Sunday, 26 June 2016

This stuff is true!!!

June 20, 2016

Hey guys!!

This week went by well! We worked hard..and didn't see to many fruits hahaha-but its alright! 

My birthday went well! We tried to order empanadas but everything was closed so we just ordered them the next day! They were still just as good! I bought a bunch of alfajores which were really good! Mostly just relaxing. We had a dinner with an hermana which was pretty good as well! 

We have an investigator that is very friendly, his name is Funes! Well, Funes and his family invited us over to have an asado or in other words, an argentine bbq. He invited us over for Sunday at 2pm. We arrived and he greeted us very happily..a little too much! Hahaha - it didn't take too long to realize that he was drunk! Nonetheless, he was pretty pumped to see us. He said he thought that we were not going to come. He would not stop talking about how great it was that we came. When we got there he had the asado ready for us to eat! It was fun! Hahaha -when we finally got him to turn the music down so that we could hear him, it was a lot better! As the time went on he just got drunker and drunker. He lives with his family as well, so we ate with all of them. The meat was really good! He had cooked it well, which was really nice! Hahahah the worst part of the whole thing was that he had made us a salad...but not a normal salad. Just by the looks of it you can tell that it is not something that you will want to eat. I asked him what it was and excitedly he told me that it was a pig skin salad. It consisted of boiled pig skin, onions and some condiments. He said he LOVED it. I knew that I was not going to like it! Hahaha - he served me a huge portion in the form of a sandwhich with bread. Man, it took alot to muster that thing down! But I did it!! Hahaha!! He asked if I wanted more and I said it was really good but I was going to save room for the meat! He kept persisting, so I used the good old argentine cop out "me hace mal" or "it makes me not feel good." Everyone has stomach problems here from all the oil and fat they eat that its normal and everyone understands. It worked very wel! So I didn't have to eat anymore.  Elder Larsen had to eat another big portion of it though because before he could say no there was already a big portion on his plate. It was a good experience!

On Saturday, the Hermanas had a baptism! It was an older gentleman, who is about 85 years old. Really awesome guy, with a huge heart and always a big smile on his face. Well, this older gentleman has had some previous problems with his heart along with a couple of other things. This meant that the water needed to be warm, or else it would cause his body to react in a wierd way. Anyways, we left the keys to fill up the baptismal font to the Hermanas. When we got there at 3:30 pm, the font was a quarter full and they were trying to fill it up with buckets. I guess that the water had been cut off - which happens pretty often here. So there was no water in the church. What they were doing was filling it up with water from the outside hose. That was not going to work because the water needed to be warm. Jose, the man being baptized, decided that he was going to wait a week in order to do the baptism. To make a long story short, after a couple of tears shed by the hermanas we ended up having the baptism in another chapel along with a baptism that another ward has having. After all was said and done the looking of happiness and gratefulness that Jose's face showed was pretty amazing!!! It made everything worth it. Everything that had happened, all the moving around we had to do,didn't matter anymore! It was a pretty cool feeling! 

Something that I have really been thinking about a lot lately is the parable of the rich young man. I think its in Matthew 17 or 19 I'm not too sure. What happens is that this young man asks Jesus what is required to have eternal life. Jesus responds that he should keep all the commandments, and names a few. The young man responded that he already was keeping all the commandments since he was born. Jesus then told him to sell all his things and give them to the poor, and the rich young man went away sad becuase of all the things that he had. I was thinking a lot about that this week. Someone can keep all the commanments and look like they are doing everything that they can from the outside, but on the indside their heart is not in the right place. On the mission, a missionary can keep all of the rules and be exactly obedient, but if his heart is not in it, if he is not doing it for the right reasons, than it doesn't matter. If they do it just to receive glory from others, or make it look like they are something they are not. But those who are truly converted will be converted in their hearts as well. Its something that I have been thinking a lot right now. Am I doing everything just to be obedient or is my heart in the right place as well?

