Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1st-- a real letter :)

Hola como estan ustedes!! First...Thanksgiving...we didn’t do anything, we thought about it only a few times during the day...the first of only two times I will not be doing anything for Thanksgiving! But, it was a good day!
Okay, update on the teaching! We have two new investigators, Jonathan (22) and Gissela(11) the sister of Gissela and her mom are menos activas and her sister..other sister is a recent convert. Jonathan is the husband of the sister that is less active..but, they are great! Especially Gissela, the first lesson we had with them, when we asked her what she wanted from us she said "baptize me," so that has been awesome and she has such a warm and loving heart even though she is only 11!  Jonathan was going good-- we got him to realize that he didn’t need to drink, he told us that even though all of his friends were going to invite him to drink after work on Friday that he wasn’t going to do it he was just going to come home, which he did! We were so excited for him!!  He did great on Saturday, but Sunday when his brother visited with their cousin, he drank with them...uhgg! So, we will be working with him on la palabra de sabiduria!  We are also working with both Nidia(22)and Ana(22) again!! yay!! and both have fecha! Ana for 13 de diciembre and Nidia for 20 de diciembre. Johnathan and Gissela,..well Gissela for sure, has fecha for 20 de diciembre also!!  We are still working on finding new people, we are hoping to find some new families to teach this week! 
I have read my blessing a lot these last few weeks, and it never ceases to amaze me how incredible it is, that we have this amazing priesthood power that we can receive blessings! We had a really neat experience with this--- one of my first weeks here, one of the recent converts that we visit is Naomy, she is 9 and has something wrong with her stomach and can’t always come to church because of is serious enough that she has been to the hospital a few times with it, but the Elders came with us one night to give her a blessing, and I couldn’t understand any of it, but the spirit was there so strong! I love the power of the priesthood and am so grateful to have my papa and others in my life that hold that power and can use it to bless so many! 
Well, here’s to another week! I love you all soooooooooooo-soooooooosooooooo much !!!! Hope this week to come is a great one!
 with love

karlee jo

Note: Quilotoa is a volcano crater in Ecuador :) AND the pictures did not transfer through very clearly, but it still gives the idea....

The sunset

Our district before hiking

Quilatoa from the deck

Quilotoa from near the bottom


Karlee at Quilotoa

Quilotoa near bottom

The fog cloud they drove through--they were that high up!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ecuador, she has arrived!

Wow!  I can’t believe that I’ve been here for almost a week!  The people are amazing! It is so different, but really great! There are street vendors everywhere you look, along every road- selling everything from clothes to fruit to toilet paper--it’s crazy!  The people here are crazy drivers and just cross the road wherever as soon as there is an opening. Our apartment is on the third floor and is quite roomy, all the homes here are behind gates of some sort- you have to have them open it and then there is anywhere from one to a bunch of apartment- type homes.  It has been kind of interesting to be here and feel like I know absolutely zero Spanish…I felt okay when I left the MTC, but now I realize I didn´t know much of anything. 
We have done a lot of walking and the sidewalks are not very even; the streets are not paved, they are all like brick or cobblestone. Whenever we are going somewhere far, such as a lunch at a member’s home or to a conference or the chapel from our apartment, we take either a bus or a taxi- which has been a new experience, but a good one so far!
My companion is Hermana Colvin, from Las Vegas, and she goes home in February! 
We have a great branch- yesterday we had 5 confirmations! 
The food...has been pretty good so far, a lot of rice, the only thing I haven’t liked so far is the verde, it is like green banana smashed and it tastes nasty and has a weird texture...but I have been told it will be given to us a lot, so I have to learn to like it :(  usually it is half a plate of rice, with a piece of meat, not very big, and we´ve had corn and fries---it has been pretty good. 
We have been teaching lessons and visiting people since Thursday night, when we got here.  We have visited Maríbel, Nidia, Eduardo, Josephina and a few others, but it has been a challenge to try and understand everything they are saying, they talk faster than I am used to.
On Saturday, after we had visited everyone we had planned for the day, it was like 8:00ish, we were trying to find someone to teach, so we stopped and said a prayer and I had the thought we should go visit a member at her of the little shops, that Hermana Colvin had been trying to introduce me to-- but she was never there when we stopped by.
Anyway, we stopped by and that is where we met Eduardo, who is her brother, so we were able to talk to him and taught him about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith-- we got a baptismal date set for him!!! AND we are going back to teach him tonight!!  
It is so amazing to see the Lord work miracles each and everyday and to be the instruments that He works through a lot of the time!

