Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Humpppp Dayyyy

Guess what day it is on Thursday? HUMPPPPP DAYYYYYY!
That is so crazy to think that it has already been a year since I came out on my mission! The time seriously has flown by! The days have felt like weeks but the weeks have felt like days. Or as some missionaries like to say, the mission is like a roll of toilet paper. The more you use, the faster it goes. But it has been one of the hardest, must frustrating, trying, years of my life, but at the same time though, it has been one of the best! I would never trade this last year for anything because of all the amazing things I have learned and the amazing people I have met!

Over the last year I have learned:

How to build a porch
How to skin a chicken
How to use a weed whacker
How to follow a schedule
How much I loved naps
How to love others
How to better study and understand the scriptures
How much I love spicy food
Chili Dogs are actually good
Hillbilly slang
How to speak hick
How to cook
How great my family truly is! I couldn't do this without them!
How to be more organized
That dishes don't automatically get cleaned anymore so paper plates are better
Always love those you are around because you never know when you might leave
How to solve a Rubik's Cube
How much it sucks when your heater goes out in the middle of the night in the winter
How great heated blankets are
Ties are a way of life as a missionary. You can never have enough
I love Pepperoni Rolls
How to strive to be your Best self
How to work in a garden
Service can actually be a lot of fun
I really really like quotes
How to budget money (still working on that one)
How special it is to see someone find a greater love for the gospel and for their Savior
My mom doesn't like me walking on ice, or really that she isn't with me all the time
Getting caught in the rain in slacks, shirt and tie is not as fun as wearing street clothes
How to polish shoes
How to castrate a pig
Everyone loves their small town festivals
Everyone and their dogs has cats in West Virginia
and so many other great things.

But most importantly I have learned  that Jesus Christ is our Savior and he suffered for each and every one of us. Not just our sins, but for our trials, our hardships, our pains and sicknesses. He loved us enough to suffer all of it for each one of us individually. 
Our Heavenly Father truly loves each one of us perfectly. We are his literal spirit children and he knows us. He knows what we need and he will give us it even when it may not be what we want, and it may not be easy. 
This life can be hard. It is not always easy. But if we rely on our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ, it will all be worth it! And all that is unfair in this life will be made up through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 
I know that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. They are glorified and perfected beings. They love us and we can show our love for them by following them and obeying the commandments they have given us. 

I love you all! Thank you for the great support you have given me this past year! I hope that this next year can be an even better one!
Elder Ryan Carter

“Never assume that you can make it alone. You need the help of the Lord. Never hesitate to get on your knees in some private place and speak with Him.”

Gravity Must Not Work as Well in Kentucky

Well it's official. I'm now in Olive Hill, Kentucky. I live in Grayson and am about 15 minutes from Moorehead KY. The best part about all of this though is that I am serving in Carter County and the two high schools are East Carter and West Carter. It is almost like they knew I was coming or something! And there is a Ryan city or town close to where I serve, but unfortunately it is out of the mission so I can't go see it. But I'm finally settled in after a long day of packing and traveling. This was my suit case... I think I still need more ties though!
So far we have been doing a lot of just trying to get to know the members since we are both new to the area. The first day we got here a member showed up at our house. His name is Austin Gee. He is 18 and he is going on a mission to Las Vegas Nevada, and he reports on July 2nd, a year after me. He is an awesome kid! We are so similar it is great! He is planning on going to SVU to play basketball and so of course we had to play. He is quicker for sure but it was a lot of fun. But I think I can jump higher in Kentucky because a month or two ago I couldn't dunk but now I can. I think someone turned down the gravity here!

The best part of the week though was on Saturday Austin had his Grad Party/ Mission Farewell party. In the middle of the party his dad called us over and introduced us to someone who needed some service done and we offered to help so hopefully we are able to get something out of that. And then later as we were about to leave a friend of the Gee family walked up to us and told us she wanted to start taking the missionary lessons again! It was pretty exciting! We are very hopeful for her and that we will be able to help her progress! 

And then on Sunday the branch had a baptism! He was an 8 year old named Jaxon. He wasn't 9 so it doesn't county as a baptism for the missionaries but it was still great to be a part of. It is always special to get to witness someone get baptized and to see their excitement for it! It is one of the best parts of getting to be a missionary! And after the baptism the grandma came up to us and told us she has a friend that needs to be taught so hopefully he will be someone we can teach and that will have a lot of interest!

I'm very excited to be serving here in Kentucky! There seems to be a lot of potential in this area and hopefully we will be able to help the area to grow and progress! 
I love you all!
Elder Ryan Carter
“The same boiling water that hardens the egg will soften the carrot. It all depends on the individual’s particular reaction to stressful circumstances.”

Heading All the way to the West Coast...

Well this last week has been a lot of fun. We got to go to another baseball game last Monday and Derek's team won so that was good. It was a lot more fun watching an older team than to watch little league. Just a little bit more action.

Then on Tuesday Elder Streeter came here for an exchange. We had a pretty good day. We got to see Susan, who I will talk more about later, and we got to see Derek and Austin. We talked to Derek and Austin about the importance of scripture study and how to make it more effective. They seemed to really enjoy it. Afterwards we had a little bit of a competition. We went and shot a bow!
I wasn't the best shot but I got better after a few tries. It just took a little bit of getting used to. It has been a while.

Wednesday we helped out the Weitrzykowski's move. They are a part member family in our ward and it was probably the shortest and the easiest move I have ever done. The entire move consisted of walking across their back yard into their new backyard and into the house. That was my kind of move!

