Monday, December 29, 2014

Crazy Week

So much stuff happened this week that I don't really know if I'll be able to get it all written down. I'll do my best.

Investigators kinda plunged this week Brother A. didn't come to church, but we found him after and we basically told him he had to come to church next week or would be completely cast off forever. (Not that drastic, but pretty firm.)

Thanks for all of the prayers in his behalf! They worked! He didn't smoke ALL this week except for Sunday! That's a huge improvement! Thanks for the support!

Alright, so, I've got quite a bit of things I have to talk about, so get ready for a short novel.

1.) So, the day started off normal. Sunday. Get up, shower, get ready for the day, read the scriptures, then head off to go pick people up and bring them to church.

We got no one. Went by the houses, and they all said no and basically just told us they didn't want to come to church. Kinda sad.

I returned to the church VERY discouraged. I mean, we went by 5 homes and NO ONE left with us. It made me kinda sad.

As we pulled up to the church, I saw a van. It was an interesting van because it had Utah Plates.

That's interesting, I thought, Utah Plates on a van. Maybe it's a family that lives there.

The car moved in to the church, and I saw an American family. I didn't recognize any of them.

Woah. Americans. The thought of speaking English took me by surprise. I hadn't done it (at least conversation-wise) since the last video call I had with my parents.

So, as I got out of the car, the first person to say hi to me was one of the daughters.

"Hey! Good morning!"

I had no idea what I was to say to that. Honestly. My mind blanked. You know what I said?

"Erm... uh.. Buenos dias."

I'm a noob.

Anyway, I got out and told my companoin what happend with the people not coming to church and then the family came up to greet me.

They were the Jones and Fellows. Apparently they had showed up to vacation in Mexico.

I talked with them after church and we found out where they lived, and that they wanted to deliver small packages to families. So we agreed, with Jesus, the teenager that usually goes with us, excited to be able to be with gringos.

Anyway, I left thinking about that family. They were pretty cool, but then again, I hadn't actually talked with a family from the other side in about a year and a half, so maybe I was just hyping myself up just because there were other white people around.

We walked to their house and delivered the gifts, and my goodness. They were an astounding family!

It was so great to be with them! They were super nice and absolutely hliarious! They reminded me a LOT of my own family. I loved just answering all the questions they asked me, and more than really anything else, I liked the fact that they didn't care where I was in the misison, they were just happy that I was a missionary.

Anyway, we went with them back to their house and played some ping pong. And of course, since I'm just the best ping pong player in the world (except for Grandpa. I dunno how to beat that guy) I ended up winning (somehow. Maybe my praying worked.)

I took a video of that and we left, and I thought, MAN! That was just so awesome to be with them!

Later, as we were at home, planning for our whole P Day of Christmas, I realized, Hey! We can visit them on Christmas too!

So, in my call, I talked with my Mom to see if she could send a text or call them to let them know we were coming.

Unbeknownst to me, the family had been enjoying their vacation just as all families do: without cell phones. They had all been turned off.

Suddenly, one of the family members, Sister Fellows, stopped for a second. The pressing thought came in: Check your cell phone.

Since it was turned off, she went over and pressed the switch to turn it on. Wouldn't you know it, just as it booted up, a message appeared from a number in Idaho!

Turns out, she checked it RIGHT as my Mom sent the message! So we were able to go by and visit them afterwards!

It was so great! We ate American food, played cards and bingo and had a RIDICULOUSLY tough quiz. (Who in the world knows what song Greensleeves is the nickname for?) Then, we lit some Chinese Lanterns that they had so graciously saved just for the Elders. It was awesome!

They were nice enough to give us all their leftover food, and more than really anything else, they signed my book! I was so happy as I left that I nearly cried when I woke up the next day, knowing they had left.

They are a great familiy that will always be dear to me. It was by far, one of the best Christmases I've ever had.