Anyway, love you all!!   These next 15 1/2 months will fly by!!

Hermana Karlee Carter 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Just a quick note that Karlee's travel plans changed to travel TUESDAY morning instead; then, Monday, we found that she had plans changed again to leave Tuesday NIGHT.  She ended up traveling with two Elders who were heading to Quito, as well.  They left SLC around 9 PM, flew into San Francisico and left there around 12 AM, and then flew into Miami...  they left Miami about 9 AM to arrive in Quito about 1 PM.  WHEW!!!  Crazy.

Week Five

So for starters, I did get travel plans on Friday!! I LEAVE MONDAY MORNING AT 4:30AM!!!! 
Can you believe it is here already!!
Tuesday was awesome! We got to hear from M. Russell Ballard! It was so good! Then, Sunday night heard from Steven B Allen, who is the managing director of the missionary department!  It was super good-- about the first vision!
It is kind of nice that we are moving to main campus on Thursday, since that way I only have to unpack my carry-on since I will be there for 3 days.... we move Thursday, have class in the afternoon and evening and then, Friday is our in-field training, Saturday and Sunday are conference and then I leave.....P.S you have to watch Priesthood session!! Our elders are singing in the choir!! 
We havent seen the Women’s broadcast yet, we get to watch it during the Priesthood session! 
Sorry it is such a short letter this week!!
 I hopefully will get to email again this weekend since I leave Monday, but we’ll see.

Love you forever and always

karlee jo carter

PS… also have to tell you of an experience we had on Sunday!
We were trying to find a movie to watch and all the ones we went to were full, so we were heading back to the movie we had already seen and knew there was enough room for all of us, when we ran into some elders that are native Spanish speakers and learning English! It was super cool because one of the Elders Hermana Bitton and I were talking to is from Quito!! --and his family is still there!!! --and he will be serving in SLC!  It was so fun, we talked to them in Spanish and then in English and it was good practice for all of us, but it was also SUPER fun!!! A lot better than any of the movies!!