Friday we got to see Susan again and taught her a great lesson of the Restoration of the church. We planned on mixing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to talk about baptism a lot while we were there so that we could invite her to be baptized at the end of the lesson. She accepted and we set her on date for August 10th! It was a pretty awesome experience! She has some pretty funny questions and ideas though which made the lesson a lot of fun.

Saturday we got to go to the big Chapman Reunion!!! Those are always a lot of fun! We got to play volleyball, eat a lot of food, and play some corn hole. Now for any of you who don't know what corn hole is, look it up! It is a lot of fun! I'm finally starting to get the hang of it! definitely something I'm planning on brining back to the west coast!

On Sunday we had a baptism for Bret and Cody Lambert! They are some pretty funny kids but they were a lot of fun to teach and to get to know! (Bret is on the right next to Elder Fielding, Cody is next to me, and their older brother Jason is in the middle and he baptized them) You can tell by their faces they are a pretty goofy family.

But last night I got a little bit of a shock. Transfers are this week and I thought I would be staying since Elder Fielding had been here longer. Boy was I wrong. I'm going all the way to the West Coast (or at least what people out here think is the West Coast.) I'm going to Olive Hill, Kentucky. It is just south of Portsmouth, Ohio, which was my first area. Chances are high that I will be back in Portsmouth sometime in the next few weeks which is exciting. I will be serving with Elder Young, and I don't really know much about him.

I'm pretty sad that I'm going to be leaving Buckhannon because the people here have been so great! I have had so many fun experiences and now have so many memories of this great place! I will really miss these people but can't wait for the day when I'm able to come back and see them all!
I love you all, and Happy Fathers Day to all you Fathers out there! I hope it was a great one!
Elder Ryan Carter

"Fathers, you are the primary model of manhood for your sons. You are their most meaningful mentor and believe it or not, you are their HERO in countless ways. Your words and your example are a great influence on them." -M. Russell Ballard

Like a Chicken with its Head Cut Off

Well it has been another great week and the analogy of "running around like a chicken with their head cut off" now has an entirely new meaning to me! But we will get to that later.

Monday we found out that Austin had to have surgery and get his appendix removed. When we saw him it hadn't burst. The plan was for him to get it removed the next morning but it burst during the middle of the night and so he had emergency surgery. He is doing better now and was at church yesterday but had to leave because he wasn't feeling to good. He found out that he might have to get his gall bladder removed too so please pray for him! He is a tough young man but still is hard to go through at his age!

Tuesday I got to go to Elkins to go on an exchange with Elder Mortensen. He is a big teddy bear. He is like 6'5, 250 lbs and just the most friendly kid ever! We had a lot of fun and saw a lot of success while I was there. It was a lot of fun!

On Wednesday we had our last meeting with President and Sister Pitt. I can't believe that they are leaving this month! They are some of the greatest people I have ever met and it is going to be so weird not getting to see them after a year of seeing them often and loving them so much! I have learned so much from them and am so grateful for all they have done for me!​

After the meeting we had a lesson with Bert, Jessica, Antonia, Tailynn, and Wilbur! They are an awesome family and we taught them a lot about prayer and why it is so important and they really understood it and already have strong testimonies of prayer. Along with that we read Alma 32 and talked to them about how to grow and strengthen their faith and also what actions they must do to plant the seed of faith and to help it grow. They are really awesome so hopefully in the near future they will be able to start coming to church and want to be baptized. We already know it is something the kids have wanted to do so now we just need to invite them. Just waiting for the right time now.

Thursday we had to go back to Elkins to teach a lesson to Brett. His family lives in Elkins but they come to church in Buckhannon because that is where the grandparents are and they want to make it a family thing. So, that took up a majority of our night but it was a lot of fun. We taught Brett (9) and his brother Cody (8) and they are a bunch of characters. They are both getting baptized on Sunday and we are very excited for them. It is really strange though because they look like twins. They are a year apart in age but they said they are 1 pound difference. It is pretty crazy.

Friday we went out to Roy Chapman's and he gave us a brand new experience yet again. We got to skin chickens! Yes, you heard it. It was really weird but pretty fun! I won't go into detail but if you ever have the chance to do it, take the chance and do it! After that it is up to you. That was probably my first and last time skinning a chicken but it was fun! But it was so funny, we would cut the head off and no joke it would flap around for like a minute or two before it stopped. I never actually believed that it kept moving afterwards but it totally does!!
This is what his building looked like afterwards...
Best part is that we ate the chicken for dinner!

Then on Saturday I got to go to a baseball game! and I'm going to one tonight too! There are two kids in our ward that play. One is Ryan Smith and we watched him on Saturday and he had a good game. They ended up winning 12- 11. It was a pretty high scoring game! Tonight we are going to watch Derek play so we are excited for him!

None of our investigators made it to church on Sunday which was a bummer since we thought that at least 3 of them would be coming. Well actually Brett came but I think of him as being a member already. But, we are really hopeful to have a lot there this upcoming week!

