Here's the latest news on Elder Carter Morgan's missionary adventures to the Brazil, Sao Paulo West Mission! You can send email to: Carter.Morgan@myldsmail.net
You can write Carter at:
Elder Carter Morgan
Missão Brasil São Paulo Oeste
Rua Dr. Rui Batista Pereira, 165
São Paulo - SP
Monday, September 30, 2013
Greetings from California!
Greetings from Rancho Cucamonga, California! Actually, greetings from Apple Valley, California, since that's the area I've been assigned to. Surprisingly, Apple Valley as a distinct shortage of apples and valleys. Who would've guessed?
I left the MTC early Tuesday morning and arrived safely in the mission field. A lot of the new arrivals in this transfer are visa waiters, so I'm definitely not alone. We have no idea how long we'll be here. I've heard missionaries who are here for a month and there's a missionary here right now that's been waiting for four and a half months. There's also a greenie that got his visa two days after getting into the field but he has to wait for the whole transfer to leave. So, I really have no idea how long I'll be serving here. I figure if the Lord wanted me to have my visa then I'd have my visa, so I know that I'm supposed to be serving in Rancho Cucamonga right now.
I try not to tell the members here that I'm a visa waiter. A lot of them don't know that it takes a long time to get a visa so they assume when I tell them that I'm a visa waiter that I'll be gone within the next week or so. I'm going to be here for a while and I want to get to know the members better and gain their trust and that's a lot harder to do if they think I'm going to be gone in a few days. The only time it comes up that I'm waiting on a visa is when they read my nametag, ask about my time at the MTC, or my companion brings it up.
Speaking of my companion, his name is Elder Escamilla and he's been out here for almost a year. He's a great trainer and I'm learning a lot from him. He's from Georgia and has a little bit of an accent.
So, the Rancho Cucamonga mission is divided into two geographical regions with about half of the missionaries serving in each. There's the valley and the desert. The valley looks like how you'd expect typical California to look like. There's palm trees and grass and lots and lots of fast food chains. The dessert looks like, you guessed it, a desert. Guess which one I've been assigned to? That's right! The desert! While I'm growing to love my area, as someone who comes from the Evergreen state this might be the ugliest place I've ever seen, haha. When my companion first told me we were in the desert I thought, "Oh, what a cute nickname for the area." Nope. It's not a nickname. It's just the truth. It's so dry out here that people don't even have grass for yards, they just have dirt. There's cacti and tumbleweeds and I haven't seen a single cloud in my whole week here. It's truly amazing that people are able to live here, because there's no reason that this place should be inhabitable.
My apartment is a tiny little living area behind a member's house which we affectionately the Apple Valley Manor. It's about the size of my family room back home and that includes living area, kitchen, and bathroom. We don't spend too much time in the apartment though so it's really not a problem. Besides, there are people all over the world that have a lot less.
For the few months that I'm here I'm on bike. A lot of the elders drive cars down here but some of us are on bike. I actually don't mind being on bike. Since our ward now has two sets of missionaries the area's been split in half, making our area pretty small. It's only about three miles by three miles, so it's easy to get wherever we need to go. Besides, I don't even know how you proselyte effectively in a car. Tracting as a method of finding is highly discouraged nowadays, so how Elder Escamilla and I spend our time is we compile a list of ward members that we want to visit that day, whether they be active or less active, and ride around to their houses. While out riding we just stop and talk to anyone that we pass on the street. It's so much more effective than knocking doors. We've already found a whole family of people who want to be taught just by doing that.
Since my address is subject to change while I'm out here, the best place to send mail is the mission office. Once it arrives there it will be forwarded to wherever I'm currently staying. The mission office address is 6541 Woodruff Place, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91710.
My P-Day is Monday, so you can expect a weekly letter from now on. I'm excited to be out in the field and I'm having a lot of fun!