Monday, October 28, 2013

A Week BIéN Cheveré

Familia y amigos! 

Well, this week was BIEN CHEVERÉ because I had my first baptism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wooooooooo!!! Dominica and Johanna were baptized and confirmed this weekend!!! Seriously, it was an insane Saturday. Haha I think Satan is trying to kill me or something because I drank a TON of expired milk for breakfast, haha I felt so sick I thought I was going to die. But I specifically prayed that I would survive the day so we could have the baptism and we did!!! It was so great!!! But even better was the confirmation the next day!!! That was super surreal, like seeing these people who I love so much and I´ve worked with so long be confirmed members of the church. I didn´t feel like "oh look at this thing I did!" because I legit didn´t do anything, I´ve learned by now that it is the Lord who changes the hearts, not the missionaries. No I felt more like "hey, two of my really good friends are Mormon now!!!" haha but I also felt really strongly just how important the baptism and confirmation are. Like I felt so much like this really is a legit promise that they just made with God. It was pretty cool. The picture is me and Dominica. The other picture is me, Dominica and Johanna and Eliza. I started teaching Eliza with Hermana Flores but it turned out she lived in the Elder´s sector so they finished her teaching. And I didn´t start teaching Dominica or Johanna but I did finish it so it was sort of full circle there. Pretty cool!!!

 Dad, I got the package with more dry shampoo and the rice krispy treats with chocolate. I basically swallowed them, they were so good. Haha I think I´m good on dry shampoo though, and tide to go. Haha but actually if you guys can find a REALLY good Spanish/English dictionary, you can send that in the next package because I bought one here that I lovingly named Basura because it never has any of the words I need and all the words in English are spelled wrong, it´s really funny. 

Well I have more evidence that Ecuador is actually middle earth. Here are my comparisons. My first area in Solanda is Rohan, and where the offices in Quito are is Gondor, and Baños is Rivendell, and Ambato, where I am now, is the Shire. Also they sell Lamnas bread. (uhhh didn´t spell that right don´t have Google sorry)

Well this week we had a special training with President Ghent on the new rules of how we´re supposed to work with menos activos and recent converts. I´m super excited, and during the training I had a realization. Even though in my last area we had zero progressing investigators and zero baptisms, we had INCREDIBLE success with the less active members. Well sort of. I just remember one time where I was talking with one member who had gone inactive because of work, and everything we said about the commandments wasn´t really working, but I felt impressed to ask him if he received the priesthood yet, and he said no, and I bore my testimony of how much of a blessing it is to have the priesthood in my home, and he started coming back to church because of that so he could prepare to receive the priesthood. That is real success!!! Following the promptings of the Spirit to help bring somebody back into the fold!! So I´m super excited for this, and super excited to work as hard as I can so we can meet this new goal of 34 lessons a week!!!

Well, I also had another realization this week. We were studying in the church and I was reading Alma 26 and 29 because that´s like the missionary energy drink of the Book of Mormon, and I realized that I am super, super happy here. Like, sometimes it´s really easy to get caught up in how hard of a task the mission is, but as I was thinking I realized that really the mission is more fun than anything else I´ve done in my life so far. Seriously, every day I get to study the gospel for 4 hours. And then after that it´s more or less socially acceptable for me to stop people in the street (or at times run after them like a crazy person) to take down their name and number, and then I get to make all these great friends and help them to come unto Christ and make covenants and set them on the path to Eternal Life, I get to have the Spirit with me all the time, knowing how many people are praying for the missionaries, receiving more gospel education from great people like President and Hermana Ghent, yeah the mission is actually the best thing ever. Even though it´s SUUUUUUUPER hard, it is still pretty dang awesome. I´m not sure how I feel about this, because I miss you guys so much and I want to be with you, and I want to have a life with education and I think about my future kids a ton and I want to be a mom and all that good stuff but the mission is the best thing ever so I guess the only solution for this is that when my mission in Ecuador ends we´re going to give me a new identity so I can live a double life where as Kaela I have my family and I go to school and I live somewhere where people flush their toilet paper, but then my secret identity of Hermana Carter, (or maybe it could be like Hermana Batman because this is a secret identity after all) will be that I´m actually still a missionary and I go out and do missionary stuff like teach lessons and study and tocar puertas and all that good stuff. I´m not totally sure how I´ll manage that because the missionary life is 24/7 but I´ll figure it out. I guess the other solution is that I serve a billion missions with my husband when we´re old. One of the office missionaries, who is also my friend, has the best life ever. This is her third mission with her husband, the first two were temple missions or something. That is the life. That is what I want.

Well, we get two hours to write and somehow I have a lot of time left so I´m going to keep chugging along with this email, hehe. Time for some good news, bad news.

