Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Week Two in Italy

I will be completely honest. This week has been really challenging. There were days when our appointments fell through, no one would listen to us and I was tired. I am so grateful to be here although it has been more of a challenging week I am truely learning so much and what I need to work on to become a better disciple of Christ.

There was a moment this week where someone began to bible bash us and it hurt a lot because I realized how much the gospel means to me. I also felt that it was a stab at my testimony. There was one day in particular this week where all of the appointments and backups we had fell through. Sorella McCann and I hd to judt keep pressing forward with faith hoping we could teach someone.

One of the days during the week we were walking through a park and we saw a man and began to talk to him nd had a lesson with him. At the beggining of the lesson we asked if he believed in god and he told us no. By the end of the lesson he prayed. He prayed to God. We have taught him since. He is great. He wants to know more but he is starting school for nursing so we cant meet with him until august. I am excited for him to start reading the book of mormon. We taught him about the plan of slavation and I told him about Grandma carter and rachel k and about my testimony of the plan of salvation. I think he could tell that this gospel is literally good news. we gave him one to start reading. I hope he will be able to remember the spirit he felt when we taught him. (by the way his lessons have been in english)ha

Another investigator we have is so close to baptism. She is so ready! We are waiting to see what date she wants to be baptized. I a excited and I have a feeling she will get baptized this transfer. She came to church sunday too!

Sunday I bore my testimony in church. It went very well. When I said that dadserved in como I could hear whispers going on. It was great. hah Catarina remembers dad and wants me to bring a picture of him and of our family. She isnt in our ward anymore because the ward was recently split into two wards.

Our last investigator that is progressing is another gem. He truly seems interested in our message. I think it is more for intellectual reasons but I am sure soon enough it will turn into him learning of the spirit.

sorry its a short one this week. Missions are hard. This week was epecially testing but I am grateful for it because it is helping me grow and become the person that I want to become.

I also want to say thank you for all of the emails and letters. they mean a lot! I love you all! Thank you for your prayers! I have truly felt them this week.

sorella carter

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

First Week in Italy!

Well I am in Italy!It is seriously soo beatiful here! Ahh I love it here already and I am so grateful to be here. We came in late to Milano. We missed a flight so we were in the Heathrow airport for 8 hours...Luckily they gave us pounds so we could buy some food at pret. So we didnt get to go to the duomo that day like planned.

Bus ride
On the way to where we were meeting the mission ap's told us what areas we could possibly be in. One of the places they said was como.....As soon as they said that everyone yelled "como carter" because they all knew I wanted to go where my dad had served. As soon as he said that I  felt that I could had a really high chance of going there.

President Wolfgramm Speech
Right before we found out who our trainers were Presdient Wolfgram gave a little speech where he told us that our families had recieved a phonecall and they already knew who our companions were and where we were assigned to serve. As soon as h said that  ws sooo happy and I felt the spirit sooo strongly that I began to cry. I knew that whrever I was goingwas going to be the best place for me. Ihad a feeling that I was going to Como but I didn't want to get my hopes to high.

New Collega and Area
My collega is Sorella McCann! She is great! So I was one of the last 2 sorelle to find out where I would be sering and who my collega would be. I had a feeling that I would be with her and be going to como. When Sorella McCann said my name I was so relieved and grateful to be with her.Seriously I can't find anything that I don't like about her. She is amazing and such a good example to me. This is only her second transfer in Italy so she is still pretty new as well. The good news is that she can seak Italian well.  We are pretty much the same person in some ways.We both love fashion and we even have some of the same clothes and boots. She is from Utah. Oh and no big deal but her grandpa is Elder Holland. haha She casually told me one day and I started to freak out. Ah seriously she is great.

After I met Sorella McCann we went to the duomo to talk to people in front of it which was scary. haha The duomo is breathtaking especially as you first see it after walking out of the metro.

Italian Stereotypes
They always use their hands..always. It is great I love it. Also when we are doing casa and we ring the bell they stick their heads out the window to see who it is..hahah too much fun.

It is beautiful. The lake is beautiful. It is very humid here, but there is an occassional breeze. I love it here.

First Gelato
Too good.. I got Panne/nutella and biscotti. I almost cried becaus it was so delicious. It is suppose to be a very hot week so I think there will be lots of gelato this week.

So one day last week we were casually eat our lunch with the window open when all of the sudden a bird flew in the hit a flower that we had in a vase and was flying around everywhere,. Luckily we were able to get him bak outside. He kept going by the front door because he wanted to go out polietly. haha poor little bird. We named him Fredico. I am glad he is out of our apartment.

So a  gero is going around in a circle. So we did a gero in a chinese store because they sell peanut butter!! Real peanut butter! Bless the day! Peanut butter and nutella are the best snacks after a long day.

