Monday, February 28, 2011

official documents

We got a package from Salt Lake on Wednesday requesting information for our passports and visas. This meant phone calls to Vital Statistics in Utah and Florida for birth certificates and marriage certificates because only certificates issued within the past five years are acceptable. It also meant fingerprintingDSC00101 and letters of good conduct from the police department and FBI.




doug's iphone 236

Doug and I received our birth certificates, 2 copies each, the next day (Thursday)  from Utah and then I received an email that Brianna’s birth certificate, also 2 copies,  would be delivered on Friday, signature required. We assumed that the package would come around 4 as it had the previous day since it was being delivered by the same courier. Nevertheless, 4:00, 4:30, 5:00, and 5:30 came and went without the appearance of the delivery person. I prayed that all would go well with the receipt of the package and tried not to worry about the fact that we had to pick up the general authorities for dinner at 6:15 and wanted to have the car washed, which hadn’t been done because I had been babysitting the door all day.

The Berge’s unexpectedly showed up at 5:45 and were gracious enough to accept the door sitting job and I headed off to the car wash, only to arrive at 6:01. Yes, that would be one minute after they closed. I found another car wash and met Doug in the Lowe’s parking lot to accommodate our time schedule.

The Berge’s tasked their daughters, Megan and Kirstie, with our door job.

Sometime later, Gail and Derek went to Office Depot and when Derek ran inside to complete an errand Gail noticed a UPS truck in the parking lot. ups-truck With bravado, she ran over and asked the delivery person if he delivered to Eudora Road. When he answered in the affirmative, she told him that her daughters were waiting for a very important package at a house on Eudora.  He then told her that since they weren’t legal adults, he wouldn’t be able to accept their signatures, nor leave the package. Of course, Gail volunteered to drive back over to the house. He told her that wouldn’t be necessary and just to give him the address…


she didn’t know.

However, she did know my name!

And he did know that the address is also known as the Birdhouse.

And there, in the Office Depot parking lot, due to an incredible turn of events, she signed for the package!


Monday our unable-to-be-expedited marriage certificate, 3 copies, arrived. So, we were able to finish up our task list. We were leaving the county offices and heading to the post office to mail all of our documents back to the Departments of State from whence they came to have them all apostilled, 

(The apostille is an official certification that the document is a true copy of the original. Both apostilles and certifications are used by foreign governments to assess the authenticity of an official signature on a document; the capacity in which the person signing the document acted; and the identity of any stamp or seal affixed to the document.)

when Doug yelled out, “Stop!”DSC06689 

There in the stairwell was a black racer, that I hadn’t even seen! Harmless as it supposedly is…I did not want to find out via personal encounter. We gingerly slipped by and reported it to the attendant at the desk in the county offices. (FYI, I did not stop and take this picture, and am sure our racer was bigger!)

I have felt like a contestant on The Amazing Race lately. The big hurry for all of these documents is the fact that  apparently processing time is taking something like 16 weeks for FBI clearance and 10 weeks for Visas, and we are supposed to be leaving on our mission in…..17 weeks. More prayers needed.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Elder Kevin Pearson and Elder Robert Gay came to our stake conference this weekend to release Doug and call a new stake president. Friday night, the four of us went to dinner at Goblin Market. Both Elder Pearson  and Elder Gay  have been mission presidents in Tacoma, Washington and Accra, Ghana, respectively. They both took 15 year old sons with them as well. Much of the evening was spent chatting about their mission experiences with an appropriate, and much wanted, dose of advice, for me, personally. The role of a mission president’s wife is not well-defined. They encouraged me to use my talents and be sensitive to the Spirit as I chose how I would fulfill my part of the assignment. I enjoyed every minute of it. In fact, when the main course was finished, only I ordered dessert. I could not bear for the evening to end quite yet.DSC00104Sunday morning they both took a few minutes to chat with Brianna. It meant a great deal to her, especially when they promised her that our mission to Argentina is not just for her parents and that she would have great joy and wonderful experiences that would bless the rest of her life.

Our new stake president is dearly loved by us. Not only has President Ingalls been Doug’s counselor, but both he and his wife have been our friends. His new counselors, President Berge and President Jackson are  good men that we know, we love, and we sustain. We feel truly blessed by our association with all of them and know that they will lift the members of our stake to new heights individually and collectively.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

not too cold

DSC00090 DSC00094

for them!