Good news: transfers are next week. Other good news: I don´t have bed bugs anymore. Bad news: The fleas are back. I think it´s like the Nephites and the Lamanites, like the bed bugs are the Nephites and the Lamanites are the fleas, and for a while they were dwelling in peace and prosperously feasting upon my poor flesh but they have battles and sometimes the fleas win so I just get a lot of flea bites one week but then the next week the bed bugs prevail so I get a lot of bed bug bites and every now and then I have to intervene and smite them with my rod (or Raid, hehe) and they calm down and then volver...thus has been the cycle.

But, before I forget, Dad, I made your guac for our ward, and it was a hit. Everyone comments on it now, haha. Except I accidentally made spicy instead of mild and picante in Ecuador is not a thing so it was hilarious, everyone was like "Aaahhh Hermana Carter muy picante pero muy muy rico" and they couldn´t stop eating it. It was great, yum yum yum. Also all your missionary efforts lately are blowing my mind.

Well, here we part, until next week, and I´ll have news about transfers!!! Specifically pray that I´ll stay in Ambato because I am in love with this place.

I love you all SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a great week and seguir adelante!!!

Love, Hermana Carter
My first volcano eruption!!

Oh, mission tweets, hehe ;)

Me, buying hot chocolate: "Can I add flavors?"

Him: "Why would you do that? That doesn´t make any sense."

Me: I was born in the promised land.

 Let it be known to the world that I am the type of missionary who drinks a quart of milk during weekly planning session.

 My greatest joys on the mission have been as follows: When my first investigator accepted a baptismal date, the first time I saw my family investigators come to church, the day I discovered that mega maxi sells nutella.

Well, the long night of apostasy has ended and there has been a glorious restoration of light and truth on the earth once more. Or, in other words, the apartment now has hot water.

Serious tweet: I´m beginning to realize that even in the hardest of circumstances, life on the mission is still one of the happiest things I´ve ever experienced.

Somebody tells a joke, search in my spanish/english dictionary, ten minutes later start laughing, everybody thinks I´m insane.

Me: Ah, a nice, peaceful P-Day...



Monday, October 21, 2013

Pura Crema, Nectar of the Gods

My famiry!! And friends!!!

What a week. The mission is crazy. To explain the subject, I´ve decided that I am legit addicted to the milk here. Pura Crema is my weakness. Also I´ve taken up stress eating, but don´t worry, I haven´t been gaining weight because I´ve been climbing the stairs of Cirith Ungol and walking aaaaaaa lot. But yeah, one morning I was stressed or something and I drank a quart of milk. I was so ashamed of myself. And then last night I got stressed so I grabbed my jug of milk and my  jar of nutella and a spoon and then I was like, wait, this isn´t okay. But seriously, I don´t even  use a mug anymore, I just drink it straight from the bottle. For everyone who I´m trying to help overcome their addictions, I am a disgrace. But I can´t help it. Pura Crema is just too good.

Dad, I love that story about grandma and randy!!! Ecuadorian Randy still hasn´t been baptized, because he still isn´t married..... But he´s holding out strong! Dominica was planned for Saturday but her date fell through because she didn´t go to church and because she isn´t really doing anything to get permission from her parents. Johanna still needs to meet with President Ghent but her fecha fell too because she didn't come to church. I wish I could mind meld with people to help them understand the importance of coming to church but since I can´t do that I´m just going to have to start bribing them. Also I think my story of the dead lady is still a little scarier than yours, because she was lying on the table and had died like an hour before. I´m glad you are enjoying the soccer games with the neighbors. I haven´t seen much soccer here (hhahahahahahahaha) okay well my sin of the week was there was a final futbol game between Ecuador and Chile and we went to the to visit them during the game, and they were watching it and so I may or may not have caught a glimpse of Ecuador scoring a goal against Chile........yeah. So I´m a pecadora but I have repented of this grievous crime. And all of my friends like your guacamole. That´s not even a question. Also the pouch came and I didn´t have any packages from you, what is this madness?? You need to step it up a little bit. Hahaha mintirosa, I´m like the most spoiled missionary in my zone, and forgot to tell you last week, but I got the package with all the dried fruit and the picture of the temple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I´m super temple homesick, I´ve decided that the very first thing I do when I go home is I´m going to go to the temple. Like bring my temple bag to the airport, seriously. And then after that we can watch the Hobbit 2. Priorities. Also I had a revelation about you, I think you´re going to be called to be a mission president after mom finishes school and this is how you´ll quit your job. I know that conflicts with my previous revelation so I´m not really sure, but sometimes I daydream during companionship study and that is what I came up with. Also because the talks you sent me are bacanisimo.

