Friday, May 30, 2014

New Mission President

They have finally posted some information about the new Mission President for Tijuana Mexico.  It will be Jorge A. Carcia Lecona.

Below is a link to the LDS Church News site that has all of the information.

Jorge A. García Licona, 58, and Amparo Soto de García, three children, República Ward, Saltillo Mexico República Stake: Mexico Tijuana Mission, succeeding President Armando Carreón Rivera and Sister Monica Romero de Carreón. Brother García is a former counselor in a stake presidency, high councilor, stake Young Men president, bishop and high priests group leader. Logistics coordinator, Mahle Sistemas de Filtración. Born in Santa Clara, Mexico, to Abraham García Ledesma and Benita Licona Amaro.

Sister García is a former stake Relief Society president, stake Young Women president, counselor in a stake Primary presidency, ward Relief Society president, counselor in a ward Young Women presidency and counselor in a ward Primary presidency. Born in Atotonilco de Tula, Hidalgo, Mexico, to José Guadalupe Soto Estrada and Rosa Pérez León.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Homeland Return

I learned a ton this week. Just a bunch. I also grew a little I think.

Yeah, I just kinda worked more than anything. Obra de Salvación. Work of Salvation is going harder than ever down here.

I´m going to be in my companionship until around the 9 of June, and when I get to that point, I´ll leave. Who knows how, or where, or what I´ll do, but I will take off.

Until then, I´m learning a bunch from these powerhouses. Just absolute geniuses. We have a goal that we have to give 1 LdM (Book of Mormon) every day. It´s pretty cool. Every day that we don´t give one, we have to take ANOTHER with us. So, after one week, I had around 5 books with me. Finally, I have the 5 away in like, 2 days after they taught me what I gotta do to get the books given out.

They are teaching me how to teach really well, and they´re showing me the difference between numbers and people. Just straight up teaching me a bunch. It´s absolutely nuts how much I´m learning.

But on top of that, my companions and I are just good friends.

We have a bunch of inside jokes that are just absolutely hilarious, and we have very similar interests, and are all super nice to each other most of the time. Like, Elder C keeps telling Elder G that he knows everything about technology, and that I learn extremely fast. I keep thinking I´m so lame and I´ve got nothing to offer, but they keep falling back on me, and they keep telling me how I´m actually furthering the work here.

In fact, Elder G keeps telling me: "Elder Carter, no sé qué vamos a hacer cuando se va."
("Elder Carter, I don´t know what we are going to do when you leave.")

It´s just been an awesome week. Even though a lot of appointments fell through, I felt as though I worked hard, and that I really did do a lot to help the Lord further his work. We planted many seeds, and when the assistants had left for a conference, I stayed in the sector and found 2 new investigators really cool.

It was really great this week.

I taught Landon this week. Okay, not really Landon, but a kid who is EXACTLY like him. Looks like him, talks like him, and says things EXACTLY like he would say them. I felt as though I was teaching him, and I understood that I really need to work hard here to learn how to get the Spirit. We had a lesson super cool. It was really awesome because this kid started crying. You could see his tears welling up in his eyes as we bore testimony of the things we were teaching him.

He still refused in the end to get a better job or to come to church, but I know we touched him. I know that he felt something there, and that he knows we want to help him out.

We also went to a conference where I was used as an investigator. It was really cool that I actually got to teach people how to be better missionaries. Like, I really don´t think I know a whole lot, but when I went with some missionaries so that they could teach me, I found that my companions have really taught me a ton. I´ve been able to receive so much instruction from them. I really think this was all planned by the Lord. I think he was planning all of this since the very beginning.

But, the thing most important that happened this week was my trip to the United States. In fact, around 30 minutes ago I got back from them!

That´s right! I returned to the Motherland! Paradise! The Red White and Blue!

It was actually really sudden too! Pretty awesome.

So this morning, Elder C, a good friend of mine that I met here when I had around 5 months, showed up in the offices, telling me that he was headed to the US. I told him I was super excited for him, and he said that Hermana Carreón was going to bring him.

Well, she happened to be there when he said this, so I said as a complete joke:

"Maybe I could go with you so you wouldn´t get robbed."

She heard this, and asked me:

"Do you have a lot of work to do here?"

"No. Not really. I actually just have to wait on the assistants to give me the stats to send to the Stake Presidents and other than that, I´ve got nothing."

"Okay, then lets go. Get your passport from Elder D and lets go."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah. Sure. Just make sure you have everything you need to go."

