Monday, July 25, 2016

week #27 Hai dai Hai dai :)

Its pretty funny how you really don't realize how weird the english language is until you have to teach it to people! Also, why are words so hard to define? I am starting to recognize different chinese words, but my favorite is still zhen da ma or REALLEHH?? haha man, i love crazy chinese people <33 I was thinking about it last night, the last thing I thought I'd learn about on my mission was the chinese/taiwanese culture, but nevermind! England is full of surprises! 

THis week has been a bit of a whirlwind, but super good. THEY SUN FINALLY CAME OUT!!! and it was HOT, for us at least. I do think i'm becoming a bit of a wimp, but whatevs ;) 

Exchanges are the best! Oh man, I had so much fun! I got to serve for the day in Man South, which is the best! (it's the area with the mission home and the AP's, office elders,etc. But another great thing about it was serving in a trio! haha sweet sister Menlove (from PASON!! what?!) and Sister Keck (from switzerland, i know!!) are so great- love them! SIster Menlove has been on her mission for 7 weeks, and sister keck just got to the area, so Sis m, bless her, lead us around! She did SO WELL, DANG! she's amazing. I would never have guessed she'd been out that short amount of time. ANYWAYS! we got to go to coordination meeting, and their wml lived in westland ward, SERIOUSLY!! a while ago, but still! And I got to see my old Zone leader who is now an assistant, and other zone leader who is now a delivery elder- friends, yay!! But the whole experience was like a breath of fresh air for me. I really needed it, and the Lord's timing is perfect. I feel very motivated and ready to take on the next year from it! haha nice one :)

This week I also had LEGIT HOT POTS for the first time <3 SUPER GOOD!! April, is basically the best person ever. (also, today is her 5th anniversary of being 18! lols) So pretty much you make a bunch of spicy soup, and put a whole bunch of other stuff into it as you go- ie to fu, cabbage, potatoes, seaweed (hai dai), hamburger, etc! you just throw it in whenever you want, and pull whatever out of the pot you want! It was so good, and I have never eaten so much! haha

The people we are teaching are so brill! Zoe is preparing to be baptized on Thursday!! I pray she can keep her date! and Anna- she is so prepared. We taught her tithing yesterday, and she goes, "so if I don't have an income, can I still pay tithing?!" And was asking how to pay, when, where... just she is fantastic! But i have to say, one of the best things, best moments as a missionary is when an investigator comes to church (acer) for the first time, and they sing (acer!!. it is so sweet to hear them try to match the pitches and follow along. Acer is our newest investigator, and man, he is so sincere! life is good in the ysa!

I feel so grateful to be here! I forgot my camera last week on pday, like I said, but we went to this museum, i think like the museum of natural history? right by manchester university aka across the street from the chapel. It was so crazy! They had a real mummy!! YOU COULD ACTUALLY SEE THE HUMAN!!! (corpse) AAAAA it was super fun though, just looking at all of the stuff they had there! I know! Geek status, but museums are bomb, ok? bueno.

We moved in with the other sisters!! 4 sister flat!!! SO FUN!! and we also have a permanent mega bed! haha it's the only way that they will all fit in there!! haha I love it! the elders got kicked out of their flat, and I wasn't going to say anything, but our last flat was rubbish.... haha sorry elders! they live there now. hah! 

yes, they call Manchester YSA the land of never ending street displays, and it is not a lie. Ethan, in answer to your question, yes. We usually have a banner, and a table with a display on it, like a bunch of BOMs and pamphlets, or a whiteboard with inspired questions, or whatever! In my past areas we would make quite a fuss about them, making lots of preparations, but here, we just go. haha oh, two companionships are finding right now? great! St display! haha you have to do it in an area with a high concentration of people, and high traffic (aka manchester) and man, graduation makes things even more interesting! It's been going on for 2 weeks!! so everyone is like, oh no sorry, not only am I in a rush, but I'm also just here for the day for graduation... Dahh! haha jk it's great! I met a chinese man, James, who came to our sports night, SUCCESS!!

