Elder Carter's Argentinian Mission

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I’m an Uncle!!!!

Another bittersweet transfer.  This morning, Elder Singer and I took the 6 hour bus ride to Tucuman where we will be working together in the same zone.  My new area is called Lastenia which is in San Miguel de Tucuman.  Twenty months ago, I started my mission here in Tucuman (then I went to Santiago Del Estero, Salta, and Jujuy).  Now I am back . . . and this time, I am able to talk!  My new companion is Elder Montaño from Southern Argentina.  He is really great and has only been here for 6 weeks.  We are really excited to work in our new branch (which is small right now with an attendance of 30).  I have some plans and get more and more excited as I think about what these next four months have in store for us.  I am ending my mission on September 6th and I believe that this will be my last area . . . I am going to give it all that I’ve got!!!

Yesterday was another one of the hardest days of my mission.  I really love the people in Jujuy but I had to say goodbye.  It was really hard to go, but I know that there are people waiting for me here in Tucuman.  Something really hit me yesterday when I was in Church. The meeting had just ended and I was walking out with the Diaz family.  Their mother started speaking to me amongst the noise of everyone exiting the building.  “We…[noise]…here…[noise]…you…”  I tried to figure out what she was saying as she repeated again.  I thought I understood and replied “yes” but she knew that I didn’t understand.  By this time we were out in the foyer and she stopped.  She looked me straight in the eye and said, “We are here because of what you have done.  Thank you.”  I had this incredible feeling sweep over my entire body.  It is true that they hadn’t attended church in a long time, but I didn’t realize that they were there because of what we had done as missionaries.  It was a feeling that I can’t fully express but it was great!

We went to lunch and then left for work.  At the end of the day, we decided to go caroling with some of the members to families in our branch.  It turned out to be a really great experience (even though it was really hard to see them for the last time).  As we sang and spoke with the members quickly, I had the clear impression of the importance of the work that we were doing.  What Sister Diaz had told us earlier was repeated in many forms through out the night and it gave me the happiest feeling.  I wondered to myself what we had done that caused such strong feelings in all of the members here.  We were just teachers and hadn’t done anything special to merit the praise that they were giving us.  Then I remembered something that I had been taught a long time ago in Alma 37:6 which says, “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” Everyone was thanking us for the results that they had seen (a “great thing”).  We were looking at the effort that we had put in to receive such a drastic effect.  Yes, we worked hard, but the life-changing effects compared to our daily labors didn’t seem to add up.  But that is the point!  They will never add up!

God magnifies our effort when we are doing His will.  We don’t need to do great things in order to see great results. All He desires is that we complete with the small and simple things He asks of us.  He then takes our mustard seed of faith with our best effort and turns it into miracles.  Many of you have heard that there are miracles every day . . . and it is true!  What is required?  Small and simple things applied with faith and consistency.  What would happen if you read the scriptures for 10 minutes each day with your family?  What would happen if you made a welcoming phone call once a week?  What would happen if you  left a thank-you note for a different co-worker each month?  They are so simple, but yet our good works always yield more results than the effort.  If we can receive such a great outcome for something so little, shouldn’t we fill our lives with small and simple things?

Keep doing good!  Keep being happy!  Have a great week!


Elder Carter

P.S.  I am an Uncle again!!!!  Woohoo!!!!  My nephew, Zeke, was born last week and I was able to see all of the pictures today.  Technology is such a blessing!  Anyway, Congratulations Pereira family!  I love you all so much!  Have a great week!
posted under Weekly Letters

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