Monday, December 30, 2013


Well I can't believe it is already a New Year. As of this week I will be out on my mission for 6 months already. I thought people were lying when they said a mission goes by fast, but it has flown by and it only gets faster!
It was an awesome Christmas week full of so much joy and excitement. It was truly amazing to get to really focus on the true meaning of Christmas this year as a missionary, and I mean that literally. Christmas Eve we spent a couple of hours out tracting doors trying to find people to teach. However, I must say it was one of the best, if not the best Christmas ever. Even though I was not home with my family, it was truly amazing to celebrate it with others.
     The night of Christmas Eve we went over to the Haws where we had an awesome dinner and then acted out the Nativity with their family as well as 4 other missionaries that came with us. It was honestly so much fun! I got to be the sheep! Go me!
    Christmas was awesome being able to spend time with members of our ward and then getting the wonderful opportunity to call home! It was so wonderful getting to see my family and talk to them and hear there awesome voices!
    The rest of the week was pretty normal. Everyone was out of town because it was the Holiday's so a lot of people were gone but it was a good week and there a lot of people we found that are interested in hearing our message. I am so excited for this new year and this new transfer. I am so excited for the work this year and I can already feel an excitement for all that is going to happen!
I love you all and have a wonderful New Year!
Elder Carter
"I believe that no concern of oursw is too small or insignificant. The Lord is in the details of our lives."
-President Thomas S. Monson

And BIG Thank You to everyone that thought of me or sent me something for the Holidays! I definitely have felt so much love and support during this time!

It's beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS!

Wow what a week we had here in Morgantown. The weeks just keep flying by faster and faster. This Wednesday we had a big meeting with President and Sister Pitt and we talked about covenants but the best part was at the end. All 50 or 60 missionaries that were there stood up and shared their favorite scriptures of Christ. I had a hard time choosing because I just don't like picking favorites but two of my favorites are 2 Nephi 7:7-9 and 3 Nephi 17:21-22
2 Nephi 7:7-9
    7 For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
    8 And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth.
    9 For the Lord God will help me. And all they who shall condemn me, behold, all they shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up.
3 Nephi 17:21-22
   21 And when he had said these words, he awept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and bblessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
   22 And when he had done this he wept again;
The best part of the week though was yesterday at church. We got a Christmas Miracle!! We had made a goal to get allof our investigators to church and when we got to church in the morning it didn't seem like anyone would make it so we could only hope that someone would come. It was about 5 minutes before sacrament and I had almost just given up all hope of anyone coming. (To preface this story, I first have to tell you that Saturday night we went to invite Patty and Jenna to church but they weren't home so we left a note saying to call us or Sister Curtis, who Patty and Jenna are friends with, to get a ride.) Well to continue the story, Charlotte, Sister Curtis' daughter, walked in and her brother was poking her so she was a little annoyed at this point. Elder Kamauu almost jokingly then says "Did you bring a friend to church today?" Charlotte then said, almost annoyed because of her brother, "Yeah." Elder Kamauu, shocked, then said, "Wait... what? Jenna is here?" We then got the same response and tone of "Yeah."
Elder Kamauu and I then looked at eachother, then down the hall, and surely enough there stood Patty and Jenna!!! So amazing!!
We later found out that Patty called Sister Curtis at 8 that morning and almost embarrased asked for a ride to church even though Jenna was sick. It was truly a miracle!!!
And then during church you'll never guess what I actually did... I sang in the choir... not well, but I did it. It ended up being really good and not nearly as bad of an experience as I thought it would be.
Well this dumb computers are about to kick me off but I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas!! I love you all!
Elder Ryan Carter
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King!  Let every heart prepare Him room, And Saints and angels sing.” 
3 Nephi 1:12-13
    12 And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord aall that day; and behold, the bvoice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
    13 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the asign be given, and on the bmorrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to becspoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.

Winter Wonderland

This has by far been one of the hardest weeks on my mission if not the hardest week so far. We went around looking for people to teach pretty much all week and didn't really have much success. We had lessons fall through, and nobody was home when we tried to find people to teach. And yet somehow, this work is still amazing! It definitely helps to be surrounded by so many missionaries, and guess what, the church is STILL true. It is just hard to see so many people where you see how much happier they can be but they don't want it.
But to end off the week Sunday was awesome! We spent 11 hours at our church buidling. In that 11 hours, 3 hours was at church, 2 was just getting to church early, 2 was spent in choir, and 4 was spent at 2 different baptisms. Unfortunately, not baptisms of our own but it is still always amazing to be at a baptism. There was a kid in our ward that just turned 8 and then the University Elders baptized Brycen which was awesome to be at! And for all of you who know how talented my family is at singing... yes I'm in the choir. The ward basically come up to the missionaries and begged us to join. I told them I woulnd't be much of a help but they wanted me to join so I did. We are singing next week in church for our Christmas program so hopefully I don't do completely awful and ruin the entire show...
Hopefully this next week is better so I have some exciting stories to share with y'all.
Oh and it snowed like 2 inches last night! It is kinda cold here today.
Hashtags of the week
#Set ItUp
#Get Dunked
 Oh and the attached picture is our beautiful "Christmas Tree"... We had presents but no tree so we decided to make one
Well I love you all!
Love Elder Ryan Carter
"Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries and predecessors; try to be better than yourself."
 -Charlie T. Jones


