Saturday, September 28, 2013

"I just feel so incredibly loved at times"


Sawadii Kha! Sabydii May? 

Me and Sister Her showing off our Thailand shirts!

Hello all! I want to begin by saying how excited I am to go to Thailand. I have little less than three weeks, but it's SO close! I can't believe it! I am just so stoked to be there and to start the most amazing adventure of my life there. October 14 is when I leave and I will give you more details about that when it approaches sooner.

Now that's out of the way, I have some more exciting news. This Saturday is the General Relief Society meeting and I invite you all to watch it.

Here I am singing with sisters with the MTC Choir

Yes, I am talking to you men as well. You can watch a live stream online. And why do I bring this up? Because I am in the Sister Missionary Choir that will be singing in the General Relief Society Meeting! AH! I am so excited. The music is so beautiful and I am just moved by the whole experience. It was an adventure trying to find a jewel toned, button up shirt for the meeting, but the Lord provided a way and I was able to borrow a shirt. I am so happy. I will be wearing a deep, dark purple, long sleeved shirt. So, look out for me on the screen okay? I just can't believe this is happening. I never thought I would sing for a choir that would be broadcast around the world for all women alike. I am so blessed and so very grateful. 

This Sunday, we were able to hear from one of the General Primary Presidency. She was so amazing, and I feel bad that I can't remember her name at the moment. She played this clip about the Savior visiting the Americas. It was so moving that I couldn't help but cry at the profound love that was eminent throughout the clip. No words were spoken, but that's the amazing thing. It doesn't matter what language you speak or understand, everyone on this Earth can and will recognize the language of Love. I hope that some of you can find this clip that I am speaking of. I am not sure where to find it but it is definitely worth it. I about lost it when Christ was surrounded by little children and the brightness of Angels gathered around them. Ah, my heart was just so full.

Recently, I have discovered a new song that I have fallen in love with. It was sung a few times in the devotionals, but I was surprised that I did not know of it till now. It is called Savior, Redeemer.

 Oh my goodness, I just can't express how much that song moves me. I am overwhelmed by tears sometimes. Maybe it's just the spirit that resides here in the MTC, or maybe it's just me that is more in tuned to the Spirit, but, I just feel so incredibly loved at times. Whenever I feel too stressed, it takes a toll on my body and my stomach feels gross. I lay in bed with my stomach churning at times and it takes a while for me to sleep. But, when I sing that song, and pray to my Father in Heaven... I feel like someone is holding me in their arms as I lay asleep. I feel at peace and the warmth just floods my body from the tip of my toes to the top of my head. I forget about the ache in my stomach and I am simply overwhelmed with Love from my Savior. I can't believe how endless His love is. I sometimes can't comprehend the magnitude of His Mercy. I sincerely pray that I may Never forget these feelings. 

I sometimes can't explain how I feel. It's hard to describe, even for an aspiring writer like myself. I just wish I could share these incredible feelings that I feel with others. But then I laugh and think, "But isn't that what I am doing? I am here to share that with people so they too may know of God's Love and Atonement." I hope all of you feel this need. I think we forget how good we have it. I would simply invite you all to help your Missionaries out. And more importantly, help your Lord and Savior bring your brothers and Sisters to Him. 

I love you all. God Bless.


Sister Carter


Funny Story: We were basking in the sun when this bright light was shining in Sister Her's eyes and mine. We tried to move, but it kept following us. We couldn't figure out that it was Elder Hartman shining his watch at us. Haha! We looked like dweebs the entire time! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"I want to be like Ammon!"


Sis Her and I sitting on Temple grounds

Sawdii Kha Everyone! Sabydii may? 

I have learned so much here. I am starting to witness a change in myself that I have never seen before. I know I say this a lot but my actions surprise me at times. And the small miracles that I see are simply amazing. For example, there was a rather large, rainy storm that passed through Provo a week or two ago. We were told to stay inside and not face the thunder and lightning outside. The aftermath was a little messy with branches scattered and two trees being uprooted in the MTC. But, when we made our weekly trip to the temple the next day, all the flowers looked like they had not been touched. There were no stray petals or uprooted bushes. It was completely clean and undisturbed. I thought it was a miracle. There was no possible way that the workers could have replaced all the flowers so soon. (since the storm happened at night and we were at the temple at 7 am) It was like walking into a sanctuary compared to the mess all around the temple gates. I was in awe. The Lord loves his Holy Temples. 
(From left to right) Sister Maughan, Sister Peterson, Me, and Sister Her pointing to Thailand on the map!

