Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God's approval.

Yes, I did remember to set the clock forward! yay me! We almost didn't, but Bro. Nelson reminded us. As far as J goes, he does want to continue meeting with us, but he has trouble with the whole faith thing. One minute he talks about the amazing things that happened in the BoM and the Bible, and the next when we ask him if he believes the Bible and the BoM to be the word of God (after he just told us it is God's word) he says "well, I don't know. I wasn't there so I can't say whether it is or not." But, we think we figured out where he is struggling. We started asking him about Jesus Christ, and he said he hardly knows who he is.. Now, where we went wrong, I don't know, but somehow we glazed over who Christ is and he didn't pick any of it up. But, hopefully he will begin to progress once he gains that knowledge.
Health wise, I'm doing good. Trying to work out in the morning, but I don't know how much good it's doing, cause I really don't know what I'm doing. I bought a pull up bar, only to find that there is no door frame to put it on haha! But, it came with a poster with different work outs on it, so that helped a lot! I actually got sick 2 days ago, but I took mom's "miracle potion" and the next morning I was good to go! My companion and I have been buying much healthier food and we are much better at eating it before it goes bad. Anyone with easy (and quick) recipes, that would be awesome!
Being senior companion is kinda tough, just because I know the area better, and I am in charge of planning out most of the day, and rather than taking 15 minutes to plan at night, it takes us about 30 minutes if not more to plan for the next day. It also doesn't help that our teaching pool is shrinking. More and more people are moving or going on vacation, or saying they will be busy for the next month or so.
We did a whole lot of tracting again this week, but rather than freezing our behinds off, it felt soooooo good outside!! It was the kind of weather that i would walk down the river trail in (except it's about 25 Degrees colder than would have been comfortable to walk down the trail in back home haha!). People would leave their doors open long enough to talk with us for alittle bit rather than "It's cold outside *SLAM*". We have been showing people the video "Because of Him" which came out last year around Easter as a "get ready for Easter" message. The video is very powerful, and the spirit is so strong as you watch it. I dare you to post it on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, or just show it to someone on your phone, cause it's only 3 minutes, and it's worth every second!
This week we are planning on branching out of Valley City! Our area border is about 2 hours North and South and 30 minutes West and East of VC, so we are gonna try some of the towns around the area, find those people that the Lord is preparing to receive Restored Gospel!!!
Quotes for the week!
"Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God's approval." - President Thomas S. Monson
"A God who makes no demands is the functional equivalent of a God who does not exist." - Elder D. Todd Christofferson
Justice is an essential attribute of god. We can have faith in God because he is perfectly trustworthy... We rely on the divine quality of justice for faith, confidence, and hope.
"But as a consequence of being perfectly just, there are some things God cannot do. He cannot be arbitrary in saving some and banishing others.  He 'cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.'" - Elder D. Todd Christofferson
"The spring‍ of the year is a most welcome season. It is then that all life seems to renew itself, when the promise of the future appears brightest and hope rises to its zenith. Indeed it is a time of reawakened courage and confidence." - Mark E. Petersen
Well, that's about my whole week! Hope yours is going awesome! Love and miss you all loads!
Elder Carter V

Pure hearts in a pure home are always in whispering distance of heavan

This week has been.... Interesting. I've had many doors slammed in my face, many people that just flat out walk up to the door and never open it, and I've been told that what I believe is a whole lot of bull. It's been a trying week. I will never understand the people that tell me that what I believe is a bunch of garbage when they don't even know what I believe. I can tell you this much, that if you took a Trigonometry class before you had basic math, you would probably throw your arms up and say "This is stupid! How can anybody even listen to this garbage?!" Elder Wright said something that I thought was interesting. In a lesson where a guy wanted us to "Prove that the BoM was true" he responded with "Lets switch the burden of proof for a second. Prove to me that the BoM is not true." And, he couldn't. "When men are learned, they think they are wise." If we are to understand the things of God, we can't do so with the wisdom of men. All truth comes from God, and it is manifest to mankind by the Holy Spirit. "And by the power of the Holy Ghost, you may know the truth of ALL things." Not just some, not just most. All. A mission president (can't remember who....) serving in Canada was invited to a meeting with all the Ministers of other religions in the area for a Q&A about the Mormon church. It started good, than one man said "Brother [fill in the blank], if you lay the gold plates on the table here, I will believe you." His response was "Now, you and I both know, that that will never be enough." Signs, miracles, angelic manifestations, etc., do not convert. Without faith, those experiences will be justified and pushed aside. Laman and Lemuel saw many Angels, and they never changed.
Wow! That went on a lot longer than I thought! I guess that's my 2 cents for the day haha!
Well, J is back from New Orleans, and he loved it! He even went and took pictures of the Temple there! He was so pumped to meet with us again and to come to church! He is an awesome guy! While we were knocking doors this week, a guy pulled up on the other side of the street, waved at us to get our attention, and did the most epic reverse-U-turn-parellel-park I have ever seen!! He got out of the car, came up to us (in shorts and a T-shirt) and said "since you guys are in the business of asking questions, mind if I ask you a few?" Of course, we said yes, and we talked for a bit, than he invited us to go get some "coffee" (hehe) So, we went to the vault and talked with the guy. His name is L, and he pretty much bore his soul to us, than paused and said "Guys, I don't know why I just told you my whole life story. I'm catholic, and I could've just gone to my Priest and talked to him, but I just felt like I should talk to you about it. Something just drew me to you." Interesting, yeah?! I'm excited to see what happens with him! Other than that, we did a lot of finding. Tracting, talking to people, service, Etc. It was a pretty cold week for a while, but now it's starting to warm us a bit. I hear we only have a couple more months of Winter!!!! (Yeah, I said that right. Spring doesn't hit till about May/June.......) And since than we haven't been able to meet with anyone else. Oh, and we set up another appointment with C and her mom, and when we got to their apartment, there was a note on the door that said "Don't knock, don't call, and don't come back." That's pretty sad.
Anyways! On a lighter note, here is a quote that i found!
"Pure hearts in a pure home are always in whispering distance of heavan." - David O. Mckay
Love and miss you all!!
Elder Carter V

