Monday, May 18, 2015

Not much to say this week

Like I said, not a whole lot to talk about today. I'll just go through it right now.


Aaron - We confirmed him on Sunday! He's a member now, which is really good, because it means we're finally able to finish up teaching him. He's a good kid, and we're excited to see him grow. The ward is working hard to help him stay active.

Javier - Said he couldn't come to church this week, but next week, he will for sure. So this week is all about getting him to church. He's a really nice guy and really active, but he's got a few problems we're going to work on.

Pablo - He's a new guy we found a few days ago. We taught him again yesterday. He's 18 years old and he has two sisters that he has to help and take care of all the time because his parents are out working. He's SO nice though. We hope he'll be able to progress.

Luz - A lady that came from another area that has now been to church twice. Really nice and timid, but lives HASTA LA GOMA. In other words, FREAKIN FAR AWAY. Oh well. That's the price we pay to help people. She'll probably be my baptism on my last week. Her date is for the 16th of June. She's been to church twice and seems VERY happy with what she's seen and heard. Already has read the Book of Mormon, but the other missionaries couldn't teach her much about it, so we're going to teach her a ton and get her the answers she wants to know.


1.) It rained SO much this week. Honestly, it rained so much that it flooded the streets. I took a picture of an intersection so flooded that you could go in it in canoe. Ridiculous. We got really wet.

2.) My bike broke. The actual FRAME broke. They had broken it before, but they welded it back on, and then sold it to me.

Well, turns out that they didn't weld it enough, because I was just minding my own business, doing missionary things when all of a sudden I hear this CRACK and my seat just shoots up to try and punch me or something, and my bike stops working.

I got off and looked and saw nothing, but when I sat back on my bike, I felt what happened.

Oh man. I had to replace the frame, and that cost me a bit of feria (change). And then my tire went flat at the end of this week, so now I gotta change it.

3.) I left my jacket with the Zone Leaders in the North, so I didn't have my jacket with me during the rain. It was horrid. I got so went that I shook my head and sprayed water everywhere. My companion did it too, and since his hair is longer and more stringy, he sprayed even more. It was just dumb.

4.) My companion is a really cool guy! His name is Elder Cruz, and he was companinos with Elder Luna. He really likes Pokemon.

When he first got here, he didn't say much, but Elder Luna had told me that he really liked Pokemon, so I started asking him about it and BOOM! He started talking SO much about everything there is in Pokemon. I like it too, so we just talk about Pokemon all day. Well, not really, but at night, he talks to me about it and I listen, because I don't really know or remember as much as he does.

He is so funny though. When it was raining, he told me,

"Just watch. The President is actually praying and fasting so that it rains more."

He's really witty. It's awesome. He also was with Elder De La Torre in Mexicali, and honestly, after what he's told me about what is going down there, Elder De La Torre is making me one proud trainer.

5.) I played tennis a few hours ago. It was so sad to see how far I've dropped. From almost beating Andy before the mission, to now winning by pure luck after 2 years... It's depressing.

Well, to finish up, I just want to say that I'm honestly putting in everything I can. I was giving all I could before, but I was saving a bit of energy. Just like in a race, you push hard, but save your very very best until the end, where you know you won't have to give any more when you're done. That's what I'm doing now. I'm just using any spare energy I can find and using it to just go hard until the end.

The best part is that I'm with a good companion, so I get to enjoy my last transfer with him. He's actually got a year in the mission, so we're going to make it last for him as well.

Have a good week everyone. I'll try to have more pictures tomorrow.

Elder Carter

Monday, May 11, 2015

Transfer #16. Here we go!

The moment has arrived. The last transfer of the mission has begun. Starting today, I shall begin the last 6 weeks of my mission. It's just so incredible and impossible that I just can't wrap my mind about that yet. Well, I'd better start doing that, because these next six weeks are going to go by way too fast.


Aaron - Se bautizo! He got baptized! However, the baptism was on Sunday, so we have to wait until the next Sunday to see him confirmed. His dad baptized him, and I'm hoping he'll be at church to see him confirmed. Cool kid. We're excited for his progress.

Javier - A guy we taught a couple days ago. He's really cool. Didn't come to church because a family was supposed to stop by for him, and we didn't notify them... So we're going to have to tell them this week. We actually passed by his house a couple days ago, and we were going downhill on bikes, so we pretty much passed by in about 3 seconds, but in those seconds where we were by him, he yelled, "I'M STUDYING WHAT YOU LEFT ME TO STUDY!" Looks like he's going to progress pretty well. We're excited about that.

Roberto - We're not so sure about this guy. He's an older man that we found when some kid gave us a wrong address which was his. We taught him really quick, but honestly it doens't look like he's too interested. Most likely we're going to leave him.


