Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hey, first things first, I am so grateful I could talk to all of you! That picture is great I didn’t know you hooked it up to the TV that was pretty electronic savvy. That was so great to see all of you I felt like I was there having some sweet Christmas memories, ha gotta be honest had to make the ending a little short so I wouldn’t get all emotional, thought I ended it on a good note:) It was so nice to see you all though, makes you appreciate family. I was so happy the rest of the day, ha one thing that is different in Chile is they love to talk and it is kind of just the culture to talk over each other, so when you guys listened I was like dang this is super cool! ha-ha so nice to see you all made my day.

This week was a good week, We walked soooo much and couldn’t really find anyone and couldn’t really teach much due to the holiday times but it was a good week, Ha for some funny stories we went to this one house out in the campo to teach this one menos activo family, they had some visitors come over and we were already sitting down as they walked in, they have this culture thing where you kiss the person on the side of the cheek but we can’t do it obviously, the mom walked in and I got my arm out in front of me and I was good, but the daughter came in and as I put out my hand she shook it then kept going in. I was freaking out in my mind but if you show them a freak out it will be very insulting because that is what they do here. So yep, totally did the great side kiss thing and then immediately the menos activo lady was just like no no no you can’t do that he is an elder and then me and Elder Gardner had to explain ourselves, she was SOOOO EMBARRASSED we felt really bad, she was not getting over it she couldn’t look at us she was so embarrassed, I was also super RED cause its weird for that to happen. Not going to lie, but they didn’t know and you just have to be nice about it. Ha to make that visit even more interesting she made us stay to try her sopapilla pasadas which is a dessert and she gave us some juice. We had to pour the juice ourselves and it looked kind of dirty we thought it was just they didn’t clean it very well so we were like whatever gotta drink it no matter what. But then Elder Gardner tapped me and said “look”.  I looked and in his water it was like a little worm stick thing very tiny but it started to swim like a little tadpole more worm like though but that swimming motion, I freaked out cause I already drank some of my juice, ha-ha then the lady saw and she was just like oh oops here I’ll get you another glass, we remembered that they use wells out in the campo so sometimes the water gets kind of dirty and stuff, ha-ha so gross but at least we saw it.

It was a great learning week, I think as I think about what is so rewarding so far is just being able to work all day every day and just feel worked dead mentally, spiritually, and physically and just feel the growth and change. I think one of the things I realized most as we come to the New Years is the miracle of growth and change. What is so cool on the mission is every day, hour, and sometimes minute you are constantly reflecting on how you are doing and what you could do to learn more or grow more. Goals are so important in the mission field and also life. I think what is so cool is the power of using the gospel of Jesus Christ with goal setting. For example, Learning Spanish, Everyday you get a TINY TINY bit better and my instant want is to just be fluent and be happy, but that is not how Heavenly Father works, or else coming to earth to be tested and grow would be pointless, he wants us to make daily goals and start off somewhere small, like studying and mastering a grammar principle and paying real good attention to what people are saying and applying it and writing down words you don’t get. Then you can make some month goals of being able to teach certain lessons with being flexible to answer questions they may ask, what I have seen is Satan wants us to be frustrated that we can’t have what we want immediately, his plan was for us to have happiness without working for it, but you can’t have happiness without working for it. What I have really fought over and thought about almost way too much is how I cannot get frustrated over it. That also is impossible ha, but it’s how you take the frustration and how you channel it to good things. IT is so nice that we have the opportunity to keep changing and working for better things. I love how I can pray to my heavenly father multiple times in the day to ask for his help and repent of things I didn’t do too well. Every night I ask for his help to improve in areas with these small and large goals. In life we have small goals like doing good in a lesson, or large goals like becoming fluent in Spanish, or even larger like becoming like Christ and living an eternal life with our family, and the way we can accomplish this is living the gospel of Jesus Christ, progressing and being patient and having long-suffering during times where the far goal is way out of reach and applying everything else of the gospel to help you accomplish the things you want to in life. I am so excited to start understanding this more on my mission and to keep progressing, but I know with the Lord it is possible, But just a little thought I had this week, Just loving it here, even when it gets hard, just how it is and you gotta love it.

Send me some more photos I loved getting all the photos of the Family! and Also the one you sent me of the painted up at the football game! Send me some with some of my friends at college and some of the spirit days or something at high school as well or just random ones IDK I loved them all, ha-ha Loved the one with me and all of you guys and the TV sweet picture. Glad I could be there ha-ha love you ALL!!! Here are some pics as well of my house and one of the kids that was in the family we ate with Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hey hey just a little note before tomorrows chat!
Quick thought as well, My comp said that he was like 4 hrs difference from his family in highland utah, so are u sure that you are only 2 hrs away? maybe just double check to be sure, and maybe just have the computer on just in case. Excited to talk to you guys so much. start thinking of things you want to talk about! we have 45min pretty stoked! Hope you are all having an amazing christmas.

 Its been a great week, at first way slow, like nothing all week, just a lot of rain and walking, and all people were bailing on our citas. But we kept at it and then the weekend came and some great things were happening. On sunday we had 5 investigators at church which was very exciting nad the most we have ever had, that right there was such a great christmas president. We also have found 2 complete families to teach which really got us happy. We also are going to start teaching the boyfriend of our investigator Lucy, who has 2 kids and they came to church and seem interested. Lucy said she thinks they are going to get married soon so thats one other family right there, lucy has no doubt in her mind that she wants to get baptized as well, just gotta get them married and stuff. Also with another investigator, Ingrid, we found out she is cousines with some of our most active members in the ward and they have been perfect in getting her to church and they invited her to come over after for the rest of the sunday. We have been very pleased with what the lord has provided for us and we are excited to continue to stay obedient so we can be vessels of the spirit. So it ended up to be a great week of the work.

Also for letters to other people youll be getting letters soon ha just takes awhile to get letters to the US from here. Hope everyone has a great Christmas! youll get them soon!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Hey Family! Im sorry I cant write much because we got back late from our zone activity (we are really far so it hard to fit everything in) , but luckily we will be able to talk on skype on christmas! We have to coordinate when we can skype, We can video chat anytime from the 22nd to the 26th but I would love to skype on christmas, how does 4pm my time sound? like 1230 your time I think? PLEASe let me know by friday so I can write you then to make sure. I will let you know my skype account friday and write you a little more then,  For cambios I am staying with Elder Gardner for one more cambio. So I will be in good ol Los muermos for most likely 2 more cambios one more with him. Pretty rare i think? but my companion is awesome Im excited to become even better friends with him, also get to spend christmas with companion I like. Also has been pretty dang cole with a TONNN of rain like everyday. The spanish has really been getting better Its on one day and off the other. Like you said lessons are a lot easier then conversation but yeah its slowly coming I can keep conversation and understand people a lot better, The word phrasiing is starting become a little more natural but it will all come in time. Where I started my mission will get to see me at six months so that will be cool to see my progress. I am sorry I cant really write much more right now, just know I can write a bit more friday and we can skype for christmas just will get to be more to talk about. Once again tell everyone thanks so much for the bday wishes meant a lot. Love You! :)
Elder Carter

P.S. make sure to send me your skype account and ill let you know mine so you can friend me. (by friday)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Zack's 20th Birthday

Wow! First of all I just want to thank everyone for all the Birthday wishes and emails that made my day! I was way lucky to have my birthday on P Day that was kinda nice. I really got way stoked to have a good amount of emails, it’s pretty dang amazing to get that so thanks to everyone!!!

This week was a great learning week! I am so glad I write in my journal everyday cause it helps me remember what happened.  First off, for half the week it was a pretty big bummer cause my companion had to get Warts removed from his feet. And they basically ripped off all the skin after burning them it is pretty gross, but they are on the bottoms of his feet so we haven’t been able to walk really. Only have been able to go to our set Citas. And I’m not going to lie, the WORST thing as a missionary is having to stay in your house and not go forth with the work. And you’re pretty limited what you can do in the house. I’ll just tell you what I did one of the days where we had to stay in ALL day since we had no citas. Even though it may sound productive, it wasn’t mission work productive so ehhh pretty bogus. But here is the Day Elder Carter was stuck in is house all day: did my normal personal study, comp study, lang study, wrote a 20 min Spanish talk for Sunday, played hymns on our ghetto keyboard we have for some reason, sewed my clothes cause I had a lot of rips and some buttons that fell off (yes I sewed! haha I was so proud), cleaned, organized my study supplies, washed all my clothes but our washer machine kinda is super ghetto and couldn’t spin my socks to get the water out so I had to wring out 20 socks so my hands are like still sore ha, hung them all, read the scriptures more, listened to motab, some Disney (not love ones don’t worry) we are allowed to listen to more uplifting Disney stuff its sweet, umm hmm our mamita made us a sandwich that was wayyyy sweet haven’t had one of those for awhile, and yeah some more other stuff.  We were DYING to get out in the streets.

