Wednesday, May 29, 2013

One Month

I have officially been in the MTC for one month today! I can't even believe that I only have two weeks until I will be in Italy.

Happy Birthday Nathan! I love you! I hope you had a great birthday on the 25th! I can't believe you are 6 years old now! I love you so much and I hope you got the postcards and letter I sent you!

Mysterious Chex mix
So I found a strawberry chex mix and two jolly ranchers on my desk one morning last week in class. It wasn't from any of the sorelle that I know (and I know all of the sorelle in my branch) haha. So it has to be from an anziano....hopefully it was just from the classroom cleaner checker. haha The song from Tarzan "Strangers like me" kept popping into my head. I'll probably never know who it was from but it sure made me start off the day with a good morning.

Thank you so much for the dear elders, letters and packages! It is always an exciting day when you get a package slip (which means you get to pick up a package from the mailroom).

Mission Song
We learned our mission song last week! I can't wait to sing it in Italy. The words are so beautiful when you translate it. (I sent you a copy of it mom and dad. maybe it is the same lyrics when dad served there!) We sang the Milano mission song with the milano missionaries this week and it was very powerful to sing all together. I am excited to be serving with all of these great missionaries. I have noticed that there are more missionaries going to Milano. There are 14 going to Milano and about 10 going to Rome. Two more weeks until I will be in Italy! We will be getting our travel plans next week. We also learned another song this week. It is a primary classic....."Head, shoulders, knees and toes" or should I say "Testa, Spalle, Ginocchia, Pie" It was seriously so much fun to learn! I have been wanted to learn this song since we first got here and finally one of our teachers taught it to us. "testa, spalle, ginocchia, pie, occhi orrechi, bocca, naso!" yay! hah Dad was right! Singing Italian hymns is my favorite things to do. It is so beautiful in Italian!

Dario's Lesson
Sorella Walch and I didn't know if we had prepared enough for the lesson but we decided that we needed to ask him what some of the difficulties that he was facing at this point in his life. He couldn't understand the question we were trying to ask but through the spirit he was able to understand our very broken Italian. He said "Difficolta?"hahah As soon as he understood that one word we were able to find out that his wife passed away and that he has three kids. Without that one question we wouldn't have been able to know what we needed to teach him. After Fratello Cena told us that he didn't understand the question but through the spirit he was able to understand what we were trying to ask. It truly was a testament of the importance of having the spirit while teaching investigators and that the spirit can touch the hearts of those you teach. The spririt is essential with teaching and helped Dario understand what we were trying to ask him.

Saturday is a special day
So Saturday I got a suprise package from my wonderful sisters kelly and Rachel. Thank you soooo much for the cupcakes from the cocoa bean. It brought back memories from good old BYU-I and Rexburg. My sorelle loved them as well. Needless to say we had a great Saturday eating cupcakes celebrating Nathan's 6th birthday. hahah Grazie per la tazza dolce tarte. I think that means that you for the cupcakes..haha but I am not sure

Secret Santa
The Sorelle and I in my district decided to start doing secret santa in our branch for the anziani and sorelle in our district. Our first victim was anziano miles from another district. We gave him food and a note with a motivational scripture D&C 68:6. Hopefully it brought a smile to his face. We are trying to decide which anziano or sorella will be our next victim.

Sister's leaving
Our neighbors in the residence hall left this week and are in colorado now. Also Sister Pitts (the happiest sister missionary there ever was) hah left this week for Norway! It is always hard to say goodbye. We are getting two new sorelle in our room today so hopefully I will get to meet the new sorelle later today.

