Elder Carter's Argentinian Mission

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I’m Extending My Mission!

August29
Wow!  This is my last letter home.  It has been the experience of a lifetime and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  It has been my privilege to be able to share the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with thousands of people.  I have learned so much and I have enjoyed every last minute.  I can’t wait until I can I continue this great work through out the rest of my life.


For the past few weeks I have been reflecting on how to continue my missionary experience after going home.  I decided that I needed to “extend my mission” after arriving.  At first, I felt hopeless because there aren’t any missionaries in my ward and I hardly ever see missionaries at all.  Not only that, I only have three close friends who aren’t baptized and I have already shared the gospel with them.  Then, I started to see that there is actually a lot that I can do.  I can fortify and encourage members here in Argentina through letters and emails, prepare new missionaries from the youth in my ward (and my children in the future), share the gospel through the Internet, help with genealogy and temple work to save my ancestors, be an example to everyone around me, fortify the church wherever I am called to go . . . the list just kept getting longer and longer!


I got this quote from Meghann and Scott today and it helped me a lot:  “There has never been a time in the history of mankind when we have been better equipped to teach the gospel to our Father in Heaven’s children here on earth. And they seem to need it more today than they ever have. We see a deterioration of faith. We see an increased love for worldliness and a depletion of moral values, both of which will cause increased heartache and despair. What we need is a royal army of returned missionaries reenlisted into service. While they would not wear the badge of a full-time missionary, they could possess the same resolve and determination to bring the light of the gospel to a world struggling to find its way.” –Elder L. Tom Perry  (Conference – October 2001, “The Returned Missionary”)


I have lived in Utah my entire life.  If you would have asked me what sadness or heartache was before my mission I would have said something . . . but I didn’t really understand.  My mission has opened my eyes.  The world is in a critical state – and we are the only ones that can guide others from their paths of despair to the only real source of help.  They don’t need a social or political change – they need a spiritual change.  Their entire existence depends on it.  We have the opportunity to alter the eternal consequences of those around us.  It is real need and necessary change that demands our immediate attention.  Salvation is a personal experience but it was never meant to be a solitary experience.  What we choose to do in every moment has an eternal effect on us and everyone that we come in contact with – we need to act.  Make plans and follow through.  Do everything you can to share the restored gospel with as many people as possible.


In the Liahona for August, there was a quote from President Monson about love.  He said, “We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.”  After reading it I thought that it could very well apply to any principle.   I thought to myself, “We will never regret sharing the gospel with others. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our lives.”  And then I was reminded of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 18 which says, “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God . . . and if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!  Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my rock, and my salvation.” (verses 10,15-17)


You don’t need to be a missionary, a returned missionary, a scriptorian, or a good speaker.  In fact everyone is qualified to share the gospel.  If you have a testimony, share it.  If you don’t have a testimony, plant your “seed” even if it is just a “desire to believe” (Alma 32) and then share that desire with others!  When we reach the judgement day, we won’t have any excuses.  On the other hand, if we do our part, we will reach our exaltation with our families and those who we have helped along the way.  I can’t think of anything better!


Is it worth it?  Every last second.  Would I serve my mission all over again?  In a heartbeat.  Am I excited to go home for my extension?  You bet I am!


Thank you all so much for everything that you have done for me!  You have all helped me so much and I can’t wait to see you all next week!  Stay strong and live your life with no regrets!


Love,
Elder Carter


P.S.
Dear Family,
Sorry if the title startled you, I was just trying to grab your attention. =D
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