December 31, 2013

December 30, 2013
Hola Familia:
Christmas was wonderful. Hermana Flor invited us to eat with her when we came back from Chavin. We had a Christmas dinner of turkey which was great. Then we went upstairs... watched the fireworks go was like the Deer Park show on steroids haa...and went to bed, it was great.

Thursday we invited our new friend Rafael to baptism. He looks a ton like Brother Wright and it´s really weird haha. But he´s really cool, studies the Bible, has a 5yr old son who is his life, and he is preparing to be baptized on the 11th. I have faith that he´ll follow through and be baptized on that day. 
Saturday was a beautiful day. I think I told you all about Kati. My second week here I was given the courage to contact a girl by myself, only to find that she lived in the area of the elders. Well this Saturday she and her sister got baptized. It was beautiful. It was a testimony to me that the Lord is still using me to bring people to the fold, even if she doesn´t count as one of my baptisms, I still had a part in bringing the Gospel into her life and that is such a beautiful thing to me. I was ridiculously happy at that baptism. That evening we went and visited Hermana Nanci. She´s having a really hard time. I´m heart broken because her inactive husband doesn´t want to see us anymore. The three of us were crying as we shared words of comfort with her. That night WE FOUND THE RECORDS OF HERMANO ANTONIO...shucks I guess we don´t have a baptism with him haha, but I´m grateful we have a record of his membership. 
Yesterday in church we were able to teach the Young Women. Now THAT made me the happiest person ever. We taught them about Spiritual Gifts and Hermana Cueva invited me to share with them my experience of developing the Gift of Tongues. I felt the Spirit more strongly than I have in a very long time as I bore testimony that we can develop Spiritual gifts when we pray for them and work hard to recieve them. The Spirit whispered to me that I do have this gift and that it´s developing more each day. That was a beautiful experience for me that I really needed. After church all the girls hugged and kissed my cheek and asked me a million questions about my hair. They can´t believe the color and curl are natural haha. 

I didn´t get the chance to thank you guys on Skype on Wednesday because I was already near tears and didn´t want to be a blubbering mess when we were face to face...but thank you for your support and your love. I could never do this without you guys. There are so many people here that don´t have the support of their families and I don´t have a clue how they stay so strong and happy, because I´m having a rough time as it is...but I have the knowledge that I have a beautiful family backing me up, sacrificing SO much for me to be here on my mission. Thank you for your testimonies and for your love. Dad, thank you for your prayer on Wednesday. Let´s make that a tradition. I needed that family prayer so much and when I closed my eyes, I felt like I was at was more than perfect. I love you so much. I´m so grateful for your firmness in the Gospel and your examples of love and service for others and for me. I do know the sacrifice you make to have me here, and I am so grateful for it. It keeps me going every day. This Gospel is true. It DOES bring happiness. This is one of the hardest times of my life, but I think it´s also so worth it. I am learning more about the Gospel, the world, and more importantly my relationship with the Savior on a daily basis than I have have done in my life. 
I love you all so very much. Thank you for our time together this week. Thank you for being worthy to be married in the temple mom and dad, thank you for letting me be born in the covenant. THAT is the most amazing blessing for me and I´m so grateful for the knowledge I have that our families are forever. 
Love always and HAPPY 2014. 

Hermana Carr

Kati and us at her baptism

                                                   Going down into the tunnels at Chavin
                                                             Me with Andrea
                                                       Hermana Cueva and Me at the temple at Chavin

December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013

Hola Familia!

So, I´m in Yungay today...we spent the morning helping Elder Garcia and Elder Castillon move to a different I´m at a different internet cafe that DOESNT have an English keyboard. So, sorry for my terrible punctuation. 

I am SO glad things went well for Sheri and cute baby Spencer! I absolutely LOVVVEEE the name! I can´t wait to see pictures of the little guy, and I love seeing the pictures of Belle! Thanks for sharing. I´m so glad that they have a sweet new little baby. I´m sure the kids are having a blast at our house too! 

