Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Week 2, It is my half birthday!!!!

First off I would just like to say to all of you who have written me it is so great to here from all of you! I love you all so much and it makes my days so great when I get to read them! Unfortunately I only have an hour to send emails. If I could I would sit here all day to talk to all of you but just know that you all are awesome!!

Monday July 22;
It was a pretty relaxing day and much needed! Not a ton happened. We only visited two investigators and had dinner with a member. Nothing too exciting but it was a much needed day!

Tuesday July 23;
I would say today was my first 9 hour day! We left at noon and didn't get home until 9. I don't remember if I have talked about Nora and Savannah but they are awesome!!!! Savannah is 13 and they both love the Book of Mormon. When I first met this family there was so much fighting all the time. I always heard about fights. Now, this family has completely changed. They are always so happy and it is so fun to talk with them and teach them. I thought I would never be able to love this family but they are probably my favorite family to teach right now. They always have such good stories to tell about reading their scriptures and they are just awesome!
The Bishop in my ward is from Oregon!! He is from Albany and his wife is from St. Helens and they went to OSU. He totally knows where Sunset is which is awesome! He is such a great man!

Wednesday July 24;
Today I met Alex Scott. She is 16 and is basically sooo awesome! She is probably the happiest person we teach and I feel like she has to get along with everybody! She is fun to teach and to talk to and she asks so many awesome questions when we teach her! She asks more questions than anybody but they are all so awesome and help us teach her so much. We had dinner at the Leedom's tonight and we go there every Wednesday. It is so funny, they are members but don't go to church even though they have amazing testimonies of the gospel. They live the gospel they just don't like going to church because of the people. I am finding out that a little bit ago the ward here had some people that must have ran people away or something because there are so many people who know this church is true but they don't go to church because of the people. It is so sad to see but they love me and Elder Williams and can see that there has been a change so hopefully we can get everyone back to church. 
Tonight we picked up Elder Maxwell for and exchange. He is the traveling assistant and will be working with Elder Williams and I for the next 2 days.

Thursday July 25;
It has been so awesome having Elder Maxwell here! He has been out on his mission 23 months so he only has a month left. He is such an amazing missionary and I have learned so much from him already from just watching him teach people. It is such and honor to have got to serve with him.
We talked about sin and repentance a lot today because Elder Maxwell just loves to talk about it and teach it. He said that sin is just a result of being selfish. I have never thought about it but it is so true. Every sin we ever commit is an act of being selfish and wanting to please ourselves at the moment. He then said if he could only teach one thing on his mission it would be repentance. If we think about the true meaning of repentance, everything in our church has to do with it. Often, I think of repentance as just asking for forgiveness but it is much more than that. Repentance is the act of turning your heart to God, and making changes to do that. Forgiveness is part of it, but something as simple as praying daily after not praying for a while is repenting because it brings us closer to God.

Friday July 26;
Today was an awesome day!! We had to get up at 6am after going to bed late because we had district meeting! We got to interview with President Pitt which is always an awesome experience. Just from talking with him I know that he expects great things from me and from the area I'm serving right now! This only made me realize how much potential I have and the faith he has in me which made me feel so good. 
After our meeting we went to Hill Billy Hot Dogs. It is in Huntington, West Virginia. The restaurant reminded a lot of Portland because of how weird it was. They had a bathtub and an outhouse in the store that you could sit and eat at. I will try to send pictures of it. 
Tonight was probably the best overall and most relaxing night so far. Everything just seemed to flow and work out perfectly. Elder Maxwell, Williams, and I all said that the night just felt different. We don't know what had changed but it just was so peaceful the entire night as we taught everyone.

Saturday July 27;
Today was probably the best day so far on my mission! In the morning we helped Betty, the 80 year old women, with her yard. We had taken all the rocks from her yard so there were a bunch of holes and we had finally found dirt to fill them. She was so grateful and people had finally come to fix her roof. I met someone named Mike Charles, and the name is ironic because he reminded me a lot of dad. Not in looks but he ran a very similar business and just seemed to think similarly. It was so nice to talk with him. 
Tonight we were at Wendy's. We were looking for someone who worked there who we had met and we thought she would be interested in us teaching her. She was not there though but we were there at that point for a reason. A lady named Amy needed food and we were able to help her. It was a little ridiculous how much she got but I'm so glad we were able to help her because it seemed to make her day. We then met Roger who was behind us in line. Roger has been living on the streets for 7 months now and has been trying to get into rehab the last 4 months for a heroine addiction. He has 3 kids that he doesn't see because of his addiction and he wants nothing more than to get over his addiction. We offered him help and he said he would go to church with us Sunday but we still haven't heard from him and I hope that at some point we either can call him or find him again because I don't know how yet but I want to help him. We found him for a reason and I know that we can help him some how.

Sunday July 28;
Today was so hard! I thought we would have like 10 investigators at church today and nobody came and we still are not sure why. I was already tired and it kind of ruined my morning when none of them showed up. I later remembered though that many of them have many issues and many don't have cars and the rides they had may have fallen through. As hard as it was to have nobody there I hope that we can continue to help them and next week they will be at church.
We had two dinners tonight which was awesome! One was with an investigator and the other was with Sister Duplain and her grand kids. Both of them were so much fun because there were kids at both of them and it cheered me up so much. I must say thought that I miss my mothers cooking! The food out here is great but it just isn't as good. It wasn't a great day but if this was the worst day of my mission I would be pretty happy! I learned a lot today though and hope that what I learned will help me in the future.

Thank you again to everyone for the love and support! I could not do this without all of the love and prayers! You are all so awesome!!
Elder Ryan Carter

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