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.

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