Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day

Hi guys! what a glorious week its been!

You probably saw a ton of pictures from trainer/trainee meeting last week. That was a good meeting. We basically talked about how to get used to mission life in its various forms including getting along with your companions and learning to be outgoing etc. It was nice for us to be able to ask them questions about what to do and how to work things out. President and Sister Gardner care for us a lot. They are willing to do anything for us.

Another fun thing about Nebraska:  The stoplights are horizontal instead of vertical like in Idaho. Its pretty weird.

As far as investigators go we have one that im quite excited about. His names Edward. He's a super chill black guy that loves talking. Like.. LOVES talking. We will say like 4 things and he will go on for a good 10 minutes about it and what not. We've asked him to be baptized and he said he wants to be married to his girlfriend first which is AWESOME because now we don't have to tell him to do that (they live together). He came to church and was a little freaked out by a few things like sustaining new callings and passing the sacrament haha. But elder karl was able to explain what was going on so he was more comfortable.

You'll be happy to know that i've passed or blessed the sacrament EVERY week that I've been here. The ward I'm in is a lot like the ward at home. In the words of my bishop, its got only newly weds and newly dead's haha. Theres like 5 youth. so I have quite a bit of experience with this kind of ward to say the least.

My wonderful father asked a bunch of questions so I will include them in this email.

Do you eat dinners with members? Yes we eat with members all the time. We have only had like 1 or so days that we haven't had a member sign up for dinner. Everyone love feeding the missionaries, and they are all super chill people too. Most of them are in dental/law school.

What kind of foods do you eat? We eat normal food haha I don't know what else to say about it other than its normal. Not a lot of corn yet.

What is the crazyest thing you were offered? As far as craziest thing ive been offered... uh not much really. But when I was on exchanges we did get this super weird like bean patty. I should have taken a picture of it because I don't know how to describe it but basically it was a hamburger sized patty of black beans? it had something else in it too but I don't know what it was. It was... interesting. not good not bad just weird.

How far away are you from Omaha? We are about 45 minutes away from Omaha.

Do you walk very much or do you drive everywhere? So far we have driven everywhere mostly because its cold. But if we run out of miles (every area has a set amount of miles for a 3 week period, ours is 700 miles) then we will have to walk everywhere. But when it gets warmer, that wont be a big deal.

What do you do on PDay?On Pday, ball is life. We play basketball every pday. Other than that we just email wash clothes and go to like the mall occasionally. We are always with the other missionaries in our zone though it makes it a party.

Do you have a washer and dryer in your apertment? No. We use a washing machine in a members house. I don't know why but I guess they let us use it so we do. Its pretty nice.

What do you eat for breakfast and lunch? Breakfast I eat some cereal and oatmeal and bagles a lot. For lunch we eat out quite a bit actually. But if we don't I usually make sandwiches.

do you get to go to the temple often? No. We don't go to the temple unless we are assigned to Omaha. Then it'd be once a quarter.

Is the University in your area? ummm... Its not im my area but its in my zone. we are actually taking a tour of the football stadium today. The zone leaders are over the YSA ward and the campus of the university. So they are on campus a lot.

How many spanish speakers are you finding? We run into lots of Spanish speakers. we have a more "ghetto" area that has more Spanish speakers.

How big is the ward?  How many wards are you over? The ward is like I said about the same as the ward at home. We are just over the one ward. There are a lot of areas that do take more than one ward though.

that's all the questions! IF you have more then send em through id be glad to answer them

Mission life is great!
Love you all!
Elder Andy Carter

Monday, February 22, 2016

1 down 23 to go!

Hello fam.

Yes yes I know... Im almost home! my 1 month mark was on Saturday. Ill be back before anyone knows im gone.

So a few fun things about Lincoln:

They have BLACK squirrels here. Its super weird. They look like skunks kinds.

They also have a ton of bunnies everywhere. They just run around all the time. They aren't like jack rabbits that we have at home or whatever you call them, but like legit bunnies. Short little legs big floppy ears. Everywhere. Nebraska is weird.

