Monday, November 30, 2015

Elevating Faith

Hey everybody!

This week was such a good week. We had Mission Leadership Council, which was great, zone training, which was good, and Thanksgiving.  Can't get much more than that in one week.  

I think my favorite part about this week is what happened over the course of Mission Leadership Council and zone training in regards to faith. As the end of the year is approaching we have begun to prepare for next year regarding what our goals will be as a mission and as individuals. We have approached this topic multiple times and each time the feedback has been about the same.  This time however we had a very interesting experience.  We all came to the Council fasting and having prepared with studying the topic that had been given to us.  As the conversation progressed we began to discuss our goals.  It started out about the same as normal but then the conversation quickly changed as we truly began to focus on what it was the Lord wanted for his vineyard, especially in regards to how the gospel relates to the family.  Immediately the spirit entered and testified to each one of us that our vision was too low.  It was amazing to see how with each person you could immediately see their faith grow and their vision elevated to match that of the Saviors.  Later in zone training's we saw the same thing happen with new and old missionaries a like as they put their faith in the Lord. I'm excited for what is coming in this mission.  I truly know that the Lord is directing the work hear, just as he will direct each on of our lives if we let him.

Because of this I have been thinking a lot about faith.  I love what President Monson said on this topic in this last conference about being an example of faith to those around us. He says:

"To be an example of faith means that we trust in the Lord and in His word. It means that we possess and that we nourish the beliefs that will guide our thoughts and our actions. Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in our Heavenly Father will influence all that we do. Amidst the confusion of our age, the conflicts of conscience,and the turmoil of daily living, an abiding faith becomes an anchor to our lives. Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other. I reiterate what we have been told repeatedly—that in order to gain and to keep the faith we need, it is essential that we read and study and ponder the scriptures. Communication with our Heavenly Father through prayer is vital. We cannot afford to neglect these things, for the adversary and his hosts are relentlessly seeking for a chink in our armor, a lapse in our faithfulness. Said the Lord, 'Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good.'"

I know that this promise is true, that with our faith firmly planted in him that we can face anything that comes our way.  He will guide us and strengthen us and elevate our faith when we need it so that we may become more than who we think we are and do more than we think we can do.  

I hope you all have a wonderful week!


Hermana Carpenter

Monday, November 23, 2015

Greatful for Baptisims

Hey Everyone,

I can't believe it is already Thanksgiving.  I feel like on the mission the holidays just sneak up on you. 

This week was a good one. Fast and filled! We had the baptism of one of our investigators, V. She is a 13 year old girl and the friend of one of our members.  She is awesome, and excited about the gospel. The first time we met her we asked her why she wanted to meet with the missionaries and she said to us "Because I want to get baptized".  Thirteen is young but she recognizes the importance of the step of baptism and making that commitment to follow Jesus Christ. She is excited about prayer, and about the Book of Mormon.  We had about two and a half weeks to teach her everything and plan the baptism. We were a little nervous about it happening but the Lord definitely provides.  Her friends are awesome and have been such a great support to her.  It has been amazing to see her open up and start applying the gospel.

With all of this going on I have been thinking a lot about baptism and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  We meet so many people that don't have a true understanding of what these two things are and why they're so important.  Yes, it is a commitment to follow Jesus Christ, but it is so much more than that.  Through these two ordinances is how we gain full access to the Atonement, and through that is how we can truly change, be refined, and become perfected.  Not only do we become clean, but through the process of enduring to the end, we become someone completely new and better.  I'm so grateful for these covenants and how they allow me to become who the Lord wants me to be.  I would hate the thought of having to be stuck with every wrong thing I've done or never have the chance to change who I am.  I know I have so many imperfections and I know that I cannot change them on my own.  I know that it is only through and in Jesus Christ and his Atonement that it is possible. I'm so grateful for that.  I'm also so grateful for for all of my family and friends that have taught me about these things and helped me to make those covenants. I just want to do my best to pass that on.

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Be safe!


Hermana Carpenter

Monday, November 16, 2015

Faith, Hope, Charity

Hey everybody!

Everything is going well here in Modesto.  We have been having some rain which is great!

I went on an exchange this week with a sister that has only been out for two weeks.  It was like going in a time machine. I could relate to so many things she was feeling because I had been in her shoes.  We had a great time though. I learned so much from her!