Also this week it was the end of that English Class that we were helping with, they had a little graduation ceremony it was pretty sweet with only like 4 people and they presented each person with a little diploma they gave us ones too for helping I was pretty proud, The professor that spoke some English got a little teary eyed when he realized he would never see us again, this English class was really good because they were all not members so it got them to really get attached to the missionaries and we got one of our investigators from it, we are going to try to pass by the professor next cambio at his house but it’s just kinda a far trip out to his house in the campo, they also gave us some food and stuff for after it was good, the people here take it really hard when they realize they will probably never see you again.

One very humbling experience was were knocking in a more poorer area and we knocked on this house and a very camposino man came out and invited us in, this house was made out of tin and it was sooooo tiny, I have never been so grateful for what I have had, it was just a very dirty, run down house, they kept their fire wood in the living room and they had a very small kitchen that connected to their small room, it was just so run down and I couldn’t believe they lived there, for windows they used newspaper or plastic bags, he didn’t own shoes, and as we taught them we were going to leave them with a pamphlet but they couldn’t read so we said just to look at the pictures and pray, it is tough to teach someone that can’t read. They also only had bread to eat. It didn’t help too that they told us how a chupacabra was visiting them at night which is a mythological monster. We didn’t laugh this time though because we realized how inappropriate it is you really gotta hold it back sometimes and it hurts.

Other news we were getting back from one of our lessons and this group of teens just started going on off on us saying every bad word in Spanish possible luckily I don’t know them and they looked a little drugged up, they also said some pretty mean bad things, then we kept walking and they started throwing rocks at us and one guy started to come after us, we just kept walking and luckily no rocks hit us and the guy turned back, for some reason I just thought of that as a cool true fact that the gospel will get attacked and will be hated, and no person can ever change the truth of the gospel or take that happiness away from me, even if it’s hard, more just scary that a rock almost hit me ha. Also we were walking and directly across the street a car just nailed this dumpster it was a big metal one and it sounded like a bomb went off and the car just plowed through it, and kept driving cause no one stops here, it couldn’t make it too much further though it had a bad flat and probably other bad damage. We were lucky we didn’t walk on that side this time.

I was reading my patriarchal blessing and it has been such a great testimony of what I’m doing, my testimony of my patriarchal blessing has grown immensely, so cool how we have that sacred guidance. I just love teaching and although still have so much to learn regarding teaching and the language I just love it so much, I can have conversations with people and teach in Spanish even when I still am pretty dang bad, I just gotta keep putting my faith in the lord and recognize my progress so far. Its hard but worth it! STOKED for all the people going on missions! Let Chelsea and Mackynzie know How STOKED I AM FOR THEM!!! And everyone else that is so exciting! thanks for all the pictures I love ugly sweater parties so much I could easily do that here they got some pretty sweet old man sweaters here in Los Muermos haha. Love you so much family and I pray for you every day and for everyone else to, I am so grateful for our family and thanks mom and dad so much for raising me to be the child I am now! I was trying to tell one of the guys in our ward what Blake does for a living but patios don’t exist here but I still tried, ha miss you bro.
For everyone else thanks so much! Letters take forever here to get to the states like a month or two so yeah haha sorry you’ll get them soon!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Its Christmas Time!

Hey hey!

So I got the package! Very excited for Christmas! Sounds like you all have started the Christmas spirit going that’s awesome!

Not going to lie this week was hard, I am really starting to realize what it takes to change for the better and become a great missionary. I have been constantly praying to help me become the best missionary that God wants me to be no matter what it takes. And he sure has been answering. This week was truly a faith, patience, diligence and more builder, this is one hard sector. I don’t think I have ever walked so much.  We had barely any appointments to teach; only one out of like the 8 we had set went through, and we haven’t got much positive feedback.  It’s just kinda hard to plan at night due to the lack of people to visit, we really have to dig into the area book and antiguo book to give us direction.

In 2 weeks I am going to be leading the sector most likely, just means that my trainer will be leaving and I will have to show the next how to get around and stuff. So I have been just a little stressed due to the condition of the sector regarding amount of investigators we are teaching. And Spanish just kills but I’m learning to be patient and study hard. BUT....I’m not writing all that to complain, just writing all that to tell you how much my faith has grown and my testimony of our savior.

It is SUCH a roller coaster here ha, but wow at the end of the week it got so much better, no matter how bad the day we really just kept a positive attitude and pushed through, and luckily we got to fast this Sunday which helped so much.  The spirit really is a comforter and I felt so happy and at peace Sunday, and that night we were able to teach a new that just was amazing.  She is related to one of our strongest members and we are excited to teach her.  It’s so crazy how you can be just having a rough week and one lesson can make everything worth it. The only way to get stronger is to stretch and go through times like that. Ha kinda a bummer that it has to be that way but it makes sense. Can`t know happiness without trials.

But yeah so I am doing great, really working hard to master the basics of the gospel. It is amazing how hard it is to teach the basic gospel principles.  I can’t remember who said it, I think it was Hyrum smith but he said if you learn the basic gospel principles and learn them well you will gain a greater knowledge of our purpose and the principles will expand. (Ha totally butchered that but you get the idea hopefully) so just really trying to discipline myself in studies. It is kinda like that with language as well, I’m trying to master the simple things first before I go difficult, it is all like piano, you will have a greater limit to your success if you are disciplined and learn the theory of piano before playing something. So I am learning the structure or theory you could say of the gospel and language in order to grow and become the best missionary that god wants me to be.

For a funny ending (not trying to make this letter a feel bad letter at all ha or a depressing one) We went to teach this older couple that was very country. We taught them once before and they weren’t very receptive but we were going to give them one more time.  I was leading the lesson this time of the restoration using the pamphlet, and I  was teaching what three things you need for the church of Christ, and I said very slowly to them we need Christ, Apostles, and Prophets, and then I asked them what we needed to see if they understood, and the lady (which we knew was a little off that didn’t have teeth) said "Horses, Horses, Horses on a Hill! ......The Church" Remember she is saying this in Spanish, and my companion immediately was thinking oh I hope he didn’t understand that, but I totally did and I was just so caught off guard and I didn’t know what to do.  A laugh quickly began to form in my head and it began to grow, I couldn’t continue teaching, I just kinda looked down like oh no what am I going to do, My companion tried to scrounge up the lesson and save it, but as I looked over at him he was fighting the laugh as well, immediately once I looked at him we both just busted out laughing like hysterically, I was trying all my power of will to stop but there was no use I was crying and sweating all over from the laugh and didn’t know what to do, it was so awkward because they were just looking at us and we couldn’t stop.  We tried to blame the laugh saying like oh sorry I just am struggling with my Spanish or something, hopefully they bought it, and once we kinda stopped and held it in, she looked with a very worried look saying, "papitos? papas? Papitos, que Rico!" and we didn’t know what to do she just said "little potatoes, potatoes? little potatoes, how tasty!" we just lost it again, it was a pretty sad and awkward lesson but great story ha.

But yeah other news is this bum chased a car, and this guy was rubbing his belly walking into a store with his shirt all the way up, just kinda the regular. That sucks for Blake so much! I would be sooooo angry!  Tell him I’m so sorry. and Kristy thanks so much for your email please send the Christmas devo talk we couldn’t watch it.  I really want to watch it. Thanks for all you do, I miss you guys but I’m here doing the lords work and its great. Love you so much!
con amor,

Elder Carter

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy End of November

Hey Hey Hey!

Wow! Looks like you have been pretty busy having a super sweet Thanksgiving! Hah glad Dad is still giving it all he’s got on the football field. My Thanksgiving was pretty sweet, I think we remembered it was Thanksgiving at like 1pm and played a song about giving thanks so that was pretty cool, and later that night we bought a cookie at a market haha. Yeah I don’t think one person here knew it was Thanksgiving. It was a great day though all days are.  To answer your question mom I’ll probably be in good old Los Muermos for 10 more weeks. After your training (2 cambios or 12 weeks) you usually are in your sector for one more cambio. So yeah, loving it here though. That is so sweet for Mackynzie! Tell her I said congrats! Ha Carter is getting so BIG!

