Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My first Baptisim

Hey Everyone! Hope all is well with each of you!

Man this week has been so great! I have learned so much and witnessed some awesome miracles.

So to start off what I have been learning.  This transfer I have made it a goal to learn the first 5 principles of the gospel better.  My goal is to cover one each week, read about it in preach my gospel and then study the scriptures about that topic.  This week I have been studying faith.  I feel like I have already studied this a lot before my mission and on this mission but I still learned so much more!  Most of my studies this week were focused in Ether 12 and Hebrews 11.  Both of these chapters talk all about faith, what it is, what it isn't, and how faith can bless us if we exercise it.  One of the things that really stuck out to me this week as I was studying was how faith and missionary work are connected.  As a missionary I teach so many different people and it is pretty safe to say that the majority of the people we talk to aren't really all that interested.  With this it is easy to get in the mind set sometimes that this is how it is going to be with everyone you talk to.  As I was studying it really hit me at how this type of thinking is the exact opposite of faith!  In Ether it talks about how many people were converted among the Nephites and Lamanites, not because of their desires or not how good the teaching was or any of that. They were converted because of the faith that these missionaries had.  They had the faith that the message they were sharing was directly from God and that because of that it had the power to change the hearts of men.  It was a good reminder to me that the faith I have in God and His word has a direct correlation to the conversion of the hearts of the people I teach.  Because of this I want to work all that much harder to study the scriptures and the word of God so that I can strengthen my faith. I know that as I do this I will see so many more miracles during my time on the mission.

Okay so now one of the miracles I saw this week that demonstrates how the Lord is working with his people.  So my companion found this lady, Myra, a couple of weeks back who seemed awesome but then we could not get in contact with her.  Finally we got a hold of her and it turns out she had been pretty sick. She was feeling better though so she invited us over and we started teaching her.  The first lesson we had with her she said yes to a soft baptismal invitation (basically if she finds out it is true would she be baptized).  Then when we went over for the second lesson she had been reading the Book of Mormon and accepted an actual date in March! She talked about how she wants this in her life and how she has been waiting for this.  It was amazing to see how much the word of God touched her and how he had prepared her for us to share the message of the gospel with her.

To end the week I was able to return to Manteca to attend the baptism of Benito last night.  It was so wonderful to see him enter the waters of baptism and to take that first step in becoming closer to God.  He bore a short and simple testimony about how grateful he was for the missionaries that kept coming for the last two and half years and also about how happy he felt.  You could feel the spirit so strongly and see how much the gospel has already changed his life.  I am so excited for him and his wife to now be on that path where they can start preparing to go to the temple next year.  Once again I was reminded about how this is the Lord's work and how He is working with the hearts of God's children to prepare them for this path.

I know with all of my heart that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is here on the earth and that it can be found within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I know that when we follow the teachings found therein and strive to make and keep covenants with God that we experience so much joy and peace in our lives.  I am so grateful to be here in California sharing this message with God's children and I feel so humble that the Lord has trusted me with this work.

I hope all of you will always strive to keep the covenants you have made with God and if there are some you have not made to prepare yourselves to make them!  Also I hope each of you will take the opportunity this week to study those two chapters I talked about and learn more about faith and the blessings that are in store when we exercise it!

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!


Hermana Carpenter

p.s. the pictures are of Benito's baptism, he is in the middle, and the other is of some ducks that decided to take a swim in the pool the other day.  We had to scare them off though because I was worried that the chlorine would hurt them. Anyway, hope you enjoy them!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Greetings from Stockton!

Hello everyone!

I made it to Stockton and am just working on getting settled in.  Things here are definitely different and a lot more ghetto but they are good!  My companion Hermana Shawcroft is awesome.  She is such a hard worker and I know I have a lot I can learn from her this transfer.

So this week has been made up of a lot of contacting during the day and appointments at night.  Right now a lot of the investigators here are kind of at a standstill  so one thing we have been talking about a lot is how we can help them to progress.  We know that at the root of it is lack of a testimony.  This being the case we have both been trying to figure out how we can help our investigators to gain there own testimonies.  In doing this we really have just gone back to the basics of the restoration about reading the scriptures, praying, and than acting.  I know that it is through these three things that we can gain the personal revelation we all need to grow our testimonies of the Savior, Joseph Smith, and of the Gospel.  I am so grateful for the gift of revelation that God has given to His children and for the opportunity that we have to receive direct answers for ourselves, for our families, and the Prophet for all of God's children.  Without this revelation we would be going through this life in darkness.  The sad thing is that so many people in this world are in this darkness because they don't know about revelation or how to receive it. 

I know thought that like Moroni 10:3-5 says, when we pray to got with true intent, exercising faith in Christ (which means action on our parts like reading the scriptures, going to church, keeping the commandments, ect.) that God will reveal the truth of all things unto us.  I have seen this over and over again in my life and I know that it is because of this revelation that I am where I am today and have the peace and joy that I feel in my life each and everyday.  Through this revelation I know for myself that I have a Heavenly Father that knows me and loves me and blesses me.  I know that he has restored His church to the earth once more through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today, President Thomas S. Monson., and that if we follow his teachings we will be closer to God and to the Savior. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that when we read it we can continue to feel God's love and receive more revelation.  

To me it is so amazing that we can have that personal communication with God and I really want to be a better missionary and help as many of God's children as I can to experience that blessing in their own lives.  

I hope that each one of you are doing those daily things each day to keep those channels of communication with God continually flowing.  I know that if we do we can have more peace and joy in our lives!

I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!


Hermana Carpenter

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Transfer Week!

Hey everyone!