This week we had a zone meeting and we talked a lot about what happens with a new year since this will be the last meeting we have of the year. We talked a lot about how we make resolutions and how we all have an opportunity to change and to start fresh. As missionaries we come and and we are called greenies because we are so fresh and new. We talked about why as missionaries we lose that "greenie fire" or "greenie faith" after a while and how we all need to refocus ourselve on what we are doing and always have that fire and that faith and be "Forever Green". It was an eye opener for me because in life we all know what we can be, what we are capable of, and what it takes to be successful, but there are times when we make excuses and I have felt like I have been making excuses and so now I am able to have a fresh start. I get to become a greenie again, and for all you missionaries, put the dork dot back on the name tag.
This week we met a member who is less active who has a daughter that is 11 and has never been to church in her life. We were going around knocking on doors trying to find people to teach and ran into them. We went back the next day and watched a video on Christ's birth and the Christmas season. After, the daughet, Jenna, said she wants to go to church and that she feels like she needs to go to church. Unfortunately, they were busy this week, but in the future I hope and pray that they will begin coming.
Well I don't have much time left to write but I hope you all have had a wonderful week! You all are amazing, and remember the true meaning of Christmas during this time of the year. Remember Jesus Christ, and all of the amazing things that he has done for each of us individually. He has died for each one of us so that we could live again after this life! He loves each and every one of you perfectly! He knows you and He is always there to help you.
I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Elder Ryan Carter

“Give me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self---in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.”

-C.S. Lewis

#TractingInAWinterWonderland #IdtTractThat

It is December!! How is it already December! It snowed a few times this week so it is getting a lot colder here. Unfortunately it is all melted by now and didn't really stick at all.
So I have a funny story for y'all. I can't remember if I told this already but if so I'm telling it again. Last week we were walking to the library to email and there was a guy walking down the hill and we were going to walk right by him. Elder Kamauu was so excited and was going to talk to him. As he was building up his courage I hear a thud. I turned around and he was on the ground. He had slipped on some ice. He said he has never seen ice on the road before so he didn't even know what he slipped on until I asked what happened. Guess I'm failing on teaching him how to live in a colder place than Hawaii.
This week we had another dinner with the Kellem's and they have a daughter that is so much like Caddie. She is 11 years old and has no filter. Apparently she has "her people" to get stuff for her. Sound anything like Caddie? It was crazy!
Thankgiving was awesome! We went to a Turkey Bowl in the morning which was a ton of fun except we were playing in the snow so it was pretty cold. Don't worry though I was crazy enough to just wear long sleeve and a tshirt and then shorts and thermal leggings. Maybe that was why I was cold... The rest of the day was pretty much spent with the Fidlers who fed us lunch and dinner. We just played games and hung out but the best part is that their daughter in-law knew my cousin. Small world.
And then to top the week off I have to talk about pepporoni rolls. The Fidlers to a Christmas music fireside yesterday which was awesome. But on top of that they made us pepporoni rolls. It is a roll stuffed with pepporoni, cheese, and pizza sauce! So good! I guess it is a WV thing.
But yesterday at church I learned something cool about sacrifice. We often think of sacrifice as just giving something up but when we really begin to think about it we sacrifice things so we can receive blessings from God in return. It was a cool realization that when we sacrifice God is just going to turn around and bless us in return so it really is not a sacrifice at all. God just wants us to show we are willing to follow him first.
I love you all! Thank you again for all the love and support! I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Elder Ryan Carter
"The past is behind: learn from it.
The future is ahead: prepare for it.
The present is here: Live in it!"
-Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Living it up in Mo Town #YOMO (you only mission once)