1.) First things first, at the beginning of the week, I ended up playing some tennis. And honestly, the way I got to play was just straight up a miracle. I keep seeing miracles in my own life, and not those of the investigators. Strange, but still awesome.

So, Elder Luna and I, at around 8:30 were just looking around for people to contact near the house. At that hour, we don't want to go too far away because we won't be able to teach much, and if we don't do anything and we go home, we end up losing an hour of proselyting, so basically, we just start knocking on doors and contacting when we can't get anything else near the house.

We contacted like, 4 or 5 people, and by then it was around 8:40. I looked over at Elder Luna and was like, "Lets head home."

Elder Luna looked around and said we needed to just go for a little more time to find people to talk to.

Basically, we end up going by a park with some tennis courts, and I sit there and watch two people play some tennis, and I realized,

Holy Cow. I miss playing that sport SO MUCH.

Just as I thought that, one of the members with his dad showed up to play with these two guys I was watching, and I looked at Elder Luna and just took off to go play.

I showed up and asked them if they would let me play a few games. First to 3.

I got up and was confident that, albeit a long time having since played, I would still be able to play decently.

I was 100% wrong. I played horrible. As we say in Spanish, "Fue un asco total." Honestly, probably the worst game I've played since I've started tennis seriously. I was kinda ashamed, but I found out they wanted me to play more, so I told them that if I just worked in the mornings on P-days, I would be able to play with them at night. They said it was good and we set off again. I felt really good after that. I really miss that game.

2.) I also got to talk to my Mommy! It was a pretty awesome call. Especially when the internet worked. Basically, I just kinda got a bit trunky after that call. I'm so close to home, but still a bit far off, you know? But it's fine. I'll end working hard.

3.) Elder Luna finally finished his mission. I'm really going to miss that guy. He was so funny. We got along really well, and had almost all the same interests. And basically, he and I had the same views on almost everything. We never had any arguments, and we never had any point where we fought or anything. There wasn't even anything about him that annoyed me. He's the first companion I've ever had that was like that. It was pretty cool. I'm going to miss him so much. But it's fine, he has my email and everything. I'm going to see him later on.

4.) Elder Cruz showed up! He's my new companion, and my last, at that. He'll be the one to see me off. He's from the State of Mexico, in a little city outside of Mexico City. Nice guy, and it seems like he's a little quiet, but that's fine. As long as he contacts and as long as he teaches stuff that isn't apostate, we'll be just fine. haha

5.) Just before getting my companion, I got together with Elder Kessinger and Elder Giles and we hung out a little bit before getting my new companion. It was pretty cool, and we went downtown, where I took the pictures of these gigantic heads of people who were like, the George Washingtons of Mexico. I actually went to the street where we walked when we visited Ensenada on the Cruise. There was no cruise ship there though...

And, to finish, I just wanted to talk a little about how I feel right now.

Sometimes, I feel like, out of all the things in my life that I could have done during these 2 years, there are a lot of things that I would have liked much more to do than serve like this, and sometimes, I feel like there is nothing I would love doing more for the rest of my life.

However, one thing is sure: There is nothing more worthwhile that I could have done.

I could have studied for 2 years, but that would have barely scraped the surface of the knowledge I've gained here.

I could have done Humanitarian Work in Asia for 2 years, but that wouldn't have even reached the depth of the richness of service.

There's a bunch more, but honestly, during these 2 years, I feel like I have gained more and learned more than in any other way in my life. I know now why a mission means so much to people when they go home, and why they all love it so much. It isn't necessarily that they loved doing it, or that they just had a total blast all the time, but it's more that they appreciate profoundly the things they received there. I feel like I will treasure my mission forever. Even after everything is over, I will still appreciate this small chance for service.

Thanks for all of your prayers and fasts in my behalf. There were a lot of sacrifices that many of you had to make for me, but know that those sacrifices were worth every drop of energy you put into them, be them small or big. It's helped me a ton.

I can't wait to see you all in 6 weeks. Bye!

Elder Carter

Monday, May 4, 2015

REJECTION! I hate that word...

And I'm without pictures this week! What a surprise? A lot of funny things happened, but I took videos of them to show back at home.

Okay, well, lets just cut to the chase, shall we?


Aaron - He's progressing, but he's just SO THICK. Like, honestly, we have to tell him around 10 times just one idea so he understands it. It's really slow working, but he comes to church on his own. His baptism is scheduled for this week. We'll see if he makes it or not...

Adriana - She's a contact we made. We haven't been able to find her very often. We put a baptismal date with her, but couldn't get in contact again to be able to teach about Sabbath Day so she would come to church... So we're kinda just stuck trying to find her again so we can actually start working with her. She seems pretty nice. Just doesn't want to read anything out loud.

