Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Little Street Ball, Teaching, and Service

 August 25, 2014

Gooooooooooooood mornin!

It was another good week in North Carolina. A lot of things happened this week that made it great.

First off, M and A are progressing BEAUTIFULLY. They are still both really excited about being baptized and might as well already be members. We had a lesson with them on Tuesday. We taught them the law of Chastity and they both accepted to live it, no questions asked. They understand the importance of marriage and family, so it was easy for therm to commit. We also had a lesson with them on Thursday night. They wanted to take us out to dinner with a couple of ward members, so we ate ate Benji's. Jeremy Brock(recent RM returning from Honduras) and his dad were there with us. M and A ended up dropping like 100 bucks on us that night. When we were all done eating, A asked Jeremy, "Do you want to get anything for your mom?" So he picked something up for his mom. Then Jeremy wanted to buy some stuff from the little Tienda part of the store. So A watched Jeremy pick out everything, and then he went and grabbed the same stuff, paid for them, and gave them to Jeremy. Let me tell you. These guys know how to live! They're so so so so ready and committed. They're already doing missionary work. They keep asking us for Books of Mormon because they give them all to their friends. When they get baptized, we're gonna work through them to find and teach.

We also had a great lesson with a new family that we're teaching. A family in the ward yesterday came up to us and was like "Hey Elders, we've got a really nice family here from Puerta Rico we want you to meet. So we met up with them. Their names are R and K, and they have two kids(one is 8!). So we guided them to Gospel Principles. The lesson in there was PERFECT. It was on Eternal Marriage. So we asked them if they had questions about the lesson, and their first question was "What do we need to do to get married in the temple?" So that's when it all started! We told them about baptism and meeting with us and they were super excited. So after church we gave them a church tour and then we headed over to the Graves' home(the family that brought R and K) to have lunch and a lesson. So we had a delicious roast dinner and then taught them the Restoration. They accepted baptism for the 20th of September :) I hope I'm here for all this. If I get transferred before M and A and R and K, I might cry. Transfers are on the 9th, so there is a chance I'm leaving. But I'm praying that I don't get transferred and that the Lord doesn't have a sense of humor!

So those were the highlights of the week. The rest of the week consisted of some street ball for finding purposes, some good dinners, and sickness. I've been sick for a couple days with a cold, so I'm hoping it goes away before we have to bike tomorrow. This past week was HOT. The humidity was pretty ridiculous. Every time I walked outside, my sunglasses fogged up. It was a nice treat. We also did a lot of service this week, so the humidity definitely added some fun to everything. We helped a little old lady attempt to get rid of some grape vines that had infested her garden. That's a lot of work. Those things don't go down easily. The second project was at the lake that we go fishing sometimes. We helped the Elders and High Priests clear out trees. That was also a good one. There were chain saws everywhere! I'll attach pictures. The third service project was helping a family move from one trailer to a bigger one. We could only stay for a little bit, so we loaded and moved all the heavy things.

So that was pretty much the week! I really am loving my mission and I'm really comfortable with how the work is going right now. Hopefully that doesn't mean transfers. I don't mind being transferred, but I'd really like to be here for all these baptisms coming up.

Until next week,

Elder Landon Carroll

Landon loves finding cool cars and trucks....guess they have them in North Carolina too!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Six Month Mark

Landon's Missionary Planner

August 18, 2014

Buenos dias familia y amigos,

It's great to be writing yet ANOTHER letter. These weeks just keep chugging along like it's nobody's business. They're chugging along so well that my 6TH MONTH MARK is today. I gotta say, it's been quite the ride up until now. It seems like just yesterday that I was being dropped off in the MTC by my grandparents. Time flies! So now that I'm no longer a greenie(says my companion) I can really get to work! It's time to be completely engaged in the work and bring people to Christ.

So this week was fantastic as usual. Although numbers don't reflect, we had a lot of success. We are working on finding right now, and we were able to do that. It's funny, we live right down the street from a cheap Mexican Restaurant, so we go there often. We've had the same waiter every single time. And guess what.....We knocked on his door the other day! We haven't had the opportunity to teach him anything yet, but I hope that we can baptize him some day.

Some news on M and A. Because they work like crazy, we've had to move their baptism to the 13th of September, which means I may may not be here. But nevertheless, they WILL be baptized! I hope I'm here for it, but if not, I trust that the Lord and the ward will take care of them.

