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Monday, November 30, 2015

30 November 2015

Has anyone seen the new initiative? "A Savior is Born". What a super cool thing the church has been doing! It gets us all excited about the Season but  more importantly, all these videos: "Because He Lives", "He is the Gift", "Because of Him" and now "A Savior is Born" are all clearly focused on our Savior. I love Him. Christmastime is fun--always, but being a missionary during this season is oh so EXTRA special. The chance that we have to teach people about Him, His birth and life is magical.

Check it out here if you haven't seen it---
https://www.mormon.org/christmas
What would the world be like if the Savior wasn't born? Pretty terrible. Even just last night we were able to visit with one of our returning young single adults, who bore a sincere testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement is the event that enables us to be reconciled to God. 

Jesus Christ not only suffered on the cross but he also suffered in the garden of Gethsemane. Because of this, wrongs can be made right. Forgiveness is always possible and we can live every single day with an increased commitment to doing the will of the Father. It is because  of Jesus Christ that we can be forgiven of our sins. Last night while we were vising with this amazing young girl, even though she wasn't able to fully explain the atonement (nor can I!!) she was able to share her perfect knowledge of a Savior and that because He lives, it allows us to do and become our greatest potential. We can always change and improve!

 

 Here is a random picture from the Wednesday night institute dinner. We have some investigators that need help with English so we have a class. 

 

And here is a super attractive picture of me.....
This was only our first dinner!


I love the Lord,
Sister Carter

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015

WHAT A WEEK!!!!!
but first, here are some throw backs from the tailgate because it was just THAT good. 
With our Hermanas again in front of the Giants stadium!




Sorry Cosmo! You can't hug missionaries! 
Sister Riggs went on her first exchange last week with the Sister Training Leaders......Too bad we live WITH  the Sister Training Leaders so she actually got ripped off. Let me explain.

Typically for an exchange, you go to the area of the STL's and sleep over their house; you experience the work with a new companion for 24 hours. You proselyte etc the whole day in their area. 

The only problem is that though the STL's work in a completely different area, they live in our area with us! So I actually was with Sister Riggs for majority of the day, but we weren't companions. It was weird. I felt like a mom sending her child away for college!! I literally was thinking to myself, okay, she needs this, it's going to help her grow and learn. This isn't about you Sister Carter! You can't keep her to yourself!! I just love her so much I didn't want anything bad to happen! Not that anything could.....ha. I was dreading exchanges. 

Well, as you can see in this picture, I think she was also a little confused throughout the whole day too hahah.

We helped out with some habitat for humanity stuff, painting houses! 



 
 
Yes our Recent Convert Yesi, loves to take selfies so naturally, we all join. Maybe you will see a pattern. I apparently have forgotten how to smile on the mission. I either just do the duck face or just open my mouth really loud haha. 
Above: Me and Sister Riggs with Eddie, Ismael, Deano who plays for SJSU and is our branch mission leader and Yesi!



Right before the Wed Right institute dinner. Recognize Sister Uelse? We were companions for a transfer in Menlo Park!! LOVE HER




Friday night Sister Riggs planned a Karaoke Night for the branch and these missionaries came to help us decorate. LOVE THEM. Oh and majority of them are poly. Can you tell I miss my polys!

Because Sister Riggs and I have a WHOLE lot of faith we were able to see some mighty miracles this week.

I am unable to go into full detail because of the depth and magnitude of the events, nor do I say these things, light mindedness or pride-- but I say them to rejoice in a God who is truly good and certainly mindful of his children. I pray that as I do my best to recap this week, you will feel the joy that is radiating out of me and I pray that the Holy Ghost will touch your heart to help you know how special this work truly is!

As missionaries our purpose is to find teach and baptize. We do this because people NEED TO KNOW, that though a modern Prophet, God has restored knowledge about the plan of Salvation, which is centered on Jesus Christs Atonement and can be fulfilled BY LIVING the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel which are-

Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance (living with an increased commitment to following Gods will) Baptism by one who holds the proper authority of God (the Priesthood) and by Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, again by the laying on of hands by one who holds the authority.

Sister Riggs and I had 2, TWO, of our processing investigators drop us. Randomly, drop us. We were heart broken, and for me, something like this has actually never happened in my whole 14 months so I in all honesty was a bit astonished and almost fed up.

I have been reading in the Book of Mormon about the THOUSANDS who are ready and able to come unto repentance, who are ready to be baptized, and for some reason here and san jose, we were unable to find them. I HAVE faith, and I know they are there, so why can't we see them.

Despite the confusion, we KNEW and still KNOW that they are out their and ready. So without a doubt, we continued as always to pray to find those who will receive us, but because faith without works is dead, we bumped up our diligence a bit more and what resulted was a testimony builder for sure! 

