Monday, June 26, 2017

IOM Missionaries go to England!

Hello wonderful people!
So this was a very abnormal week, as you will see, but we still worked as hard as we could with the time we had. I have a great feeling about these next few weeks, we are really going to sprint.

That's right!! After 4 months, i got to go back to the main land! What an exciting thing :) I must admit, it was a bit of an inner battle though because we lost time to teach our people, but we were very grateful for the opportunity to go to the temple and to the farewell multi zone meeting for President and Sister Ulrich. I love them both so much, and I am so grateful for their impact on me. 
We caught the ferry on Tuesday afternoon. The Karrens had their car, and had us go up and save seats for us all, only neither one of us knew much about the boat, so we basically ran and sat wherever we could find a table. And ended up in the bar area... oops! We all had a laugh about it, by the time they got on, it was too packed in the family area to find spots. Oh well! Missionary opportunities. We sailed into the docks of Liverpool(!!!) and it was such a special experience to look out the window, and think, my ancestors were here not too long ago. The docks were lovely, it was so fun to see the big classic looking buildings, and then the Liver bird on top- what a sight! Also, it was significantly warmer in England. Yep. 
We got to go stay in Manchester with the YSA (yay!! Visiting old areas!) sisters, except they were on exchange our first night, so we had the flat to ourselves, woohoo! Haha we went to bed asap. It was so exciting though, to be in Manchester, aw I love that place. In the morning for exercise, I took sister Wamsley around the city a bit as we ran, including the YSA building.
Another reason we came over was to have our interviews with President. It was such a powerful meeting, and I felt so strongly a love and closeness to President and Sister Ulrich. I know that God had us serve here together. We knew each other before this life, and I have learned so much from them. He helped me set some goals for my transition to returning home. Once again, so grateful. 
The departing missionaries all got to go through a session in the temple with the Ulrich's, plus Sister Wamsley- I was soooo glad and grateful she could come. It was a bit odd to be around SO MANY MISSIONARIES after not seeing any in person since April... huh?!! So it was helpful to have her there. But what an amazing experience that was. I felt the love of my Father in Heaven as I spent this time in His house.
It was a long day, but also so fun to be in Chorley, one of my other previous areas! But we were quite exhausted when we got back into Manchester. Sister Ho screamed and got so excited when she opened the door, what a greeting! Aw! We were boiling in their flat, we really were not expecting the heat! Haha but literally no complaints, we need the warmth! Bless!
Thursday morning we woke up and headed to another of my beloved areas, man south, for the multi zone conference. Right when I got there, President Ulrich pulled me aside, and gave me a beautiful gift of a medallion with the EMM crest on it. So nice. And we then enjoyed such a powerful meeting. The spirit was so strong, and we heard incredible testimonies. The Lord definitely had a part in having us there, my own conviction of the truthfulness of Christ's Gospel was strengthened, and that Joseph Smith truly is a prophet of God. It was not easy to say goodbye to my mission parents, but I know that as as I keep my loyalty to the Lord, the future will be bright.

It took a minute to realise, oh we are back, ok let's ok, but a minutes all. We went and saw all of our people and made sure we had appointments set with them all. We invited Leanne to come to church, and she said she would love to. We also spent some time knocking and street contacting. One of these spurts of knocking led us to a certain door, that when we looked up from it, we saw a plaque. It told us that the bee gees grew up in this house.... what!?? Who knew? Haha crazy, it looked just like any other normal terrace house. Sadly when our good friend jasmine went to pick up Leanne for church, a man came to the door ( we have no idea who it could have been) and told her that Leanne would not be coming... devastation. Noooo. We will keep trying. We got a call from our STL last night, and she really gave us a huge boost. She told us that she has faith that we are going to find a kingdom builder in these next few weeks who will be a strong member and lift the Douglas ward. I pray and have faith in this as well.

I am so grateful for every minute this week. Ups and downs are great. Thank you for all of your encouraging emails, I love to see how the Lord is touching each of your lives as He is mine. I have been pondering on Alma's words to his son in Helaman in Alma 36. After he shares His conversion story, I love his words in verse 24: "Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost." The true conversion that comes from repenting is incredible. I know that these words are true, and I have felt much the same as Alma. I have this same desire to bring souls to repentance, not for a number or recognition for myself, but so that THEY can be filled with that exceeding joy I have felt as well as many before me. I love the gospel and I love my Saviour. 