Hannah and Brianna

Monday, February 21, 2011

youth conference

 DSCN2247DSCN2061 DSCN2047DSCN2251 DSCN2197DSCN2254 DSCN2258  DSCN2281

youth conference

It is Youth Conference this weekend. The theme for the conference is “Called to Serve”. Hmmmmmm. I wonder if my husband had anything to do with that! While Brianna went off to stay at someone else’s house, we had six girls arrive to stay here. DSC00088


I thought they were only staying for two nights, but when I saw all their gear, I did a double take.


DSC00083Two went home after the first night and then we got another new girl the second night so we ended up with Alexa, Jessica, Rebecca, Lauren and Nellie.  They liked it when Doug and I told the story of our courtship.

DSC00082My favorite part was Sunday afternoon when three young men came by to share a message. They were talking about prayer and I asked them if they had ever had a prayer answered. Armando, on the left, shared an experience about losing his shoe that was really very cool.DSC00081



Doug called me on Sunday afternoon and asked me to come to the fireside Sunday night. He didn’t mention that he wanted me to sit on the stand, nor that he wanted me to speak and then bear my testimony in Spanish! When I asked him about it later or rather mentioned that a heads-up would have been nice, especially since I just learned how to bear my testimony in Spanish last week, and I am not very confident in my ability, he responded that I need to be ready all the time. Rrrrrriiiiiiiiiight.  It was my first time saying anything in public in Spanish. President Ingalls said, “Bien hecho” when I finished. Thank heaven for kind friends.


Update: I noticed that Armando Nielson didn’t have a nice set of scriptures so I gave him an extra set that I own. He sent me this nice thank you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

zone conference

One of our assignments from the MTC is to attend a zone conference. For the past couple of years, President Current in south Florida has been recommending that we meet their mission president. We accomplished both today! It was an o-dark thirty wake up call and 5:20 am departure for the designated chapel. Elder Golden from the Seventy was the visiting general authority. He is from South Africa.


Doug and I, President Bob Lake and Rolayne (President Lake is a counselor to President Hales) Elder and Sister Golden, President Nathan and Sister Kathy Hales and President Bill and Susan Current



The boys wanted to have their own picture together remembering the good old days when they served together.




The training and talks were wonderful and inspiring. The missionaries themselves were attentive and friendly. President Hale and his wife were extraordinary. Sister Hales used a basketball conversion story about  Fredette and Rogers. She urged Fredette’s advice “not to let the adversary or the opposition get in your head.” President Hales talked about “unplanned” service and admonished us to “go about doing good.” He advised us to inspire those that are available to us and all I can say about that is,  he certainly did.DSC_0418

Fort Lauderdale Northern Zone Conference

Later in the afternoon, we toured the mission office where President Hales showed us how he organizes his mission. Thankfully, he promised to send CD’s. DSC00077 DSC00079

DSC00080Sister Hales shared some of her experiences being a mom and a companion to the mission president and how she juggles that.

The day ended at their home, which has had quite an update since our last visit there….ummmm….5 mission presidents ago. We chatted all the way home about the things we want to remember and incorporate into our own mission experience.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

our mission call

We had a new FedEx deliverer today,DSC00067
but the regular guy helped him out!

We arranged a group video call via skype to share the opening!
We spent the beginning of our online gathering recording everyone's predictions of where we thought they would go and where we wanted them to go.  It was a very cool little online reunion.

Bonna eventually started to smile and she is really excited now. :)

Here it is:

Monday, February 14, 2011

it’s valentines day

Even though I am not with my One True Love   

DSC00053 DSC00055 DSC00044 DSC00041

I Love the Ones I am with!

Friday, February 11, 2011

spiritual thought

I was recently asked to give some impromptu comments in Sacrament meeting. I told about one of my struggles learning Spanish. This week, I had to give the pensamiento espiritual at the beginning of my class with my tutor, Sister Alencar. I wrote the experience that I had shared in church,  in Spanish, and Spencer, or Espencer, as he was called occasionally in Venezuela, helped me with some verb tenses. I don’t really know what is spelled correctly or not, and I don’t yet know how to make the diacritical marks on my computer, but I am going to share it anyway because it is part of my personal learning experience.

Antes yo de ir a California, yo estuiaba espanol intensamente. Pero fue muy dificil para me. Despues de un tiempo puse me cabeza en la mesa y empeze a llorar. Yo llore y llore mas.

Despues de un tiempo comeze a pensar que hay otras persones que creer en mi en que sepan que yo hacerlo.

Y despues comeze a orar. Padre Celestial me dijo que ententara de nuevo.