We were searching everywhere and talking with everyone. We had members out with us everyday to be apart of the work- one of which allowed us to teach her friend during a dinner appointment. We asked her if she wanted to come to the outgoing fireside with us on Sunday night (thats when Missionaries who are departing after serving for 18-24 share their testimonies for the last time) and she agreed to come. She has felt the spirit and we are excited to see her grow in the gospel.

 We even went though our phone to contact some of the names of people that we didn't recognize and during a coorlation meeting, we contacted a girl and asked if she wanted to meet up with us, like we do with the other thousands of people who we talk to. What felt like 2 seconds later she responded to our text with "for a bible study?" to which we said YES! 2 short hours later, she was at the institute to meet us. We learned that she had previously been taught but was just a little scared to get baptized. 
The following day she came with us to an activitty and many of the members in the branch remembered her! It was comforting to see how though time people can change and are ready. We just need to make sure we are ready to find them when that time is right. 

"Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bright forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing- unto such it is given to know the mystery of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things with never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls unto repentance...."  

I know they are out there. The souls that are truly ready to be harvested. 

I LOVE this work. Can you tell?

-Sister Carter


Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 16, 2015

This was the group of us that got to help out with the tailgating last week!

Towards the front the three in the middle are members from the branch! Michelle, (to my left) next to her, Ismael and Yesi (recent covert who was baptized in July). They were going to the game and decided to spend some time with us missionaries!  


 

Of course the Sister's had to sport their blue for BYU.....but San Jose States colors are also Blue! and Gold, so it worked :)

The Elders down at the bottom are typically silly like that, but we of course love them!


Here are some pictures from last week when we helped with the BYU tailgating!  



November 9, 2015 Feeling the spirit with the BYU Football team

What a fun season and time to be a missionary.
To catch you all up, Halloween was a blast. I was thinking about my first Halloween on my mission with my Trainer in Livermore and was able to look back fondly! It is even more exciting to be training Sister Riggs during the same time that I was being trained. 
 
President Mella said that unlike last year, we did not need to go home early on Halloween night, so we were able to participate in some Halloween activities. The zone decided to go to a haunted house....WELL, Sister Riggs and I weren't really feeling up to it, so we went to a family in the Alum Rock Ward (the family ward that I use to cover) house instead, and helped with their Halloween festivities. 
 
After we put the food together for the party,  families started trickling in. I started laughing because I felt like I was actually in the haunted house. I was looking around at all of the (cute) but huge families, with babies running around, children screaming, actually--mostly crying, and I couldn't help but laugh. Maybe it's because I've been in YSAs for so long, but all of the commotion freaked me out. We should have just gone to the actual Haunted House instead...ha
Since Halloween we have been setting high goals and working hard. We are acting on our faith and doing our best to fulfill our purpose.
We had the AMAZING experience of being able to host the BYU football team when they played San Jose State on Friday night! Although going to the game has been high on my wish list hopes because we've known about this game for a while, we all figured we would not be able to go. Butttttt being the missionaries that serve on SJSU campus does have it's perks!
On Thursday night before the game, the football team hosted a fireside. They do this at all of their away games. It gives them an opportunity to share their testimonies of the gospel and help people understand better who they all are as football players and what they represent begin in the program.
President Mella said the only way we would be able to go to the fireside was if we had an investigator with us, so Sister Riggs and I made it a priority to find someone to take haha. Sadly, nothing was working. We were calling everyone, EVERYONE that we were teaching or ever had  taught, we even were asking members to ask and invite their friends.....nothing was working. After almost starting to stress out over the lack of an investigator, we just decided that maybe we weren't suppose to go, and that was going to be okay. Football is not our priority anyways!

We decided to try our new investigator Irean and call it quits if she was unable to go. After inviting her, she was clearly not too interested in going because she had a lot of work to do and it was starting to get overwhelming for her. After our visit with her at around 4:00pm we left, having invited her, and said we would be back to pick her up around 5:30. The fireside started at 7:00pm but we were told that it was going to be PACKED so we needed to get good seats. 
 
We ended up getting back to Ireans house at 6:00pm and weren't expecting too much. In all honesty, we had just come to the terms that we weren't going and we were pretty content with it. We knocked on the door practically holding our breath, and she answered, and instead of her saying "no, I can't go, I have too much work", she looked at us, said "hold on" walked to the back of the apartment to get her jacket and walked straight out the door to us! Wahooooo.
We got the fireside, sat next to our Branch Mission leader Deano Motes who actually is ON the SJSU football team! ha and had a wonderful  WONDERFUL time.
I'll be real for just another second again--I wanted to go because, well, it's the BYU football team and I've never seen them play or really anything, but truthfully, I was expecting it to be a bunch of football players talking about well...football. BOY, was I wrong. I don't know if I got a testimony of the gospel or the BYU football team! ha. What a spirit filled meeting it was. We heard from two of the football players who talked about faith and charity as well as a two musical numbers, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" by about 8 of the team members, and then "We'll Bring The World His Truth (Army of Helamen)." I didn't know if they were football players or missionaries! To say the least, the spirit was strong, and I am grateful that Irean decided to come so that she could feel the spirit that comes with putting the Lord first in our lives.
On Friday night Sister Riggs and I, as well as a couple of other missionaries got to participate in the BYU tailgate at the Giants Stadium! It was SO fun!! We were each in charge of games and got to get the BYU fans excited.
Fun times!! 

