Monday, December 27, 2010

After Christmas

It was good to hear everyones voices. I wish I could have talked more and talked to everyone. As for my Spanish, it has a very long way to go. It has gotten a lot better, especially in the past week being with my new companion. It has forced me to talk a lot more because we both don't know spanish all that well.
The weather is awesome. It has been really sunny and in the 60's and 70's. I heard it is going to rain later in the week but I am hoping not.
 
We did spend a little time with members on Christmas but not much. Latinos celebrate the 24th not the 25th. they call it "La Noche Buena" (the good night) and they open gifts at midnight and stay up till 4 or later just eating and playing games. Then they sleep all Christmas day. A couple of foods they had as traditions were pan con pollo (chicken with bread). Its pretty much what is says--a chicken sandwich, but it's good. Also all kinds of tamales.
 
Things are going pretty good in the area. A little slow but we have some good things coming and I think we are going to take off with things this transfer. I am tired all the time. You never stop when youre out here. so not much sleep plus constantly going plus all the other things leads to a very tired missionary in every way. I could go for a good after school nap. :)
 
Well, I don't have much new since I talked to you guys on Saturday. I hope everything is still good on your end. Have a good week. I love you all.
 
Elder K

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Letter to Mom

Mom,
 
Well I am feeling much much better. Just a little bit of a stuffy nose. I just picked up the package [you sent] like an hour ago so I haven't had much of a chance to look through it but from what I saw it looked like some good stuff. I really liked the tigger photo album...I think. Thank you so much for the package though. I am greatful for all you do.
 
I am trying to think of what stories to tell you....
A couple days ago we met a guy outside of McDonalds. His name was "The Mad Hatter" and he lets you know it over and over again. He even has you say it over and over. He is a big black guy that wears a different hat every day that has a little costume to go with it. He tries his best to take on the character of whatever costume he has on. The day we talked to him he was a leprecon (I dont know how to spell it, but you get the idea). He had a green hat with a poncho looking thing and a big bamboo staff, for protection of course. He had us check it for strength many times. To top off the look he had big white hoop earings and a nose loop to match. With closer examination you find that they are not real at all but simply shower curtin rings. Needless to say, he was quite the sight. Also he was very drunk/high. As we talked to him and gave him a dollar cheeseburger he began to preach to us. We couldnt get away. We had fallen into his trap. After about 30min of his preaching, 75% of which was unconnected, incomplete thoughts thus we were unable to understand, we managed to get away. It was a pretty funny encounter.
 
On a more spiritual side. We were running out of people to visit and it was getting pretty late so we couldn't go knocking. So we decided to go visit a less-active that we knew wasn't going to be home but we felt like we should go check. We parked on the street and sat in the car for a few minutes discussing what we were going to do. As we did, a car pulled up in front of us and out jumped one of our investigators. This wasn't strange because he and his mother live the that street as well. The strang thing was that we hadnt seen him for a long time because he has been having a very hard time with drugs and depression and was in a clinic for a few weeks. We also teach his mom but we had a lesson with her at the church earlier that day (Friday) so we weren't planning on stopping by. We got out and talked to him for a little and he looked bad. He was struggling and he told us problem after problem he is having. He looked hopeless. We went into the house and he asked for a blessing. As we gave the blessing the spirit was very strong and he and his mother began to cry. After the blessing he looked a million times better and told us how much better he felt. This isn't as detailed as I wish I could make it, sorry I just don't have the time but it just shows how we are put in the right place at the right time by God if we listen. There was no reason for us to go there but God knew better.
 
I hope thats the kind of stories you were looking for. I will try and be better at telling more in the future. I love you and miss you all. Thanks again for the package and everything you do. Have a good week.
Elder K

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful for Our Missionary

This week in the mission field:

Well, it is a little odd having it be so warm and it's almost December. The last couple days it has rained in the evenings and at night. It stays pretty warm during the day 70's-ish and then at night we usually wear jackets but its not too bad. So is Justin up visiting for the Holidays? I haven't really heard from any of those guys so I don't really know whats been going on. Doesn't Tosh graduate soon?

We went to our branch Thanksgiving party this last weekend and it was very different. Everyone was dancing to their Latino music and having a good time. It was quite the party. I was looking forward to some good old turkey but they managed to Latino it up with chiles and such. It was still good but just not really Thanksgiving. Everything is changed just a little so it gives it a Latino flavor.
 