This last Sunday, I saw a devotional that changed my perspective (hopefully) forever. I wish I could tell you all to watch it so that you could feel as I did, but I don't think you can find MTC devotionals online at all. It was a previous recording of Elder Bednar speaking a Sunday Christmas devotional. His talk was called "Character of Christ". He talked of how Christ, our Lord and Savior, always turned outward when we imperfect beings would turn inward. A lot of times we simply want something and we want something now. And when we don't get what we want, we lash out and justify our actions. Many think, "woe is me, woe is me!" And the Savior, who had every reason to do the same... never did. Even as he hung there on the cross he pleaded to the father, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." He was concerned for his mother Mary in his last moments, ever thinking outward and never himself. I find this completely incredible. Bednar made it a point that we must all learn OF Him rather than about Him. For by learning of Him can we actually be like Him.
Bednar talked about how this mission that I am serving is NOT about me. This is about my Savior. He said plainly, "Missionaries complain of not having investigators or baptisms or this or that. Get over yourself. This isn't about you. Who cares about what you want. This is about Him and you need to think outward like He did." I just love that. It may seem harsh but it's so true. I am here doing what my God and Savior wants me to do. I am doing this for the people of Thailand and their Salvation. I am not doing this for me. But in losing myself to the work will I ultimately find myself. 
I think it's really sad that people convert themselves to people or programs of the church. Or they may get stuck on one little thing about frivolous details of the church. And when things go awry for them, they think, "I guess this church is not true." No. This church is most definitely true. This is Christ's church. You are simply not true to the church. You are not truly converted to Him. 
I am striving for a true conversion to my Lord and Savior. I am learning more of Him as I study his miracles and parables in the New testament. I love the Bible videos the church is doing. I would highly recommend whoever reads this to watch them. I love especially when Christ declares that He is the light of the world. He is the I Am. 

Brother Burgess did this excellent activity with us. He had done a mock trial with me being in the "jury" and everyone else having their respectable parts. He was the "prosecutor" of Christ and the rest of my district had to defend Christ in their roles. It was so hard for me to sit there and not say anything. But by the end, I was allowed to share my opinions and I wanted to defend Christ till the very end. I was desperate to get the last word. But in a logical setting like the one we were playing, it is so very easy to lose when you're on the defending side. Especially when my teacher was so good at twisting words and being able to get the upper hand. I felt so helpless. But we had to follow "history" and Christ had to be "put on the cross". I felt devastated. But, my teacher proved a very good point. He said, "even though you know that Christ had to follow through with the atonement and his trials before Caiaphas, Pilot, Herod and the Jews, would you still try to defend Him until the very end? Would you reach out and stand as a witness before Him?"  I will always remember that. 

My goal is to become a true disciple of Christ. I want to be proud of Him and not be ashamed. There is a verse that I love in Alma 26:36. It says:  36 Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land. 

 I want to be like Ammon and boast of our God on High. I want to lift my head high and look people in the eye and proclaim, "I know that my Redeemer lives." I will strive to do so. I am not perfect by any means necessary. I am no better than any other sinner. I am weak, but the Lord is strong. He can make weak things strong like unto Him. It is only through Him that I can be capable for the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical strain that the mission puts me through. I would invite you all to know of Christ. Study Him more and practice His teachings. We think that we may become Saints through busy work but that just makes us go insane. We can only become Latter-Day Saints through Him. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

I love you all and I hope that all is going well. 


Sister Carter

The Tomseth's sent me a cool package. I'm showing off my noodle necklace that Trevor made me.
 I found Elder Brewer on my Temple walk on Sunday! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"I Count My Blessings Everyday."

09-11-13  Sawadii Kha! Sabaydii?

I can't believe that it's been four weeks already. A whole month! It's super crazy. I have five more weeks to go! Anyhow there is so much to talk about this week! I remember it all since I wrote down a few things throughout the week to make sure I would remember for today. See how smart I am? Just kidding. 