I dunno if they're going to be able to read this or not. I hope so. But, if they are reading it, I hope to see you guys in June when I get back so you can all meet the rest of my family. It'd be super cool to spend a little more time with you as a normal guy as well.

Also, thanks for everything. It really helped us out A BUNCH. Everything. You're great people. Don't forget that.

2.) Okay, now that that one's over. Got another crazy bunch of experiences.

So, Elder F and I recently discovered a dulceria (candy shop) in our sector, so we went there to buy some candy, and wouldn't you know it, we were 2 pesos short. So, I whipped out my backpack to see if somehow, in some sort of miraculous way, I could pull out 2 pesos from my bag.

I don't put money in my backpack. Ever.

I swear that the 2 pesos I pulled from my backpack appeared there. I have no recollection of putting the money in my bag, and I surely don't remember anyone else doing it either.

It was a miracle. For candy. How cool is Heavenly Father?

3.) Okay, this next experience is even longer, but it's super cool.

We were walking down the street when an American stops me and asks me if I speak English. I replied and we started to chat a bit, where I find out he's a recent convert who comes from Missouri to live with his Mom. I helped him find out where the church is and all that, and then we said good-bye.

IMMEDIATELY we are stopped by another guy in a car who asks us if the church is nearby. He was another convert from San Diego who came down to see where the church was by his Mom's house. He was Mexican, so I spoke Spanish to him.

We said goodbye to this guy, and then we started on our way again.

We took 2 steps when all of a sudden I hear:


We were stopped AGAIN by another North American family. They came from San Diego and the dad spoke Spanish, and so did the daughter, show had recently returned from the IDAHO FALLS IDAHO MISSION around a month ago, speaking Spanish. So it was pretty cool. They invited us to dinner and we ate with them. Turns out, they know Elder Clingo (now Jacob) and I left them with a letter to give him that just basically was a bunch of dorky stuff we talked about when we were companions for a short while.

Then, they said they were coming to church on Sunday.

They came, but they made a miracle happen while they did it.

Elsewhere, on Planet Earth, Grandma and Grandpa had somehow weasled their way into Mexico without me knowing until they called me with the Zone Leaders in their van! So, they talked with me for a bit, but I did'nt think they would come to church.

Turns out, they showed up in Primo Tapia, but had no idea where the church was. They were sitting on the side of the road when a guy drives by in a shirt and tie.

It was the American Family we had met just a few days before! They followed him to the church, and there, they found me.

I got to see Grandma and Grandpa again! It was so great! I was so happy to see them and finally be able to talk with them a little about my mission.

For church, the dad from the family and the daughter and I translated what the speakers said, and everyone afterwards told me that I had an accent when I was speaking English.

All in all, it was a great week. Proibably the best week I had in Primo Tapia. Super fun.

I have a lot of pictures of us with the Jones and Fellows lighting the lanterns, of me with Grandma and Grandpa, and of a really cool sunset a few days ago. I hope you're all happy now that I have muchas fotos.

Oh yeah and I talked with my family too.

Anyway, I gotta get moving. We have to get to work again at 3.


3.) I talked with my family! That was super awesome! Apparently I talked with a snowman guy named Olaf too. Weirdos. This is why I left for college people.

Anyway, I talked with them for a while too! That was pretty cool for me. I liked talking with them so that I could answer a few questions and show off my ESpanish eskills.

Above really all else, I just felt like this week was full of miracles and mercies from the Lord. I really loved this week more than almost any other week.

Thanks for the support, I know I have a lot that I don't see or hear or know about, but thanks for it all. I'll have pictures of the package this Thursday.


So, because of New Years, they're going to let us email again, because they're going to make it all P Day just like Christmas. So anyone who wants to chat for a bit, I'll be on my email at my time . I'm going to send another email maybe answering some questions and stuff.

Holy cow this is long. But I think maybe it's worth it. It's what you're hoping for right?

Happy New Years everyone! Be safe! Don't do anything weird!

