Week #26 – The hills of Miramar – June 30th, 2015

Carter Andres Leslie Baptism

Familia!!! Les extrano mucho y espero estan disfrutando su verano. Wow this week was long and a ton different than Las Huertas. 

I didn’t send a ton of information last week but as you know I got transfered to a place called MIRAMAR! I’m stoked to be here because its one of the most well know wards in the mission mainly for one thing. THE HILLS!!! It’s pretty crazy! I lost at least 10 pounds this week!! Super tough week because I wasn’t in condition for these hills. It was a long week! 

The ward and sector is so awesome! A lot bigger than Las Huertas. We have about 130 active members in the ward in comparison to about 30 in Las Huertas. There has been some trouble here with past missionaries so the members aren’t really stoked to work with us. Me and my companion want to change that right away. They also haven’t had a lot of success and so we both arrived with no investigators. So Monday night we hit the dirt roads and tire filled mountains and worked our butts off!! We found 8 people this week and had a ton of success for our first week, but we will see what happens. Elder Navarette is my new companion! He has been out for 16 months in the mission and is super cool. He is another Chilango from Mexico City. We work well together and are having a ton of fun!!

OK!!! THE MOST AWESOME PART ABOUT THIS WEEK!!!

So we were working and my companion got a call and said it was for me. It was my Zone Leaders back in Las Huertas. I thought I forgot something in the house or something like that, but they told me that Andres and Leslie wanted me back to baptise them and that I needed to be in Las Huertas Thursday night at 6:30. SO AWESOME! So Thursday I got to baptize Leslie, my companion baptized Anna, and his new companion baptized Andres! It was so awesome and so, so , so grateful I was able to go. Annaluisa, (the lady who we baptised a few weeks ago) brought two of her friends to the baptism and they are teaching them right now! She is so awesome and doing great! 

Other little things. We almost got robbed. We went to the beach again because we’re super close, met some Americans, and ate some Costco muffins which could have been the highlight of the week!! This week I received so many answers to prayers. It was like every second I got an answer and we really had the spirit behind us this week.

Thanks for all the prayers and support!!! Miss you guys so so much!! 

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Week #25 – Miramar – June 22nd, 2015

Carter Companion MiramarCarter Sketch Child Carter Andre and LesliePG Carter Manual and Annalisa

Hey love you guys so much but don’t have a ton of time!!! So I got transferred today! I’m in a ward that’s called MIRAMAR, in northwest Tijuana! It’s the most hilly part of TJ. I’m stoked to get some strong legs and a good workout! It’s also literally right on the border, which should be interesting as well.

I don’t know too much yet about my companion as we just met a few hours ago but he is awesome! I can tell we are going to have a ton of success. I honestly don’t know his name yet because he is from Mexico City and doesn’t speak english and his name is crazy long. 

We had a super awesome last week in Las Huertas. We had tons of success. Ten investigators came to church, and Andres and Leslie are getting baptized this week!!! They are getting married Thursday morning and baptized Thursday night!! I’m going ask the President to see if I can go…..but who knows!

Converts are good! Loving the work! Stoked to get a new area and start hitting the pavement here in Miramar! 

The four pictures above are 1) A picture of me and my new companion 2) A gift and drawing of me and Elder Ruiz 3) Andres & Leslie and their family and 4) Manual and Annulisa!

I love and miss you guys!!

Elder Woods

Week #24 – Patience – June 15th, 2015

Carter Mexico Jersey

Hey family! I miss you guys tons! I hope you’re enjoying the summer! It’s been getting pretty hot here in TJ. Transfers are this week and I’m crossing my fingers I don’t get moved to Mexicali. It’s insanely hot over there. We will see!

This week was really slow! Not one of the best weeks for sure, but definitely a lot of testimony building experiences and things that are helping me become a better missionary! Not much to report. We didn’t get to baptise this week because the young man we were going to baptize needs permission from his parents and they aren’t too stoked about the church. We will see what happens. Andres and Leslie still need to get married and have plans to do it…. the first week of the next transfer…….. HA! So who knows if I will be able to baptise them, but that’s ok as I know I did my job!