So, I think the misconception here is that everyone here sings "Called to Serve" all the time. While it is true that we sing that often, the number one hit here is: "Come thou Fount". It's not a bad thing but since I have been here for four weeks and I have heard the song being performed in at least five different devotionals... it gets a little overplayed. Everyone hums it or whistles it. But maybe it's just the Residence hall I am in or something. I thought it was a little funny though. \

I feel like my Thai is improving everyday. I would look at the Script and think, "how in the world am I supposed to learn that?" But amazingly, I was able to read almost the entire verse of 1 Nephi 1:1. I know that sounds lame to some people but I feel so blessed and amazed! It takes a LONG time to get through it and even a longer time to try to use a dictionary (In script nonetheless) to figure out some words. I am excited to learn more and become better everyday!
Thai Scriptures I am "attempting" to read. Wish me luck!

I did something very brave last Friday. With all those who know me well, they would think I'm crazy. Elder Wolfly's parents sent him a whole bag of tiny, legit THAI peppers. Naturally, all the Elders in my district and zone ate them and we took pictures of their funny expressions. They were cheering for the Sisters to do it so I bravely accepted the challenge. I found the longest one I could find because the smaller it was, the hotter. And man... those things are HOT. My entire throat was on FIRE for at least five minutes or more. And when it hits your stomach, you feel nauseous! I felt it was going to eat my entire stomach up! Luckily though, I ran to the cafeteria with Sister Peterson to get some Milk. That definitely helped a lot. But I'm a little proud of myself. I'm such a whimp with spicy foods so this was quite the accomplishment.
This is all of us (sisters in district) about to eat the Thai Peppers. (From left to Right) Sister Maughan, Sister Her, Sister Peterson, and Me. I'm like already about to cry just thinking about putting that thing in my mouth! haha!

The funniest reaction was when Elder Codling ate it! Oh my goodness! He refused to eat any but we "peer pressured" him to. We all thought, "Oh no, we killed him!" when he finally ate it since he began to hold his throat. I thought he was choking and or having an allergic reaction! He was fine though. It was just really funny! I have a pic of him DYING from the spiciness! haha!  
Elder Codling dying

Sunday was really special. Our talks were centered on Baptism and later that evening we watched two films: The John Tanner Story, and Only a Stone Cutter. It's just simply incredible to me that people would sacrifice SO much for this gospel. It wouldn't make sense why the members of the church would give up all they had for something phony or false! And the sacrifices we make today are very, very little in comparison. I count my blessings every day. And if any of you haven't seen those films, I would encourage you to watch them. Their stories are so powerful and inspiring. 

This last Monday, we had a discussion about the Holy Ghost in Brother Burgess' class. During the whole time, I had felt prompted to share a spiritual experience that I had but was too afraid to interrupt my teacher. By the time the discussion was "over" and we were going to move onto "lessons" I couldn't keep it in any longer. I asked to share the story and Brother Burgess gave the Okay. I was amazed that after I had shared the story, the rest of the district were inspired to do the same. Everyone was touched by each other's testimony and I couldn't help but feel at peace. God is truly amazing. 

Funny Stories: 

So, Brother Todd likes to use a lot of Thai filler words. Like in English if we were to use the words: like, umm, or uhhh. It's really funny how he uses them and we get so confused because we try to figure out what he's saying when he's not really saying something legit. But, he really likes to use the word "diaw" (bad romanized spelling of Thai) meaning 'wait'. He says it so fast that it sounds super funny. 
Brother Todd: diaw diaw diaw diaw diaw diaw diaw diaw diaw diaw diaw diaw diaw diaw diaw diaw 
Sister Maughan: I don't think you can do that that many times in Thai. (grammatically)
Brother Todd: . . . I just did. 


Sorry if it's not that funny. I get too easily entertained here in the MTC. Anyhow, I hope that you all are doing well! I love you!


Sister Carter

This is my snack/sweets stash. There's a little bit of Sis Her's stuff in there too. So, thank you all for sending me goodies. I have PLENTY :D I feel so loved

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"I want everyone to find JOY in this life."

09/05/13 Sawadii kha! Sabaydii may?

