to go visit Mitch and Rich and it was clear Mitch was drunk. We found them in the driveway of the house sitting with the car running watching the Warriors game on an iPhone. I have no idea what iPhone it was.  All I know was it was HUGE (why do those things keep getting bigger). We walked over and introduced ourselves as the Sister Missionaries. After talking to them for a bit, we introduced them to the Book of Mormon. Mitch who was in the drivers seat, and drunk kept asking how we found them, and Rich who was in the passenger side, hardly said anything but was so kind. They both allowed us to come back.

After a couple days we went back again to see how serious they were. Mitch was drunk again, but we decided to make sure our next visit was with a member. This member was perfect because he too served in Vietnam! After teaching them the full message of the Restoration, we invited them to come to church. Two Sundays ago both Mitch and Rich came! 

After their attendance at church, we went back to keep teaching these two investigators who clearly needed a lot of help, but we felt inspired to not give up on them. During the lesson we had with them, we were talking about ways that we can be like Jesus Christ, one of which is baptism. We asked both Mitch and Rich if they had been baptized expecting at least one of them to say yes, to which we would ask by what authority, so that  we could emphasize Priesthood authority, when Rich proudly proclaimed, I have been baptized! Sister Triana and I looked at each other, with our next question nearly rushing out of our mouths when he said "by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Sister Triana and I looked back at each other with "yeah right faces" and continued to talk about the Priesthood.

We went to visit again a couple of days later, and Rich once more told us that he was a baptized member. With that second declaration, we asked him for his full name and birthday, which is all you need to look someone up in the church records. Low and behold, Rich was indeed a baptized member! 

I know that this was another special miracle that we were able to be a part of! 
Image result for lost sheep
I have found my sheep which was lost!

"What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost."
Now this may not seem like a big deal, but often missionaries baptize quickly and leave areas even quicker to also leave the recent converts to fend for themselves. We do not want our recent converts to be attached to us, but in this case of Rich, we are certain that he was baptized quickly and with his disabilities was lost and forgotten about. 
I am so grateful that we were able to find Rich through the Elders! I am so grateful also that Mitch and Rich were both at church again this Sunday! We are so grateful Rich has been found and Mitch his friend too will soon be welcomed into the fold!
Love you all,
Sister Carter