So just to explain this hashtag in the subject. Our zone has a saying YOMO and everyone says it so I just thought I would share it with all of you.
I now am in an area where we go to a library to email and so we have a limited time to email so my emails are going to start to get a little shorter. I wish I could continue sharing what happens each day but I am just going to share the highlights of the week.
I'm in MORGANTOWN!!! It is absolutely awesome here. There are 12 missionaries serving here which is super exciting! 3 sets of Sisters and 3 sets of Elders. My new companion is Elder Kamauu. He is SUPER green! He has been out in the field a total of 5 days now! So exciting! He is from Ewa Beach, Oahu, in Hawaii. He is 21 years old. He only has a sister who is 19. But the best part is that he is so excited to work and he is so awesome! I have been loving serving with him. He makes me feel pretty smart even though I really don't know that much still. But I have loved training him so far. He just is so good at listening and is just awesome! He just saw a fire place used for the first time EVER yesterday and he has never been in weather this cold. I went from a Canadian who loves this weather to a Hawaiian who has never been in this weather. So funny!
One of our investigators name is Antionette! She is from the Bahamas!!! So cool, and she has a sweet accent! I have only talked with her like 5 minutes though so I'm looking forward to going back.
One of the members of our ward, Sister Lund, took us out on Saturday to go grocery shopping and she was just throwing stuff in the cart for us. She ended up spending like $200 on us. I felt kinda bad but loved it to because that never happened in Portsmouth! She is just so nice! I think she is feeding us on Thanksgiving too!
Okay funny story. We went over to meet an investigator of ours. She is a 91 year old lady named Margaret. She was talking about how her house got cold the night before and how she was freezing. It just so happened our apartment got down to 52 degrees that same night so I told her Elder Kamauu had the same problem. She then goes on to say to Elder Kamauu "Well maybe we could keep each other warm." It was so funny!
Our ward is awesome! Everyone was so welcoming to us. We went over to the Kellems for dinner and they told us to come back for dinner on Tuesday too. Guess they liked us. Everyone keeps offering to help us with anything because oh yeah, we don't have a car. It is the beginning of winter and we have to walk everywhere. It isn't too bad for me but I just have to stay bundled up.
Oh and I called Portsmouth last night and Francis went to church!! That was awesome news! AND Julia is finally going to get baptized! I'm sad I'm going to miss it but I'm so excited for them! Especially since there is a new missionary in Portsmouth so that will be super cool for him!
I hope that y'all have a great thankgiving week! I'm am so thankful for all of you and your support!
Elder Carter
"If you only had that which you had thanked God for that day, what would you have?"
“What if you only had today what you thanked God for yesterday?”

Heading to Mo Town

Well I have exciting news! After 4 and 1/2 months in Portsmouth, Ohio, I'm now going to Morgantown, West Virginia! I will be training a new missionary and I'm super nervous but also so excited because of all the exciting things I have heard about the area!

Tuesday Nov 12th:
It was a crazy day today. We went out to dinner tonight with Nickles out at the daycare they own. It was a weird environment to go to dinner but I've worked in a daycare so it was okay. But, next thing I know is they are in the office yelling at a worker of theirs and we are pretty sure they fired her. It got a little crazy... Along with that, the wife yelled at the kids a few times which I've heard she does a lot. Definitely one of the more awkward dinners we've been to. They didn't yell at us though and were nice to us so it wasn't too bad, just awkward.

Wednesday Nov 13th:
Tonight was so much fun! We had a surprise party for Brother Sanford who was turning 40. They rented out the laser tag place/ bowling alley and also got arcade games and stuff. Not exactly sure if the arcade games and everything was approved but oh well, we had a lot of fun. There were a bunch of ward members there and we had a blast. For those of you who have watched How I Met Your Mother, I felt like Barney Stinson! It was LEGEN... wait for it.................. DARY!  LEGENDARY!!

Thursday Nov 14th:
Today we had a zone meeting which was really cool. We talked about Zion and what it is. There were a few quote I really liked. The first was "It begins ONE at a time." The other was "Zion is created ONE person at a time, ONE family at a time, ONE ward at a time, and eventually ONE stake at a time." It was really cool for me just hearing he importance of ONE. Never feel like you are unimportant! 

Friday Nov 15th:
Tonight we met with Jill in the Sanford's home. It was a very good experience where the spirit was very strong. (and it was nice not having to teach out in the cold) She has her concerns like all investigators do but you can tell that she has a strong desire to find out if the Book of Mormon is true! So elect!

Saturday Nov 16th:
Today was an awesome day! Tonight we were able to set Bryce and Alex on date for December 21st! It was really cool because before tonight Alex hadn't ever really opened up. We talked a lot about how the gospel blesses our lives and about baptism. The craziest part about them is that we have had so many people who know them really well tell us they won't ever change. They don't believe us when we tell them they are until they come to a lesson with us. A few months ago this would have never happened. We were in the right place at the right time and they now are making huge improvements in their lives. God know each of us. He knows our wants and desires and he places us at certain places at certain times.

