Monday, 27 October 2014

Simple joys

Hey guys!!


Thanks for all your letters and everything!! It is super nice to hear from all of you and see how you are doing!! Thanks for the advice mom; I will definitely use that this coming week!! The pictures of the Halloween party look pretty fun! That’s awesome!! I loved hearing about your story in Ecuador, mom. It was cool!! I miss everyone back home!!!!I love you guys! I got your card you sent to the mission home!! I really enjoyed reading it and love getting your cards mom!


Okay, so Monday was zone conference! It was really good. I wasn’t able to understand it all, but I could catch a lot of it and it was super cool!! There was big emphasis on the idea that we CAN teach and baptize! We committed 4 people to baptismal dates this week. Not sure if they will follow through but it is pretty awesome!!


On Tuesday I had to go to Rosario to do some visa stuff. So I took the collectivo super early in the morning and sat in a big line for a while to get my finger prints. Then I returned back to the pension at like 5 so it was a pretty long day for me that day! But it was good!! I was able to catch up on all my sleep on the long bus rides!!


The weather is starting to get super super hot!! Its soooo humid here! Ha-ha! I am out for about 5 minutes and then I am already sweating!!! Ha-ha- like right now, I am sitting in a computer place and am sweating just sitting here because it is so hot! I think I am losing more weight because of that and all the walking!!


Some fun things that my companion and I do are every Thursday we go buy lunch at this yummy lunch place!! It is super good!! We get some super big sandwiches and it is super yummy! They are only $3.50 US, but we only get $140 US for the month, so we have to spend wisely.. Of course, the currency is in pesos but it just converts to that much. We have lunch appointments with the members on Fridays, Saturdays,  and Sundays,  which is nice but the other 4 days we are left to make our own food. We never have dinner appointments. Actually, we don’t even get time for dinner! Ha-ha- but it’s good. Every Monday morning, we buy facturas, which are some really good bakery treats!! They are delicious!! Ha-ha - so that means we got some of those today and they were so good!



The customs here are different to me. We leave the pension at like 10 in the morning but by the time 11:30 hits we cannot get in any doors!! Like nowhere! Nada! Zip! Zero! Everyone is making lunch and do not want to talk to us. I think the other day we were knocking on doors from 11:30 to 1:00 and a total of 4 people opened the door and we were only able to talk to two of them!! Ha-ha! But other than in the afternoon people are pretty receptive! It’s just the time of day! Also at 8:00pm is awful too. We get nobody to answer the door. So we usually try to schedule appointments during that time!!


I attend a small branch. The members are awesome! There are a lot of inactive members here which is too bad! We usually get about 70 people attending each week!! So, that’s good!  Church here is different than back home. The members are pretty new and not as strong, but we are happy to be here and help where we can!!


My Spanish is coming along. I still don’t say a ton, but I am starting to say more than my testimony, which I feel good about. I can usually understand when people talk about religion, but when they start to talk about other stuff they might as well be speaking Chinese!! Ha-ha!! Because the entire vocab I know is in the gospel! Pretty funny, huh!


Well, that’s about it for this week! Can’t wait to talk to you again next week!!



Elder Carter

The fancy dinning room/spare bedroom

The office

The master bedroom

The neighborhood

The stud!

The fancy kitchen

Sunday, 26 October 2014

What kind of missionary do I want to be?

October 21, 2014


So, I want to answer your question first - P-Days are usually pretty busy because we have to walk everywhere so there isn’t much free time. We have to shop, email, and clean. That usually takes most of the time because we are always on foot. Man, I have a lot of blisters!!! Ha-ha - but its good! Today the whole zone 3 meets and I think we will play some sports or something so that should be fun!!