Mom, talking with Sister Hunt is always a mind enlightening wonderful experience. She´s like a wizard of knowledge about all things that are good. It´s okay that your email was a little shorter this week, just know that the people who send me long emails get more prayers :) jk jk jk I hope you all know that I pray for you like a tsunami is about to hit. Speaking of prayers, I´m glad you guys are catching onto the specific prayer magic. I think specific prayer doesn´t work with hot water heaters though, cuz I haven´t had a hot shower in 3 weeks. But, here is my specific prayer miracle for the week. We taught the B... family in the church last Monday, and I felt inspired to read Mosiah 3 with Juanito, focusing on how through the atonement of Christ we can overcome the natural man and our addictions. It was super spiritual and at the end we said a specific prayer that every time he read the Book of Mormon, he would no longer feel the desire to drink. I was certain that it would work...and then the next day he went blind. Literally. Satanas. But, because he´s been blind, he hasn´t been I´m really not sure how I feel about all of this. Sounds like Hunter had a great time in boot camp, make sure to tell him that the mission is better.

Stockton, I forgot to tell you this last week but that Kung Fu panda quote made my day. Haha climbing the stairs of Cirith Ungol is always fun. And for what it´s worth, having your fairy godmother companion emergency transferred is a little more emotionally challenging than not getting to dance with a cute girl in your ballroom class, but you keep working on that. And yes, we do tract, or tocar puertas as they say. But good luck on your midterms!!! I hope you had fun at Lagoon.

Well, as far as this week went, I´m still trucking along, working hard. We do divisions a lot, I usually end up calling members of the ward and they come with me to visit people. For one of these divisions, I ended up shuttling the entire B... family to a baptism, more or less by myself. Well of course all the missionaries were there, and they always ask me when I´m going to get a companion, and it was here that I was dubbed with the nickname Hermana Sola. Haha yeah, it´s been interesting, but I can´t even begin to say how much I´ve grown in the past two weeks. I feel like I´ve matured soooooooooo much because so many people are relying on me to work hard and be diligent. I´m not sure if I can still be classified as mature yet, because I still bark back at the dogs and write goofy mission tweets, but thus is the life. This Sunday was a little chaotic because my comps were just chilling, and I was running around doing grownup-y stuff, like making sure the investigators were in their right classes and collecting references and talking to the leaders and the whole time I was thinking "two weeks ago I didn´t have even the tinyest amount of responsibility" but the mission has taught me that the best way to learn is to be thrown into an ocean and told to swim. Haha thus has been my life. I´ve also been learning a ton about compassion, and charity. Yesterday I had to give the Bastantes the "why didn´t you come to church" talk and I felt sooooooooo bad. Seriously, my companions have been telling me that I need to be more harsh, but I can´t. I try as much as I can to think about what type of missionary Jesus Christ was, and he did everything in love. Anyways, if there´s one thing I´ve learned in Ambato, it´s that love is the key. I feel so much love for these people, which is a double edged sword because it breaks my heart into a thousand pieces when they choose not to comply with their commitments, or when they reject us. But then I´m pretty sure the everlasting joy described in the scriptures is the feeling you get when you see a family of investigators walk into church.

Well, as far as personal study, I´ve been studying Joseph Smith. Technically he counts as a Book of Mormon prophet, right?? But wow, WOW. I love it so much!!!!!!!!! I´ve been reading in JSH and seriously I´m learning a ton. Joseph Smith is the most humble guy ever. I think anyone who really reads this account should be able to gain a witness that he is a prophet. My favorite part so far has been when he returns after the first vision and all he says to his mom is "I have learned for myself that Presbytarianism (no way I spelled that right) is not true" that is the essence of humility, right there.

I love the scriptures, nuff said.

Well I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I don´t have fleas anymore. In fact there was a week where I thought I didn´t have anything because I wasn´t getting bit but I think that was just God being merciful the week my comp se fue because the bed bugs are back. But instead of gutting my pillow like Camille, I went a step further and just bought a new house. But really, that is exactly what happened. Okay so our zone leaders told us to search for a new house for me and my new comp, whenever she comes. I´m hoping after this transfer she´ll be someone bacanisimo, like Hermana S.... Except hopefully someone who speaks Spanish because todavia, I don´t. But yeah I´m going to send a picture of my ravaged state, I sort of look like a leper, in church a lady was like "what happened to you??" and I was like "oh I have bed bugs" and then she started to tell me about all of her medical problems. Yep.

My final thought is what happened last night and this morning. I was praying, asking God why I haven´t seen any fruit when I´ve been doing all I can to work hard, be obedient, etc., when the thought/scripture came into my mind, "what more could I have done for my vineyard? Tomorrow read Jacob 5" so this morning I read Jacob 5 and seriously, I think it´s verse 41 or something, go read it and look up all the cross references because it was seriously the most comforting thing in the world.

Well, that´s all for this week. I hope you all know that I can feel your prayers every day and I am probably the luckiest missionary in the world to have a family as supportive as you all are. I love you all soooooooooooooo much!!!!!! Have an amazing week!!!

