Friday, June 27, 2014

Smells Like Home!!


So, we showed up at the offices today, and I was SUPER excited, because the Carreón family had to cross the line ONE LAST TIME to notify the post office that the names would be changing on the authorized people to pick up packages. And of course, they were going to pick up packages that were there.

Well, they got back, and I was at the line with Elder Diaz because he needed someone to accompany him there. I was leaving at around noon when I got a call from my companion telling me that Hermana Carreón had returned and there wasn´t a package there for me, because he checked.

I got into the offices, and I was super depressed, because I was sure that the packages had gotten across. I asked Elder Galaviz (the old guy in charge of the packages after they get here) and he told me he didn´t see one, so then I told him (as a joke) that he had to call me when he saw mine.

Well, I caught up a little bit with Elder Clingo and Elder Hesterman (they are the best. We´re going to just rock the world when we get back.) and then I headed out.

We sat down at the street, waiting for a bus, and it never arrived. I was sitting there thinking (aw man. I dunno what happened to my package.)

Then, I get a call on the phone from Elder Galaviz!


I nearly died.

Got the package, and now I´m the happiest person in the history of the universe. My pillow still smells like home. I miss that smell.

So I took some pictures. One has me looking kinda fat because I had to lean back a little in my chair so that I fit into the frame. The other two are just of me being super happy. Oh, and the pillow still smells like home. (Did I already say that?)

HOLY COW I´M GONNA BE 20. That seems so surreal. Like, I don´t feel that old. I thought 20 years old, I´d have everything figured out by now. But no. I don´t even know what the heck I´m going to do in a year when I get back. I dunno where I´m gonna get a job, what I´m going to do for school, or even what in the world I´m going to do for living. Just a bunch of stuff I have no idea about. But I know I´ve got 2 of the smartest people in the world that can help me out with that.

My companion is from the Dominican Republic. He´s the 4th of 6 children, and he speaks very little English. Like, he understands quite a bit, but can´t talk very well because he gets frustrated really easily trying to form the sentences. He´s been a member his whole life, and he´s actually pretty cool. 

Okay, I gotta keep moving I have a ton of emails from Riley that I gotta answer.

Love you. Thanks for the package. I love every bit of it.

Elder Carter

Thursday, June 26, 2014



So, this week was actually really boring. We just walked a bunch and I ended up with a sweet up tan that I´m pretty sure makes me look native now. I mean, Elder C said I look tan, so that's a plus.

I also have a picture of my companion this week because last week I couldn´t send it! Woo!


Brother J and Brother D: They are a reference from a recent convert family. They are really cool, and Brother J is progressing a ton. He´s reading more than I am almost in the Book of Mormon, and we´ve got him committed to quit smoking. However, the biggest problem is the fact that he still doesn´t understand WHY he´s gotta quit smoking. We´re going to work on that this week.

Sister J and Sister S: Two awesome investigators that aren´t really progressing, but we haven´t passed a lot with them, so we gotta start visiting a little more to see real progress. We´re hoping to get them to church so we can start the conversion process.

As for right now, those are the only good ones.

Okay, experiences:

1.) I GOT THE PACKAGE! I´m super happy. There´s a picture of that in the email. It´s super great.

2.) We started throwing cards because I pulled out my UNO cards one day, and so then we just started having competitions on who could hit a water bottle with the credit cards. Well, Elder Scholes managed to miss the bottle, but BROKE THE CREDIT CARD AND A PIECE OF IT STUCK INTO THE WALL. It was incredible. Needless to say, we are done with our witchcraft of cards.

3.) I´m starting to understand the difference between humility and repression. I know how to play piano, and I really enjoy it. However, I don´t go and tell everyone I can play piano. BUT, that doesn´t mean I´m humble. Not bragging doesn´t mean the same thing, and I´m starting to understand that difference. It´s pretty tough, and it´s pushing me a little more.

Okay, sorry for such a short email, but I really don´t have a lot of time. We lost a ton of P-Day going to the offices. It´s like, 2 hours from our house. Super lame.


Elder Carter

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

First Week with Everything New

New area! New companion! New house! New watch! New members! Everything new! Almost! Except for this guy! I'm not new!

So yeah, this week was the first full week here in Matamoros 2. I'm in the Florido Stake, and it's basically last stake in Tijuana on the east side. If you go further than our stake, you start heading to Tecate or Mexicali. Thank goodness too. I'll be able to ride out the summer here in Tijuana, and when we hit August/September, it will already have finished, and it will start getting cold there. That means I will never have to deal with the heat in Mexicali, seeing as I get home in June of next year! HOORAY FOR SKIPPING SUMMERS!

