Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Week 2

That´s what it feels like. Week 2. I´ve already passed an entire transfer as a secretary. But it´s only been one week. Nuts.

A few days ago, we had a problem with the cards of the mission, and so I had to stay in the offices all day for 3 days in a row, and then a 4th because my companion had to stay one day. So I had a total of like, 8 hours in my sector this week. It kinda made me sad because I wanted to test out my Fourth Missionary skills. But no... Sadly I was unable this week.

So, investigators! We actually found around 10 new people, but none of them had another appointment in which they were there. So... yeah. Kinda depressing, but I can´t lose faith. I found 10 people! Miracle from the 0 from before!

Here´s the investigators that actually "exist" right now:

Hermana G: HAD a baptismal date for this Saturday, but she fell down some stairs at work and FRACTURED HER ARMS. No joke. She now can´t get her arms wet, and therefore cannot be baptized.... 

Hermano M: Progressing like a boss. Basically set up to be baptized in April. Going to be married and everything. I´m so excited to see him progress! He´s super awesome.

That´s about it right now. We´re still looking.... >:D

Okay, so... cool stuff this week...

1.) Elder L left! He´s no longer an assistant to the President. I´m gonna miss this kid. But I´m going to see him after so no biggie. One of the pictures is with him.

2.) The ceiling in the offices caved in. No joke. I took pictures of that too. Apparently it was just full of water or something and then fell because it was too much weight for the fragile tile. Pretty great stuff.

3.) I found a church that´s like a shed with a tarp over it. It´s so funny. There´s a bunch of churches like this in other poorer areas. Kinda sad, but hilarious at the same time. Pictured below as well.

4.) My watch broke!

Okay, I´m defining "broke" as I was walking and it just fell apart. Still works, and I glued it together, but that watch that Andy gave me I just don´t think it´s gonna hold out much longer. (hint hint haha)

5.) Our ward missionary leader is basically dead. Like, I think he´s past his due date or something, because he´s been in the hospital for about a week now. Poor guy. Maybe his diabetes is catching up with him. Dunno.

I really can´t think of anything cool to write to you guys so I guess I´m just gonna give you what I can remember. Dunno. Maybe if you guys gave me like, ideas on what I need to tell you, I can get a better idea of what it is you´re looking for.

Okay, so yeah. That´s this week. Pretty uneventful because of the stinkin offices. Working on a computer never felt so aggravating. XD

Hasta luego familia!

Elder Carter

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Whole Mission

This is a picture of the whole mission.  Follow the red arrow to find Coby.

Grandpa Carter and President Carreon

Monday, March 10, 2014

Elder Carter goes to the US

Hello, my family and friends. It was just a fantastic week this week full of utter enjoyment.

Let me start this with investigators, and progress and stuff like that.

Sister G - We're going to baptize her very soon. She´s more faithful than some of the members... Super awesome lady. Just gotta work on her coffee addiction....

Brother M - He's progressing really well. They have plans to get married, and plan to be married by April. We´re praying that we can baptize him after conference.

That´s all we've got. Sister P really hasn´t talked to us, and we can´t get a hold of her. Oh well, we´ll see her later if the Lord says we need to help her out.

Okay, so, as you´ve guessed from the Subject of this email, I crossed, for the first time in 8 months, the border between the United States and Mexico to enter a world that I assumed I would only view from hilltops for the next 2 years.

I was thinking I was going to wait until the end of the email to describe it, but I don´t think you guys will read it very well because you´ll just be thinking about what I said about the U S of A. So, I´ll just get into it.


Whenever we have people from the States that leave, they have to go to San Diego. That means that the President must take them there in his car.

We showed up in the offices at 9, and the President was about to leave to go to the States, when he said he needed someone to accompany him. Elder L, the assistant, was busy taking stats from the Zone Leaders, and another Zone leader was not there.

That meant that I was the only person who could go with him.

"Me acompañe a la linea por favor Elder Carter?"
(Will you accompany me to the border, please, Elder Carter?)

I could barely contain my excitement.

Elder D gave me my passport and I shoved it into my pocket and just barely managed to stay calm as we got into the elevator.

As we got into the elevator, Presidente Carreón pulled out his iPhone and said:

"Tengo una pregunta, Elder Carter, quien es esta persona?"
(I have a question, Elder Carter, who is this person?)