Dad I looked into the flea thing and they don’t have the bomb thing but we have this flea spray. I covered my mattress and sheets in it and aired it out. I just did it so I haven’t gotten to see if it worked. I still have SOOO MANY Bites. I had a couple nights where I couldn’t sleep cause my body itched too bad, I would wake up itching. So that last 2 nights I pray way hard to be able to not itch at night and so far I haven’t had to wake up. (prayer is a great anti-itch cure haha) But yeah haven’t got the package yet I won’t find out till tomorrow when we drive in to Puerto Mont, it usually takes awhile but I’ll let you know when I get it.

We have had some fun weather lately. This whole week we would wake up and our house would be 40 in the morning, and that cold with humid is bone chilling. Getting out of the shower is always fun. And we don’t have more wood left. Because once it gets to like 1pm the sun comes out (cause its summer) and it gets way hot in the day. So we get the best of both worlds I guess ha. But it’s all good. Got to watch some drunk guys the other day TRY to fight, it was kinda lame though cause they would try to fight and end up like doing an awkward hug. There was also just some guy cruising around the streets in his horse drawn carriage. Something new haha.

But yeah, had my first BAPTISM Saturday! It was so great, the service went so smooth, we pretty much did all the planning for it since we don’t have a ward missionary leader, had to go early and clean the chapel, print out the fliers, call and remind everyone and fill and clean the font which was gross cause it is just in like a shed attached to the capilla. But the hard work paid off! The spirit was tan fuerte! I loved it the 11 year old girl seemed very happy. Also Sunday we had our 2 progressing investigators at church today!!! That made my week I was so happy. It was Luis first time assisting the church. You are constantly praying and just hoping he gets the best experience. It was perfect because it was our primary presentation this week and our 5 kids in primary did such a good job, he loved it. It’s amazing what children’s testimonies can do to people. Also in Sunday school he learned more about the importance of baptism and repentance in order to receive the blessings of Israel, which is just what he needed.

Days with lessons are like holidays here, and tracting all day is like a busy day of work on a Monday ha. But you just gotta do it and stay positive. It’s amazing what positivity does. I’m back in 1 Nephi now just finishing Moroni and the funnest thing in the world is starting back in 1 Nephi and ALWAYS learning something new, I think my favorite chapter of 1 Nephi is ch 13 of the vision of the gentiles coming to the Americas bringing the book of the Jews and just basically the restoration all capped in to one amazing chapter. I need to be more careful with not getting sidetracked with all the footnotes though they are just such a temptation to learn about some sweet doctrine. You just gotta be careful, Today I went from learning about that vision to Angel Gabriel being Noah, haha but yeah we are starting a new program for the Ward, we had one earlier called Plan 9, where they have set scriptures that they read every night at 9 and then pray as a family after and before for how they can relate the scripture and how they can invite or find people they can invite to the church. It blew up and they loved it, so we are going to kick it back up in December. We are doing it a little different though trying to give it themes for like each week, like for Christmas just scriptures of Christ, or one week just being about obedience. I started a little book I keep in my pocket of different topics of scriptures so if I ever need one in a lesson I can share it. Having simple things like that makes it that much easier and helps you so much. But yeah still struggling to find new investigators here but we are working and staying positive, love it.

We have been getting our Christmas spirit getting some tunes going for Christmas. Love it. That’s to bad Blake is sick tell him I hope he gets better. And tell him and Erin I said HEY! Also Kristy and Dalan and especially Carter ha. Glad you tried to do something with the missionaries ha always a fun one when you’re at an activity or a house with a TV on and no matter what it is you gotta tune out of it and look away. Anyways things are going good here. Love you all. If you could look up the best way to relieve itching, cause this itching cream does not work. and yeah. Love you! Ha nice your doing Spanish dad, here are some Chilean words for ya,

Al Tiro= right now
bacan= cool
mich= kinda like wow or huh

p.s. hey to all the people I forwarded this too ha sorry I can’t send you an email so here it is! Hope all is well out on your missions!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nov. 19, 2012 (+Photos)

Hey Hey!

What the heck soooo many girls are going on missions now; ha glad I’m here for the right reason, cause it’s not going to be such a common thing that no one will really care when I come home haha. That is so cool how Audrey’s dad is going to be a Mission President that is so awesome!!! You can tell Audrey she can email me that would be sweet, I just can’t write her through email but through letters so she should get one,  (ha takes like a month for people to get it though:/) keeps me concentrated though but you can forward her the emails as like everyone else.
I get so caught up in the work that it’s hard to write people and think about what’s going on in the world, love this work it’s awesome. So yeah please let people know it feels so great to get emails or even letters if they have time, ha nothing like words of encouragement. Oh my goodness I feel the mission changing me every day for the better. I pray every day to just have God change for the better and become who he wants me to be no matter what the price. That usually results in the next day being one of the hardest days of my life. I really have a testimony of hard work and trials, if you don’t have extremely rough days where nothing goes right and you just can’t believe how hard it is then how can you change. I am now realizing for me to change and become someone better I gotta be stretched and feel uncomfortable at times.
This week so far was probably one of the hardest weeks I've ever had and I just look back on it and love it. We have a lot of work to do. We had to drop 6 of our investigators and have been searching and trying every possible thing to just teach and find news. We also have the obligation of keeping the branch happy being called as the ramas counselors dealing with tithes and visiting the members. Not to mention the mental rollercoaster of the language. It is NUTS at times. This whole week we only got to teach 6 lessons which is so little and the rest was searching, talking, and putting all of our energy to find news, we have already knocked on all the doors multiple times and we recognize the majority of the people here, my companion said he had never been so rejected before this place. but I was reading in Moroni 9:6 where it talks about the hard hearts of the people and how no matter how much you get rejected and how much it seems like it’s no use, you gotta continue to preach these things to conquer the enemy of all righteousness. My testimony of faith, hope, and charity has grown so much, you honestly can’t for one second get down and think there is no use, because this gospel must be proclaimed the people whether they want to hear it or not. We just gotta love these people and try all we can do to get through to them.
I have found such a great joy of reading and studying the doctrine of Christ, I have sooo much to learn of this gospel and I just want to learn it all, I am taking Spanish one day at a time and just studying and practicing as much as I can, not the most gifted with Spanish but with faith and diligence in studies its possible.
Ha I also learned a lot of the bad manners that are different here, I am not sure if I told you about how rude it is to yawn in front of people, point at them, and throw things to hand people are just terrible. Ha kind've found those all out the hard way. I am pretty used to not eating anything at night now. Oh so for our investigators progressing we have Luis now and this lady named Lucy, Lucy we found on the street but she was getting the lessons like a couple years ago but couldn’t be baptized cause she had a partner, they are broken up now and she is down to listen again so we are stoked. She said she doesn’t really have the desire to get baptized though saying that they were just great memories she has and she will keep them forever, we reminder her that without works (reading the scriptures, praying, going to church) that desire will go away. She agreed to come to church this week and came!
We had really prayed to have good assistance this week and got 38 so we were way stoked! But yeah we are just keeping our heads up and really pushing through, I have about 60 probably flea bites or so and some spider bites, our house is invested with spiders and I think my bed has fleas, but we are going to clean it again today.

Anyways I pray for you everyday love you guys so much thanks for the prayers and your emails! just making sure are u getting the photos I send?

Monday, November 12, 2012

HEY HEY! (Nov 12, 2012)

This must be the stick Zack talked about eating last week. 
Volcano Osorno?

So this week has been a great one! SOOOO MUCH WALKING haha, So hmmm trying to think of what to say... It is weird sometimes I can’t remember anything, I am so glad I write in my journal even if nothing really happens because you forgot the details soooo fast. My bad I forgot to bring it with me. First of all Congrats to all the girls that are going on a mission that is sooo cool! Tell them all I said Congrats! Ask Brent if he got my email last time I’m not sure if I sent it to him. Also if you could get Landon Plilers address that would be so awesome! Sorry dad btw that one link you sent to my blog I can’t look at it ha only can go on this page.

Ahh let’s see, This Sunday I directed our sacrament that was pretty cool, we had a pretty sweet attendance of 36 so that was awesome. I started to write all the people that we could potentially have during sacrament meeting and try to see if we could meet them this week and share something. I have to admit it gets pretty dang fun trying to figure out what to teach someone and how to do it. We have our weekly branch meeting with the president and even though I can’t speak very well I can still give input. Understanding is so much easier then speaking for me. You gotta try so hard sometimes and once you stop paying attention you forgot.

Last week we had to go to Puerto Mont 4 times for meetings and interviews with president. My interview went great, I loved it so much because you can ask him whatever you have on your mind or helpful tips on what to do to find more investigators and he gives you something golden. Such a spiritual amazing man. So grateful to have him as my President.

