Saturday, March 29, 2014

Welcoming Elder Carroll

We received this letter from Landon's mission president:

March 27, 2014

We are very pleased to welcome your son, Elder Landon James Carroll, to the North Carolina Raleigh Mission. As we spent time with him in the Mission Home and in orientation meetings, we felt his spirit and his heart. He is ready to do the Lord’s work here. He has been assigned to the Fayetteville West Zone of the mission, serving in Pinehurst Spanish Ward in North Carolina. His companion is Elder Sessions Lowham from Pinedale, Wyoming.

We encourage you to write positive, uplifting e-mail and letters to your missionary every week. These letters give him the support and strength he will need in this challenging, but rewarding, work. Please send mail directly to his apartment address. He will keep you updated as to his current address. All mail will be forwarded to him if by chance he misses it during a transfer. The mission office can always be used as a backup address. This address is as follows:

Elder Landon James Carroll
North Carolina Raleigh Mission
6508 Falls of Neuse #100
Raleigh NC 27615-6845

Your missionary’s preparation day is Monday. This is the day when he can read and write emails. Time to write emails is often limited. His priorities are to write to you and to write his weekly letter to me. He will use the same address used in the MTC.

Please keep the mission office updated with a change of mailing address as well as email address as we continue to correspond with you. The email address that you are receiving this email from is not my personal email. If you need to communicate directly with me on a personal or private matter, please contact the office at this email address or at 555-5555 and let them know you need to communicate with me. They will make sure that I get your message.

One final note: We recognize that occasionally, family members and friends of your missionary will be in North Carolina for different reasons. The Church has asked that they do not visit him nor request permission to visit him; this is disruptive and, oftentimes, hard on the missionary.

Sister Bernhisel and I know that this is the work of the Lord. We love the missionaries and are grateful to be able to work with your son. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

With our love,

Marc A. Bernhisel, President
North Carolina Raleigh Mission

Made it to North Carolina

March 26, 2014
Hi all,

Just letting you know that I made it to North Carolina just fine. The field is definitely a little different than the MTC. There's a lot of things that will take some getting used to. But I certainly have time for that!

I'm in Pinehurst. The US Open will be held here in June so I'll probably be here for all that commotion. I live in a trailor in Aberdeen. It's just me and my companion. So that will also take some getting used to! But I am alive and well and just getting started with my adventure.

My bike is good. It'll be fun biking on my mission. And that's about it. This will be a hard area. I'll let you know how everything goes later. My Preparation Day is on Mondays so that's when you'll hear from me next. It may be hard to learn Spanish here because I'm not exactly in Mexico or anything.  We do most of our contacting in English and then turn those people over to the English missionaries. Missions are hard, and I'm starting to realize that more and more each day, but I know that I can do this because the Lord is on my side!

Let's see what else...My companion is from Wyoming. He seems like a good guy. Haven't taught anyone yet, but we will soon!

Love you all. Thanks for all the support and prayers. It really means a lot to have all this support coming from friends and family.

Until Next Monday,

Elder Landon Carroll

Unexpected Message

We received this random non-Pday email last Friday evening from Landon.....

March 21, 2014

I'm not sure if you want to wake up really early and talk with me on the phone, but I'll probably be at the airport around 6 am your time. So Just let me know if you want to. (I'm sure you do)

Duh!  Of course we want to talk to Landon.  I would talk to him at 3am if he could call.  We can't wait to hear his voice and spend some time chatting with our son!

Moving On

Here is Landon's travel itinerary for his trip to North Carolina on March 24.  It's kind of weird to see that he will have a layover in Atlanta!  So close but yet, so far!  

CHURCH TRAVEL CWT                          DATE 13MARCH14
TELEPHONE: 801 240-5111                    CARROLL/LANDON JAME 416830-I
FAX      : 801-240-5115
SERVICE               DATE  FROM           TO             DEPART  ARRIVE
_____________________ _____ ______________ ______________ _______ ______
M ECONOMY                   TERMINAL 2     TERMINAL S
                            FOOD FOR PURCHASE             NON STOP
                            RESERVATION CONFIRMED         3:33 DURATION
                  AIRCRAFT: BOEING 757
                            SEAT 31B NO SMOKING CONFIRMED
M ECONOMY                   TERMINAL S     TERMINAL 2
                                                          NON STOP
                            RESERVATION CONFIRMED         1:17 DURATION
                  AIRCRAFT: BOEING (DOUGLAS) MD-88
                            SEAT 17D NO SMOKING CONFIRMED
     ETKT:DL/006 7359073501

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Last Week in MTC

March 20, 2014

Hello all!