He handed me his iPhone and I looked down at the picture, thinking that I was going to see a missionary that perhaps he couldn't recognize.

I looked down directly to see

My very own grandfather.

I was speechless.

The President then told me:

"Me dijo: I am Grandpa Carter"

(He told me: I am Grandpa Carter)

I could not believe my ears or eyes. It was so cool! And then we proceeded to talk about what happened. The President told me he spoke to Grandpa in ENGLISH! That is just crazy! The President doesn´t really speak English. I mean, he does, but not WELL, and not FLUENTLY.

We proceeded to talk about stuff about Grandpa and Dad and about my family.

As we drove to the line, he talked to me about how good it was what Grandpa did, and how he was really glad that there were people that are willing to help out like that.

Anyway, we drove to the Otay Border, and I walked across the border.

When we got into the office, one of the officers looked at us and began to say something like this:


I got really scared for a second, because 

And then he said:


That was about the closest I will get to cardiac arrest I think.

So I crossed with no problems. We got into the United States, and I kid you not:

The air just tasted better.

100% serious.

Not to be racist or anything like that. The air just felt better. I don´t know how to describe it.

Anyway, I meet up with the President at a 7/11 after asking for directions in English (weirdest thing ever) and then we drove to the airport.

During the whole time, we talked about many things, but I noticed a few things during our little trip:

1.) California is really green and pretty.
2.) The roads and everything are really clean
3.) People actually obey traffic laws
4.) Everything in Spanish that I saw, I understood.

So, we arrive at the airport and do what we had to do there, and then left.

As we were in the airport, I was talking in complete Spanish to the President and I have to say:

I felt pretty darn cool.

Not to say it like I´M SO COOL. Or anything like that.

I just felt awesome. Just the simple fact that I was able to understand Spanish and many others could not just made me super happy.

As we left, I began to talk to the President about the United States. He then listened to me talk about the differences I saw between Mexico and the US.

He and I had a really nice little chat as we passed through San Diego.

To be honest, it was a great experience. I feel just so much happier about everything now.

Alright, so I´m sure you have a million questions, so I´ll try to answer the biggest ones:

1.) Did you have to translate for someone while you were there in California?

No, I didn´t get that chance.

2.) Did you go anywhere besides the airport in San Diego?

No. Just airport and back. No stops anywhere.

3.) What other things did you get to do in San Diego?

Really what I described was about it. Sorry. I didn´t throw my nametag on the floor, scream I´M FREE and go home.

4.) Why did the President need someone to accompany him to the border?

He normally has other North American Elders go with him to the US.

Alright, so if there are any more, just shoot ´em to me. I´m willing to answer them all.

Outside of that, what else happened....

I talked with the mother of an Elder on the phone a couple days ago. She told me she was reading my blog. I was amazed, but then she described me and I was like, WOW!

She proceeded to tell me that she was looking in all the other blogs about missionaries in Tijuana and that MY experiences helped her know what her son was going through a little better.

It was really cool to know that I was helping her without even really trying.

It also made me think....

Does MY mom do that?

Now that I think about it... That´s probably all Mom does. She probably knows more about this Mission than I do right now. But hey, that´s a Mom´s job. She´s gotta send me the stuffy nose pills when i get a stuffy nose. That´s how a Mom works.

So thanks Mom, for taking care of me even though I´m thousands of miles away.

Also, to that mother who reads this blog, thanks for being so supportive of your son. You have no idea how much it means to us as missionaries to know that there are people that are willing to give all they´ve got to just see us baptize 1 person. We really get discouraged sometimes, but with the support we receive, we just power through it knowing that we can´t fail.

Okay, so... there´s that... What else?

This email is really long this week because I have a TON of time to write it. I hope it´s super awesome for you guys.

Alright, I´m gonna talk about Elder L for a little bit.

Elder L is quite possibly one of the greatest missionaries this mission has ever seen.

I have never met anyone who does what he does.

He single-handedly can make people baptize better.

Not only does he baptize every week, but he knows everything.

Like, I remember talking with him one time about who was a good missionary and who was bad. He said this:

"There are no good missionaries. Everyone is a bad missionary. Everyone. But Christ was a perfect missionary, which means if we want to baptize everyone, we have to be like Christ. That's why Chapter 6 exists. That´s why the word "love" is mentioned so often in PMG. That´s why I say it´s more important to love the people than to teach well or speak well."

