Sunday, June 8, 2014

Serving Others

June 2, 2014

Hello Everyone!

This was a long week due to uneventfulness, but every week in the mission field has the ability to be filled with miracles.

So Monday was preparation day and Memorial day. We went to a member's home to fish and eat barbecue and it was just so relaxing. I didn't catch any fish, because apparently I'm a terrible fishermen, but hey that's life! It's still fun!

Tuesday we did a bunch of service for a member in the ward who's trying to get her house ready to move. So we raked pine straw, pressure washed her house, and painted a bathroom. Elder Perse and I did the honors with the painting. Jeez! We are just terrible painters! We put like a thousand coats on the walls, but it just kept looking worse and worse. So we just kind of gave up and left it. But Sister Elias called us later that day to thank us for our hard work and that the bathroom looks SO GOOD. So I guess we were being a little hard on ourselves or something haha.

Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder Perse while my companion, Elder Lowham, went with Elder Wolf. It was just so fun! I love Elder Perse. He's just hilarious. We taught English class at the church. It went really well. We're using it now to be a little more spiritual, so we assign our students, Irma and Fausto, to do a spiritual thought each week. So hopefully that helps their progression.

Thursday was weekly planning day. We knocked it out in less than three hours again! It's amazing what happens when you just focus on the task at hand. That's something I learned while up at BYU Idaho. Just get the job done! Later that night we had dinner with Irma and Fausto at the Barbours. The Barbours are an older couple who kind of remind me of my own grandparents, Mama and Papa Carroll. The Barbours are both in their seventies and I just love em. They help us so much, even though there's a language barrier most of the time. We were able to have a lesson that night with Irma and Fausto and finally find out their problem. They read the Book of Mormon, but not for Spiritual enlightenment or to know the truth, but to learn intellectually. So we will address that next week. We didn't want to be too bold with the Barbours there :) It's amazing how good a spiritual lesson can make you feel. The mission can be infinitely difficult and we can be in a horrible drought as far as work goes, but just one lesson or good contact makes it all worth it! The blessings we bring to the lives of the people we teach are far greater than anything I had to give up to be here.

Friday we ate dinner with the Flores family. They're members, and they only speak Spanish. That's the best! Sometimes we go up to Hispanics and we talk to them in Spanish, but they attempt to talk back in English. Like, I got called to a Spanish mission, just talk to me in Spanish please! But dinner was great. One thing that I love about this mission is the food. We get a combination of genuine Hispanic (mostly Mexican) food and also the good ol' southern food! And then of course we have the occasional traditional Mormon mom style food, whatever that means haha. So after dinner, went with Hermano Flores to teach Antonio. I really wanted to bust out the Restoration finally, but we ended up just finding out more about him and helping him recognize the Spirit. So that went really well. Perfect setup to teach the Restoration next lesson! Antonio no longer has a baptismal date because of some rules with parole and the church, we have to postpone that for a while. We'll get there! He's elect, I just know it! He even said it himself that he's been to a lot of churches, but feels something different at our church. That is fantastic news.

Saturday we did a bunch more service. That's one of my favorite parts of the mission, being able to serve all the time. We went and helped a lady named Beulah transport some food bank items from Food Lion. She's a nonmember, but hopefully the English Elders are able to get a foot in the door with all this service we're doing for her. After that, we went to the Barbours to help them clean up their yard a little bit. I just love them, And they love me because I'm what we call a "southern boy." People here appreciate where I'm from. I'm proud to be from the South! I wouldn't have it any other way!

Sunday we held a mission wide fast, and church was great. Church is a little different when you're on a mission. It's more spiritual and you're way more involved. I mean we go to ward counsel and everything. I feel so important! Antonio was also able to make it, so that was nice. We had so many people in the Spanish class today that Elder Lowham and I weren't unable to go in. So we had Travis Scrivner work with Antonio. Thank goodness for members. I love it when they do they're part. Please make sure you do your part as a member! If there's one thing I've learned on my mission so far, it's how important the members are to the work. Our ward goal for Baptisms in this ward is 33 by the end of the year. There's no way we can do that without the members!

So that was my week. I love this work, and I'm here to give the Lord all that I have. Everything has been laid upon the alter of sacrifice to be here. I love the Gospel and the peace that it brings me. I know that Christ lives and I know that He is our perfect example back to our Father in Heaven.

I love you all. Have a good week!

-Elder Landon Carroll

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