This week we really focused of being the most obedient we could be. We have a ton of investigators right now and were kind of getting prideful. We are baptizing, getting fifteen investigators to church, tons of lessons…..so our amount of new investigators we were adding went down a ton. This week was kind a slap in the face, and we regrouped and worked really hard Thursday to Sunday. We’re back on track and working hard. 

I love serving the lord!!! This past week I studied really hard the life of Jesus Christ and one of the chapters in Preach My Gospel is around the attributes of Christ! I really focused this week on patience, and how vital it is to be patient, not only with the finding and teaching for us as missionaries, but how to help investigators be patient in receiving an answer from the lord. I was definitely blessed with a lot of opportunities to practice that attribute this week! HA! But I know it’s something I needed to work on. One thing it says in PMG is that patience is the ability to accept the things of the lord, and accept his timing! I’m kind of bummed I might not get to baptize Andres and Leslie because they some of my favorite people. They are people I’m going to come back and visit and I have grown so close and I want to be the one to help them take the step of baptism but I know the lord has different timing for that. PMG says that if we have this faith in the lord, and the patience, we can have the hope of the promised blessings of the lord. I loved that! It has helped me a ton!

I love being out here and love serving!! Every day is an adventure and I can’t wait for this week to come! Who knows where I could be the next week! 

Have an awesome week!!! Love you guys!

Les quiero!!!

Elder Woods

Week #23 – Las Playas – June 8th, 2015

Carter Alejandro Carter font Carter Beach 4Carter Beach 3Carter Beach Carter Beach 2

Buenas tardes familia!! Como estan?! Espero que tuvieron un muy bien semana y estan disfrutando su verano!

This week was so awesome! So many great experiences, it’s impossible to fit them all into an email. If I could have one wish, well first it would be to baptize all of Tijuana! But my second wish would be to have a GoPro to show you guys all the awesome lessons, all the views, and the experiences I’m having! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! It is soooo hard but man it’s the best thing ever! 

So this week I got the opportunity to baptize again! So awesome. My testimony has grown so much in these past two weeks and it continues to grow everyday. We baptized Alejandro! He is a stud! He is 26 years old and a chef here in TJ. Pretty sweet. I wanted to baptize him in his white chef uniform and hat but that isn’t allowed I guess! Such an amazing experience. He is progressing so well and is receiving the priesthood next sunday! So amazing to see lives being changed. I know the blessings of the priesthood from living with a worthy father and am so blessed to be able to help Alejandro take that step to be a worthy priesthood holder and example for his future family. 

That was definitely the highlight of last week. This week we are pushing super hard to baptize some more people but we will see. We’re working on getting Andres and Leslie married before this transfer is over because who knows if me or Elder Ruiz will still be here! They are soooo ready though. They were chosen for us to teach them and will be such awesome members in the future. 

So today I’m writing a little late because we went to the mission office to deliver the baptism papers of Alejandro and when we were in the offices we had the crazy idea of asking our President if we could go to the other side of TJ and see the beaches, visit some converts of Elder Ruiz and go to a huuuggggeeee street market on the boardwalk of the beach! HA!! SOOO AWESOME! It ended the week so good. The beach was amazing. I didn’t know we were so close. Super different than the California beaches though. Here there are cars driving on the beach, people living on the beach, and it’s not as clean, but man it was awesome! I took tons of pictures and hopefully they all send! We had a great time! Great start to the week to come!!

I had an awesome week of studying too! I really put into focus studying about Jesus Christ. Throughout my studies, and in my life,  I feel I was really focused on getting a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and I did, my testimony of those two things is the strongest part of my testimony. But I had never read the bible and the bible teachings of the Savior. I really have been trying to grow my love for the Savior and by doing that I know everything else will fall into order. I have seen changes since I really tried to love the Savior more. I’ve seen a difference in the way I treat people. The way I care for the people now more than anything! People tell us when we’ re teaching they can see the love in our eyes we have for them! I have seen the more I turn to the Savior, the better I become as a missionary, and as a disciple of Jesus Christ! 

