Monday, April 21, 2014

The Busier, the Better

We had an Easter egg hunt for the kids at the church on Saturday. It was pretty fun watching them run around like little Cockroaches and collect eggs. This picture is me putting an egg on the Basketball hoop.  Haha

April 21, 2014

Hello everyone!

This week was just great much like the other weeks. Time just flies out here. It's like you're always scraping for more time because there's always so much to be done! Business is a blessing out here. The busier, the better.

So the guy I told you about, Antonio, came to church yesterday! And it's funny because I called him up before church and he's like "No, no voy a la iglesia." So I was a little disappointed about that. But he showed up anyway! He loved the church and the Easter program. But he had to go home right after Spanish Sunday school because his 6 year old son was hungry. So we have an appointment with him on Wednesday. I think he realized that this isn't just a game we play on Sundays, but actually a way of life. We LIVE the Gospel. And that's probably why he wants to meet with us. Cause before, he only wanted to take his boy to church.

We have some appointments to go up to Robbins again this week and follow up with the families we met last week. We plan to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which consists of Faith, Repentance, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end. We hope to be able to extend the Baptismal invitation to both of them. I'll be doing the honors, ya know, being green and all. That's not a bad thing though! People love new missionaries. They give me a hard time sometimes, but I can take it.

So that was our week. I'm really working on trying to teach simply. I feel like I know all this doctrine so well and I just want to get a fire hose and spray it at everyone we talk to, but that's not what they need. I'll get it eventually. I'm still learning, and will continue to learn until well, for the rest of Eternity!

Hope yall have a good week. Know that your prayers are felt. The mission field is really hard and strenuous at times, but the Lord is helping me get through it all.

-Elder Landon Carroll

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's the Mormons!

April 14, 2014


So this week we definitely experienced some miracles. Everything started out slow when I got here. I remember not doing anything the first week and being like "so there's no Hispanics here and all we do is study and go to meetings?" But I've found that as you work hard and do your best to find people to teach, the Lord blesses you.

So I already told you about what has been happening in Robbins. We plan to go up there again on Tuesday with a member to follow up with the people we met. One guy we referred to the English Elders from Robbins is not quite a golden investigator, but I'd say he's silver haha. The English Elders met with him at his college and talked about what makes our church different. They say he was really open and wanted to know more. Then, later that day he posted something on Facebook about how he met with the LDS Elders and how he's exploring other religions. And at the end he said something along the lines of "I feel good after meeting with them. I think this might be the right path for me." So that's good! Pray for their success!

That wasn't the only thing that happened this week. So my companion and I decided to head to the next town over from us called Pinebluff and do some proselyting. Wow. Our goal was to talk to everyone and we definitely saw the effects of that. Every single person we talked to was open and recognized that we were servants of God. We talked to a Black preacher, Deacon So and So, and he commended us for going out and finding lost souls. He said he's working on doing the same thing at his church. Not quite what we're doing, but at least he's religious. He wasn't really interested in what we had to teach, but he was very friendly and he's aware of what's going on in the world as far as the fall of religion and how Satan is working his hardest to destroy religion. He referred us to a Hispanic family down the road. We knocked on their door and the woman proclaimed her disinterest. But then we found out that they go to a church like 45 minutes away because they speak Spanish. So that's when the incentive of translating comes in. We translate and our Church is ten minutes away. So we win in that situation. Hopefully they show up to the Easter program on Sunday. 

This is funny. So we went and knocked on a door and it opened up literally like 3 seconds after I knocked. First thing that comes out of this Lady's mouth is "Honey, it's the Mormons! No, I'm not even kidding. Come look!" It's like we're zoo animals or something haha. So then she apologized and let us come in and talk. Turns out she's a southern Baptist and her husband is in the military. We meet a lot of people in the Military because Fort Bragg is a few miles away. So we talked with them (in English) and they weren't that interested, but we invited them to the Easter program on Sunday. So hopefully they show up there. And then we moved on.

We then tried to talk with/offer service to a man mowing his lawn. He just pretended not to notice us as we stood right outside his fence. Oh well. He's apparently not elect haha.

