Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bautismo de Infro!

We got a baptism this week. It was pretty cool. I'm going to talk about that a little bit, and a few other things that go with the pictures I took and all of that. But first, I need to go with the first things.


Juana - We are really going to leave her here in a bit. She's just not talking with her son. He's come 3 times now, and after the scares of the fact that he went to jail and everything, you'd think she'd just take any opportunity to talk to him about it. According to her, she was going with him TODAY. So We're going to see what happened later tonight. If he didn't come, we're going to share 1 Ne. 3:7 and end it right there.

Aaron - Teaching him is REALLY hard because he just understands nearly NOTHING. So we have to be really patient and teach the same thing like 5 times so he gets it. But he goes to church on his own, so it's pretty darn cool. He'll be baptized in 2 weeks, I think.

Outside of them, we're sitting on nearly nothing. We keep contacting and going to houses where it turns out they don't want anything or aren't there. It's an endless cycle.


1.) Alright, well, this week, my district leader assigned me the Christlike Attribute that we have to give in our District Meetings. Normally, we just get assigned to do it, and we choose what attribute we want. Well, our leader decided he was going to assign me one because he thought it would be a good idea. And he assigned me:


What the heck. Like, that word doesn't even show up in scripture. I don't even know what it means, much less in Spanish. Not only that, but what in the world does that have to do with missionary work anyway?

Well, I called him a couple days later after looking for the word and I just basically sat down and was like,

"Look, if you assign me this attribute, I'm going to look like a complete idiot. I don't know what the word means, and it doesn't appear in scripture either."

he thought for a second and then said:

"Okay, then you have to do it on Bravery."

Oh yeah. Much better.

Whatever. I just whipped out Sons of Helaman and said what I could and called it good. I guess I'll just have to deal with it. Ni modos.

2.) The baptism! It was cool! We actually had to SCRUB the baptismal font, because our chapel was recently renovated. What ended up happening is they replaced everything, literally EVERYTHING.... but the baptismal font. And it's pretty gross. There is dirt or mold or whatever it is that has been there for so long that you can't even get it off the tile. I guess that's fine because it doesn't go up with the water either, but still... It's kinda gross, you know?

Anyway, so we SCRUBBED that font, and then the next day, started to fill up with water the font.

We opened up the valve for the hot water, but it came out cold. So we started calling people to find out which one was hot water, changed back and forth between the two valves like 10 times, and then finally found that the one that was hot was the first one we had opened. But it was still cold.

So we went back to check the boiler, and we couldn't open the door because no one has keys to it. Just wonderful. More problems.

Then, we manage to peek through the cracks to see that it's good, and all it needs is to get gas to start heating. So we grabbed a broom, stuck it through one of the holes in the fence that was keeping the tank, and then pushed the valve handle to the "open" position. Then we rushed back to the boiler to see if it was working and....

There's no gas.

We just gave up then and filled it with cold water. 2 hours of running around for nothing.

3.) Elder Cepeda, now Ivan, speaks to me in Tu. It's kinda weird, because he spoke in Usted before. Sometimes I can't understand what he's telling me because I'm used to hearing the Usted conjugations.

4.) It's decided. My dream calling in the church is to be the Primary pianist. I would love that calling.

I have played the piano in Sacrament Meeting now 2 weeks in a row, and I actually like it. It's hard, nerve-wracking, and quite honestly makes me feel like I make things worse rather than better, but I end up doing okay, and I like the idea of just playing piano for people.

After thinking a bit, i realized that there was a calling that would just be awesome in the church: Playing piano in the primary. Of course, I wouldn't get to listen to good lessons, and I'd have to deal with kids all screaming during "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam" on the part where they're like: suuuunnnn BEAM, but it would be so fun for me. I'd love to practice piano every day just so I could fulfill my calling. Plus, it'd be something fun for me to do with my kids: just sit down and play whatever song i wanted. (Yeah Mom, I regret not practicing piano more at home...)

