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