Thursday, 5 November 2015

A reflective week

November 2, 2015

Hey, whats up!

Happy Halloween!! Halloween here pretty much does not exist! Haha. The most I saw here were a couple kids dressed in robes trying to scare people - accompanied by some gun shots! haha ! People here really don't celebrate it! I have to admit, I did think a little about home and all the cool stuff that goes on around this time!
It poured this week, especially on Wednesday and Thursday! As a matter of fact, we left for lunch on Thursday and 5 minutes into our walk, we were completely soaked!!! Haha! It is pointless to even use an umbrella or a rain coat because EVERYTHING gets soaked- there is no escaping it! Haha!! It makes it a little bit harder to work, but that's alright, we worked anyway!
Man, it is hard not to get fat here! I am surprised I haven't gained more weight. I am going to let you in on what the normal argentine eating habits are;

For breakfast:They have a drink call "mate" which consists of tons of sugar and water. They usually eat that with some "facturas" or some type of bread. Just that, nothing else. And that's IF they eat breakfast. 
For lunch: EVERYTHING is fried. Its either something fried or a pasta of some sort! You also eat a lot of meat. AND there is always bread -always always. The bread is way good! It's hard not to eat it. 
Snack:They drink more mate with cookies. And sometimes bread too.
Dinner: They don't eat dinner until 9 or 10 at night. And it also consists of pasta or something fried with bread. 

So all in all, people aren't too concerned with lean eating here. Back home, it's not uncommon to see really fit people with lean muscle walking down the streets, but that is very rare to see here. I have to admit that the food is really yummy though, and I sure do like it!!! 

My new area, Ramallo is a lot more widespread than in the city, where I was last serving. We are visiting some people who live out on farms. The problem is that they always have freaking crazy dogs! They are massive dogs that are pretty much trained to attack whenever someone enters the property! And you guys know how I feel about dogs (except for very few).  So, I am not a huge fan of all the dogs we have to pass through before we get in the door. I have had to pick up a few rocks and throw them at the dogs to get them to leave!! Haha!!
We walk on lots of dirt roads and open country here. It reminds me lots about camping. This week, as I was walking along, I remembered back to all the scout camps I went on. Man, I have some great memories from those! The summer camps are better memories than the winter camps! Even though sometimes it rained or we walked a lot, and even though some activities were not as fun as others, they all created great memories! I had so much fun on those things!! They were also great testimony builders. I am grateful to my YM leaders for taking the time to plan these and for all their efforts to get us out there and have fun! Good times! I wish I could go back and relive those moments!!
One day this week, we had a ton of appointments scheduled! It was crazy! We had scheduled 6 or 7 appointments in a row. I was pretty excited for the day. But as we went to visit them, nobody was there!!!! NOBODY!!!! I must admit that I was feeling pretty discouraged and beaten and everything in me wanted to come back to the pension early and close my eyes and go to sleep. We had been on our feet for at least 5 hours with nothing going right. No one was opening the doors or anything! But we kept on going! At around 8:45 pm, we went looking for an inactive me,ver and to our surprise, she answered the door and welcomed us into her humble home. We were able to have a great lesson with her! It was pretty awesome! It was a sweet miracle and honestly, a much needed one because I was physically and emotionally tired! 

As I was thinking about that experience more this week, I realized that EVERY time in my mission that I have seen some miracles, it has always come after a struggle! Even though we are out here doing what we are supposed to be doing, God isn't just going to give us everything we want, when we want it. We must work hard for it. I was reading in the beginning chapters of Nephi the account of  when they went to get the brass plates. They were doing what God had commanded them to do. They were trying their best and they were almost killed a couple of times in the process! Lemuel and Laman saw it as God not supporting them. But Nephi knew that they needed to do their part first, before the Lord did the rest! Sometimes God tells us to do something but He will not just give us what we are looking for at our feet. We must really work hard and try our best to do our part. Thats what I think is important. Its a lot easier said than done. People always talk about enduring to the end, giving it all they have, but when it really comes down to it, when its hard and you really really want to give up and go home what do you do? That is when you get the blessing of the Lord stepping in.

Anyways, I am doing good! Thanks a ton for all the support!  I am enjoying Ramallo and we are seeing the blessings of working hard an being obedient! We have been finding new people to teach and it is really exciting! The people we are finding are awesome! I am super excited!
I love you guys!
Elder Carter

Two missionaries to the rescue!