Then we moved on to a house where a little old black lady was working on some flowers in her front yard. We of course offered our services and she said she was fine. But then she recognized who we were. She knew what church we were from and she actually knows a few members. She said she's been to our church a couple times but she can't go again because she doesn't have time on Sundays. She goes to like three different churches on Sundays, one so that she can help with a food drive. Best lady. So then we talked about religion and how we're doing the right thing and then she referred us to a Hispanic family that lives down the road. So we continued to talk a little more and a little hatchback drove past us and some girl waved at us with a huge grin. She went down the road and turned around to come up to us. She rolled down her window and asked "Are y'all Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses?" She got super excited when we told her we were Mormons. Turns out she was baptized two years ago but stopped coming to Church when her missionaries left. This is why it's so important that the members fellowship investigators and converts! It's SUPER important. So the sister missionaries are gonna contact her and teach her again. YAY! Oh yeah, we have three sets of missionaries in our ward, the Pinehurst ward. English Elders, Spanish Elders, and Sisters. So there's plenty of work to spread around. The members are awesome in this ward and they're all for missionary work.

A couple more interesting encounters. So we were biking and we saw a lighthouse in a front yard. (Yes, the one in my Facebook picture) So we knocked on the door to see if we could take a picture. A little old lady in her 80's came out and thought it was weird that we would want a picture. But then we told her that a lighthouse is the symbol of our mission and she just opened up. Turns out her son was baptized in October and she played the piano at the Baptism. She loves our church, but it'll be hard getting her to leave hers. She's Presbyterian and she's the pianist at her church. But we offered service and she just lit up. So we're gonna see if the youth can pressure wash her house and repaint her lighthouse. It was no coincidence that we found her. She even said it herself "It's no coincidence that you stopped by. I think this was meant to happen." Yes it was! I think her son maybe prayed that we would show up at her doorstep. She said that her son keeps asking her if the missionaries have shown up yet. Now she can say that we have! Miracle.

Last Milagro (miracle). So after Pinebluff we were on our way home and we saw about 20 Hispanics playing volleyball right down the street from where we live. We took the opportunity and talked with them. One guy (the only one not drinking who also had a son with him) came up to us a told us he had seen us biking around. He was really interested and wants to come to church. So we told him where it was and he said he would come. Well he didn't show up yesterday, but we got a call during Sacrament meeting that we were unable to answer. So we called the number back later. Turns out it was him. His name is Antonio and he tried to find our church, but couldn't. So we have an appointment with him tonight at 7.

So as you can see, we experienced a a lot of miracles this week. In fact, everything I just told you was all on Friday. The Lord blesses us when we work hard and do His will. These were no coincidences.

I love it here in Pinehurst. The people are awesome and it's really fun sharing the Gospel. Don't get me wrong, it's not easy, but it is in fact, worth it. Look for us to have a similar week coming up. We get to go to the Temple on Friday! Woo Hoo! I'm excited. Sorry this letter was so long. I just couldn't hold it in. Know that I pray for you while I'm gone and that I feel your prayers working with me. Thanks for all the support and love. Have a good week.

Until Next Week,

Elder Landon Carroll

Monday, April 7, 2014

Smooth Week

April 7, 2014


So this week was much smoother than last week. I don't even feel that green anymore. We actually got a lot of teaching this week. And the language is coming better. I feel it more each day. But I still need to study more. It's hard to get motivated when you live next to a bunch of English speaking white people. Everything is good.

So this week we had the car so we were able to travel up to a little town called Robbins where all the Hispanics live. You can't get there on bikes. It's like a 40 minute drive. Most of the Hispanics are from Mexico just here for work. Some of them speak English, but most of them are happy to hear that we speak Spanish. They're all just delighted that we want to understand them and share a message with them in their native language. We met a lot of people up there and contacted a lot. We don't really receive referrals because no one knows any Hispanics and all the English speaking people go to the English Elders. But we did find people! We still don't have any official "investigators" because we've only taught all these people once and they need more than just a talking to to become an investigator.

We met a kid named C. He's 17 and he goes to high school and plays soccer and tennis. We taught him the whole Plan of Salvation in under an hour and needless to say his mind was a little blown. He speaks English by the way. Everything seemed to fly right over his head but he's definitely interested to hear more. We'll see if we can make contact with him in the future.