After the last lesson with Dario we decided that we wanted to teach him about the plan of salvation. We wanted to focus the lesson on the fact that he can live with his wife again someday but he needs to follow the example of Christ and be baptized. There was such a good spirit thoughout the lesson although our Italian is very broken. I memorized the baptism invitation that day and I knew that I wanted to say it to Dario. Before I asked Dario I told him the importance of following the savior's example then through the spirit I said "Seguira l'esempio di Gesu Cristo facendosi battezzare da qualcuno che detiene l'authorita del sacerdozio di Dio?" I said it very slow but the spirit was present and he felt it. He told us yes! After that lesson I felt such a peaceful spirit the rest of the day. I am excited to share this great plan of happiness in Italy. I am very grateful to be a missionary although it is often very difficult. All of those hard moments are worth it when we have that one good moment where an investigator feels the spirit, accepts an invitaion, or agrees to be baptized.

Native Game
Last week my district decided that we should play a game to help us with Italian. Everyone has to try their best and speak as much Italian as they can, but there is one native which means they have to only speak italian(as much as they can). We would pick two natives one sorella and one anziano and at the end of the day we had to try and guess who was the native. It was helpful because we tried to speak the language as much as possible.

TRC via Skype
We had TRC over skype yesterday with someone in Italy right now. It was an awesome experience. We taught Guilia who was from Torino (member). She was beautiful with the dark long curly hair. It was hard at times to hear her at times and it disconnected twice but it was a neat experience to teach an actual person living in Italy. Our district was one of two districts to test out using skype for TRC for the Italian missionaries. I am so grateful that we were one of the districts to be a guinea pig. We constantly had to aske her to repeat because she spoke sooooo fat and used vocabulary we didn't know. ha It was a great TRC experience to teach her about repentance over skype.

Tuesday Devotional
May 28th, 2013 was a monumental moment for the Provo MTC because the raintree and wideview apartments were officially opened and are now being used for the MTC. W. Craig Zwick and his wife spoke about the importance of building faith in Jesus Christ and developing Christlike attributes.
He compared the building of the Portland, Oregon Temple to building Christlike lives
1. Start with the end in mind
2.Strong desire in committment
3.Willingness and discipline to work hard
4.Prepare for challenges
5.Structural and Spiritual Integrity
6.Total dedication to the Lord
Seriously this devotional wasa exactly what I needed to hear. I have been studying the new testament which has helped me recognize Christ's love for each and everyone of us and makes me want to become more like him and become a better disciple of Christ.

BYU-I friends
I saw two of my friends from Byu-I again! Greg Peterson and Julain(he is going to the long beach, CA mission so he will get to see jayson!)

Thank you so much for the cute "greenie" package grandma and grandpa hansen! I got the package today! I love you both so much and I sent you a letter. Thank you for the letter as well grandpa! I loved hearing about your mission in holland.

Missionary work is hard work but it is an important work. Each day I am here I want to be a misisonary even more so each day. Thank you all for all of your love and support! Keep writing me letters and dear elders! They help me a lot during the week!

sorella carter

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Week Three

Halfway to Italy! I only have three more weeks left in the MTC! It's crazy how fast the time goes by here. I feel like it was just P-day just yesterday!

My potential through God's eyes..
Last week I was having a real hard day with the language and I didn't know what to do. During my coaching study with Fratello Cena he could tell that I was having a hard day. He told me a story of someone who is fimiliar with the cello but that doesn't mean that they know how to play are are very good at it. He told me pray to see my potential through God's eyes. This has been so helpful to me this week. It has helped me to be more motivated to understand my potential through God's eyes. I read through my patriarchal blessing which helped me to see what I can become if I live righteously. After reading my blessing I put my potential on my desk so each morning I can look at it and say wheter or not I have increased in any of those areas that will make me the person that I am supposed to become. I have made new goals so that I will be able to reach my potential that God sees in me. I am grateful that I can see some of the potential I have and what I can become. It has truly helped me to strive to be a better person this week.

