Monday, February 24, 2014

HEY FAM! sweet sweet semana (photos)

Hey so this week has been awesom, we have been teaching, finding, and working so much. This week has been awesome, we continue to be finding people, the conference with elder ballard was inspiring and we want the excitement to be mantained. Everyone is finding and we are trying are hardest to be the examples. I cant believe how prepared our investigator is from the point we found him, he will be a great leader in the church. I remember president telling me that we would have success here and I felt the power of the spirit when he told me,im greatful for him recieving the revelation so I can help the lord build his kingdom here. We made a program that the strong families in our branch can use for their family nights, its a simple tool they can use to invite and assign other families to come and participate, as well we have been having a lot of divisions with members going to menos activos, one member invited the other to come and they both fell well with eachother, that member assisted for the first time in 10 years this sunday, as well the member picked up a whole menos activo young family and they all came, we told him this miracle and he recognized that they came because he simply acted. So cool, this branch has so much potential.

Each day we were finding and teaching a ton, for my first time this week we taught 8 lessons in one day, the spirit and excitement is so high when we are constantly teaching, as well we always always make room for contacting each day, we always practice small lessons so we can be prepared in any moment.
With Denny we gave him a tur of the church and he loved it, this week he will be able to come for the first time.

This pday that sweet mountain you guys always see in my photos next to our house is in our sector, so we left to climb it today, it was so beatiful, ha funny story was as we were walking we started to here some beesor something, my comp got stung first and then I realized we were next to a wasthive and there were tons of them, I tried runny but one stung me as well, o man did it hurt it was a special type of wasp I think cause it still hurts but was pretty funny after.

I cant believe how lucky I am to always be able to hike and visit amazing places, ha like the photo of when I was preaching repentance to all of coyhaique?
as well thursday we had another conference with ballard for priestdhood in this region, it was incredible, Ballard is truly an apostol of God, he told amazing stories, one of which I told that stake presidents and leaders need to know their priesthood holders well, who has served missions, who has been through the temple, etc, and when you find out, he said you need to visit them, or have them all for dinner, He did just this in a stake, and all of these menos activo priesthood holders came to the church, he said he was trying to think of what he could say to them to inspire them to come back, as he traveled to the church he saw to cemeteries and then entered, when he walked in all had tons of crazy hairdues tattos, and looked scary, he was thinking what in the world can I say to these people. Then he started talking and said, When I was coming here to the church I saw 2 cemeteries, and I thought all of us one day are going to die, one day all of you will die, and be placed in one of the 2 cemetarys, and when you die if you dont change youll be in for a great suprise, so change! repent! then ballard said and after I said that I thought to myself oh my goodness what did I just do!? they are going to kill me! after the talk every one of them came to him and started to cry, saying thank you so much, help me, help me help myself, I want to continue on this path. Ballard told us that if we pray with all our heart, saying lord help me help someone else, I will give it all I got, help me recieve power from on high to make someones life on track again, The spirit of his talk was incredible, it was a talk of faith and action, We truly can save these sheep that simply are strayed off the path but ALWAYS can come back, I loved one quote stated that was something like "its not so much of what you know, its more of what you do that is important to magnify your calling" we as members talk a ton and create awesome ideas to change or to help, but its amazing what god does when we put those great words and reactivate a family or member that hasnt been to church for 10 years and help him mantain and get his spiritual health to the way it was before.

Love you guys a ton,

Elder Carter

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Awesome week...Elder Ballard is so awesome

Hey family! so This week was one of the best weeks of my mission. It was truly incredible, first things first sorry I forgot to tell you that yesterday we had a special mission conference, where the area 70, president of the 70 Elder Rasband, and Elder Ballard, spoke in puerta varas to all of our mission. All the mission went to puerto varas to see it, BUT punta arenas and coyhaique are to far so we had to watch it through a program like skype. ha kinda a bummer but it didnt matter. IT was incredible. life changing conference. It was so cool because he was talking to our mission, I felt like he knew me so well, he was a lot more personal it was way cool, its cool how the apostles are when they talk to a smaller audience, especially missionarys. At first the skype session was going terrible, we couldnt hear anything. then us, and punta arenas knelt and prayed to god asking for him to help make it possible to listen to his apostol, minutes after we could hear perfectly, it was such a sweet, miracle. This week I have felt the spirit stronger then I have ever felt in my life. In every moment I can feel the truthfullness of my calling and of our church.