Oh also Roy's cat had some kittens Saturday and we got to see them on Sunday!
I love you all! I hope you have another fantastic week!
Elder Ryan Carter

"Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming."
 -Elder Dallin H. Oaks

(no subject)

Wait has it really been another month that I have been out? I can't believe that has been 11 months since I have been out. The months truly just fly by. But it has been another good week here in Buckhannon. Last Monday we got to go fishing and well the picture is all I got... I tried using it as bait to catch some bigger fish but unfortunately was not successful... I guess I am just not meant to be much of a fisher. Sorry Grandpa.
But on Tuesday we got an exciting call. During the afternoon we got a call from the traveling assistants to the president and they told us they were going to be visiting us for a day. So Tuesday night we drove up to Clarksburg and Wednesday we got to spend time with Elder Hansen which was a lot of fun. While he was here we had a long discussion about the new things goings on in the mission to prepare for the new mission president. We talked a lot about faith and how we need to strengthen our faith to become the missionaries and the mission that we are capable of becoming and it was very exciting to be a part of. Wednesday night we went out with Roy to teach Bert and Jessica. Jessica brought her 3 kids with her and all 3 were over the age of 8 and were excited to talk to us. we gave all 3 a Book of Mormon and they seem like great kids!
Then Thursday we had a cool experience. We were walking around talking to people on the streets late at night. When we were about to go home we talked to a guy named Stan. Eventually he started talking to us about his life and his relationship with God and got pretty emotional. He had been drinking and was at the point he was still coherent but just emotional enough to reflect on his life and he said he would love for us to come back so we are excited for him.
On Sunday we had a few investigators come to church but in the middle of church the bishop wanted to talk to us. We went in and he informed us of a 9 year old boy that is getting baptized on Fathers Day. His mother and 2 of his siblings are members and he has been coming to church like his entire life but because of his mothers busy schedule he hasn't been baptized yet. But since he is 9 he will be a convert baptism so we are going out to teach him and he will be getting baptized on Fathers Day. It was quite the miracle. We are very excited for him!
It is amazing to be a part of such an amazing work as a missionary and to see the blessings that come from obedience. But, more importantly, it is amazing to see the changes that happen in others lives as they embrace this gospel and all it has to offer them in there lives and to see the joy that enters their lives. This gospel is true! Jesus Christ lives and has suffered for each of us, and as we embrace that atonement in our lives, we can truly improve ourselves to not just become what we think we are capable of, but what God is able to make of us. As we do that, we will find so much happiness and joy!
I love you all! I hope all is well!
Elder Ryan Carter
Doctrine & Covenants 122:5-9
5 If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils‍ among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea;
6 If thou art accused‍ with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thygarments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves‍ for the blood of the lamb;
7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge‍ up the way; and above all, if the very jawsof hell‍ shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
8 The Son of Man‍ hath descended‍ below them all. Art thou greater than he?

On a Roller Coaster Ride

Wow it has been a crazy week of ups and downs. Starting out Monday we had a great lesson with Austin to prepare him for his baptism this week. It went so well and it has been amazing to see the growth in him especially in the last few weeks. He is a typical 11 year old that likes to mess around and has a shorter attention span but he continues to love learning more and more. 

Wednesday we had a Zone Conference and I got to go back to Morgantown! It was really weird to be there and not getting to see everyone. Fortunately we didn't drive through my area or anything otherwise it would have been pretty tempting to stop and see some people. It was one of the best meetings I have been to in a while though! I forgot my notes but it really was awesome to go to. 
Later that night when we got home we went to a baseball game for a kid named Ryan that is in our ward. It was pretty fun to go watch. 
We hadn't been able to get into contact with Chris and Jennifer for a while so we decided to go out to there house to see what was up. It was kinda weird because on our way to there house Chris pulled out in front of us and we followed him for a while. When we got to their house we got out to see how he was doing and how his sons baseball game went (when he pulled out in front of us he was coming from the baseball fields) He was super friendly and we asked to come up for just a few minutes since it was late at night. When we pulled up to the house Chris had already gone inside and sent out Dusty who is living with them. Dusty told us it was a bad night, which was weird since Chris just said it was okay. We asked if we could at least speak with Jennifer for a few minutes, and he said fine but it would have to be short. We found out from Jennifer that Chris didn't want to meet with us anymore and that he didn't want us coming over when we were home. It was a little hard but Jennifer said she still wants to be taught. We have been struggling since then to contact her and she didn't come to church Sunday. We are still hopeful for them though so prayers would be very helpful for her! She has been struggling and we know that coming to church will bless her so we are hoping we can get her out to church this week.

Thursday I went up to Clarksburg for exchanges with Elder Chavez, which was pretty fun. While I was in Clarksburg, Elder Fielding and Elder Hadfield went around visiting some of our investigators and one said she isn't interested in changing religions right now and we found out another one had a stroke and that he probably won't make a full recovery which was pretty sad to here. 

On Saturday we did a lot of service. We helped a member to move in a stove to a house he is building for his son in law and daughter on his property and it was a heavy stove but he had a beautiful property! He has about 25 acres and it is amazing! He has a pond right by his house so we tried to fish for a little bit before we had to leave. When we left we went over to help someone else plant there garden so I can now add that to my list. I am now a gardener. 

Then Sunday to finish of the crazy week Austin got baptized!! It was definitely the best end to how crazy this week has been. 
Thanks everyone for all the help you give to me and for the service you give to others! At this time of year on Memorial Day I encourage all of you to not only remember those servicemen but those that have served you to improve the quality of life you have! I love all of you!
Elder Carter

"There are lives to Brighten. There are hearts to Touch. There are souls to Save." 
-President Thomas S. Monson

Strawberry Festival

​So this week I think either I left West Virginia and went on a foreign mission or maybe the foreign missions came to me. I'm not really sure but I saw a lot of people this week. We had the Strawberry Festival here in Buckhannon and people from apparently all over come for this. I thought it was just going to be people from West Virginia, but there were groups here from Mexico, Bolivia, Canada, New York, Florida, and apparently the parade is supported by a group located in California. It was it pretty cool experience. I wish I could send videos but they take up too much space so these are some pictures I got of it.