So this week we did some really fun stuff. On Wednesday we were walking in the ghetto looking for Hispanics and a guy in a black truck stopped next to us and said "Hey Elders, you ball?" Of course I said yes. So we followed him into a parking lot and then into a little gym. Then we shot to get in the game and played a little bit. The good news is my skills haven't left me and I can still shoot. People always underestimate me cause I'm a skinny white boy, but I can play. So They put the fat old guy on me and I made a couple shots on him. Then we had to leave. So as it turns out, the guy that stopped us and asked us to play is a less active member from Mesa who hasn't gone to church in over a year. Sounds like he just moved here and fell off. So it was a miracle that we found him! We'll work on him for sure.

The next fun thing that happened was we got to play indoor soccer with A and M. We got a text from a member saying that we should come to the church and play. It was SUPER fun and it was great to see A and M bonding with the ward. The members here have done it right with A and M. The fellowship is PERFECT. That's what leads to baptism. The members have a HUGE role in the progression of investigators.

Something that I learned this week was just how much the Lord expects of me. Because the Lord has blessed me with such an AMAZING FAMILY and I've grown up in a great ward and have had incredible influences in my life, He expects me to use all of the tools that He's given me. So I've made the decision this week to push a little more, to teach with a little more agency, to show a little more love, and to become that consecrated missionary that the Lord would have me be.

So there's the shpeel for the week. I hope everything is going well wherever you may be reading, and please know that although I'm in all of your prayers, you're also in mine.

-Elder Landon Carroll

Landon said this is a cookie he and his companion made and they ate the whole thing!
A cool car that Landon saw while out and about.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Top Of the Morning

August 11, 2014

Dear (Insert name here),

This week was just as wonderful as all the others out here. I'm learning so much about myself, realizing things all over the place, and enjoying almost every minute of it.

This week we had more success than I've experienced in months. Our numbers are much better than they've been in a long time and we're seeing the fruit of our labors as well.

We were able to teach M and A TWICE this week to help with their progression toward baptism. I love having Elder Johnson as a companion because he has a great sense of urgency for the work and wants to BAPTIZE. So we were able to teach the Plan of Salvation at a member's home and they perfectly understood everything. Then we taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of Wisdom together. Both were accepted perfectly and these guys just continue to amaze me. It was funny. We were talking about repentance with A and he's so humble that he said "I have some things to repent of. I haven't seen my family in seven years because I have to work here and send them money." So we had to explain to him that that was not a sin and that God understands the situation. Then we taught the Word of Wisdom and M said "if it's a commandment then I will do it." And then A again glowed with humility. He said "I have to talk sincerely to you guys. I smoked a cigarette a year ago but I haven't since." We were so proud of him right then! They're both just so incredibly humble and so ready it's ridiculous. M even bought a new Mustang JUST so he could make it to church every Sunday. These guys are incredible and the Lord has truly prepared them. "And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts;" M and A are the elect and these are exactly the kind of people we dream of finding. I'm so grateful that the Lord has blessed me with this opportunity to bring them into the fold. They're scheduled to be baptized the 30th of August.

So a few other interesting things happened this week. The ward had a missionary come home. Jerome Brock. He just came back from serving in Honduras. He's still in missionary mode, so he made sure that they had dinner with us. So we went over to the Brock's for dinner and just chatted about missionary life. He says he's adjusting well, but he doesn't know what to do with himself. All he wants to do is missionary work. So we took him out on exchanges for like four hours to visit some people. We knocked on a door and he instantly went into missionary mode and took over the contact haha. But he recovered and let us take over for the rest of the day. So I guess that's a little taste of life after the mission. I'm not trunky don't worry!

So those were the highlights of my week. As I've said before, I do love missionary work. I love talking to everyone and trying to share the Gospel. I love the people I'm serving and I'm finding a lot of joy in what I'm doing.

Hope all is well wherever you are!

Elder Landon Carroll

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Week of New Beginnings

August 4, 2014


It's been another great week in Pinehurst and I'm liking that changes that are starting. The first big change to report is my new companion.

His name is Elder Johnson and he's from Logandale, Nevada just outside of Las Vegas. He's been out 20 months so I may end up killing him (sending him home). He's a great Elder and we are definitely going to have a lot of success together.  I can relate to him and he's a lot of fun. The good news is we get along really well and we will definitely be making splashes this transfer.

