Friday, February 28, 2014

First Letter Home

February 24, 2014

Here's Landon's first little letter we got from him:

Hi family! Just letting you know that I'm in the MTC and that I'm doing okay. Don't worry. My P Day is Thursday so I will write you then. K bye.

Elder Carroll Is On His Way

What a busy morning we had trying to get out the door and to the airport to drop off Landon to catch his flight to Utah. He got up extra early and got ready. We all just kind of did our thing, ate our breakfast and loaded the car with Landon's luggage. I headed outside with him to get some last minute pictures looking all "official". Stephen gave him a Father's blessing and we said a family prayer. More pictures were taken right before we left. I wanted some good pictures with Landon before we got all "puffy-eyed" at the airport. (I speak from experience with the last Elder Carroll I sent on a mission!)
Landon and his Mom
Landon with his Dad, little brother Easton and doggie, Charlie
Brothers and friends
We took two cars to the airport because Stephen was going to leave directly from the airport to go to an appointment.  As we drove down the driveway Landon remembered that we didn't print his ticket.  DUH!!!!  Frantically we got what needed off the computer and were on our way again.  After getting on the freeway we hit some serious traffic.  It took me almost 45 minutes to drive what normally would take me 15 minutes.  I was feeling anxious and worried that we wouldn't get Landon to the airport in time.
It took us two hours to finally reach the airport and we were cutting it seriously close.  I didn't think Landon was going to make it.  I had been able to get in the carpool lane as we entered Atlanta and move a little faster since I had Landon and Easton in my car.  Stephen wasn't able to move as quickly and he arrived at the airport a little later than us.  As I arrived at the Delta baggage check-in spot I told Landon to hurry and jump out and try to get checked in.  He ran to the counter while Easton and I got his suitcases out of the car for him and rolled them up to the counter.  The check-in lady was so nice and helpful and she hurried.  She had us in and out in less than two minutes.  In a very emphatic voice she told Landon to run to security and that he would make it.  He had to hurry.  She handed him his boarding pass and then we walked him to the entrance of the airport. Easton and I quickly hugged Landon and he was off.  It was so quick and such an abrupt way to say goodbye to your son who was leaving for two years, but we didn't have a choice.  He walked away and we watched.  That was it.  Stephen missed seeing him off and was sad about that.

Landon was picked up at the Salt Lake airport by Grandma and Grandpa who were happy to drive him to the Mission Training Center in Provo.  Landon called us using Grandpa's cell phone to let us know that he had arrived and yes, he did make his flight...barely!  He literally sat down in his seat on the plane and left 5 minutes later.  Nothing like cutting it close!!!!  He ate lunch at Zupas with Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Janelle and then straight to the MTC.  We wish Elder Carroll safety, success, and our Heavenly Father's blessings to be with him as he begins his journey as a missionary.  We love him and will miss him but look forward to seeing the amazing things he will do and the amazing man that he will become.

 I'm so glad I was able to take pictures earlier at the house of Landon with his family, a little blessing!

Here we are Skyping with Landon using Janelle's cell phone while they were eating lunch at Zupas!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ready to Serve

Monday, February 17, Landon was set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by our Stake President, President Galt.  We went over to President Galt's home at 6:00 with the family and Mama and Papa Carroll.  It was a special evening with Landon.  President Galt asked Mama and Papa to bear their testimonies, and Landon's Mom and Dad as well.  It was an evening filled with the spirit and tears as testimonies were shared.  President Galt shared some counsel for Landon.  He based his thoughts on some scriptures found in the Doctrine and Covenants.  There are numerous verses that talk about opening our mouths and sharing the gospel.  D&C 33:8-10, D&C 24:12, D&C 30:11, and D&C 30:5.  All of these scriptures have the phrase "open your mouth" in them.  If we open our mouths the words will come.  We will be blessed with the right words to say in order to share the gospel.  He encouraged Landon to not be afraid to "open his mouth".  We all need to take a lesson from that...not just the full-time missionaries.

President Galt then set apart Landon to be a full-time missionary and to carry the title, Elder Carroll.  He blessed him with safety, energy, and the ability to learn the Spanish language.  He blessed Landon's mind that it would be open and be able to remember what he is being taught.  He blessed Landon to be able to use his talents to share the gospel, specifically his musical abilities.  He encouraged him to use his music to help invite the spirit.  It was a beautiful blessing and now Elder Carroll is officially ready to serve!  He turned over his phone and had to start following the rules of a missionary.  What a great young man who is ready to be obedient to the mission rules, ready to learn, and ready to teach the people of North Carolina about Christ!
Elder Landon Carroll with President Andy Galt
We all were blessed to be able to be a part of this important day in Landon's life.
After returning home we devoured some Egg Casserole, Landon's last dinner request before heading out on his mission.

It was late in the evening when the actual suitcase packing began. We had everything gathered in piles, now we just had to get it in suitcases. It seemed like there was a ton of stuff to pack and I was a little nervous that we wouldn't get it all in. We worked carefully, using every inch of space in Landon's suitcases, including all the special zipper compartments. After what seemed like hours, we finally were able to close the suitcases and be done. 1:00 am wasn't too bad of a bedtime! Landon seemed pretty calm and definitely for his new adventure of a lifetime. My boy was ready. With an early wake up call ahead of us, we headed off to bed.