Along with the big parade they did on Saturday, they had a parade on Friday that was all fire trucks and police cars, and, well it get really loud. They gave everyone ear plugs because it gets so louds with all of them having their sirens going off.

Other than the parades, I now feel fat from all of the carnival food we had. Some members of our ward took us out to enjoy some carnival food for dinner and we both ate way too much and feel fat now. We also got to help out at the mile run they do for the festival. A member of our ward is the one who puts it on and is in charge of everything so we got to be at the end of the race to figure out all the placing's of everyone which was fun to be a part of.

​The week wasn't all fun at the Strawberry Festival though. We did do some missionary work. On Tuesday we were able to go out and meet with Austin and Derek and they are always great! Austin is getting baptized on Sunday!!!! We are very excited for him! And Derek got the Aaronic Priesthood last week so this week he was able to pass the Sacrament.

On Wednesday we did some more service for Roy! We finally were able to finish building his sons back porch and it turned out pretty well considering Elder Fielding and I have never really built a porch before. We are skilled carpenters now... maybe.
Then on Friday we were able to meet with Chris. We were planning to meet with both Chris and Jennifer but Jennifer was at the Strawberry Festival so we were able to teach just Chris which ended up being a good lesson. I definitely think Chris is going to be a little bit harder to get to come to church and everything but he definitely is a great guy with a lot of potential. We are very excited for Chris and Jennifer though! They were able to quit smoking! And they both were very excited about it so that is always great!

We are so excited for this upcoming week now that we will have people home without the Strawberry Festival and we have Austin's baptism!

Thank you for all of the love and support!
Elder Ryan Carter

"If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing." -Elder Henry B. Eyring

Saving Lives a Bag of Tobacco at a Time

Wow it has been an awesome week! On Wednesday, transfers happened and we got two new sisters here in Buckhannon. One is brand new and the other came out in the same group as me. But because they were new we took them to meet the new ward mission leader which was a lot of fun. Brock is the new ward mission leader and his wife is from Ecuador so she made us dinner and it was delicious! It was egg soup and some chicken and rice. I don't know what kind of chicken but it was really good! While we were there one of his daughters went out to do something and when she came back she had a little present for her dad.
what a cutie! haha

Thursday we were back in our service clothes. It is a weird week now if we don't spend at least one day in our service clothes. But this week we were helping Roy build some railing on his sons porch which we have been working on the past two weeks now.

Friday was Elder Fielding's Birthday and man was it a great day. We went out and saw some people early in the day which started a little slow. By the end of the day we were only able to take like 15 minutes for dinner because we got so busy. But late in the afternoon we went out to give someone a blessing that was friends with a member in our ward. She had been having some mental issues and asked the member if she could get a blessing. Of course they said yes and so they asked us if we could go out with them. We gave her a blessing that was awesome and after we were able to teach her a little bit about our church. She loved all of it and is super excited to read from the Book of Mormon and to find some questions for us.

After that we rushed off to our 15 minute dinner at KFC (happy birthday to Elder Fielding) and then met up with Brock and Cody to go out to a lesson with Jennifer, and her husband Chris, and Dusty, a less active member of our church that lives with them. We got out to their house and their gate was locked, which means they weren't home. We were so disappointed. As we were getting back in the car they pulled up! MIRACLE! The lesson we were teaching was going to be the stop smoking program that helps them quit smoking. When they pulled up we asked Jennifer if they got the supplies she needed to do the program. She said she couldn't find them so we sent her to Walmart while we waited at the house with Chris, Dusty and her kids. (as Jennifer pulled away we realized she had the keys to the house so we had to wait outside the house for like 30 minutes waiting for her. But Branson, the son, plays baseball so we played catch and hit a little bit)  Anyways, back to the lesson. Jennifer got back and we went in to teach the lesson which is a 15 step process that you follow for 7 days and you will quit smoking. They were super excited and so far they have been doing great with it! But they gave us all their tobacco and well we walked away with a lot.

We went and got ice cream to celebrate!

On Sunday Derek got the Priesthood and he is very excited to get to pass the Sacrament next week!

We are very excited for everything that is going on in Buckhannon and all the success we have been having! Thank you everyone for the love and support. And to all the mothers, happy mothers day!
Elder Ryan Carter

Abraham Lincoln

10 Months Down and a New Transfer

I can't believe how fast this has all been going. This week I hit my 10 month mark and just finished up another transfer. Each transfer just seems to be going by faster and faster.

Elder Fielding and I will be staying together here in Buckhannon another transfer which I'm super excited about. I continually learn more and more from him all the time and have really learned a lot about myself and what I can be doing to be a better missionary.

It was another great week here though! It started out on Monday with a lesson with Austin and Derek. We have started to focus more on Austin now that Derek has been baptized so it has definitely been a little bit of a change. We started the lesson and it was pretty fun but you could tell Austin was listening but wasn't taking it super seriously. Toward the end of the lesson Duck, Austin's dad, started talking about how Austin needed to take the lessons more seriously instead of wasting the missionaries time. It got pretty intense but by the end the lesson turned out really well and Austin came to church on Sunday and told us he has questions about what he has been reading in the Book of Mormon so we are excited about the change we have seen in Austin.

Derek has been great too! He got confirmed a member of the church on Sunday and we were having a testimony meeting in church and Derek got up and bore his testimony. It was short and simple but it was so great to be able to witness and you could tell how much all of this means to him. He has grown so much in the last 6 weeks and just keeps loving this gospel more and more.