Small Successes
Each day I can say one new word, conjugate a verb, say a simple phrase in Italian, and etc. I am so grateful that I have this little successes because it means that I am slowly improving. Each day I add a little more knowledge to my Italian vocabulary. Although I am not having huge successes. I can say that I know more today than I did yesterday. I am grateful to be learning Italian. It is so hard and frustrating at times when I can think of the right word in a lesson, but it truly teaches me a lot. I am learning how to be humble and grateful for each success that I have. Sorella Walch and I are trying to finish memorizing the first vision in Italian. We almost have it! We are using the hymn "Joseph Smith's first prayer" to memorize the last part of the scripture. Week one I wouldn't have been able to memorize this at all! But today I have it almost completely memorized.

Sick Sorelle
So the weekend was very interesting. Two sorelle in my district were sick and another one from our zone was sick. So basically our room was the sick room. My companion Sorella Walch had the stomach flu, Sorella Jarvis had some weird virus or something and Sorella Gross had neumonia. Luckily I have not been sick or felt sick at all! Seriously that has truly been a blessing for me becasuse I can't afford to miss Italian classes. They are all doing better now luckily so it hasn't been as hectic.

Quote we say everyday- "It's a great day to be a missionary!" This is our famous quote we say. We say it through the good and bad days. It helps me to remain postive throughout each day.  

Sorella Walch
So on Friday I wanted to see what the other Italian classes were doing, so I looked through the little peephole to check it out. But the door was slightly open. Sorella Walch decided to push me into the door. So my foot hits the door and made a loud "THUMP"! Then the door starts to open so I run, but she has to be in sight and sound of me so she runs with me.  I think everyone in the class saw us run away. Oh well! I guess I won't be checking to see what other classes are doing anymore. ha

Fight or Flight?
Sorella Walch pushed the door open for me but I was spacing out and the door almost hit me. I didn't move whatsoever because I was so out of it. I pretty much saw my life flash before my own eyes, as I stood there with my mouth wide open. Good thing she stopped the door before it hit me  in the face. Note to self: move when a door comes flying towards your face.

Gym time
Sorella Walch and I play foursquare and volleyball during gym time. It is so much fun! It is one of the highlights of my day. We play volleyball with the Romanians that are in our branch. It seriously is always a good time with the Romanians. Yesterday Sorella Walch and I went to early morning gym and seriously had a grand old time playing volleyball with our fellow Romanians and Italians. It also made me realize how much I miss playing volleyball.

I was so sad to hear that Sister Monson passed away. I was able to watch the video that is on which was an amzing memorial to her of her wondeful life. It's crazy how much happens in the outside world (meaning outside the MTC) haha. Seriously though! I didn't hear about what happened in Oklahoma until a day ago. Some much can happen in such a short amount of time. My friend Matt Blocker left today or yesterday for Oklahoma! I hope that he will get there safely with all that has been going on there. I saw him in the cafeteria one day and he told me, "Sorry I can't give you a hug." haha funny. So we shook hands for our goodbye to eachother. I also saw another one of my friends from BYU-I Austin Roylance which was fun to see him. I have seen him a couple times already.

Sunday Devotional
Mary Edmunds spoke to us on Sunday and she was seriously hilarious! Some of the highlights form her talk
-Choose the plan of happiness each day
-Change your mind, change your thoughts
-Let the light of the gospel shine in your faces
-Preach the gospel through example
-Treasure the Book of Mormon
-Sing to people

Tongue Brush
I though Rachel would appreciate this, so this is for you Rachel. I have converted two of my fellow sorelle to the tongue brush and a random sister in the bookstore. They both love it!! Sorella Walch sang to the tune of "A whole new world" but said "A whole new tongue. Needless to say they love it and it has changed their lives tremendously to say the least.

TRC-Second Times the Charm
Due Sorelle
We taught two women both served missions in Italy. One of them served a mission in Milano and the other in Roma. The sorella that served in Milano literally loved us. She taught at Byu which is awesome. They were both excited when we told them we wanted to sing from the inni (italian hymnbook). Before we left the sorella that went to Milan said "Mia sorelle!" (and some other things that I can't remember).