Let me just start by saying how excited I am to get to North Carolina on Monday. I can't wait! The MTC is great and all but the real adventure is out in the field! I'm excited to learn and speak some real Spanish with real investigators.

I absolutely love the guys in my district (who just so happen to all be going to Mexico City West) so much! We've really bonded. It's to the point that we have like a hundred inside jokes. So I'll definitely miss these guys, but I'll keep in touch with them. I'm really excited to get a refreshing new companion and some new people to talk to.

Things that happened this week: I dislocated my jaw while playing basketball. I'm still sore and it really hurts right when I wake up. But it's getting better! Nothing to worry about! Also it's so ridiculously dry here that for the first time in my life, my knuckles are cracked and bleeding. Lotion does almost nothing. But that's okay because North Carolina won't be that way.

Spanish is coming along nicely. It really does come easy for me. It has since High School. As I put in the effort to learn new words, I see the results. I know it'll be entirely different out in the field, but I'm not too worried. If I work hard and do my part, the Lord will help me. One of our "investigators" here told me yesterday that my Spanish is great, that I have a great accent. That's definitely encouraging! I love to speak Spanish. You can say things that you can't in English, which is fun. 
So that's about it as far as the MTC goes. The emails will get more interesting when I'm actually in NC. I'm super excited to ride my bike and meet my companion! I pray that he's a fun loving guy that knows how to work. But we'll see. I love you all and I appreciate the love that comes my way. Wish me luck as I start my real journey and the life changing begins!

-Elder Landon Carroll

Friday, March 14, 2014

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

March 20, 2014

Well there isn't that much to write about. The MTC is always the same haha. We just do the same things every day, except we learn new stuff. So there isn't much to say. My Spanish gets better every day and I'm not translating as much in my head. I'm starting to just say things in Spanish instead of thinking in English and then translating. Spanish is a fun language and I'm really glad to be learning it.

We got six new Elders in our zone yesterday. They're all going to Argentina. None of them really speak Spanish at all so I'm sure they feel pretty overwhelmed. I remember my first day in the MTC like it was three weeks ago. Oh wait. It was three weeks ago. Jeez time flies here. The days are like weeks but the weeks are like days.

Some news! My itinerary came in and I leave for Raleigh on the 24th. All the Elders in my district are bummed that I'm leaving a week before them. And my companion is worried about which companionship he'll have to tag along with when I'm gone. I told him not to even worry about it and he's like "I am worried!" Oh well. Life goes on and you get new companions. No big deal.

The devotional this week was by Elder Don L. Clark of the Seventy. He was super good and really quirky. He talked about learning to love the people that you teach. He said that the people will know if you love them or not by the way you smile, how you teach. They'll be able to tell if you're treating them like a person or a number. So that's something I'll definitely have to work on when I get out in the field....soon.

Well that's about it as far as the MTC experience goes. Let me know if anything extraordinary happens. I know life is boring back home, and frankly, it sounds boring based on the letter you send me, Just the same old, same old haha. I love being a missionary and a representative of Christ. I'm growing so much and learning so much. I pray for most of you every day so no need to worry. Love you all.

Until next week,

Elder Carroll

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Fast Week

March 7, 2014

Hi Everyone!

So this week went by fast just like every other week will in the mission field. I'm learning so much every single day and the Spanish is coming along really well. I've definitely seen the Gift of Tongues take effect in my speaking. Sometimes when you're teaching things just come to you. I can't really explain it unless you've experienced it for yourself.

Nothing specifically interesting happened this week. But we did get a couple of new "investigators." I put quotes around investigators but we really do take them seriously. My teachers are role playing as Juan and Felipe. Our first lesson with Felipe was on Tuesday and it was definitely pretty interesting trying to teach this guy. Felipe is a 50 year old man who is divorced and has a 12 year old daughter. He wasn't really interested in what we had to say, but we left him with a BOM and hopefully he reads it so my companion and I can follow up.

