Monday, September 28, 2015

Stressed but Good!

Hey there everybody!

So this week has felt so long.  We are really really busy.  We got our assignment and we are covering 14 Sisters all over the mission.  Other than that nothing too exciting going on.  I loved the womens conference.  It was definitely what I was needing after the long day we had Saturday.  We were driving all over the mission trying to fulfill needs for our sisters and didn't spend any time in our area.  After that I was just feeling overwhelmed about how in the world we were going to be able to fulfill our roles as Sister Training Leaders and take care of our area.  After the conference I felt renewed and just had a sense of peace about everything.  I know that as we lose ourselves in the Lord's service he will take care of us and our area, all I need to do is work hard and follow the spirit.

As a Sister Training Leader though I have become much more aware of my work as a missionary and just who I am in general.  I know I need to be an example to the rest of the sisters.  I have learned so many things already from the newer sisters as well as things I need to change so that I can be the best example I can be to them.  It is hard, especially because things don't just change overnight.  In companion study today we were studying Christ-Like attributes from Preach My Gospel.  One of the first things it mentions is that without the Atonement we cannot change.  I know that in order to change what I need to and become more like the Savior it is going to take humility and repentance every single day. I know that by doing that I can magnify my calling both as a leader and as a missionary.  

Yes I am stressed but I am grateful. I'm so grateful for the trust the Lord has in me as well as for the opportunity He is giving me to grow.  I know I am here for a reason and I hope I can do all I can to fulfill that purpose.

I'm looking forward to conference this weekend! I hope all of you will take a chance to ponder the words in Mosiah 2 and D &C 21 4-6 and then seek to apply those words by watching all the sessions of conference! I know that as we do we will be blessed by the inspired words we will hear.  
I love you all! Have a wonderful week.


Hermana Carpenter

p.s. We made lunch for all the new and leaving missionaries this week. We washed a lot of was fun though!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

With Trust Comes Responsibility

Hey everybody!

So this week has been a good but crazy one. So Sunday morning we got transfer calls, duh duh duh. So all of the sisters in the mission are training EXCEPT me, Hermana Sheffer and one other companionship. Hermana Sheffer and I will stay together in Manteca as Sister Training Leaders. The other companionship will be STL's as well. We will be the only two sets in the mission and with a total of 32 sisters that is a lot of work! That is what happens when somehow you and your companion become trusted by the mission president. I am nervous to say the least. A lot of the sisters training are new to the mission but because of the huge influx have been called to train regardless of jow prepared they are. Because of this we are being asked to do a lot more exchanges tham normal. This means we will be BUSY! I can tell already that this transfer is going to stretch me. Even though that scares me I know that with that comes a lot of growth. I don't want to let President Palmer down but more importantly I don't want to let the Savior down. After all this is his work. I know i just need to rely on him and find more ways that i can be obedient so that i can have his spirit with me.

I also had the blessing of attending the baptism of Ana, my investigator from Lodi, this week. She is the granddaughter of Beatrice and Enrique who where baptized last month. She is great. It was such a blessing to be able to see their famoly and see how the gospel is working in their lives. Beatrice is working on preparing family names to take to the temple and I am so excited for her. I can't wait for more of their family to catch the spirit of the gospel so that they can all go to the temple to be sealed.

We also have an awesome investigator here named Carlos. He is the son of a recent convert and is currently praying for a baptismal date. It is amazing to see how he understands and has been applying what he is learning. We are excited to see what comes from him and his progress!

Things are good thoughm i am excited to be staying in Manteca another transfer! I hope you all have a good week!


Hermana Carpenter
Me and Hermana Sheffer
Eliseo a member
My Zone from last transfer


Missionaries from the ward I am in and one of the members Leilani

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

11 Months and the Tragedy of Pride

So this past week I passed my 11 month mark of being on the mission.  I think that this transfer has been one of my fastest transfers.  It has been a pretty good  one though.  Hermana Sheffer and I already know we won't be companions this next transfer due to all of the new sisters coming in so we are going to work hard and enjoy this last week together.

