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

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Heavens and a Baptism

Hey there!

I'm going on 2 weeks in Taravao 1 with Soeur Wahl and I could not be happier. I still have this problem where I'm tempted to laugh in lessons because Soeur Wahl is so adorable but I bite my lip and manage to get it together. Usually. 

1. Hope you all got to see the Lunar Eclipse! If not, you're welcome to squint your eyes at this NASA-quality photo.

2. A fruit here called "oeil du dragon" (dragon eye) and it's delicious. 
3. More fruit love. That is papaya and it's sooooo good with lemon juice squeezed on top. 
4. Our baptism yesterday for Hitirere that was so powerful, I was weeping. Our lessons are so intense with him, but he is definitely a future Bishop. Even our Stake President Tupai thinks so. (Someone was desperate to talk with him on the phone so he did the best he could haha.)

5. A little out of order, but here is a font picture. His beautiful wife is the lace shirt up front, she's so French. 

6. Classic refreshments after a baptism, cheetos are usually present. Thought you might want to know!
I am doing super well. Tomorrow marks ONE YEAR IN TAHITI. The other day someone told me my Tahitian was better than my French. Haha thanks cute old Tahitian Mami. :) 

My attempt to be more spiritual in letters home: 2 Corinthians 5:17
"Si quelqu'un est en Christ; il est une nouvelle créature. Les choses anciennes sont passées; voici, toutes choses sont devenues nouvelles." You change completely when you accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ in your life, you become a new creature. You become better. Your vision of things becomes crystal-clear and eternal. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is 1) faith in Jesus Christ and in His Atonement 2) repentance 3) baptism 4) the gift of the Holy Ghost and obedience for the rest of your life until you pass on in to the eternities. 

This Church is true and Brandon Flowers from the band The Killers knows it too. http://www.mormon.org/brandon
eternal love,
Soeur Carter

Working and Serving around Tahiti

Ia Orana!

I am now companions with Soeur Pehrson and we just got back from doing a split in Mahina. Mahina is GORGEOUS, we walked along the beach at one point to go sing hymns with a family and I was overwhelmed all over again with the natural beauty of Tahiti.

1. Baptism for the Teiho twins. Caption for the one on the left- "I made my family disappear." and caption for the one on the right- "Uhh I can't tell you that. (Why?) Because you're a stranger."

2. Just a slice of Tahitian countryside.

3. The ever-effortlessly-adorable Soeur Wahl when we were offered coconuts on account of my departure from Taravao after a fulfilling 3 weeks.

4. That coconut water was super delicious.

5. Our late night goodbye with some of the people who changed my life in Mahina, Frere Hitirere and Soeur Cathy.

6. One "ami de l'Eglise" named Steve ADAMS and our dear DMP Lucas. You can't tell, but ADAMS has a long ponytail that goes all the way down his back and everyone thinks he is Native American.

7. Our friends from Papara came to our missionary concert! That is Nuihau on the left, the recent convert who is going to serve a mission next year!!! So proud.
8. We worked with the Temple Sisters (outside, not inside) and I just love the temple at night. I just love temples, I have a dream to visit and serve a session in every temple in the world.

9. Soeur D'Agnillo expressing love and appreciation for our skater helmets.

I feel the need to better explain the "SA" role that I have been given. So, it is an assignment that is given by the Mission President to facilitate missionary work in several areas of the mission. I do not have a fixed sector. I travel around the sectors of other Soeurs with different needs (a sick companion, finding investigators, etc.) and work anywhere from 1 day to 3 weeks (Taravao).
Yep, it's difficult but I am SO grateful for the opportunity to serve with so many different sister missionaries. I do a lot of observing and supporting, a little guiding, and a lot of learning and appreciating. Right now I am in Papeete and we will stay around here until Wednesday.
I cannot wait to Skype on Sunday for Mother's Day!!! I am pretty sure that I will be here in Papeete because we have a missionary fireside that night and we invited everyone and their dog. (And everybody's got a dog.) After that, 3 months until Real Life Skping at the airport. :)
I am in the continuing process of disciplining my mind by simplifying everything I think into the bare basics.  In "Prechez Mon Evangile" (Preach My Gospel) there is a quote that I love in Chapter 10 by John Taylor, 'C'est faire preuve d'une intelligence que de prendre un sujet qui est mysterieux et grand en lui-meme puis de l'exposer et de le simplifier de telle maniere qu'un enfant puisse le comprendre."

Basically, explain everything as simply as possible. I remember that there was a plaque in the P's house in Virginia that was in their kitchen with the word "SIMPLIFY" and that has become the motto of my mission. Preach the gospel of Jesus Christ by the Spirit and that's it.
Person Highlight: Soeur Pehrson
My companion! She will finish her mission in about a month and a half. Including me, she has served with 18 companions in 18 months. She is from South Dakota, plays the violin and the piano, and has bright blue eyes. She is such a good listener. She listens and listens and listens. I appreciate enormously her example of forgiveness. She was serving in Moorea right before becoming SA. She was actually with me in Papara for a few days right at the very beginning of my mission, one year ago (to show me and Soeur Chapman the sector). She is very humble. 

I love you all so much!! Words are insufficient to explain myself so another big virtual hug for all of you.

xoxoxo love, Soeur Carter