Monday, November 25, 2013

This week is nuts

So yeah, this week is nuts. Super fast, super busy. What in the world is going ON?

1.) We finally baptized Agustin! That was probably one of the best moments ever! I was so happy for him. But, I completely failed as a senior companion. Here's what went down.

As the senior companion, I'm in charge of basically everything for the baptism. Invitations, program, filling the font, everything. I completely and totally failed. I invited like, 2 families, and neither of them showed up so only the family of Agustin was there. I felt super sad because our ward wasn't there to support him. Also, I didn't make the program very well, so the program was a little bad. Also, the boiler in our chapel is just straight up dead, so we don't have ANY hot water at ALL. Poor Brother A. Still cold water. We gotta fix that. I mean, that's just off the top of my head. I wrote down around 15-20 things that I just completely spaced and I was a complete failure as a companion. But, that night, I sat down at my desk and began to write every mistake I made.

I resolved that I would learn from those mistakes, and never again in my mission will I have such a failure of a baptismal service. Brother A really appreciated it, and for that, I completely felt humbled, but I will never let the baptismal service end up the way it did again. I will not fail.

2.) Dad, did you get sick on Thanksgiving? Every single year you told me that you get sick around Thanksgiving so that you can't taste the food? Did you hold out this year?

3.) Okay, so now that those things are out of the way, I'm gonna talk about cool stuff that happened this week.

First, I got a visit from Grandpa! That was probably the happiest moment of my mission so far. The baptisms and all of that were great, and I was super happy, but now that I see someone from my family, and I was able to share with him the joy that I felt, and he was able to see it, I cannot TELL you how incredibly happy I was.

In Alma, there's an experience when Ammon meets with Alma after converting the peopel of Anti-Nephi-Lehi. The joy he had was so full, so incredibly obsolete that it exhausts his strength and he can no longer stand. That is how I felt when I saw my kind and loving Grandfather. Never in my life have I felt the joy I experienced. I have felt happy. I have felt super glad to have done things. I have experienced much joy in my life, but nothing. Not Jive, not piano, not football games, not family reunions, not wake boarding, not ANYTHING can compare to how I felt when I saw Grandpa.

Family, a mission is more than anyone can possibly comprehend to me. I'm still green. I'm still in training. i have barely 4 months in the mission, and already, my mission means more to me than anything else in my entire life.

That was a great experience.



I am just so STOKED right now it's incredible!

Great week. Great week family.

I'm over my time, but it's okay because I'm uploading photos and I had a lot of phone calls during my internet time. >:D

1.) Agustin's Baptism! WOOOOOOO!
2.) The top of the hill to go down to Buena Vista. It's really big. Like, biggest hill in our sector.
3.) There's a little girl that got REALLY sick a few days ago. Her name is Jessie Navarro. She had convulsions and was like, really in trouble. She recovered and is back to normal, but she really likes playing with me for some reason. I don't know why, but every time we visit, she's always trying to get me to play with her toys and stuff. She's super awesome. This photo is a picture of a painting she made for me. Can i get a frame or something to put it in? I want to keep it.

I'm really bad at taking photos. I know. But seriously, I wish there was like, a video camera in my brain so that I could record my entire mission for you guys. It's nuts how awesome it is here.

Anyway, I gotta get going. Before I go:

Anyone have questions for me? If you have ANY questions, make a list of them and email me! I LOVE answering questions. It lets me share the specifics that YOU want with you. I hope you guys are all well, and that you've had a good week.

Keep up the good work family. I'm working hard here, and I know you're working hard there. WORK THROUGH THE PAIN. FEEL THE BURN! THE BURN OF THE SPIRIT. THE LORD WILL PROVIDE

And all that jazz.

Love you. No seriously, I love you. STOP LAUGHING I'M TRYING TO HAVE A HAPPY TIMES HERE.

But yeah, really. I love you all to bits.

Elder Carter

Monday, November 18, 2013



Okay, great. So, everyone form an orderly line to know who my companion is, because I know that you guys are biting, scratching, stabbing, shooting, and every other good gospel practice just to get to the computer screen first to read the name of my new companion. And his name is.....

Elder Romero! He's from Mexico City, Mexico! He's been on his mission for a total of 3 weeks today! He doesn't speak ANY English. Like, Elder Ponce understood a LOT of it, but Elder Romero, I ask him how he is in English and he literally doesn't know what I said. He wants to learn though, so I'm going to teach him all that I can, and I have my ways.... I have my ways.... MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

So yeah, that's whats up wid dat jank.

I've finally started picking up Spanish on a native level. Like, I still can't speak like a native, but I'm starting to be able to speak like a native a little. For the most part, I'm starting to understand that it's better to use the infinitive form of a verb in most situations than the gerund form.

Infinitive form in English is like: to run. The Gerund form in English is like: running.

In Spanish, it sounds really bad to say something like: I like running. In Spanish, that translates to: Me gusta corriendo.

That just sounds bad. It's better to say: I like to run. Me gusta correr.