Sunday Nov 17th:
Today was awesome! We had the primary program in Church today which is always awesome! There is always one kid that steals the show and today it was Ellie Ekins'. She is like 6 or 7 years old and gave like a 7 minute talk in the middle of the program that was better than a lot of the talks I've heard youth give. It was awesome!! She had more attitude than Keely and Caddie if that give you any perspective on how awesome she is! 
Tonight we went to the Sanford's home which was a lot of fun. We did an FHE with them and their two daughters both made me stuff because they new I was leaving. It was so cute! One of them wrote me a letter and said she wishes I was part of their family. They are an awesome family with great kids!

Monday Nov 18th:
Today I went on an exchange with Elder Fielding in Ashland which was a lot of fun! We had two awesome meals, one of which made me think of home because everything that was made was something either my grandma or mom would make. It was awesome! Then we went and taught a lady who is getting baptized on Saturday and she was missing 3 toes which was weird. That's our mission for you though. 

Tuesday Nov 19th:
Well not much happened today. Every single plan fell through on my last full day in Portsmouth. I hate telling people I'm leaving though! It is not any fun in the slightest! I have come to love these people so much so it is going to be very hard to say goodbye. 

Well I'm super excited to go to Morgantown! Portsmouth has been a really fun experience though and I definitely am going to miss it. 
I love y'all!!
Elder Carter

"The creation of a thousand forests is in ONE acorn" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Promised Land

Sorry about not emailing yesterday! We had computers to use but the internet wasn't working for them and the person who works here had the day off so we couldn't really email so we were told to do it today. 

Monday Nov 4th:
This morning we were studying and we got a call from our Zone Leaders asking if we wanted to go to Huntington to play basketball. Of course my answer was yes! I haven't played an actualy game in 4 months. It was a lot of fun! There were over 20 missionaries there! I didn't realize how out of shape I was. "Working out" for 30 minutes in the morning is not cutting it for staying in shape. But it was a really good day and I enjoyed it!

Tuesday Nov 5th:
So I forgot to write in my journal about today. The only thing I really remember is going to visit a less active that Elder Hudson used to meet with and we got her to come back to church this week which was exciting! Everyone went and gave her hugs when they saw her so it was a good experience.

Wednesday Nov 6th:
I must begin by saying that Isaiah is so confusing to read! I have been reading the chapters from Isaiah that are in the Book of Mormon recently and tonight we read two chapters with Bryce and his brother Alex. This morning I was reading in 2 Nephi 25:1 which says Isaiah is hard to understand unless you are from Jerusalem or have been taught in the ways of the Jews so guees it's a lost cause... I will never get it...

Thursday Nov 7th:
We have had two wedddings this month! Crazy! Tonight, Rhonda and Shane got married which was really cool. Rhonda is a member and they have been living together so it has been hard for her to do because she knows she is breaking the commandments. And Shane wants to be baptized but could be until they got married so all of it was good. Now Shane just has to quit smoking. Shane isn't our investigator but I've gotten to know him pretty well from Church and other activities since he and Caleb, really like the Elders and we go to the same ward they do. 

Friday Nov 8th:
Today was a very exciting and spiritual day! Elder Joseph W. Sitati of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy came to our mission today. I learned so much from what he shared with us. He spoke to us from 9-12 and then from 1-3 so a total of 5 hours of just him teaching us. There are two things I really liked that he shared with us.
1. "If you find that fulfilling your purpose is challenging, it means you are growing.
2. "You always know the spirit was there after, never before." We can always prepare to receive help and guidance from the spirit.

And the last thing I wanted to share from it was something that his wife, Sister Sitati, said.
"There is no commandment, big or small, not to be obeyed."
We can't make excuses on the commandment we follow or that we don't, and we definitely can't affort to be making excuses either.

Saturday Nov 9th:
It is crazy how the Lord provides us with opportunities to teach and talk with people. Today we were with Bridgett and a man walked by and asked if we would come talk to him later. After we finished teaching Bridgett we went and talked to him and he seemed intersted. He had a lot of interesting ideas but hopefully by teaching him we can help him better understand all that we know. 

Sunday Nov 10th:
Church was a little crazy today. In sacrament meeting the topic was tithing, and in Sunday school we taught the Law of Chasity. One of the members in our ward that is at the college brought a friend for the first time. That is one way to introduce them to the church! But the crazy part is after sacrament we had to go change somebody's tire that got flat during church. I'm not complaining though. It sure beat teaching an entire class of investigators about the Law of Chastity. Other than that not much happened today.