I don't know if you remeber Angelina from Belgrano, the golden investigator that we found?Yeah,  I got news that she doesn't want anything to do with the church anymore. I am 100% sure that someone told her a bunch of stuff about the church and being in a vulnerable state with her circumstances, she gave in. I called her to see what's wrong and she is a completely different person. It's too bad because she was one of the most prepared people that I have met! She had a great testimony but Satan had to get his foot in the way. I hope one day in this life she will decide to be baptized. The amount of opposition that investigators receive before they get baptized strengthens my testimony. It is clear that Satan also knows that if they do it they will become happy and be doing the right thing. It's amazing the things that Satan will pull off in order for them too not be baptized. Every single person that I have been able to help get baptized has had some type of trial before their baptism. I have also had a lot that were going to get baptized but the trial got the better of them and decided to not get baptized. It's sad but it's another testiomny to me that THIS STUFF IS TRUE!!

Love you guys!
Elder Carter 

A great birthday!!

June 13, 2016

Hey guys!!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!! I don't feel any different in age than I did when I left! The time has gone by so quickly, it's crazy! When I first came out on my mission, I thought that when I turned 20, I would be pretty old! Hahaha!!!  The day has arrived and I don't feel any older in life nor on the mission, even though I know that my time here is going to come to an end very quickly! 

I am not sure if you guys remember me talking about a guy named Ezequiel that we were teaching in Villa Ramallo. He is an investigator that we found while trying to look for someone else. While we were looking a young man, Ezequiel  answered the door. He was covered in tattoos of skulls and naked women. He had tons of piercings and hair down to his shoulders. We started talking to him and we set up a day to come by. That day came around and we were running late, so we got to his house late. He was there waiting for us with mate cosido and some bread (typical food when you have guests over here). The lesson went great and he came to church a bunch of times. He read up until the end of 2 nephi and was loving it!! The only problem was that he was living with his girlfriend who is from Buenos Aires. He had come to church a bunch of times and wanted to get married. It was great that he wanted to get married but he didn't have any documents, so they weren't able to go and get the papers required to get married, since you need to have specific identification. He decided to go down to Buenos Aires for a couple of weeks to try and get his documents in order and also to work. That was about 2 weeks before I left Villa Ramallo. He never came back before I left, so I had no idea what happened to him. I wasn't even able to say goodbye. BUT, the other day I got a call  from the missionaries who are over there in Villa Ramallo telling me that Ezequiel was going to get baptized!! I was really excited!! He had also asked if I could do the baptism. Unfortunately, I will not be able to go. But that's alright! I am really excited that he is finally going to get baptized! It's too bad that I never got a picture with him or anything!! That was some pretty exciting news for me this week!! Even though I cannot be there, I am happy that he has accepted the gospel!

When I had first gotten here to Pergamino, Elder Larsen and I asked Heavenly Father if it were possible to baptize every month here in the area. We receieved a positive answer. I was excited and not too worried because we had about 3 or 4 people who were going to church who were not members. I though it was going to be pretty easy. Once we got working to try committ one of these people to get baptized in June things started to get a little bit complicated. We knew that Heavenly Father was going to prepare someone for us, but we were not sure who. We were not sure if it was someone that we already knew or if it was someone that we had to find. In order to get baptized here, the investigator must assist church 3 times before their baptism. We either had to find someone in the first two week or baptize someone that was already going to church. We had been working very hard. We were talking to everyone we saw, planning as best as we could, studying really hard, along with a bunch of other things. I am sure we made lots of errors but we were really trying. The first week had passed and nothing looked very promising. This last week we have been working very hard. We had appointments with all the posible people that could get baptized. We planned and studied and fasted for them BUT in every lesson they said no to baptism. There was some problem or they didn't feel ready and a bunch of other things. So we studied to solve their doubts... and that didn't work either. After realizing that none of our investigators that we had were going to get baptized in June, we started looking very hard for new ones. Saturday morning came along and we still didn't have anyone. If we wanted someone new to come to church we had to find them that week in order for them to get baptized. I really felt like I was giving it everything that I had. Well on Saturday morning we saw a miracle!! A couple of elders from another side of Pergamino called to inform us that they had an investigator over there that they were teaching who had just recently moved to our ward boundaries. This investigator had already gone to church a number of times, she already had a testimony of the church, and had all the lessons!! She was ready to be baptized!! So on Sunday morning we did everything that we could to get them to church! After a battle we were finally able to get them to come!! I think she will be the baptism in the month of June! It was really cool to see that when we did everything that we could, God gave us what He had promised us, but first we had to really give it everything that we had! I really hope she will get baptized this month! Keep her in your prayers!! Her name is Sandra!