Love, Hermana Carter

Oh, mission tweets:

Today I just had melted ice cream for breakfast. Not really but I did just discover Ecuadorian chocolate milk.

Locked heart for some means not thinking about boyfriends, dating, etc. For me it basically means giving up on washing my hair every day and not wearing makeup.

Sometimes I wish I had a wordsearch in the back of my agenda. And those times are usually during consejo del barrio.

Acts awkward, trying to be funny. Nobody gets it. Everyone thinks I´m awkward.

"Time for Consejo del Barrio!"

-pulls out snacks, jug of milk-

Okay I´m ready.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Transfer Blues

Hey Family! As you can tell from the title, it´s been a rough week.

So, it all started Tuesday. A normal day, I was doing my personal study, studying Moroni because I´m studying a different BoM prophet every week, and he talks about how writing in a different language is really hard and I´m just like wow do I feel your pain. Except so far I haven´t been asked to write a book of scripture so we´re all good there. But I was studying and the phone rang, it was our zone leaders with the worst news in the world, there was an emergency transfer and they were sending Hna Flores to Quito and I had to stay here and be in ANOTHER TRIO with Hna E... and  Hna M.... Haha I literally started to bawl and I didn´t stop for like 24 hours, it was the emotional breakdown of my mission. And to make it worse we did splits with the sister leader trainers that day so I didn´t get to work with Hna. F... our last day together.

I don´t even know how to put all of the emotions of this week into this letter, wow it´s been rough haha I NEED YOUR PRAYERS LIKE I NEED AIR. Basically we went out and taught and I bought a quart of Pura Crema and drank it all. Later this week I bought like three things of Pura Crema. So I´ve been stress eating all week but somehow I´ve been doing better with my diet. I don´t really know. Then Wednesday morning Hna F... and I made a GIGANTIC breakfast, like guac, lots of desserts, fried potatoes, and ate it all together, we were both super stressed out cuz she hates Quito and I hate not being her companion. What I was really scared about was that we have all these investigators, and the other Hermanas have their own sector so now it´s basically in my hands to make sure these other investigators are still being taught and cared for. The good news is that the bed bugs are dead, I think. Side note. Anyways, Hna F... pep talked me for an hour, the same thing happened to her more or less, so she gave me tons of advice. But after that oh my gosh this is the hardest part of the mission...we ran around saying goodbye to all our investigators and when we got to the B... Family, and Johanna asked Hna F... when she would come back, I´m pretty sure my emotions short circuited or something because that´s the thing: we don´t come back. Except I´ve 100% resolved to come back and visit Ambato with my husband for our honeymoon or something because seriously, I can´t just leave these people here, I´m going to have to bring them home with me. But as soon as we dropped off Hna F... I was just like okay I´m going to kick myself into gear and I was like okay, let´s work (this email contains the worst grammar of my life, sorry, I´m writing fast cuz I have a ton to say). And ah, it´s been difficult. First, me and Hna F... hit it off like two peas in a pod, we worked well together, we contacted well together, everything. My comps do things veeeeeery differently than I do, not that their way is bad, it´s just super different. So...that is my companionship right now.

But, now is time for the good!!! The good news is that I know I´m learning a ton from this whole experience. I think every missionary has the mentality, yes I need to work hard, yes, I know I need to be exactly obedient, it´s just that some work on those things and others don´t. I´m learning a ton about responsibility, hard work, diligence, love, because I feel so alone, I´ve thrown my heart and soul into the people I´m teaching, and the members. Sometimes I go on divisions so I can take better care of the people in my area, and I´ve been doing divisions with a less active sister in our ward, haha, which has been good because now she´s coming to church. But I do my 12 week training during personal study, I fill out the area book by myself, stuff like that. I have to know where people live now, that scared the heck out of me. I´ve just been a lot more diligent this week, or at least learned a lot more about it. But really my companions are great people with genuine desires, and I try to focus on that a lot.

BUT NOW FOR THE GREAT NEWS. Throwing myself into my investigators and the members has been the best because I feel so much love for them and I feel like they are my friends and family here. So as far as investigators, we had FOUR people with fecha in the church yesterday, and Eddy (Ecuadorian Randy) is going to be baptized the 26th because he´s going to get married this week. And Johanna and Dominica (of the B... family) finally came to church so they were able to have their interviews yesterday!!! I was super worried the whole time, because I wasn´t sure if they were super ready, or their understanding, but they both qualified. I wanted to cry, seeing this kind of stuff is what is holding me together. I´m genuinely so excited for her to feel clean of her sins, she´s had a hard life, ah I just want this for everyone!!!!!

Well, that´s all I can think of. FALSE. Haha THE CRAZIEST THING HAPPENED THIS WEEK. And I´m immature so I think it´s funny, my comps weren´t even phased and I was just like how can you not be phased at this, this is really funny and also super terrifying.