Monday Nov 11th:
Today was awesome! We went to Ashland, KY today along with 8 other missionaries (4 sisters, and 4 elders)  and we played volleyball and basketball which was a lot of fun. Tonight we got a new investigator too. He is the one that came to church with the member at the college. Guess church wasn't to crazy for him. But he is a Sophomore at Shawnee State University. They seem to have talked a lot about the church already which is good but so far he seems to be pretty firm in his beliefs so hopefully he is able to open up and his prayers are answered about the Book of Mormon and our church. 

It snowed last night...
Inline image 1Inline image 2

Thank you all for the prayers and the support! I love you all!!
Love Elder Carter

The Hardest Thing I've Ever Loved to Do!

Well crazy to think that I have already been out 4 months now. Where has the time gone? I'm loving every second of it though, even the hard seconds because it means that I'm learning something that will only help me in the near or distant future. 

Monday Oct 28th:
We gave Heaven another blessing today. I always thought that my accident was hard until I met her. I have so much respect for her and her faith. She so easily could just give up and be unhappy with all the trials in her life but she just keeps on fighting and always has a good attitude even when everything is thrown at her all at once. It is really quite inspiring to be able to see her attitude toward life and everything she does for others to help them see the positives in life. 

Tuesday Oct 29th:
Brother Sherman came out with us today which is always a good experience. He actually is moving to Wenatchee in Washington I think is what he said which is cool. But It is always nice when we are able to take people with us who have served missions because they know how to work with us and it always makes our job a lot easier as missionaries.

Wednesday Oct 30th:
Today was a lot of fun. We went over to the Leedoms tonight for dinner and I asked Austin a question and HE DIDN'T KNOW THE ANSWER!! Okay maybe not too exciting for all of you but he knows like everything I swear so it was crazy that he didn't know the answer to the question. After dinner we had our ward Trunk-or-Treat which was a lot of fun. One of the members dressed up as a fortune teller and apparently I'm going to have 9 children.... uhhhh not happening! But crazy story from today! So there are these things out here called Japanese Beetles. They look just like Lady Bugs but they are orange instead of read. When I say there were thousands at one of our investigators house I'm not exaggerating. I wish I would have taken pictures but I didn't. It was awful! Apparently they bite but we were flicking them off the entire time we were there and it was really distracting. It was the craziest thing!

Thursday Oct 31st:
Happy Halloween! Halloween is weird here. They are given a time when can trick-or-treat, and I guess it usually isn't normally on October 31st so it was a big deal this year that Halloween was on the right day. But it was a hard day because we can't really go out and find people on Halloween so we decided we would stay at our house and pass out candy. One problem with this idea though... NOBODY CAME TO OUR HOUSE!! We are in a neighborhood and there were kids walking by our street but not a single person came to our house. It was really disappointing! 

Friday November 1st:
We taught Nora today for the first time in like 2 months and it was awesome! She has been really busy and had a lot of family members pass away recently so we haven't seen her at all for a couple months. She still reads the Book of Mormon daily and prays all the time which is awesome! The fact that she still continues to read after all this time is so cool to see!

Saturday November 2nd:
Inline image 1
Okay we made up a cool story! So the past few days we have had words of the days that we have to use in a lesson. Today the word was Gondola. Refer to the picture above for the parable. 

The Gondola represents the church. We must all enter into it through baptism and we must remain in the boat so we don't fall away. 
The guy pushing the boat (don't know the actual term) is the prophet. He is there to guide us on the right path . By staying on the Gondola we can follow him.
The stick (I found out they don't use an ore) represents revelation. They have to be able to reach the ground, Or God, with the stick to keep moving forward. Without a prophet and revelation we would be stagnant and this would not be the Church of Jesus Christ.
In order to reach Heaven we must stay on the right path. Heaven, like the dock, is our destination. We must take the necessary steps to get there and follow the counsel of the prophet and his apostles.

Maybe a little bit of a stretch but we thought it was clever! :)

Sunday Nov 3rd:
My study/ what I learned today: "It is impossible for us to fail when we do our best when we are on the Lord's errand." -Elder M. Russel Ballard
This quote is referring to missionary work but I believe it is a true principle for all of us. If we are doing all the Lord has asked us to do, and we do our best we will not fail. We may face challenges, life isn't easy, but we will learn and grow and find success and we continually turn to the Lord. Often we will have to ask for help and the Lord is always there to help us. 
 aAsk, and it shall be bgiven you; cseek, and ye shall find; dknock, and it shall be opened unto you:
 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that aseekethfindeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask abread, will he give him a stone?
 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
 11 If ye then, abeing evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

This work is so amazing! I love it so much even though it is hard! To see the change that occurs in the lives of our investigators is truly amazing! I love you all!
Elder Ryan Carter

"You must become the rock the river cannot wash away."