I have really tried to speak as much Spanish as I possibly can and try to think it, there are just some days where you can’t understand a thing and just want to speak English, ha but once you’re out and about you are forced to speak Spanish you have no choice. Sometimes I forgot that no one speaks English, they will ask you a question and you will respond and think nothing of it. So I think one thing that has been super humbling is how hard it is to teach simply, you may think you know all the lessons and what the gospel is, but it’s a true test to teach it and have a farmer family that has received not much schooling to understand. I really have some hard work to do. Another thing I have learned is the importance of sucking up your pride and just showing love to someone. Some people are so hard hearted and just attack you with how you’re wrong. And you know EVERY come back. But proving them wrong does nothing and takes away the spirit immediately. You just gotta smile, say “I would love to talk to you about the gospel another day” and leave. We really have to show a good example and not stress. There is no doubt in my mind that this gospel is true, that The book of Mormon is the word of God, as Holland said if you fell from the church no matter what you did no matter what you tried to prove wrong you could not run from the truth and divinity of the Book of Mormon, even the 3 witnesses that fell from the church never could deny the divinity of the sacred text, which testifies and holds of the rest of the religion. It has truly been a blessing being able to study the Book of Mormon and preach my gospel for a couple hours each morning.

I do have to be real and say how Los Muermos at times can me very hard, we have had countless days of walking kilometer after kilometer finding no news. But the other day we had one of those and then walked for a good 20 min out to this house in the campo and taught and the spirit testified and filled a ladies room as we testified she would be able to live with those that passed before. It is such an emotional rollercoaster and physical with all the sicknesses, bites, language, and all, but it is so comforting to know that this is true. Why we are here in Southern Chile in a small farm town is to share this truth with everyone. As it says in Jacob 5 of the parable of the vineyard at the end, that some of the caretakers (being missionaries set out to tend and spread the vineyard, as the vineyard keeper was right there with them (being Christ). Thanks a ton Dalan for your awesome inspiring words.

For other news we found a HUGE slug in our house as big as my pointer finger, we got chased by another drunk we named him jack in the box cause he sprung at us, and a German Sheppard almost chased me down and bit me. haha It can be so hard sometimes but it is such a great adventure and is a blast all at the same time. Loving it here. Say hey to everyone back home! Tell Noel Garcia I said hi I haven’t talked to him in forever, I have been trying to write him a letter I just have no time on pday its tough. kinda goes with all other people there are just so many things I want to do on pday ha and things I need to do. I am getting rid of the parasite with a pill so yeah:) starting to get more and more used to the food! we are going to make French toast for the members soon.  They have never heard of it! stoked... oh! If you can in another letter or something send some photos of just some fun things I have done in high school or college like physical pictures and with just some of my friends and some pictures of the family. The members love seeing them and it’s fun to show your comp some things you have done in your life. If you can whenever! thanks! thanks for everything! PS SOOO BUMMED ROMNEY LOST but whatever ill live, church is right about what we need to do and be positive

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hey Hey!

This week has been great! We really have had an urge to build our branch up. We had 2 fasts this week, one on Thursday and one on Sunday for fast Sunday. It is such a miracle to how much God provides for you when you pray and fast with full purpose. One cool story was our plans fell through and we didn’t really know what to do so we went to the chapel to pray. Literally 5 min after that prayer we knocked on a door and finally got in a door after like a week of not getting in. Also we did that the next day and got in.

I just made a new language study plan so I am pretty excited to try that out. We are about to end my first cambio so I have one more with Elder Gardner, So stoked to have one more. We have gotten along so great and we work hard. I am in this 12 week program it is pretty new where we have studies more than a regular missionary and by the end of the 12 weeks you could become a trainer...or be a missionary who potentially could be, so basically training to get you to be ready quick for the mission. It is pretty sweet. All the stuff like planning can be pretty stressful because you really have to do soooo much work and really be tuned to the spirit planning is really everything.

Hmm bum story of the week, so these 2 guys walked up to us right when we walked out of a store to get a quick candy bar for a animo booster, as I am eating it one of the guys says...Hey! Give me some of that candy you got there...and my first thought was...ohh heck no I am not losing my precious just bought candy to this bum. So I just laughed and said no I’m hungry,,,then he asked again and finally just said no kinda laughing and we walked thing you know the two guys got kinda angry and followed us a good couple blocks. Luckily we got away though.

Hmm ah yeah so food is starting to become slowly normal. I’m not saying its gross at all just new. But we were invited Sunday to have a bbq with one of the members that we helped build their house for and they had just killed their pig for the feast. I was stoked cause I just fasted but I was starting to get a cold so felt kinda sick. I start eating the meat it was good just really really fatty. But then I get to my 3rd peace and I look and the outside had like hair. Like how we have hair on our hands. I thought I could like cut that part off but as I did the hair was deeper than I thought and it was still there. Anyways just kinda new stuff. Everyone says you get used to it, and I am in a more farmer area. Oh yeah I also had to eat this Huge long stem of a plant that is like a delicacy here. That was fun too. haha

But yeah we found tons of news this week it was amazing. It was a vacation weekend for the day of the dead and stuff so there was a lot of people at home. We have also really pounded out our studies. I really want to learn as much as I can possibly can; just gets hard sometimes. Have been sick for awhile it stinks because no matter what we gotta wake up and get to work, it really is helping me grow up and just get to work.

The weather is still cold here it still rains a good amount. For our pday today we went to Volcano Osorno, kinda was a bummer though because it was really foggy so you couldn’t really see it. But we went sledding down it on plastic sheets. We won’t be allowed to do that for awhile I’m sure though because unfortunately our Zone Leader who I really really liked, way cool guy, was sledding down and hit an icy part to dirt and nailed his back and head against a huge rock. Everyone only sledded down once and that was to go help him. It was very icy snow. But he was in very bad shape at first. But as he was being taken away in the ambulance seemed like he would just need to stay in the office, but who am I to say. But yeah maybe put him in your prayers. He was in pretty bad shape. That really shows how careful and how fast your mission can be ruined. Definitely would be heartbroken if I had to come home early. I would die actually that would be terrible. But yeah, he seemed to have been doing better as he was leaving probably will just need to spend time in the office. But I am no expert ha.

But yeah my head hurts always, the language really kills ya some times, it can get pretty dang frustrating but you just gotta push on, sometimes I get scared I’ll be that missionary that doesn’t learn it, but everyone says that here and everyone learns it, that is what president said, you just gotta work and be patient.

Um hmmm I’m good on spices we don’t really make any meals cuz we just have one meal a day and cereal in the morning so just like snack stuff. We have mac and cheese, nothing really like that I need. Just like American Sour Patch Kids and Reeses. idk they have a lot here. Just kinda like the stuff I said before. Sorry you’ll just have to surprise me. They have all the like American Super main brand stuff like Nutella and Skittles and stuff like that at the main stores. Ummm oh and yeah just like an mp3 that has like a little memory card thing you can take out, cause that is how you get music here, you share with other missionaries. Doesn’t need to be to over the top. ha sorry I can’t really think of anything, maybe like a deflated football cause those don’t exist here and that would be so cool to have. and yeah.

Oh I have met president once at the beginning and I have my first interview with him tomorrow. Anyways yeah. Love you so much! The work is going great in Southern Chile! I can’t tell you how much prayer means to me now. It’s like my best friend. It is such a Rollercoaster here on the mission of great times to an immediate just frustrating really hard day but with faith and God anything is possible, and just smiling helps a ton. Just gotta always enjoy every moment, and get lost in this amazing cause.
Love you so much!
Elder Carter

Oh! PS! We our having a baptism on the 17th!!!! SOOO STOKED! It was a part member family and it was their daughter that was the only one not baptized at age 11, she really got the desire after hearing about the blessings of temples. So stoked for them to be a whole family and get to go to the temple. Such an awesome family her dad is about to be our mission leader. Such an Amazing family! I’ll tell you more about them next week. Love you!

Monday, October 29, 2012

One Month in Chileee!!!

Hey Everyone!

So just letting everyone know I can only send one letter home and one to the Mission President Only so here it is haha.  Gotta be obedient;)

This week went GREAT!  I was so excited to get so many emails from everyone.  I apologize if I don’t answer some of your questions; it’s a lot of stuff to remember.