"Okay then. Elder D, can I have my passport?"

And boom, we took off. We were over in around 30 minutes from that time.

As soon as we crossed, Elder C kept telling me:

"I can´t believe it. I´m actually here. I´m HERE. I´m in the UNITED STATES."

It was really cool to be back over for a little while.

We got into the car waiting for us in the 7-11 and we left to go to a plaza.

We originally just went with the objective to find new shoes for Elder C. We went to a plaza that had around 120 Stores in total. It was super huge, and super awesome. It was green and pretty and there were a bunch of really cool stores. It had an American Eagle. And it was Memorial Day. They had a sale on T-Shirts. Oh man... How I wanted to enter that store.

Anyway, we looked at some shoes, and we went to another store. As we were walking to this store, there was a little stand that a guy had set up. On this table was a bag with a lock. The man had a box full of keys. He showed us that the key was in the box. He opened the lock, then put the key in the box and shook it up a ton. We then chose one key and tried it in the lock.

Well, we didn´t win. But it was still kinda cool.

Anyway, we bought his shoes and were about to leave when I said,

"Could I go check for some ties?"

"Sure! There´s a couple really good stores over here. I´ll take you, we´ll wait in the car, and you guys go check them out. Come back out when you´re done."

So we went to Ross and to Marshall´s. There, I found a Donald J. Trump tie. For 10 dollars.

I love my life.

So I bought that thing super quick and got a couple more ties for my companions because I´m just super nice like that, and then we went back to Mexico again.

As we crossed the line, they checked our car, but really didn´t even check it well. They just opened up the back and then told us to go. Whatever. If it bakes your potato, it floats my boat. Fine by me.

We were back in Mexico, and Elder C started talking to me like:

"You can tell we´re back in Mexico because of the grafiti and the dirty streets and stuff."

And I thought for a second, and then I realized and said:

"Yeah. It´s true. But I love it."

I´ve grown to absolutely love Mexico. I love this place. It´s not green and pretty, but I love it nonetheless. I absolutely love it here. I told Elder C

"I really like the US. I love Idaho and Utah, and I love how great it is. But Mexico is equal to me. I love Mexico just as much. Not for the same reasons, but I love it just as much as the United States."

At the start of my mission it wasn´t like that. I really didn´t think Mexico was all great or anything like that. But after a year, I´ve come to love this place. Everyone is super kind, really open about Christ and God, and it has REALLY good food.

So that was something really cool about my day today.

I´ve got a couple of pictures that I sent this week. I´m just so bad at picture taking. I don´t know why. I guess I just never find anything picture worthy.

The first is of Elder C and I in a car as we traveled to a conference. It was pretty funny because the whole time we were talking about how bad the conference was going to be because the last 2 were just terrible, and then the whole conference was super cool.

The next two are photos of the hardest task I have had to do yet.

We save all of our spending records since January here in the offices, and this week, I had to find every single record that we have on buying furniture SINCE JANUARY. The pictures are of paper that I had to work through to find around 200 expenses. It was just torture, and it took me all day to do it, but when I finally finished, I felt so accomplished it was crazy. I was honestly really proud of myself for having done so well.

I´m going to try to get more pictures of people in the next week. More with my companions or stuff like that.

Okay, I gotta get going. I´m super hungry.

BAI! (Spanish for BYE!)

Elder Carter

Monday, May 19, 2014

I´m the new assistant to the assistants

Yeah, you read right. I´m now with the assistants 24/7, and it´s been awesome. I´ve learned a ton.

Basically, this is what happened:

I was going to be transferred to Mexicali, the one place in the whole mission that I really don´t ever want to see in the summer. Like, winter would be fine, because it just gets cold there. But like, summer, it´s the worst.

Anyway, I was headed there. In fact, I was supposed to be there RIGHT NOW.

But then the President made a snap decision.

It happened on Tuesday. There was a Zone Conference in the which the Assistants taught. I went with them because I really didn´t want to wait in the offices forever with nothing to do. As we finished, the President was talking with Elder Guzman about what was going to happen with me, and he was telling the President how much better it would be for me to be with them.

I could stay in their sector and work there while they were gone, and I could also try to do random things like fill out forms or whatever while they focused on their trainings and things like that.

He also told the President that really there is no place for me there, because there aren´t any trios. So really, sending me to Mexicali would just be a hassle.