Sounds like you are all still super busy on the house. I can't wait to see what it looks like all done. It will be cool to see all the painting and such that I didn't have to do--haha ;)
 
The teaching is going pretty good. I am in a really hard area so we are having a tough time finding new people to teach but we are trying. We have one or two people that are golden but have just one thing that's stopping them from getting baptized--its a little frustrating at times.
 
The Spanish is okay. I am having a hard time with it right now. I just can't teach how I want to. Learning Spanish has been much harder than I thought it would be and I would say it is probly the hardest thing for me in the mission to this point, but it will come I suppose. We do speak a lot of English so we are working on getting rid of it but it's easier said than done. There are times when you get to speak English and all you can think of is Spanish and you keep messing up but at the same time you cant speak Spanish. so you just cant talk all together haha.
 
We are back to just the two of us. We were only with the other Elder for about a week. It's nice to be back to only covering our area. My companion goes home mid-December, so very soon. Who knows if I will be here then or not. Still no news on a visa. I like it here a lot, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't getting a little antsy to get to Mexico. Just trying to stay focused on here.
 
It's been really cool to see the traditions of others in the holidays and I can't wait to see more as we get into Christmas. I will be sure to share anything crazy and new. Thank you for all you do and your support it helps more than you know. I am grateful for the way that you and dad raised me and the family that I am able to be a part of. I love you all and pray que esta todo bien, hasta ver y que Dios bendiga. :) Had to toss in a little Spanish. te amo,
Elder Kartchner

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tagging and Graffiti in Arcadia

These are photos that Jake took of graffiti in the area he is currently serving in.















Sunday, November 14, 2010

On the streets of Arcadia

 
Elder Anderson and Elder Kartchner with an L.A. backdrop.

The L.A. "River"

Elder K. standing by the L.A. "River"

The homeless pad under the overpass.

Los Angeles

L.A. at night

Chillin' on prep-day

Elder K. and Elder Jimenez

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bahooka

Okay, as far as I know Jake didn't really explain what "Bahooka" is...Maybe mom can fill in more details? Anyway, it looks like a crazy restaurant where some crazy missionaries ate during the week of Halloween. Yum!
Jake with Elder Jimenez eating at The Bahooka. Apparently the drinks are awesome (and alcohol-free, of course!)

Bahooka

Big 33-yr-old fish Rufus at Bahooka.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Around Arcadia

Okay, we're finally ready to move on to the pictures of the mission field! Elder Kartchner's captions are below each picture (and when I just couldn't help myself, I added comments in parentheses).

Some street in Cali (Gee, that was descriptive, thanks Jake!)

The cemetary

The cemetary - These pictures don't do it justice. It is huge and packed with headstones and a little creepy. (Hmm..what did you expect? Well, maybe it's because he took these pictures around Halloween. But still, it's broad daylight. :)

My new home. We live with a little old lady.

Stylin' missionary bedroom

My room and new companion, Elder Anderson.

Elder Anderson

Pictures on the streets of sunny California coming soon!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Classic Missionary Pics

Hi, my name is Elder Kartchner and I'm going to...

Arcadia, California


AND Monterrey, Mexico.


See ya in a couple of years!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Missionaries Can Sing!

Elder K. sent this video along with his most recent batch of photos. His niece has already watched it at least 20 times. She likes to watch for the 2 seconds when Jake is actually on the screen. She also liked the singing and has learned a few new Spanish words. Missionaries are great, dontchathink?!

video

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More Pictures from the MTC

Jake sent some more pictures last week so I'll be posting them throughout this week. Some are from the MTC and there are also some from his new life in Arcadia. Also, an excerpt from a recent letter:

"Things are pretty good here in California. I finally feel like I am getting the hang of things. My Spanish is still not so good but it's coming along. I hear you guys are getting some snow. I am not missingthe cold at all. I have no idea when I leave to Mexico or how much notice I will get, but it's all good. I am here and that's what matters for now."

Here are some of the photos. Most of the ones with other missionaries were taken on his last night in the MTC. Captions were writted by Jake.

 Last temple visit before leaving Provo.

Sleepover in the MTC.

More sleepover in the MTC.

District picture with Hermano Teerlink (far right, one of our teachers).

Me and Hermano Teerlink

Me and Elder Wright

Me and Elder Miso

District Picture, Last Sunday at the MTC

Me and Elder Spilker

Me and Elder Valle

Me and Elder Gomez

Elder Johnson and me. He came in after me but is going to the Monterrey West Mission too.

Me and Elder Christensen

Me and Elder Meason

Me and Elder Phillips

Me and Elder Adair

Me and Elder Hatfield