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Oct 21st:
So today we had to run to the hospital to give someone a blessing. It is a 17 year old girl who has cancer that only adults have. As far as I've heard she is the only kid in the world with it so it is pretty crazy. It is amazing to see her outlook on life though and how positive she is. We have had a few conversations about our hospital experiences and how "fun" they are. It is crazy how many blessings I have given. I knew I would be giving them but I didn't realize how often it would be happening. It has definitely been really cool for me though.

Tuesday Oct 22nd:
So we were able to see Julia today which was good! She almost went back to New York on Saturday because of family issues but she said she stayed because she is not leaving before she gets baptized. She is so much more prepared than we realized and it is so cool to see. Now we just have to keep teaching her and helping her learn more and more.

Wednesday Oct 23rd:
So today we taught Jason and Jamie and Jason asked if we could study forgiveness in the Book of Mormon. (We have been going over and studying topics out of the index in the Book of Mormon and then discussing the verses that stick out to them.) We ended up talking about the parable Jesus give in the Bible in Matthew 18:21-22 
" 21 ¶Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I aforgive him? till seven times?
 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until aseventy times seven."
We also talked about how when Jesus was on the cross how he forgave the Roman soldiers and said "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Both of these are such great examples of how we must forgive others even when it is difficult to do so. We must follow the example of Jesus Christ and always work to become more like him.

Thursday Oct 24th:
So funny story for today! We got a media referral that was in Lucasville and we are supposed to try and contact them within 24 hours of receiving them. Our plans had fallen through and so we decided to go out and try and contact the refferal. Well we were driving out there and then all of a sudden we see a sign that says "Welcom to Pike County" and we just turned and were like "Oh shoot! We just left the mission!" Not only did we leave our area but our entire mission... haha We turned around and called our zone leaders and the only thing they said was "Don't crash, and hurry and get back in your area" It was a pretty crazy experience. Guess I'm not very obedient....

Friday Oct 25th:
Well today I got to serve with Elder Morgan in Portsmouth. It was a really fun day and we were able to get a lot of things done! The craziest part though was at night we started talking and he was telling me all that I need to start doing to prepare to be a leader soon. It was kinda crazy but somewhat expected too. Everyone keeps telling me I need to be an example even though I'm new. It is kind of scary but definitely something that keeps me motivated. 

Saturday Oct 26th:
So I don't think I have ever done yard work in October until today. Today we mowed and weed wacked and moved some rocks for somebody that was friends with a member in our ward. I must say I'm becoming quite the pro at yard work. 

Sunday Oct 27th:
We were able to get Bryce to church today which was awesome!! His grandma is a member and didn't know he was coming so it was really cool to see her reaction to him being there. And one of the members that has known Bryce for a long time said "I don't know what you are doing but keep it up." It has been cool to see the change in Bryce but even cooler to see how much other people are recognizing it. A lot of people thought he would never really change or join the church but he is improving leaps and bounds every day. It is so cool to be a part of!

Well that is pretty much it for my week! I love you all!
Elder Ryan Carter

"You must become the rock the river cannot wash away."

This is an old picture that I finally got. This is Elder Williams and I with Bridgett and her son Jojo
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So this week has probably been one of the least busy of my mission but it has been a great week regardless and it is crazy how much I continue to learn each day!

Tuesday Oct 15th:
I don't know how P-days were so busy in the past. We always seemed to be running around like chickens with our heads cut off  trying to do everything but today we had 3 hours to just sit around and relax. Nothing to exciting but it was definitely a good day.

Wednesday Oct 16th:
Well today was an interesting day. Last night I aked Elder Hudson if he had ever had a day where he was able to keep all the plans they had made for a day. Well I learned to never ask that again because today nothing we planned happened the way we hoped. I have never felt like there was nothing to do until today because we tried so many things and none of it worked out. However, we had one plan that worked out with Julia, and we were able to set her on date for baptism. Hopefully, it works out this time and she doesn't get scared like last time. 

Thursday Oct 17th:
Today was weekly planning day and we didn't end up leaving the house until 6 because we had a lot to plan since we just finished our first full week and he now knows the people we are teaching. Tonight we had a cool experience though. So I always carry consecrated oil with me because I never know when I'm going to have to give a blessing but since we left late I almsot didn't bring it but for some reason I decided to grab it anywys. At 8 we got a text from Kyle saying that Jacee was in the hospital and needed a blessing because something was wrong with her apendix. We were able to be there within 5 minutes and if I hadn't been prepared we wouldn't have been there as quickly.

