Wednesday, August 20, 2014

That's All, Folks!

Hey children of a loving Heavenly Father.

It has been about 2 weeks since I returned from serving a full-time mission in Tahiti.


Love is the trick. You have to learn to love the people you serve. You only get credit for what you do if it is motivated by love. 

TAHITI is a small island with thousands of coconut trees, dysfunctions, pounds of rice, beautiful people, perspectives, and ways to love. Charity is the pure love of Christ. If we learn to love those around us, we become more like Him. He is love personified. 

The gospel of Jesus Christ is very simple. Faith that He is who He says He is. Repentance is realizing that we all make mistakes and we need to say sorry. Baptism is when we're forgiven and washed clean. The gift of the Holy Ghost is the constant guidance of the Holy Ghost, who is a spiritual personage sent by God to testify of truth. Do all of that for the rest of your life with the goal of becoming perfect, like Jesus Christ is perfect.

I have no more doubts because I know where the truth is found. It is found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that there is a Divine Creator, a Supreme Being, who is God. He is our loving Heavenly Father who watches over us. Prayer is talking to Him. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, as an example for all of us imperfect people. 

I will continue blog writing, at if you're interested in my current happenings.

Bursting with love for this beautiful life and the people in it. 
Say your prayers and finish "in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
xoxo Soeur Carter

Monday, August 4, 2014 more blog.

1. Really special: this family, day of his confirmation.

2. Sometimes those Americans just don't know what to do with these Tahitian baskets.
3. Gotta do what you gotta do to get those papayas.
4. Wouldja look at that! Just look at it. That's a dog/dustball.
5. Classic Tahitian flower trick. Favorite flower right there.
6. The 170th Anniversary of the Gospel in French Polynesia cultural event!
7. Tahitian Dress Night amongst the Taravaoan sisters. :)
8. Mami Olga's baptism. :) That's her hubby, we love him so much also.

9. Nature shot for all you tree-huggers out there. (Peace Love and Recycling)
10. Yup, we teach somebody who owns a small herd of goats! And a puppy.
11. Small island, I could probably swim to it if I was allowed to swim. (Family vacay next year?)
12. Mami who I love very very very much.
13. Soeur Georgette gave us necklaces!
14. The entire Sisterhood of Taravao 1 sang a Tahitian goodbye song to Soeur Wahl and I, I may or may not have unleashed some tears. Alot of tears.
15. That wonderful Teiho family again. For a week before we left, Mami apparently said EH EH to her family every few minutes, which is a sign of sadness, that we were leaving. SO MUCH AROHA.
16. Soeur Miri, member integrator for our celebrity investigator Mariua Felix (now Krawsik)!
17. Soeur Abish, we did missionary splits with her!
I gave the bike to the Mission Department for a Sister Missionary who is coming in and needs a bike!! Thank you!
SO MUCH LOVE and peace. This Church is true. I love Tahiti. I'm excited to go home, à bientot!
xoxoxo Soeur Carter

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Possibly the last blog before Courtney comes home..

Family and Friends (you fall into at least one of these categories),
Ia Orana.
Tahiti is a paradise, but not in the sense that I originally thought. It has become holy ground for where I have had my weaknesses brought out under microscopic attention, where I have maximized all of my strengths, and where I have learned without a doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church directed by Jesus Christ through the medium of revelation of a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson.
I'm still in Taravao and loving the challenges of this sector with Soeur Kavera and Soeur Wahl. We have a Fireside/Talent Show planned for this Saturday and we have about 30 people who are going to present a talent or perform something. So pumped!
Last night we had a Stake Fireside and I was the Missionary Choir director and it was like 100 degrees in that room. President Tupai, President Bize, Soeur Bize, and many recent converts spoke and it was such a solid program. I said the closing prayer in Tahitian, not to be praised, but to show my love for the Tahitian people. There is such an outpouring of love when people speak in Tahitian.
I bossed the Packing of the Suitcases last week, gave away a bunch of stuff that I can live without, I have space left over to bring back more Tahitian stuff. I bought a Marquesian weapon-ish thing for Dad so we'll see how that goes over with the TSA people at the airport...
"My areas of interest are: travel and walking." How cute is Wilfried? I want to go on drifting hikes with someone when I get home.
I love his accent, perspective, and clothing choice. He reminds me a lot of my Daddy. Ladies and gents, Mike Turvey.
Her style and mannerisms remind me of Mom. Being a Mom is so important, it affects so much of everything.
No photos because I've gained 30 pounds this past week. :) Just kidding. (Or am I?) I've been appreciating the heck out of all the raw fish and fruit we have over here in the islands. So yummy. Can I bring back papaya seeds and plant trees in everyone's yard?
I love my family. I won't ever get tired of saying it. Maybe they're tired of it, but I'm not.
SO MUCH LOVE, Soeur Courtney Carter