I just feel super blessed and happy and calm, and I am so grateful! life is good. My testimony continues to best tested and stretched, but it's just like working out. your muscles have to break down to grow stronger, just like your faith. As it is pushed to the limit, as it is tried, it grows. It becomes solid and deeply ingrained. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the path we must follow to return to our Father in Heaven. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that Heavenly Father is keenly aware of each one of us. every day, every choice we make, He knows. He hears every prayer, and He wants us to be eternally happy. We must trust His will and His timing. Keep going yall!! And speaking of pioneer day, we are all pioneers. Be an example, and never fear (Ethan, just invite them to an activity, help them become friends with church people, and invite them and invite them.)

I love you all!!!! 
Sister Carter

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Monday, July 18, 2016

week #25: Making my move to MANCHESTER

Hola mi familia,

Thank you all so much for all the updates! I feel like things are going really well, and SO FUN ABOUT FAYE'S BLESSING!!! Dad, that story was huuuularious!!! ah man, good stuff! 
Wow wowowowww ok, so it's been a bit of a crazy week, like CRAZY!! I've had high energy knowing that transfers were coming, and I had no idea what to expect. But i just kept plugging along as usual. We taught Pat and Gordan again, which was so good. I love them!! Man, it was just a really great week, we found a bunch of young Filipino girls who were interested in learning more about the gospel, YAY! they were all so cute, and were so interested in what we do and teach. We also got to teach Molly, which was great- I don't really know how that will go from now on, but I'll come back to that!
Some of the fun stuff that happened:
- Wales is ROcKING it in the football tournament. They havent played in over 50 years, so this is a BIG DEAL. BIG. and you can tell cuz you can hear... and I must say my welsh pride is up there... haha LOVE IT!!
- Stereophonics, a band, came and had a concert in Wrexham on Saturday and there were so many people, but it was also fun to street contact with background music ;)

So we were having our lunch on Saturday and the phone rings. Sister Steele answers it, and it's President Ulrich. Ok.... that can only mean a few things at transfer time... So we were both just like... HOLY MOLY.. So he asks to talk to her one on one, and of course I was eavesdropping/crying as he asked to her TRAIN next transfer!!! DAHHHH MY BABY IS GUNNA BE A MOMMAA!!! SO WEIRD!! hahaha that is an amazing feeling, just overwhelming peace and comfort knowing that I succeeded in my efforts to train her. She is such an amazing missionary, and I just know she's gunna have so much fun, and GROWWW.... dang. Buuuuuttt as crazy and exciting as that was, I was freaking out, cuz she is training in Wrexham, so I was like... im obviously leaving... but WHERE TOOOOO???????

Sunday comes, and I know i won't be there, so I gave my departing testimony, how convenient fast sunday was! But man.... how sad. I love wrexham. it is a hard area, but man oh man i love it. the people there just love you, and saying bye was so hard. Mandy, one of my all time favorite people ever, told me that everyone in the ward really does love me, but told me that I will be missed. it's crazy how much that means. It just hit me in that moment how grateful I am that I started my mission in this area. Wow. I feel incredibly blessed. So much growth happened there.
But then, after church and a baptismal service for one of my favorite primary children, we got the calllll.... and they told me, " Sister Carter, you are hereby called to serve in the MANCHESTER YSA AREA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" DAHHHHHHHaDAHAHAHDAHDHHHHHH hahaha hooooollllyyyy mollllyyyy i'm in downtown Manchester! Can you believe it?!!! I am ridiculously excited (and scared and nervous), but mostly excited!! 
I got to go on exchange with SIster walker in stockport- she is my sister literally, Sister Harp also trained her. She is amazing, and is sadly going homee.... dying... dah. but she is amazing. and it was suuuuch a blessing to serve with her even for just one night. We met up at the YSA building here in man city. it's legit. It has 5 floors, all with something different- chapel, baptistry, kitchen, etc. and then we went out and did work- they call it "riding the ox"... it's street contacting up and down oxford road!! haha crazy! this is so foreign to me!!! And all of the other missionaries, including sweet Sis. Hu, my new companion, speak Mandarin! MOM YOU WERE RIGHT!!! Except she's from taiwan, not china! man this is insane!! I am so excited!
I love you all and hope that you have a super good week!!!
Sister Carter

