Monday, April 25, 2011


Wait until you see it! (Close to the bottom) Who knew this is what parents wait decades to hear from their children? I didn't even know, but now that he's said it...the rewards are SWEET! Missions are AWESOME! 

Hello World!!

I feel like I say that every day! To EVERYONE.
I just took an inventory of my numbers over my mission... and I found out a lot about myself. (I need my first 3 planners. They are in one of the two boxes I first sent home last summer)
It's VERY interesting to see the progression I've had over my mission represented through numbers. And it's nice to know just how many THOUSANDS of people I talk to every 6 weeks. Can you believe that? 2-4000 people every month! The difference between areas is evident, the difference between companions is obvious, but what I love the most is that the MOST important key indicators you can have as a missionary are staying consistent and slowly improving. I've been doing this for a year now! I feel SO good! Like I'm actually doing something right. I also found periods of time where there were no baptisms, like 4 or 5 weeks without one. I'm currently in one of those periods and it's getting REALLY hard, or it has been until this weekend's miracle.
But when I look back at those periods and remember how I got through that and how I felt, it makes it WAY easier to just keep pushing through this one. PLUS we had Zone Conference based on the Atonement, AND a special Church History Conference held by the two top Church Historians, and presided by Area Authority President Watson. He testified that the best missionaries the Lord has are sent to Taiwan Taichung mission. And he's the Asia Area Authority. ;P Lol, I dunno, maybe it's cause he was a Gaoxiong missionary... but it still made me feel good. But the two historians were AMAZING. I learned a WHOLE lot about Emma Smith and her life, Oliver Cowdery and his life, Porter Rockwell, and now have a whole newfound desire to learn Church History. They told us to start in the Doctrine and Covenants. I also know what I will be doing on Sundays and other times for a while. More than just family history, but digging into church history which the Church History Library is putting everything online next year. SO excited!!!
Sister Xu and her kids come to church every week. Her daughter Lia is 12 and not baptized. Her son is 9 and not baptized. Mom is a member, Dad is not. We only need one signature of one parent to let them get baptized. Missionaries have been pushing for these kids for YEARS. And Mom wants to respect Dad's authority as father of the home (to help him better accept the Gospel) and won't do it unless dad is willing to sign. And for the longest time Dad would NOT sign. Grandma protests because of Buddhist beliefs, Dad is scared if he signs he will lose his inheritance... etc. Dad basically just needs to grow up a bit.
I came into this area and the first people I saw were Sister Xu and her kids. The first thing I did was ask Sister Xu about her kids, she rudely avoided me and walked off. Leaving me with a real bad impression. I had a feeling to just leave it be, and be myself, and continue doing my work. A Sunday later, I give my welcome talk and Sister Xu comes up to me after, apologizes for being rude, and compliments me by saying, "A lot of people think missionaries are all about numbers. You're not. You make this ward feel more comfortable about WHY missionaries push for baptisms. You're doing it to save precious souls, your brothers and sisters."
Can you imagine how I felt? Only a week and a half after I had moved. A week and a half of me beating myself up and not having any success (yes there were three baptisms in that week and a half that I was part of, so you see how horribly I beat myself up?), a week and a half of me feeling like I've got no power or authority anymore, and I hear this from Sister Xu? I felt REALLY good. And God was happy with me.
3 or 4 weeks later, I'm talking to Xu Didi who answers all the baptismal questions better than any investigator I've ever taught, and we decide to put faith in God and set up a baptismal interview for this last Saturday. (we met with Xu Didi on Thursday). Setting up a baptismal interview for long-time investigators has a TON of power. It worked for Li Baba back in Tanzi. AND... it worked for this beautiful family!
Xu Didi passed his interview. Dad signed the paper 10 minutes later. Lia wants an interview now, and I will be doing that tonight. Dad already signed the paper.
Elder Turk and I talked with Sister Xu for 45+ minutes last night. (not the best)... ;)
But I finally understood. I shared Matthew 19:29 with her. And we left unsure about this interview that wouldn't be happening until Sunday morning.
Sunday comes, no one is there in the morning. To be honest I gave up on the idea. Then Sister Cooper pushes Xu Didi in for an interview right after church. And it all came together after that.
I don't know what happened. But after Saturday night, talking with Sister Xu and knowing that Xu Didi was begging dad to let him get baptized, to Sunday afternoon when Dad came and signed the papers. I am NEVER more Grateful. I love Heavenly Father. And if we just show even an ounce of faith, EVERYTHING works out JUST FINE. Stop worrying so much, dork!!!
This family now has these two children being baptized after pushing for 4 years. And Dad's heart has been softened. It took 6 current missionaries and 4 years worth of other missionaries, and God, but now, they will be baptized on Saturday night, after the ward gets back from the Temple. There's no stopping it. The papers are signed, and it's meant to be. It's been meant to be for 4 years. And now dad just might have another place in his heart. And my heart goes out to Sister Xu and her strength, her motherhood, and her faith. I also learned, that MOM IS ALWAYS RIGHT.
I love you. All of you.
Remember the Savior. Grandpa, as you go to church, remember what Christ did for you. And remember what I'm helping people out here come to realize. Your temple clothes are still in our basement. Love you.
Another thing I learned is how badly I want and NEED to be a good parent to my children and for my family. I will do EVERYTHING in my power to accomplish this goal. But I won't take it too far. I have to do it with the Guidance from God. Yes, I got a C in Child Education at BYU. But that was without God helping me out. I'm gonna get 200% with the rest of my life.
90% attitude, 10% skill, 100% depending on the Spirit.
May God be with us all!

-Elder Carter


Hurrah for Israel!!!

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