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bearing testimony in Tahitian

Hello world,
2 weeks to go and I feel fine! The real question is, how are you all doing? I love and miss all of you so much, your letters are so thoughtful and beautiful that I cannot keep up with the replies. Fortunately I was trained by Mavis Beacon so I can accomplish a lot through emails.
I know that amongst you blog visitors we have those who jump straight to pictures, so here you are. :) 
1. A view from Narnia. (so named because it's like an entire city in the mountains that we never knew existed until recently)

2. Mami Olga got baptized!!! She is such a boss, love her so much. All lessons in Tahitian.

3. It was a little chilly and Sr Kavera was so adorable in her shawl! Cutest kids ever at that dinner. Beautiful view of the ocean and a tiny private island. 

4. This guy just came back to Church, so much respect for him. This pic is from our Temple Program last Saturday, huge program and some last-minute changes but all is well in Zion and we have 2 new investigators!!

5. Our cute companionship in our matching skirts, thanks Sr Kavera.

6. Cool story: I approached her during a Stake Activity and we spoke together in Tahitian and bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon. She asked me to teach her but she wasnt in my sector so we did a transition lesson with the Elders, and this picture is the day of her baptism. :) 

7. Our house got invited to the same dinner appointment and they had a swinging bench!! Life is cool in Tahiti. 

I couldnt write last week because I was at a Polynesian Art Festival, buying cool Tahitian stuff for the whole family, sorry!!! It was AMAZING and I haggled for the first time in my life (harrowing but rewarding experience) and had the opportunity to bear my testimony to a small family. 
So much love, more next week!
Soeur Carter

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

There's a party in my tummy!

Ia Orana, eaha ta outou huru? (Hello, what is your state of being?)

Well I'm on the downhill slope of this roller-coaster, 4 weeks and 1 day until I get on a big plane. 

I feel like I've kept my emotions pretty caged for a long time to allow myself to change and focus completely between different lessons. I do think it's possible that I'll have a breakdown at some point when I let my gratitude and joy just overwhelm me, not super sure when that will happen. My eyes well up with tears frequently for others, but it stops there. 

There is a scripture that is really intriguing in 1 Corinthians 2:14 which I read in French but the meaning in English is generally that the natural, instinctual part of us is not receptive to spiritual insights. We call that "the natural man" in the scriptures. Animals are driven and motivated by their instincts, their appetites. The reason for our existence is to learn from the choices we make. We must make the choice to control our appetites and learn self-mastery. Self-mastery enables us to savor and appreciate things that are good. If we love Nutella, appreciate the spoonful. Don't binge and make yourself sick. When you date someone with whom you want to spend the rest of your life, marry them before having children. Self-mastery enables us to receive the blessings of obedience and it limits our feelings of guilt and shame. (There's a lot of other meaning in this verse but you and I haven't the time to analyze right now.)

Does anyone besides Ashley Alvarez know that song "There's a party in my tummy!  So yummy, so yummy!" ? :) I found the guy, he's a Mormon.

How cute is Nadia? I am so excited to get back into Arabic studies at BYU, the Arabic cultures are beautiful. 

Keep calm and carry on,
Soeur Carter

Monday, June 30, 2014

Shopping - American Style! Travel Plans Arrived!

Hello loves,
I was travelling last Monday and didnt get a chance to do emails, desolée!! Wayyyy behind on emails, patience young grasshoppers and thank you for your love.
You all are wonderful.
I just came back from P-day shopping: Tamanu grocery store, Araca organic store, and Food Mart american store where I bought Raisin Bran.
1. The Papeete port.
2. Exotic Views brought to you by the sector of Nuuroa. How did I get lucky enough to serve here?
3. Our chauffeurs, Elder ma.
4. A chicken got stuck in our house right before District Meeting, another day in Tahiti.