Oh man I can’t even tell you how much I love the mission already. WAYY HARD but AMAZING!
First let me tell you a little more about where I am at. So Los Muermos is a very small town surrounded by campo (country). It is about an hour by bus to Puerto Mont, where my district meetings are held. I have had to go down there a lot more though lately because I have a parasite. BUT DONT WORRY haha it’s no biggie just gotta take meds for a week and it’s gone. A got it from the MTC too not even Chile ha. Ummm let’s see, there are no fast food places in Muermos. Just little stands of food or whole in the walls (not much) and tons of little food markets that are like people’s houses. Oh and the 2 main supermarkets kinda tiny. If we ever want more we go to Puerto Mont and they have stores called Lider which is just like Wal-Mart, Its funny their good quality food is the great value cheapo stuff. Kinda pricy too so that’s a splurge. The only types of condiments they have are mustard mayo and ketchup but we found bbq sauce at Lider!!!! So we are going to try to figure out what to put it on. They do have McDonalds and pizza hut at the Mall in Puerto but its pretty dang pricy. We got it last week though it was good. Um hmm

Los Muermos is known for its drunks ha but that just makes the day that much more interesting. We have like one of the biggest homes in the mission and today we spent ALL DAY cleaning it, I’ll take pictures I was stoked, got a new study area and a clothing room and all the spider webs cleaned away. Should bring the spirit more. Umm idk we just don’t have like American candy and if we do it’s so expensive, they have like the main candies but not like Reese’s and Sour Patch Kids. Ohhh sounds so good. Ha so yeah meals are slowly getting tastier and tastier I honestly get so stoked for Rice and like some sort of sausage.

Let’s see I had my first intercompio last week and that was interesting, ha it was a huge ward in the suburbs and it just kinda culture shocked me. The mamita’s house had carpet and it just seemed soooo Cuico (rich).  I was trippen out and the lady had ranch dressing!!! They usually just drench the lettuce in oil so that was a treat. We have been running in the mornings 3 times a week to try to not get fat but its hard what they cook here and how much they feed you. Ha they sure take pride in eating you. Umm yesterday we helped a member build a house more that was fun. It is a decent size house. Ohh ohh ohh going back to intercompios I totally am so thankful now for my trainer and my area, I think I will cry now when I leave my first area, you just get so close with all the people (even when you can’t really understand them that well haha)

So I gave my first talk this Sunday, it was a full 15 min talk.. oh man it was nuts I didn’t even know how I pulled that off, my Spanish is slowly getting better and better, it’s truly humbling but it’s all about patience you kinda get used to it ha. But oh man when I testified at the end of my talk the spirit felt so strong, You gotta strive to always have the spirit here.  One thing me and my companion got better at is talking in the street in Spanish more (because when you do that it’s a lot quieter and you only are focusing on who you talk to next haha) allows the spirit to flow better.

Two of our investigators are Borris and Luis, Borris we have to go in the morning he is a smart 23 year old that is studying Derechos (or law) and is way interested. We did a soft invitation to get baptized. He is really curious to know the restrictions we have and said his family would not like if he betrayed his catholic background, but when you say well if god tells you to will you and he says well yeah...of course. So we are really praying he recognizes the fruits of the spirit. Luis is also awesome we just taught him the second part of the plan of salvation and we had a member there.  Having a sweet member there makes it sooo much better. We taught him in the capilla (chapel) so the spirit was strong as well. He seemed to love it and we gave him his first baptismal invitation, he was a little caught off guard but then said he would if he received an answer. We reminded him we are here to just invite and help see what’s true, not to force, he felt very comfortable. One amazing question he asked was regarding his mentally handicapped relative. He asked if he would go to heaven. We smiled and told him (referring to this D&C scripture) that you need albedrio (agency) in order to sin and since he can’t make his own decisions like a baby, he has a place in the kingdom of heaven. Such a cool thing because me and my companion were studying about that just a day before.

It is weird here in Chile is now regular for me already, it’s weird how fast you can get used to such a big change. Oh yeah! They love 80s music here and they play a lot of American music its funny; we hear it every time we go on the bus. Stoked for next pday we are climbing volcano Osorno! Love the work and everything about the mission. So excited for more

Blake!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRO!!! Glad you had a good one. Hope all your wildest dreams come true;) haha miss you man, I’m doing good here, how’s Erin and Lusk and your job and stuff? have you gone jacuzzying lately? I sometimes just imagine the shower is one and I get pretty happy haha you should send me a California burrito I haven’t had tortillas here, heard they have them some places I think. Do anything fun lately? I didn’t know you had the kinect thing.  That’s cool ill have to play it in 2 years love you man.

Kristy and Dalan, Carter looks so cute!!!

Mom and dad: Thanks for everything, make sure to send the package soon because I heard it takes forever like 2 months in Christmas I don’t care when I get it though:) the house looks beautiful!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hey hey! another week in chile

Hey family!

I apologize right now that this letter will probably be a lot shorter, we only have 45 min to write you and the president, and we can only send 2 letters and no more. We also have to end our pday at 6pm and we unfortunately had to go to the doctor early this morning and haven’t gotten back till not too long ago. I have had ear problems lately still, they said nothing is wrong, it probably just took a toll from that airplane.

Things are going good, I love doing the work of God it brings more joy then anything in the world. We kinda have hit a dry time where we aren’t teaching as much and spend pretty much all our time knocking doors and contacting people, which really wipes you out and can kill your mood. BUT I can go on and on about how hard it is and how many people deny you or tell you the awesome news that we kept up our desire to find people and found 4 new people to teach that seem interested! 2 of which are guys which is crazy!!! You rarely find guys here. We rarely, RARELY get in a door because they are all ladies and not many people want you to teach them. We get pretty happy when someone is nice enough to stop and just listen to what you have to say on the street. Oh man but we are soooo Excited to teach these new ones! I think one of my mottos though is that there never is a finish line on the mission. Because when you find people to teach you can’t stop looking and doing the nitty-gritty finding, you gotta keep doing that so in the future you’ll still have people to teach, it’s a never ending process.

Another thing I am quickly finding is you feel soooo guilty if you aren’t working and moving around doing your job, a lot of times the members and people here try to keep you in their house and just talk, you really gotta remind people what your purpose is here. One member in the ward asked if we could help build a house the other day that was pretty fun. I now have like soooo many flea bites it’s a joke. I get over it fast though ha.

Most meals are still the same, usually like rice and beans in a soup with some hot dogs or sausage, or the occasional chicken leg. Members are very kind though and feed you always and our mamita always feeds us for lunch. I don’t eat dinner here so that’s still new but you get used to it. I am slowly getting more and more out of shape it’s scary ha. But we are going to try and run in the mornings. It’s just hard it’s so cold in the mornings still, and it still rains a ton. Oh this humid cold is just ridiculous. I almost got bit by two dogs so far, they always kinda just sneak on ya.  IDK, and this one car (think he was drunk) totally almost hit me if I didn’t jump out of the way, I am truly being watched out for by God. But oh do I love the work, I can’t explain to you how much joy you get when you see someone being touched by the spirit and wanting more. It is hard sometimes but when that happens, you honestly don’t care about anything else.

Another cool thing is we always are walking in the country in random areas to get to some houses way cool. My companion took a photo of me and the country and the other pictures are just some other sweet campo pics.

Oh btw I was thinking whether I wanted to get another suit because I wear them more than I thought.  What do you think? We found one pretty good quality for 70 Mil or 140 dollars in US. And it comes with another white shirt and a tie. Just let me know, I don’t want to make any purchases without prayer;)

ha but yeah love this good ol farm town, really loving the members here. They are so great and it’s the coolest thing to help menos activos come back and really gain a stronger conversion of Christ. Oh and just some more drunk weird people situations, they always salute us haha. oh drunk people. Oh another thing I was thinking about buying is a good backpack that is waterproof maybe made of gortex? That has like a backpacking strap that isn’t hard on my back? Not sure whether I should have you send one or I should buy one just let me know!

Oh yeah my ax wood chopping is improving we do a lot of service for others regarding lena (firewood) some people have soooooo much lena haha we call it Chilean Tetris (where you stack their wood) not sure if I told you that yet. But yeah love you! The church brings happiness and eternal life and it is so sweet to share!

Con Amor,
Elder Carter

Monday, October 15, 2012

Second Week in Chile!

Another great week in Chile! It is weird I already am getting pretty used to the culture, kind've.  I think one thing that really is hard is going in stores or simple things such as just trying to make small talk with members is the most frustrating. When you walk in a market you have no idea what’s going on, everything is in Spanish, especially in Los Muermos they don’t really have anything from the states. And the money system sometimes makes your head hurt because it is so different. It is such an adventure haha.

We have been getting 40 attending lately but this week we only got 34 so we were down and none of our investigators came so we were pretty bummed. We have really been praying hard though and we feel something good is happening in Los Muermos. The days go by so fast when you have lessons but the days you just tract and knock doors all day can be hard. But you just gotta keep the animo. Someone saying no to me really doesn’t impact me at all anymore, ha didn’t really in the first place but yeah, it’s crazy, Nothing can get you down when you know this is the Church of Christ and it can help these people for eternity.