So we went to visit a contact and a man answered the door and he was like oh yeah come inside we´ve had a death in the family and I was like okay, lesson two, let´s do this. So we walk inside and by death in the family I didn´t realize that the dead person was still in the house but yep there she was lying cold and dead on the table. I didn´t know what to think, but I wanted to laugh and cry because I was scared but also like man I´m supér excited to tell the family about this one. So we just sang a song and said a prayer and I gave them a Lesson 2 folleto and we left. Good times on the mish.

Well that´s all. I love you all A TON!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please pray for me!!!! Seriously, I love you a ton, thanks for being great!!!

Love, Hermana Carter

And here are my mission tweets for the week:

There are a lot of different words in the mission that mean different things. For example, "trunky" means "homesick." In this case, "emergency transfer" means "stress eat nutella and peanut butter with a fork"

Ecuadorian holidays are so weird. There is literally a white guy rapping in Spanish outside my window. The adventures of companionship study.

Thor 2 trailer in the mall. Must. Not. Watch. Must. Be. Consecrated.

Ecuador logic is lets put the toilet paper outside the stall #why

That awkward moment when you say something embarrassing in English and then realize that the elders can understand you.

Losing your companions in the super market is actually a lot scarier than losing your mom #condemned.

There is no mission tweet good enough for walking into a house and there´s a dead lady lying on the table. #adventuresinecuador

Monday, October 7, 2013

So They Say the Meaning of Life is the Number 42

So, to explain the subject first. I have 42 bug bites, as of today. That´s really all the subject has to do with.

I'm going to make this email ONE HUNDRED PERCENT POSITIVE :D :D :D

But the reality is that bed bugs are the worst thing ever, and there is really almost no way to make that positive. So I´ll just add a lot of smiley faces :D 

So I called the nurse, and she gave me some really great advice :) she told me to spray down my mattress with an entire can of Raid, which I did, and to send my sheets and blankets to the wash, which I did as well. :) But we couldn´t go without blankets for 4 days so we borrowed some from the member who is washing our sheets. :) Well she has 4 dogs :D :D :D yay I love dogs!!! EXCEPT DOGS HAVE FLEAS SO NOW I DO TOO :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Last night I wanted to sleep on the floor but Hna F... wouldn´t let me, because we hadn´t cleaned yet and she didn´t want our clean blankets to get contaminated again, so I could barely sleep with how much I was itching and scratching. Also I had the WEIRDEST back pain in the middle of the night, and again today, and I´m hoping it doesn´t mean anything but stay tuned. So today was P-day, meaning we have only today, really, to fumigate our room really good. Except Hna F... elected to go to the zone activity so we did that instead. So the entire time I just itched myself and tried not to cry thinking of having to sleep in my bed again.

Oh, optimism, right. :D :D :D I bought some anti itch liquid stuff here cuz I used all the stuff I brought from home, but it doesn´t work very well and sometimes it stains my skin funny colors (but it´s been washing off, so I´m not scared about that anymore) :)

Two more evil bug stories and then it´s all uphill from here. So we had lunch in the bishop´s house the other day, and I´m sending pictures of the stairs I climbed to get there. So the bishop´s wife sets the food down, we say the prayer, and it´s like spaghetti or something, I´m not too worried, and right as I´m about to eat, I watched in horror as an ant crawled out of my food. And then I started to cry. Well, almost. I think I shed one tear and had a silent panic attack. The other missionaries were like, what is wrong with you, what is happening to her, and then I said a silent, very fervent prayer, and ate everything on my plate. uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhfkdañfjdaskl. It´s okay, it´s another great story I can tell people. That´s number 3, behind crazy church lady and crazy iv lady. Also I´m sending a picture of what I found dead in my room. I don´t know how it got there, but it caused 15 minutes of me calmly panicking and everyone living in the house laughing at me. It was a really great day, Thursday.

BUT. That´s all of the bad this week!!! I made a list of things I want to tell you, so I´ll just go down that list for a very scattered email. Are my emails super long, or are everyone elses just short?

First, Dad, to answer your questions, yes, I can cook, we like to make fried potatoes. Thanks for emailing me about salad, it made me super trunky. Well not really but it made me miss regular food. My comp is from Santa Cruz, send me a picture of you in your missionary days so she can send it to her ward, she says there´s people there who were converted 30 years ago. Long shot but it would be fun to know.

