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. http://www.mormon.org/wilfried
I love his accent, perspective, and clothing choice. He reminds me a lot of my Daddy. Ladies and gents, Mike Turvey. http://www.mormon.org/miket
Her style and mannerisms remind me of Mom. Being a Mom is so important, it affects so much of everything. http://www.mormon.org/jane
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. http://www.mormon.org/amos

How cute is Nadia? I am so excited to get back into Arabic studies at BYU, the Arabic cultures are beautiful. http://www.mormon.org/fra/nadia 

Keep calm and carry on,
Soeur Carter