Ballard talked of the internalizing the simple doctrines and talking with EVERYONE, in every moment. I think thats great for members to understand as well, if we internalize the simple truths we believe then if we ever are faced with a time to talk to someone we can bring it to a gospel conversation with ease. The teachings of the restored gospel truly apply to all. in ANY moment.

He also talked about how each member of the church is simply a member, he mentioned that even apostles talk to people about the church in all moments, did you know that ballard served in england and stood and a high stand 720 times in his mission in plazas in front of tons of people. His daughter said that he talks to everyone about the church be it waitresses, or drivers. ANYONE. I also loved how he did practices. up at the stand he called over elder Rasband and they did a small practive of contacting an investigator. Even apostles like practicing. I loved it. He talked with so much power. As well he mentioned the power of the first vision, in all moments we should talk with confidence and tell the world what happened that morning in 1820.

He let president rappleye talk with hna rappleye talk after and the spirit was so strong, President said, I know this day changed our lives because it changed mine. He mentioned the principle of never stopping to progress. That repentance means change, and we either progress or degress.

But too compliment that amazing conference, this week we had numerous miracles. one was the audio recording of denny, an awesome guy here that was so prepared. As we testified to him of the first vision our first visit asking him if he believed it was true, he said before ever talking to the missionaries he read the book of mormon and felt something he couldnt explain, but he knew it was convincing evidence to be true. I have never met someone so prepared, and the funniest thing was that he first told us he was busy at the door, well the rest of the story of that experience is on the audio but here as well is the story in spanish, It was long and I had to write it for the history of the mission so here it is in spanish, maybe have dallan translate it or something haha.

este sabado, nosotros estabamos tocando puertas en un sector nueva, ese dia hablamos con tantas personas y hacia mucho calor, tocamos una puerta y salio un hombre. El nos conto que estaba ocupado en el momento pero por supuesto sigamos hablando con el. Hablamos de su trabajo y su familia, y de alli nos permitio pasar, El nos ofrecio jugo y cupcakes, el fue tan amable y empezamos a preguntarle muchas cosas, el nos conto que tiene muchas biblias y tiene un libro de mormon pero nunca tenia la oportunidad ni placer de compartir ni conocer misioneros, dijo su amigo de colegio hace años le dio un libro de mormon, pero igual su amigo le presto las enseñanzas de jose smith and le encantó. Empezamos a enseñarle la restauracion y durante le primera vision el espiritu fue lo mas fuerte que hemos sentido en nuestras misiones. El se acerco durante la primera vision y le preguntamos si el cree que Dios y jesucristo visitó a jose smith, El nos conto que hace años atras leyo el libro de mormon y sintio algo, y de alli no podia explicar lo que ha sentido, pero dijo que fue bien convencido que fue la verdad. Explicamos que eso fue el espiritu y invitamos a el para ser bautisado el 22 de marzo, el dijo al aprender mas que si por supuesto que si. Despues al final de la leccion el descargó la aplicacion de la iglesia para tener las escrituras en su iphone, el escogio las traducciones de la biblia por jose smith y estabamos un pocito hesitante porque esa seria un pocito mas profundo para explicar y al explicar bien sencillo el dijo, no ya se lo que es este, y yo he querido este por tanto tiempo, y se que la biblia ha sido cambiado y no es traducida correctamente, este es increible. No pudimos creer, el tambien quiso mirar un mensaje mormon de los padres. El acepto para venir a la iglesia, no assistio este domingo pero dijo proxima vez por supuesto. El espiritu fue increible. sabemos sin duda que el señor esta preparando sus hijos.

the lord has great things here in coyhaique, and we are working hard to make things possible, the book of mormon activity went great, an investigator came with his son and called us the next day and told us he wanted to watch a video about the book of mormon and said he has to read this book. He isnt very believing in god but told us he just doesnt understand why he feels so much peace in our church. We explained thats the spirit.

ha for a funny experience, since we talk to so much people we meet some awesome people interesting for sure but awesome. One group of people we contacted were from israel visiting to go camping (so many tourists here) they didnt speak spanish very well so we talked in english. They spoke hebrew though. They like matisyahu so we talked about that for a bit, then they taught me how to say my name is elder carter whats up? in hebrew haha, they were all so loving, we talked about prophets and how we have one today like they believe in moses. They got stoked about talking about that and we tried to schedule a time where we could visit them but they were just passing by. First time I taught jews on my mission, pretty cool stuff. The coolest part was we showed the photos that we have in our scriptures of there land and they got way stoked to see them. ha they then showed the holy land pìcture we have of juruselem but on there camera that they took because they live by there.