One pretty funny thing about Los Muermos is all the drunks. There are SOOOO MANY of them. We will be just talking to someone on the street and a bum drunk will get right up in your face and just blabber in Spanish.  They kinda trip me out, ha. Yesterday one was passed out right in front of the church. He started drinking in the morning and the poor lost little man crashed in front of our church.  The people really like their alcohol.  This one drunk guy asked us to carry his cart a couple nights ago; it was way funny. I asked him if he knew who Jesus Christ was and he stopped us, knelt down in the street, did that cross thingy and looked at us like "does that answer your question. The weird stuff already is getting pretty normal its funny.

I think I talked about this earlier but we have been teaching this English class to some people in the community, one of the guys we are teaching is named Luis. We have really been wanting to teach him and we gave him a little pamphlet to read and Tuesday he let us teach him after. We taught him the restoration and the spirit was so strong. We asked if he would read some of the Book of Mormon and we were about to give it to him, he stopped us and kinda started talking SUPER FAST (well, everyone does, Chile is kinda the fastest speaking Spanish ever) and I thought he was denying it. After though Elder Gardner told me he said, "actually can you guys give me a book with like your thoughts (testimonies) about it somewhere in it?” WE were soooo stoked!  We are having our next lesson with him Tuesday so pray for him that he won’t be tempted by satan by then.

I have been bitten by a good amount of fleas. I actually caught one with my hand and taped it in my journal. They get pretty dang annoying. Oh yeah so mom most of the meals are pretty much all the same. They don’t have many seasonings, but you’re so hungry you don’t really care; it’s either pasta with like a hint of tomato salsa (sauce) or like rice, or soup, lots of soup, with like hot dogs in every meal somehow. haha, ok it’s not bad, it’s just kinda bland, but whatever floats their boat is fine with me.

I almost got attacked by 2 dogs so far, usually the rock pick up thing works but some catch you by surprise. Elder Gardner has this sweet remote thing that emits a high pitched noise that we will bring out every now and then, they have 3 reactions, the dog either gets more pissed and chases you, just tilts its head, or runs away.

The humidity here is NUTS! If it is just a little cold it like seeps into your bones. The mornings are the worst, that blanket though is so amazing mom thanks! I’ll send some pictures tomorrow, sorry I accidently forgot my chord this week but I’ll have some for next week. We walk a ton here! Some of the houses are soooo spread out but it’s not too bad, we are just way wiped out by the end of the day.

Church kinda stunk, it was fast Sunday though and no one bears their testimonies so I went up after my companion and bore my testimony. It wasn’t perfect but it got the job done. I honestly can’t understand anything. I can pick out words now but once you hear a word you know they are already on the next topic. Elder Gardner said don’t worry every missionary doesn’t really get much out of church the first months. Oh well, it will be a time to study and just act like I know what’s going on. The Members are awesome. We have already gotten really close with all of them. I kinda have gotten used to not really understanding people it’s kinda sad but whatever, not letting it get me down. I still just have a great time; it’s really humbling not being able to have simple conversations with everyone. I have had the chance to lead some lessons though, it’s hard but I’m glad Elder Gardner does it. I’ll talk about something and when I don’t know what to say he just looks at me, it makes me have to try harder. It’s hard not to get frustrated but there is no point in being frustrated. Just moving forward is the only way. I can relate with what people say though, you wake up thinking, "I would kill to just have a good lesson in English" ha. But it’s all good. I am already used to the people though, like if I heard English I would be way tripped out, and when I see anyone taller than 5ft 5in I freak out. Me and my companion talk English in the house but when we leave the house we enter Spanish world, sometimes we aren’t good at it because it’s just frustrating for me haha but lately we are better.

Oh yeah the members just make so much food like if you come to their house they will give you bread or cake or just a drink of soda. Me and my companion made a written document one day saying if we didn’t get in a house then we would have to run in the morning and we weren’t allowed to partake of treats the night before, and we worked our butts off but didn’t accomplish the task so we ran, We only ran for like 10 min but we both felt like we were going to die and throw up. And we are still soooo sore. Haha oh goodness getting lost in the work doesn’t do so good for your shape. Some mornings your sooo cold and you just do calf raises in the shower for your work out, then you feel like a lazy bum, oh yeah! everything we have smells like bonfire, because of our fire stove thing. it’s funny cuz I hated that smell before the mission, but now its whatever. You stop noticing it because that all you’re around. I bet when I come off the plane coming home that will be the first thing mom notices haha just kidding mom.

I sure hope Mexicans will be able to understand my Spanish, Chilean Spanish is so different in some ways they use so much different words.

Cooool cooll, pray for you all every day, I’ll be good don’t worry it’s all about the struggle! the church is true and I know I’m on the Lord’s time and he will provide for me.
Con Amor,
Elder Carter

Monday, October 8, 2012

First Week in Chile!

I AM HERE IN CHILE!!!!! It’s so crazy to think how far I am from home. I love it here though! My mission president is way amazing and his wife! We got to eat a sweet meal and sleep a decent amount before heading out. Chile is pretty dang different ha-ha. My trainers name is Elder Matt Gardner, he is from Highland, UT and knows some people of mine. Ha so nuts. I was the only nuevo missionary to receive a gringo trainer. I was pretty excited about that. But it got even better, He is so Awesome! We already have gotten along so great, we are super alike each other and it just makes the transition easier! We both just have so much Animo (enthusiasm) and we just want to get to work, it also does help that he knows a lot of Spanish.

I am in the area of Los Muermos! It’s in the Puerto Mont zone. I love it here! haha oh man is it different. This area is a small farmer town in the Campo (country) around us there is just tons and tons of farming land and campo. We are a branch here and we have anywhere from 35-40 people that attend. Our building is pretty dang sweet it’s a 2 story house. Ha just a little different from home huh? But yeah I am now the 2nd counselor in their branch.  Elder Gardner is the first. Ha feels weird to be that when I don’t even know Spanish at all. I have to direct our meeting I think in 2 weeks; super stoked for that. Our branch was super small about a year ago only about 20 but now its rising slowly. We just gotta keep the animo to keep it going. Every day is such an adventure I love it.

We live in a house its larger than most places you can live. It’s made of wood, since it is bigger than others it just soaks up the cold. It is SOO COLD HERE! I feel like I am camping at times because we keep our house heated with a wood burning stove, so we have to chop wood and stuff to keep us warm. Most of the houses here are made of Sheet metal or wood. I’ve been hit with culture shock pretty hard. But then when I get to work I kind've forget. We wake up at 7 and go to bed at 11 here. We have a breakfast made by us, and then our mamita (who just happens to be the branch president’s wife 10 steps away from our house) makes our lunch at 1 every day. My meals usually are a hot dog with rice and eggs, or noodles, or soup. It’s always served with bread and lettuce with tons of oil on it. It’s not too bad just super different. They don’t have dinner here, so you gotta eat a TON at lunch to keep you full. Then, every now and then, there is one with members which is like a night time snack. Usually its bread with jam TONS of BREAD!  It’s good too! And a hot drink called ecco. It smells like coffee kind of buts it’s not. I LOVE it ha. Oh man I’m scared I am so going to get chubby I can just sense it. Everyone that comes here gets kinda chubbier cheeks the branch members always joke with me asking if I am excited to have chubby cheeks.

Regarding the language I can’t understand about 90% of everything people say or even more haha. It is so nuts how fast Chileans talk it’s like a whole other language too, they don’t say their "s" at the end of words like gracias or vamos, and they always use a filler word , Po, after EVERYTHING they say. I talk to them though with no fear haha they sometimes will just start laughing or won’t get a word I say, often times we will be in a lesson and I will be called on it say something and have no idea what to say, I’ll just testify of the gospel, something vague and hope it’s on topic. But overall I feel if you just know why your here and stay positive you don’t get Tooooo frustrated, sometimes it is so frustrating but that’s just part of growing your faith, I have had a couple freak outs of dang this will be so hard, but then I go in a lesson with a menos activo or investigator and things get better.

Oh there are SO much dogs here just walking around the streets it is so different. They get so annoying and some will try to attack but if you reach down and act like you’re picking up a rock they run away its great. All the houses here are made of Sheet metal and wood. It’s just so different. And most people here speak a slang of Spanish even more then Chilean called camposino which is like hillbilly basically. So it’s pretty dang hard to understand them.0

I got some sweet rain pants and rain jacket from the mission home that everyone gets. It already has rained 3 times since I have been here so I just need to get used to that. Challenged my first investigator to baptism and  each time we brought up baptism her baby would cry, Satan works in the craziest ways I hate it. But she confirmed to a date, we just gotta get her to stop working on Sunday so she can make the date. Another funny thing was we got into this house and they weren’t really interested just nice, but their daughter went for the Chilean culture cheek kiss and I was not expecting the approach and Elder Gardner said my face was completely afraid it was soooo funny haha, but I accidently nudged her away with my elbow which is super rude and degrading, she was super embarrassed and I felt bad but then we explained that we are missionaries and we just can’t and she then understood. Haha oh gosh I’ll have some great stories for you. Oh all members joke with you and they think I look like a movie star, which I don’t, maybe just cause I’m gringo who knows haha oh goodness.