But in all seriousness, this is really hard. We don't know anyone, we have no way of finding new investigators because we don't know how to find very well, and above all, I'm very very VERY hungry all the time.

I keep hitting a point where I'm always thinking negatively. I think that people aren't going to accept, or that I'm not going to teach right, or this or that and it keeps bugging me. Why do I think so negatively? Elder C keeps talking to me and telling me that I need to think more positively, but it's hard when I keep hearing the SAME THING:

"Es que sí, me gustaría escucharles, pero pues la verdad no sé si voy a estar. Para qué les voy a echar mentiras? Si yo les digo que sí estaré aquí, y ustedes vienen, me quedo mal con ustedes."
In English:

"It's just that yeah, I'd like to listen to you guys, but like, really, I don't know if I'm going to be here. What point is there to lying to you guys? If I tell you that I'm going to be here, and then you come, I come off bad to you guys.

I swear, I hear that so much it's ridiculous.
But whatever. I'll be fine. We'll find new people this week.
Okay, so I had my first mission experience that was just absolutely terrible. We showed up at a house, and we started talking to this lady. Well, she had a little kid there running around, and all of a sudden, the kid comes running over to her as she sits down. This lady then pulls up her shirt and well... starts feeding this kid.

Not joking. No blanket, no nothing. Just kinda like did it right then and there. Holy cow. THE worst experience of my whole life right there. We will not be returning. The kid was like, 1-2 years old even! It was already old enough to stop that kinda stuff! Gotta love Mexico.
We also managed to get into a house that was REALLY hard to get past. This lady is named Sister J, and she really doesn't accept much from any other religion. However, I had an idea.
I just casually passed by the house, and saw that they were all there on their patio, and so I, being the absolute genius that I am, decided NOT to contact them by saying we're missionaries, but by asking where we were.

"Hey, do you guys know where Michoacan Street is?"
"Yeah, it's two blocks up from here."
"Two blocks? Like, we just get on this Boulevard right here and follow it two blocks?"

The lady then comes over to show me where to go, and in THAT moment, I knew I had to do everything right.

We started to talk to her about us, and about what we shared as missionaries, and we found out that one of her daughters died around 10 months ago. Well we put a single appointment together.

"I will only allow ONE appointment. That's all."
Well, trusting in the Lord, we knew that was all we needed.

We got into the appointment and started to teach, when suddenly she started talking about her daughter. We listened for about 30 minutes about how much she loved her daughter, and then, we testified about the Spirit World, and left her and her other daughter with Alma 40 as a committment. Then the major turning point came.

"Is there another day we could drop by to see how it went?"
We held our breath. This was it. We had that one chance to just push the Spirit with all we had. We had testified and listened and spoke the truth. This was the last chance we had.

She thought for a little bit and then said:
"Sure. When would be the best for you guys?"

We were so incredibly happy. The Lord really blessed us there. He knows his children, and somehow, My companion and I helped her feel his love and the truth of what we share.
So stoked for that. it's going to be great.

Just a couple of cool things that happened. I have pictures, but I cannot share them because this internet is super slow. It doesn't upload pictures fast enough. Next week maybe.


Elder Carter

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mexico Tijuana Mission 2.0


That`s right, it`s Monday again, and we`re looking at a beautiful day of PURE JOY!

It was transfers today! I have officially left the offices and become a regular missionary.

I`m so happy now it`s ridiculous. My new companion is Elder C from the Dominican Republic. He`s been a really strong leader for almost his whole mission, so the fact that he is with me means he knows what he`s doing. I`m so excited to learn from him.

I didn`t take a picture with him yet because we haven`t really had the time to do it. I`ll get one for the next week though.

This week was the last week I worked with Brother G, Brother C, and all of them from Libertad. I don`t really know what will become of them, but I taught them all that I could, and I know they are in good hands.

I`ve got no new investigadors right now because 1) I haven`t even entered into my sector, and 2) WE`RE OPENING THE AREA!

That`s right, we`re starting completely from scratch.

We have no baptismal dates, and no map, basically we have nothing at all. It`s going to be a blast to set up our little sector and manage it well. I`m stoked.

But yeah, outside of all of that, I think this week was pretty normal. I`ll just talk about a couple things that have happened and then end it with the pictures I took.

