Monday, July 28, 2014

The best investment one can make

To start off this week was incredible, I wanted this last week to be something special and it was. Like the rest of the weeks I had the desire to talk to EVERYONE. And to help them come unto christ. This week was incredible, I think ill start off with the best activity I had done yet on the mission. Our activity that we called "ayekantun" which is "fun" in mapudogun (native language) It was a competition of dishes that are tasty, cheap, and creative. We spent a month planning and spreading the word, everyone said in this small branch the activities never turn out and we wanted to show them that they can. SO... we made awesome papers for the members and investigators to fill out their dish, how much it cost, the ingredients, and how do you prepare it, and talked to everyone multiple times getting them excited, we made sweet certificates and assigned judges (one was the hilarius matrimonio biggs, who are a marriage couple missionarys. as well as 2 hermanos to judge the food, 50 PEOPLE came!!!! we were so stoked, 15 investigatos mas o menos and 35 members. Everyone was loving the activitiy, I also did what grandma carter did with putting candy in a jar and having them guess to win it, and that was a hit! Everyone was participating, I did a banana bread that turned out super rico:) ha but it didnt win
:( we invited one old man to come that we contacted in the street that had 90 years old and he came! haha he liked one plate and ate that no mas it was super funny, I put photos of the activity.

As I bore my testimony in front of this branch of 35 I couldnt hold back the tears, I love branches, I got to know very well each and every one of these members, The branch president thanked my work in front of all the members and said some words super super nice towards me, as well recieved a call from the district president thanking me for the work we have been doing for his district. And he wants to stay in contact in facebook and skype haha, As I bore my testimony of the mission the spirit filled the room and I felt love for each and every one of the people there and the people I have met, my last days of the week I set aside a couple hours to do pure contacts (my love of the mission) and we entered a house  and found an awesome man that was excited to get to know the restoration.

Another amazing thing that happened is the older man that had 83 years old that we invited to be baptized and accepted last week came to church!!!!!!!!! as I bore my testimony he started to cry and gave me a hug saying he was going to miss me, I let him know my companion and the elder that would come would be there for him as well the branch.
AS WELL! a hermano we had been struggling with to get him to get the priesthood that was a recent convert that I told you finally recieved it, blessed the sacrament for his first time in the meeting. I was so greatful to see so much changes I truly have a testimony of the atonement because I have seen it in the lives of others.

Well I wont say more until we see each other in person. Love you guys so much and I cant expres how greatful I am for my family, you guys are amazing, thanks for your prayers, support, and letters you have sent me this 2 years of my life. I love the mission and its gonna be hard to leave this great place,
I called denny and talked to him and might be able to see him in santiago but we will see:)

Love you guys so so so much, this truly is the truth, the everlasting gospel, that heals the wounded and cures the broken hearts that all mankind has, Jesus Christ is our savior and in this time I have gotten to know him on a more personal level, He loves us so much, and through him we can be changed, I have been changed by his atonement and I have seen the changes he has had in others. We can share many things to people but what it all comes down to us the atonement of christ, We are saved by his grace after all we can do. Love you mom, and dad, kristy, dalan, blake, erin, grandma june, etc You truly have made an impact on my life and supported me in this time. well the last letter of the mission, hope that you could feel a piece of the spirit  that I feel daily as you have read my letters.

Love you tons
Elder Carter

heres some photos of the activity we did

Monday, July 21, 2014

I Love the mission:)

Well this week was awesome. I think I can start saying it will be hard to leave for me. Here in Lanco its a smaller pueblo so you get to know a fair share of all the people here and like 2 months ago Me and my companion talked to this man of 83 years old. I ran into him this week and we invited him to see if he would like to come to the church later that day. He agreed, he was excited cause he liked to talk to us, he looks more like he has 60 or 70. He walked all the way to the church and we gave one of the best tours I have ever had. At the picture of josephs smiths first vision as I told him the first vision the spirit filled the room, I testified that God the father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and called him to be a prophet. I then testified to him the 3rd member of the Godhead is the holy ghost, and that he doesnt have a body so he can dwell within us. I told him without a doubt in my mind the spirit was there present telling him this was true. His appearence changed and he smiled and said I have a lot of questions to ask. He later told us, wow to become mormon I will have to be taught more from you guys but I like what I see. I have been catholic all my life but I want to learn more about this. We invited him to be baptized the 16th of august as a goal and he accepted, We walked him back home and I felt the spirit so strong, I did not want to leave lanco, I want to stay so bad to keep teaching him,

