Hey ya´ll!! Ah, I love you all a ton. I wish I could express to you just how much support I feel from your letters. You guys are my rock. I wrote you a letter but I didn´t get a chance to send it....hopefully next week.
Okay, this is going to be scrambled, and I hope I remember everything I wanted to tell you. First, specific prayer miracles!!!! Wooo!!!!
First, I should say that the work is a lot slower than I thought it would be. Our key indicator for baptism is 2 baptisms a week, and I was like, okay, this is Ecuador, land of the Lamanites, everyone raves about how the gospel is growing so much, 2 baptisms a week is doable.
Yeah, we´ll see. Hahaha basically our numbers are...slow. This only bothers me when I wonder if I´m doing enough. Because if we invite all our investigators to church a billion times, and fast and pray and all that good stuff, and then they don´t come to church, have I done all I can? This is the question of the century for me. If I felt like I´ve done all I can, then I don´t get discouraged, but I wonder a lot if I´m doing all I can.
Well basically earlier this week we had next to zero investigators. Like, 1 and two halves, basically. This is a new area, so we needed to find people. Also, we still didn´t have hot showers. P.S. I got your package, thank you for the dry shampoo, now I don´t have to shower every day!!! (solo un chiste...sort of). So, I said a specific prayer, one day as I was crying before my shower....because freezing showers are the worst and it´s sort of a despair thing. So I specifically prayed that if we could contact 25 people, which is 10 more than our daily goal, which we never make anyways, and find 2 families to teach, which is 1 more than our daily goal, also which never happens anyways, then that next day (Thursday) we would have hot water for our shower. Again with the mean girls thing, I had no idea how it would happen, but I had faith that it would. So that next day (Wednesday) we contacted like crazy and contacted 28 people and taught 2 families, so I was like yes, Thursday we will have hot water. So Thursday night came and long story short it´s been a process but we figured out how to work the hot water, and last night I had my first shower that was warm all the way through. It definitely isn´t hot, but I´m surviving a lot better now and now I don´t cry before every shower!
Other quick prayer miracle. Basically I pray over every meal we have with our mamitas that the food will be sweet to my taste (1 Nephi 17:12) and that it won´t make me sick. Well I had my first nasty food experience. I don´t know what I ate, haha I don´t know what anything is that I eat. There is always something I don´t like but if I mix it with rice it´s usually fine. This thing was just nasty and mushy and there was cheese in it, and the cheese here is disgusting. So I decided to just swallow this food thing whole, take it like pills. Afterwards, my stomach was like "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME" and I was like, crap, I´m going to die later tonight. Well, I didn´t. I haven´t gotten sick at all this week, and I´ve been able to eat everything. Also the avocados here taste like candy, and I normally don´t like avocados. Or maybe it´s that whole sweet to my taste thing. Either way, Dad, can you send me your guac recipe? I want to make guac for my district one day. Oh, and I am going to send pictures today, I promise!!!
What else what else. Okay, yeah, I got the package, your rice krispy treats are the best. And they were still good! I was worried they would be hard after several weeks in the mail. Also...you sent the wrong white shirt. But, it´s okay. I´ll survive. I´m going to experiment with only wearing one skirt a week so I can do less laundry and so I can feel more dirty than I already do.
Well, I´ll compart something I learned this week. I mean share. I basically can´t talk English anymore. Wait, I have to compartir another frustrating thing. This can go on the blog, unless you think it´s too racist.
Basically I work hard every day to speak Spanish. I am trying tanto hard to learn this language, and it isn´t hard, it just takes time. I did have a holy crap I learned the wrong language moment one day, but then I realized the person was speaking Quichua. Also, Otavalo is in the other mission, darn. Anyways, I always try my hardest to speak the best Spanish I can to people. And without fail, this happens at least several times a day: "I´m sorry, I can´t understand you, what did she say?" They ask my native companion. She proceeds to repeat exactly what I just said, in the exact same language. "Oh, okay, I understand, blah blah blah."
PEOPLE. I AM SPEAKING YOUR LANGUAGE. GIVE ME A CHANCE. I asked my trainer why this happens and she said it´s because I´m white, and it still happens to her too, and her Spanish is fantastic. UUUUUUUUGH. Also we get charged more in taxis a lot because we´re white. I learned this week how important it is to love the people, and I´m working on doing that better, but it´s pretty hard when they do stuff like that.
Okay, so for the thing that I learned. About loving the people. After my little rant. Go and read John 15, it´s about abiding in Christ. I learned this in the MTC a little but basically it goes like this: To be successful missionaries, we need to abide in Christ. And how do we abide in Christ? We need to walk as he walked and do as he would do. And how do we do this? We must love. Everything we do must be out of love. This has motivated me a lot more to really truly love the people. And I do, I feel something very different for these people, especially the people I teach. I hope they can see it, but maybe that´s what I´ve been doing wrong, they can´t feel my love. I´ll work on it more this week.
So, there are about a billion dogs here, right? Well I made friends with one, and now he thinks it´s the greatest thing in the world to literally attack me, and only me, whenever we contact people. Only when we contact people. I was going to name him Sam or something but now I´m thinking maybe I should name him Satan.
Algo mas...oh, Dad, I love what you said about member missionary work. I´m going to use that I hope sometime soon. It´s frustrating because people here in our ward don´t understand how important member missionary work is. We need people coming with us to every lesson and we usually only get a few people every week. It is pretty frustrating, especially since the only people we can teach in their houses without a member present are women older than 18 and families.
Also, Dad, you said you found Grandma´s Patriarchal Blessing? When I read that I about started crying in the middle of a soccer field. If that´s something you think you could send to me, would you?
Also I got in trouble for playing piano guys...I´m going to have to hold off on that until I get a new comp. Hahahah
Mom, I don´t remember what happened Wednesday except my contacting spree, but thank you for your prayer. I feel like I should be in a lot more danger here than I actually am. I forgot to take a picture of the creepy alleyway I live in, but there are worse places, and everyone here lives in a creepy alleyway so I guess that is normal.
And, just incase you all are forwarding this to other family members, to Drew and Michelle: Drew, that talk by John H. Groburg also made me almost cry in the middle of a soccer field. Thinking about the support I have from my family really keeps me going, but that talk made me realize that I have your prayers too. Like, I knew that, but I imagined my own family in family prayer just simply saying "bless Kaela on her mission" and it made me realize that I´m not totally alone out here, so thank you so very much for that! Also, sorry I didn´t reply. The last two weeks were chaotic. But this bit here is for your two!
Okay, I think that´s it. At least that´s all I can remember. Dad, if you have any suggestions on how to amp up member missionary work, that would be awesome. Also, I got a letter from Kathy Roberts, could you send her my thanks? I had the goal to reply to every letter I receive, but I literally have the time to write letters never. P-days are always super busy. Like today we played soccer with our Zone, which was nice because I got to hang out with Hermana S..., my comp from the MTC: I miss her like crazy, and I hope we are companions on the mission at some point because we teach really well together. But yeah hopefully next week I can just write and do laundry and study and take a nap.
My comp is using my picture thing, so I´ll send pictures soon.
My comp is using my picture thing, so I´ll send pictures soon.
I love you all with all my heart!!! Thank you for your prayers!!! I pray for you all every day!!!! And tell Tulga I say hi!
Much love, Hermana Kaela Carter
Also, you got rid of the couch?!?!?!!? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo
haha esta bien, I´m over it. I hope the other one has working recliners. And the first movie I watch on it will be The Hobbit 2