1.) So, this being my last week with my companions, we went to Dairy Queen. The pictures attached to this email are of me, Elder C, and Elder G enjoying the Mexican Ice Cream. Super delicious.

2.) I`m about to hit the year mark! I`m so scared. Like, the first year of my mission passed by so fast it`s ridiculous. I mean, the first 2-3 months were slow, but after that it just cruised by. Like, I don`t even remember the months between December and March. I`m running out of time here.

I guess I really don`t have all that much to say. This week was just a lot of working, and nothing really funny or cool happened. We`re probably going to be having a lot funnier experiences for the next few weeks because we don`t know what`s going on. But we`re going to see how it goes here in a little bit.

I guess mostly I`m just super sad at the same time.

I really am going to miss those guys in the offices.

Not the offices. I hate the offices with a fiery passion. But the people there are great. Elder H, Elder C, Elder G, and Elder D. We just had a bunch of awesome nights together for a transfer. I`m going to miss them a bunch.

Also, I`m going to miss Elder M. He heads back tomorrow morning. Mom and Dad, he`s going to be bringing back my temple clothes. I have no use for them here, and they just take up space. I wanted to get some letters or stuff from Mexico, but I had no time to get it all in there. So, be expecting him to get in contact with you through Email or Facebook really soon.

Alright, I`ll send pictures of all the people I can right now. Hope you`ll stick around for the next email.

Love you all.

Elder Carter

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fairly Normal

This week was pretty boring. To be honest, there wasn´t really anything super cool or anything like that. Just a regular week of trucking along, shoving your body up the hills, and hoping that at the top it´s the end.

My line of investigators is really big right now, but we only have like, 4 that are progressing. Here´s the lineup:

Brother G - He´s a guy that lives in an apartment that he´s fixing up. They pay him to fix the apartment, and he pays the rent that way. It´s a really weird set up there. The problem he´s got right now is drinking. He just can´t quit. We really worked hard with him 2 weeks ago, and he still drinks. He comes to church every single week, but just can´t stop drinking. We had our Hail Mary lesson with him a couple of days ago, and we committed him to live the Word of Wisdom. We´ll see what his progress is. If he doesn´t stop drinking, he can´t be baptized....

Sister M - Really cool guy that makes hamburgers. Don´t know a whole lot about him, as we just met him once. He´s apparently been to church 3 times before I got here. So we´ll see how it goes with him. He seems really interested.

Brother C - This guy is amazing! He´s had some really awesome experiences already, and he´s got a couple of problems with Law of Chastity or Word of Wisdom, but he´s already stopped with the PdS (Palabra de Sabiduria). Also, we just taught him about the LoC, and I´m pretty sure we´ll be able to baptize him this week.

Mama M (don´t remember the name) - She´s the mother of a Young Woman we have in the ward. She´s a nonmember that knows everything. She answers all of our questions perfectly, and already knows that the Book of Mormon is true. She just ISN´T MARRIED. I HATE THAT.

Everyone here breaks the Law of Chastity. That´s the biggest problem in all the mission is people who aren´t married. SO ANNOYING. But whatever. We´ll see what God does to make it all work out.

Ummm.... I guess I will  just talk a little about the jokes that we have.

One of our running jokes is a lady that we met. She´s super humble, lives in basically a dump, and she works hard for her family. However, she just went off the deep-end one day. We were trying to invite her to church, and she started just like, shouting,

"GOD IS THE ONLY LORD OVER ALL THE EARTH, BLESSED, BEAUTIFUL HEART." (Not joking. That is word for word, in English, what she shouted)

This lady was always saying DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME? DO YOU GET WHAT I´M SAYING? I think she said it just because we were gringos, but who knows. Anyway, now we just say that all the time, just like, I say:

"We should go visit the Sanchez family. DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?"

Just a bunch of jokes like that that make our day super great. That, and we´re constantly trying to kick rocks in between our legs while we´re walking to score a goal. I´m really bad at soccer I found out.

Honestly, I have very little to report that´s super awesome. Just like, a normal week of working. I do know I´ve been sending some pretty lame pictures. But hey, I don´t know how to take good ones! What do I do? How do I tell them I want one? Stuff like that. Whatever. I´ll try to get better ones this week. I know I say that every week, but this week, for sure. This time really. Really this time for sure.

I will send a little more on Saturday. With more pictures. Maybe of rocks or plants or something interesting like that. Cuz we all know that we need more pictures of rocks as memories.

Elder Carter