Thanks to that, I´m now working full-time with the assistants. It´s super cool. I´m learning so much it´s ridiculous.

I´ve really enjoyed my time with them as well, because they really just don´t judge me. They just tell me how I can do better, and not even that strong either. Like, he just says what I did wrong, and that I could have said something better, and that´s it. It´s super great.

That´s the biggest thing that happened this week.

Now, a couple more smaller things:

1.) I was in a seminary class this week, and I noticed something super crazy:

All of the kids were anxious to participate in the class!

I don´t know how much all of you know about Seminary, but really, it´s SO HARD to get people to participate in the Semniary classes. Really. Like, the person asks a question, and no one answers for around 20 minutes. It´s super hard to learn like that.

But no, here, it was like:

"What is the difference between asking and pleading?"

All of the kids raised their hands.

It was really neat to see that. The prophecies of Lehi are being fulfilled in that very class.

2.) Doctrine and Covenants is just super nuts. There´s so much doctrine, so much stuff that it says in that book that you really can´t even expect to contain it all. Like, the fact that there are Priesthood keys to the creation or to resurrection. Just super nuts stuff like that.

3.) I went on splits with the Bishop of the new ward, Libertad. It was honestly a really cool experience. I put in practice everything I had learned from the Assistants and found out that really, I´m not half bad.

Okay, I´ll probably send a little more later on this week. I gotta eat.

Elder Carter

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I feel like Steve Carrell

I mean that. You know how he left The Office after so many years? I feel like that kind of. I´ve worked here for a little while, and now, I feel like I´m leaving behind a little bit of my life. Dunno.

Really, I´m actually very happy. I no longer have to worry about the offices ni nada así, and I´m really excited that finally I can focus all of my labors on the work.

I recently talked with my good ol´ buddy Elder Lundberg! I haven´t seen him for a little while.

He talked to me a lot about training. In fact, he talked to me a lot about the difficulties of training.

The thing that made me happier than almost any other thing in the whole world was that he was having the EXACT SAME DIFFICULTIES that I had.

Many things were going on in training a new missionary, and the hardest part was that I just didn´t know what to do. And literally, for the first time in all of the time I´ve known this Elder, he told me he said he didn´t know what else to do.

I felt as though I had finally been completely relieved of all the problems I´ve had.

I mean, don´t get me wrong, I loved my companion. He and I got along pretty well. But I just couldn´t get him to work. The only motivation he has is to make himself look good. Everyone wants to look good, of course. Don´t get me wrong, I´d like that too. But if you work for that, you won´t receive it. At least, not in the amount that you´d like it.

But more than really anything else, I really appreciated that he said that he felt like he was a bad trainer.

Elder Lundberg knows a ton of stuff that I just cannot even begin to answer. I don´t know how he does it, but he´s always got an answer for everything. Just any question, and he pulls out an answer that just seems completely and totally right.

The fact that he says he feels like a bad trainer means that I don´t actually have to feel bad if my trainee or if I cannot do the best, or if we had fights or anything like that. Quite literally, it was normal. Every single moment of my training was normal.

Now, more than that, I had the chance to talk with Elder Guzman again. You guys remember him? The old secretary that I replaced?


So I am talking to him again! Really cool actually. I´m super glad that I get to talk with him, because he´s super fun to be around, and he and I have the same mindset (most of the time).

He and I talked a little while about how things were going in the ward, and he straight up told me:

Cuando salí de las oficinas, estuve bien feliz, porque ya no tuve que preocuparme de nada de las oficinas, y ya no tuve que hacer nada menos trabajar.

When I left the offices, I was really happy, because I didn´t have to worry about anything in the offices any more, and I didn´t have to do anything anymore except work.

I am super happy as well. That just makes me super glad that finally I will be able to put all of my training from the assistants to good use. I will finally be able to get all of my ducks in a row.

I guess you could say that I´m just happy because I understand now what it means to be a missionary. I understand much better why I´m here in this mission. There is no other place I would rather be than here. I honestly cannot begin to describe the immense amounts of benefits that I´ve received already.

More than anything else, I don´t ever want to think about anything else besides how to do better in the work.

I enjoyed in Postal that I could learn how to help people better, and that I was able to see cause and effect.

Here, I really can´t do that because I can´t put in practice what I´m learning all that much, as I have very little time to work.

But now I can just go hardcore and try just everything. I mean, now, every day, instead of thinking: 
What more can I do to make the offices better?