Friday Oct 18th:
This morning Kyle texted us to tell us how Jacee was doing. The doctors said she is one of the luckiest people they have ever seen. Her appendix had become so swollen and burst and did no damage to any other organs. It easily could have killed her but instead she is going to have a short recovery. Kyle says he believes with all his heart that she was okay because of the blessing and I'm so glad I was able to be a part of it. 
Tonight was awesome! We were able to teach Jill tonight and had an awesome lesson! She has a 22 month old daughter who is awesome now that she isn't scared of us and shy anymore. We were able to teach her the Plan of Salvation and she seemed to really understand it. She didn't ask questions or show concerns like most people because of how different it is. But she doesn't really have a lot of knowledge so she wasn't really set in any belief which made it easier. At the end we were able to set her on date too though which was awesome! Hopefully we will be having two baptisms in November at this point. 

Saturday Oct 19th- Sunday Oct 20th:
This weekend was Stake Conference so we were in Huntington, West Virginia for most of the weekend so we didn't really teach many lessons. But the conference was awesome! The entire confence was focused on the work of salvation. President and Sister Pitt both gave talks and there were 3 things I really liked that they said where the members can be more involved. The first was the fact that missionary work is not a part of our church but a part of our lifes. We are all life-time missionaries and we don't have to be serving as full-time missionaries to be doing missionary work. It should be a part of are lives and who we are. The second was the invitation for every member to pray for a missionary momentDAILY! It doesn't always have to be sharing the gospel or teaching which leads into my last point I liked. "Come and see." We should be open to inviting others to "come and see" who we are, what we do, how we live. One of the best ways to be a missionary is to be an example in the way we act, and the way we live. Missionary work was never meant to be hard. It isn't supposed to be hard. We have the Lord on our side to help us. He is always there to lift us up or give us a helping hand when we are doing his work! 

"It is impossible to fail when you do your best when you are on the Lord's errand." -Elder M. Russel Ballard

I love you all! Keep the faith! Your Father in Heaven loves you!
Elder Ryan Carter

Loving Life

So all throughout this week I keep thinking about the fact that a year ago I was laying in a hospital bed not really know what was going to happen to me and the fact that I'm out here on a mission is crazy! It has been a pretty happy week because of the fact that I'm remembering how much of a miracle it is that I'm even out on a mission right now!

Wednesday Oct 9th:
Today was crazy busy getting ready for transfers and everything! I made hash browns for breakfast since we didn't have milk for cereal or anything to have anything else so I just decided to make hash browns out of a potato. The crazy thing is, it actually tasted delicious! I keep surprising myself with my cooking skills. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it... but it was good!

Thursday Oct 10th:
Elder Hudson is here and he is awesome! He is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He played rugby and football but also likes hockey and basketball. He likes the same music as me. And as far as I can tell likes the same movies. So I'm very excited to serve with him! He has been out almost 20 months and he served in Portsmouth a little over a year ago. But that's about all I know but I'm super excited to serve with him!
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Friday Oct 11th:
Tonight we went to a wedding! It was for Kyle and Jacee, members in our ward. It was super relaxed but it was a lot of fun. That took up like all of the night and during the day we had weekly planning so there wasn't too much that happened today.

Saturday Oct 12th:
Happy Birthday Dad!!! Hope you had a great day!!
Today we had a lesson with Jason and Jamie and we have been teaching them how to use the index. We studied 'strength' which was actually really cool. I learned a lot and Jamie kept smiling which is awesome because they are going through a lot right now and we haven't seen her smile much in the past. 

Sunday Oct 13th:
Happy Birthday Kiley!! I was thinking about last year and the only memory I have of this day is when everyone came and visited me. It was crazy how packed the room was!  But it is crazy to see how much has changed since then in such a short amount of time. 
Tonight we watched President Monson's talk with Britdgett and after it finished all she said was "Wow! He really sucks you in!" It was really cool to listen to it again and to see how she reacted to it. It was such an amazing talk and as he talks you just feel so much peace and love!

Monday Oct 14th:
This morning we had interviews with President Pitt along with a district meeting which both were good! One thing we discussed in district meeting was expectations. What we expect of ourselves, our companionship, our areas, and a few other things. It really got me thinking and then I met with President Pitt who told me the expectations he has for me. He said if some situations hadn't come up, I would have been training right now and would be a district leader. He also told me how he expects that I will have many leadership roles throughout my mission. Along with these individual expectations, he told Elder Hudson that he expects our district to be the model and example for our entire mission. Normally I would feel pressured with all of this but I'm very excited for the work that is going to take place here in Portsmouth. This transfer is going to be very exciting and we are going to see many great things! 