So we were doing strata and we met an elderly woman that was 82. She had a rolling basket with all of her groceries so we decided to walk with her and help her with her groceries. So we thought w were walking her to her home....nope to a store because she thought she was helping us. She told us that this storee would be great for preaching the gospel. We felt badso we walked in and walked back out the other way when she was gone because I am pretty sure it is illegal to do that in a grocery store.

I didn't get to speak sunday because someone just got home from their mision in Rome so next week! The como ward was recently split into two ward a couple of months ago. The people are great I can't wait to get to know them all. I am pretty sure there are a couple that were their when dad was in their. Also I was wearing a green dress so everyone said the greenie is wearing green so you can't miss her. I didn't even think of it until we were their. haha

Gloria and Fabbricio
They are both recent converts and are great. They know a few english word and try and help us with our Italian and we try and help them with english. They were trying to teach us italian tongue twisters and they wanted to learn some english tongue twisters. So we had them do "How much wood would a woodchuck...." also "she sells seashells.." and "peter piper.." It was great! They could do it too but it was said withan italian accent.

First Italian Meal
On sunday we had pranzo with Gloria's family. It was soo delcious. Classic Italian.
1. Snacks (potato chips, salami, cold rice, bread) with bitter to drink
2. Appetizer (flaky bread with mozzarella inside and ham/proscuitto)
3. Main Course (Chicken and potatoes with olive oil/onions)
4. Desserts (yogurt torta and chocolate gelato)

It was a good first Italain meal!

Festivo means that the bus schedual is different and is on random days. haha so we have had to run to the bus a lot of times. People are so nice to us. They will wait for us and people have even waved for us so that we could make it on the bus.

Material Things
Okay lets be honest I love to shop. It is pretty funny that I got called to the fashion capital of the world. But the other day I had an "ah ha" moment. There are some fancy stores in Comom and I was just watching people who were shopping one day and realized how much shopping means to people. I could see it in their eyes. At that moment I realized how material things are not important although I still do like them, I am learning that there are more important things in life.

Fearless Drivers
The Italians are fearless drivers. NO FEAR! haha It is crazy. enough said

Recently for strata we were walking by lake como when I notice this woman on a bench and I thought we should talk to her. So I start the converation....very simply..but I started it.. The woman was very nice. Somehow I was able to recite the first vision in Italian.. That was a miracle because always get nervous when I do it in front of other people. I a grateful I had the courage to talk to that woman.

Benjamin and Francis
Benjamin is a less active and Francis is a potential investigatior. They are both from Ghana and speak english. We gave them a lesson about faith. We asked them to act on that faith and come to church this sunday. They both love the book of mormo. But they told us he couldn't because he  has to teach at his church. He uses the book of mormon there, ha hopefully we can get him to come with his church to our church because the know it is true. we shall see.

Zone Conference
We had zone conference yesterday which was my first and last with President and srella Wolfgramm. Seriously they are both so kind and loving. They have stressed a principle called gems which means grow every missionary. Which helps you to focus on others and what their need are. At zone conference we talked about the importance of the book of mormon and did lots of roll plays. All the new sorelle and anziani had to go up and do a roll play together. The one line I knew how to say in Italian was Dio ci amo. haha ohh gheeze..haha I also got to see some of my fellow MTC sorelle and anziani

Today we went to Milano. We did some shopping in Milano, which was so fun (after I gave the little talk about material things) haha We also were able to see the painting the last supper, which is very difficult to get tickets to. We had to go through two room before the actual room to get the liquids off of us or something. It was beautiful and huge. Sandi would have appreciated this. It was gorgeous. The light in the painting focued on Christ's face. Also I never knew that their was a door under the painting. Apparently there was a door that that need to make bigger so if you look under the table in the middle you will see a door.

I love it here in Italy. The people make me feel comfortable. Theare always willing to help us with our Italian and I am grateful for that. I love you all. Thank you for all of you love and support.

sorella carter


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

One Week Closer to Italy!

This is my last week in the MTC! I can't believe it! The time has gone by so quickly.

Happy Birthday Dad and Amber! I hope that you will both have a great birthday! I love you both very much and I hope that you both know that.

New Friends
This week we became friends with the german elders and the french district. We were walking downstairs to go to TALL to see if there were any computers open when I see that the french classroom was open! I was sooo excited because they are always in class when we have breaks so we never meet them. I gave a huge sigh and stared at them for a good mkinute before words could come out of my mouth. They are all going to Paris! L'amore francese! They bore their testimonies to us and it was absolutely beautiful.  One sorella and anziano bore their testimony in french. I love Italian but Freanch will always have a special place in my heart. I am so happy I finally got to meet the french disrtict before I left for Italy.