I will think:

What more can I do to make this ward better?

I think, if nothing else, I´m just happy that I´m going to be going to a new place, starting over. Beginning again. I´m going to be able to enter a new sector, learn everything, and then just do all I can to make sure that that sector is pushed to the limit.

This week, we really didn´t work all that much, because we lost last Monday and Tuesday due to transfers. However, this week, we will work completely, and I think I am going to start implementing what I know now to just see what happens.

Alright, I´m done ranting. Now I´ll just talk about the guy in the picture.

This man is named Brother C.

Brother C was baptized around 12 years ago. He and his wife were baptized the same day, and he was active for around 2 years. However, when he ran into problems with his wife, he picked up drinking, and went inactive.

He stopped going to church, split up with his wife, and stopped really doing anything in the church. For 10 years, he was constantly selling at his fruit stand, trying to make a humble living to pay for his rent and for his next day´s wares.

One day, after 10 years of waiting, Me, and 2 Hermanos from the ward went to go visit him.

I had never seen nor heard him before that day, but the instant I saw him, I thought he would just back out and say that he wanted to listen another day. I talked with him about his life, about how he was, and what he enjoyed doing. I spoke with him about selling his fruit, and what exactly he has to do every day.

After speaking for about 15 minutes with him, I asked a question:

"Are you baptized?"
"I am. I was baptized 12 years ago."
"And so you have a Book of Mormon right?"
"Hmmm.... I think so. I would have to look, but I think I do."
"How about we pass by on Tuesday and read it with you? How´s that?"
He pondered. I was geniunely surprised at the mere fact that he pondered. Normally, people just threw up the walls as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of an appointment with us. He thought for about a minute, and then, in a voice I cannot forget for the rest of my life:

"Fijate que sí." (You know what? Yes.)

From that point on, we worked with him for around 2 weeks.

Finally, one day, we came to him and talked to him about General Conference, and we convinced him to come.

He showed up to the last session on Sunday. The last session in all of general conference.

Since that day forward, he has not missed a single Sunday, not missed a single day without reading the Book of Mormon, and he has not failed in being in every single appointment without a single excuse.

Brother C is just such a great guy.

This is why I´m so glad I´m here. I get to meet people like this! Great people that just honestly want to be better. Great people that just love you even if you´re a weird white guy.

He´s a good man, and I´m really happy I got to meet him here.

I will try to get more photos of other members and investigators as I go about my appointments this week.

Okay, well, that´s it for this week. I´m outta here.

Oh, and a question for all of you:

Does Cain live?

Read the Bible and PoGP about Cain, and then try to decide if he still lives or not... I don´t believe it, but I just want to know if I´m the only one who doesn´t believe it.

Okay, yeah, I´m good now.


Elder Carter

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I´m happy

I´m a happy person now.

Very happy.

That is all.

To be honest, I´m kind of at a loss at what to say. Very little has happened in the few days that have passed in between my last writing and now.

I can safely say that I´m going to be here for 1 transfer completely. I will be here until around June, and then I leave to go work in the field, and the new Elder, Elder Hesterman, works as the Secretary of Finances.

I´m kinda sad, but that just cannot overbalance my absolute joy that I will finally be able to focus completely in the work, and not just half of my entire being.

You could probably say that I´m overreacting, but I just can´t surpress the feelings of joy that I have. I know I´m going to be leaving in a high standing with the President, I will have a bunch of experience in many different things that I never would have received otherwise, and above all, I will be leaving as a different person.

I think what makes me even more happy is the fact that once I leave, I will be completely free. I won´t have to worry at all.

I mean, I will still be available to help out at all, but I won´t have to do anything. I will wake up in the morning with an investigator in my mind. I will wake up wondering what I can do to help people progress to God. I will have my companion there to help me out 100%.

Thanks for all of the support that you all offer me. All of you. Even Jack. That dog is just pushing me onward. I can already tell he´s sacrificing a ton for me. He´s fasting right? Every first Sunday? I think so.

So, I call my family on the 11 of May! Anyone who wants to join, please get in contact with them so they can plan it.

I will be sending another email next Monday. This one is really short because I don´t have a lot more to say between Saturday and Tuesday. Nothing has really happened.

I´m going to be taking a ton of pictures this next transfer, so that you´re all super happy with me and know that I´ve gained like 80 pounds (I think 10).

Yup. Have a great day people. Next Monday will be more interesting.

Elder Carter