We also taught a husband and wife. The husband was born in Italy and served in the Catania MIssion and I think his wife served their as well. We also found out that their son was going to Milano on his mission! They said he would be in Italy in September so we will get to meet him out in the field.
The husband told us after that we will change many lives on our missions including our own. He told us, "If it wasn't for you missionaries I wouldn't be here today". Which was so sweet to hear. 
I love TRC because we get to strengthen the members and they give us feedback on the lesson we gave them.

Leaving Sisters
Sister Roe and Sister Collins left Tuesday at 5am. We are all sad because they helped to show us the ropes of the MTC. They are going to be amazing missionaries in the California, Anahiem mission. I bet they will meet my friend Kouji.  

Singing in the Shower
One of my highlights here at the MTC is hearing the sisters sing in the shower. So many beautiful harmonies it kills me. It is something that I look forward to hear all day. It's so much fun too. If you start singing a hymn people will just join in and sing some amazing harmonies.

Senior Couple
Yesterday we met a couple that will be serving in the Milano Mission. The Mann's! They were sooo happy to see the sorelle! They will be serving in Verona on a family history mission. They leave a week before us but I am so excited to see them in Italy. I am really excited to meet all of the senior couples in our mission because I feel that we will be like their adopted grandchildren. hah

Yesterday we had our third lesson with our investigator Dario. Which was supposed to be on God's love for us and a little bit on the restoration. Sorella Walch and I role played us teaching Dario a lot! But for some reason when we got in their I startyed with the middle of the restoration. It was basically like I started to tell him a story in the middle but kept adding infromation that I forget to add before. I accidentally told Dario that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon instead of translated it....Which made Dario even more confused. Plus we kept adding random parts of the apostacy ..Which made him confuse..I was confused myself and I was the one teaching him! haha oh gheeze! The funnt thing was that Sorella Walch knew I was not saying the right words in Italian but didn't say anything. It was a struggle but it needed to happen, so I could realize that I need to continue studying hard.

Tuesday Suprise
So the anziani in my district thought it would be funny to tell all the sorelle in my district that Presdient Thomas S. Monson was speaking at devotional tuesday. They told us that they overheard two of the Italian teachers talking to eachother about it. They even made us play hangman and immediately I guessed "MONSON!". They said yep..but they all seemed too calm abut it all. Then we realized that they were just messing with us sorelle...ahh oh well.

The real speaker
So yesterday Marcus B. Nash of the seventy spoke. It was pretty cool because he spoke at our last stake conference and I actually got to meet him at our stake conference. Some of the highlights from his talk:
-Doctrine of Christ and the importance of living this doctrine
-D&C 138:55-56 which tells us that we were prepared to come here
-Don't hold anything back

It has been another good week in the MTC. I have good days and hard days just like all of you back at home. I know that as we stay close to the Lord and pray for help when we need it, he will give us the strength that we need. I love this gospel! I am so grateful I have the opportunity to serve the Lord for a year and a half. It is going to be continually hard, but the hardest things that we do in life life are always the most rewarding. I love you all so much! Keep writing me! I need letters and dear elders. I look forward to reading those each day because some days can be truly challenging mentally, phyiscally and spiritually. Thank you for the package by the way mom! I forgot to tell you. Until next week arrivederci!

sorella carter

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Week Two

Buon Girono! 

I can't believe I have been in the MTC for two weeks already! The time here is flying by and they keep us very busy here.

Happy Mother's Day a little bit late mom! I love you so much and I want you to know I was thinking of you on Mother's Day. Also happy anniversary mom and dad! I hope that you had a great day together. I love you both sooo much and I am so grateful to have you as my parents.

So today I was walking to the temple with my sorelle and I see someone that looks like Kelly and she is holding a little baby girl. I squint my eyes a little bit and I realize that is is Kelly!! I introduced her to my companion and to the other sorelle in my district. I was so grateful to see her and cute little Gracie! I got a picture of the three of us in front of the temple. I am so grateful I could see you kelly! I love you and your cute little family!