5.) We found out a couple days ago that my companion had less than 20 days left. That made me SOOOOOO trunky for a bit. Like, MAN! I've still got a full 8 weeks left, and he's sitting on only 15 days! Wow. It's going to take a long time it seems like....

6.) We found this bus that says "Transportation for Turistic Missionaries." I took a picture just because we have bikes and they have a bus. And they're turists. AND better looking than me. (Who knows how they did that...)

Um.... And, well, nothing really that important apart from what i've explained here. Just normal stuff. Knock, contact, get rejected, write down some address that doesn't exist, beg people to take cards, etc.

But honestly, thank you all for your support and love in my behalf. I don't feel like I deserve so much, but I get it anyway. That means a lot.

Love you all. See you later!

Elder Carter

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hablar en F

Okay, well, this week was pretty cool. I guess. I don't know. We had ups and downs and lefts and rights. Falls and get ups. Great stuff. Just kinda normal I guess. Not really anything super special, but I'm definitely going to try to get the best stuff I can in this letter.


Juana - Honestly, we don't know what to do with this lady. She just keeps telling us that she wants to talk to her son. She was supposed to do it this week, but what ended up happening was that her son got put into jail for fighting someone, and never came to visit her, and she REFUSES to get baptized unless she talks with her son. We keep telling her don't worry, she will have rides to church, but she won't do it. It's kinda hard to keep going now because she just doesn't want to do anything there... We're going to be praying a lot that her son helps her to church. She says if her son doesn't committ to taking her to church, she will not be baptized... We're scared of that.

Infro - Finally met this guy. Really cool. he's going to be baptized on Saturday. Really nice, and it appears like he's doing everthing right. I'll send the photos on Monday.

Aaron - This kid is really cool. We actually taught him once, and he was just so off. Like, he didn't even answer. We'd tell him: Faith is two parts: Belief and Action. What's faith? and he'd answer: I have no idea. It was really frustrating, but later we found out that he just had a bunch of questions about the mormons that we answered and now he's really excited to listen and go to church. We haven't talked about his baptism yet, so we're going to see what happens.

Carlos - A guy we found just a couple days ago. Really cool. We have an appointment on Tuesday, and he already told us he likes what we teach. We're going to try to get him to church this week. We just hope that we can convince him to go.


I'm just too lazy to really put stuff there but the word Stuff. Deal with it. haha

1.) Okay, well, first cool thing was what happened with our bikes. So, we were supposed to eat with this hermano that usually brought us money to pay for the food. Well, normally he just gives us 150, but this week he gave us 250. Which meant, that after eating, we each had an extra 50 pesos.

Turns out that we needed those 50 pesos, because afterwards, the next day, my back tire went flat. We went and got it replaced and guess what the price was?

50 pesos. Pretty cool.

But it doesn't stop there. The VERY next day, MY COMPANION'S tire goes flat. Guess how much it costed him to get it fixed?

25 pesos.

And to get it fixed again when the patch didn't work?

25 pesos.

Boom. That was just so cool to me. Extra 50 pesos each and it's for the bikes. So cool. haha

2.) With Juana, something really cool happened. We couldn't get her to give us the address of her son so we could visit him, because she kept saying that it was better for HER to talk to him, and not us. Well, we tried and tried and the only thing that was left was planching her. Well, we didn't want to do that, so we just kinda sat there for a second, and I prayed and said:

"Look, Heavenly Father, we just don't know how to go about this situation. Please help us out here."

I began to talk to her, and I figured out the best way to tell her to give it to us, and we got it! So it was a pretty cool little miracle there.

3.) I figured something out that was really cool that I just love now.

So, in our Zone Conference, they were talking about being consecrated missionaries, and how we needed to leave certain things behind. I felt pretty bad and I was like, man. I'm such a bad missionary. Then I started thiniking a little more and I realized something:

They aren't telling me that I have to do all of that, they're just telling me what I need to work on doing.