On Friday we helped out at a piano recital that was at the church. I thought it would be like an hour and a half like the ones I have been to back home but the actual recital only lasted about 30 minutes or so. It went by really fast. But it was hosted at the church and there a lot of non members there which was cool. After the recital we were able to talk with a lot of people and weren't able to really find new people to teach but the people all really enjoyed talking to us about the church.

Saturday morning a member took us out to meet a friend of his from high school. Apparently she has been wanting to meet with the missionaries since February or so but just has kept falling through the cracks. But so we finally got to go meet with her and I have never met a missionary so prepared to here about the church! Her name is Jennifer and she said she has been praying for guidance for about 4 years now. CRAZY! But usually the people we teach have problems with Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon or something that we have to explain, but she was just like, well if Moses could part the Red Sea, then why couldn't God show a young man where and ancient record is, or why couldn't Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father appear to a 14 year old boy. It was pretty cool! She said she would be at church the next day but she didn't show up. We were a little worried that it was too good to be true that she was the prepared which was a little disappointing. BUT Sunday night Brock, her friend that is a member, called us and told us that she didn't come to church because her son was sick, but she had read 55 pages of The Book of Mormon and she believes all of it so far! It was crazy. And she already wants to quit smoking so on Friday we are going over to help her, and possibly her husband, to quit smoking! It was truly a miracle!!

Oh and Saturday afternoon the men in our ward had an activity. They went skeet shooting. Unfortunately, we aren't allowed to play with guns as missionaries... but it was fun to go and watch for a little bit and hang out with the members.

Thank you all for all that you do and the support you give. I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Elder Ryan Carter

"The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren’t interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s." -Ezra Taft Benson

Get in the Water!!!!

What are great week it has been! I don't know if it had quite the amount of stories as last week but it definitely was still a great week!

Last Monday we got to go to a glass shop. A member in our ward (local congregation) owns his own shop and blows glass! It was actually pretty cool getting to see him do all of it. It is amazing how glass, which seems so fragile, can be molded so easily, almost like it was rubber. Needless to say, it was cool to go see!

Monday through Friday was a little slow. Everyone that we usually meet with during the week was busy so we spent a lot of time trying to find people to teach and walk around. My feet got pretty sore but we just kept on going. But finally Saturday rolled around and we didn't have enough time in the day to go and do all the things we wanted to. Pretty much everyone wanted to meet with us Saturday night which got way crazy but it turned out to be a great day!

Sunday was great though! Derek finally got baptized! I still remember the first Sunday here in Buckhannon when Elder Fielding ran in before church and started to tell me we were setting Derek on date to be baptized. I was pretty shocked, but ever since then Derek has just grown and grown. He is such a great kid and it has been amazing to see how much he truly loves this gospel, especially knowing the Plan of Salvation! Having a knowledge of the plan our Heavenly Father has for us, and what our purpose is here in the life and what is going to happen to us after this life truly is a great blessing and brings so much peace, joy, and comfort.

I love you all so much! I hope you all have a great week!
Elder Ryan Carter

"You can be a great model, an average one, or a bad model. You may think it doesn’t matter to you, but it does to the Lord." -President Henry B. Eyring

A Week of Service!

It has been quite the eventful week and it has definitely been a lot of fun! I feel like we spent just as much doing service as we did actually out trying to teach people but yet it was still a great week! I had to make a running list this week of all the things that happened so here we go...
  1. I had a ramp dinner this week! Last week I talked a little about ramps and I had an entire dinner of just ramps. Everything we ate had some form of ramps in it and it actually was pretty good. But I'm not sure I believe this whole people will like run from you if you eat ramps because nobody said anything to us about it after that.
  2. It snowed on Tuesday... What the heck!!! Is this winter ever going to end?? It didn't stick but I thought spring was finally here!
  3. Okay the rest of the week it was in the 70s and low 80s which was awesome!!! Crazy though it was snowing one day, and the next day I got burnt... Definitely can't complain though! I would definitely rather have 70s than snow.
  4. I helped build a roof this week!! Unfortunately we didn't actually get to finish it but we helped to build the frame of the roof for a member who had there roof collapse last week. I had no idea what I was doing so all I did was hold stuff, and drill it in place and it was pretty fun.
  5. Along with the ramp dinner I had this week I had a few other random foods. A member here is from Ecuador and so she made us some Ecuadorian food (who knew I would get that in West Virginia.) And yesterday we had some gravy that had Deer meat in it and let me tell you guys, it was great!!! And this wasn't actually this week but last week we had some Thai food. There is a member here that recently moved here from Thailand.
  6. On Tuesday we had interviews with President Pitt. Those are always great and inspiring!
  7. On Friday we got to help someone with their yard work. One of their daughters was having a birthday party that night so we helped set up for that a little bit too then went back later that night. They did a BBQ and when it got dark we had a huge bonfire!! and had smores! Overall it was awesome!
  8. Also on Friday, we went over to the Chapman's in the morning and had some pancakes which were delicious! Then helped him feed his chickens and then, (highlight of the week) we castrated some pigs! If you don't know what that is you probably don't want to! But Elder Fielding and I can now say we have done it haha
  9. For Easter I "got" to sing in the choir... haha more like I had to sing in the choir because all the missionaries in the past before Elder Fielding and I were good singers so they pretty much expect us to sing in the choir now. It wasn't too bad though. It was a really good song and I didn't completely ruin the performance.
  10. For Easter we got to go to the Chapman's family reunion. (They have a family reunion basically every month. Its more of a everyone bring some food and hang out) But that was a lot of fun!
  11. Derek and Austin both were at church on Sunday. Austin (Derek's brother) decided that he wanted to be baptized. Originally, he wanted to be baptized the same day as Derek but after talking to him we decided to have him wait until the end of May just to make sure he is ready and not just doing it because of Derek. But, Derek's baptism is this coming Sunday so we are super excited for him!
Well I think I covered it all! Or at least all of the exciting parts!! It was quite the week. I don't know how we were able to squeeze it all in, but it definitely was all great!