So little intricacies like that are starting to stick, and DANG I love speaking Spanish. Did I ever tell you guys that? yeah. I llove it. I feel like I'm speaking in code with someone else. I can tell jokes now. I can explain funny things now. I can FINALLY BE FUNNY IN SPANISH. HOLY COW I MISSED THAT.

Okay, enough with that. Time for good occurrences:

1.) I got my companion. You have a bazillion questions for him, so I'll just let you guys ask them.

2.) My companion on his 3rd day in the field got bitten by a dog! Like, I just sat there and watched because I didn't know what to do. I'm just a dumb gringo I don't even know if I'm saying "Hello how are you?" correctly. Poor guy. He's tough though, and kinda just shook it off.

3.) We're going to baptize Agustin this week!


I don't think anyone will ever be able to fully comprehend how incredibly awesome it is to baptize him. When we started talking with him, it was SO hard to imagine him being baptized. The Atonement of Jesus Christ changed this man so much it's crazy. He probably one of the kindest men I've met here in Tijuana, and seriously, he has never looked happier. When we met him, he had problems with coffee, and his family was a little hard for him to get a long with. Eventually, after meeting with us, his family problems resolved. He read the book of mormon a TON. Like seriously, I think he read like, 20 chapters in one day if I remember right. like, he's going to finish the LdM in about a month. It's just absolutely insane how prepared he his. I'm so stoked to see him in those waters.

4.) We finally have permission to street contact, and man, it's hard. You gotta try and find the right people. So far, I've contacted about 8 people, and 6 lived in Rosarito. Seriously. 6. Super bad luck. Dunno how that happened.

But anyway, can someone ask Tom what his methods are for street contacting? I have only one, which is to write down certain Colonias and then ask if the people know where they are. After that, I ask if they live here, and then after that if they've talked with missionaries. Basically that's all I've goty right now. Super weird right? Anyway, yeah. If I could get some tips for that from Tom, Dad, Aunt Kari, anyone who has ideas, just lay 'em on me. I'm willing to try anything.

5.) I'm really the senior companion now. It's super scary. I have to do everything right or else it just doesn't get done. I'm praying a lot, and I'm honestly hoping that I can set a good example. It's really hard sometimes to be the fall back guy, but dang, I'm learning a TON.

Alright, I gotta terminate my email now. (Terminar) I'll talk to you guys later.

Con afan, amor, y a veces un poco frustrado con su espanol,

Elder Carter

1.) My new companion and I!
2.) Hermana Maria de Jesus and Carolina when they were baptized
3.) A branch of platanos that Sarah has. I thought they were really cool.

More photos will be coming, I'm just kinda struggling a little bit to remember to do that because I'm constantly thinking about what I'm doing, where we need to go, and what we're going to teach or do. Constantly constantly constantly trying to do everything.

Don't worry though, I'm not gonna die I don't think. As far as I know, I'm gonna be just fine, but we'll see. The Lord is doing a lot to help me, and I've seen His Hand more times in this week than I have in weeks past. It's really cool.

So, I think what I'll do is just talk a little about what we actually do with investigators so that you guys can understand.

We, as missionaries, are just in the ward to help it with the work of salvation. We are there to do the things that the members cannot. One of the things they can't do is teach lessons, so that's what we do.

There are 5 lessons in total, with lessons 4 and 5 broken up into parts.
Lesson 1: The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Lesson 2: The Plan of Salvation
Lesson 3: The Gospel of Jesus Christ
Lesson 4: The Commandments
Lesson 5: Laws and Ordinances

Each lesson has specific points that MUST be taught in order for a person to pass the baptismal interview.

As I said, they have to pass the baptismal interview to be baptized right? So each lesson has specific points that people must know in order to pass this interview. The points are as follows:
Lesson 1: God is our Heavenly Father, The Gospel Blesses Families, God has revealed his Gospel through Prophets, Jesus Christ established his church, the Grand Apostasy, The Restoration through Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, How to know the truth
Each one of those points has other points that have to be explained so that a person understands what they are doing.
Each lesson has points like that, and so as the senior companion, I have to make sure that they are all taught. Sometimes that doesn't happen, and I have to reteach what my companion taught so that they understand.

For that reason, it's really hard to be the senior companion.

I have been on the computer for 1:10 minutes, so I need to leave now. Thanks for your support, your encouragement, and your prayers. Keep up the good work fam. You guys got this.

Elder Carter
I really do love you. When I say that, I really do mean it. Like, it ain't no joke.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Last Day of Transfers

Okay, I gotta type fast. I got 7 minutes. Here we go:

1.) We had another baptism! 2 actually! A woman and her daughter. Hermana Maria de Jesus and Carolina. I don't have the pictures because I forgot to bring the cable to upload them, so I'll get them to you guys next week.

So, during the baptism a few things happened that were hilarious. First, we had to fill the font, but the boiler to heat the water is broken, so it was icy cold. As we were filling the font, the water was yellow. The font was so dirty that it was almost brown. So, after about 30 minutes of filling it, we had to drain it and start over, after cleaning the font a little. After we cleaned it, we had to start filling it with pitchers of water that we had. There was also a hose, and we took a garbage can, removed the bag, and poured water in it with the hose to take it to the font. It takes about 1:30 to fill the font, and we did it in 30 minutes with our little pitchers of water. Literally pitchers. Like, to drink. yeah. Fun times.