I have been starting to say a little bit more than my testimony in the lessons!!! However, it isn’t very good, but I am improving! I am starting to understand a lot more!! Our schedule is a little different than other missions because nobody is out in the afternoon. It is DEAD- nobody is out and nobody will even open their doors!!  So, we do 2 hours of studying in the afternoon with a half hour of free time and also an hour for lunch. We are inside for a good chunk of the afternoon. In the morning we leave at about 10 after we have language study and personal study. However we do not get time for dinner. We leave the pension at about 5:00 pm and don’t return until 9:00 pm, so most times i do not eat dinner. But lunch is huge and I am never hungry either. I saw a scale one day so i decided to weigh myself. I now weigh 188 lb. with all my heavy shoes and stuff on.  The heaviest I weighed in the summer was 205lbs. So, I am doing good!! Grandpa watch out- I’m coming for you!!! Ha-ha just kidding!! I like our unique schedule!!

Okay, you know the shoulder bag I have? Yeah- no!! If I carry that around I will get robbed!! It is way too big! So, right now I am just using my scripture case, which I actually like a lot!! Oh, and we are allowed to wear hats in the summer and I am definitely getting one of those cause man, it gets hot here!! It’s not even summer and I am dying!!

On Thursday night/Friday morning, I spent the whole night throwing up! I felt pretty sick!! I woke up and I felt super weak. I ate something and went to work anyway. We came in a little early for lunch so that was nice. I wasn’t feeling any better by the time we needed to go out again which sucked. We had lunch at a member’s and I didn’t feel like eating ANYTHING so that was awful!! I was able to put it down and nothing came back up...or out!! lol. Anyway, so we had the whole rest of the afternoon. (We had changed out schedule that day so we were out a little earlier than usual). It was blazing hot and my stomach did not feel good and we had NOTHING ON THE PLANNER!!  We had contacting, that’s all. Right then, I decided I wanted to be the kind of  missionary that works until he cannot anymore. We could have gone back and rested. But we didn’t. We knocked on doors, in the heat, with the sun blazing on us and I had blisters. It was awful! But, that day  is over and I decided I wanted to give everything to the Lord!  I am glad I stayed out that day. My companion was also feeling super sick that day too! He said not many missionaries would be out for that long but we did anyway!! We put in our part for the Lord. It was good and we will be blessed for it. Don’t worry Bita, I took your pills you gave me and they worked. I felt amazing the next day and had an amazing sleep!! So, that was my sucky day but I lived past it and decided what kind of missionary I wanted to be even when things were hard!

The water here is pretty gross! It tastes super slimy and has a super weird taste too it. I have heard it makes your teeth yellow. Ha-ha, but I drink it anyway. Don’t worry; it is safe I promise... Or at least I hope.

My trainer is a super good missionary and super good at teaching! I am really not good at teaching and I can’t say anything anyway so he is carrying a lot of the weight here, but i am trying super hard! We are teaching a couple of different people right now. Most are people who we have found contacting. We are teaching a super poor family and they are super legit!! They want to get baptized but they have to be married to first. That is a big problem here. Nobody bothers to get married, they just live together. So the problem is if this couple gets married the mom loses her salary for being a single mom. And these people have nothing, I mean nothing! Their back yard looks like a dump and we sit on broken chairs but they are super awesome!!! Anyways, we promised that they will be blessed if they get baptized so they are going to get married and loose the salary!! What a commitment!! Super awesome!!

We are also teaching some inactives. They are endowed, temple workers and they still believe in the gospel teachings. They were offended at church and now don’t want to go. It is super hard. I don’t know what to say. They probably know about the church and the temple more than I do! They said many people have left for the same reason they did but wouldn’t tell us the reason. It is super sad. They said they have had tons and tons of missionaries pass by but nothing has worked. I don’t know what to do. Hopefully we can help them.

I love you guys!!! Please keep me posted on things and keep praying for me!!


Monday, 13 October 2014

I'm in Venado Tuerto!!!!

Hey guys! So, I am alive!! 

I left the MTC on Tuesday.  It was kind of sad since I was leaving some good friends and the safety of the MTC, as well as the really good spirit there. Everyone left at like 4:00 in the morning, then the Latinos and myself left at like 10:00 am. We met up with some missionaries from the Provo MTC and I could understand and speak better than them, so that was a really awesome confidence booster! But my Spanish is still very “malo.” We took a 4 hours bus ride to Rosario. I mostly slept and talked with the other missionaries on the bus. It was good. When we arrived at the mission home we waited in a room for a while. The mission home is super massive and super big!!  It has some very nice stuff!  After we were greeted, we had interviews’ with the president.