This week has been pretty good.  We have been focusing on working with our recent converts to find new people to teach and it has been a wonderful experience.  One of the converts, Eliceo (he was baptized before I got to the area) is one of the people we have been focusing on.  He has so much family here in Manteca.  We had lessons with 8 different family members and we just were barely touching the surface.  We are really excited to follow up on those lessons and work with those of his family members that have been prepared.

The reason for the title though goes back to a less active family that we met this week. We met them later on in the week and were able to talk to them and learn about why it was their entire family was less active.  It broke my heart when I learned that at the root of it was pride.  Ever since then I have been pondering about this and about how choosing to be humble or allowing pride to overtake us can be the difference between enjoying or missing out on the eternal blessings that the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ offer to us.  I know that each one of us have been and will yet encounter those moments where something is done or said, true or untrue, that could cause the seed of pride and offence to become planted in our hearts. It is then that we will have to make the decision of whether we are going to let it remain and grown into a great plant that will overtake and maim every good thing in our life, or if we will make the decision to dig into our hearts, however painful it may be, and pluck it out before it has a chance to grow.  This experience led me to ponder on what seeds of pride may be in my own heart and what it is I need to do to pluck them out.  I want to be a humble servant of the Lord and I know that can only be possible if I am consistently seeking to be humble and to change my heart and any habits that are not in harmony with the teachings of the Savior.

As conference once again draws near it can be a good time for us to reflect and prepare our hearts for the words that will be spoken.  During this time we will be instructed and edified, but also I know that in some form or another we will all be called to repent and I guarantee that some of it may even be slightly uncomfortable.  During this time we will have to decide if we will humbly submit to the will of the Lord and change our hearts or let that voice inside our head that tells us that we really know best do the talking.  I know that without a doubt submitting our will to the Lord's is what will bring us peace and joy and a continued and deepened conversion to the Lord's gospel.  

Well transfers are coming up soon and I am excited and nervous about the changes I know that will be coming.  I will keep you all posted!  Have a wonderful week!


Hermana Carpenter

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

General Authorities and Ambulances

Hey everyone!!

This week was awesome. We had Elder Hamula from the seventy here for a misison tour and we were able to have a mission conference with him.  With the forming of our new mission there have been some problems in parts of the mission with unity and coming together (thankfully I have not had any encounters with that, but apparently there are some real big problems in other parts of the mission) and in lieu of that the conference was largely focused around how we can change our hearts and let go of "unrighteous traditions".  I thought a lot about what it is that I need to leave behind and change in order to help the mission and the work here move forward.  I've got a couple of things to work on.  One of my favorite things he talked about was the pattern he gave us for changing our hearts.  There are three steps:

1. Accept that you have agency in all things.
2. Act outwardly the way you want to be inwardly.
3. You must avail yourself the grace of God.

He just talked about how we won't change unless we accept the fact that we have to and can make the choice to change.  Sometimes we have to fake it until we make it but nothing changes until we act. Grace is the key though because without the atonement we can't truly change or become more than what we are.  When we do all that we can though to develop those Christ like attributes then Grace will step in and give us the power to change.  I know I have seen this in my life as I daily try to change those natural man characteristics that I struggle with.  I have seen though how as I try my best to act in accordance to those principles that through repentance and with the help of God's grace that I am slowly changing.  This is a pattern though I want to continue to use for the rest of my life.