 District Quotes:
"We're going to take a picture at the temple. Sisters, you can be in it as long as you don't touch me!"

"Sometimes Fratello Cena speaks in English and I think I have the gift of tongues, but then I just realize he is speaking english with an Italian accent"

BYU-I Friends
I see one of my old roommates Coney Zeally from college almost everyday. I think she leaves next week though! I also saw Matthew Blocker last Wednesday on his first day. When I saw him I screamed," MATT BLOCKER....I mean Elder Blocker" as I shook his hand. I see him every once in a while. I also see another one of my friends from Byu-I named Preston Patten. I see him every once in a while. It is so nice to see people you know!

Companion Change:
I am back to a companionship of two sorelle which is very nice. Trios can be very challenging especially when teaching or planning a lesson. My new companion is Sorella Walch. She is from Cresent City, California which is right by the Oregon border. I am seriously soo grateful to have her as my new collega (companion). She reminds me of Rachel with all of her accents. She is hilarious which is good to have after a long day of studying Italian and teaching investigators. It is going to be challenging because we both don't know much Italian but I know it is going to make us worker harder than we were before

So we found out that Patrizia (our investigator) is one of our teachers named Sorella Fairbanks. She is really sweet! She is from Orem, Utah. She talks really fast but when she tells a joke she talks slower. Our district walked outside one day last week and while walking we had to bear our testimony to eachother, which was a nice break from staying in the classroom all day long. I like her as a teacher because I don't feel intimidated to asks question like I do with Fratello Cena. It nice to have two very different teachers because they both have something different to give to us.

SYL-Speak Your Language
My companion and I made a goal to bare our testimonies at least two times a day. The first people we did it to were going somewhere portugese speaking which was embarassing because they could actualy understand what we were saying to them. Note to self.. Look at the nametag before..ha

So Sorella Walch and I were walking into class and she accidentally tripped me as I entered the room. Needless to say I made an unforgettable entrance.

Tall is a computer program that we use to learn phrases, words, and sounds in Italian. You can record yourself to hear if you are saying things correctly. Sorella Walch and I were needing a luagh so we decided to record a line from a "Quando, Quando, Quando" because that means "when" in Italian. It seriously brought a well needed smile to both of us. It's really weird how the little things here are hilarious.

A little bit of sin-Temptation
So during one of our little breaks the sorelle in my district and I wrote a rap/song called temptation. The weirdest things are funny in the MTC. It's the little things that seem to be the most funny here. It's probably because we are in class all day so anything makes us laugh. But I am grateful for those little moments to break the intensity of learning Italian. WHo knows if our song will be a hit...but it sure gsave us a great laugh

Janice Kapp Perry
So on Sunday for Relief Society it is combined with all of the sisters. Janice Kapp Perry spoke!!!! Which was AMAZING!! She only wrote some of the best primary songs! She told us about her mission with her husband and how they taught someone who was inactive for over 15 years and they sang her favorite song "I know that my Reedemer lives" and after they sang that with the person they remember their testimony of the gospel. She also told a story how she was in an accident and had to get a body scan but it was so painful for her to lie down. She said four words came into her mind "Pray he is there" from the song a child's prayer.

I am so grateful for the power of music and the influence it has had on my life. It truly strengthens my testimony.

Also we sang "As sisters in Zion" and a primary song medley. The best part was that we sang another song called "The Sister's of Zion". Which is the same tune to "As sister's in zion" except it's specifically talking about sister missionaries in the song. She told us we were the first people to sing the song. That song will always have a special place in my heart now. The words were so incredible! She said they are making a sister missionary CD! Yay!


Seriously after that song there was not one dry eye in the whole auditorium. Ahh! I love music so much and the power you feel from it!

District Meeting
So I spoke in my district meeting about having faith in learning the language, which I feel by preparing for this lesson helped me more than anyone else. I talked about Matthew 9:29, which is when the Savior healed two blind men and said, "According to your faith be it unto you". Also in 1 Nephi 7:12-13, 17-18 Nephi prays and asks to be able to break the bands his family has put on him. He said, "According to my faith.."So I used both of those and said that we must have faith in ourselves and in the Lord. The Lord gives us all different weaknesses that we can turn into strengths through time.