It was really nice to talk with the President. I like him a lot!! His wife reminds me so much of  you mom!! Ha-ha funny!! Anyways, President Zanni doesn’t speak any English, so the interview was done in Spanish and I guess I was the only new North American missionary that he didn’t have to use google translate with, so that was pretty cool. He spoke really slow and really simply but it was good! I promised him two things; 1-  to be one of the hardest working missionaries in the mission and 2-  to be obedient with exactness, even if I did not understand the  rule. So in the best Spanish I could come up with, I was able to promise him these things. I think he really liked that I said that and I think he likes me, or at least I hope.

After that, we had dinner and it was yummy! All the new elders slept in the same room that night, which was pretty gross! There was like 16 guys in one room, nasty!! Ha-ha- I made it through though. Ha-ha lol. Then next morning we woke up and they gave us some training about what to do, money.... etc. then we went to meet our trainers which was really fun! They make a pretty big deal out of it and announce it in front of everyone then everyone cheers. It was really good!!

My companion’s name is Elder Stanworth, first name Cody. He is from Grantsville, Utah and just finished being a zone leader. So that is cool!! We get along super, super well!! I can tell we will be best of friends, which is really fun! He is 17 months into his mission and likes sports and stuff, so it is really good. He is super nice because I pretty much just bear my testimony at all the lessons that I’ve been to. He is carrying a lot of the weight right now. I hope I can help with that really soon.

After  I met my companion, we found out our area and took a “collectivo” to our area. I am presently serving in a small town about two hours north of Rosario. It is called Venado Tuerto. I think it is pretty close to the southern boundary of my mission. So, we took a collectivo, which was pretty cool. It is a double decker bus- I thought Bentley would really like that!   Instead of airports here, they have these big bus stations that look just like airports. It was like a 2 hours bus ride to our new area.

We arrived and the zone leaders showed us to our pension (apartment). Man, Elder Stanworth said it was the best one he’s ever lived in, but it is NOT nice. Stuff is breaking down and it is super gross and we don’t have a ton of running water. It is just not what I am used to,  so it will take a little bit to get used to my new home.Elder Stanworth says it’s the best apartment for three reasons; it has a washing machine, the show water is warm... (sometimes not) and it has a super old ac unit, but it works!! Ha-ha!  People live so differently here!! It is crazy.

I guess our area is super small but we do a lot of walking. I would say our area is about the size of Sundance. People here do not live nicely. Some of the people are living in shacks!!  My area is not very rich so we have a little bit of ghetto in our area. It was a little scary but now I am fine. Fear is the absence of faith. The Lord will protect me if I am doing the right things. So our area isn’t rich and  it looks like people live in dumps and never get around to fixing anything. But that is okay, it’s just how people live here. I guess compared to our area, our pension is super nice. We don’t live in our area so I would say that if our area was Sundance we would live in chaparral. We do  lots of walking all day. We opened a new area, so we have been doing a lot of  contacting lately!!

Church is really different here.  For lessons we pretty much just read something and explain it. There really isn’t much teaching going on. But the church is pretty big. I introduced myself in Spanish and that was scary because my Spanish is still not good. Often I am in a lesson and all I can do is bare my testimony which is kind of annoying because there is so much more that I want to say, but I am trying my best! I hope I will be able to do better in the future!

Something that I’ve really noticed is the strength of  your prayers. I think I can really feel when you guys have prayed for me and when you haven’t- super weird, but at like 6:30-8:00 am, when you guys haven’t been up or prayed yet because it’s like 4:00 in the morning, I feel a little sad. But after that, it just changes, it’s weird, but just keep praying for me and don’t forget!! Please, it really helps.

This week I said the closing prayer in one of the lessons. Anyway it was with someone we contacted and his name was Ernesto. Anyways, I said, please bless Estevan in the prayer. I totally got his name wrong!! So much to remember...But I don’t think he noticed. I hope…

It is different here, but I am doing good! It has been a little hard for me this week because I’ve been thinking about home a bit more. It’s just a huge adjustment from what I have grown up with, but I am doing pretty good!  I am feeling more comfortable, so that’s good. It will only get better from hereJ

I know I am supposed to be here right now in this area serving these people and nowhere else! I know if I trust the Lord, I will be blessed. Thanks for your prayers and advice. Keep praying for me!! I love you guys and I love hearing from you!!