Santa - Old investigator that honestly doesn't look like she has too much promise. Other elders that served here kept telling me that they wanted me to baptize her, but I honestly don't want to, because as far as I can tell, it looks like she just likes missionaries, not the actual church. I mean, when a missionary told her she had to stop worshiping the Virgin Guadalupe, she got really offended and didn't come back to church... I highly doubt we'll see progress, but Elder Luna wants to continue teaching her. No baptismal dates, because she says she only wants one when SHE feels ready, so... yeah. Kinda slow.

The hardest part about what's going on right now is that our leader is just telling us that we need to work harder and get more stuff done, but when we contact and knock on a bunch of doors, we end up losing time and lessons, and so then we just end up with nothing every day because we keep losing appointments because they fall through and stuff. It's kinda annoying to have leaders tell you to work harder when you don't have anything to work harder with, you know? Eh. Ya me voy.


1.) So, last week, for a day, Elder Luna and I changed bikes just for fun.

It was the worst decision of my life. My bike is made of aluminum, and it's got a good chain and sealed bearings in the star, so it is SUPER light and easy to get up hills.

My companion's bike is made of steel, has a rusted chain, and sealed bearings, but the bearings don't move as smoothly.

Oh man, I about died that day.

I managed to stay at my normal pace, but I had to kill myself to do it. Going up the hills on my bike was hard, but doing it on Elder Luna's bike was impossible. Elder Luna, who has been using that bike the whole time, just shot up the hills and kept telling me how easy it was. It wasn't really fair, because Elder Luna is a lot stronger than I am, and a LOT better on a bike.

2.) That brings me to another point. Elder Luna is just like me, just better at everything. He's better at computers, bikes, sweeping, opening doors that have locks, speaking Spanish, and contacting. Just you name it, and he's better at it. Even piano! He plays some REALLY cool songs on the piano. He can't sight read, but honestly, who needs to? Just learn some cool songs and you can get any girl to fall in love with you.

3.) I hit a dog with my bike the other day.

I was riding, and I saw this dog on my left start running at another dog across the street on my right.

Well, he started running and I started to pedal harder to pass him, but just when I pedal harder, he starts running faster!

Basically, I had no way to avoid him, and just as I pull my brakes, I feel my front tire collide with his neck, and the dog makes this weird noise like,


And it stops and lets my bike pass by.

I laughed so hard at that that I had to stop and wait so that I wouldn't fall off my bike. My companion laughed really hard too. Serves the dog right. It was pretty ugly by any means...

4.) Well now, we come to one of my favorite happenings of the week.

We were at the chapel for our CES meeting (Correlacion Ejecutivo del Sacerdocio) I don't know what that means in English.  And in this meeting, we had all arrived on bikes, and we left them just outside the door of the chapel because we figured that it was inside the gate, and that if someone showed up, someone would see and be like, HAY! YALL CAN'T TAKE THAT JANK!

As we came out of the meeting, one of the brothers came up and asked us,

"How many Elders are there?"

And we answered four. Then he said something that made my heart stop:

"Well, that sucks. There are only 3 bikes outside."

My bike was the nicest and most expensive of the 4, so I knew my bike had been stolen.

I rushed out the door to check, and to my surprise,

It was still there! They had stolen the bike of our District Leader!

I felt a little bad, but at the same time, he HAS been being kinda dumb lately about contacts and stuff. We laughed so much about it, and the best part was that he was actually SO prideful about being our leader that he said he wasn't even mad. But we all know he was because he didn't want to even be at the church anymore. He started sternly telling his comp that he had to go.

I was honestly just happy that they didn't take MY bike. haha

5.) Also something really cool that happened:

There was a gas station that blew up!

Here, there are two types of gas stations, 1 which is the normal gas station like in the US for cars and stuff where you can pump it.

The other is a station of propane gas. Basically, it's just a place where they have very large reserves of propane in really big tanks.

Well, we were sitting with a member, talking about the mission when all of a sudden, we hear this soft boom.

We looked around and were like, "What the heck?"

Then we hear another one, and the brother looks outside his window and sees smoke, and he suddenly says:

"Woah! The gas station is on fire!"

We all ran outside to see, and sure enough, there was black smoke coming from just over the ridge, and we could hear the explosions from the tanks. there were quite a bit of them. We even saw the flames from the explosions rise over the slight incline. It was such a big explosion that we saw the flames. It took so long for the sound to arrive to the colonia we were in that we saw the flames, and then 5 seconds later we heard the explosion. It was insane.

No one died, but there were 8 wounded and 1 in critical condition, according to people around here. It was pretty cool.

Okay, so in just a week longer I'll be able to talk to you guys again. Did I just talk to you a couple months ago?

The wait between January and May is a lot shorter than May to December, so it seems much faster between the calls. But I'm fine with that. I'm sure you guys are too, right?

See you all next week.

Elder Carter