Well, this week has been very interesting. I can't believe how fast time flies. I sometimes can't remember what I did all week. I guess that's why they make us write in our journals. Anyhow, I have been trying to work hard and make goals for each day. Before I got to the MTC, I was never great at planning and writing goals for the week or day but I am slowly getting better at it and making better progress. It really helps me to be better focused than I ever have before. 

I am really enjoying my teachers here in the MTC. I have three that switch off and teach. Brother Burgess was my first teacher and I love him to death. He's always smiling and cracking jokes. Whenever you make a mistake in the language he kind of laughs but you never feel stupid around him. He's just really great and patient. (and certainly makes learning the language a lot more entertaining) Brother Todd was our "investigator" in the beginning but now he teaches us. He's really serious and a little awkward in the way he acts. I have had to get used to him but I found that he truly does care for us and wants to do anything to help us reach our goals. His testimony has certainly driven me to want to do even better. Brother Shippley is really really quiet. He's like... reverent in the way he acts and talks. I had to get used to him as well. But, in time, I have started to like him as a teacher. He's super patient and strives to get us to be more focused on the language and the spirit. He complimented me the other day. He said, "Sister Carter, I like the way you talk in Thai. You are able to express things in such a unique way. Every time I speak Thai, I always feel like I'm boring someone." I felt really awesome to say the least. Thai isn't the best of languages to express emotions when you are limited to tones. 

The Elders in my zone and district are absolutely hilarious. They're immature at times but they sure make the MTC really entertaining. At lunch, they all like to "ball hard" and try to aim a crumpled up napkin into someone else's cup. It turns into a napkin flying zone. It's kind of bad... but hilarious too. We all like to play 4-square and it gets pretty intense! Whenever someone misses the ball we joke and say, "May may may, may wanii!" (no no no, not today) haha! It's just so funny. And most importantly, they can all get very serious and spiritual when the time calls for it. They're all so smart. The Sisters in my zone are all really great. We're all just very relaxed and there's no drama. The Sisters in the other district in my zone are in a tri companionship and they work wonderfully together! No one is left out or feeling less of a missionary than the other. We all just work to help each other out. I really am blessed. 

Last night we had Elder Davis F. Evans of the 70 spoke to us last night. He was really good. The thing that really struck out to me is when he said, "The doctrine of Christ is an expression of Love". And it's so true! Everything that this Church does is out of love and spirit of the Lord. I just can't express how much I love that. Because without Love... where would we all be? We are all social creatures, and we cannot survive in this world without the most fundamental emotion as love. It's the one thing that can pierce the most hardest of hearts. And without it, my testimony will simply fall flat to the people I teach in Thailand. 

I know that this gospel is true. If I haven't said it before, I am saying it now and I will continue to say it. I know that our Father in Heaven loves us and he Hears and answers all of our prayers in HIS time. Christ was born upon this Earth and he loved, and healed all. He atoned for our sins and He wants us so badly to open the door when he knocks. I know this all to be true. I could say it in Thai but I doubt that many of you would understand. Maybe next time. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

I love you all. I hope that you are all doing great. I think about you and I pray that all my loved ones will be happy. I want everyone to find joy in this life. And that's why I am on this mission. I need to spread His truth to those people in Thailand. It is my responsibility now. It is my honor. 

I love you!


Sister Carter

All of us modeling our new "tinkerbell" slippers and headbands that Sister Peterson's dad sent us all. (Left to Right) Me, Sister Peterson, Sister Maughan, and Sister Her (my companion)

 Sister Her and I with the tree that smells like orange cream soda! Haha! Don't ask me how they knew this... (yes, we smelled the tree and looked like dorks while doing it!)

 My desk in my classroom with most of my study material that I use everyday! I got a LOT of books!
My classroom from the front
  My 3 versions of Preach my Gospel. The one on the right is in Thai Script, and then English, and Romanized Thai (so I can actually read it! haha!)
 Open Book of Mormon in Thai Script and the Thai Bible is in the back.  

Class with my desk in the far right corner
 The Elders love drawing this "zen face", it makes me laugh! At the top it says "cay yen yen" which means "Calm down". It's just great!
  My Sisters "studying" in the classroom. (Left to Right) Sister Her, Sister Peterson, and Sister Maughan
 Picture of what my residence hall door looks like. Other sisters had decorated it this way before we arrived. It's pretty cool! (Triforce ftw!)