I'm grateful for the work, my companion and certainly my Savior. 

I have a testimony of this church and will continue to sustain support the leaders, Apostles and living Prophet. 

I know that the Lord truly does love all of His children,
Sister Carter

October 26, 2015

Hellowwwwww-

What a wonderful week. Man time flies! We are having a blast and are doing our best to find find find, more of those lucky San Jose State Students that we receive us ha ha.  Sister Riggs is killin it! I am so grateful for her desires to work hard. She is a pro.

There is a talk that is getting us pumped about missionary work, titled "Following Christ to Victory" by Hartman Rector Jr. who was actually President Mellas mission president in the San Diego Mission where he served as a young man!!!!! I think you can liken this talk to "real life living" not just missionary work....

Some of my favorite parts-
       "Believe you can do it. This is the first important principle. All things are possible to them that believe (see Mark 9:23). Surely we must believe in a thing before we can desire it. And God does grant unto men according to their desire (see Alma 29:4). If the desire is strong enough, performance is assured.

       I am positive also that no one can be emotionally or physically healthy unless he is keeping the commandments and rendering unto God the things that are God’s. I did not say that this obedience would also make you satisfied with your every performance—I seldom am; I’m sure I can improve my performance in the job. But when I’m on the Lord’s side, keeping the basic commandments, I feel good about me, I esteem myself as a worthy child of God, and I find I am very positive. 


 How to perform positively? Easy: eliminate all negative words and phrases from your vocabulary. Refuse to think negatively, for as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).  

Refuse also to speak negatively. Now you have become an optimist rather than a pessimist. There is a big difference between an optimist and a pessimist—one is positive, a believer; the other is negative, a doubter. The optimist, as you probably know, is a person who, when he wears out his shoes, just figures he’s back on his feet. The pessimist says, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” The optimist says, “I’ll see it when I believe it.”

We had a wonderful week and there are many more to come!

Below-

Tessi and Ismael who are Branch Missionaries. Tessi served in the DC south mission!!!!!!


 
Sister Riggs and Yesi= SUPER CUTEMe= creepy






LOVE YOUUU ALLLL.

-Sister Carter



October 19, 2015 New companion

 
 
 
 
 
 It's what you've been waiting for.....
Here she is!!! Miss America! My child. My trainee. My girl!

 Sister Riggs hailing from Springville Utah!! She's only my second companion from Utah.

She is WONDERFUL!!!!!! She is seriously the cutest thing in the world.


She cheered during her time in school, and is a Disney freak and I think we are pretty much the same person......
I would have you know, she testifies with power and authority. She listens to all of our investigators and is able to teach according to their needs because she cares. She has a heart of gold and a desires to do the Lords will.

Her mission will be a success because of this and I am so grateful to have her at my side!!!

We witnessed a miracle just the other day when we went contacting with our Recent Convert Yesi. Yesi, wanted to go contacting with us on San Jose State and so we scheduled about an hour to do so, on campus. After we said our prayer, we walked out of the doors of the institute and didn't even make it 20 feet out the door. Right there walking was young girl and because we do our best to talk with everyone, we said hello!! Sister Riggs bright eyed and bushy tailed was right there with a huge smile. We introduced ourselves, asked her if she knew what the institute was, and asked her if she had some time to learn about what we believed in. Her response was sure!-- slightly surprised but certainly grateful we walked her right inside of the institute, gave her a tour and taught her the Message of the Restoration.
It was a tender mercy given to us but the Lord which helps us understand how much we really do need to talk to everyone! And even while talking to everyone, we need to invite everyone! We need to invite them to church, we need to invite them to listen to what we have to say and ultimate we just need to give them a chance, because we don't know who God is preparing. we just need to have faith that He will lead us to those who are ready to receive this message. I'm grateful Sister Riggs got to experience that, as well as our sweet member Yesi.

I know the Lord has big things for us in this transfer. I pray that we will be worthy to experience such miracles.
This is what I'm ponderizing this week: Mosiah 8:18
"Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore her becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings."

I love this work! And my new companion!!
-Sister Carter