I love you all! Happy Easter!! Have a great week!
Elder Ryan Carter

(this is a video on the message of Easter. I decided to throw it in with the quotes this week)

 “Don’t give up. God isn’t quite finished with you yet.”

Wild, Wonderful (and a little crazy) West Virginia

It has been another wonderful week here in Buckhannon with a lot of fun things going on. The weather is finally starting to get nicer (it got up to the 80s this week) and we finally got a washer (not a dryer yet) so hopefully next week we won't have to be spending 5 dollars on laundry a week.

Along with that, this week we were out trying to find a less active member of our church and couldn't find the house so we went to another members house (the Chapman's) that would know where she lived. Well we went over there and when we got there Brock, one of the members, was over cutting down some trees (he's a logger) and he had some of his big machines there. Hence the picture of me in the big "loader" (that's what Brock called it). But we went back to the Chapman's home later that week for dinner and went over a little bit early to go dig some ramps. I had never heard of ramps before coming to West Virginia, but if I were to explain it, it is like a wild onion but it is a lot stronger. Apparently kids aren't allowed to go to school if they eat them because it smells so bad. But we decided to eat some but nobody said anything to us about smelling bad so I'm not sure how much I believe it. Maybe we just didn't eat enough. But after digging the ramps we found out that he had just got some baby pigs! So of course we had to go and see them and hold them! So fun! (the picture with the little white cat was at there house to. it looks like a little snowball with legs)

We did do some missionary work too though! Derek is doing great! He has been coming to church and apparently bore his testimony in one of his classes at church yesterday! He is definitely getting excited for his baptism! We just have to make sure we are able to teach him everything! Rita (who just got baptized) is doing great. We were able to confirm her a member of the church and give her the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday which is always a good experience to be a part of! We have been trying really hard to find new people to teach. The people have been friendly but haven't found too many super interested yet so hopefully we will find more success this week!

Love you all!!! Hope all is well!
Elder Ryan Carter

"We will all face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us—all of us—have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval." -President Thomas S. Monson

"Your Four Minutes"

What a week it has been! We got a new car! We have had rain and sunshine! We got to listen to the leaders of our church in General Conference! We got a barbecue and man can I cook some good food! (or at least I think it is good) And I have got to be a missionary every single day of it!
Unfortunately, I forgot all of the notes that I took during conference but here are some things that I learned in summary.
  •  We need to have courage to stand up for our beliefs even if people fight against them
  • This life is like a short race. "This life is your four minutes." What are you going to make of it?
  • We all have heroes that have helped us become who we are today! Who are some of your heroes?
  • We have faith in Jesus Christ! Let your faith show so that others know it!
  • This world may be changing, but God is not! "If you love [Him], keep [His] commandments"
  • We should follow up on things. "If we follow up the Lord will not let us down." Elder M. Russel Ballard
These are just a few of the messages that were shared! I look forward to the opporunity I have to read, and re-read the words of living prophets that receive guidance and direction to bless the lives of those throughout the world.
Throughout the week we were able to teach Derek, the kid who came up to us last Sunday who wants to be baptized, and we had a great lesson with him. We got to teach him the message of the Restoration of this gospel and he is a bright young man. Along with that we had a great miracle where we were trying to find a recent investigator. We knocked on his door and found out that he moved. However, the person now living there was interested and said we can come back and share more with him. It is amazing how mindful the Lord is of each of his children and how he directs our paths. Pray to you Father in heaven and I promise he will give you guidance if you seek for it! He wants to bless you! He loves all of His children.
I love each of you as well! I hope you all have a marvelous week! Don't waste a minute. Make "Your Four Minutes" count!
Elder Ryan Carter


What a great week it has been! I have only been here 5 days and I already love it here!!! Maybe cause my companion is amazing! Maybe because this week has been awesome and has been super busy. Maybe because I now have a car and it is finally warming up here (even though it snowed yesterday....) I can't pick one thing but it has been awesome!!! The members here are great and the people here are great!
I got here on Wednesday and ever since getting here it has been fun! On Thursday we taught an awesome lesson to a new investigator. Friday we were able to have a dinner with a family in our ward and the missionaries here have started teaching the wifes dad about our church which was cool. We were able to teach him the Plan of Salvation which is my favorite lesson to teach. I just always feel so good teaching that lesson because of the peace that it bring me to know the plan that God has made for all of his children to receive the most happiness and joy in this life! And it is always amazing to teach of Christ's sacrifice for all of us so that even though we have imperfections we can be cleansed of our sins if we repent and work on changing and always becoming better. But not only that, he suffered so that he would know all of our pains, and trials and afflictions we would all face in this life and he wanted to be able to support us through all of it.
On Sunday we had a baptism for Rita Barker! It was so great! I don't know her super well yet but she seems awesome from what opportunity I have had to talk with her! It is always amazing to be a part of a special moment in someones life like that!
And an amazing things happened on Sunday too! A kid whos dad is a member and has a grandma that is a member but has not been baptized came up to us on Sunday and told Elder Fielding that he wants to be baptized and wants to know how to do it! He already knows a lot about the church since he has been around it his whole life and goes to church with his Grandma whenever he asks her but now all we have to do is teach him the lessons. So in two weeks we should be having another baptism which I'm super excited for!
I love you all! I hope each of you have a great week!
Elder Ryan Carter
"You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make." -Gordon B. Hinckley
"Tough times don't last, Tough people do"