As well a hermano asked if we could help him b

uild and install a huge shelf in his room haha little did we know he just left us to do it, so we built a huge shelf from scratch, ill take a picture of it to show you.

But yep lots of stuff, love you guys a ton, hope all is well!!
Elder Carter

This is the famous Mate statue here in coyhaique

Monday, February 10, 2014

Getting my nature side on....with lots of work as well!

Hey guys! so This week was pretty crazy... Tuesday we had to travel to puerto aysen for our district meeting and it was way beautiful there and the district meeting went great, Lots of waterfalls and mountains, and rivers, and rain. it took about an hour to get there. Then when we got back from district meeting. We went to puerto cisnes ( a small pueblo 4 hours away from coyhaique) for 3 days to go on splits with them there as well as they are taking elders out of there and putting hermanas so we made sure the house was ready for sisters. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen on the way, Just pure green mountains with a huge river in the middle of a canyon on the way, as well hundreds of waterfalls in all parts of the mountains it was way sweet. We got there and it was so small!!! ha its a small place where basically only fishers live. I got down the sector after looking at a map for 5 minutes haha the splits went well everyone knows the missionaries there but we taught and had good excitement, elder spriggs was there 8 months ago so we visited some people that he taught it was way sweet, one family that had  had so many miracles with the missionaries a long time ago (one of them being elder Gomez... yo visite claudia y jose elder gomez!!!! ja tan loco que hace 4 meces a tras estabamos hablando de ellos) but it was way sweet, we brought the spirit so strong in that room to the point where everyone was crying, they knew they had to return and stay strong, enduring to the end sure isnt easy, especially when you have to wait to get married til you can get baptized and recieive the companionship of the spirit. It rained a ton there though, in the morning we ran to a ship grave yard about 2 miles away, ha I cant believe I was able to ran so far, I died though, we are starting to run thought a lot in the morning, but it was funny I got to know the small city like 10 times during the intercambio cause its so small. But good stuff.

We got back thursday and we were dead from waking up at 5 to leave towards coyhaique, that morning we had to bring supplies and open up the church for president and the missionaries who had their interviews. president came for 3 days to do the interviews and other business.

Friday we had to buy supplies for all the sectors (like mattresses and pillows) they have a nice store here called sodimac I was impressed how nice it was. That took all the morning but then we were able to have a good work day after that. We watched the restoration with an investigator and a member family at the church. The spirit was super strong and we were excited, it was the same guy that came with his son the other day. After it ended he said he thought it was a good movie, and then started saying he didnt believe in god and hated religions, and said he respects our church but thinks having restrictions on man are dumb, so it didnt go as well as we wanted but he said he was down to keep sharing with us as well we are doing a service for him, but kindve a bummer we thought he was more believing in god and religion. tried to explain it like a son and his parents, rules and guidance from parents is healthy, and our heavenly father does it to help us know the path, but always letting us choose and see our own mistakes.

We had some other awesome work days as well continuing to find people, one guy we found was so cool, we enter his house and he just starts talking to us, he only let us in because we had good animo and were loving. He then just started asking SOOOO MANY QUESTIONS. just about our family, where we are from, why we are here, for about 40 minutes just asking us stuff. we tried to ask him something or talk about God and he wouldnt let us, I am all about getting to know people but this was too much for my patience. We were about to give up but we just kept using how to begin teaching and talked about our missions and what we want to do with life and an hour later next thing you know we are teaching the restoration and he tells us all about his family and life, and he let us read from the scriptures. (usually we never stay so long in  a house but there are rare occasions. It was so cool how big of a change we saw in this man. He told us there is no doubt that God is with us at the end, ending with a prayer he siad he would read the pamphlet we left behind.

Had another interview with president it went well,
as well Sunday we had an awesome awesome activity where everyone from our district invited all the return missionarys to the church and we had them present themselves and then we separated in 3 groups and did brainstorms of how we could improve 1 conversion 2 retention, and 3 reactivation IT went very well, all ages of the people were so stoked to talk about their missions and their success stories and it gave so many great ideas for the district and us to improve our mission plan. Things go so much better and the the excitement from the wards and branches is so much stronger when the ideas come from them.