Today for my birthday we went to the store an bought a loaf of bread, jam, peanut butter and some milk! We ate some very yummy peanut buttter and jam sandwiches!! It had been a very long time since I have had that! Haha - I think tomorrow we are going to order something to eat, since today lots of the restaurants are closed!! It has been a good birthday!!

One thing that I have really noticed and learned on my mission is that the missionaries cannot do this work alone. There are four steps to helping someone become a member of the church. Finding, Teaching, Baptizing and Making friendships hermanar). Missionaries are there to Teach and Baptize. The members are there to FIND and to make friendships! We cannot work without the members and the members cannot work without us!!   I have been realizing how big of a change converts have to go through and without a friend, its very hard for them to do. They are changing their whole culture and their way of life! It's a big change! Also, nothing happens in missionary work until we find people to teach. I feel that maybe missionaries are doing to much finding, because they don't have people to teach. Its something that I really want to change  after the mission. I did not do a very go job at all at home and I feel bad about it. I will do better!!

Something cool that I have learned from the scriptures lately is in the new testament. I have been studying it a lot lately and I really like it! I was reading the other day in Matthew 11. At the end of the chapter we read about "yoke."I had not idea what the heck it was talking about. So after I had looked up a few things up, I learned that a yoke is an intrument used by animals when carrying big loads. The idea is that it helps carry the wieght. With the aid of the yoke, the weight goes from being unbearable, to bearable. Jesus invites us to come to him and he will give us his yoke. Then it later explains that his yoke, or the way he helps lighten our load is though the commandments! If we want help, we will recieve it though the blessings that the commandments promise us!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!!

Love you Guys! 
Elder Carter  

Brrrr - it's cold!!!!!!!

June 6, 2016

Hey guys! Hows it going?

This week went by quickly! I like it down here in Pergamino, but man it's cold!! The humidity just kills ya! It is so windy down here and mixed with the humidity, it makes the air feel so very cold!!! Luckily, our pension has a nice heater so when we get back at night it's nice and warm. Its been the first heater that I have had on my mission! And it's so nice because because this winter has definitely been colder than last year! I don't know if it is just because of where we are or if its because it's just a colder year, but its fine! 

The other day we had to go to Rosario bright and early! We woke up at 4am because we had to be there at 8 and its like 2 and a half hour ride! It was freezing cold on the way to the bus terminal. When we got onto the bus at the bus terminal, I was so excited to have a nice warm ride to Rosario. Well, with my luck the heaters didn't work! Haha!!! So, for the whole 2 hour ride, I was freezing my butt off!! Haha - I couldn't wait until we got to Rosario. On top of that, I had to go to the bathroom the whole time, so all in all it was not a very pleasant ride to Rosario. It took me a little while to get all warmed up when we arrived. I found an Hermana in the ward that is going to make me a knitted scarf, so I am pretty excited about that!!

This week, I was thinking a lot about miracles and what is required of us in order to see and witness miracles. I have always prayed and asked and waited for miracles but I have been asking myself lately am I really doing my part to witness a miracle? In the Book of Mormon, it talks about a God that works many miracles, a God that breaks Alma and Almulek out of prison, a God that delivers the plates to Nephi, a God that helps thousand of people get baptized. A God of miracles. It also says that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is always a God of miracles and if he stops performing miracles He will stop being God. If we are not seeing miracles, it is becuase of the lack of our faith. I know the Book of Mormon is true, but I haven't been acting like I believe in a God of miracles. If I say I know the Book of Mormon is true, I need to believe in a living God, a God that works miracles. I have seen miracles in the mission field, but  have lacked faith. I was really thinking about that a lot this week-that when I read the Book of Mormon, if I really do believe it, than I need to believe in the living God that wrote it though mans hands. It was cool for me to think about and really changed my perspective on how I read and study the scriptures! 