Going a Few Fersees Yonder South

Well today is my last day here in Morgantown and it is kind of sad... I am going about an hour or so south to Buckhannon WV to serve with Elder Fielding!!!! I'm so excited! I don't know if I have talked about him much in the past but he was my Zone Leader while I was serving in Portsmouth! I have already served with him on exchanges in the past and am so excited to get to serve with him! I don't know a lot about where he is from or anything but I know he is an awesome missionary and works hard and I'm super excited for a fun transfer!! (I added pics of us)

It has been a fun last week in Morgantown though! Yesterday members fed us twice which always makes for a good day! Good 'ol Wendy's and some pulled pork sandwiches!! But along with that we have been having a fun week! We didn't really find many more people to teach but we were able to meet with Steve and Melanie which was great! Steve read 5 chapters out of the Book of Mormon and it has been so cool to see how much he has progressed in the last few months! I haven't been able to witness all of his conversion but since I have been here he started to read the Book of Mormon, after meeting with several missionaries in the past, and Melanie came to a church activity for the first time in a couple years. It is so cool to be able to be a part of such an amazing experience and to touch the lives of others even if it is in a small way.

Patty and Jenna have gone from being all shy and quiet and always having anxiety to praying in front of people, participating in classes, and lets not forget working on reading the Book of Mormon from cover to cover!

I have loved Morgantown so much and have had so many great experiences here!

Thank you all once again for all the love and support you give me each week!
Elder Ryan Carter

"You can't move mountains while sitting on your backside" -Ephraim Hanks

Onward Christian Soldiers

What a great week it was! Because it was Spring Break for the University we got to see a lot of the University Elders this week which was great. On Friday we were able to go on a short exchange in which we were able to find 15 potential people to teach in about a 4 hour period. It was so exciting! I was able to go around with Elder Hollembeak, who has been on his mission for about 3 months now, which was so great! We had so much fun and the crazy thing is to think that I was just where he is and how fast it has gone. Along with that though, it is so cool to see how much I have learned and yet to see how much that I still have yet to learn. The coolest part was at the end he thanked me for how much he learned, but in reality I learned probably just as much as he did. Maybe it was new, or maybe it was something that I had just forgotten, but it was such a cool experience. I have a firm belief that the more you teach or share something the more you learn. But I also believe that it isn't always learning something new. Sometimes it is just learning something that we forgot, or even putting together a connection of things we may have knew but just hadn't realized yet.
But earlier in the week we were able to meet with Talitha. She is the one that we met last week and pulled over wanting to talk to us. She is so great. She has a lot of interesting beliefs but when we really get to talking to her, she already believes all of what we are teaching her, she just doesn't recognize it yet. We were able to read through the Articles of Faith with her, which is are 13 basic beliefs, and as we read and discussed, she kept telling us that she was looking for things that she disagreed with. We got through all 13 and at the end she said, "I have no problems with any of these things. It all just makes sense." Which as a missionary hearing that is always great.
We also were able to meet a man named Bill and his wife. Bill apparently was taught about 4 years prior before he moved to Morgantown. One of the missionaries where he used to live called him to try to see if they could meet up with him. Well long story short, he now lives in Morgantown and is interested in meeting with us. It is so cool to have such little miracles happen all the time after all the hard work we put in.
Well once again, Thank You all for everything you do for me and for others! I am so very grateful!
Elder Ryan Carter
I love Baseball
"Every accomplishment begins with a decision to step up to the plate."

Small and Simple Means

Well what a week it was. I don't know if I would say there were any crazy miracles or anything overly exciting but there were still definitely miracles. On Thursday we were out finding people to teach and someone opened up their window and yelled at us and said "Hey are you the mormons?" We said yes and then he closed his window... kinda weird. But anyways it was probably about 2 minutes later a car stopped going down a hill, rolled down their window and said "Thank you for all you do guys. Keep up the good work." I have know idea who they were, but the fact that they stopped is something that if you are a missionary, know that never happens. It was truly a cool experience. Nothing really happened from it but it definitely brightened by day. But then later that night we were walking home on the main road by our house (which doesn't have any sidewalks and it was dark) and some members from another ward in Morgantown stopped and drove us where we were going. It was such a tender mercy and a sweet little act of kindness that meant so much to me.
Later in the week though we didn't really have much to do and we hadn't been able to meet up with one of our investigators yet that week so we decided to just stop by and see if they had any time. When we got there the lights were out but there car was there. Just as we were about to walk away and the door opened and Melanie, who is a less active member, ended up talking to us for like 45 minutes which was awesome. Her boyfriend, who is the investigator, wasn't home when we got there but after 45 minutes he showed up and Melanie went back inside because we had to do something so we ended up talking to Steve for another 45 minutes or so. It is amazing how the Lord will guide us to where we need to be so that we can touch others lives around us.
Then Sunday night, after we had a slow week, we decided to call some people who had been busy lately but were interested in meeting with us. We were able to set up 2 appointments and I'm very excited to start teaching them. The Lord truly works by "Small and simple means."
I am so grateful for each of you! Hope all is well!
Elder Ryan Carter
“What we know will always trump what we don’t know.”    -President Pitt
(From my mom)
"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!"    -Audrey Hepburn