As well today we went on a sweet sweet trip to this huge hill by coyaique, its in a small national park, and it only took 15 min in car to get at the entrance, it took 1 hour and 30 min to climb it, and it was so beautiful, it was soooo green and their were so many amazing scenary, I am so blessed to serve in such an amazing place, ha im sure it looks sometimes that Im just going on a ton of trips right ;)

Well lots of things right haha it was an awesome week, for cambios me and my comp are staying here, and half of the zone will be new, so we are excited to get this cambio started with good animo.

Love you a ton take care!

A couple fotos from our paseo today, as well as a picture from cisnes (boat garveyard)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Awesome Week

Hey Family! So this week so many things happened it was crazy

First off an hermano from ecuador offered to clean our teeth for free so that was nice, always scared of dentists but cleaning teeth is something simple I think ha but way cool to get a clean.
As well that night I had a medical problem that involved me needing a penicilin shot and we got the presrption to buy the siringe and everything, it was a big needle and we got permission because my companion did some work with paramedics before to recieve the shot. hahah so my comp gave me a shot, but everything went well! just was a shot that put a lot of medicine in me so it hurt prettyt dang bad for a couple days haha but all is well.
Martes we stacked soooo much firewood, I think the most firewood ive stacked in a long time, It took about 4 hours to move it to the shed and stack it with 4 of us. It was pretty crazy we were wiped after, That same day we went to the country where a member lived his house was super sweet, he built it all and it had an amazing view of coyhaique and the mountains surrounding the city, I took a couple for ya, ha one was a picture my comp took of me when I was playing a cultural drum from argentina, trying to be one with nature;) but its beautiful right? The noche de hogar went awesome we had it with a recent convert and her mom who isnt a member, it was a great time.

We are teaching a ton, my comp and I are so shocked at how much we are teaching, he said before they werent teaching very much and now we are finding every day and teaching about 5 lessons a day, we want to find people so bad and the lords helping us. Now we just need people that can progress.

One day was funny, we are really trying to involve all the members even the ones that are less active, we invited a less active member to come with us to teach some people, it was an appointment with a lady from brasil and her family, I can tell immediately when they are from brasil and I can speak a couple phrases to them in portuguese but nothing really, but the appointment fell and we were with the member so we just had to improvise and try to find some people, we knocked some doors with him and they didnt treat us very well, the member started saying things like when I left with the members we always entered doors hahah and we were getting a little anxious to just find a house so this member could be excited to come with us next time, I prayed so hard in my head that we could find someone in that moment, the next house we knocked we ended up teaching a lesson of the restauration for about 30 minutes at his door in english it was my first time teaching in english. he was a helicopter pilot from santiago chile and grew up in south africa way intelligent guy, cool lesson, the member lit up as we taught cause he loves english, doesnt understand a bit but loves it, as we ended he told us next week for sure I will leave with you guys, we saw that as our first miracle of the week.

This sector has so much potencial its awesome. We started the week off great and had one of the most spritual zone councils I have had on the mission, We really want our zone to get the wisdom (Correct application) to what was talked in the leader council. Each district will have a book of miracles that they will write in before the reunion de distrito starts each week. We saw so many miracles this week it was amazing.

 In our sector we had to head to one part but before we went to the bathroom in the church, it popped in my head to call a man we met in the rain a couple days before and remind him of the church sunday. He said he couldnt come because of another commitment, but wanted to come, we then asked him if we could do something for him, he said what we were doing at that moment, and we said we could pass by, he said his house was dirty so we offered if we wanted to come to the church in that moment to get to know us more and the church and he said sure ill be there in 30 minutes. and then we heard him calling his son to come with him, we immediately called 2 members to come and we had a tour of the church, and his son was a 10 year old super excited about the church.We were so greatful for the lord to give us people prepared. The members took him home and we now have a great relationship with this guy and his family.

 We modified the verification for the district leaders and made small adjustments to get better at the horario and its worked wonders, the elders in our house are awesome and with some small adjustments and excitement things are looking great.

Sunday we found an awesome guy that lives with his wife and kid and he is super nice, he gave us cake and water soda or club soda Im not sure what its called but I know grandma loves it haha (super popular here I hated it b4 the mission but now thatI drink it so much It is growing on me) and then we taught him the restauration, he is way down to keep learning and offered the prayer the first visit, we are stoked to keep finding people to grow,

I also have really been reading the pamphlets we give to the people and loving them, I love the simplecity of our message and its helped me so much in our lives. I also have so much peace with the scriptures, as we read more about our savior we recieve that peace.

Thanks so much for all your prayers, hope all is well!

 my comp giving me a shot haha