This week I also had a really cool experience with the spirit.  So on Wednesday we were out working and no one would talk to us. We decided to go to the house of a lady we had talked to the previous week but when we got there I just had this really off feeling.  I turned to Hna. Sheffer and told her that I didn't think we were where we were supposed to be.  She agreed that she felt the same so we decided to pray about it and see what came to mind. As soon as we began to pray the thought came to my mind that we needed to go try and contact a referral that we had gotten and already tried to contact. After the prayer the thought came again so we said that I thought that is what we needed to do.  We both felt good about it so off we went to the other side of town to contact this person.  When we got to the house though there was no body home.  We decided since we were there we might as well try knocking on a couple of doors. Nothing.  We had an appointment coming up so we started heading back to our car when all of a sudden we heard some hysterical cries coming from down the street.  We look down and we see this hispanic lady run out in the street holding something, cry at her neighbors house saying, in Spanish, "Help me, Help me, my baby!" and then she ran back towards her house. At that we started running towards her.  When we got to her she hysterically was trying to talk to the paramedics in broken English.  We got there and told her we were there to help.  I took the phone from here and then translated to the medic what was going on and where we were at.  Thankfully the baby was breathing but you could tell he was pretty sick.  Anyway we were able to calm her down and wait with her until the paramedics came and then we translated for her.  The baby had had a seizure but they said he was doing alright and would most likely be fine.  We left her with a card with our number and told her we would be back the following day.  When we came back the next day she was waiting for us and was so open to all that we had to say.  We will be going back tonight to teach her and her family.  I was so humbled by that experience and so grateful that I was able to be in tune enough with the spirit to be there for one of God's children.  Had we ignored the feeling we were getting we would have missed out on an opportunity to serve someone in need and also a chance to share the gospel. Always listen to spiritual promptings!!

Anyway things are going well.  I hope everyone has a wonderful week!


Hermana Carpenter

Love is ALWAYS the Answer ( August 24th)

Hey there family and friends!

This week has kind have felt like a blur.  It was a really fast but really slow week at the same time. 

So I had my first exchange as an Sister Training Leader this week. I was really nervous going into it.  There is definitely a lot more pressure when you know others are looking to you to set the example.  It was also a little nerve racking because the Hermana I was with, Hermana Hopkins, is in her last transfer so I felt like it should be going the other way around.  I hope she was able to learn something. I know I sure learned a lot, she is an awesome misisonary!  It really is humbling to serve in a leadership position. I am learning so much about Christ-like love and selfless service from it.

My companion, Hermana Sheffer is as awesome as ever.  This week we felt like we had a huge break through in the work.  About half way through the week we had an awesome experience with one of our less-actives.  This woman is someone that I visited here in Manteca when I was first here and Hermana Sheffer has visited her over the last 7 months as well and all of it with little to no progress. We both felt like how we sometimes felt like broken records while in the lessons with her. After the lesson we had with her this week though we realized that a lot more of it may have been us than her.  For whatever reason when we were talking to her this week, instead of launching into our whole church is important spiel (which for some reason we as missionaries love to do with less actives) we just started asking her different questions. It was amazing to see the change that happened in her and us as we just learned about her. For the first time since both of us have been there we received the actual reason as to why she was less active.  We as missionaries had made all of these assumptions about her and why she wasn't coming to church based off of the fact that we would teach her and then nothing would change.  We definitely were humbled but we came out of the lesson feeling a greater love for this Hermana and with a greater understanding of what it is we need to do to help her to gain her own testimony. It was a lesson to me on the importance of just loving God's children and not making unfounded judgments. 

We also had an awesome day yesterday after we decided that we where just going to talk to people and get to know them and then just testify about what we knew.  It was amazing to see the difference in people as we talked to them and to be able to feel the spirit that was there.  As I shared my own gospel experience and testified of those things I could feel the spirit testifying to me that what I was sharing was true.  I want all of the experiences I have with people to be like that.  I know I have so much to learn still as a missionary!

I am really doing well though.  Hermana Sheffer has been letting me work with her amazingly curly hair (just like your's Kylie) so I have been in heaven as far as that goes.  She is just funny and so easy to get along with.  We have some investigators that are really great.  I get home every day and I am exhausted but I love that feeling and I love feeling that I am really helping God's children.

Well that is pretty much it for this week.  I hope you all have a wonderful week!


Hermana Carpenter