Oh all the little kids in the streets always run over to us and say, TIO TIO!!! Tarjeta Tarjeta! which means they want a pass along card or just something free, they don’t even care what it is they just like free stuff here it’s so funny, they just go and rip it up after too. I love teaching though here, it really is important that you gain the branches trust, and they are already really liking us, it’s cool how you don’t have to speak much to get them to like you, we will do a lot of reactivation work here, but it’s such a great thing to help people get back on the track. Tracting is tough but I love it, great practice. My first time was the first day, I was pretty nervous, but I was just like sure when he told me it’s your turn, totally butchered everything and all I think I said was Hola! Somos un misioneros de la iglesia de jesucristo! and he just stared at me. haha practice makes perfect right?

LOVED CONFERENCE! GOT TO WATCH IT IN ENGLISH ONLINE! SOOOO HAPPY! I Soaked up every talk. Oh my gosh, it was like Christmas it made my life.

Oh for my address my whole mission will just be the mission home address then they send it out to all of us the address is:

Mission Chile Osorno
Casilla 7-0
Osorno, Chile

I only get 45 min a pday to write both you and the mission pres so sorry! I’ll try to get in as much as I can! Not gonna lie it has been a pretty unreal super tough week but I am just smiling having the time of my life! I love the mission already! Every part of it all, even the morning workout, ha-ha But I love you all at Home! Oh when the sky is clear you have a pretty sweet view of Volcano Osorno and 4 other volcanoes in the Distance! SOOOO SWEET! No flea bites yet but I am sure I’ll get some soon, it’s just kinda whatever. It’s funny the little things that are different, the birds noises and such, my pday is one Monday btw. Oh and its super crazy just the height difference. The average height here is probably 5' 2".

I barely can understand anything so far, but I know with the Lord and the trial of my faith will be good.  Just got to enjoy every part of the journey not just the finish line especially here on the mission, I think that was Uchtdorf, the apostles just speak to you, it’s so great! Nothing is in English here, not even this computers search button hah. It’s just some gnarly culture differences, but the people here are super nice! Except sometimes when we contact them they are a little mean but right now I can’t understand them so I just am always smiling and when I can I will just smile! I represent Christ and will do his will sharing this amazing gospel to all! Love you all, love you especially Kristy, Blake, Dalan, and Mom and Dad. I feel your prayers!

Con Amor,

Elder Carter

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

4 Days til I leave the MTC!

Familia!!!! How are you all?! Wow this time at the MTC has gone by wayyyy fast. I am so excited to go to Chile! I am happy to tell you I am feeling soooo much better now. My fever finally stopped Thursday night. I have had pressure in my ear from my sinuses for a day and a half but luckily mom packed me with a pharmacy in my luggage so I have been taking decongestant medicine. (THANKS MOM!). Oh this week has been such a great one. I was so excited last Friday to receive my travel plans! Here is the travel plan
I leave the MTC at 6:00AM (salt lake time) and our flight leaves at 9:45 AM October First (Monday)
Then We get into LAX at 10:46
We then leave on the airline Lan Chile S.A. for Santiago, Chile at 1:25pm and arrive in Santiago the next day at 6:40 AM
We then head for Osorno at 9:50am and get there to my final destination at 11:25am
Long flight huh? haha hopefully my sinus pressure will be fine for the flight. Not worried though it is feeling so much better now. So we don’t have a set limit for how long we can talk just as long as we don’t miss our flight. haha obviously. But I was thinking after I get through security at around 7 my time. but expect the call anytime from 6-9am my time! maybe you can go to work later that day our something? and then if I have time in between my layover in LAX I can call you again maybe? it’s not too long of a layover though but if I have time I’ll call. Idk what do you think? 
But yeah our carry-ons can only be 17lbs and we can bring a small backpack as well. Maybe could you check the Lan Chile guidelines online to figure out more details? because I only have a backpack and want to bring that as my backpack and bring something else like a small string backpack (the ones I bring to basketball practice) as well. If you could maybe send me a small one of those or have grandma and have it get here b4 sat that would be great. If not, I'll work something out. I’m sure I can;) 
But yeah things are going great here! I cannot explain to you my love for the gospel and my love for the savior Jesus Christ. We had the opportunity to watch the temple dedication of the Brigham city temple. Elder Packard said some amazing inspired things. Oh my goodness the apostles have such power in their words. one thing I love that he said was that the church has nothing secret, just sacred. (talking of the temple) I loved that. But it was so amazing to see a temple dedication, temples are such holy places I really urge everyone to go there as much as possible. Unfortunately my last time attending a temple was this morning but I will carry my thoughts with me and continue to do other things on my mission to keep the spirit with me. We have been having some of our last fake lessons here at the MTC, and I cannot tell you how much I have learned! Wow I have come a long way. I remember the first lesson we had my companion just sat there in fright and I only said two statements, one of which was, El libro de Mormon es verdadero. ahah it’s true though. But I have come such a long way. My favorite part of the Predicad mi Evangelio (preach my gospel) is the section regarding, "How to begin teaching" There are just a set of bullets about what we need to get across. These bullets are ESSENTIAL for teaching. They are revelation of an apostle and I know why. I was finally able to this week really listen to my fake investigators thoughts in Spanish. As they talked I was able to understand what they said and ask questions that dug down deeper to their thoughts and information necessary to connect the gospel with them. One essential part of begin teaching is to really connect with them and let them know you are there for them not to just tell them a lesson that you memorized in Spanish. Our last lesson was a conversation, the invitations (which are key for conversion), were made in a smooth, natural way. Our investigators name was Romona and she was sick. We talked to her about how the spirit can comfort her. She didn't know how to receive that spirit and we told her when she prays, and reads the book of Mormon she will feel comfort of the Holy Ghost. We also told her we have the power to give her a blessing where the power of God through the spirit can touch her life. We got to know more of her concerns and really dug deep to what she truly needed in her life. What is amazing is the Gospel is for everyone, no matter who you are, or what your circumstances are the Gospel can help you. So with that I learned you should never worry if they will accept the message. If you find out what they are going through or who they are, the spirit will touch their lives and tell them what they need through you. If they are ripe and ready to accept the gospel they will. If they are not ready then down the road they will remember the spirit that touched them that one time in the Past. Loving the people is so key. 
During Devo a seventy spoke and talked about what faith equals. He said what it really comes down to it is faith is personal righteousness. If you want more faith you need to act according to the gospel and what Christ would do. To have a testimony is great! but without acting upon what you believe you will NOT receive conversion. That is why enduring to the end, constantly implementing the atonement in your life, ridding yourself of the natural man, and coming closer to Christ from mistakes and corrections is so important. I cannot tell you how much closer I want to be to Christ. And I know that going out to the field will help with this so much more. 
We had the experience to eat at the Temple cafeteria this morning and OH MY GOODNESS it was so good. It was not mass produced powder egg omelets! and the Belgium waffles were sooooo GOOD! I have heard so much about Chile from my teachers! I won’t tell you what they say though because I will have my own stories next week about Chile! so excited to share them with you. I know it will be hard but I am ready. I will kneel and pray to my God especially during these times thanking him for these trials and hard times. I am expected on this mission to be put in uncomfortable situations, then once they become comfortable I will be stretched and put in uncomfortable situations again. I am ready for these times and will keep a positive attitude. I am here to serve others and invite them to come unto Christ. Along the way I will change but it is not about me. I heard if we could only see now all the peoples eternal joy that we will have the opportunity to bring them we would not be able to sleep at night. 

I love this Gospel and I can not wait to go to Chile. 
Este Iglesia es verdadero. Estoy Muy agredicido por Jesucristo y su expiacion. me amo nosotros mas de todos las cosas. (my typing of spanish is still bad but I can verbally say things much better haha)
Love you!
con amor
Elder Carter

Saturday, September 22, 2012

2 weeks!

