Monday, September 23, 2013

Hello From Portsmouth

Well this week has definitely had its ups and its downs

Monday Sept 9th:
Well not much happened today but we saw Julia and she said she was really struggling and so we didn't really teach her, instead we got our Book of Mormons and just started reading. By the end she was doing so much better! It is amazing the spirit that is felt from reading the Book of Mormon and the peace that you can feel from it! I know that the only reason she was able to feel better is because of the spirit she felt.

Tuesday Sept 10th:
Some of the most exciting experiences is when we are teaching someone and they just seem to get it and it just makes sense to them. Often people have no idea what the Plan of Salvation is but it makes me feel so good when the investigators just say "Wow. That make so much more sense than what I have been taught." God loves us so much and he wants us to be happy. He knows that we aren't perfect and not everyone is going to follow him but he will never punish us for our choices. He wants all of us to be happy. 

Wednesday Sept 11th:
We went out to Lucasville and Otway today, both are in are area, but I have never been out there before because we never really had anyone to go visit. It was really cool though because soon we will be getting new Elder in Lucasville so we need to start finding people so the area is ready when they get here. We tracted for a little bit and got rejected for the most part but it really isn't that scary because everyone out here is really polite (or at least most people) which makes tracting a lot less scary. 

Thursday Sept 12th:
Well for anyone who has been a missionary is one knows how important having members with us is and today we had 3 members come out with us. It was so cool to have so many come out with us all in one day and all of the lessons went really well. 
In Doctrine & Covenants 130:20-21 it says
 20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
In order for us to receive any blessings, we must be obedient to the commandments that God has given us.

Friday Sept 13th:
Well today we called Julia and she told us that she wanted to postpone the baptism. She has been dealing with a lot of family health problems and well as health issues of her own and just doesn't feel like now is a good time for her to be baptized. She wants to feel ready for it. This made the rest of the day pretty hard and slow. However, at night we had a district meeting which was really good. It was definitely something I needed and really helped me. There was a lot that I learned but I wanted to share a few quotes that I really liked from the meeting. 
"If you're not building your testimony, then you're losing your testimony."
"Hope is seeing ourselves as we may become."
"Hold fast to what you already know, and stand strong until the additional knowledge comes."
"What we know will always trump what we don't know."
"The Gospel is true no matter how many believe it."
"To obey is better than to sacrifice."
"Lord I believe, Help thou my unbelief." Mark 9:24
"When obedience ceases to be an irritant, and becomes a quest, that moment you will be endowed with power on high."

Saturday Sept 14th:
So we didn't end up having our own baptism but the Sisters in our ward did. It was such a cool experience to be a part of. The person who was baptized is one of the sassiest people I know and hates that I'm always happy and smile so much. I don't think she really hates it but she calls me a geek and a punk all the time. The best way to describe her though is after she was baptized she paused a few seconds then said to everyone there "Don't look at my hair!" Everyone laughed so hard because before her baptism her biggest fear was everyone seeing her hair wet so that was really funny. 
Before the baptism I gave a talk on baptism and was scared what I should say because I felt like baptism is something that is hard to speak long about. I tried to think of what would be good for Shawna to hear and decided to focus on the blessings she would receive. By the end she was crying and she told me afterward that I did really well and she loved it and if nobody else did it doesn't matter because I wrote it to direct it to her.
Inline image 2
(Shawnas Baptism)

Sunday Sept 15:
So before I share anything else about my day I must first share a story. On Sunday's we usually have a teenage boy come out with us that is in the young men's. Today Nick O'Connor came with us. Now before we went out to teach anyone we went back to our apartment to eat because we all were hungry. We had a good lunch and at the end I shared some pumpkin bars with him that my mom had sent me earlier in the week. I gave him the knife to cut a piece and he cut it super slow because he said he didn't want to waste any. He took a few bites and then said they were the best pumpkin bars he had ever tasted. After a few more bites he said "Could your mom make these for my wedding?" Elder Williams and I died laughing because this 13 year old kid was talking about a wedding because he loved them so much so good work mom! You did well!
      Anyways we had 3 investigators at church today which was really good. Along with that I always love taking young men out with us to teach. They are usually pretty shy and don't say much but when they share their testimonies the spirit is always so strong. They are so nervous and the testimony is so simple yet I know that everyone can feel the spirit when they share it. 

Well for all of you spider fans out there, you will enjoy this picture. We saw the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life yesterday as we were tracting.
Inline image 1

Well hope everyone is doing well! Thanks for all the love and support!
Elder Ryan Carter

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

More pictures of his new home

Pictures of my house


Well I just sat down and realized I forgot my journal at home which is how I'm able to tell you what happened each day so I will do my best but a few days might be skipped and the letter will probably be a little bit shorter this week. 

Monday Sept 2:
We probably had the most exciting P-day since I have been out in the field! We went to Golden Corrals with the sisters here in Wheelersburg which was fun to see some other people and do stuff on a P-day instead of just clean and shop and do just a bunch of busy work!

Tuesday Sept 3:
What a miracle! We saw Bryce today who we met a few weeks ago. When we met him he was sitting on a porch and we went up to him and he was telling us how he had an infection in his arm but no way to go to the doctors to get antibiotics or anything to fix it. We gave him a blessing and just saw him for the first time since then. He saw us and stopped to talk to us and one of the first things he said was "My arm was healed and I never went and saw a doctor or anything!" It was such an amazing experience! The priesthood definitely works! It was so amazing to see!

Wednesday Sept 4:
I don't really remember much about today. We taught a lot of people but nothing too exciting happened that I can remember. However, we talked to Tina, Nora's mother, and she said that on Sunday she would get work off to take Nora and her kids to church! 