Have a time!

Elder Carter

Monday, December 22, 2014

Weekly Letter #1

Hey guys! It's my first letter on my mission!

That happened 18 months ago. Holy crud. I'm old.

Okay, investigators dropped. We're still working with Alfonzo, but I don't know really how far he's going to get right now. I'll explain it after this week. It's the trial. Just know this: I need as many prayers in his behalf as possible. I'm serious. Everyone pray for Alfonzo. Specifically, pray that he can quit smoking.


Okay, I gotta move fast. We're out of time, but I'm going to send the most I can.

1.) The pictures are of the mud that accumulated on my shoes this week from the rain, what it looks like JUST outside of Primo Tapia, the sky with a LOVELY shade of pink, me being Bear Grylls in a Crevahce (spelled for the British Accent. Took a video too. Super hilaroius.) and service of cleaning the tank of Squishy, the fish of Angela, one of the best members here. Finished product is there as well.

Okay, here we go. Cool stuff:

1.) We found a small little puppy this week and I felt super bad for him. He was hungry, cold, and forgotten. I picked him up and we started looking for a home for him. We found one after around an hour looking. Poor little guy. He's going to be okay now, but poor guy was whining the whole time because of the cold.

2.) There was a miracle of foresight by Heavenly Father: At the beginning of this week, I had an impression to check my oil holder. I looked at it and it was empty, and I felt like I needed to get oil to fill it.

So, we started looking and didn't find it for a couple days.

Then, we went to walmart where I FINALLY found Olive Oil and I was able to refill my container.

Literally one day later, I used the oil twice.

It was incredible. I hadn't even known these people were going to be sick, and yet, the Lord prepared me for that. It was super awesome.

3.) One of the brothers here is a massager guy. In Spanish, the word is Sobador. Anyway, he knows a little about how to give massages to help correct spines and stuff. So, we went to him because my spine has been acting up for a while, and he started popping bones and joints I didn't even know I had. After we finished, I felt SO great. Holy cow. We have 2 more appoitnments on Tuesday and Thursday. I'm excited.

4.) Americans came to sacrament meeting on Sunday! It was super cool! Just one of the Moms (there were 2) spoke Spanish, and the rest were pure English. I got to translate a little bit for them, and I managed to talk with them a little bit. They are going to be here for vacations until Sunday, so we're going to go with them to deliver small care packages on Wednesday, and then they want their boys to go on splits with us on one visit on Friday. I'm going to take pictures and maybe even ask for facebooks of them. They're super cool. I talked with them after church for a bit and they are just great people.

It was really refreshing to talk to a normal, non-mexican LDS family after a while, and I'll try to explain why.

Families here in Mexico are different than the ones in the United States. Faithful families here aren't like the ones there. The main difference is that faithful families here are the ones that come to church and have callings and fulfill them. Faithful families in the United States are the ones that hold family home evenings, family scripture study, and ALSO go to church and fulfill callings. The difference is notable, and I was really pleased to talk with them for a while. I felt like I was back at home again for a few moments.

Okay, so, I gotta get moving, but please, pray for Alfonzo and also for me. I need some help. Just pray that Alfonzo can quit smoking, and that I can get through this transfer.

Love you all, and see some of you on the 25th!

Bye everyone!

Elder Carter

Monday, December 15, 2014


This week was VERY rough for me. Saddest part is right at the start.

We lost Brother A.

We haven't been able to get in contact with him since last Thursday! Man! He was going so well, too!

Since we haven't been able to find him, we have no good investigators again. We've been contacting a ton, but no one wants anything. Just gotta keep trying I guess.

Cool things:

1.) It rained A TON here. It rained so much that there were floods. It was crazy. I took a picture of a point where the drainage was. The water was black.


How gross is that?