For those of you who are struggling or just are looking for something to read, read 2 Nephi 4:17-35 in the Book of Mormon. It really has helped me overcome the imperfections I have because I know that I don't have to be perfect. Even a prophet of God makes mistakes! Never give up! Just work to become better!

I love you all! This work is amazing! This Gospel is true!

Elder Carter

Inline image 3This is JoJo, Bridgett's son. I think he is 22 months old now.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Staying in Portsmouth

It has been another amazing week! The weeks out here fly by! I honestly don't know where they go! But I have finished my training and I will be getting a new companion tomorrow!

Monday Sept 30:
Well today was crazy busy! There is never enough time in the day to do everything we want to and honestly need to do. But we met with Bridgett tonight which is always awesome! She told us tonight "Since you guys came around, I'm starting to feel peace that I haven't felt in a long time." I couldn't help but smile but she always tells me I smile too much! I guess I'm just a happy person :)

Tuesday Oct 1:
Today was AWESOME!!! We taught an amazing lesson today to Jill and her mother Joy. We were about 10 minutes into the lesson and both of them were already crying because the spirit was so strong. They both have gone to the r-LDS church here in Portsmouth so they already know a lot more than they realize but both are so ready and are looking for more! It is so cool to see!

Wednesday Oct 2:
My second family sent me a package!! Gotta love the Hickens! 
Also I got to serve in Ashland Kentucky today with Elder Morgan. It was so fun to get out of Portsmouth for a little bit because I haven't really gone anywhere for 3 months. I learned a lot from the exchange and he is so much fun! Elder Williams says we are the two happiest missionaries in the mission so needless to say it was awesome!
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Elder Morgan and I cheesin it up! (He is from California near Anaheim)

Thursday Oct. 3:
Nothing too exciting really happened today. We worked a lot on planning for the upcoming week but I learned a lot that is going to make a big difference in my mission.

Friday Oct. 4:
We had zone meeting this morning which always means a good day! We have been focusing a lot on "Becoming" as missionaries and I always learn so much about what and how I can "Become" better. Two things really stuck out to me. The first was that our faith can't grow during opposition. It isn't until after the trial of our faith that we see growth, so we must build our faith so we can overcome the opposition when it comes. Along with this idea, the second thing I learned was "Trust in God, and Go on." There is opposition in all things. We are going to have trials in our lives. But, if we put our trust in God, he will help us to overcome any trial or opposition and our faith will increase as we Go on. 
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Our awesome District! (From left to right: Elder Kopelson, Williams, Sister Call, Richards, Elder Morgan, Carter)

Saturday Oct 5th:
Holy Cow!!!!! Conference was AMAZING!!!! today! The love that I have felt today from our leaders is indescribable and the confirmation of the power of the atonement is so peaceful and joyful. My favorite talks today were by President Uchtdorf, Elder Dube, Elder Dykes, Elder Ballard, Elder Funk and my favorite of the day was President Uchtdorf during priesthood session on "You Can Do It Now!" We must always have faith, and the hope to always rise up, even after we have fallen. In life the real test isn't how many times you have fallen, but how many times you have risen back up. "You can do it now" with the help of the Lord and through his atoning sacrifice.

Sunday October 6th, 2013:
Who would have imagined that after all the events from a year ago, that I would be standing here today, 3 months out on my mission. I can't believe how far I have come. I also can't thank everyone enough for the love and support I have received over the last year. I have truly never felt such an outpouring of love for me and for my family. I must say I would not change anything that has happened over the last year, including the accident. The growth and strength I have gained as well as the blessings I've received have changed my life. This last year has been a roller coaster ride, but it has all been worth it. 
With that my favorite talk today and all of conference was President Thomas S. Monson. As I listened, peace and joy filled my heart. It was a perfect end to this less than perfect but amazing year. As he talked about the trials we face in life, I reflected on my own. He said that sadness and sorrows are a part of life. But, we grow stronger through the trials we face, and I know that to be true. Center your lives in the gospel, and whatever is thrown at you will only be but a small trial. "We truly need Him every hour, whether they be hours of sunshine or of rain." I know our Father in heaven loves each of us.

Monday Oct 7th:
The Lord works miracles! The time of 8:30pm to 9:00pm is no referred to as "miracle hour" in our mission. tonight we found a man who is so prepared. We found him on a street we are never on at like 8:45 at night. We stopped and talked to him and he had so many questions that missionaries dream of (or at least I do). We are going to see him on Saturday so it should be awesome!

Tuesday Oct 8th:
Nothing too exciting really today except I found out I will be staying in Portsmouth. My new companion is Elder Hudson! I haven't met him but he will be here tomorrow!

"Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith" -President Uchtdorf

I love you all!
Thank you for all the love and support!
Elder Carter