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