Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Be Bold

June 8, 2014

Good morning everyone!

It's good to be writing yet another letter. As I said earlier, writing in my journal as well as typing these emails gives me a good opportunity to reflect on the week and the blessings that the Lord gave us.

So for preparation day last Monday we were able to help a lady named Beulah. The great thing about being a Spanish missionary is that even though we only teach Spanish in this area, we still get to experience both sides of the culture. Beulah is a black woman that we found tracting in Pinebluff(say that with a southern accent). She's super nice and is ALWAYS doing service. One might call her a dry Mormon. So we helped her move her friend's furniture to a storage unit. So that was fun!

Tuesday we didn't do much. Just helped a lady in the ward bag pinestraw. There's no shortage of PINESTRAW in PINEHURST haha. But the rest was just another unproductive day. I'll talk about being unproductive later.
Wednesday we had Zone Training Meeting. This is where the whole zone gets together and we just have a giant meeting with spiritual thoughts, role plays, questions, accounting for numbers, and address concerns. This one was especially spiritual for me, and I think for everyone else as well. The part that got to me the most was the testimony of Elder Langford. He's the zone leader and he leaves this week. He laid down a testimony about love and the changes he went through on his mission. One thing he said was that he has developed Christ-like love and can look at everyone through the eyes of the creator. That's one thing that I'm striving for as I work out here. I know I don't have it right now, but it will come with time. Later that night we taught Fausto English and then played basketball with the ward and a couple non members. Super fun! 

Thursday was weekly planning day.  Nothing else interesting.

Friday I don't even remember what happened.

Saturday we did a lot of biking around Aberdeen without any real success. We talked to an Atheist for about an hour and a half. He had some interesting views. His justification for Atheism was that he doesn't think we should be good just to try to please a deity. He thinks we should be good just because it's the right thing to do. I tried to explain that we do good things not just to please a God, but because that's where happiness is. I really wanted to share the Plan of Salvation with him, but held back a little. We plan to play tennis with him sometime soon so hopefully we get a foot in the door.

Sunday was another great day at church. I love Sundays because church is just so refreshing after a hard week. Also, the Pinehurst ward is just awesome. The members are fantastic. The leadership is great and the youth are active and strong. It actually reminds me of my home ward. So we had a great sacrament meeting. Elder Perse gave a talk about covenants. It was very enlightening. He's a convert and black and he taught with energy. The members loved it! He's getting transferred on Tuesday so I'll miss him for sure. We also had the opportunity to give C a blessing. She's going back to Spain for two months so it will be very difficult for her. Just a lot of drama that I don't want to get into. Speaking of drama, missionaries are at the heart of it. Being involved in PEC and ward counsel is tough. You just hear things that make your heart hurt. As missionaries we try to help everyone we can, including struggling members. We're "publishers of peace" and we publish not just for nonmembers, but for family members as well as struggling church members.
This week I learned to be bold. Just be bold. Lack of boldness and productivity has caused some of our investigators to slip out of progression. So I did my best the past couple days to be bold and have a sense of urgency when talking to people! So we were bold with Antonio and it payed off. We were also bold with a man named Carlos and so now we have a foot in the door with him. Being bold always pays off as long as you're also showing love! So make sure family, that if you receive a prompting to talk to someone about the Gospel, follow it! The Lord needs us to do our part in His work!
Something else I realized was how great my parents are at teaching the Gospel to me. Something I've noticed out here is that sometimes missionaries try to complicate doctrine. But that's not the way I was taught. I was taught that all we need to do is follow the Savior in all that we do, making and keeping our covenants and making a concerted effort to live like the Savior, and the blessings will come. And I've definitely seen that! The blessings of joy, happiness, and the Spirit really do come! The Gospel really is so simple. You don't have to over-analyze things in order to understand them. The doctrine of Christ is incredibly simple and the Gospel is for everyone. No one enters into the Kingdom of God save it be through Jesus Christ. I know that to be true. 

I also wanted to talk a little bit about the U.S. Open which starts on Tuesday. Pinehurst is starting to go pretty crazy. Lots of people in the ward have rented out their homes out to ESPN and such, and the excitement is building. They've closed down one of the major roads here to keep people from clogging up the areas around the course. Arnold Palmer arrived yesterday in a limo! How cool is that? The roads are all ready for the Open. And here's the most exciting part: We get to help! Some members in the ward own a tour bus company and we're volunteering to help them out! We get uniforms and everything! No, we're not working on the course. We're actually helping to greet people who come into Pinehurst Village. That's this Saturday. So that'll be fun for sure. I'll take picturesThursday was weekly planning day. Nothing else interesting.

So that was my week. Missionary work is wonderful. It's bringing me a lot of fulfillment. Hope y'all have a good week. Love you all.

-Elder Landon Carroll

P.S. Sorry this was so long.

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