The water was green too. We don't exactly know why. So yeah, that happened, and then Carolina, who was baptized by Elder Ponce, had to be baptized 3 times. The first 2 times, her clothing and hand were above the water. The last time, during the prayer, she was shaking so badly that everyone could see it. Pobrecita.

2.) I've recently started to get into reading Jesus the Christ. What a book. Never in my life have I learned more about the Savior. It's crazy cool. I love reading about the scientific evidence, or why something is significant, or explanations about stuff. It's awesome.

3.) Tuesday and Wednesday I had the darkest time I've ever had on my mission. The realization that I was going to train, and the idea that I would have to do everything myself shut me down. I didn't want to do anything. Not sleep, not eat, not work, not read. Nothing. I was a disaster. Thankfully, Elder Ponce gave me a blessing and after a day, these feelings left. It was seriously the scariest thing I've ever felt in my life, and I felt as though I was falling into a really deep depression that I was never going to escape.


It was announced Saturday, and I'm getting my new companion in an hour. I hope I can do everything required. If not, I know the Lord will help me. My best is all I can give, and if it's not good enough, the Lord makes up the difference.

Love you all. Really. Just like, imagine a really big thing, but bigger, and that's how much I love everybody.

Elder Carter

Monday, November 4, 2013



I'm so extremely happy right now I can't even describe it. I've got so much to say about it but I can't really say it because none of that matters.

I SAW THE TEMPLE! In person! It's pink! (Seriously. I don't understand why it's pink, but it's pink) and working it's way up. I'm so excited to see it starting to take shape! Many members are starting to realize that the Temple is a reality and that it can bring blessings. There have been many talks on the Temple here in my ward, and I've been able to bear my testimony and promise many blessings to people in our priesthood group.

This week was really quite bad. We had probably 20-25 lessons planned with members present, and we ended up with 8 total.

Yeah. It was awful.

We had cita (appointment. Cita is faster to type.) after cita after cita fall through, and eventually, we ran out of stuff to do. This happened about 3 times this week.

It was really rough for us. I don't know why, but I know that the Lord wanted me to learn something.

Also this week, we had Agustin's baptismal date fall through. In order for a person to be baptized, they need to go at least 5 times to church, and 4 if it's reasonable that they couldn't go one time. He has gone 3 times, and he missed 1, so we had the chance to baptize him still if he only had 4. He didn't come this week. We have to visit him again. If he slept in, we can't baptize him. If he actually had something come up that's reasonable, we can still do it. We're praying hardcore for this man. I have seen his life change before my very eyes.

When I first met this man, I'll be honest, I was kinda scared. He has a tattoo of a ring on his hand, and he is pretty buff. I was actually pretty intimidated the first time I met him.

During the lessons, he seemed interested, and he was honestly trying to do whatever we asked him. He is one of the kindest people I've met, and I started to grow to love him.

Eventually, he agreed to be baptized. (There was a problem that he had to fix with something I don't exactly remember, and he fixed it). I remember when I saw him after that. I was on exchanges with the Zone Leaders, so he agreed to be baptized when I was on that exchange. I was a little mad.

I saw him two days after that, and he was a completely different person. He laughed more, he was more open, and he was completely and totally changed. The Atonement of Jesus Christ has saved this man, and I will never be able to comprehend what must have taken place.

He is my investigator that I am most happy to see baptized. We have worked with him, read with him, and talked with him about almost everything in the Church that there is, and he's finally going to be able to make this covenant with God and show his faith. I'm so happy I can't stand it.

Also, Elder Ponce and I are about done as companions. This is our last week together, and to be honest, I've got mixed feelings.

Elder Ponce has speech impediments that really drive me insane. I've prayed a lot these 3 months to have patience and charity with him, and I've actually had quite a bit of it. I've been able to grow to love him just like everyone else.

He's got a certain way of doing things, and anything different is just dumb in his eyes, so everything we've done so far is basically his ideas. I've been also praying for humility, so that I can accept that he knows more than I do and be willing to follow what he tells me.

He is also very aware of others. He knows a lot about other people, especially our investigators. He can tell you where everyone works, what time they leave to go to work, and when they return. He can tell you where they live, what they do for fun, and pretty much he could live their lives. It's pretty nuts.

Anyway, he's got a lot of problems, but I've got a lot too. I really don't need to go on more.

When we switch, I'm going to have to be the Senior companion, maybe. Dunno yet. But, if I am the senior companion, I'm really scared. I honestly don't know much Spanish. I'm finding that sure, I can understnad about everything, and I can pretty much talk to people just fine, but MAN, I don't know any Spanish. I'm using the same phrases all the time, and I'm constantly lost when there's stuff I'm unfamiliar with.

Anyway, yeah. He's been a good companion, and to be honest, it's going to be hard to just leave 3 months behind me like that.

I really don't want to talk about it right now. This is the last week. Gotta finish strong.


Elder Carter