5. TIRAMISU, our fatamaaraa yesterday (life is short, eat dessert first).
6. Earlier today with our Amurrican products!
7. Just doing some shopping at a health store, I is happy.
8. Sr Urling, she's so pleased with her purchases. :)
9. Sr A, super thrilled to be at a bio store. :)
SO I am at Punaauia right now, they just put the Soeurs in this sector (it has been Elders for a while) so everything is new. They're creating a new ward soon with pieces from 3 existing wards so we're working with 3 of everything (Ward Mission Leaders, Bishops, everything). I'm going to Maraa soon to work with a new STL, Sr Tamahahe!
Mission News: President Sinjoux finishes his mission today. Our new President is President Bise! We had a missionary concert last night for 1000 people (investigators, members, etc.) and we all sang a special song to say goodbye to President Sinjoux. Tough stuff. I had the opportunity to say the closing prayer in Tahitian, intense. The new President and his wife are WONDERFUL, so excited for the Mission Conference on Wednesday. He was a former CEO, he is French but has lived in the US for the past 26 years, and was taught Tahitian by a former missionary. They're so great.
Companion news: Sr Pehrson finishes today! Shes so great.
love, Soeur Carter
I got my travel plans!! It's a reality now. My flight from Tahiti leaves Tuesday, Aug 05 at 11:10 PM and I get into Kentucky Wednesday Aug 06 at 10 PM. That gives me all of Tuesday to keep teaching and I think we're maybe definitely doing a temple session on that Monday before. How do I feel? Really really peaceful.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Happy Fathers Day

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all of you great Papas out there, especially mine! 

Fathers, you matter so much in the life of your children. What you do or don't do affects them profoundly and please don't ever take that lightly. 

My dad is so amazing. I'm actually crying right now because I love him so much. He has taken care of me my entire life, he has literally wiped away my tears, he has loved my mother, he listens so well, he keeps a journal that lets me know that he observes and appreciates events that happen to him, he sets ambitious goals and he accomplishes them, he loves me and tells me all the time. I'm the luckiest kid on the planet to have the family that I have. Every single member of my family is so important to me. The other day I remembered how Hales would flip her hair over his forehead like long bangs and he would tell us surfer stories. Everyone, tell your dad how much you love him. 

Tahiti is strange and beautiful, I'm learning heaps. Heaps and heaps. I love my family more than ever and I'm so excited to see all of you againnnnn. 

1. Two Things: my picture art book and my mosquito repellant, my two must-haves in this mission (after the Spirit and the scriptures). 

2. Oh look, its those three MTC companions together again! Transfers earlier today. 

3. Moorea Mountains, forgot to send this picture. Sunbeams.

Bit of an emotional ride this week. I appreciate the hard stuff, I learn a lot. One of the best parts of this week was the Young Women program on Sunday for Father's Day and one girl was sad because her dad had to be at work but her mom said if he had been there he would have cried. No biggie, I cried for her because my Dad wasnt there either. 

I feel like this is a good time to explain why the heck I'm on a little island in the middle of the ocean, serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Simply, I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and I know that God speaks to us, his children, today. He always has and He always will. I know that he is a loving Heavenly Father. I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book that helps us to become better and to feel God's love more clearly in our lives. That's why I'm over here in Tahiti and that's why I am not with my amazing and loving family. Even when it is really hard, discussing the gospel is my favorite thing to do.  

I love you all! 
Soeur Carter

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Back in Taravao

Beautiful people, life is good.

I am back in Taravao with Soeur Wahl because her companion was having some troubles. I love this sector, its fun seeing people again. It's raining quite a bit here at the south end of the island, theres a tabby cat that keeps wanting to come inside but we have repeatedly told him "no" in several languages. I put my foot out and he rubbed his head against it.

1. Zone de Mahina!! Played soccer for a long time, hence the sunburn. We have shirts coming out that will say something like "Life is good in Mahina" or "Life is short, share the gospel."

2. Some of my posterity, two of my daughters next to me and my granddaughter at the far right. We have fun family reunions and a lot of family pride.
3. I think we're all tired of normal smiling photos so here is a Leader's Meeting after about the 12th camera
4. This is one of 3 clean puppies I have seen in my entire mission so I hugged the heck out of it. The girl we were teaching right before this photo is so intelligent, I love teaching her. Here name is Anahei and she asks the smartest questions. Right after this photo, her mom gave us coco bread, YUM.
5. Your weekly postcard shot, Sky Fire. 
6. With all of the rain, Richard camped out on our front porch. We all love him so much, sometimes
Sr Wahl and I have conversations about what food we have in the fridge that we can give him.
7. The other Sisters set up this table as a surprise for us when we got home because we didnt have a fatamaaraa (dinner appointment)!! Ramen noodle soup with Nesquick chocolate mix, the candles were a thoughtful touch. Love in the Taravao House.
8. The name card that they put next to our plates. 

I LOVE THIS CHURCH. Love love love it. If you've got a problem, read a talk from the LDS General Conference and just read until you find an answer. By the time you find your answer, you will probably feel satisfied in a very deep and personal way. Keep reading and praying. Things will always get better. 