I LOVE all the Christmas prep going on, it´s definitely universal! Hermana Flor is letting us use some of her Christmas lights in our window and I´m so excited. You know this has always been my favorite time of year, and I just love being able to blast my one Christmas album and sing my carols. We have an activity coming up this month in Huaraz with the Stake, we´re caroling in the Plaza de Almas and it´s going to be SO magical. I´m stoked. Sorry it´s SO freezing at home! We´ve been dealing with major rain storms all rios en la calle kind of rain. It´s been an adventure. I´m seriously so grateful for my Northface jacket from Delaware and my winter coat, Hermana Cueva and I have kept warm and dry with those two. 

I´m so grateful to EVERYONE for their thoughtful emails and advice. It seriously boosts my moral SOOO much. So thank you for that! I feel the support and I love it. And YES Christmas at 12 ...or 1 my time, not really sure yet but just stay by the laptop or dads phone during that time, I´m going to either skype you at Hermana Flor´s house...or maybe our ward mission leaders... he has all the fancy technology! 

I didn´t get to watch the Christmas broadcast...the bishop decided not to have it at the we didn´t get to see it. You´ll have to email  me the printed versions of their talks, because I was really hoping to watch it!  LOVE YOU MAMA. And thanks for the package, I´m so excited to get it THIS WEEK! 

Anyway, it´s been...another week in Caraz haha. I´ve been dealing with some sort of stomach bug this week, so that´s been fun...but I´ve kept trudging along and working hard despite it. People have been so kind to me this week and I can´t even describe my gratitude to them. 

We´re having a rough time finding new investigators. Everyone we contact is from a different city, or if we are lucky enough to teach them...they don´t show up for their second lessons. It´s really frustrating to be honest, and our numbers are AWFUL. We have one girl, Miriam, who´s an absolute doll that wants to be baptized on the 21st, but she needs to go to church first and work some things out with her ``esposo``. Here people are husband and wife...without being married...and she´s working on separating from him...anyway it´s a challenge but she´s great and I have hope.

This week the Elders in Yungay had a family baptism! Our whole district got to attend. With all the rain the river was really strong, and cold, and dirty...totally different than last time. It was a member father, and his wife and two daughters were being baptized. Andrea, an eight year old, was first. Poor thing was clinging to her father in such a way that they had to repeat the ordinance three times. She was bawling. I don´t have much of the language down...but I DID have my winter coat with me. I pried it from Hermana Cueva, gave her my sweater and went up to Adrian. I wrapped her in the coat and hugged her and helped her to get warm. She was crying to me and I didn´t understand everything but I said what I could and just held her close...twenty minutes later after the others had been baptized, she changed and kept my coat on...she was beaming and we´re best friends at church now. After the service, we went to a luncheon in Yungay. I was so worried, I have been sicker than sick this week  with my stomach and I literally could not eat. Hermana Flor came up to me after the prayer and whispered to only eat what I could because I´ve been sick. I was still worried about offending the family. Elder Arnett overheard and asked me what was going on...I straight up told him I´d been sick. Well I started eating my massive bowl of beans and rice and mystery meat and had hardly made a dent in it. About ten minutes into the meal, Elder Arnett whisper-yelled ¨Hermana Carr¨and held out his empty plate to me. He told me to switch him haha. I didn´t want to, I felt so bad... but he insisted and before I knew it, I was sitting with an empty bowl and he was chowing down my food. I´m pretty sure the poor guy is going to die thanks to me. It´s so bad, but I´m SO grateful because I know I wouldn´t have survived the night. And all of the Castillo family thinks I ate all my food and THEY can´t figure out why I´m not dying haha. I can´t even tell you how grateful I was for that act of service.

Sunday was good. We ended up having to teach RS last minute which was an adventure, and really cool. The first contact I had ever made by myself, CAME TO CHURCH. She´s in the Elder´s area, but I had born testimony to her earlier and given her reference to the elders, and now she and her family are getting baptized. I can´t tell you how happy it makes me.

Well this is ridiculously long, sorry, I guess I wanted to write today! haha. Happy Birthday to Jakey. Much love to my family. Congrats to Julian and Sheri! I LOVE ALL OF YOU AND KNOW THIS CHURCH IS TRUE! This is the work of the Lord!

Love always,

My district @ the baptism

The Elders in my ward