Wow so crazy how fast this experience has gone by at the MTC, I have definitely learned soo much here. We get our travel plans tomorrow!!! So crazy! I get to call you at the airport for like 30 min or so. Tomorrow when I get my travel plans I’ll write you a letter letting you know what time, and if I have a long lay over to just call you then (since phone booths get packed at the airport) but yeah so you can just work out when you need to answer the phone. But anyways my experience has been so amazing here, we are still working hard. Unfortunately I got sick 2 days ago and have not been to class since, today is luckily P-day and I am probably going to try to go to class tonight. Yesterday I had a 102.4 Fever but don't worry I have been taking care of myself:)  I have broke the fever and am just recovering, I am blessed to have had this week rather than next. This last week has been such a life changing week regarding my love for the scriptures. I have been praying continuously to liken unto the scriptures more and more, I enjoyed reading them and they have really opened up, but I wanted them to more. At devo Sunday this guy named W Tracy Watson spoke regarding the Book of Mormon and how important it is. He first made a daring approach to his speech by showing one of the "Book of Mormon" plays musical numbers. It was of missionaries being completely overzealous and using the Lord’s name in vain and it made me very uncomfortable. It made me realize the seriousness of the Gospel and holding it dear and sacred is what we need to do. He then told us what Elder Holland said regarding from our past history of running from Bablyon, such as the saints running and other ancient saints. Elder Holland said in this day we no longer run from Babylon when we are being attacked and the Lord’s work is being attacked, we attack. He then showed the churches efforts in letting the people of New York around the area where the play is being shown. He showed the subways covered with I’m a Mormon ads and links to the Mormon site saying "want to know more about the BoM?". They also bought a huge jumbotron in New York advertising what we truly are about. It was pretty sweet. But he bore his witness of how the book has changed his life, and the spirit flooded the room. He also then talked about how he goes across the world proselyting with missionaries and going in homes to teach. One lady they were teaching, right when they got in there had a paper. She asked the missionaries if she could ask them the questions. They said of course. She asked about polygamy and blacks receiving the priesthood and other questions. He finally noticed something was up and he asked her, "Do you always start your lessons with these questions?" and she said no. She then stated how she just needs them to be answered before she gets baptized because her family will disown her if she gets baptized so she needs to know if it’s true. He then looked down at her Book of Mormon and saw tons of markings, he then asked her, have you been reading this book? And she said "Oh of course! (Holding the book to her heart as if it was a baby) I love this book." He then asked, do you believe this book to be true? And she then said, Yes. And he then said, I don’t think you need to ask any more questions then. And she looked up after 2 min of silence and said I want to get baptized.
What is so important for us to realize is the Book of Mormon is either Completely True or the biggest fraud of mankind. And you can go your whole life fighting the validity of the Church and of Christ Gospel, but all your doubts can go away if you just gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, not a testimony of scientific evidence of the book, nor the fact that Alma's Chiasmic Poetry was unheard of by a unschooled 14 year old, But a Spiritual testimony of the Book, found by searching, pondering, and praying to your heavenly father.

I can’t thank you so much for the pictures of Carter Kristy! And thanks mom and dad so much for that bread! It was so delicious! I hope you know that I was sick that day and my love from my family really came that day when I was resting in bed. I was really lucky. I also continue to feel your prayers.

My Spanish is getting better! I always feel like I can learn more and this is because once I go down there I won’t understand a word, I need to just have faith though. I can understand mostly everything in a mock lesson now in Spanish and teach sometimes slowly about most of the lessons. It is sometimes slow and rusty but the spirit touches the lesson and that’s how it gets across. I hate being sick here, It’s worse than missing class, It is so terrible ha. But I’m feeling better!!!! So all is well. Just pray for me! I’m in my recovery state it was just a little bug. Love you all! I pray for you all everyday! Sounds like things are going great.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another Great Week!

Missionaries from Escondido Stake in the MTC
Josh Stevens, Ross Urry, Zack, Blake Farrow, Tyler Chapman

Going to the Four Corners (sort of)

Wow has time just flown by! I can't explain how great the spirit is here. It's a love but ready to go to Chile in 2 1/2 weeks kinda relationship. I first want to say how much my testimony has grown so far. I feel the best way a missionary can truly love their time here and on the mission is letting themselves CHANGE. The best thing here is to never say "well before the mission I never did that and was fine", instead say, "I am commanded to do this so I will, because we are missionaries and we have a higher standard of living." We are standing in Christ's place and need to let the world know who he is through our example. There is nothing wrong with being completely obedient, as Elder Bednar said, if you want to feel the spirit and know you are teaching with the spirit, first of all don't worry about it. If we are completely obedient we will have nothing to worry about, because when we do things in our lives that invite the spirit we WILL teach with the spirit. 

This week for me has made a huge impact on the rest of my mission and my life. I have learned so much on regarding leading and building others up. D&C 121 has really meant so much to me this week. I have experienced the power of Love, when necessary and acted upon be blunt and correct those who need it (sorry I forgot the word and don’t have my scriptures with me), and then after follow that with double the love as before. I testify that these steps and guidance written in the scriptures are true, and sometimes being the bad guy when necessary to help the person or help the district then followed after with love only brings more peace and invites the spirit more. I feel such a love for everyone here and that I meet. I pray every day and yearn for an outward love like Christ has. It is not easy at times but since everyday is like Sunday, and we strive to make more and more goals it’s possible. I have never felt so excited and so much love for the work. It is so true about forgetting yourselves. The times I get sad or discouraged here is when I forget my purpose or submit to selfish needs. As I go day to day I learn it is truly not about me here. 

Just yesterday Elder Shumway in our district finally got his visa to go to Madrid so the Companionships have been switched once again. I am now with Elder Pugh and Elder Taylor, so once again in a Trio. haha it’s so funny how many companionships I have had so far. I have had more companionships then some people their whole mission. I got to give Elder Shumway a blessing last night and I was so touched by the unity of our district. All of us were there helping him depart and helping with the blessing. Elder Shumway's companion elder Taylor is such a great Elder and I am so excited to be with him and Elder Pugh for the rest of the time (unless they get their visas to Spain as well) haha.

I got to see soo many people I knew this week from home it was so great! I’ll send some pictures. I got to see Elder Blake Farrow a ton and oh man how great is it to see him. It is so weird to see a really good budd here because you can’t really talk to long. But he looked to have a really good first week. I also got to see Elder Urry before he left! What a stud! He is going to do so amazing! Also Josh Stephens I was really touched to see him serving a mission just after being baptized not too long ago. His conversion will touch the people in the Philippines. I also saw Elder Tyler Chapman! He has been in my seminary class so that was way cool to keep in touch, I see him almost every day ha. Also Elder Jordan Johnson! He is doing so great. He is speaking a language that I can’t understand whatsoever ha his mission tag looks so cool it looks like a mini Rosetta stone. 

I loved reading about Romney and how he is doing. I am not sure if you knew this but there is a cool YouTube video of him doing service for some fire victims back when there were fires. He and his brother or something were just there to help, no press or nothing. That is a true leader I love to see people doing things unnoticed. Here waking up and getting at it in personal study is so important. It truly makes or breaks your mission. Right when 6:30 hits...BOOM out of bed. It’s a total mental game and once you force yourself out you have won. Satan thinks he can target me in that area of temptation to sleep in but he’s got nothin on me. ha. 

Spanish is coming a lot better now. I mean we are always humbled sometimes and feel like you know nothing but with the spirit and visualizing the purpose you press forward. I am working hard here so I am not worried. Just as long as you do your best you should have no regrets. 

Mom and Dad! thanks soooooo much for the package! ha wow that was a rough day. BYU was playing and we could hear the crowd and the announcer the whole time. It really made me happy, I loved the creativity ha. We have had a lot of fun and the Cliff Bars are the tastiest things I have ever tried. 

You sent me off with pretty much everything I need. I can’t think of anything I didn’t pack, or anything I won’t need. I have so much meds and probably won’t bring the soap because it just ways me down and I have a lot more study materials I need to bring. I have had to use my debit card for some things such as laundry detergent and other things (meds) so I will need to take out more cash for traveling and just in case. 

Glad Blake and grandma got my letter! did Kristy! Also thanks to Brad and Kent for their DearElders! Those things come at the end of the day and they really are a great way your day. Everyone else who has prayed for me I truly feel your love I can’t tell you all how much it helps. I just get so excited to serve the lord. It’s the best thing ever. I’m reading in Alma now, oh my goodness can’t tell you how much I love that book, I LOVE ALMA! It’s like the best; there are soooo many good scriptures. Well the whole book of Mormon is SO AMAZING. But Alma is my personal favorite. Anyways I am SOOO stoked for Chile. I am ready to go, but know I can keep learning more Spanish and lessons so I am content here! not gettin Trunky. Thanks so much for everything. Every day I thank the lord for my family. Wouldn’t be here without your examples and love! thanks so much!