Haha okay yeah, fam, I did buy your Christmas presents today! They probably won´t get to you until the second coming, and it might cost a fortune to send but it was totally worth it because they are super super cool. No hints, you´ll just have to wait. Unless they don´t get to you in which case I still won´t tell you because then you´ll just be sad because they are super cool.
Well this week is super interesting. I´ve got to be honest in this email, but I shall also do it with as much humor as I can, because that´s how I hide my pain. Hahahaha jk jk jk not really, I mean, I just think it´s funny for how completely crazy this is.
So we have no investigators. Well not zero zero but basically we hardly have anybody. Haha we contacted every day, searched and searched and we got to Saturday and we were just like....uh....like we legit had nothing to do, so we just went to the Church because it´s in our sector and there´s usually other missionaries there or something going on, as it happened there was a baptism so we literally just walked into the church, talked to the missionaries for a bit, and their convert, and then decided to take a walk around the block, so we passed by one investigators house and she told us not to come anymore and then we went back to the church and that was how we lost our last investigator. Haha. But it´s okay, we have pretty good spirits about it, we have cambios this week and I´m thinking that my time has come to say goodbye to Ambato, so I think this week we´re just going to try to do what we can to salvage our area and visit a lot of less active members and do a lot of service. Basically every night this week we´ve gone over to talk with Joanna and Domenica because they are like my life here and also Domenica´s mom is starting to be a little more receptive to us, okay that´s actually a cool story so here it is.
So Paola, Domenica´s mom and Joanna´s aunt is super nice, she´s just like super sweet and loving to us but usually doesn´t sit in the charlas because she´s busy or asleep, but something crazy happened in their family that we don´t know what, but ever since she´s been a lot more receptive to us. Well one night we taught them the Plan of Salvation and then we asked her to say the closing prayer, and she did but then just started crying and crying because she really wants to repent and change, so we shared with her Alma 36 when Alma talks about his conversion, and it was like 9:10 so we were about to leave but then she asked us to stay a little longer so we could sing some hymns with them, so we did, and the spirit was pretty strong, (and yes we did get home on time haha) but it reminded me of the story in the bible, the road to Emmaus, when they asked the Savior to tarry with them a little bit longer, and then say, "did not our heart burn within us?" or something like that. I´m not saying we´re like the Savior or anything, haha not even close, but it was cool to see somebody really feel the spirit and want more of it.
So that was my spiritual experience of the week. Now for some not so spiritual experiences but nevertheless they were a little bit funny. And frustrating. We´ll say funny to give it a more optimistic touch haha.
So first we were tocando and this guy was like well I don´t really want much to do with my religion, but my mom does, so he called her down and she was like "PASEN PASEN" so we went up and she´s like filthy rich. I expected Ecuador to be super poor, and I´ve seen poor people for sure, no extreme poverty, but mostly I´ve seen a lot of super rich people. Anyways so she invites us in and then gives us tea and we were like so....we can´t drink this. So that was how we offended her part 1. But then we tried to do the preguntas del alma (questions of the soul) with the book of mormon and she was like wait wait wait what is this book, and so we showed her the bible and she was like okay reina valera good and then we showed her the book of mormon and she was starting to act a little anxious so we were just like don´t worry, it´s the word of God, it was written by prophets and everything, and it has all the answers to your questions but I think she still thought it was the bible or something, at any rate she started quizzing us and testing the book of mormon, so she was like "what does it say in Isaiah 54?!?!" and I was like....well let me look in the Bible. So I pull out the bible and I had no idea what she meant by her question but I just read the chapter heading and she said "that is correct." And then she started telling us how she lives like a queen and her church is perfect so we were like okay....let´s go. So we said a prayer and then she gave us a watermelon and a thing of toilet paper and some propaganda, which we then gave to a less active member. But not the propaganda.
So the second story. I´ll admit this was a little more frustrating than funny, but asi es. So there is one street that at first we thought was gold but turns out everyone on this street super hates us, but there is always this one little kid who is like "my mom is home, you can go visit her!" so we finally did on Saturday, and she was suuuuuuuper super nice, and then she asked us what we preach, and so I said something about how God has revealed more of his word through modern prophets and it was the craziest thing....she just like stared at me and said "what do you mean by prophets? There is nothing outside of the bible." So we explained how because God still loves his children, he is always going to give us more of his word and always call people to guide us and me and my comp both testified of the Book of Mormon and she completely freaked out. I´ve never seen anything like it before. She was yelling, and even pushing us a little bit, and telling us that we were confused and worse than the catholics and we need to get out of this devil path because satan has us in his power, so we asked if we could say a prayer so she could ask God if any of this is really true, or at least calm down the situation, but she refused and then kicked us out of her house.