Second, I got your packages!!!!!! Seriously, I´m spoiled, on Friday we had a mini zone conference and that´s when we get all our mail and stuff and our ZL´s were like Okay, package time!!! and everyone got super excited and then they were like "except it´s all for Hermana Carter" and it was 2 packages, my notebook with Hma. Stewart, and a letter from Sister Slade. I finally got the shirt!! Haha I´m wearing it today, thank you so much! And I about died when I got the guac box, seriously, it smelled so good and that salsa is like gold, I haven´t made guac yet cuz I´m saving it for a special occasion. I think i can get everything in supermaxi but I can´t get your salsa anywhere else!!!!!!!! So seriously, if you are ever in doubt of what to send me, Salsa is always safe. Unless it´s a pain in the butt to send. Also, please don´t go bankrupt with sending me packages, I really can get basically everything I need here, and I´m trying to discipline myself and not eat tons of unhealthy stuff. Also I only get my packages here once a month, if that, so don´t send perishable stuff. This is going to be the cheese part of my letter, but the best thing you could put in a package is letters, pictures, stuff that´s homey but not too homey to make me trunky.

Also my address is, more or less, Ambato, Mira Flores, Plaza Urbina. You can Google Earth that if you want, but I´m sending pictures too. The demographics of here are really interesting. The people are either SUPER rich or SUPER poor, there isn´t an in between. It´s really interesting.

Okay, specific prayer miracle. So on Wednesday we had a meeting with our ward mission leader, and we had to go borrow blankets from one of the members. So it was 8:50 and we had returned late to our house every day that week for the worst of reasons and I was super stressed, so I was like, 8:50, we can do this. So we were trying to call a taxi but NOBODY was coming, and at this point it was like 8:55 and Hna. F... was like "we´re not going to get home on time" and I was like HAVE FAITH SPECIFIC PRAYER TIME. So we prayed and I said, basically, "we´re trying to be as obedient as we can and we need to get home on time, we need a taxi and we need to get these blankets, please bless us as soon as I finish this prayer a taxi will come by" and I said amen and right as I opened my eyes A TAXI PASSED US!!! So we were able to flag him down and get the blankets and return home at exactly 9:00. I heart specific prayer.

So in our mini zone conference we talked about how Pres. Monson has started something called "to the rescue" and how our area presidency is changing a little bit how we will be doing missionary work, now there is a new focus on the recent converts and less actives. What a testament, that this really is the church of Jesus Christ!!! It´s not about just getting more numbers, it´s about saving and retaining every soul possible!!! During this meeting, I felt so strongly the urgency of the hastening of the work!!! What an exciting time to live, I hope you all can feel just how amazing this is.

As for what I studied this week, I gained a lot more motivation from trying to figure out how I can be a more consecrated missionary. There´s a verse in the Gospels (bad Hna Carter can´t remember where any of these scriptures are, sorry) where Peter says "we have left all to follow thee" and Jesus says something like "there isn´t anybody who has left there home and family for my sake who won´t receive a ton of blessings hereafter" and I was like, Hey, that´s me!!! Also there is a scripture in Jeremiah where Jeremiah is like "this stinks, everybody mocks me because I preach of Christ, okay fine, I will never speak of him again......but I can´t. I can´t not speak of him because my testimony is like a fire that can´t be quenched, I physically can´t keep my mouth shut." I think it´s Jeremiah 16 or 18 or something. So I´m working on consecrating myself more, and working to give all the glory to God. In thinking of Aaron and Ammon, everyone thinks about Ammon cuz he´s the best missionary ever ever. I´ve been sympathizing a lot more with Aaron, who spent a considerable amount of time in prison, and being mocked and rejected, who sees Ammon walk into the land of the Lamanites and literally knock the king out with his testimony, and says something like "Ammon I fear that thy joy doth carry thee away unto boasting" because it´s really hard to not have your investigators progress when you´re loving them and teaching and serving them and doing all you can. My theory is that in my first sector, I did a lot of planting. And here, I´m doing a lot of watering. So theoretically by my third transfer or area I should be doing a lot of harvesting, and if I really am anything like Aaron I´ll have 8000 baptisms. I´ll keep you posted.

Also, I loved the article about a successful missionary. Even though my visible success has in not really there...I´m learning and growing and being obedient as much as I can, and I think that´s success. I´m starting to act more like the missionary I dreamed of becoming before I actually got out here. It takes bravery to open my mouth, and it takes strength not to cry every time I bear my testimony and people interrupt me to tell me they don´t understand anything I´m saying, but I´m praying more and trying harder and I hope I will see the fruit soon, if not in the conversion of others, the personal conversion of myself. 

Okay, uhhhhhhhhhhh HOLY SMOKES DID YOU ALL WATCH CONFERENCE?!?!?! Wow, wow, wow. First, I got to watch it all in English with the other American missionaries, and without even planning it, we all brought our American candy. It was like an America party for 8 hours, and I loved it. President Uchtdorf's talk was SO good especially at the beginning when he talked about how we are a consecrated people, I almost started crying because I was like, yeah, this is definitely the church of Jesus Christ. President Monson´s talk was the heart wrencher, I wanted to give him a hug. So did the rest of the world, but yeah. His talk was so good, I want to absorb it. Is that possible to absorb a talk?? But, the one that absolutely blew me away was Elder Holland.