2.) We had a Zone Conference that was quite honestly THE best Zone Conference I've ever had. The President gave one of the best trainings I've ever received, and the testimonies of those that were leaving was just too much for me to handle. I cried. I'll admit it. It was a great experience. Best of the mission.

3.) There's a cat that sits with me when we go to wash our clothes. I sit down and he comes over and jumps into my lap and stays there for a while. I took a picture of him so that you could all see how awesome it is.

4.) Brother A was pretty awesome this week. He told us something that I really loved. We taught him about fasting, and this is what he replied after I testified of how it could help him conquer his addiction:

"Carter, por que no me dijiste antes de lo del ayuno?"
(Carter, why didn't you tell me about fasting before?)

It just showed how much progress he was making. He's by far our priority this week.

5.) I took a picture of the coast a little bit further down from our house. pretty cool right?

6.) I took a picture with Elder G. He's a great guy.

When I showed up at the beginning of my time in Mexico, I showed up in Postal, right when he had left. I heard so much about how awesome he was.

I didn't meet him until around a year later, he came to the house of the assistants for a training.

He's such a great guy. Honestly. He's SO awesome. Really kind, and he listens to everyone, and just loves everyone and everything. Great guy.

I had been struggling in the mission for a little while, and when he came to the house again on interchanges with another elder, I talked with him, and he reassured me that I was a great Elder.

When he sang on the concert we had for Christmas, I wanted to congratulate him, because he goes home early for school today. I gave him my contact information, and I wanted to take a picture too.

Literally, not even joking, the first thing he told me when I came up to him was,

"Elder Carter, you're a great missionary."

I love this guy.

7.) Taylor sent me a package! It had this awesome tie, and I tried to pose fancily for a fancy tie. Did I pull it off? It's the tie I'm wearing as I type right now.

8.) Some guy recently ran by us on a horse and asked us if we had seen 2 loose horses running around.

I'm proselyting in a ranch.

And there you have it! The rundown for the week. I hope you all had a fantastic one, and keep posted for the next one right before Christmas! Thanks for the support. Keep on Truckin.

Elder Carter

Monday, December 8, 2014

Primo Tapia

I'm in Primo Tapia everyone! New area! New companion! New investigators! Lets see what's happened this week:

Alfonzo: He's an investigator that's got problems with the Word of Wisdom. You name it, he does it. Smokes, drinks, and does drugs.

But he's a great guy. He's actually starting to leave it, and I think I'll explain a small miracle that took place with him.

So, he explained to us what was going on, that he smoked and stuff, and we started to explain to him how he was going to overcome those things. We had finished teaching the Word of Wisdom, and because of that, he decided he was going to leave that stuff behind. I explained to him that he was going to be able to overcome it only if he prayed every morning and night, asking SPECIFICALLY for help, and that he had to pray in any moment of temptation and read the Book of Mormon before even ATTEMPTING to smoke or anything like that.

We left and returned around 3-4 days later. When we had arrived before teaching the WoW, he had told us that he smoked around 3 to 4 cigarrettes daily.

When we returned, he explained:

"Well, I just want to thank you guys for your help. I've smoked once in 4 days, and I haven't even touched my beer since 2 weeks ago."

It was incredible. This guy, who smoked each and every day of his life since he was a teenager, in 4 days, left it alone completely. It was awesome! A total miracle. From then on, he didn't even smoke.

He told us he relapsed a day ago, but I'm confident he will completely leave these things behind. He already made huge progress on his own. I'm positive he'll get the help he needs soon. He's got a date on the 27th of this month. We're praying for him.

He's really the only good one we've got. All the rest are just numbers, because they haven't come to church, and really aren't keeping committments.

OKay, cool stuff for the week.

1.) This week it rained HARD. Like, it rained a ton. More than any other time on my mission I think, and it got really bad. In fact, it rained so hard that a transformer blew out! We were walking home from the bottom of the huge hill we live on, and suddenly, there's a flash of white light and ALL of the hill goes dark. All of it. The transformer exploded and the sound rattled the night. It was insane. It was pouring rain, to the point where the jacket you sent me Mom, (thanks for that, by the way. Saved my LIVE that night) was soaked. The water had started to just not fall off anymore, but stay there.