Sorry this is so short, I have to get going, but I wanted to share one insight from my studies this week. So this week as I was studying I had this cool insight in between Ether 12:28and Moroni 8:25-26. The Savior tells Moroni that "faith hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness." and then in Moroni 8, Mormon ties these three into the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Living the gospel of Jesus Christ is what allows us to have charity which without we are nothing...We NEED the gospel. Of course I know that, but I love being able to find those connections within the scriptures.

I love the gospel and I know that as we live it as taught in Moroni 8 that we really will recieve hope and feel the love of God.  I feel it every time I repent and strive to live the commandments of God. I know that God gives us commandments because he loves us and wants us to be happy.  I know that the only way we can truly know this is by living them.  It takes faith to do it but once you feel the influence of the spirit and see the blessings that are poured out upon us then it is hard to not want to keep them. I love being able to share this with everyone I meet.

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful week! I love you all!


Hermana Carpenter

Saturday, November 14, 2015

13 months and Modesto

Well another month has come and does it happen so quickly?? 

Anyway, as I said last week I got transferred to Modesto.  My companion and I are  both new in the area so we have spent the whole week running around meeting people and trying to learn where everything is.  Modesto is great but it is a city so there is more traffic and more area to cover.  It has been good though and we have already gotten to know a lot of people and had some wonderful lessons.  

This week I have been thinking a lot about what things keep me from giving my all as a missionary.  The list is longer than I would like it to be.  After thinking about it all pretty much all of it was either selfishness or pride in some way or another.  Things like being too tired, being scared of what someone might say or do, forgetfulness, not having my mind focused on the work.  Anyway I have had my mind turn back to D&C 4:2 which says:

"Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day."
As I have reflected about the time I have left on my mission I have been thinking a lot about what more I can do to serve with all of my "heart, might, mind, and strength".  I know that as I set goals to accomplish this I am going to be seeing more changes in the way I work, live, and even think. One thing I have learned about missionary work and about life in general is that if we are not constantly looking for ways to change and improve and to align our will with the vision of the Lord's then we are doing what Satan wants us to do which is to be complacent and content with where we are at.  This however does not show faith and a true desire to serve.  I know that this work can not be accomplished without those two things but more importantly without the Lord.  I know that it is through serving him within the parameters that he has set that we will have him by our side as we do his work, all of us.

I'm grateful for the Atonement and how it helps me each and every day to be able to do that.  I hope that we can all reflect often on what more we can do to better serve the Lord and do all we can to do it and then watch to see  how the Lord is working with us.  It is amazing.

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


Hermana Carpenter

p.s. I know I have been bad at sending pictures...Here is one of me and Hermana Arevalo with our car and all of the planners I have had since being in the mission field.  They are all custom made by yours truly.  Do you notice a theme?

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Well it is transfer time again, duh duh duh.  

We got the calls last night and I am being transferred to Modesto! I will be finishing up training Hermana Arevalo as well as training her as a Sister Training Leader. Oh and we are opening up a new area! These next couple of weeks are going to be busy.  I am sad to be leaving Manteca again but I am excited for the work ahead.  President Palmer said that the branch we will be in is close to becoming a ward.  Hopefully we will be able to help that to move forward through our efforts!

This week was good though.  We were instructed to stay in and find a way to "fulfill our missionary purpose" without leaving the apartment.  We took that to heart and went through our area books and cleaned them up a bit more and figured out what more we could do to help use them as a tool to find people.  We then cleaned a little bit and ate some Halloween candy.

Recently we have been putting a lot of our focuses on part-member and less-active family.  Many of the families in our ward have both of these so we have been trying to figure out what we can do to reach these members that are not participating in the gospel.  We decided with one of the families we would start holding a weekly Book of Mormon study.  Hermana L. who is the only active member of her family was delighted at the idea and so we commenced.  Last week was our first session and it was really good. Her non-member daughter-in-law joined us and her less-active husband who usually hides out while we are there came out and sat in for the closing prayer. This week the daughter-in-law was there again and hermano sat in for almost the entire reading session!  Hermana was all a glow.  I know it may not be anything huge but I just loved the feeling of sitting with the family reading from the scriptures and feeling the spirit. Hermana Sheffer and her new companion are going to keep working with them and hopefully there will be more from that.

Well that is about all I can think of for this week! Love you all!

Hermana Carpenter