Love and miss you guys so much! Have an awesome week!!

LES AMO!!!! 

Elder Woods

Week #22 – TUVIMOS BAUTISMOS!!! – June 1st, 2015

CARTER MANUAL ANNALISA CARTER MANUAL THUMBS UP CARTER LIMA CARTER CHRISTMAS TIEANOTHER AMAZING WEEK IN THE SERVICE OF THE LORD!!! 

Holy cow such an awesome week, and we have a great week to come. Tons of opportunities to serve and share the gospel! 

I got the amazing opportunity to baptize two people this week!! WOW! Such a blessing. The sector that I have been in hasn’t seen baptisms in forever, but we have revamped the ward and have another baptism this week and six more for the next.

This week was awesome with the opportunity to baptize Manuel and Annaluisa! A little mexican couple! Man they are so awesome. Manuel loves me because he likes to “talk English” with me. He usually just says, “What time is it?” or “Merry Christmas” (He loves Christmas, he gave me and Elder Ruiz both Christmas ties: see picture) But man they are awesome! They both asked if I could baptize them which was awesome! The baptism service was fantastic, spirit was so strong, but there was a super funny part to the service too and a super spiritual part.

So the funny part was when I got the opportunity to baptize Manuel, it took me seven tries to get it right! It was pretty awesome because every time the people watching got more and more quiet, so when we finally got it right, the spirit was so powerful. That was the best part.

My favorite part about getting to baptize is getting to go change with them right after the baptism. Right after they have just received one of the most important things we can do, and receiving remission for their sins, and just taking a step in following Jesus Christ, I get to talk to them for a few minutes. Sooo amazing. He was just crying, and he couldn’t stop smiling! He said he was so nervous before but after he didn’t want to leave the font. He was the happiest I have ever seen him. I have known him for three months. So amazing. That was the highlight of the week for us, but so many more powerful lessons this week that just made it amazing. We have another baptism this week with a man named Alejandro! Hope everything goes well. 

A guy gave me a horse whip this week, that was pretty sweet. It is super small but holy cow it is powerful! He told me to keep it in my bag for dogs in the street and for people if they try to rob us! HA! So funny..

Tons of soccer this week! We walked by a court with a bunch of cholos (gangsters) playing and they were making fun of us. So Elder Ruiz and I walked up to them and asked if they wanted to play their two best guys against him and I. They laughed soooo hard. I was actually laughing too because it is pretty silly for two missionaries to ask to play. But they said ok…….WE WHOOOPED THEM. Holy cow, we won every game against everyone. After we played, we gave them all a little picture of Jesus Christ and invited them to church 😉

We’re having a ton of success right now! There is only three more weeks in this transfer. I will probably leave because I have been here for almost 4 1/2 months, but we will see what happens. I don’t want to leave right now because we have some amazing investigators who we are helping get married right now but it takes forever. We will see what happens though!!!

LOVING THE SERVICE! Tons of crazy food this week. Tons more chili, hot sauce and tacos. We have been hitting the hot dog stands pretty hard too. Everything in the street is sooo good here. 

So grateful to be out here! Every day I grow to love it more and more. There’s a part in Preach My Gospel where it talks about how to help learn the language of your mission. It talks a lot about when a missionary goes to a foreign country, one of the best ways to get accustomed and learn the language the fastest is embracing the culture. The music, the food, the people, everything. That really hit me hard these past few weeks and I have been really trying to love and do all I can to find out more about the people I’m serving. I have seen a difference in my love for the people and in my success as a missionary! I LOVE MEXICO!!! 

Hope you guys have a great week! I pray for you guys everyday!!

ANIMO!~! LES AMO!!! 

Elder Woods