October 26, 2015
Hey guys!!
This week has been super good! It is different being here in Ramallo than in the city! There is not much movement here and it seems like not as much stuff is happening! Haha! It's alright! i really like it!
This week we have mainly been getting to know all the members and the "menos activos" and investigatores! It's been good! The members are a little different here and there aren't as many, but its alright! I am going to enjoy my time working here!! We have a number of ladies that we are teaching but all of them have the same problem. They are living with their boyfriends (with a number of kids) and the guy doesn't want to get married. We have about 4 or 5 ladies who are ready to be baptized but their boyfirend does not want anything to do with the church or getting married! It is so sad! We fasted with 2 of them this Sunday so that we could some how find a solution to that problem! I don't know what it is the deal here with people not getting married! Pretty weird!!
On Sunday there were about 45 people at church, which was good! Its a lot smaller than Rosario! But i like it! The president is a little different and I think that's why there are so few people going to church but we are trying to work and help him out! Elections were going on here on Sunday as well and we were not allowed to be out because it gets crazy here!! So,  it was a good opportunity to get to know Elder Cox a little better and also  to catch up on my studies, the journal and sleep! It was a good rest!! Elder Cox knows how to make some good mini donuts so we were busy eatng those all day! Haha!  I have always been blessed with companions who know how to cook. Thank goodness because I  know anything about cooking! I decided I am just not a cooker!! Haha!!
One morning this week we were walking and a moter cyle passed by us. A couple of seconds later we heard what sounded like a crash. We turned around and the woman on the motor cyle had totally wiped out and the motorcycle was laying on top of her! We quickly ran over and lifted the moter cyle off of her and made sure that she was okay. Lucky nothing was broken! Here in Argentina there are a ton of speed bumps! They are all over the place! The night before it had been a little rainy. Anyways, what happens here is that people on motorcycles don't want to go over the speed bump so they go to the side where the speed bump and the curb meet. There is about 1 foot of space, so the moter cyle can easly fit through and keep going with out having to slow down. Well what had happened was that she tried to do but because of mud from the rain the night before, her tire caught the mud and she wiped out. I was thinking alot about this incident. Speed bumps are built for our protection. Even though sometimes they are annoying and we don't want to use them, they are so that we, and the people around us can stay safe. They have been built by people who know what they are doing and have seen far too many accidents before. When we do not choose to use these speed bumps the way they are designed, people can get hurt!  It's the same with the commandments!!!! God had given us commandments and even though it seems like they get in the way or they just slow us down, they are really here to help us. If we choose to disobey and go around the commandments we might just find our selves in a muddy situation! Haha!  God knows alot more than us and we should use the things he has told us to use and do the things he has told us to do! That's what's cool!!
The pension here is super nice! It is probably one of the nicest ones in the mission! Its good and I am happy! Elder Cox is super cool! And he is a funny kid! A little clumsy but I love him!

I love you guys!!
Elder Carter

A transfer!

October 20,2015

Hey guys!! It's been a crazy week!!
To start off, last Monday we cut computer time short so that we could go golfing! Man, golfing was super fun!! It had been a super long time since I last went! The course was kind of crappy because it wasn't the golfing season and I played awful, but I loved it!! It was super fun!! haha! So, we went and the course was in this  gated off neighbourhood! We drove up in a little crappy looking taxi and entered this area where the houses were just massive and the cars were super nice!!!! It was crazy!! We got there and started golfing right away,which was sweet!! Nobody was playing and the guy was super nice that let us in! We had a ton of fun and it felt like I was just hanging out! It was pretty awesome!! We then finished up and went and got some chorizos in centro which are like sausages but in a sandwhich and man they are sooo goood!! Haha! It was a pretty awesome day! It was definitely a good way to spend my last p day in Rosario!!
We had a good week doing divisiones, visiting the members and everything!! We were starting to find new people to teach and new menos activos to work with! It was pretty sweet! I was pretty excited!!! So much potential right when I was leaving!! It's alright, though! The new companionship will do great!  We did a couple of service activities this week, which went super well! We cut down a tree and it was pretty fun! I will send pics next week, I  forgot my camera!
The big news this week is that I got transferred! I am now in a small little town outside of San Nicholas! It is called Villa Ramallo! It is about an hour away from San Nicolas and San Nicolas is about 1 hour and 30 mins from Rosario! My new companion is named Elder Cox. He is from Utah and just finished being trained! I am excited to work with him!
We found out about transfers Saturday night, so we were busy visiting and saying goodbye to everyone all day Sunday and Saturday! Man, I had some really tough goodbyes! The familia Castellano and Bozac were both super hard for me to leave! I had built such a special friendship with them!  They both felt like part of my family. The familia Castellano felt like my uncle and aunt and then the familia Bozac felt like other grandparents! It was pretty hard for me to say goodbye to them! They both cried! I wrote them notes and gave them a few gifts! I hope I can see them both one day! Mom, they are both going to add you on facebook so accept them and keep encouraging them for me!!
Sunday I was asked to give a talk, 20 mins before sacrament meeting. I was thinking tons of what I should talk about. Sunday was mothers day here in Argentina so I went with the theme! I talked about mom and the love that she has shown me and how its similar to the love of chirst! I think it went well because I looked out into the congregation and some sisters were crying. I think that means it was good!!
I left Rosario in the morning and I arrived in San Nicholas in the afternoon. I traveled alone which was pretty weird!  Haha! But, I made it safe and sound! Ramallo is very very different from Rosario. I was pretty sad to say goodbye to Las Delicias and I think I really took it for granted while I was there! The members there are amazing and do so much for the missionaries. It is much smaller here with about 40 people at church every Sunday. We share the branch with a pair of hermanas... It is a little tiny town that doesn't really have a downtown or a centro. It is very calm and quiet which is very different from Rosario where you hear gun shots every night and there is always tons of movement! It's alright though, it should be good and I am excited to work here! By the way, I have realized I am a city boy!
I really loved the people in Rosario and for real am going to miss them! The members really took great care of me - they fed me every day, helped me with my laundry, and were always ready and willing to help the missionaries out as best they could. They taught me a lot!  I know things will be different here, but I am looking forward to doing my best! I am excited and committed to working hard here!
I love you guys! Thanks for everything!
Elder Carter