The ward here is good! Better than i was expecting! Its not like Belgrano or anything, but I am looking forward to working with them! There were about 40 people at church yesterday! A lot different than 140, but they seem like good people!! The Elders qoruom President is a 19 year old and the people who attend are the Elders the bishop's counsellors and the stake patriarch. We share the ward with two hermanas. I really like it!! We don't have too many lunches set up, but Elder Larsen knows how to cook pretty well so that's really nice!

One thing that I am really trying to work on is showing my emtions better. I am happy and excited but sometimes I am not very good at showing it. I'm not very good at showing my love towards others. So I am really trying to focus on this and really trying to show my love towards the members and the investigators here! Do you have any ideas how i can do that a little bit better_?

  Thats about it for this week! It went by very quickly! 

Elder Carter


May 31, 2016

Hey guys!

Well this week has been good! 

I got transferred this week! I got transfered to a city called Pergamino which is about 2 hours from Rosario! I am super excited! My new companion is from Heber, Utah. He is my 5th companion from Utah! His name is Elder Larsen and he is about 11 month in the mission! He seems  like a cool guy! I was however, sad to say goodbye to Elder Curtis. We had a lot of fun together and were able to work very well together! I will also miss Rosario and Belgrano but i am really excited to come here and apply everything that I was able to learn! I haven't really gotten to know the area yet, but from what I have seen so far looks pretty cool. Its been pretty rainy here BUT we went to the store and GUESS WHAT?! There is PEANUT BUTTER!! Hahaha - I bought myself a big jar and I have been eating it by the spoon fulls! Pretty great! The apartment is nice. It's big , but the bathroom is kind of small and gross, but in Argentina is doesn't get much better than that! Going to the bathroom and showering at the same time makes for an interesting bathroom.

So, I said goodbye to a couple of people in Belgrano. Since I wasn't there for a super long time I didn't build a ton of great relationships with everyone, but I was able to build a few! Angelina, the golden investigator that we found was pretty bummed when I told her that I was leaving! We have almost taught her everything and she is going to get baptized on the 18th of june! So, if you remember she doesn't have a job, she is trying to study nursing and is raising a 6 year old son alone. She does not have very much. Anyways, on Sunday when I went to go say goodbye to her she had made us cookies, pizza, bought chips, coke, crackers, and hot dogs. I know for a fact that she did not have the money just floating around. It was really good food but the sacrifice and thought meant even more to me. To be a single mother without a job and be scraping the bottom of the jar everyday for money would not be easy, but it did not matter to her. She so lovingly sacrificed to show love and gratitude to someone she had recently met. I was so humbled and touched and definitely taught. She made me feel so good! I am sad I will not be there for her baptism but am excited to see pictures. It will be super awesome!!!   It's great when you can find someone like that who really loves and needs the gospel!!

Today I was reading in Matthew 8:21-22 and I really got thinking about it. It talks about a disciple of Christ who had lost his father and he was going to bury him. He asked Jesus if he could be excused to go and do this. Jesus responded and told him that he needed to leave his father and follow him. So the man did it. I was studying and thinking more about that. The callings, assignments and revelations that we recieve from God are really inspired. He knows what is going on in our lives and he expects us to do all we can to fulfill our callings. Bruce R Mcconkie also said that we must remeber to follow Christ at all times not matter what the circumstances are. It made me think of what I am doing and if I really am consecrated in the work! It helped me realize how important following Christ and doing whet he needs and wants is important!

Other than that, nothing too big has happend! It will be a good week! I am looking forward to getting to know the members and start looking for people to baptize!

Love you guys!
Elder Carter