I love you all, and pray for you every day. Keep going!!
Sister Carter xx

Departing temple trip


IOM missionaries over the past year

Monday, June 12, 2017

Missionary Work at Full Speed

Hello my lovelies!
So this week was intense! We had been pretty worried that we work would kind of slow down, slash we didn't really know WHAT to expect with all this TT madness, but the Lord truly blessed us SO much. We were able to keep busy, and met so many new people to teach. He is pouring out the blessings, and our work actually has been speeding up, not even slightly hindered by all of the bikers, YAY!!! :D
Also, I was inspired by the way my wonderful companion writes her emails, so i followed her example this week. It will be a bit longer, so if you don't want to read the whole thing, don't worry, you can skip down to the pics ;)


On Friday this week was the final race of the TT they call it the "Senior race" they make it a bank holiday so everyone has off work and everything! Haha it's intense. Our ward mission leader took us to catch a bit of it with the senior couple. At one point he asked us if we wanted to go to the "scary spot" and we were like umm sure! Haha so he took us down to an opening in the hedge where you can be close to the road and watch the bikes pass! Oh my goodness, they were passing us at about 130 mph and we were right close it was craaazzzyyy! They took some good pictures of us! 

On Wednesday this week we were down in a place called Castletown visiting iris. A less active couple lives down there and the wife has had a couple strokes recently so we wanted to take them some soup and let them know we were thinking about them. We got down and realised we had forgotten the soup so no big deal we ran to the shop to get some. We got to their house and brother Clarke answered the door AND WOULDN'T TAKE OUR DANG SOUP! We were like no but really this is for you, and he still wouldn't take it. Haha we were really confused, so we decided to put it on their neighbours doorstep with a card. Hope they needed it! 

okay so on Monday (Pday) me and sister Wamsley did something no missionary has ever done before... We forgot to plan our evening... (From 6-9 on Monday nights we proselyte) it was a bad mistake and won't happen again don't worry. But it's a good thing we are so blessed. As we were trying to know what to do we both decided we should go call by these certain less actives. We get to the area and it's pouring rain and we were feeling kind of just blah, we both had things on our minds and were just having a weird evening, as we started to walk I saw a penny on the ground and instantly knew it was for me! We kept walking and ended up on the wrong street but we didn't know, so we knocked where we thought the less active lived and found Leanne! She said she was busy at the moment but set a time for us to come back the next day! Then we went and made contact with the less active we were trying to find, and on our way back I found another penny. It was just another "it's all going to be okay" moment. I was so grateful at this point! We decided to go and call by another less active who we made contact with and set a return appointment, and on our way out of her neighbourhood we met Michael! He was walking his neighbours dog and said we can try to catch he and his partner in on Sunday! What a night! I am grateful for the spirit guiding us and giving us the strength we needed! I know not planning for the evening is a no no but in our case we needed it. Faith is something so easy to talk about but just a little more difficult to have. We are blessed with these "you got this" moments, even if it is just finding pennys on the ground and two new investigators and some less actives to help, it helps us to increase our faith. To know that God is aware of each one of us! 

On Tuesday we had Zone Meeting. I am currently in the Liverpool zone but because we are in the middle of the ocean we get to Skype in. Haha it's an interesting experience. It was a good meeting though! We talked a lot about the power of our calling as missionaries and how we can magnify it! We had a short testimony meeting at the end where we shared our "beliefs." It's always great to get to share your testimony.

On Tuesday we did some tracting and found few new friends! (We try not to tract a lot here because everywhere has been done, but we felt like we should today) they both had the question of "Why if all this tragedy is happening in the world would God exist?"  Both of us were like we know the answer! We explained about Gods plan for each of us and set a return appointment to teach them more! 

On Thursday we taught Peter the Gospel of Jesus Christ! We taught him at the sea terminal which was so funny because it was raining sooooo hard and everyone took cover there so it was packed, but all was well. We talked to him about how faith in Jesus Christ leads us to repent which then leads us to make commitments and covenants with God and as we do so God promises blessings back to us! We are the given the Holy Ghost which then assists us in enduring to the end! We are so blessed to have these steps to help us! He understood it all and had a lot of questions as usual! He is going a little slower than we hope but that's okay. He really internalises what we teach him which is nice! 

We went and saw iris two times this week! We would sit and talk with her for a bit and then share a spiritual thought. On Wednesday we talked about how God is waiting to pour His blessings on us and often is we just have to recognise them! 

We taught Shioban on Saturday this week and talked to her about scripture study and how we can improve. Because she is just learning the Book of Mormon she often reads it side by side with the children's Book of Mormon which has helped her so much! In the Ensign for this month there is an article that gives ideas on how to make our scripture study more meaningful specifically by asking inspired questions. I love it! By having a question to ask as you read helps you really find the "gems" in the Book of Mormon. I have been trying to really have a taste of my own medicine by applying this same process into my own personal studies throughout the week, like "what does God want me to learn from this?" As I read in Alma 23, I realised one thing I can learn is true repentance. The anti-nephi-Lehi's buried their weapons of rebellion, and never dug them back up. Have I fully repented and changed my heart, or do I sometimes pick my weapons of rebellion back up? 