Elder Carter
Feeling excited to be here, with President and Hermana Zanni

My new bedroom

My fancy kitchen

Just having fun

My new area

Arriving in Rosario!!

Saying good-bye was bitter sweet. this was one of my teachers
I made great friends at the MTC
Arriving via bus to the mission home with lots of other missionaries

We had a nice meal at the mission home!

Meeting my mission presidents, Presidente and Hermana Zanni and my trainer

My new companion, Elder Stanworth

All the new greenies (Elders)

Our big group of new missionaries with our companions

Thursday, 2 October 2014

It's coming together!!!

Hey guys!!  How’s it going?


Nothing massive happened this week - but I am finally getting the conjugations!! !! They are all coming together!! Your prayers are working - thank you guys!!! Now, it’s just a matter of applying them when I am speaking.  I am pretty good at understanding what people say in Spanish so that is sweet! I really think that my Spanish is getting a lot better, which is really nice to see! Ha-ha! Hopefully I will be better than all those missionaries coming from Provo!  Boy - am I ready to get out of here!! The MTC is sweet and all but I want to get to the field! I leave for the field on Tuesday. I think I get to email you on Monday for like 10 minutes to let you know what it is going on with my departure..


I hope you guys are as excited for conference as I am- Because I can’t wait! It’s going to be a nice change from all the regular classes!! My goal to read the Spanish Book of Mormon is going well! I am on page 300 and I understand more Spanish words - I can tell. But I still have a lot more to go. The days here are getting a little repetitive but it’s all good.


What’s this 40 day fast that you guys were talking about? Anyways thanks for all the fasts and prayers.


This week we went proselyting again and it was pretty cool! This area was like 10 times nicer and there were only like 3 stray dogs - so that was nice! Ha-ha!  About 10 minutes off the bus, we started talking to this guy and  he invited us over to eat lunch with him. So we went to the market and bought some weird vegetables that I have never seen in my whole life! Then we walked with him to his house. He said he was a professional cook, but based on the way he was living,   he was probably not a professional cook. He lived in a one bedroom apartment, with the bed right in the kitchen and a bathroom, but he was the nicest guy. He recently was divorced. Anyways, he made us this super yummy dish! It was awesome!!! I really liked it. We taught him a lesson on faith and after we were done, we thought that he was receptive, but he said he didn’t want faith and he was content on how he was living. Anyway, that was too bad! Oh well!! I think he just needed someone to talk to which was good. It was a great experience and we got a free awesome meal!


After we left him, we had like an hour left and just went to a bakery and got some really good stuff. We also talked to a few people but nothing came out of it.


I am really enjoying it here. I like to play a lot of pranks on people, since everyone is super uptight. Ha ha-..... I am probably a little annoying but everyone needs to relax and have some fun. So, the other day I got a bucket of ice cold water and dumped it on one of the elders while he was in the shower!! Ha-ha - it was so funny because he couldn’t do anything about it! It was ok because he and I joke like that all the time


Mom- thanks for your letter about your work experiences! I liked reading it and I will send the letter I wrote you yesterday over mail when I get to my mission.  Oh can you please send me a picture of your one arm?  Looking through the photo album, you always seem to be able to hide it!!!! I want to show people and brag!!!!! So send me a picture with your little arm!!!!!!!!! Thanks!!


Have fun at conference!! Life here is good! I  am  really looking forward to being a real missionary out in the field. , I hope you guys are doing well at home! I enjoy hearing about your lives at home! love you guys! I can’t wait for conference and for Tuesday!!


I love you! Chow!!



Elder carter



We tried to mimic the sisters posing

The 2 Americans are my good friends and the 2 Latinos are super cool too! Love these guys!!

This is the cafeteria - small but good food!!

This is our physical activity area - all of it is outdoors

My personal favorite picture :)