You've got to keep your eye on this one!

So, my new comp is awesome! He definitely has been out longer than me haha! He is a great missionary. It's kinda tough being Senior companion, especially since I'm not super confident in remembering things, but I'm learning, and it's helping me grow faster to fit the mold! So, the Senior companion is normally the one who has been in the area longest, since he is the one that takes the lead in planning out the day and the week. That way, he knows what is going on in the area, who is who, etc. Elder Edwards is from Arizona (poor guy is freezing to death!) he is a volley ball player, and pretty shy back home, but being on the mission kinda takes you out of that shell ( at least a little bit). 
So, the Mission President and his wife came to church with us this week! It was awesome! They are amazing people, and you can't help but be happy when they are around. Although, I felt bad for the Gospel principles teacher. He seemed a little intimidated by their presence (as I would have been too!!).  In sacrament meeting, E. Edwards spoke on making our will match the will of God, and it was super awesome! I wish I could have payed more attention to it, cause there was this little girl that kept coming back to me and sitting next to me and talking to me (she was maybe 5 years old).  Eventually her mom realized she was missing, saw her, and picked her up again, but the back row had a good laugh as she made her way back to me about 4 more times! When E. Edwards came back, Bro. C leaned over to him and said "it's about time you get back! This girl kept flirting with your companion! And I think he was encouraging her! You've got to keep your eye on this one!"
So, as far as talking about the people we teach, pretty much everyone was out of town or super busy this week, so we didn't get to meet with any of them. Plus, transfers take a lot of time out of the week. We did a lot of tracting and organizing the area. We mapped out a bunch of places, organized our records, all that jazz. It doesn't make you feel like you did much by the end of the week, but it definitely was important in helping this week be as productive as possible.
Yeah, transfers are weird. You don't get a lot done when they happen, so I don't really have a lot to say this week! But, next week will be full of goodies haha!

Elder Carter V

I will be the Senior Companion!