Speaking of comps. It's really interesting and kind of difficult being with one person all the time. We're very different people. His name is Elder Baddley and he's from Washington State. I'm doing my best to work with him. I guess that's part of the mission, getting used to living with someone all the time. Supposedly it prepares you for marriage, but I think it's a little different. At least in marriage you actually love the person haha.  I've found that if I let him do his thing and just be the laid back person that I am, things seem to flow. It's important to be yourself out here in the mission field and I've seen that help me get along with others and progress. One thing I'm really working on is being humble. It's hard sometimes but I'm getting better.
The days here are long and strenuous at times, but I'm loving the work and I love seeing my progress. While teaching an "investigator" the other day it was very hard to understand what he was saying, but for just a second I was able to see my potential as a Spanish speaker and as a missionary. I got a package from Madeleine and Tessa yesterday full of goodies so I'm thankful for that!

Thanks for all the love, prayers, and support. I love all of you and I pray for all of you. But I know that the Lord will take care of you all, especially my family, while I'm gone. That's what he does for missionaries! Oh and I went to the Temple today and last week. So that's three times now. I'm getting used to it and I'm understanding the work more every time I go. I love going there.

-Elder Landon Carroll

Saturday, March 1, 2014

First Week

 February 27, 2014

Hi everyone,

Hope all is going well on your side of the world. Everything is great here at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) When they did the language evaluation, they decided to put me in beginner Spanish because I couldn't remember how to conjugate past tense. Gahhhhh! So this beginner class has just mostly been a review so far. And the guy that evaluated me said I would be a big help with other people learning Spanish. I've definitely seen that. That's not to say that I'm amazing at Spanish or anything, but I am ahead. I can now pray in Spanish and bear my testimony in Spanish and talking with my "investigator" Hugo is going pretty smoothly.

Our investigator (Hugo) is from Buenos Aries, Argentina. And we love to make fun of him because he always says "si si si si claro claro" when we teach him anything. I don't know if that's an Argentine thing but he sure says it a lot. It's kind of funny. So yesterday we got this guy to pray for the first time. He didn't close in the name of Jesus Christ but that's okay. He'll "learn."

It's interesting being with a companion 24/7. Kind of annoying actually. You don't get any alone time to think haha. But I guess it's cool. I'll get used to it. My companion is the exact opposite of me in many ways. He's tone deaf (haha) and really short. But he has a good testimony of this gospel. Speaking of tone deafness, I've been singing a lot! It's nice leading my district in song and bringing music to everyone. Not the most musical district by any means but that's okay. 
Gym time has been a blast. All I do is play basketball (surprise) and I'm kind of whooping everyone. My shot has been falling so that's been super fun. It's a great way to unwind. We have a really cool zone and it's nice being led by the Veteran MTC dwellers who have been here for a while. They leave on Tuesday so someone in our district will probably end up being Zone Leader.

Guess who I saw the other day? Dalton and another friend from BYU-I that we used to hang out with. I got a picture with Dalton so I'll attach that soon. It was nice seeing him. He says Portuguese is "kicking his butt." But I figure that's pretty normal. He'll learn the language better when he actually gets to Brazil. He leaves on Tuesday I think.

Dad- the MTC is a great place. I'm on the west campus where it's nothing but Spanish speaking missionaries. Literally everyone except for maybe five guys is going to Mexico. Even funnier, All five other Elders in my district are serving in the Mexico City West Mission. But I don't feel left out at all. I'm excited to go to North Carolina. That's where I'm supposed to be. 

Easton-Sorry to hear that you were sick this week. But at least you won the Basketball tournament! That's awesome! Basketball is so fun. Keep working on skills and watch the NBA. That's where I learn most of my moves. 

Mom- Primary pianist? Hahahaha. That's like the best calling ever. Definitely a step down from Relief Society.

Love you everyone. Thanks for the support. I'm doing great here in the MTC and I'm having so much fun. All my teachers are great and Spanish is fun to learn. I'm really motivated and almost competitive I guess. My testimony is also growing a lot. I read and study the scriptures every day and I pray all the time.

-Elder Carroll