He says stuff like this all the time. He's just an absolute genius. I honestly don´t know where he learns this stuff from. I just don´t understand where he learns it, but he knows stuff like that. I would say he´s probably done more for me on my mission in 1 transfer than my entire mission has done for me so far.

No one really likes him. To be honest, many people think Elder L just planches (there´s the word again. Remember that it´s "to destroy someone´s religion" or as i think about it, "punish") everyone. Really, he does. But he is super humble, he loves the people, is very patient, and above all, he has more faith than almost anyone I've seen.

He told me that he saw another Elder just baptizing a ton and said to himself:

He has nothing that I can´t have.

And then he just went and baptized a bunch.

He said he had a goal of baptizing 13 people that transfer, and he did it. He baptized a total of like, 15 (I think. I don´t remember well right now).

So, I am now resolved to just do what he does. He told me that he just did his work. He just contacted a ton and just did what he was supposed to do.

This transfer, he will be going somewhere else, or, in other words, leaving as an AP. He leaves as an AP and becomes a District Leader, training 2 people.

He has set a goal that he is going to have 5 baptisms every week.

I want to be that missionary.

So, I´m just gonna work. That´s just it. The Lord says he´s gonna put people in my path, then that means I gotta talk to everyone to find them, because I never know who they are.

That´s what´s happened this week.

Alright, I gotta get going. This is way too long.

Take care everyone. Next week is going to be the miracle week. I´m not going to accept failure.

Be safe and BE HAPPY. (I gotta work on that....)

Elder Carter

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


1 And it came to pass, that after two thousand and thirteen years had passed away, that there arose a man who was mighty in the ways of speaking and writing, and in that same year, he journied to the land of of Tijuana.

2 And there he served the Lord for a period of two years, or until the two thousand and fifteenth year, and the Lord was pleased with him, and blessed him and all of his household.

Holy cow it´s hard to write scriptures.

How´s it going everyone? I´m sure you´re all fine and dandy.

This week was really tough on me. Not just because we didn´t have a lot of success, but more than anything because I just kept running into problems in the offices.

So, I´ll start with our investigators first.

1- Brother M. He´s a really cool guy. He was deported around 5 months ago, but found a job and is now living here with his wife who speaks more English than Spanish. He´s progressing really well, and despite working 6 PM to 4 AM he still goes to church. Really cool guy. He didn´t come to church last week because he didn´t get back home until around 6 AM that Saturday. It was hard on him and he couldn´t get up to go to church at 8:30.

2- Sister G. She´s a relatively new investigator. We haven´t taught her anything but L1, but she's actually basically a member already. She goes to church on her own, pays her tithing, and feeds us whenever we visit. It´s really awesome. She came to church this Sunday, which was awesome! (The only investigator in church however. Kind of depressing)

3- Sister P. I like to call her "Milagrosa Mujer" (Miraculous Woman). We were visiting a family that has been investigating the church since Adam and Eve, and we wanted to see what happened to make them stop going to church. We contacted this lady and found out that she actually had a ton of questions. We answered them quite easily, and in fact, she gave us a couple questions we didn´t actually know how to answer.

For instance, where in the Bible does it say that the Sabbath Day is on Sunday? All evidence in the Bible is actually pointed to Saturday. I studied hard the following morning, and found Acts 20:17. It was the best I could manage.

She got on the Internet and looked up Mormons. We all know how great of a source the Internet is to get information about religion. So she found out about Poligamy, the gold plates, and basically just all the stuff that we really don´t like talking about because it doesn´t matter. (PMG Chap. 5 "Use the Book of Mormon to Respond to Objections")

So basically, we answered everything and she began to listen to us. We taught all of lesson 1 and she accepted a Book of Mormon. She told us she was just reading out of curiosity, but I can almost guarantee that if we add a little more of the Spirit into the mix I think we´ll get a nice strong convert.

That´s the grand total of investigators that we have right now! Pretty grim looking, but we´re dedicating this week to find.

Alright, so that´s the investigator part, but I´m sure no one cares about that and all they want to hear about is whether or not I survived the 3 knife fights and 4 shoot outs that I´ve had in the past week.

Well, sorry to say, I didn´t actually kill the last one. Just got him in the leg and he got away.