I´ve never experienced anything like that on my mission, it was super weird. But, it actually increased my testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. It hurt, because I thought back to all the times that I´ve gained a personal testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon and how she told me that all of that is a lie. What I love about being on the mission, though, is how much I get to bear my testimony. And the difference between us and everyone else is that I don´t have to say "I believe this is true" I get to say "I KNOW this is true" and of all the propaganda I´ve been handed and for all the people I´ve talked to with the billions of other religions I´ve seen here, not once have I seen an invitation to pray and ask God if it´s true. But that´s what we do, every day. We invite people to ask God themselves if it´s true, because we know they´ll get an answer if they ask with real intent. I know it because that´s how it happened with me, I felt, I have felt a thousand times that this is the truth. That´s how it all started, with a 14 year old boy praying to God to find the truth, with the faith that he would receive an answer, and that´s how it is now, we pray to God to find our answers. I love it, I love being able to testify of that truth, because nobody else does!!! I´m so grateful for all the answers I´ve received through prayer, because even though there are enough physical evidences of the truth on the church, my strongest evidence is all that I have felt through the holy ghost. Pretty cool.
But speaking of physical evidences, GUESS WHAT. Okay so I´m like behind on the times so this is probably old news, but a member showed us this article the other day (okay so it´s probably a sin that I looked at a material that isn´t the standard works but it´s church related so hopefully not) but National Geographic released an article about how a third of Native American genes all trace back to....guess where.... JERUSALEM. Hahahahahahahahah the article was like yeah we´re pretty shocked about this recent development and I was like BOOK OF MORMON = TRUE.
Well I don´t have much else to say, I always forget awesome stuff but let´s be honest my letters are like way too long anyways AH I ALMOST FORGOT SOMETHING SUPER IMPORTANT.
First, we have an investigator, kind of, she isn´t a member and never comes to church but is one of those poco a poco, but her daughter is a member and I love this family to death and we usually go over there when it´s raining and we don´t have umbrellas but the mom, Jackie, is seriously Ecuadorian Donnie. Haha Dad I´m slowly but surely finding all of your family in Ambato haha. Speaking of Donnie tell her to write me and send me Europe pictures. Okay so that actually was just on my mind not the important thing.
CHRISTMAS IS COMING AND I´M GONNA SKYYYYPE. Except maybe can we google chat because I forgot my skype info? Well whatever works best for you, but yeah, if I stay in Ambato i´ll either do it at Ecuadorian Donnie´s house or with Flia Guerrero, if I leave I´m sure I´ll be able to find a member there, if not...sorry. haha jk jk don´t worry there´s like a billion internet cafes. But I only get 40 minutes so write down all your questions so we don´t waste time talking about how I´ve had bed bugs for 11 weeks haha. I can do it whenever, it just has to be on Christmas, obvs, so tell me a time and I´ll work my super free schedule around it. Also Christmas day is a normal work day....which I´m a little sad about but I decided that instead of normal work me and my comp will just do lots of service and caroling or something because we´re not allowed to tract that day. Also the day before will be our p-day so yes I will be eating chinese food with you, in Spirit.
Ah, okay, done. Haha I love and miss you all so much, I think about you all a lot and I hope you are doing so well. Stockton, I hope you get better from your sickness soon, unless you already did, I don´t know these things haha. But seriously, I hope you are all enjoying the snow! And winter, all that good stuff. Haha it rained today....okay yeah. I love you all a ton, and you are always in my prayers!!! Have a fantastic week!!!
Love Hermana Carter aka kela aka kaela aka I actually forgot my name until my zone leader said it today.
p.s. dad you´ll hate this, I was with Ecuadorian Donnie yesterday and she was telling me all about how she loves candy crush and then she started playing it in front of me and I was just like okay compy let´s go haha it was super funny. but yeah. sorry. hahaha.