Empeze a escribir en espanol con paz. Aquel dia Ud me dijo, “Hermana Carter, su progresso en espanol esta muy bueno.”

Fue el segundo testimonio a mi, porque el espiritu me dijo la misma cosa.

En Predicad Mi Evangelio en capitulo siete lei esta semana “Part of seeking the gift of tongues is to labor and struggle…Have Faith!”

Recuede que rompi mi abrazo? Despues de seis semanas sin movamiento mi abrazo no podia hacer nada con mi abrazo.

Yo trabaje mucho y poco a poco me hiba mejor. Recibi un benedicion muy especial para mi que dijo algun dia su abrazo va a estar normal totalamente.

Hasta hoy no es completo y yo hago ejercicios especificamente la mayoria de los dias. Puedo hacer muchas cosas ahora a uno o dos semanas pasada no pude hacer.

Es lo mismo con espanol porque puedo decir muchas cosas ahora que no pude decir la semana pasada.

Para los dos mi abrazo y espanol, necesito fe y diligencia. Creo que es lo mismo por todas las cosas importante en mi vida.

Tengo un testimonio que si ruego con fe y trabajo con diligencia mi Padre Celestial va a ayudarme. Yo digo estas cosas en el nombre di Jesu Cristo. Amen.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

shoe hospital

I think my town has some of the nicest and most personable businesses anywhere. One of the places that I patronize is Dunstone Shoe Hospital. The establishment opened in 1952. That is actually Before I was born!
The proprietor, Jacob Throckmortenson is 78 years old and has been doing shoe repairs here all that time. He also informed me today that he did shoe repairs before they moved into this location as well.
It is a bit terrifying leaving your goods here, that is, if you care about them at all. The place kind of looks like it was last cleaned in 1952 and over the years hundreds of people have forgotten to pick up their shoes which are now scattered about on every surface imaginable and some unimaginable as well. Jacob doesn’t give you a receipt, but jots a note on the bottom of your shoe and tells you when to return to pick it up.
This time, both Doug and I left a pair of shoes and he told us it would be two weeks. When I went back to fetch them today, they couldn’t be found. I tried not to panic, since Jacob seemed confident that they would be located imminently. About ten minutes later, he did indeed locate them on the top shelf. One  of only two orders that were bagged. As always, the shoes looked terrific and the work was well done.
Thank you, Jacob!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

mother/daughter sunday


The boys were much worse last night and this morning. So, Spencer sent the two of us off to enjoy our meetings today. He kept the feverish and coughing boys as quiet as is possible.

At church I spent a few minutes chatting with an Elder who will return home this week. He has seen a changeover in mission presidents during his mission and gave me some good advice based on his experiences.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

eat, shop, watch them play

We picked my mom up early this afternoon for my traditional Mexican food meal at El Norte. There were lots of surfers out this afternoon enjoying the surf and sunny skies.moms_visit_082 

However, the boys were feeling a little under the weather, so we aborted our plans for playtime at the park thinking that running around would not help their state of being. Instead, I suggested, as we were coming up to the Carlsbad Country Stores, that we walk around the outdoor shops and everyone agreed. moms_visit_085 

moms_visit_089Melanie has been very good luck the past couple of days, helping me with my missionary wardrobe, finding a couple of illusive items—a navy suit and  navy shoes!





It was a one stop shopping trip for me. Then, we were off to watch my brother Fred and my nephew, Tyler, coach basketball. As an added bonus, Fred and Sherri’s son, Chase, and Tyler’s brother, Neal were playing, so there was plenty of cheering in the stands with all the family and friends. Sherri and I had fun chatting about vegan diets and health trends before and in between play.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

la jolla cove

DSC00006 La Jolla Cove is a very small beach, tucked between adjacent sandstone cliffs. DSC00012 I had never been there before and neither had Melanie’s family. Thursday is their early release day from school and it was a wonderful sunny day begging for adventure.DSC00008 Due to its extraordinary beauty, La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed beaches in Southern California.  DSC00005 Water visibility at the Cove is about 30 feet, making it a popular location for scuba divers and snorklers. DSC00010We also saw snorklers, without wet suits, I might add. The water temperature was about the same temp as the air today, 57 degrees, but waaaay to cold for  me. DSC00027

La Jolla Cove lies within the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, which helps to ensure that marine life remains plentiful. DSC00035We also enjoyed checking out the tide pools and smaller sea life between the rocks. DSC00020