Monday, March 30, 2015

Temple Trip & Women's Conference


Man, what a wonderful week this week has been! Transfers went smoothly, and although I miss Hermana Shawcroft dearly my new companion Hermana Ka'a'a is awesome too!  She is from Hawaii and has been out just one transfer more than me.  I am excited for this because I know it means I will grow a lot this transfer as far as the language goes.  Her Spanish is great but we are definitely more on the same playing field which has helped me to step up to the plate instead of letting my companion do more of the talking.  I am really excited for this transfer.  I have a feeling it is going to be great!

So the temple last week was great as it always is.  Before we went Sister Jardine, the Presidents wife, challenged us to focus on the commandments given to Eve in the garden and along with that I wanted to learn more about my divine role as a women in God's plan.  It was amazing how much insight I gained in how precious and how important God's daughters are in his plan for happiness.  It makes me want to work even harder to be that daughter that he want's me to be so that I can fulfill my purpose in this life and reach my fullest potential.  I'm so grateful to have a temple in my mission and to be able to go, even if it is only every other transfer!

Women's conference was also awesome! I think my favorite part was when Bonnie L. Oscarson talked about homemakers.  I loved how she talked about how the word homemaker is not to be reserved only for women that are full-time, stay-at-home moms.  As wonderful and needed as those women are there are so many more that can't or aren't supposed to fit that mold.  There are so many wonderful women out there each with something wonderful and unique to offer her family and the rest of the world.  I loved that she said that each one of us should be homemakers, men and women, in the sense that we are to make a home where the spirit can dwell and that is focused on Christ.  These are the homes we need now more than ever in this crazy world and each one of us is responsible for contributing to that home! I am so grateful for all that I am learning here on the mission because I know that it will be a blessing to me and my family one day as I strive, with my husband, to create that type of home.  I am so grateful for families and for the call for us to stand up and defend them.  They are at the center of God's plan and that will never change!  My challenge to each one of you is to think about one thing you can change or start doing in your home that will strengthen the family and invite the spirit to dwell there.  I know that as we do this our families will be strengthened and our abilities to bless other families who may be struggling will increase!

Also I just have to take a moment to brag about our 14 year old investigator who is waiting to be baptized.  She is amazing!  The last couple of weeks we have been talking to her about missionary work and about how important it is to share the gospel.  We talked to her about how it doesn't have to be some huge soul bearing experience but just a simple invitation to come to an activity, or to come to church.  Anyway, so the day before as we were talking her to make sure she was going to come to the Broadcast (we also had a service activity before) she informed us that she had invited TWO of her friends to come!! Only one of them ended up being able to come, but from that we were able to have a church tour with this girl and invite her and her family to listen to the missionary discussions to which she agreed.  What a wonderful experience it was to see member, or rather investigator, missionary work in action.  I wonder to myself why I wasn't doing more of this before my mission?!  I can't wait until I can get home and be that member.  She is such an example to me!

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


Hermana Carpenter

Me and my Companion Hermana K'a'a'a

Sacramaneto Temple

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Transfer week!

Hey everyone!

So I don't have too much time to write this week because of transfers and also because I am going to the temple today!

I haven't been to the temple since before Christmas so I am so excited to get to be going, especially with conference right around the corner. Not being able to go to the temple on a regular basis is definitely something I have missed her on the mission and something I will not take for granted when I get home.  We are so blessed there in Utah to have temples so close to us.  I love the renewal of strength and the learning I receive each time I go to the temple.  I hope that all of you will take the opportunity to go before conference, especially if it has been a while since you have gone.  I know that as you do you will be more prepared for the messages we will receive from the Lord at General conference.

So this week is transfer week.  I will be staying in Stockton but Hermana Shawcroft will be leaving.  I am going to miss that girl! She has taught me so much.  My new companion is going to be Hermana Kaaa.  I am excited to get to work with her!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!


Hermana Carpenter

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Apostle #2: Elder David A. Bednar

Hey there everybody!!

So this week has been so much better than the last week.  The people have been a lot less difficult and also I think my attitude has been better.  I don't know what the deal was the week before.  Oh and also I had the opportunity to learn from and meet an apostle of the Lord which was pretty great too.  

I know you guys are all dying to hear about that so that is what I am going to focus on this week.  So Friday was the day that we got to hear from Elder Bednar.  All of the missionaries in the mission got together to hear him which was really cool because they never do that.  Usually when we have meetings we do them in three groups so it was cool to get to see the whole mission.  First we got to take a picture with him, which I will send when we get them, and then we got to basically sit and chat with him for the next two and a half hours.  