Oh, also, Grandma´s Patriarchal Blessing was really cool. After I read mine and what I felt was that I have a really choice life ahead of me, like I´ve been blessed a ton and I´m going to have a really, really great life.

This email is way too long...haha it took me an hour to write but it´s been a crazy week. I love you all so much, I had better leave it at this, and send the pictures!!!

I love you all so much!!! Again and again!!! Sorry that I couldn´t reply to everything you told me, but know that I love reading your letters over and over!!! Have a fantastic week!!!

Much love, Hermana Carter

Here are the stair they take to where they have their lunch sometimes during the week. She called it the stairs of Cirith Ungol (for you LOTR fans) part 1 and part 2. They must burn off their whole lunch just to get back down.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Subir (go up) y Bajar (go down)

Editors note: Ambato, where she is serving is much like San Francisco, very hilly, hence the title.

First of all, I`m sending my mission tweets. And POR SU PUESTO put them on the blog!!!!!


Unless they`re offensive. Then probably don`t. I`m working on my sarcasm. Not.


Pura crema comes in bags now so much for diet


And after many days, an angel of the Lord appeared unto Hermana Carter, saying, why dost thou drink so much milk? And Hermana Carter said unto him, I know not, save that it is super delicious.


Yoga: I`m probably not doing it right but its giving me a great excuse to lay on the floor for 30 minutes.


Let the wind be blowing the day we do a tour of the sector with 2 elders, the ward mission leader, and the bishop. #foreverashamed


Has a great Harry Potter dream, no one to share it with #theonlynerdinecuador


Two words: bed bugs #mepico


All I`m saying is that if there isn`t Ecuadorian ice cream in Heaven, then i probably just landed myself in the Telestial Kingdom.


Okay!! Familia!!! Como esta!!!1

My Spanish is so much better, not. But today I bought a Spanish/English dictionary so things are looking up. Okay so my Spanish is better in that I`ve learned a lot of great jerga (slang) from my comp, who is super chevre (see what I did there). I`ve been working on my accent but I`ve found out that when I try to speak with an accent people understand me even less. The bishop of another ward told me that my castillano is awful. There is an elder here who is gringo but his accent is perfect, it makes me so angry. Okay so more like it just empowers me to try to learn a better accent. Also we have roommates now, I`ll try not to complain, haha it`s the bane of every college student`s existence, but one is from the states, and when we picked them up from the bus station I decided that I should try to pretend like I know what I`m doing, so I`m actually learning faster this way, sort of like fake it til you make it, but yeah, that`s basically what happened. 

 Okay, before I continue, I have to answer your emails!! I never do!!! It`s because I`m a terrible person. But more like I just have a BILLION things I want to tell you all.

Mom: 3 Nephi 13. Don`t worry about school, the Lord will provide if it`s His will and you do your best. Also know that I pray for you, and all the family, like you are all suffering with the black plague. You are my rock! If you all go down, I`m going down with you. But I will pray more specifically for your school. Also thanks for the tabernacle thing! if I have time, I will print off that talk. How is the good old tempernacle looking? Any success? I want to get married asap after the mission so I never have to live with females again. Okay, that`s not true at all. A little bit. But I`m going to room with Hermana Stewart, and she is bien chevre, so it`s all good. 

Stockton, your flag saved my life the other day, I was drawing in another missionary`s cuaderno and I FORGOT WHAT OUR FLAG LOOKS LIKE. But I had printed one of your flags from the MTC, so I dug through my old letters and the day was saved. I miss USA, but Ecuador is too beautiful and the ice cream and milk is too good for me to be too trunky. Take good care of my compy, please. 

I think in Solanda I learned that some people have to plant a crud ton of seeds, and as for the menos activos, they were the ONLY people we had success with, so we set our goals with them in mind, it was really nice. Anyways, one thing I studied a lot this week is glorifying God. The more I concentrate in glorifying God in the mission, and less in myself, the better I feel, more successful I feel. We need to have good reasons for why we do things, and they can never be temporal or selfish. For example, in the mission, my family, you guys, and my future family, are my biggest reason for being here. When times get hard, and they always do, I think, "how can I turn this situation into something that will make me a good example for my family and for my kids? how can I grow from this experience in such a way that I can be a better wife and mother?" stuff like that.  

Monktulga! You don`t email me but you`re basically family since you`re living in my house. Take good care of my family, and my dog. And keep reading the scriptures, they`re pretty legit.

My new comp! Hermana F... is bien chevre. That`s funny, Alex was neat and clean, it`s like the opposite here. Okay not really, I`m just a tiny bit more "we need to be exactly obedient to the rules and not have hour+ long lessons and we need to be home before 9" but really that`s it. She is super loving, and great at going about doing service. Sometimes I feel like she`s like Jesus and I`m like Peter, where I'm like, RULES RULES and she`s like LOVE LOVE and I`m like chuso I need to get better at this love thing.

