Monday, July 10, 2017

El Finale

Hello there!!
That (my subject) is probably seriously such wrong grammar, but what do you expect from English speaking missionaries haha anyways, here goes!! I literally cannot believe that 18 months has flown by so fast! I honestly don't really know how to feel right now, so as if it is any other week, here is my update ;)

So Monday night just seems to really be our night, but after a super fun pday of spending time around the island with the Karrens and the Winders (our senior couple, and their friends who serve in the YSA right now), Sister Karen said we should take the car for the evening. She was so inspired. It gave us enough time to get over to a certain area of Douglas that would have taken far to long to get to and back from especially on the bus. So we get to this area, and call by some of the investigators we have been trying to make contact with. None of them were in, and we were heading back to the car so we could drop it back off in time to get home still. I glanced at the time, and we had about 5extra minutes. As I looked up, this house kinda just caught my eye for a second, and I thought, "hm.. we should maybe knock that row." But then also my natural man came and thought.. nah. But I was like, that's silly, I am a missionary for heavens sake!! Let's do it! So we do. The first house we knock was the one that had caught my attention. A young girl answered, and we said hello and asked if her parents were home. Her mum comes to the door, and behind her is a man. We introduce ourselves, and he tells us, "yes I know who you are, I am a member.." what?! He asked if we knew a few people, but wouldn't say much about himself, and went back into the other room. When he did, the mum says, "you know, its funny that you came today. Her (pointing at her daughter) dad passed away recently, and today was his birthday. I feel like that's a sign you know? We have been taking a lot lately about heaven, and I feel this comfort and interest lately in faith. I really feel like this is a sign!" We were both so excited, and explained to her that yes, God is aware of her, and that we would love to share with her and her daughter more about His plan for us. As we were leaving, the daughter was asking us our names and was so sweet, and the mum went into the other room, and said to her friends, "Isn't that a sign? I really feel like it is." Since Alexandria (the mum) had company over, we scheduled to see them on Wednesday, when Alexis (the daughter) will be off school as well! We gave them a Plan of Salvation pamphlet to read before we come next!!! What a miracle! The spirit whispers so softly, I almost missed it. But when we need those subtle promptings, miracles are wrought! Evidence, right there :) hoorayyyy!!! 

I can't believe that I have been on my mission for 2 fourth of July's... too crazy! This one was particularly special. We got to welcome our new mission President in via Skype to the multi zone conference happening in Manchester. President and Sister McReynolds are wonderful, and as I sat listening to them speak, I felt the spirit really testify to me that they truly have been called by a prophet of God to serve here right now. They are just what the mission needs. Probably my favourite bit was when President told us that we are all leaders in this mission. Sometimes the culture seems like, oh only the specific leadership callings are the leaders, when actually the characteristics that define leaders, (I.e. humble, obedient, Christ-like, loyal, hard working, pure in heart, trustworthy) should be defined in each and every missionary. That really struck a chord. It made me really think about how my discipleship didn't start when I put on my name tag for the first time, nor does it end when I take it off. My discipleship is tied to the covenants, or promises I have made with God at baptism. The spirit was very strong in this meeting, and even though I got a bit stressed about us being in the picture... (nice one sister Carter...;) it all turned out great!
Then, bless the Holden family, they invited us to tea for our 4th of July feast of pizza and A&W!!! Woo woo!! Haha best American dinner ever!! Love them so much, it was the perfect way to celebrate :) 

It is pretty crazy that the day after America's national holiday, is the Isle of Man's- Tynwald day! We got permission to go down to St Johns, and be amongst the people all off work and school and see this fun event. It was so neat to see all the dignitaries walking up, the women in their hats, men in robes and wigs! What they do is they go onto this layered hill and read out all the laws that have been passed during the past year, first in English, then in Manx. Pretty fun! There were also loads of vikings, or people dressed as vikings, walking around!! The re-enactment was fabulous! They also had a market and sort of festival going on next to the hill. Usually the ward does a booth, but apparently you have to get a slot back in March in order to set one up, and we didn't know about it until it was too late. So instead, we walked with the crowds and talked to those we could. All in all it was a successful and happy day! We met a very nice couple from Australia who have travelled around the world. They asked us about the role of religion in the Isle of Man and in our own lives, and we learned more about their own background. They thanked us for our kindness, and told us we had peaked their interest. They wouldn't accept a BOM, but promised to look at, so we were grateful for that. 

So I think I told you last week about going to Jasmine and Davids, and inviting him to take the missionary discussions, and being soooo stinking excited when he agreed. So we got to go and teach them this week, and the lesson went so well. I didn't know this until after when jasmine told me, but he loves analogies and learns best when they are used, and during the lesson, we used several. The spirit was so strong as we shared the first vision, and I am so excited to hear about how he progresses. The Lord is blessing this area, it it so prepared. She wishes I could be there to continue teaching him, but I know the Lord will take care of things :)

So we were on a bus back down from ramsey, and there was a man sitting behind us that was talking quite loudly to a woman near him. He was asking about the Laxey wheel, and was obviously new to the area. Well, the next day as we were walking to a lesson, we passed by a bus stop, I saw the same man standing there, looking at the time table. He was clearly lost, and I felt we should stop and talk to him. We all recognised each other from the bus the day before, and we told him how to get to where he needed to go. We also talked to him a bit about our call as missionaries, and even invited him to the Karren's surprise goodbye party later that night. He said he would love to come, and also his name is Ahmad. So we were like great see ya! And then guess what?! He came!! And he had so much fun that he came to church the next day as well!!

So we had a goodbye party for the Karrens, and then all three of us gave our departing talks in church. This weekend has been a literal whirlwind. I will get on a ferry at 8am tomorrow to begin my travels to England and the mission Home, and then on to you... it will be a grand old adventure, and I am excited. It is such a bitter sweet time.

I want each of you to know of my love for you and also for my Saviour. I have truly come to know Him these past 18 months. My mission has taught me so much, but I feel one of the most important things is that we must place our trust in Him. The Atonement of Christ can heal all hearts, all wounds, and can lift us higher than we can imagine. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and have felt so privileged to declare His word, and wear His name on my chest this past year and a half. I love the people of Britain, and will miss them very much. But I am also so excited to give you all hugs and laugh together with you! Life is such a wonderful thing. I am so grateful for it. I know that God lives and loves us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all so much, and can't wait to see you in 2... DAYS :D
Bye for now
Sister Carter

Pic: I know I know nothing about HP, but I figure I am leaving England, and this is basically how I feel. So just put my bags in the cart!

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