Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pure KJ

Note from the editor: Sorry for the delay in getting this out this week. A lot of it is pretty personal for our little family, so I thought about editing pretty heavily, but I decided to send it out completely unedited. Shelby had her patriarchal blessing last weekend-12/7/10-and it was a pretty special time for all of us. I think one of my favorite things about having our missionary out is the love he keeps sending back our direction. What a reward for those not always fun teenage years! Have a great week everyone...on to the Elder.

Have I told Shelby yet how much I love her? It grows everyday, and I'm not even around her! I wonder if that would've worked back home.... But then again, I couldn't really get away from her, could I?
And besides, who, in their right minds, wouldn't want to be with my sister her whole life? Granted there's the toothpaste, the stealing brother's things, the arguing, the getting brother in trouble... etc... the list goes on. But when you get to know her. When you get to see her heart for what it really is.. You begin to understand what being in Heavenly Father's presence must be like. I've always wondered if she was a celestial spirit. In fact, I've been pretty sure for awhile.
Shelby, you knew what you were going to go through in this life. You saw that pain. But more than that you saw the joy. You were willing because you knew that you could at least help your brother. I'm not sure how many other people you've helped, but you've nearly saved me.
I remember the peaceful, closed eyes I saw on that day 15 years ago. The beautiful spirit of my sister in the presence of angels while her body went through mortal pain. But do you know what I remember most? I don't remember a baby face. I remember a mature, perfect, peaceful Shelby. That's who I saw on that bed. That's who I remember. Everytime I see you, that's what I see, that's what I remember. Everytime I think of you, I remember who you are. I can only imagine that you and I were best friends in the pre-mortal life, since we both seemed to have pretty strong testimonies of our Savior. I must have begged Heavenly Father to let you be my sister. You know what else I see in your "countenance"? Our Savior Jesus Christ. The purity of His Truth. I know this all sounds dramatic, but I'm overcome with emotion right now. I want to read your patriarchal blessing so bad! I knew for years, that your blessing would be special. Everything I've heard so far is unbelievably amazing to me, and they are things that I already knew about you. I can only imagine how Mom and Dad feel.
    Mom, Dad. Don't you two EVER tell me you "broke things" in raising us. Do you realize who you're the parents of? A celestial spirit, and Heavenly Father gave you a pretty mischievous, naughty, rebellious son to correct and fix up. I needed you two and my sister. Only with you could I have become what I am, and get to where I'm at.
Because you two are perfectionists and raised me that way, my investigators understand what we teach. They know what they have to do, and all the information our leaders need is given. This is because I'm picky, and a perfectionist. But more so, is because of Elder Zhu's testimony and together, the presence of the Spirit when we teach.
Thank you. I know what I really want now. I know where my hope lies. I know where my heart belongs. And it's because I have the BEST parents, and the BEST sister. I love you Shelbs. You're still the first person I'm hugging when I get home. Don't let me forget that. And don't you dare get all annoying and tell me you don't want it. I'm chasing you from the airport to Taiwan and back until you let me hug you. You first. Not the dog. You. Then Mom and Dad, and then everyone else gets a turn. That's then though.
For now...
160+ missionaries in our mission. Had one week where we contacted 28000 people (the whole mission put together). Added hundreds of investigators, and are helping several progress towards baptism. Our companionship alone has Liu Wen Shen ready to get baptized this Saturday. Daniel, and the Chen Twins getting ready for a "White Christmas" on the 25th of December, which is a Saturday. Perfect for a baptismal service.
Miracles happen everywhere. And they happen everyday. God is everywhere. I'm just starting to see. How could I have been so blind before? I thought I knew things... ;P Now, I'll admit I don't know a thing. I just can't wait to stand before God, with confidence and fire, and take my first steps to Godhood alongside my own, glorified, Eternal Heavenly Father. Although, I'll never be as Good as Him!
Can't wait to see Sister Lee! I'll have to explain that she's a lifelong friend pretty quick, or half the mission will be bearing down on my back. So, Sister Lee! Please make sure you come say hi to me when you see me! So cool! So excited! How do the Lees feel about all this?
Yes, I get Jean's letters. :D I GET JEAN'S LETTERS!!! Is that big enough to see? I hope Jean can see that... ;P I'll write back soon enough, no worries.
Learning the new area is pretty easy, considering it is significantly smaller than my last two areas. Makes it fun. I have my map on my new bag which sits on the front of my bike, so I can see it easier. It's fun visiting people. The mission focus has turned from contacting at intersections to contacting while traveling. We want to be visiting more people. Stopping at intersections is not entirely effective.
There are 20 or so local missionaries in our mission. Probably less, actually. No, I will never be junior companion again until I get married.
Zone Conferences are every other move call. District Training Meetings are every week. Combined District Training Meetings are every other move call. Mission Conferences are Christmas, when Authorities visit, and special calls by President Bishop.
Some fun facts.
Anyway, life is good. My 6'8" companion is super great, and knows how to find investigators. He helps our numbers look good. But since that doesn't matter, it's fun to see how he befriends the people he finds. He's different. I understand the Chinese spoken on the street better than I understand him, but it's nice to have a harder language experience. It's tuning my ears to the way they actually talk. He just barely got into the mission, so his accent hasn't turned into the American accent yet. He's got HIS way of doing things, but he's funny, and we figure it out. It's hard being senior companion of a missionary who just left his trainer after being with his trainer for 2 move calls. Gotta untrain them then train them again. Because every missionary is different. Plus, he doesn't do everything I did when I left my trainer to make sure the companionship has no bumps. He does it different, but everything Dad told me to do, he doesn't really do. So I teach him things here and there, so that his next companion won't be so tough to get used to.
I've been told I'm really good at making friends, and our 17 year old investigator tells me I'm really fun. Another younger missionary, when his companion was in Beiqu for training and came around with me and Elder Zhu for two days, told me that he appreciates that I'm me. What?!! I'm me? Since when has that ever been the case?!
Stuff like this makes me feel better. But I'm even happier to think that people enjoy being around me here, and love talking with me. They enjoy me for who I am. I'm still perfectionist, I'm still me.
Love you all!!
Time's running out!
-Elder Carter
"Hurrah for Israel!" (An Elder Byerism)

1 comment:

R. Jeffrey said...

What a great letter! Thanks for sharing and great job, Elder Carter.