I recognized that even though they are telling me what I need to be, that doesn't mean that I HAVE TO BE THAT WAY to be a good missionary. I just have to TRY to be like that.

It really cleared up a lot of doubts that I had, and it helped me to understand why it was that they were talking to me about that stuff.

4.) Honestly, Juana is just such a funny little lady. To give you a good picture of what she's like, (Katie will love this.)

Just imagine Edna Mode from the Incredibles, and combine that with one of the Purple Minions from Despicable Me 2.

That's what she's like. It's just so funny. Sometimes we'll just be sitting there, and she's this little old lady just shaking a little over there, and something will happen, and she'll just blurt out a single sentence. It's just so funny. Probably not over email, but in real life, it's funny.

5.) My bike broke again, so I fixed it with elecrical tape and a screw. I took a picture so you could see my efforts. My mission has taught me well.

6.) I fell off my bike too! It was nuts.

We were headed down a hill to help someone move, and I'm trying to call someone to let them know where we are, and all of a sudden, I hit this REALLY big bump. I'm going with just one hand, so my tire just shoots off to the right and I go down.

I hit the ground pretty hard, but the good news was that it was all cement that was pretty well worn down, so it was relatively smooth. I got a good scrape on my elbow, a really good bruise on my left hip, and a nice cut on my left ankle. Everything else was just fine. After laying on the ground for about a minute, I got up, got on my bike, and helped some guy move into a new house. It was pretty cool. haha

The cut on my elbow is in the shape of a moon kinda, so I took a photo so i could always remember Elder Luna. hahaha

Okay, well, I've talked too much. I've got to get moving. Love you all. Thank you so much for your love and support. It helps me out a TON.

Keep it up!

Elder Carter

Monday, April 13, 2015


No not really, but I do have a lot of cool stuff that happened this week, I guess.


Juanita - We had to work a TON with this lady to get her to come to church. She's still waiting on her son to come so she can tell him she's going to be baptized. She just wants to do that before actually doing it... So we're just playing the waiting game now. Anyway, we worked with her a bunch to make sure she would come to church on Sunday, and Sunday morning, we called her and she said she wasn't going to go, when the night before, she said yes. So, we talked with her and told her that the Lord wouldn't help her if she didn't do what He asked, so she agreed and went to church. Gave us a heart attack. We're confident her son will come this week.

Aaron - He's a teen that we found by a reference. He's gone to church a lot, and came to church on his own. He's a pretty nice guy, but really distracted. He plays a lot of soccer too... We're going to see how it goes this week, because he said he wasn't going to be able to come to church anymore once school started up again.

Infro - Just got back from his honeymoon yesterday, so we're going to see him tomorrow to put another baptismal date with him and get him to church again so he can get baptized. We're positive he'll be baptized by the end of the month.


1.) When we showed up on Sunday, they immediately came up to me to ask if I would play piano. They picked some of THE hardest songs to play. First, they said Called to Serve. I can't play that worth anything. Second was I Stand All Amazed. Can't play that one either when it gets into harmony. That was a pure scare. After that came I'll Go where you Want me to Go. I guess I could play that one in a pinch. It was going to be hard, but I was going to try.

Then walked in the guy who can sight read piano like a boss, and I let out a sigh of relief. Phew. haha

Don't get me wrong, I like playing the piano, but I'm terrible at it...

2.) I forgot to talk about this! So, my last day in Primo Tapia, I was talking with the Branch President's wife, and we were talking about how my first talk, I said I was the most handsome missionary in all of primo Tapia. Everyone was laughing a ton about that. But this lady, after we talked about that, asks me:

"Do you think you're handsome? Or is it just a joke?"

I told her I was just joking, and she said:

"Well good, because you're not that handsome, you know that?"

Nice lady. She just floors me with that, and so I just change the subject, when all of a sudden, she says:

"You know, Elder Carter, I've seen a change in you here in Primo Tapia."