First temple trip

District with Branch Presidency

Elders from Sunday night... the one on the right is from Quito

Sisters in the District

Last temple trip

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Week 4 MTC

Hola familia!!
 I hope everything at home is going well!! Tuesday night's devo was Elder Richard G Scott! It was so good! He started off by telling us not to have a good mission, but to have a blast! Then he started talking about how our decision to serve a mission will bless our lives in so many more ways than we will know! Love what he had to share! " IN ORDER TO ATTAIN A GOAL NEVER BEFORE ATTAINED, ONE MUST DO THINGS NEVER DONE BEFORE!" He's just so cute! He told us that he wished he could spend at least an hour of one on one time with each of us and just chat- made me super excited for general conference! He just has a way of addressing the room and making it feel like he is speaking directly to you!! Most of his message was on communication with Heavenly Father. *It is not a trivial matter, it is a sacred privilege (prayer) *the Almighty God himself, encourages us to communicate with him. *He wants you to succeed and will help you do it *Be careful to act on impressions and feelings *learn to ask the Lord the right questions * Be careful to seek His will and be willing to change and pray for help to fulfill and succeed. *The scriptures promise an answer, they don't say when.
He talked about 3 ways to receive an answer 1- feel the peace, the burning in the bosom, and know it’s right, 2- the stupor of thought, unsettled feeling/clouded feeling, we know it’s wrong 3- no response (comes later)- this helps us grow, makes us exercise faith and assume accountability without prior confirmation. *feelings of peace and tender mercies are evidence of God's love for you! * have faith in the Lord and be obedient. (1 Nephi 5:8;3:7) *HE DIDN’T CALL YOU HERE TO FAIL, HE CALLED YOU HERE TO SUCCEED GLORIOUSLY!! *He doesn't usually answer your prayers while you are on your knees, but at quiet moments such as scripture study-when it can touch our, it is important to do those things that will allow the spirit to touch our hearts, such as reading scriptures daily so we may receive answers. *the greater our faith, the greater our character!*have enough humility to overflow your prayers in gratitude * make prayer the sacred communication it should be *He will answer us in ways best suited for our growth and development. 
Sunday we got to watch the temple dedication! (the first session), then our devotional was  Gordon D Brown. He talked about being an effective missionary * you cannot be an effective missionary without prayer *the gospel is a source of joy and the work of the Lord is glorious -gbh
*happiness is a choice-tsm
It was super bien! The devos are amazing!! It is so crazy to think that we leave in two weeks! We should get travel plans the end of this week ! Ahh! So excited! muy animado! 
Tuesday’s devo was a world wide broadcast to all the other MTCs and we've been informed that it will be this week as well and that it will be someone we love! We get to sing 'Joseph Smith's First Prayer' as a choir! Sounds so good! The elders do get to sing in the priesthood session of G.C. --all of our elders minus Elder Johnson..who doesn't like to sing..made it into the choir! So we'll have to watch for them! Very exciting! 
OH YES! The dedication was so beautiful! We saw the 10am dedication! The talks were super good; however, the bleachers were not so great! So uncomfortable!
Yes!! Spanish is coming along! It’s kinda fun, one of our lessons...Hmna Fairbanks is our new sister training leader for the zone and she had a mtg, so Hmna Bitton and I got to teach the lesson by ourselves and it was super nice because we got to say A LOT more than apparently we don’t understand it very well because our investigator challenged us to speak only espanol por un semena! Es muy difacil, pero ayuda muchas! 
Learning so much, about the gospel, about my self and the importance of having the holy ghost present in every lesson and the importance, especially in a trio, of having unity when teaching in order to allow and invite the holy ghost to be present.
Anyway, I love you all so much! So grateful to be here and grateful for your love and support! El evangelio es verdadero y we are now the Lord´s missionaries!! Every one of us!!