We also met a kid named A. He also speaks English. Most of the kids do. It's the adults that can only speak Spanish, because they have no reason to learn English. But anyways. A is a high school dropout. He's probably about 18. He was willing to listen, but we didn't get the chance to teach him because he had to leave and we didn't get back with him until three days later. We went up to Robbins a second time and he was drunk and his knuckles were all purple and cut. So he might be in a gang or something. So we left him our number and that was it. We'll see what happens in the future. We have to have faith that people can change regardless of their current situations.

There was also another couple that we found about ten minutes before we had to leave Robbins for home. The G's are both from Mexico and were super excited that we spoke Spanish. They're both probably 55 or so and don't go to church because they can't speak English. But they were delighted to hear that we translate at our church! So we'll hopefully get up there again soon to teach them the Restoration.

Two days ago we met another family. The L family. We contacted P, the father, on the street waiting to pick up his kid (might actually be his grandkid) from the bus stop. So we waited for ten minutes and then ventured on over to their house. We taught them the Restoration. They were all mostly accepting, but P did not like that we had another book besides the Bible. So I don't think he got much out of the lesson because the whole time he was just looking in his Bible for something to combat our teachings. So we may have to reteach. But his son, who was probably like 17 or so seemed really open and has a lot of potential. We'll be sure to get up there again soon.

Robbins is an interesting town. It's really small and really poor. There's trailer parks everywhere and garbage too. But these people are happy! It's amazing that you can live so happily with so little! It's hard to comprehend. But there's also a lot of cigarettes and alcohol involved, so that's where the Gospel takes its role. These people need it more than they know. And we're here to bring it to them!

So other than that, the week was mostly uneventful. The pollen is spreading like the plague here and it's making me sneeze all over the place! But the green leaves and flowers are also a nice touch. So it's worth it.

Conference was fantastic! I've never paid so much attention before in my life! I loved it. One talk that really stood out to me was Elder Anderson's. As he said "these are your days to stand strong as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ." Also all the talks during Priesthood Session about the spread of immorality and how the world is trying to change the standards. But God never changes! His law is timeless and perfect. It doesn't matter how the world changes and how society views various commandments and such. The Lord does not change and it's our job to be examples in this dark world we live in. While society changes and Satan works to pollute the Earth with sin and immorality, the Gospel and Jesus Christ are constant. That's why it's important to stay active and ready. Keep doing the little things so that the big things don't hurt you!

Well there's my ramble for the week. Hope all is going well at home. I love and miss all of you, but I know that there's no better place I could be right now. Thanks for all the prayers and love.

Hasta proxima semana,

Elder Landon Carroll

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Adjusting Fine

This is a picture of Landon from the inside of his trailer.  He says he has his own bathroom!

March 31, 2014

Hi yall,

Woah what? Landon never says yall! President Bernhisel encourages us to take in the Southern culture and blend in with the people. Haha not too hard for me. North Carolina is just like Georgia, just with fewer people. The ward I'm in reminds me of our ward at home. One thing that will never change is the style of old Southern ladies. They all remind me of that lady in our ward at home who had the back surgery (can't think of the name). Anyways, just like her.

Mom and Dad, the ward I was supposed to be in was all Hispanic. I got switched to a different companion because I don't have my license. One Elder in each companionship has to have a license. So the trainer I would have had was from Columbia, so he doesn't have his. So actually there are only about ten Spanish members in this ward.

This area is hard for us! There's like no Hispanics in biking distance so we have to have a car to get to the predominantly Hispanic areas. We'll have the car this week so we'll be able to get out there. We switch every week with the English Elders. So I'm hoping for some more contacts and lessons this week. Our goals, as well as the results last week, were pretty humble. We'll make up for it though!

The food here is amazing. We eat at member's homes every night. It's either Southern food or Mexican. Whatever the members decide. They mostly try to feed us Mexican because we're the Spanish Elders. The members here are awesome. Just good people that always want to help out the Missionaries. Needless to say, we feel loved. Later today, My companion and I are going fishing with a member later today. I'm excited for that! Lots of hunters/fishers in this area. Your basic NC dwellers.

We only taught one lesson last week and that's been my only experience with Spanish thus far. Other than that, I've only ever spoken with my companion in the trailor. Pray that we'll find more people this week!

I love you all. Thanks for the prayers, we need em! Missionary work is hard, but I'm adjusting just fine. I'd rather be here than in the MTC, so it's a good change!

Con amor,

Elder Landon Carroll

This is Landon's bike that he will be riding for the next two years!