"Oh yeah? Cool!"

"Yeah, because when you got here, you were SUPER prideful, and now you're a little more humble."

Nice. Two in a row. Just one more to go.

Luckily, Elder Rose just planched the crud out of her before she could say more, because honestly, this lady was insulting me in my face, and i was just taking it. Whatever. I just laughed it off later. haha

3.) Final cool thing that happened this week is something that no one would ever expect...


Turns out, he served here as a missionary, and he came back to visit! He walked into the ward, and I had actually heard he was giong to be coming and that he had arrived, but when he walked in, it blew his mind. He was so happy. We'll be talking to him later to see what he says. He doesn't know how long he's going to be here, but he gave us his number so we could talk to him later. He looks pretty good. Been home for almost a year and he's now back. Pretty awesome. Now I think I'm set to go.

I really didn't have a whole lot of cool things to write about this week. That was a lie. Sorry.

But I did want to talk a little about my experience again. I feel like I haven't done that for nearly my whole mission, so I'm going to try to do it a bit in each letter.

I feel like in my mission, I've learned a lot of stuff. I've also figured out many other things. I've learned things that I wouldn't be able to learn in any other place. I feel like that was one of the main reasons that God sent me here, was so that I could learn everthing that I've learned.

I also feel like I was sent here to be converted.

When I left on my mission, I really wasn't converted like I am now. I honestly believed, but I wasn't converted.

Now, I believe, AND I'm converted. I believe the church is true, but it's not just a belief in terms of something there, but a real, living, changing, but firm belief. If someone were to tell me it wasn't, I wouldn't be able to believe them. I know it's true. I know God is my Heavenly Father, and I know that Jesus Christ died for me. I never met either of them here on earth, but I know those things.

I finally have come to understand what it means to strengthen your testimony. It doesn't mean just review what you already know, it means to make what you already know even more deeply engrained within your soul. The fact that I know Jesus Christ is my Savior doesn't actually stop just there. There are a lot more things that I know about him that have made my testimony stronger. If you want a strong testimony, you need to study further in depth.

Basically, I feel like my mission has really helped me in a lot of different ways, but more than anything, I feel like I've been Redeemed. I feel like God has saved me, and that I have discovered who He is and who I am. I feel really good about everything I've done.

I hope I can convey a little about how much my mission means to me. It's honestly the greatest thing that has ever happened in my life up to this point. I will never be able to fully express what it all means to me.

Well, thanks for the love and support. i pray for you all every night. Have a good week!

Elder Carter

Monday, April 6, 2015

Holy... That's a lot of pictures

Yeah, so, because I forgot to send them last week, this week you guys get TWO weeks worth of pictures. I'll cut straight to the quick so that I can get everything written down in time. Holy cow. Crazy week.


Infro - Never met him. Right now he's in Veracruz, but he's going to be coming back next week. According to what Elder Luna tells me, he's basically a sure baptism

Juanita - We worked a TON with her, and she still has a certain doubt or something that doesn't let her get baptized... We still have a bit more work with her, but she's awesome. She reads the Book of Mormon and prays every single night, but still doesn't want to be baptized.... Who knows why.... We're going to be working to find her doubt this week. She says she's been praying for something specific, but won't tell us what it is.

They are the only two good ones. We found 4 news this week, but they really aren't that great... And they didn't come to church either.


Alright, this is where the letter is going to get HUGE, because I have a lot to talk about. First things first, the pictures.

1.) I got the package! It was awesome! These are the pictures, but I unfortunately had to take a backpack FULL of food just so I could eat the beef jerky, fruit snacks and rice chex. It was pretty funny.

2.) This place with rocks was near a guy's house, and it was pretty cool to take a picture there. The one with my arms outstretched makes me look SO gordo.