Later that night we went to a appointment we had with a couple, we knocked on the door and they werent there but the fire was on, we felt like we should go to the house of  the mom of the husband because he gave us a reference to go visit her so we went to go buy eggs there (acting like we were on our way to the noche de hogar) there we asked her if she had seen her soon and his wife and she said no, right then they called us and told us sorry cause they just woke up from a nap and to come, we then promised the mom we would return the next day with brownies. we watched the video of the restoration with the couple. After the video ended we bore our testimonies and the member that came with us testified as well. The spirit was so strong they couldnt deny it. We made brownies with them and then gave them the next day to his mom, this couple is super super awesome, we just got to find a way to get the wife to get excited to go to church. The activity saturday will be a good way to get her excited.

Im super super happy, we are working hard and im just enjoying each moment, My last day in my last sector is next tuesday then I have to go to osorno, so this week im giving the lord my all. I have mixed feelings obviously, I love the people here and I am filled with joy that I have given my all. I have no regrets.

I gave a talk this sunday and I feel so comfortable at the podium, I love testifying to this branch of how much I love them and this gospel. I talked about how even though I have seen so many miracles in my mission I talked about the question many people have is .... why does god sometimes not heal me, or answer my prayers, or give me success? I talked about the brother of jared, and how if we never had opposition we could never test our patience, diligence, love, etc. I have learned so much this past 2 years, gained many new brothers sisters and friends. I have seen people come closer to God, change their lives, and be changed by this gospel. I love my mission and all that it has done for me and for the people here in chile. Thanks so much family for your support and for helping me become the person I am today, Love you so much. Take care this week:)

Elder Carter

Monday, July 14, 2014

hand of the lord each and every day

Wow I cant tell you how cool this week was. We had some awesome experiences this week. We had some stuff going on in our zone and decided to do 2 divisions this week, the first one was in the town by our sector called san jose. I went with elder nielson and it was one of the coolest days ever. We talked to EVERY person that came in our way and EVERY person was super receptive. One of the coolest people was a man named cristian, it was super super cold that day and as we stopped him he stopped completely and we talked there for about 30 minutes, we talked about him and his work, as well our missions, then the question came to him... " are you guys catholic or evangelical" we smiled and said at the same time "neither" we explained the restoration and his eyes opened, the spirit was there and he was very interested, we testified of how we came to know these things and invited him to get baptized, he accepted the invitation and set up a time the elders could pass by,
late that night we saw 3 teenagers playing basketball and elder nielson said one was a less active I said we should go over and we went and shot a run a bit and then we challenged the 3 to a game 2 against 3, We put a bet on the line that if we win they have to go to church sunday, and we WON!! ha they got super tense at the end of the game cause they did not want to wake up early but was way fun haha all the kids around in the neighborhood began watching us, Id imagine that would be a good show two white boys with untucked white shirts and ties going hard against three jovenes.

Earlier in the week for our weekly noche de hogar with the familia huaquimilla and their friend we made popcorn for them while they watched the testaments and at the end the spirit was way strong, their friend started to cry from the spirit and we shared to her that this is why we put so much emphasis on the book of mormon, and invited her to get baptized, she accepted but needs to get permission from her parents. are main goal with her is to meet her parents even though they live in the country.

haha other sweet sweet experience is we were returning from our intercambio in panguipuilli which is like an hour away and in the middle of lanco and panguipulli its pure country except a small small town. As we were passing the small small town I got the strongest impression to get off the bus, which would make no sense cause we were heading to lanco to eat lunch. But we past the town and I continued to have this strong strong impression, I asked god if we should and I got the same feeling, so....... We got off the bus! in the middle of the country, there was only like 2 farm houses to the right of house so we went and knocked one of the doors and answered a friendly old lady, we asked if we could sing her a song and came out her daughter and her grandson and we sang and taught them 3, they never had met mormons before so that was way fun. Then we saw a very country lady struggling to fix her barbed wire fence, so we helped her, she couldnt read ni talk very good but loved that we were there, she invited us in to eat or for some tea (ha everyone loves tea and coffee here) but we had to get going, I had the impression that I did what the spirit wanted me to do, kinda fun!

ha maybe one mroe that I can tell you is remember that old member we passed by with the relief society!? we pass by him like once a week to read and sometimes for the sacrament, As we went to pass by him we saw some other grandpas that we had passed by and I got the great idea to invite them to come visit the hermano we always visit that has to remain in the bed because he always says not that much visit him. They got excited and went with us. It was a hit with the hermano! he loved the company and his neighnors loved learning a little more about what we believe. ha they all were like 90 years old It was a super cool.

