Monthly Archives: June 2014

“Chori Pan”

Hola hola mi querida familia!

It’s been so long and I have so much to say that I have no idea what to say…
Lets start with the bad news.  Angelica.  We had an awesome family home evening with a member and the kids!  We watched the restoration video and it was so great.  We called her on Friday to see if we could pass by and visit her Saturday and she said that the brother of the orphans asked that we not visit again because he wants to teach his brothers and sister the gospel.  It was so sad!  She just told me straight up on the phone and said, “Take care” that’s all. But I believe that it was actually a blessing, because Angelica wasn’t progressing and we were going to have to drop her and I really didn’t have it in me to drop her.  I know that Satan works really hard to keep people from having the joy of the gospel and it hurts me that these orphaned kids, so lost and so scared, didn’t have the opportunity to be a part of this church!  I’m praying a lot for them….
Good news! Matias.  Matias is progressing super well!  We went to visit him Friday and he was able to come to baptism this week too!  I’m very happy that he is still reading and praying because when he went to church for the first time the Priesthood decided to argue about home teaching…. We heard them yelling during the sacrament meeting!  Luckily we went to look for him, and Hermano Mancilla had already invited him in the sacrament hall, so that he could explain everything to him.  Best fellowshipper ever.  Matias is very smart and is 18 years old.   Everything about the gospel interests him.  He reads and ponders everything so profoundly that I don’t understand him. haha.  I always have a headache after our lessons, but I can feel his sincerity in his big words and know that he is changing for the better!
I’m reading this in Mosiah right now about King Abinadi.  I love this story because he died preaching and testifying of the gospel of Jesus Christ and only one person converted!  But through this one person, thousands were baptised.  Abinadi was not a coward.  He spoke strongly and truthfully to the priests of King Noah.  I want to speak without fear as a missionary.  I want to invite people to repent and be obedient!  Moroni says that love defies all fears.  I love these people a lot and I promise that I will speak more boldly with them so they actually do get baptized and enjoy the blessing of heaven!
I hope you are all doing wonderful!  I’ll try to write better letters… but this is what calls my attention this week!
Love you! Pisa

"The Crane"

“The Crane”


“P-day at the Glacier”

Sister Carter,

My husband and I have had the privilege of working here in Rio Gallegos with your daughter, Hermana Carter, the last couple of months.  She is cheerful and hardworking.  She has been asked to take over a lot of responsibility and has risen to the occasion.  

She is a great missionary!

Here are some pictures I thought you might enjoy.

Love Hermana Gwen Merkley

"It's the Rocky"

“It’s the Rocky”

At the Glacier

At the Glacier

Missionaries of Rio Gallegios

Missionaries of Rio Gallegios



“Perito Moreno”

Hi fam!

Sorry I don’t have any time because well… we went to Calafate for P-day and we didn’t have time to write the family!
This week I had to do a lot of leader things and I’m learning to be a leader.  I had to do divisiones and work with some stubborn sisters… haha but more to come next week!

“Aguante argentina!”

Hey there! Feliz Dia Papá!

I can’t believe it was a year ago that I gave a killer talk in English in my home ward.  I can’t even dream of speaking that eloquently in a language at this moment of my life.  haha!  However I was asked to speak in sacrament, to fill in for someone who didn’t come to church this week, and I focused on the importance of the Book of Mormon and how we show our love for our Heavenly Father by treasuring and loving our Book of Mormon! I feel like our members need to focus on their own personal testimonies in order to help our branch grow, it all starts with the strength of the individuals to make a congregation a strong force.  We are looking forward to one day being Estaca Rio Gallegos!