Okay, cool stuff:

1.) Have you ever had Carrot-Apple-Pear-Pineapple-Celery juice? It´s the weirdest tasting thing I´ve ever tasted! David, the old Ward Mission Leader in Postal, made us some on my last week, and I realized I forgot to write about it! It tasted pretty good actually. Like Apple juice, but that tasted like vegetables. It was awesome. Dunno exactly how to describe it.


That was just beyond frustrating. I paid for the gas, and then later, I found out that I had to PAY AGAIN to make sure that the service got reconnected. After getting it reconnected, we didn´t have it for like, 2 more days after because we had to wait for the service to be normal again. I was so desperate for hot water in the mornings that I took a pitcher of water, stuck it in the microwave for 3 minutes and bathed with that. It was actually really awesome after taking a cold shower for a week.

3.) I´ve been thinking a lot about Homestarrunner. Mostly just because Elder L says "freakin" a lot and it reminds me of "I FREAKIN HATE SIBBY!"

Dunno. It was just super funny to me when I thought about it.

4.) I passed 6 months here in Tijuana. I´m about to hit 8 months in the mission. Just crazy how fast time is moving. I´m only 3 months away from having 52 weeks left in the mission. What are the blocks at home at? It´s just super crazy for me.

5.) I´ve been really discouraged for the past few days. Mostly just because many of the members here are very very VERY closed to missionaries. Especially because the missionaries that were here before began to planch everyone. (Basically just tell them they were going to go to hell if they didn´t give references.) So we´re starting from the ground up with the member trust. In fact, we´re even starting at square one with our leaders. Basically, it´s like we´re opening a new area. Exactly like that. It´s hard, and beyond any way to say it other than that.

So, in light of that, I´ve thought a lot about something that I heard one day: "You'll come to find that missions depend entirely on faith. The missionaries that have the most faith have the most success."

After thinking about that, I began to realize that I have really no faith at all. I mean, I have a little, but I honestly cannot say that I ask for a reference believing that I will receive one. Heck, I cannot even say that I contact someone honestly believing they will accept. It´s really bad to think that way, but that´s just where we´re at right now.

So, I began to study in Chapter 6 again. That´s where I go whenever I have problems in the mission. If I have problems with my companion, I study in Chapter 6. If the members aren´t giving me references, I study in Chapter 6. If I just really feel discouraged and like nothing is going right, I study Chapter 6. It´s honestly my favorite chapter right now.

I specifically studied in Faith and Hope, because I really could use a double dose of that. And I found something very interesting. According to Preach My Gospel:

"Faith leads to action, including repentance, obedience, and dedicated service."
"Your faith will be manifest through diligence and work."
"God works by power, but His power is usually exercised in response to faith"

After reading this, I began to think, and I wrote in my Study Journal a really cool idea.

Faith leads to Action. Which means, if we have faith, we will perform actions according to our faith. Or in other words, little faith, little actions. Lots of faith, lots of actions.

Faith, because it is a principle of action, will be manifest through diligence. Now, that means that Faith and Diligence are interrelated.

Finally, God works by power, which is a response to Faith. Which means that God responds according to our diligence, seeing as Faith is manifest by diligence.

All of this piles into one big conclusion:

Diligence is the only way to see miracles.

We can fast, pray, and read the scriptures all we want. But unless we are diligent, absolutely nothing happens.

The consistent act of doing what you supposed to do without murmuring automatically qualifies the person doing the act for a miracle; but that doesn't mean that it will happen right then and there, because, as Preach My Gospel says as well:

"You are able to do miracles according to the Lord’s will."

So that was a huge eye opener for me this week. I really need to be more diligent.

6.) It rained HARD a couple of days ago. It was so bad that President said that the missionaries had to stay inside! It was crazy! There was water that ran like rivers in the streets. Just absolutely insane. Of course, we were lucky and we stayed inside the offices to watch it. It was super cool to see it all. I got to see what rain looks like from far away. It´s like a cloud. Really cool.

Alright, that´s about it for this week. Nothing really super awesome happened. I mean, we have experiences here and there but none that are really WOW I GOTTA SHARE THIS WITH MY FAMILY type deal.

I hope all is well at home. I´m still trucking along here and I know you guys are too.

Keep on keepin on!

I love you all.

I would love you in a box, I would love you with a fox. I would love you in the rain, and I would love you on a train.

But I will not eat Green Eggs and Ham.

Elder Carter