So this week is transfer week and I found out yesterday that I am being transferred to the Delta South 1st Area in the Stockton Zone...Let me first say that this came as a complete shock to me because President Jardine had told me that I was most likely staying in my area so I had not mentally prepared myself at all!  I'll be honest when the Zone Leader asked me if I would accept the call the first thing I wanted to say is "No, I have a baptism in two weeks, this area is already suffering because we haven't been able to really work here for over two weeks and I am all ready to get back to work full time here!"  However the more sensible part of me overcame that thought with the thought that "These calls are made by revelation from God and that if that is where He wants me then that is where I need to go", so instead of saying no I said yes. Anyway so today I get to run around packing everything up and saying goodbye to as many people as I can, which won't be many since all three of use are leaving and my companions want to see people in Tracy as well. 

Needless to say, I am better today than I was last night.  My emotions are mixed but I do know that right now Stockton is where I need to be and that there are people there waiting for me.  One of my companions now Hermana Cavasos, is taking over the Manteca area so I at least know that Benito is in good hands and with someone he knows at least a little bit. I also know that I will be able to come back for the baptism which is good.  I know that everything will work out and I am just trying really hard to have a good attitude.

Benito is doing great though and right on track for his baptism.  Everything is set and they even announced it in church on Sunday.  It is awesome to see his desire to learn more and more grow.  He started reading the Book of Mormon this week from the beginning and I am excited to hear some of the experiences He has from it.  I love the Book of Mormon and I love how much I learn each time I read it.  Right now I am reading about Captain Moroni and I am just so amazed at the courage and strength he has.  I hope that I can apply some of the boldness he has in my own life and continue to improve myself in continually standing up for truth and righteousness.  I hope that all of you are taking the time to read from the Book of Mormon each day. I know that as we do we can have the spirit with us more fully!

Love you all.  Have a great week!


Hermana Carpenter 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Zone Conference

Hola Everyone!!

I hope that everyone has had a great week this week!

So this last week I had my first real zone conference and it was great!  I love being able to get together with other missionaries and get to know who it is I am serving with.  I also look forward to any opportunity I can get to learn how I can be a better missionary.  This conference the focus was on the scriptures and using them to teach the doctrine.  It was really cool to be able to see why it is so important that we are using the scriptures to teach our investigators.  I love in "Preach my Gospel" where it tells us that using the scriptures gives us authority as missionaries. When we are using the scriptures our investigators are able to see and feel that what we are teaching is the word of God and not just some mumbo jumbo that we are asking them to do.  The scriptures truly are what lead us to becoming truly converted.  When we study the scriptures we invite the spirit and He is able to testify to us of the truths and then our desire to apply what we learn grows.  It has been cool to already see the difference in my teaching as I have worked to apply that this week.  The word of God speaks for itself!

Benito is still progressing greatly as well which is awesome! We taught him the Law of Chastity this week and the Word of Wisdom.  That is the first time I have actually taught those lessons and to be quite honest I had it easy because minus coffee he is already keeping both of them and even with Coffee he had no problems with having to stop.  We will check up on him this week but I know that he will be fine.  He always says that he can do anything he put's his mind to and I believe it.  I really am just so excited for him to be baptized and receive the priesthood and be able to start working with his wife to go to the temple next year!  

This week I also had a cool experience as I was teaching with Hermana Torres this past week in Tracy.  We were teaching a lesson to their investigator and he was talking about some of the stuff he had been through the last couple of months (he was in a really bad car accident and is still recovering).  He was talking pretty fast though and it was our last lesson of the night so I was tired and my Spanish brain just wasn't working all that well so I was struggling to understand what exactly he was saying.  I knew he was kind of repeating himself and that he was talking about difficulties and about his accident but that was about it.  However I was trying hard to listen to him and then I got this strong feeling that I needed to testify once he was done talking but like I said I really didn't know what he was saying so I had no idea what it was he needed to hear.  I kept listening though and the thought kept coming to my mind that I needed to testify.  As he was wrapping up I said a little prayer that Heavenly Father would help me to say what he needed to hear and that I wouldn't sound like I didn't understand him.  When he paused for us to talk I glanced at Hermana Torres (who is fluent by the way) and went for it. I ended testifying that everything he went through happened for a reason and that Heavenly Father has a plan for him and that because of the Savior and through the Gospel of Jesus Christ this life isn't the end and that we can be with our families forever.  Anyway so we wrapped up, gave commitments and then left.  Once we were in the car Hermana Torres told me about the experience she had at that same time.  She was listening and could understand him but when she started to think about what she should say when he stopped talking she just drew a blank and felt like she shouldn't talk.  She then had the impression that she needed to pray for me.  That is what she did.  She said a prayer that I could understand what he was saying and that I would know what to say.  I didn't understand really what he was saying but when the moment came it was put into my mind and heart what I needed to say and after Hermana Torres said that it sounded like I knew exactly what he had been saying and that if she had been able to think of what to say that she would have said the same thing to him.  Anyway it was really awesome to see the unity we had as companionship in that lesson and how through following the spirit we were able to tell this man what Heavenly Father needed him to hear.  I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost and how miracles truly happen when we follow the promptings we receive.

Anyway, I am loving serving the Lord's children and am so glad that I am where I am right now!  I know that I am where the Lord want's me to be and am helping His children in more ways than I think I will ever realize.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!


Hermana Carpenter

p.s. California is the best...it has been clear skies and in the high 60's/low 70's all week long! Hope you guys aren't too cold back there in Utah!

Me and Hermana Torres at zone conference

Me and Hermana Moffett my sister training leader during exchanges on Saturday