3.) Yeah. That sign says "Kids playing"

4.) The Carrito Loco! Basically, it's a promotion in a store called Calimax. Every time you spend 200 pesos in Calimax, they give you a scratch off ticket. It has 3 pictures behind the scratch surface, and if those 3 are the little cart, you win the Carrito Loco (Crazy Little Cart). That means that they clear out all the aisles of the store, and for 2 minutes, you are to grab as MANY things as you can, and the store gives them to you for free. In other words, you just gotta sprint and you gotta just shovel stuff into your cart. The store is your limit. It's pretty cool. Someone won it actually, here in the Calimax by our house, and we watched them do it. It's pretty awesome. I hope we win...

5.) We lost ALL light back in Primo Tapia, so we had to Mexicanize our light and shove a power cord into the neighbor's socket down below, and then move our fridge over to connect it so that we at least had that. Then, for anything we wanted to do, such as use the microwave, or iron, we had to disconnect the fridge and connect the thing we wanted and recconect the fridge again. It was pretty funny.

6.) This is a picture of me with Jesus and his sister, Monica. Jesus was with us with the Jones family from Christmas. Really cool guy. Looking forward to meeting him again. He is 17, so only 1 year more and he goes on a mission. He'll be the second missionary in all of Primo Tapia.

7.) I honestly don't know how well you can see it, but there's a car in that darker picture. Someone left a car in low tide, forgot about it, and then we found it down there. It JUST about went completely out to sea.

8.) This is a picture of Agustin and his familiy. The Vega family. That guy right next to me, in the grey shirt, he just started bawling when I said my last prayer at his house, and he even wanted to see me off in San Diego. Great guy. Love him to death. His mom started crying a lot too, and honestly, I just about cried myself.

10.) This is the Pech Family. The guy on the right is the only missionary that has left from Primo Tapia, and those kids are his nieces and nephews. I really miss them a lot. They are so cool. VP, the guy on the right (his name is Victor Pech) said he was going to visit me in Idaho and we were going to go snowboarding. We'll see if that happens.

11.) This is me on my last day in Primo Tapia. Bags packed and all.

12.) Me and Elder Rose in the bus station. Last day together. Cool guy. Elder Rose and I are pretty good friends.

13.) First picture in Ensenada! And YES! We have bikes. But I have to talk about those in a bit.

14.) GUESS WHAT I FOUND HERE ON MY FIRST WEEK! THE CARNAVAL CRUISE LINE! I took pictures of it! It blew my mind that I had been on that ship before! Ensenada was a lot smaller when we visited it....

15.) picture of my companion with one of the bikes stacked on the other. I'll tell you about it here in a bit....

16.) Panoramic of all of Ensenada from the very top of our sector. Pretty cool place right?

17.) Me on top of Ensenada. Just too cool.

18.) Last one is the Mexico Tijuana Temple right now. It looks so cool right?

Whew. That was a lot to write and explain, but now, it's the fun part. Now is all the cool experiences and stuff that have happened.

1.) First thing that happened was that my BIKE BROKE. yeah. On the third day of it's use, they berings popped out of place and the bike broke. We had to take it into the bike shop and there we left it overnight, while he gave me a small bike to use in the mean time.

Well, all was good until the next day, while we were heading to another appointment, wouldn't you know, MY COMPANION'S BIKE BROKE. This time, the axel on his bike just snapped in half, and we couldn't get it to work anymore.

So, when my bike broke, it was at night, so we didn't lose any time. We had to stack my bike on top of my companion's and then walk it back to the chapel and ask for a ride.

This time, when my companion's bike broke, it was in the middle of the day, and it was impossible to walk it back to the house. It was too far away, and we couldn't stack his bike on mine because the one I had was way too small for that.

Well, we called a guy who took us home, and we spend another hour trying to dismatle his bike to see what happened. Then we took the wheel the next day to the bike shop and got it fixed, and got my bike as well.

So now, we're riding on the same bikes as before, but they are both sold to other people, so we're using them until they come to pick them up. haha We want to get right of them right now before they break more. Friggin baikas.