Missions are forever
 We watched a movie on a talk by Elder Jeffrey R. holland. He is amazing! He tells you what you need to do in a constructive way. He was saying how we won't ever have this chance again and that we will have to give all that we can so we will have no regrets. He talked about how salvation is not a cheap experience and this is why missions are so hard.

MTC Choir was seriously was one of my best decisions. The choir director is hilarious and it is a well needed break for the week plus we have guaranteed seats for devotionals!

Fiorella First Lesson
Fiorella is our new investigator and has no religious beliefs but her miother is qa member. It was my first time teaching with sorella walch. WE taught her about prayer and actually did an ok joh. There would be times when Fiorella would ask a question and I would have no idea what she said and Sorella Walch would reply. Also there were times Sorella walch wouldn't understand and I would answer. Even though there were awkward pauses we have improved so much.

TRC is where we teach members who volunteer and we basically give them a spiritual though. We taught two different people for 20 mins each we sang families can be together forever in Italian and shared a few scriptures from D&C. We did alright but we totally forgot to ask them their names when we introduced ourselves! Whoops! Better luck next time. They wrote a review of how we did and one said that our lesson was an answer to his prayers which was sweet to hear. They both said they fgelt a sweet peaceful Spirit as we spoke even though our Italian was very broken. I am grateful that I can at least bear my testimony and share what I know to be true!

So all the sorelle and I guessed that our Fratello Cena had to be a dancer because his posture is too perfect!! So one of the other Italian teachers told us that he is a hip hop dancer! He is in a crew!! WHAT IS THIS? haha we thought he would be a ballroom dancer but I guess that is the big secret for today.

Tuesdays are devotional at the MTC and the speaker is always a surprise for us missionaries.During choir the director said someone very special was coming to speak. We all knew it meant and apostle. I saw Elder Russel M Nelson walk out! I almost started to cry I was so excited.
His wife Sis Nelson spoke first and gave an amazing talk. She asked us to do something I had never thought before she said 'pray to be lead to those who's ancestors are praying for you." which was a coo thought to think about.
She also said 'your ancestors on the other side of the veil will be praying for you' I truly know this to be true. I know that my ancestors will be praying for me. She said specifically pray to have certain people help you (using their specific names) who are behind the veil. Elder Nelson's talk was similar to Sister Nelson's. He gave so great advice. He told us to smile when we are meeting someone also to ask for their name and the history of that name. He told us that by asking where their name comes from, it will open doors to sharing the gospel through the topic of family/genealogy. Genealogy is a big topic/hobby around the world ()mom you would have loved their talks because it was about genealogy and the spirit of Elijah). Elder Nelson said to look into the eyes of people and look for clues so you can know how to touch their hearts. He said we are the link to the Lord Jesus Christ and the link to what they are and what they can become.
One story he mentioned that I loved was when a nurse asked him one day 'what makes you different than other surgeons I have operated with?' he told the woman "I'm different because I know the Book of Mormon is true." So he gave her his only copy of the Book of Mormon. The woman's husband said 'Thanks a lot' Elder Nelson said 'you didn't read it...did you? You read it and then I want my book back." They were both baptized and recently Elder Nelson met his extended family. Her ancestors told him, "Thank you for sharing the gospel with our family".
Elder Nelson told us that we will effect generations of people. Which made me even more excited to teach the people of Italy. I hope I can effect many families and their ancestors waiting to receive the gospel.

one of the biggest blessings for me personally has been the ability to wake up on time. Not only do I wake up on time, but i am always the first one awake. YAY! Miracles happen.. hahah

Thank you for all the dear elders and letters! They are truly appreciated and they make my day after a long day of studying.

Love you all,
Sorella Carter