We talked a lot about faith and action and how the two are connected.  This applies to everything we do that has to do with faith.  If we want to pray with faith we have to be willing to 1. Do everything in our power afterward to make our prayers come to pass and 2. We have to be willing to act on those answers.  One example we talked about is that if we want less actives to come to church, praying for them to make it isn't enough, we need to be willing to go out and find the less actives and bring them.   When we do this we are praying and acting with faith.  When we do this the Lord will then bless us with the power and ability to know what to do and how to do it.  This is something I have really been working on as a missionary.  It is really to ask Heavenly Father to help us get more investigators but it is another thing for us to ask Him what we need to do to find them and then go out and work all day talking to every person we meet and then following the spirit while we are out.  However as my companion and I have been working to apply this it has been amazing to see how much more success we have had.  

Another thing that was really cool about the conference was how Elder Bednar set it up.  It was not like at other meetings where the person gets up there and speaks and then the rest just listen but rather we were invited to prepare by reading some talks and then we had more of a discussion.  He basically asked us what we learned, how we could apply it, and how it had helped us.  We would answer and then we would talk a little bit about that reply.  It was really cool to see how the spirit was there so strongly and how we learned.  One thing I got out of it was how important preparation is both for the teacher and the learner.  As a teacher, the spirit can't bring things to your remembrance if you haven't studied them and as a learner it is so much easier to learn if you already have a foundation about the topic.  As we prepare we can better teach by the spirit and learn by the spirit.  

Anyway, we finished the meeting by getting to shake his hand.  I feel so blessed to have already gotten the chance to meet two apostles on my mission.  I am also now even more excited for conference and to learn from all of the brethren.

I love you all, have a great week!


Hermana Carpenter

p.s. Grandma, this is for you.  Yes I have had the opportunity to play the piano a lot.  I have already played for two different musical numbers, at various meetings, and I play almost every week in church!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

God is always on our side

Hey there Everybody! Hope everyone is doing well.

So this week has been a pretty good one for me.  We have have been seeing a lot of success in finding new people to teach which is great!  One thing though that I have noticed this week, for whatever reason, I have found myself getting a little bit more frustrated with those people who don't want to hear what we have to say, or say that they are good with what they have and they don't want to change.  I find myself wanting to reply, "Did you not just hear what I said? I am here taking time out of my personal life to walk down streets knocking on random doors talking to strangers to bring you this wonderful message about Jesus Christ, and Families, and how you can return to live with him.  This isn't just a suggestion of something that might help your life, or might help you to have more happiness.  This is Jesus Christ's church, His, and through these teachings and ordinances are the ONLY way that you can return to live with Him and those you love!" It is really disheartening to see these children of God, with so much potential turn down the gospel and at times even laugh at what it is to offer.  

It is during these moments though that I have to remind myself of the true reason I am here.  I am not here to convince people to join the church or change their lives.  God gave each of us our agency, and what a wonderful gift that can be when we use it do choose the right.  I have to remember that my purpose as a missionary is to carry the message of the restored gospel and to invite the spirit to touch them. After that though it is up to them to decide whether or not they are going to open their hearts to that spirit and the message we bring.  

Even though I have these rough moments, what makes it all worth it are those moments when we talk with someone and we can feel the spirit and we can tell that it touched their hearts and they allow us to come back and teach them.  Each time I see someone change a little bit more because of the gospel I am reassured that every time I get turned down it is worth it because there are people out there that are waiting and hoping for the message that we bring. Even though I get frustrated at times I find so much joy in the work I am doing.

So this week I have been preparing for interviews with the President.  We were asked to read from Romans 8:30-31, I have thrown in verse 28 though because I love that one too:

 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
I especially love verse 31 and how it applies to how I have been feeling this week.  I find myself thinking about this scripture often and it never ceases to bring me comfort.  God is always on our side when we are doing His work and His will.  He is always there cheering us on and giving us the strength we need to carry on.  This life is full of difficulties and disappointments and at times giving up seems like a pretty nice idea.  Sometimes it is easy to think that it is just us facing this huge army and that there is no way that we can win.  When I read this scripture though I can see myself on the battlefield by myself but then all of a sudden there are thousands of people surrounding me.  I remember that God and His angels are with us everyday ready to step up and help us to accomplish what we can't on our own.  With God on our side how can we lose?  I know that with Him all things are possible. I have seen this over and over again in my own life as I have sought to follow Him and do His will.  I also know that this is the case for each one of us.  So whenever you are feeling down or feeling like life might just be a little too much to bear, remeber this scripture and remember that God is there!
I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!