2.) But wait, there's more! We are the ONLY SECTOR that has a hill in the WHOLE ZONE. Just imagine this: riding a bike up a steep hill. All day.

My butt was hurting SO BAD after a few days, that to go up the stairs in our house, I had to go kinda sideways, or else it just hurt WAY too bad. My legs hurt a bunch too, and my knees were destroyed.

I was honestly dead for about 2 days after going home, but that doesn't end the sad tale of death and destruction.

3.) I woke up a couple nights ago at around 3 in the morning, and my stomach told me it was time to use the bathroom. I went in, and SHOOOOOOM. It was like an explosion of water coming out of my rear end. I was in there for like, 20 minutes, just sitting on the toilet until I stopped.

I suddenly started shaking a TON, and I felt really cold. I finished up my business in the bathroom, and as I stood up,

I nearly passed out.

I was so close to falling to the ground unconcious that I sat back down on the toilet, and I just started praying. To top it off, our neighbors were still up, and they were screaming a bunch of swear words at each other over someone's boyfriend kissing another girl or something.

Anyway, I waited until I felt good enough again to stand, stood, washed my hands as fast as I could, and then practically fell into the room where we sleep and landed on my bed, and then I just woke up Elder Luna.

"Elder Luna, call Sister Garcia right now."

I was shaking so bad that my bed was trembling, and the matress actually moved with me. We called her, and my companion got some blankets and threw them on me. Then he pulled out some medication that he had and went downstairs, heated up some water, and gave me the pills. I just fell asleep, waiting for the morning.

Morning came, and I was in such bad shape that I couldn't get out of bed, honestly. I forced myself to do it, but it was terrible. I slept until around 1 because the sickness was so bad.

4.) Well, after all of that was said and done, I thought I was good. Well, turns out that I was. Except for the fact that I still had to go up hills and stuff with the bike... I hate bikes now. I'd rather die than ride a bike up a hill.

5.) General Conference! So many cool things happened. But a couple weird ones. First, president Monson only spoke twice... Once in Preisthood, and once on Sunday. And he didn't really teach, he just told stories. I thought that was so odd... But then, it was weirder with the new camera angles and stuff. What did you guys think about that format?

6.) Also, presidente Carreon, my old mission president, was sustained to the 4th Quorum of the Seventy! That was pretty insane. I was honestly kind of expecting it though. I mean, a very large majority of Mission presidents are later called as Seventies according to what I have seen and heard...

7.) Alright, well, last thing is that my companion and I are just awesome together. We're working super hard, and we like a lot of the same things. We talk a lot just about life and stuff and it's awesome. We're still working super hard though. Like, honestly, he works more than any other companion I've ever had on my mission. It's awesome. And here is the ward where I will finish.

Okay, well, that's a wrap. HUGE amount of text and stuff, but it was a pretty crazy week. By the way, even though we had a bunch of problems and stuff, we still gave out 66 cards for Because He Lives. That's only 4 less than the norm. Boom. And our District Leader STILL planches us for not having contacted on Saturday, the day where we didn't work because of the Conference... We just kinda laughed at him and ignored his lack of information.

I think that does it for this week. Thanks for the support. I've been really strengthened in the past few weeks. In fact, this General Conference had a few messages that were specifically for me. Honestly, I felt like theSaturday Morning speakers were almost ALL talking to me about what I needed to worry about now and in the future.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trunky, but I have been thinking about the future a lot. I'm only 11 weeks away from starting my life all over again, and I've got a lot of questions, doubts, and fears. But after listening to General Conference, some of them were answered, while others were explained a little more, and overall, it was a good conference for me. Coolest part was when I got to listen to 2 guys give their talks in Spanish. I love that I don't need a translator for them. haha

Thank you so much for everything. It's been a crazy ride, and I'm sure that it's been really tough sometimes back at home too, but I know that it was all planned. The Lord knows what I need more than I do.

Thanks again. Love you all.

Elder Carter