This girl is a superstar, I love Kristy. Forgiveness is a powerful medicine that heals. I have seen families here in Tahiti who have held grudges against their family for years and years and the moment they decide to forgive, peace just floods into their life and that pain stops being a part of their identity.

Elaine is a drummer and she changed her life becaue she looked for God. How many of us have a really good relationship with God? It is important to look for him and the only way you can know is through your personal, real experiences.

Scripture thought: Ether 12:27. Weak things become strong. I am a whole-hearted witness to that. We are weak because we are imperfect, God is perfect so he can make us strong. 

I love you all and I pray for the world so that youre all included. Watch a documentary and identify what you love about each person.
xoxo Soeur Carter

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Lovely people,
We are in the single digits, if I am not mistaken, 9 weeksish. I know for a solid, undeniable, and beautiful fact that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is directed by Jesus Christ through a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. If you don't know this, imagine for a moment that my hands are on your shoulders and Im looking right into your eyes and Im asking you to read the Book of Mormon and sincerely pray. Pray like you are talking directly to God, because you are.

I am in the sector of Tuauru with the hillarious Sr Utatao, literally everyone thinks shes hillarious. I laugh so hard sometimes that I breathe improperly and get hiccups for a while after. I love Bishop but I think I love his wife more, we went over to her house the other day and shared a message and it was so positive. She used to be Miss Mahina, like for a beauty pageant. I heard that Miss Tahiti lives a few minutes from our house.
There is a talk by Lawrence E. Corbridge that I read in French but I think the title in English would be "The Way" and it just makes life so clear and simple. Everybody, read it, Im begging you. Its from the October 2008 General Conference. Sometimes people think that Mormons have too many rules and life would be easier without them. I have news for you: you can make bad choices and live the bad consequences, or you can make good choices and live the good and fulfilling results. Life is difficult, the Gospel makes it easier and meaningful.
Soooo, feast and famine- nothing but pictures last week and this week, no connector cord. Google Earth Tuauru if you want a visual on me, I'll be the white kid with a huge bun on top of my head and my companion Sr Utatao will be the brown kid with a small bun on top of her head.
My family is everything to me. Friends are pretty awesome also. How did I get this lucky?
Everyone, take time to read your scriptures.
xoxoxo Soeur Carter

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ferry ride from Moorea and other news

Ia Orana, eaha te parau api? (Hey, what's the news?)

Update: Sr P and I were given a secteur with a name I still have a hard time saying (I just point to Sr P when I need it to be said), Tuauru. We're also getting a car so we'll still travel in the other sectors but one will rest and work there with the fabulous Sr Utatao from Australia. (Her accent is killer.)

Other stuff: I will be living in a house with 2 of my "daughters" (sisters I trained) Sr T and Sr S. We're pretty excited. :) 

I spent an eternity playing catch-up reading emails, so I'll let the photos doing the talking. 

1. A spider in the Moorea house sink. Remained calm but I can't say the same for the other Sisters. 

2. You know, just a pet goat.
3. Worked with these two lovelys, Sr M and Sr M, in the sector of Vaiatu, so many powerful and unexpected spiritual experiences.
4. A real Tahitian cockroach, about the size of a thumb and about an inch in height. My worst fear in Tahiti because... they fly. There is a story and a video for when I discovered this tidbit of information.

5. A photo of the 4 of us together, self-timer. The shortie on the end is my travelling comp, Sr P. :)
6. Tahitian sunset from the ferry boat, coming back from Moorea. 
7. A rainstorm off in the distance.
8. The Perfect Sr. A's birthday moment.
President Sinjoux's mission finishes at the same time as my current companion's- the 29th of June. President Bise, the new mission president, comes the 26thish. 
9. A Dr. Seuss-inspired flower.
10. Road view of a police car (Gendarmes) in Moorea. The policeman are usually French and all of the Tahitian police officers typically work in France.
11. Go-kart car for all of you adventure-lovers out there.

Re-reading the Ensign of the General Conference talks, been marking the phrases that ring true for me. I am constantly impressed and amazed with how the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are so spot-on with their observations and their recommendations. The secret? They ask Heavenly Father, God, and He tells them what they need to say. 
In the past week I got to serve in my old sectors of Papara and Mahaiatea. WOW cool experience. I taught a family home evening to a family that I taught before and 2 more members of their family have been baptized and the family will be sealed in the Papeete temple this August. It was so fun to see the surprise on their faces when I walked in with the Sisters, such a big hug. :)

I love you all so much. Pray like you have never prayed before. "I pray because the need flows out of me all the time." C.S. Lewis
Soeur Courtney Carter

That's all for this week, we're doing transfers so we must away! I love my family more than ever. 
So much love for all of love and support,
Soeur Carter