Week #26: My oh my, this american SISTER

I literally had to write out all of the things I wanted to write about this week! My brain is just a whole jumble of stuff!! I need a HOW TO DE-CLUTTER YOUR BRAIN book! But it's so great as well cuz it's all good stuff, all uplifting, so hey, no worries! haha  ;)
Life here is great, I am happy, keeping busy, finding, and teaching. I feel very close to my Heavenly Father, and I have seen His hand so much in my life lately. He just reaches out to me when I least expect it. I feel so grateful. How amazing it is that I get the chance to help other people to learn of Him and come closer to Him. To see His hand in their lives.
ok. So yes, manchester is just a bit different from Wrexham, Surprise!! (get that corn outta mah face). But we had a street display in Piccadilly gardens on Saturday, and I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MANY PEOPLE AHHHH!! haha I was seriously like, I don't even know what to do right now. But I said a prayer, and after, just spotted one person who I could speak with. I continued to do that throughout the display, and I had the courage necessary to share our message. AKA I can do hard things! haha so crazy! But I have a firm testimony that as I do what I am supposed to, miracles will come. So i noticed that even though I didn't have  a ton of success at the street display, my efforts allowed for the Elders to have people literally walk up to them and ask for a Book of Mormon! YEAH! So it works!
We had an amazing zone conference this week. President had a returned missionary speak to us about key indicators, which is like the numbers we report each week. His words were literally for me. He is a finance person, so naturally I was like, yoooo yessss! and he was saying how it bothered him when people would say that numbers didn't matter ( which that bothers me as well), because they DO. I can work smarter and harder. He talked about ANALYZING how our previous weeks have gone and from that set goals for the next week!! dUHH I just ate it up! And I had though about it before, he was just able to lay it out. How two key indicators compared together from this week and previous weeks can show me how well I am finding, or teaching, or whatever the case may be for each number! I was just like, WOWWWW!!! Yep, the Church is true! But yeah, it was a super good meeting, and I feel very excited and rejuvenated after it all!Inline image 1
So basically Bishop Roberts and I are best friends! haha no i feel super grateful for all the valuable lessons I learned in wrexham. I knew coming into this area that in order to have success here, we as missionaries needed the trust of the members and especially the bishop. We all met with him on thursday, and I guess I made an impression or something because YAY he asked me to speak in sacrament meeting on Sunday! haha No I was able to ask him what his expectations were for us here, and I think he appreciated that. But I was also grateful for the talk assignment- I feel like I always learn more that I actually am able to say in the talk. I was able to share about my missionary experiences from before my mission and what I have learned from them that I have applied into my mission now. I felt a lot of inspiration for the talk, and used a lot of the talk from this past conference, " the greatest leaders are the Greatest followers" (probably one of my all time favorites!). I just love being here, I have already grown so much!!! The bishop had us all over for lunch yesterday as well with our investigators and recent converts! It was super fun!
We are teaching some great people who I love right now! Louise and Zoe are referrals from Joanna our recent convert! And they are so cute and sweet! they are very prepared, and we can teach them simply. 
I wish I had more funny or crazy stories to tell- I'm realizing now how much of my stories come fropm tracting, which we don't do here!!! DANG IT!!! haha Pick your battles, am i right? haha
I love this work. I love the gospel. I have such a strong love for my family- I love and appreciate you all so much. Thank you for supporting me, for helping me keep focused, and for your prayers. I feel them every day. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I know this is the Lord's work. Christ Lives. He loves you. He loves me.
Also, Falafil is so good.
Sorry I forgot my camera at home..... NOOOOOO!!
I love you all!
Sister Carter