This week went by so fast. It seemed like we had 2 P-days because we emailed on Tuesday so that was nice. We had our first district meeting. Which was eh. Its a lot of things we already "knew" but its definitely good to go over them again. Taught a bunch of new people this week. Still working on getting people to progress further but we got a lot of potential.

One dude we met is named ricky. We met him on accident actually. So we were going to a house that was supposed to be a sister that is less active in our ward but when we showed up and knocked on the door, ricky answered. apparently he had just moved in a week or so ago from Texas. He was like yeah I used to go to y'alls church. We taught him and his fiancé and they are quite interested in the gospel and such. Fun times. He's also a professional boxer so good to know we got him on our side now.

Funny story from this week.
We went to this one house later at night, and knocked on the door and he came out. He was so so so drunk. we could smell it through the door. Anyways he told us to have a seat and tell him what's going on. We started telling him about the book of Mormon and he said he knew it backwards and forwards. He started telling us a story about how the Mormons were supposed to be in Mexico but they came to winter quarters and they started a war with the Sioux Indians and Brigham Young paid for everything and fontenelle didn't want to go and then the Mormons snuck into Utah. We legit just laughed. Then we said hey want to be baptized, great, heres a book of Mormon, see you later man! And walked off. Probably the funniest experience we had so far.

So I don't have any pictures to post, but we do have a trainee trainer training tomorrow so im sure sister gardner will have pictures posted with us in them. I have no idea what the training will be but we are going to Omaha for it so itll probably be pretty good.

We are also going on exchanges this Thursday with the zone leaders. Hopefully that'll go well also.

Let me know if you have any questions or want to know/see pictures of anything!

Love Elder Carter

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Valentines Day!

Hello family!

First of all sorry for not emailing yesterday! Presidents day closed all the libraries in Lincoln and that's where we email, so we had to postpone it til today!

But yeah Happy Valentines day on Sunday! Hope everyone's valentine left them something! Thank you to my Mother for continuing the tradition of leaving us gifts on Valentines day! She sent me some Gigantic cookies which my companion and I enjoyed very much!

Goodness gracious this week has been nutz. So In our mission the goal for new investigators each week is 4. But my companion and I have challenged another set of elders in our district to see how many new investigators we could find. At the end of the week we had found 15 new investigators haha. We saw our mission president at a baptism and told him and he was super impressed. Honestly we found more than that because a lot of them didn't speak English and we gave them to the Spanish elders. But yeah. We worked hard. Sadly the other elders beat us... by 10. They got 25. that's insane. they are finding MASTERS.

Cool/fun stories for this week:
We were tracting in an apartment complex that was outside and we knocked on the door but no one answered. We walked around the corner and on the top floor was a dude that was like "Hey are you guys Mormons" we were like yeah and he was like "well you should probably just leave then, we don't want you here" We were like whatever and knocked on another door. The dude came out and we started teaching him but they guy on the balcony kept chiming in with things like "just tell them to leave man." our investigator Was super chill about it though. He was like man that guy is closed minded and all this funny stuff. Then like we talked about the BOM for about 5 minutes and the guy on the balcony was like "HEY GUYS I just found some platinum plates over there! I'm the only one who can read them though but you should follow me instead." We just busted out laughing.

Next story was we were going to be short on our investigator goal for the day and we prayed to get another investigator by the end of the night to meet our goal. We walked into another apartment complex and we could hear these two people in their apartment being super loud, swearing like none other and sounded like they were fighting... so we ignored that door and did all the rest... no one answered. We walk back to that door and my companion looks at me and is like "this is gunna be funny, watch this" and knocks on the door. This SUPER drunk dude and his girlfriend answer the door. The guy had been to prison 5 times. Rough character. But they were so nice to us. They invited us in and offered us some vodka. They wanted to listen to our message, maybe because they were drunk who knows. But yeah we taught them and it went super well. Not what I was expecting but I guess the lord knows better than we do!

Lincoln is great I love being here. All the missionaries in the area are super chill. We all play bball on pday's and we go to lunch too so we've gotten to know them all pretty well. They are just like a bunch of college guys haha so its super fun. They are great missionaries too. Dedicated to the work. Glad I can be here with them.
I love being a missionary, spreading the joy of the gospel.

