Monday, April 13, 2015

To be like Nephi

Hey Everyone!!

So things are just rolling along here in Stockton.  We have been working really hard to find investigators this last week or two because we had to drop basically all of the ones we were visiting because they were not progressing or we couldn't find them.  We have been focusing a lot of our efforts on past investigators, especially those that have been taught a lot.  We call those investigators eternigators.  We have met some really awesome people though and are really hoping that we will be able to find success with them.

This week I celebrated my six month mark. I got to hold puppies that day which was awesome and then we went to Dairy queen and got ice cream with an English member that was with us that night. Also I rode my bike for the first time this week, the weather was awesome but it was way more work than it is worth when you are driving as well.  Until the next 6 months bike!

I finished the Book of Mormon a couple of weeks ago and I started again so this last week I have been reading in 1 Nephi again and even though I have read this book a hundred times I am always impressed by different things.  This week as I was reading in Nephi 17 where Nephi was commanded to build a boat and while reading about this experience I was really impressed by how different Nephi's and Laman and Lemual's reactions are.  I think most of us are pretty familiar with the pattern of obedience we see with Nephi and the complaining we see with L & L but what impressed me about this is how these two reactions lead to two different consequences. Here is an outline of the pattern I noticed:

For Nephi:
1. Was commanded to do something
2. Went and did, without murmuring
3. Received more knowledge, direction, and testimony
4. Was strengthened and had increased ability to choose the right
5. Was happy despite of his trials

For Laman and Lemual
1. Given a commandment
2. Complained
3. Finally convinced to keep the commandments
4. Complained while keeping the commandment
5. Received no further knowledge or testimony
6. Fell into wickedness

From this I just learned how much our attitudes towards the commandments and following can affect us.  This applies wholeheartedly to missionary work too.  Doing the work with a good attitude and a grateful heart makes all of the difference, especially on those days where no one want's to talk to you and all you do is knock on unanswered doors. I hope that we can all choose to be like Nephi and go and do the Lord's commandments with a thankful heart.  I know that as we do we will be given the strength and direction we need to keep those commandments and find joy!

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! Hope you enjoy the pictures.


Hermana Carpenter

Celebrating my 6 month mark!

First time riding the Bike

Monday, April 6, 2015

6 months down & Conference

Hey everyone! I hope that all of you enjoyed conference weekend as much as I did!

So this week will be my 6 month mark since coming out on the mission.  I still cannot believe how quickly the time is going by.  I think I am starting to realize how missionaries say they don't feel like they have enough time in the mission. As I think about the year I have left I sometimes think about how in the world am I going to be able to accomplish all that the Lord has sent me here to do. There is just so much work!  The next year though I will continue to work hard to be an instrument in the Lord's hands to find His children.  I am amazed at what the past 6 months has brought and I look forward to what the next 12 months will hold as I am here doing the Lord's work.

Conference of course was amazing!  It is always amazing to me that as you listen to all of the sessions you can really pick out what the main thing is that God wants for His children over the next six months.  The three things that I picked out from this conference were the importance of the family and defending the sanctity of it, the Atonement and the hope it brings to each one of us, and last of all clinging to the basics of the gospel and the covenants we have made.  As a missionary I get to see a much bigger picture of how these things can affect God's children. I have had the chance to work with many different family's from many different backgrounds. I have seen and felt the heartbreak that comes from broken families and how Satan is trying so hard to tear down God's children.  He is working so hard to pull the hope of the Atonement away from the hearts of the people and replace it with sadness and despair. I see the affects of what happens when people forget the covenants they have made and forget those basic principles that brought them to a knowledge of the gospel.  As members of the Church of Jesus Christ I think we often take for granted those simple things we have.  We forget how blessed we are to have families that love and support us.  We forget the importance of doing those little things like reading from the scriptures and praying everyday.  And sometimes we forget the importance of the Atonement in our everyday life.  I know we all feel those moments of despair and wonder what we can do.  I loved what Elder Holland talked about how God did not send us here to this earth to fail.  He sent us here to the earth to find joy and to succeed.  The more I am on my mission the more I come to know that He has also given us all of the tools we need to experience that in this life.  I know that, just as it was talked about in conference, that it is through these simple principles that we can find joy amidst all the heartbreak and sorrows.  I know that if we strive to strengthen the family and stick to the basics and most of all always remember and apply the Atonement that we can be happy.  I know this because I have felt and seen it in my own life.  

I love this gospel and I know that it is true.  I am so grateful for my Savior and His Atoning sacrifice for each one of us.  I love him with all my heart. I am constantly amazed at the love He has for me and each one of us.  I hope that as we go forth from this conference that we can cherish up the words of the prophets and seek to apply them in our lives. I know that their words are from God and that if we cling to them we will be safe and happy.

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


Hermana Carpenter

p.s. I also finished Jesus the Christ on Sunday which was perfect timing.  I learned so much about the Savior from that book!