Travel Plans
Friday we got our travel plans! We leave June 11th! I wasn't sure if I was getting my visa because I never had to go to the consulate in Salt Lake City. But apparently if you are from Southern California you don't have to go there. So i'm going to Italy! yay! I was so happy when I found this out because I thought my visa was not coming on time or something. It's crazy to think that my time in the MTC is almost over. I can't wait to teach the people of Italy!

Sometimes for fun in my district and the other districts like to translate English songs into Italian..hah
For example: "Love" (from the movie the parent trap)
"Teardrops on my Guitar" -Taylor Swift
"I can go the distance" (from hercules)

I will just tell you that the food is decent. There are lots of choices of what you can eat. They always have the BYU creamery ice cream on Wednesdays and Sundays and desserts...too many desserts. Which is always so tempting after a stressful day of classes and language study. I will definitely be excited to eat the food in Italy shortly to say the least! ha

We had a lesson with him last week about baptism and the importance of baptism it went pretty well. Next lesson we are going to teach him the commandments which is kind of scary because we have never taught that lesson before so it will be good practice for us.

Lately during lessons I feel that the spirit has just been neutral and hasn't been as strong as in past lessons. During coaching study with Fratello Cena we talked about that and what I could do. Of course we turned to Preach my Gospel. (which I should have thought of)..haha The part that we looked at talked about how we can invite the spirit. There were two points that he highlighted.
1 Purifying our hearts
2 Exercising Faith
He asked me "What does exercising faith mean to you?"... I told him putting your whole heart into something. After I said that I had a feeling he was going to turn what I said into a question (which he did)...I already knew my answer to his question and I realized I needed to work harder than I was working. I was so grateful for this small experience because recently I have been praying to know of what I need to do in order to invite the spirit into our lessons. I am grateful for Fratello Cena because this was truly an answer to my prayers by helping me recognize what I need to be doing.

Brown Paper Packages
Thank you for the pictures sandi!! I loved those sooo much! I started tearing up looking at the picture because they were soo cute! I love ruby's little ponytail! Violet is soo cuby too! haha I loved the photo's. The one that was titled" when will my life begin" reminded me of rapunzel saying "This is the best day ever!" haha
Thank you for the package mom! It was such a nice surprise to get in the mail and thank you for the gold sandals! Thank you to all that wrote me dear elders and letters this week.

Fiorella's lesson
We taught Fiorella sabato(saturday). It was wonderful! I was speaking Italian! I was speaking actual Italian! hah I looked into her eyes and tolde her with confidence the baptismal invite and also the first vision! Seriously 5 weeks ago that would not have been possible! I have come so far in this amount of time and I can't wait to see where I am at the end of my mission. I know that the Lord has truly helped me learn as much Italian as I have thus far. Italian is such a beautiful language. The more I hear it the more I want to speak and understand it.

(teaching members of the church similiar to giving a family home evening message)
We taught Bill and the Cardullo Couple (which we taught before). We taught both lessons about the importance of developing Christlike attributes in our life and challegned them to develop an attribute. The cardullo couple are seriously awesome. Their son is going to Italy Milan mission in july and they are seriously soooo excited for him. It was great to see their enthusiam.

Trying new things
One of the Romanian elders is from Australia and appartenly they eat veggiemite (condiment) on toast and "chocolate biscuits" aka kit kats. So one morning I was eating my breakfast when I hear an elder from behind me yell "Carter!" I had no clue who it was. but then I saw it was elder middlebrook. He brought the veggiemite for me to try. As soon as I put the veggiemite in my mouth I could feel my gag reflex going and I thought that I was going to throw up. Luckily I didn't! Phew! It seriously tasted like a mixture of beef broth and soy sauce. I guess there is a first time for everything!

One of the german elders has a really lous voice and he is one of those people who doesn't realize how to talk quietly. He just talks very loudly about you when he means to be talking quietly. So this elder and his companion pass by Sorella Wlach and I one day and says in a "trying to be quiet voice" "They speak Italian!!"...hahah Sorella Walch and I started laughing soo hard because he was talking so loud when he was trying to be all secretive about it. haha

Lessons from Cena
So we read a stroy in the book mormon about Amulekiah and Lehonti and he decided to compare the story to us. He told us to not lower our standards and that satan will try and sneak in little by little until he has us completely. It was funny because he said "satana dice va bene".. we all started laughing because he said it so casual how he said "va bene" and it didn't seem like something that would be ever said. Ohh good times in Italian class.

It is bittersweet that this is my last pday in america for a year and a half. I am so excited with what the future holds. I am excited to meet my trainer in Italy and all the other milano missionaries. Apparently I can't count because there are 24 missionaries that are going to milano all together. Pretty exciting! I don't know when my pdays will be when I get to Italy so I guess I will just find out when I get there.

I love you all! Thank you for all of the love and support. Keep writing and emailing me! I love you all

Sorella Carter