Monday, November 22, 2010

Lotsa Hotsa Curry

I don't know anything about curry. I just know that I eat a lot of curry, and curry is curry, and shouldn't have fruit, and that's curry, and that's all I care about curry, because I love curry, and curry is curry, so that's curry. (Papa Carter served his mission in Japan, and Elder Carter has been eating a LOT of curry on his mission and got confused about the difference between Japanese and Indian Curry…we had to straighten him out a bit.)

I LOVE Elder Stauffer. I'm SO happy for him. He sounds pretty bored in his letters, lol. He's just playin' the games up 'til he leaves. I hope he does alright, and stays in touch with me throughout his mission. It's a long time til I see him again...
I hope (a friend of mine from BYU) is gonna be alright. I was expecting to see him at this last temple trip, and then found out that he's not even in Taiwan, so I didn't have very good feelings for awhile. Hope Lindsey is helpin' him feel better. I wonder what's goin' on, comin' back to BYU still having not been out is gonna be tough, I think. But he's got a bunch of good friends supporting him. I think he'll be alright.
Lindsey! Sorry to have been so harsh lately! I didn't forget you, I just have been through a "focus" spell. So, all is well. Stop worrying so much about me! I'm ok, you just all gotta know that I vent everything through my emails, so you get the extremes.
It's not easy out here. Watching and hearing my friends grow and blossom in the Gospel is great. It really humbles me, and I truly admire all of them in the field. And I encourage Dustin to do everything he can to get out there. EVERYTHING. I, sometimes, feel like a horrible missionary when reading the other Elders' emails. It's all good. I just have to look at what I've accomplished and then I feel better about myself. I love my mission! If you think about it, EVERY Saturday and Sunday there is someone being baptized somewhere in our mission. I feel good to know that I've attributed to that.
Lai Rong Fu got baptized yesterday and MAN was it a crazy baptism. Three people were baptized, and the baptizer had no idea what he was doing. Ugh. Unbelievably nervous. It got so bad that our investigator left the font, and we had to comfort him and calm him down to convince him to go back and try again. Unfortunately, the baptisms are some of the most stressful times for us. Probably because everyone here jumps up to the front to help out when something goes wrong. There's yelling, and 4 or 5 priesthood brethren with the fire of their Spirits sprinting and pointing and talking, and it is super easy to experience a mach 5 sensory overload. No wonder our investigator left the font. We literally had to pull the 40+ year-old men away from the font and sit them down and tell them to stay and be quiet. That was not easy. And unbelievably awkward, but it had to be done. Gotta love this culture, and this people. SO anal about EVERYTHING. And then they're not at the same time. I love them so much! I'm always laughing. (in a good way).
Yes, it gets hard. Yes, there are times when I feel disobedient, or unclean/unworthy. But I've learned to work past it, trust God, and move on. I am learning more about myself and am extremely self-aware now. Even though I may not think I've changed very much since I left on my mission, I at least see progress here. We'll see what the family and my friends think when I get home. But, unfortunately and fortunately there will only be girls around when I get home. All the guys will be gone. Uh-oh... It's a good time to steal everyone's girlfriend and get my foot in the door before the guys get back... lol. Just kidding.
Everyday I run into trials and challenges. I had no idea there could be so many thrown at me from every angle. No wonder I get so down on myself out here. It's not easy to handle all those challenges and stresses being thrown at me all at once. It's kinda scary sometimes, and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to handle getting over it when I figure out what Heavenly Father wants me to do. In the meantime, I get down on myself, think I'm a horrible person, stress out my companion, throw my feelings out the window and let everyone partake of the insanity, then I finally figure out how to progress and move on, then all is well til the next wave of trials comes around. Which is the next day. So, the new goal, is to figure out how to control the insanity during the process of change. I'm growing up.
We're pretty sure I'm gonna be with Elder Huang next move call and then go Senior. But who knows? And I don't care. I just want to keep going. Take whatever comes, put everything on God and Jesus Christ, and all is well.
Huang Guo Hua came to church!!! Yay!! That was his second time. His baptismal goal is less than two weeks away. He'll get baptized on Thanksgiving weekend. I wonder if he'll ever know the significance of that. He just has to quit smoking. We told him to quit, and finished our lesson last night, and he immediately sat down with friends, and we saw him pull out a smoke, caught the guilty look on his face and then saw him try to hide the cigarette. Lol. Elder Huang scolded his friends and told them that our investigator is quitting and not to give him any more smokes. I don't know what happened after, but Guo Hua was guilty and stopped immediately, so that's good. He's still progressing. He's still got a little time to figure this out. Pray for him!!!
Did I tell you I got a hold of Zhang Shu Wei? My first recent convert? He's doin' ok.
I just realized why I don't say a lot about the country and culture. I have to be careful what I say in email and letters til I get home. So I innately edit. Sorry. I'll try to be more open, but there are certain things I can't share in this mode of communication. Through the phone, or when I get home, that's ok. And please forgive my horrrible English type grammar.
There is one thing that I can tell everyone. I LOVE my mission. I wouldn't give it up for anything. And I'm willing to give up everything for my mission. It's not easy sometimes, but I'm more and more willing, and my view on life is much more eternal and just better. There's a scripture in 3rd Nephi that tells us not to worry about the things of tomorrow, but that of today. God worries about tomorrow. Obviously we need to make plans. But leaving it up to the Lord is much better. Christ himself said that he prefers we get work done while it's still day, "for no man worketh at night". Gotta love gaining scriptural knowledge. Makes me feel smart. And about the only book that really matters, so I feel even better about that.
I'm being eaten alive by mosquitoes, my allergies DO exist out here (just not as bad), and it is not cold. Even though everyone wears jackets and long pants and says it's cold-- IT'S NOT COLD. Elder Bernards and Elder Brimley can tell you what cold means. I just tell everyone I'm from Utah "The greatest snow on earth" and they all freak out. The people here love snow, and there's only one place that it actually snows in Taiwan. On the top of the mountains in Taipei. That's it, and it maybe snows a couple inches. I don't know why, but everyone I know has a secret desire to ski and snowboard. Lol. But they all wish they could visit Salt Lake City. There's a Spiritual desire there.
To all everyone who reads and sees this (including those in Taiwan), I love you all! (LYTMY;) I miss everyone back home, and I love going to church every week and seeing all the members here. The members here are on the front lines in the fire. They are BRILLIANT. Those back in Utah, keep building that foundation, keep maintaining your standards. We need it out here. And keep having kids. :D (if you're married)
Keep strong, the world is wrong, stay to the right, and life gets bright.
Your friend, brother in the Faith, and son,
Elder Carter

"Hurrah for Israel!" (An Elder Byerism)

(Happy Birthday Grandpa!!! 70 here is SUPER old. Congrats!)

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