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

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