As well one recent convert here was super nervous to bless the sacrament so we invited him and his wife to come with us to bless it for this hermano in the retirement home, he agreed and the spirit was so strong as he blessed it for his first time, everyone was filled with tears and as they left they said "oh elder please tell me when you go to visit people that need help I felt the spirit so strong I would love to go again", the hermano as well smiled and said "I felt the spirit so strong as I blessed the sacrament"

Much much more but Ill refrain so I can tell you more later on... im just super stoked to work, im just so greatful to work here, I feel like the lord is working miracles here each day.

Love you guys a ton,

Elder Carter

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sprinting at the end of a marathon:)

Wow I cant tell you how greatful I am to be a missionary in this time. I enjoy each and every moment of this great work. This week was crazy busy and flew by super fast. We had interviews this week in los lagos with the new president. He is from mexico and about half the size of president rappleye haha but amazing. He is super excited for the work and super super nice. He has a very strong mexican accent and uses words that i have never heard of. It will be fun returning and talking in spanish from mexico.

We had some awesome experiences this week. I always get bummed when we have to travel a ton for leader council (3 hours to osorno) and de vuelta. And I prayed to God asking that we could have some spiritual experiences during all this time gone from our sector. We left thursday and I got permission to return to my old sector in los laureles in osorno. As we visited I got to say hi to the mamita there! and tatan! who is going to serve in california. He left with us and I wanted to have a night where I could return and have an impact on someone I already taught. Tatan had the great idea to visit Pedro and Carmen a couple that is waiting for the divorce papers to be finished from pedros last marriage so they can get married. They have been getting super bummed and frustrated with how much time it has taken and the missionaries there had asked a lot about the papers so he got mad and didnt let them come in to his house in that moment, When I knocked the door he said "im busy im busy!" until he recognized it was me, and I said "I came back to osorno just to you guys a visit!" His eyes filled with joy and he let us in. We gave an awesome lesson about the scripture where  king benjamin mentions how the families put their tents toward the temple and listened to him speak, we talked how if the temple is in their sight for the future then they are in the right track and the lord will continue to bless them. We testified of the importance of making goals to continue on the path to the temple and they felt the spirit strong. He told me the papers would be coming soon and soon after they would prepared to get baptized. It was an awesome experience to come back to my old sector.

Another sweet experience was when I was on the bus coming back to our sector. While I got on the bus I prayed asking to have an opportunity to share the gospel. This man soon after sat next to me and looked way tired. I had the impression to talk to him and all I got out of him was where he was going then like a rock he was out sleeping. The whole way there I had the impression to give him a book of mormon but had no Idea how to do it smoothly. I had the impression to put some Im a mormon cards that had some questions like "where do we go after this life" and I put them in certain pages highlighting the answers in the book. After doing a couple I looked over and he was still sleeping! and we were getting close to where he had to get off. But the impression was stronger, I had to talk to this man, so I bumped him and asked if he knew the distance from san jose to lanco. He responded and was about to sleep again so I just said "here take this! I felt the impression to give you this book because it has changed my life." ha he looked at it with interest and didnt take it weird at all. Actually it broke the ice and for the last 10 minutes of the trip we talked about his family and my mission. I invited him to meet with the missionaries in san jose and had a nice confirmation that I did what the spirit had directed me to do.

I promised the new president I would do what a runner does at the end of a marathon, SPRINT. I know the lord will guide me to the people I need to teach in this time. In our consejo de lideres I had a humbling confirmation from the spirit that I will forever be learning in my life, and that I still have so much more to learn. I am greatful for the lord in reminding me always that the only way to become like our savior is to give our hearts to him, and im dedicated in this time to do what he wants me to do. There is no better joy then INVITING someone to come to christ. and HELPING them achieve what we invite. I love these people.

The president gave me a chance to testify to the elders in our zone, and as I testified of our savior and the mission that he has called me to serve I was filled with his spirit. I have so much love for the elders I serve with and each and every person we teach daily. Thanks for your prayers love you guys a ton:) and HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA! your truly an inspiration to me, thanks for writing me each week, I wish you the best today:)

Elder Carter