This week we had some crazy great experiences. We were able to teach more lessons and find a bunch of prepared people sitting in their houses watching the world cup! woohoo! 
This week we found a couple named Macarena and Alejandro. When we knocked their door, they invited us in without explaining anything.  We were able to teach them 3 times this week. It seems to me that Macarena is more open to the new doctrine and less afraid of commitment but they are both de 10!!  When we taught them the restoration of the church, we focused on the importance of receiving our own personal answer.  Then Alejandro asked us, “How do I know if I have received an answer?” (I love it when they ask the perfect questions) We then had the opportunity to explain the fruits of the spirit and el Hermano Sampayo testified of his own experience of receiving an answer from God.  It was so great!
We had one little let down this week.  We were super pumped to help Angelica quit smoking this week for her baptism… but we ran into a bump in the road.  Even though before she had told us that she thinks that everyone should be baptized like Jesus did and she would like to be baptized too, her feeling toward baptism had changed.  She now feels that she can’t get baptized because it would be turning her back on her baptism in the Catholic church.  She is super set on the fact that she has already received the holy ghost because she feels it inside and she told us we could never change her feelings about that.  It’s super interesting because she knows that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is a prophet and everything, but she said if she hadn’t already been baptized she would already had been baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ…. chun.  I was heart broken hearing this and I tried so hard to teach her with lots of love.  We were finally able to finish the lesson with committing her to pray to know what the Lord wanted her to do.  She said that she would do that because she knows that she invited us into her home for a reason, and she want’s to know why.  She knows that we are part of her plan.  Pray that she recognizes her answer!! 
To end on a good note, we have finally been able to work with the orphans that Angelica tends. They’ve had a really tough life and seen a lot of sad things.  Florencia who’s 15 years old and has a hard time trusting people.  We were trying to set an appointment to help her with her English and I told her that we, “love her” in the text message and she replied and told us, “We love you too!!”  I know!  It’s a like a big deal that she dropped the “Q-word” (quiero=to love), made my week!!
Daddy! I hope you know that I love you tons and wished that I could call you.  I told my companion that I miss you sometimes. haha!  A lot of the times!! I hope you know that you have always been there to help me out and especially in the mission.  I rely on your testimony and examples of patience, love, and faith to help me out.  Your an amazing father and I could never ever ask for better.  I’m loving the mission so much and I am learning so much thanks to you and the support that you give me.
Hermana Carter
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“feliz nieve”

Well this week has been super crazy! Lots of plans changing and stuff but still… it was good week. 

It all started with Monday with 3 scheduled appointments and all of them fell through but one.
It was with Matias.  Matias is 18 years old and started to study to be a lawyer this year.  He is in some what of a religious search.  He talks very eloquently (big words) and tells us every detail of the response possible!  Therefore, I don’t understand him very well.  We were able to teach him about the Restoration and give him a Book of Mormon.  He looked at this book with such intent I knew it meant a lot to him.  Turns out his uncle was a member of the Church and he always looked at that book, but never opened it.  He was very committed to read and understand this book!  He’s golden!  We went Sunday night for a followup appointment and he told us that he had read and that he loves the idea that the Book of Mormon originates from people here in America.  He related a lot with being American and knowing that the Lord lead his children in this part of the country as well.  Matias.  He’s super capo.
Also this week I went to my first leadership meeting in Comodoro!  Haha! I felt really important and kind of nervous and I knew that some sort of hazing was going to happen.  I could feel it in my bones.  After a twelve hour bus ride, we arrived at the offices at 9 and I had to go the bathroom sooo bad.  I went to the bathroom and when I came out they had all started.  I was like “great now I have to walk in and everyone is going to look at me and know that’s the sister who’s new..” haha!  I walked in during the hymn and we had a prayer and then there was a huge silence.  Turns out they had announced while I was in the bathroom that I would lead the mission modo, but I didn’t know.  I got up all blushed and lead the modo….. The spirit told me that I was going to suffer in my first meeting with the capos!  I’m just a little bit stronger after this experience. 
It’s snowed this week!  First snow of winter… wait it’s Fall.  The coolest part about the snow is that a lot of the sister and elders are from countries that don’t have snow.  Elder Velazquez from Columbia looked like a little kid on Christmas seeing the snow for the FIRST TIME!  It’s not quite so magical for me but it’s chill.  haha! 
With all the travel we lost almost 3 days of the week!  It was a struggle getting the work going mid week.  However we were able to pull some going lessons with members and contacts.
We’re working really hard with Angelica and Carlos.  Angelica came to church last week and sadly she had to participate in a welfare training that was lacking in the spiritual side of the lesson.  She didn’t like it and admitted to us that she wanted to leave, but stayed to not offend us:( I was a little frustrated with the members here, who forget how to be reverent and treat ALL things of the church with respect.  However I often forget that the church is so small and weak and new here and sometimes they don’t really know how things should function.  I had to forgive them, but know we have to pray that Angelica’s mind gets wiped from her experience so she can get baptized! I just want one of those things from men in black.. sigh.)
Well, that’s my week!  I’m so happy for Colby and Starlee!  (I love her dress) I got my packages!!!  I loved them so much!  Thanks so much for loving and caring for me!  My family and friends are the best!  I shared my Juicy Fruit gum with the missionaries and they were asking me what the flavor was.. I have no idea how to explain the deliciousness of Juicy Fruit.  It’s just Juicy Fruit!  haha!!!!
I love you all oh so much!  Take care of yourselves (mom)!
(How white can a missionaries skin get?  Just look at these photos!)
Hermana Carter

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