Thursday Sept 5:
We had a Zone Meeting today which was amazing! The spirit was so strong the entire meeting as we discussed specifically faith unto power. If we have the faith that God can do anything than we can have the power to do anything. Our mission has made a goal to have 50 baptisms this month and the highest this mission has ever had is 32. This will take a lot of faith but I know that we can achieve it! 
There was one quote that I wanted to share though which was "If you're not having fun doing something then you are not doing it right." It is so simple yet so true. A lot of times when we don't enjoy something it is because we have expectations that it is going to be bad. If we have the right mentality and the right perspective though, It will be so much more fun and anything can become fun.

Friday Sept 6:
Today we met two kids as we were walking around named Jospeh and Kyle. Joseph told us that missionaries in the past had talked to her mom and gave her a Book of Mormon. She didn't read it so he asked her if he could and he started reading it after he finished his homework. We asked him what he thought and how it made him feel and he gave the most amazing response! He said "It makes me feel like I have a purpose in life." That was such a testimony builder for me. A 17 year old boy who knew nothing about our church but read it and it changed his life. I can't wait to go and start teaching him. And that sad thing is that I almost didn't go and talk to him. Thankfully Elder Williams forced me to!

Saturday Sept 7:
Not much happened today that I really remember. One cool thing though was that Tina (Nora's mom) was having a yard sale. It was kind of last minute that she did it and when we stopped by she hadn't had much success. She had gotten work of Sunday so we prayed that she would be able to get the money that she wouldn't be getting Sunday and as soon as the prayer ended someone got out of the car to go to the yard sale. Prayers are answered! We later went back and she had made more money than she would have at work which was awesome! 

Sunday Sept 8th:
What a day what a day what a day!!! We had 5 investiagtors at church today which was awesome!!! On top of the 5 investigators there were also 8 other kids that came with them so it was a little crazy but super exciting! We put in so much extra work to make sure it happened this week and it finally did! Hard work pays off when you do it in the Lords way! 
At night we went over to Bridgett's home for dinner and it was, if not the best meal since being out here, probably top 3 at least. We had ribs (that fell off the bone), home made baked beans, corn bread, and mashed potatoes! They made fun of me because I didn't talk much because it was so good! We had a great discussion afterwards with Bridgett and she had a friend over name Joe that was awesome and the spirit was so strong as we talked with them both. It was an awesome Sunday!!

I realized that I have a better memory than I thought. It was quite an amazing week and next this Saturday we are having my first baptism!!! I'm so excited!! 

I love you all!
Elder Carter

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Well it was a slower week because of all that we had to do but still was an awesome week!

Wednesday Aug 28th:
Today was a little crazy with everything that took place. We had to pack and do a lot to get ready to move and still didn't finish everything so we decided to do some speed packing for workout on Thursday morning. We went over to the Leedom's for dinner like always. They are an older couple in our ward that have us over for dinner every Wednesday. They are very funny and always give us so much help. They have been less active recently but Sister Leedom has started coming back to church so the next step is getting Brother Leedom there. 

Thursday Aug 29th:
Today was a crazy day!! We are now in our new home thanks to the help of President Urbach. He turned a multiple trip and possibly a multiple day move into only one trip. We are so grateful for his help! Our new home is awesome and so much bigger than the apartment we are in. I forgot to take pictures so hopefully I will remember for next week. There was a false alarm for the new companion. The day he was supposed to come we found out he was going to a different area. This was a little disappointing but I'm glad that I'm able to stick with Elder Williams and to continue to grow with him this transfer. However, we did here next transfer we will get a 3rd set of missionaries in our ward which is super exciting!

Friday Aug 30th:
Today I learned the principle of gardening. It is something that is so simple yet takes so much patience and dedication. The principle is that if we tend to our garden once a week the plants will not turn out well and we will have to spend a lot of time mending our mistakes and the things we missed during the week. However, if we give it the attention it needs every day, we will have more success and although we may not see any immediate change from day to day, over time we will find much more success. This principle applies to things in our every day lives as well as for missionaries. We often have things in our life we want to change in ourselves or changes that we want to help others to make. In the world we live in we all want immediate results and I'm definitely guilty of this. We must all work to be more like a gardener. We must make small changes each day and over time we will find much greater success that will last. 

Saturday Aug 31st:
Every year in Portsmouth, they have an event called "River Days" that takes place on the river front of the Ohio River. It is a lot like a fair. There are rides, music, games, booths, food carts, races, and a few other things. We went down with George Hamm, who is a recent convert, which was a lot of fun. He has lived in Portsmouth for a long time so he was able to take us to all the fun places and was also able to help us when we stopped and talked to people. 
Tonight, we were able to set Julia on date for baptism on September 14th which is in two weeks! That was super exciting and I'm praying that it will happen. She is awesome and is so ready for it. There is still a lot we have to do to prepare for it but she is already telling people she is a Mormon!  
Sunday Sept 1st:
This morning before church we drove all over trying to find people to come to church or to get them ways to get there and we still only got one person there. I keep thinking one of these weeks we will have 5 or 6 investigators there. We keep getting so close and people say they are coming but something always comes up of course... This has become a regular occurrence and something I have gotten used to. Soon though, we are going to have a break through week and we will get over the hill. 
After church we were able to take Tait out on splits with us. Tait is almost 16 but has an awesome testimony!! We saw so many miracles and were able to invite two people to be baptized and both said yes. One of them was able to set a date which may end up changing due to rules we have found out but it was still very exciting! 

Hopefully next week is the week when everyone comes to church! Keep praying! They have been felt and help me out so much!
God loves each of you so much! He wants you all to be happy and sometimes all we have to do is pray and ask for his help. He is just waiting for us to ask.

I love you all!
Elder Ryan Carter