2.) Family, do you guys remember the Spray Paint artists from our Cruise a couple years ago?

There's a Spray Paint artist in our ward. He's not a member, but his wife is, and he's a cool guy.

The painting you see in the picture is pure Spray Paint. All of it.

It's so cool.

He told me he could teach me how to do it in 2 weeks. Not perfect, but at least I could get started. I want to see if I can later. I would love to learn that. He explained to me that it just involved learning parts, and then putting the parts together. So, instead of making a whole scene at once, he just puts a mountain with a sky and BOOM, it looks cool. Super boss. I'm going to try it later.

3.) I took a picture at a super cool spot in our sector. The ocean is so cool.

4.) Does anyone know of good talks on Cultivating Personal Revelation? I really need some of those talks so that I can start getting that going. I need some in this area to figure out what else I can do aside from contacting and asking for references.


6.) Because of the rain, our whole sector got muddy. There's hardly any paved streets, and so there was a bunch of mud everywhere. That picture is just after a day of walking around. Mud, mud mud. Great stuff.

Okay, well, that's all for this week. Thanks for the support. See you all later!

Elder Carter

Monday, December 1, 2014

Bunch of Stuff

So, a lot has happened since the last big email. I'll try to get it all done.

I've been transferred to a new area called Primo Tapia. It's a small town on the coast of Baja California that's around 20 minutes away by taxi from Rosarito. It's a branch that has around 180 members, with around 30 active. It's a really tough area because of the distances. There are around 10 little towns that we have to cover, and because of that, many just say that they can't come to church because it's too far. It's kinda frustrating to see that people will only show their love for God if it's convenient for them. However, that's something they choose, and I cannot overcome it.

 This new area is pretty cool, like, it's right next to the sea, and so I get to see it every day. In fact, it's so close that we are actually RIGHT NEXT to the ocean in our little house. I've taken a picture of it here and attached it. It's right next to the beach, but I forgot to take a picture of that. Maybe next week.

My new companion is named Elder F. He's 25 years old and from Mexico. Don't really know much else about him. He doesn't like talking much, and so I can't really get a lot from him.

 So, with that said, I'll try to talk about the cool stuff that has happened. I can't really put investigators because I still don't know all of them, but next week I'll have a list ready.

 1.) First, I had the WORST mission experience in all of history. There were fleas or ticks (not sure which) in my bed, and my companion didn't tell me until around 3 days after. I woke up for 3 straight nights with more and more bites on my body. I took pictures of the bites. They hurt. A ton. And itch. And in the shower, they burn. The ones I showed are just a few of the many bites I have. So, because of that, I took a can of bug killer and strewed out everything. Bed, stand, blankets, pillowcase, everything. And I just sat there spraying it until I drowned the stupid bugs to oblivion. I took a picture of one of them that I found. Just imagine that in your bed. So yeah, I just absolutely hated that.

 2.) I did my first street contact in English. Here is much more touristy, so sometimes Americans are here. I did my first contact in English, and it was hard. I tried saying "about" but instead tried to say "acerca de" in spanish. Super tough, but not many happen here.

 3.) So, this next thing makes me sad that I didn't have my camera. There were some clouds that were over the ocean that moved into Primo Tapia. It was so cool! The clouds hung there over the sea, and after a few minutes, it moved into our sector. The fog was so dense that water accumulated on my hair. It was pretty cool, but I didn't have my camera with me. The rest of the pictures are with members of my old ward, and with other missionaries. I also took pictures of Jello flowers that a lady in our branch makes. They are really cool. If any of you have questions, let me know. I'll be sure to send the answers.

Thanks for the support.
See you all later.

 Elder Carter