This has been a mild winter (from what everyone tells me....) The snow hasn't stayed longer than 2 weeks, and never got higher than a foot. About the guy in Fargo, we are going to contact the Fargo missionaries, but we haven't quite gotten around to it yet. We teach M once or twice a week, but we probably won't  keep on. We'll keep in touch, maybe visit her periodically. J is going to New Orleans for 2 weeks, so that's kind of a bummer, but he'll be back. We found 3 new investigators tracting! Crazy! In one week!  C and her mom, found tracting and they invited us to come over a few days later, are super open and loved the idea of a complete Restoration of Jesus Christ's church the way he established it in his time. They are Native American and know that Jesus Christ came to the America's in the past, and that there were prophets as well. It's gonna be so cool teaching them! B, another new investigator, is from Sudan, and when we knocked on his door, he smiled and invited us in. We had a super powerful lesson, and he was pumped about reading the Book of Mormon, and when we set up the next appointment, he sheepishly smiles, than told us he has to go to Sudan for the next 3 months because his father is super sick. Than we met his room mates, and they wanted to hear our message too! C and A are from Iraq, and C speaks pretty good English, not a whole lot, but pretty good, and A hardly speaks any. C started off looking pretty offended that we had another book of scripture, but as we explained, and after he realized we wouldn't bible bash, he decided he would read it, but he can't read English, so we are getting him a BoM in Arabic!! When we left, after having an amazing talk (where B bore testimony that the BoM was true since he felt the Spirit while reading it with us. He is so amazing) they all shook our hands, than pulled us in for  hugs. It was a wonderful experience!
Well, on a different note, E. Wright is being transferred right to the heart of the Oil Boom. Williston. His new companion was in my MTC District! My new companion has 3 months left on his mission, so I'm pretty excited to see what I get to learn from him! His name is Elder Edwards, and I will be the Senior Companion... Kinda worried about that, but I hope I'll survive haha! Elder Edwards was at Zone Conference, and E. Wright said he's awesome! I didn't really talk to him, so I don't really remember what he looks like......
Best chapters of the BoM (well, in my point of view.) are Mosiah 2 and Alma 5. Super powerful!!
Quotes for this week:
"'The quality of our lives.' It's an interesting phrase.  I suspect most people think of this concept in terms of the comforts and conveniences they enjoy... A quality life is one that positively influences others and makes the world around it a better place in which to live." - M. Russell Ballard, Our Search for Happiness, pg. 72
"I am asking that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life we “accentuate the positive.” I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort. I am not asking that all criticism be silenced. Growth comes of correction. Strength comes of repentance. Wise is the man who can acknowledge mistakes pointed out by others and change his course.
What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: “Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve - Ensign,‍ Apr. 1986, 2–4.
I have no idea where those lines came from, so please ignore them haha!
Well, all is well with me, I'm loving it here, and hope to hear about all the awesome stuff that is happening back home!!
Elder Carter

E. Brownie getting transferred

He is Thai, speaks Karin language, lives in Jordan Utah I think?

2nd district right before transfers 

There aren't many things that are better than "goo"

Oh! sorry everyone.... there aren't many things that are better than "goo", yes, but what I really was saying was "good". People here do have an accent, but it's more like a Canadian accent, I think. They say "yet" at the end of every sentence, for example "We've got time, yet!" and "lets go play ball, yet". They say words with "a"s in them, such as "bag" or "cash" with an "ay" sound. that's a little confusing. A casserole is a "hot dish", and most "oh" sounds come out as "oo"s. 
Being senior companion means that you are in charge, so to speak. You take the lead in lessons and planning and comp study, all that jazz. The senior comp is really the leader, but they both need to be carrying the same weight. It went better than I thought it would!
Well, this week was definitely exciting! We went to knock on a potential investigators door, and he lived next to a bar. There were some drunk people outside, and as we passed we waved and were cordial, but didn't try to talk to them, cause they wouldn't have remembered a word in a few hours. One of the, who just so happened to be quite sober, saw us coming at first and said "Oh no! it's the FBI", we laughed and said "Nah, we're missionaries!" than he responded with "yeah, I've heard about that whole 'religion' cover" and we all laughed some more. As we passed by, he looked confused, than said " wait. You're not gonna try and save me?" so I responded with "Well, do you want us to?" and he laughed and waved us over! We had a good conversation with him, and it turns out that he wouldn't have listened to us had we been the ones to initiate the conversation. We talked for a long time (My hands went numb and I dropped the Book of Mormon I was holding. that was awkward.... No worries, I put them in my pocket after that) than he asked us if he could give us his number and if we could come talk to him! We were stoked! than we found out he lived outside of our area.... in a place called Mapleton (no, not by Springville). When he told us that, we looked at each other, kinda sad, than said "Well, we have another pair of missionaries in Fargo that we could send over" and he said "No! I want you two to teach me! Just any time you are going to Fargo, give me a call and we'll have dinner and you guys can teach me all about you 'Mormon's'" So, here's hopin'.... although, it won't last long since we do need to have the Fargo missionaries teach him. Don't know what he was doing at a bar in Valley City though....
So, Bro. N invited a friend over to have a lesson at his house. Over all, it went pretty well, but he had some.... interesting ideas about the world and what is happening in it. J is going crazy with her family history! She's gotten super far in it, and she's contacted tons of family and gotten tons of documents and pictures of gravestones! it's awesome to see her get so excited! Z got a job, and we haven't seen him since. He said that he has to work 21 days strait at his job for training, and he doesn't have a phone, so we just hope we run into him throughout the day. We didn't get to meet with a lot of people this week... Everyone was busy..... It's weird how they are all busy at the same time!!!
Alright! J quote of the week!
We invited him to teach Gospel Principles with Bro. C (He was stoked!) and as we were going over the lesson, which was the Fall of Adam and Eve, he looks at the picture of them in the garden and says "wait, is this an actual picture of Adam and Eve, or did someone paint that?" I love this man!!!! He can always put a smile on your face, and he probably doesn't even realize it!
That about sums it all up. Hope all is well back home!
Elder Carter V