 So, I think we`re in need of a section of good news and bad news.

Good news! I took my first hot shower this week!! Bad news, we ran out of gas, so it`s back to cold showers. 

Good news! I haven`t been sick at all this week! Bad news, I am like 60% sure I have bed bugs. I have weird itchy bites all over me and so does Hermana F.... I read that Camille has bed bugs too? I`m not totally sure, but I put anti itch juice on one of the bites and now it`s just this sketchy looking...bite. Yeah, who knows. We`re going to call today. Because we live 3 hours away from everything we don`t get Book of Mormons, pamphlets, packages, or help when we have bed bugs very often, so we`ll see what happens.

Good news! This week was the first time I had a RICISIMO lunch!!!! Seriously, it`s called Cebollo I think, it`s like a soup but sort of tastes like your green chile, Dad, and then after we had FRUIT SALAD. I literally almost started crying because I was so happy. I basically inhaled the food. Bad news, more or less the food makes both me and Hermana Flores sick, aka nobody to secretly eat my food for me. But we have a game that if she eats my food, I have to buy her Yogoso, and vice versa. Yogoso is like a frozen yogurt otter pop. I had a dream that our family, whole family, extended and everything, were eating the ice cream of Ecuador together, and I`m pretty sure it was a vision of the celestial kingdom.

Things to send me: by internet, more workouts, like yoga or something, for my arms and abs, I think I'm getting fat. Also recipes for stuff like green chile, or idk, easy stuff, pancakes, whatever. As for guac, dad, I can get everything except the salsa. Have you been sending me packages every week?? Cuz you really don`t have to! Haha you guys are the best, but seriously, don`t go broke because of me, I can buy more food than I need here. But if you want to send me homemade stuff cookies are always a good thing. Also thanks for the water bottle! I think I forgot to thank you, but thank you. It saved my life. 

Okay so the pan in Ambato is supposedly the best bread in Ecuador, so I`m really pushing myself with this diet thing or else I`m going to die. We also have an investigator who works in a cake shop so my life is basically over. Also I found a correo close by so I can send some stuff home, I'll try to send it when I get your next package so I can use the box. It should arrive sometime before the second coming.

The ward here is TINY. Haha like 90 people or something. We just got a new ward mission leader, and we have no ward missionaries, but we have 6 missionaries in the ward-. Our ward mission leader is legit, he is like a combination of my mission president and Morgan Freeman.

I`ll explain a little bit about the roommate situation, real quick. It really isn`t so bad. It`s just living with only one person for once was really nice. Like after exercising my comp went to take a shower and I was like, woah, I'm alone for the first time in weeks. So I just danced around the house like an idiot because I could. But now we have 2 new missionaries living with us, and it`s hard because we all need to take showers and stuff. 

INVESTIGATORS. Haha I can actually tell you about them!! These people are old so when they are baptized I won`t count them as my first cuz I didn`t find them, but we have Eddie, and he literally looks like an Ecuatoriano Randy. It`s pretty funny, he`s super nice, and was our only investigator who came to church yesterday. We also have the Bastante family and they`re all related somehow but I`m not really sure, they basically don`t understand a single thing but want to be baptized so badly, that`s what I want to see, people who are really feeling it. Aaand that`s basically it. Haha

So remember the IV story? This week something EVEN WORSE happened. We were teaching this lady who is definitely a little bit crazy, and she lives in this tiny tiny  house, and it was like 8 or something and our area is actually really dangerous at night, which is good, you know, don`t worry mom, and we went into her house but her neighbor saw us and got all mad because we are missionaries, so like 30 seconds into the lesson he cut the power and it was PITCH BLACK and we were like okay invite her to church, share a scripture, and bail. So we shared a scripture, it was nice and spiritual, and we invited her to church and she was like no way and started telling us all about these times when she`s visited churches and the pastors are like satanic weirdos and try to do exorcisms on her, and it`s happened like 5 times and she wanted to tell us all about it, and I basically have never felt more scared in my life. Some serious prayers were said in that moment. Can you imagine?! Sitting in a tiny room, it`s pitch black and this crazy lady is telling you all about her weird exorcism experiences? Yeah, I`ll take IV lady any day, thanks.

And I had better explain the subject line, haha. Basically here it`s hills, hills, and more hills. And we live on the 5th floor, sooooo subir y bajar.

Well, I know I`ve forgotten things, but this is pretty long and as always, super scattered. Just know that I love you all SOOOOO MUCH!!! Tell our family I say hi!! And tell Hunter that a mission is a lot more fun than boot camp.

Until next week!

Hermana Carter