Hermana Karlee Jo Carter

Karlee and the "girls"
Karlee and Hermana Bitton

Karlee at Provo Temple

Week 2 MTC

Hola familia
Esta seenaes muy bueno!! At our devo. Tuesday night we got to hear from Elder Joseph W Sitati of the 70 and his wife Gladys. It was really good! She talked about things we as missionaries... but, I think also a people in general.
1-    Remember who you are. you are a Representative of Christ and God, they will always be at your side! (D&C 84:88) 
2-    Listen with real intent so you can understand! -which is so true, esp. when learning and trying to learn and speak a new language, you have to pay super close attention of you get lost!
3-    Say sorry when there is conflict of disagreement.
4-    have kind regard for the people you serve...which also applies to those you serve with!-they should see Christ's face and his love in yours
5-    the lord has promised an abundance of blessings to those who serve him faithfully
6-    be grateful! Your family has expectations for you
7-    remember Jesus Christ's atonement and what it means in you life
8-    remember Joseph Smith and the restoration- it is because of him we know who we are...because of him we have the BOM- the keystone of our religion
9-    how much the prophet loves you!
10-be grateful for you life! You have much ahead of you!
*Have a desire to do your best!
*We should always look for God's hand in our daily lives
Elder Sitati talked about three main points then expanded
1.    remember your divine potential
2.    Remember the restored gospel is the greatest gift you have received in this life and will take to as many as will listen and receive or that you can offer
3.    honor your covenants! This allows for the constant companionship of the spirit.
4.    he also asked us to remember 3 things 
5.    to try your best and enjoy your time here
6.    this is a sacred responsibility
7.    we are a special generation of missionaries!
8.    he shared 1 Timothy 4:12 which is super bien!
some things he said that I loved "leave a testimony that will pierce their heart" ; "the Lord will manifest his word through you"; "The world is in need of good examples"; begin with an end in mind"; "offer your very best"
*remember who you are and that you were prepared for the foundation of time.
*we are not perfect but do we strive to do our best?
*the lord will help you know how to do it just right
as a choir we sang ' Hope of Israel ' and it sounded soo good!!
For p-day last week...well the same today...after the very first pday we decided to get up at 5:00am and get laundry started. So while it is in the washer we go get the apartment cleaned and then go rotate and come home get ready, Go get breakfast, pick up laundry, then run to catch the bus, to go to the temple. Then we come back walk to Brigham’s Landing. Last week we met a man as we were standing in the parking lot trying to decide what we wanted to eat, he asked us if we were lost, if we knew where the MTC was… yes, just trying to we decided on DP Cheesesteaks, which, by the way, you have to try-- the hot pepper one is super bien!!  So, he drove off..we thought.. as we were looking at the menu trying to decide on a sandwich, he walks in and talks for a min, then says he has to go, but before he left he paid for all of ours! How cool, right!  After we walked back we changed, folded our laundry and then do emails, then play volleyball, go home, change, come eat dinner, then catch the bus for main campus, to go to choir practice followed by the Tuesday devo. P-days are so great!!
Friday we taught Jonathan! It was our second lesson with him and it was soooo goood!! We read lots of scriptures and testified a lot and got the spirit there so strong that we got him to commit to read the BOM, pray, and he said he would maybe be baptized, he wanted an answer first!
On Wednesday, we started TRC's and taught 2 20 min lessons to members- went well!
Then this week MWFS we are teaching Heley. Tomorrow we also have to teach 2 20 min member lessons, Jonathon, and Antonio… YAY us!!
Hmna. Bitton, we noticed on Friday, had something on her eye and her eye looked red so she tried to wash it out and it wouldn’t come so yesterday we went to the health clinic at main campus and they sent us to the 'real world' to an eye doc. who said it was staph infection in her eye.  He gave her some eye drops and said to come back on Friday!  We made it back to west campus just in time for was a very hot and eventful day!!

I am learning a lot and esp. learning patience! It is a good thing! We decided we are going to challenge ourselves to one full day of Spanish- no English...what an adventure that will be!
Sunday we got to hear from Tad A Callister, general sunday school pres., and he talked about the plan of salvation, super good!
 We just found out that the MTC choir...well, the elders get to sing in the priesthood session of GC! Super cool
We also just found out that the MTC is downsizing and no longer needs west campus so we are relocating on the 2nd to main campus....5 well, really 4 days, before I leave..kind a dumb, but whatever.. at least everything will be mostly packed before I leave!
It is so crazy to think we’ve been here for 3 weeks already! We are half way done! It has gone crazy fast and I am sad to be leaving everyone since were so close already but I’m so excited to get to Ecuador!!
Our apartment has 2 bedrooms with 4 beds, a couch ,table, fridge, and full bath. Since we only have 3, not 4, we all have to sleep in the same room, one room is used for sleeping, the other for getting ready. Hmna Bitton sleeps on the floor and says that's where she likes it so....
Our teachers, Hermanos Call and Rockwood, play Antonio and Jonathon, but TRC's we don't know if they are members playing nonmembers or if they really are investigators.. but we also teach 2 member lessons at least once a week- yes, the entire lesson has been in Spanish since day 3 here at the MTC.
Tomorrow we have to teach 5 lessons! I guess it will give us a taste of the real least the missionary world:) most definitely keeping up on the journal though!!
Mama! si este semana es super bien! martes es super bien! escribe cartas to mi familia!! Haha! I will have to work on it!
iLove you all!! Forever and always!!
Hermana Karlee Jo Carter<3<3<3<3

Karlee and her companions
Elders in Karlee's District