I had been praying all week that we might be able to have an investigator at sacrament meeting, some of your reading this who have served in other missions may be shocked by this, but it can be really thought to get just the one there. Other times it's a flood, but ya know. Anyways! I had been praying for this specifically, and put my faith in the Lord that He could make this happen. We sat there ready for the meeting to start, we had done all we could: Given invitations, wake up calls, etc. But still nobody was there. About 2 minutes before the meeting began, in walked a member, with her non member husband! We have been trying to begin teaching him for a while. I know that this was an answer to my prayer, and such a sweet tender mercy from the Lord.

Okay so we met Michael on Monday and he told us to come back on Sunday so we did! I think people sometimes don't think that we will actually show back up haha it was all good though they let us in! We hadn't met his wife before so we sat down and started talking to them. Carrie was very sceptical of us. She kept trying to ask us questions to get us stuck but when we could answer them she was like "ohh that makes sense" we had a really good conversation with them both! At one point Carrie was just like "well then so is your whole purpose to just make people Mormon?" We answered that our whole purpose as missionaries is to "invite others to come into Christ" we are here trying to bring people closer to their Saviour, to help them develop or strengthen their relationship with God. If that ends up meaning they become "Mormon" then that's a bonus ;) I think it helped them to see that we are normal people, that we don't have multiple wives and are not a cult. That our whole purpose is to work towards and try to become like Jesus Christ by following His example. We are going back this week to teach them the plan of salvation! So exciting :)

It has been a fab week, and I am so incredibly grateful for all of these amazing people. I am also so thankful for the many evidences that God has given me lately of His love for me, and awareness of me. He is showering down blessings even heavier than the rain :) I love Him, and I love this Gospel.
Hope you all have a fab week!
Sister Carter

One of the members took videos and pictures of us in the scary spot #blessed
pictures with our fav YSA hannah and katelyn :)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Life is short, eat dessert first!

Hiya fam!
Literally my subject line has been true for this week in sooo many
ways, but particularly today when we got hungry up at the grandstand
and got donuts (reminded me so much of nana's I was dying!!) before
our lunch!! Haha I am so sorry sister popa, my sugar fast days have
ended... #sixweekstoenjoyenglishsweets
I cannot say thank you enough for all of your words of encouragement
and love this week. They have meant so much! Haha it is good to know
that I'm not forgotten.. most of the time ;) I feel so blessed to have
amazing friends and family who care so much. Cheers!
It has been a super fun and interesting week. I will say that I have
never felt more conspicuous in my whole life!! This is not a crowd
that sister missionaries blend into, we stick out like sore thumbs!
Haha where's my leathers when I need um? There are people here from
literally all around the world, and most of the time I can't
understand what they are saying. You also have the mix of the old
classic Harley type riders, but also the new up and coming racing
riders as well.. then you got the tourists... then you have us!! Haha
it is crazy! And so fun! But I have never gotten so many funny looks
in my whole life from literally everyone! Bless us.. aw but yes, we
are still sharing the gospel in every way we can. We went up near the
grandstand earlier in the week, and met this man and his cute family.
He was super nice, and helped us to meet some riders and things, we
spoke to him about why we are here, and how we are missionaries. He
had to go though all of a sudden, maybe a race started, can't
remember. But then the next night we were up in another part of the
island, and "randomly" bumped into him again. This time, without his
family, he was able to ask more questions. Turns out his cousin was a
member who actually passed several years ago here. We gave him a Book
of Mormon, and he gratefully accepted it. We will go see him again
after the TT. Literally the only bad thing about TT is how busy the
locals are during it... so everyone tells us to come back in 2 weeks.
But no worries :)
We have invited several of our investigators to be baptised, the most
promising is peter. We are really excited about him. We were able to
ask why he has this desire to know these things are true for himself.
He told us that he doesn't feel he has a clear direction in life. He
also sees the good that religion has done for his sister, so we were
able to really establish expectations for him, and help him to see
that this will truly bless his life so much. Keep praying for him!
We found out that iris has this super cute rabbit, rocky, he is a
dwarf bunny thing, and is soooo cute! His face is all smushed in and
cute. We have been serving her in her garden, hoovering her carpets,
and just helping her. Her heart is softening. Love her!
I love being here, I love being a missionary. I have seen many
miracles throughout this week, and have hope for more to come. Thanks
for your prayers and love!
Have a fab week friends!!
Sister Carter xx

This is only the beginning.. lots more bikes to come!
 This is the Marsh's in our ward, they are top scrutineers for the races, nice one. xx