Have an amazing Week Everyone!

Elder Carter

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hello from the other side! (of Nebraska)

Hi everyone!
I am currently in Lincoln Nebraska! first area HYPE! But yeah its great here. My area is super small but we still get a car which is nice. Every area has a car in my mission I'm pretty sure. Lovin the cold windy weather (not)! It snowed about a foot the day before I got out here. Luckily I missed all the shoveling that was done. maybe next time.

So my first few days have been crazy! tons of people to teach.  Two of the first people we taught are Gail and her husband James. They are really weird but they do have a desire to come to church etc. We will see how they do with commitments etc. James accepted a baptismal date for march 5 but we are a little skeptical of that.

Couple miracles with the next two investigators.
We were headed to an apartment complex to meet with one of the potential investigators and when we got there we knocked on the door and they said didn't I tell you to not come back? or something like that. Anyways we were like alright... well lets just knock the door above. We knocked on it and the dude opened up the door and let us in. Apparently he had been looking around at churches and wanted us to come in and teach him! Super sweet. We taught him the restoration and he was super accepting of it. He said that he would read the B of M and pray about it.  And he said he would prepare to be baptized on March 5 as well!  Super awesome.  Great guy.  Larry.
The next one is a less active member.  We rolled over to his building but its one of those locked apartment complexes that you have to have a code to get in and we didn't know his apartment number.  My companions just looked at me and was like... welp... and just pushed a random button to see if they'd let us in.  Magically the door became unlocked without us having to talk to anyone in the apartment complex and see if they'd open it for us.  We were then able to find his apartment and talk to him for a while.  He was super sincere with us and expressed that he really did want to become a more active member and come back to church and read etc.  Super cool.
The third investigator we showed up to his house and he was a disabled guy in a motorized wheelchair.  He's probably the nicest guy you'll ever meet.  He let us in and let us teach the restoration to him.  He was also super accepting of it and said had read the B of M as well.  And accepted a baptismal date for March 5th as well.  I think he is so ready to be baptized even thought its been 1 lessons.

The fourth investigator is probably the funniest one.  We were going to see one of the potentials that we had talked to earlier but apparently we went to the wrong house.  This older dude opened the door. Probably 300 lbs.  With no shirt on and was like yo I don't bother you with my philosophies so don't bother me with yours and he shut the door.  We just walked away and busted out laughing.  Apparently his philosophy was no shirt, no gym, no problem. Anyways we then were walking up the street and Elder Karl thought he knew one of the houses there so we went up to it and knocked.  A lady in her mid 20's opened the door and let us in.  She was "catholic" but really didn't know anything about it and she let us teach the restoration.  She was super enthusiastic about it.  We gave her the BOM and she wanted to read it and pray about it.  She asked when and where our church was so she could attend and we told her. We said when you know these things are true will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized? (the classic question you ask) and she said yes!  We didn't set a date for her though.

The most miraculous thing about all of these was.... IT WAS SUPER BOWL SUNDAY! Everyone is watching the game right?!  Well the lord knows who isn't watching and who will accept our message.  He put those people in our path.  Super cool.

The area is great.  I love serving here in Lincoln.  We haven't done much else yet but we will be doing some fun things in the future.  Zone conference is Wednesday.  Looking forward to that.

Ask me questions if you got em!

Love you all!

Elder Andy Carter

These are of our teachers in the MTC.
The first one is Sister Carpenter, she's right next to me with the black and white shirt on.
The second one is Brother cook. He's the only one with just a white shirt on.
They were both the best teachers in the world. Learned a lot from the.

These are the pics of my MTC district.
The first one is whats left of u when we got to the airport
The second one is the last picture with all of the district in it. That was our classroom that we spent about 30 hours a day in.

Andy's First Companion in the Field

Friday, February 5, 2016

Andy is in Nebraska

I thought I would share some pictures of Andy arriving at his new home in Omaha Nebraska.