8 Months Down and More Snow...

SURPISE!!! MORE SNOW!!!  I'm really startng to not really like this whole snow thing... I mean I don't know about the rest of you but usually a couple days with a few inches once a year is good for me. Anything more than that is a little too much. Schools out here have been cancelled probably 20+ days and even the University has shut down like 4 times and from talking to people it has only shut down once in the last like 15 years. So it has been a... "fun" winter... especially since I have the great pleasure of walking everywhere.
 BUT we saw a crazy miracle this week because we were out working even though it was pretty cold. I was on an exchange with Elder Sorensen and we were walking around knocking on peoples doors hoping that somebody would let us in or talk to us or really just show some interest and say we could come back another time. Well we had found a few people that said we could come back and we will see how those go but then we saw a miracle. We saw this big yellow and pink house and both of us decided we had to go knock on it. We expected some like young hippy guy or something and then this old man comes to the door and before we could even begin to talk... he yells at us and said "Go Away!"... so we did. I don't know why it works this way but either right before or after we find someone really good or interested I feel like there is always some angry person who doesn't like us. But anyways we were walking down his steps and a girl pulls up in her car and says "Are you guys Jehovah's Witnesses? Are you out witnessing?" (We get that a lot...) We told her we were the Mormons and she excitedly said "Do you have time to talk. I have something I want to talk to you about." Long story short she has a lot of interesting believes but by the end of talking to her for about an hour and a half (in the cold) she said I really like what you guys believe! It sounds so loving and merciful. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she said she would read it and call us when we could meet up again. Only rough part is we were sitting on metal benches that entire hour and a half and we were in the shade so when we got up I almost fell because I couldn't feel my legs... But it was all worth it!
Miracles are everywhere as long as you are obedient to the commandments and working hard!
I brought my notes from our Zone Conference last week and just a quick few things I really liked.
        If our investigators connect with us, they connect with Jesus Christ.
        This Church can give you everything because it requires everything!
        Don't let Satan win the battle of your souls.
        Jesus Christ, the best teacher ever, taught using parables, or stories.
Well I love you all! Hopefully there isn't a ton of snow next week so I can actually email on Monday!
Elder Ryan Carter
"We need to fortify the weak areas to create strengths." -Richard G. Scott
"When we recognize our own weakness, we stand in awe of His strength.” -President Pitt

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wild and Wonderful West Virginia!

This week has been a little rough and a little slow. We have been able to meet with a few people but haven't been able to find too many people to teach which makes the weeks go by a little slower.
We have been able to continue to work with and teach Jenna and she is doing awesome. We gave her Mormon and Moroni to read out of the Book of Mormon and it has been pretty funny seeing what she likes about them. We were reading Mormon with her and she said she liked the fighting out of it because she has a good imagination and could imagine herself there which I thought was great. I always try to point out the things more related to the gospel just so she can relate it to herself and continue to grow. Patty has been doing great too! She started reading the entire Book of Mormon and has already read all of 1 Nephi, 2 Nephi and Jacob. She has been reading like 6-10 chapters a day. It has been crazy and it is so cool to see how excited she has been about it. She has really been understanding it and enjoying it and it has been great.
We were able to have a Zone Conference this week which is always a good experience because President Pitt is just such an amazing man an he always helps me out so much in this work. It has been really cool to see the changes that have happened in our mission and ever since the new year, we have had one big focus. Get back to the basics. Study the basics of the gospel. Learn the basics of teaching skills. Learn the basics of finding people to teach. Help and serve the members. Everything is all focused on being more simple in all we do and as a result becoming the best missionaries, and the best servants of the Lord in this great work! As I have been able to do these things it has been great to see the blessings. There is still much work I can do but it all has to do with focusing on the basics.
Last night we had a cool experience too. Both of the Sister Missionaries in our ward had a really bad feeling yesterday. I'm not exactly sure what happened but they asked us to give them a blessing and to go over and bless their home as well because they just didn't feel safe there for some reason. After giving them a blessing and praying with them they said they felt much more peaceful. It was a great experience and it is always so cool to be able to use the Priesthood to bless others.
Thank you everyone for all of the prayers, support and love. I really do appreciate it and am greatful.
Elder Ryan Carter
“It’s not what you do once with all your heart and every ounce of strength that counts, nearly so much as that which we do every day, whether we want to or not.” -President Pitt

Transfers are on Thursday…no Friday….no Saturday!

So this week got a little bit crazy with transfers so we didn't see a ton happen because of it. We were originally supposed to have transfers happen on Thursday, then it was supposed to be Friday morning, then Friday afternoon, then Friday Morning again and it finally ended up happening on Saturday. Elder Davis finally made it here Saturday around 530pm and it has been pretty crazy since then. Elder Davis just turned 20 in January as well and he has been out on his mission for 9 months. I don't know a ton about him yet, but he said he is from Payson, Utah and grew up in California. I'm excited to be working with him and hopefully this will be an exciting transfer!
Valentines day wasn't too exciting as a missionary... Especially since the day got a little crazy not knowing what was going to happen with transfers. But at night some people from the University Ward came and pranked us and covered our door with hearts so that was pretty fun.
Sorry not too many exciting things have happened since Thursday. I'm excited for this week though so hopefully I will have more next week to share with you all!
Love you all!
Elder Ryan Carter
"If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest of times in life can be a blessing." -Henry B. Eyring
"It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I just knew I had to do it. So I did." (Quote from story in 'Mountains to Climb'
 by Henry B. Eyring)