News on A and M. They're so golden. Elder Johnson and I gave them a church tour on Tuesday with the Restoration tied in and during the tour M yelled "This, is my church. Right here." Every time we meet with these two something more amazing happens. So we ended our tour next to the baptismal font. After explaining authority, they both agreed to be baptized on the 23rd of August! I'm so excited to see them go through changes. They asked us the perfect question. "You mentioned that we have to prepare to be baptized. What do we need to do?" So now we have them scheduled on a two lesson a week track to baptism. How great is that? This is what missionary work is all about. Taking in the successes and helping people come into the fold of God.

In other news, the remainder of this week remained ineffective because of the constant rain we received. We were on bikes this week, so we weren't able to go anywhere if it was pouring. But we did manage to teach some good lessons. We taught a lesson to a part member family. The B's. Sister B is a member, but believes she's Baptist because MS made her forget the last twenty years. So now we're just working on her husband. Something I learned this week is the importance of the Book of Mormon. As members of the church, we often take the Book of Mormon for granted. After talking with Brother B, I saw how the Book of Mormon really does answer those questions that everyone has in life. Brother B got caught up on what happens after we die, so we assigned him Alma 40 to read. There is doctrine contained in the Book of Mormon that just isn't clear in the bible. As it says in 2nd Nephi 3:12,

"Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord."

When we put the Bible and the Book of Mormon together, there is no need to question or rely on the doctrine of man. This is why we have the Book of Mormon, to clarify those things that we wonder about.

So that was my week. It was kind of uneventful, but every week has its successes. Every week also has its lessons to be learned.

I love this work and I hope that seeing my success and growth helps you and encourages you to grow your testimony as well.

Love you all,

-Elder Landon Carroll

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Week of Progress and Changes Are Coming

July 28, 2014


This week was another one to be remembered.....that is if it doesn't just get meshed together with every other week in the mission field. Wow does time fly. It's like you start getting worried that you'll be transferred or something before you can baptized people. That's a good worry to have!

So Monday we went and visited a little country store. It was fun. But one thing annoyed me about that store. As soon as we walked in, a man said to us "I feel sorry for you. Saved by works? That's really sad." I wanted to kind of strike back a little bit, but we ignored him. It's amazing the confusion that comes from the interpretations and alterations of the scriptures by man. What's really sad is that this man believes in a God that doesn't expect anything us, that thinks we're too weak to show faith and prove ourselves. God is loving, and that's why He gives us the opportunity to show our faith. He sent His son to show us the way to live, not to just do all the work for us. So there ya go.

The rest of the week was great. On Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder Wolf. It was fun and it was nice to learn from somebody else! We had a good dinner with some members and taught a good lesson to one of the English Elders' investigators. I definitely enjoyed it.

Thursday we weekly planned and stuff. Good fun.

Friday was a big day. The English Elders had a baptism! It was a little rough around the edges, but it's just great seeing someone come into the fold. We'll get a baptism next month! Count on it! The big news Friday night was a phone call from Elder Wolf. Elder Lowham is getting transferred tomorrow....which means I get a new companion! I'm really excited for the change and the new opportunities that will come with a new companion. You can only be with your trainer so long, so this will be nice! I'll let you know next week the details of the new companion.

Saturday we didn't do much, but Sunday was a great day. We weren't able to have anyone at church. More on that later. But we had a missionary farewell. Madison Chandler is leaving for Rome, Italy in a week and she gave a talk and then we went to the open house briefly. It's weird seeing other people make the transition to missionary, but it's fun to see. Later that day, we went and talked with A and M a little bit. They weren't able to come to church because M has an abscess in his tooth or something, so he was in pain and his cheek was swollen. Very similar to my situation many years ago. Swollen jay, hurting tooth, sounds about right! So we actually ended up giving him a blessing and talking with them for a while. M just continues to amaze me. He says he watched the Restoration DVD 3 times and cried. Then he talked about how our church is different in that he "feels something inside his body when he's with us and at our church" that he can't explain. That's the Spirit M! SO they're both ready and are just dry members. They come to church, throw ward barbecues, do missionary work, and notice the difference. They WILL be baptized in August. I'm excited for it. They have fellowship and friends and everything! Now we just need to drop some knowledge on them! We plan to teach the Restoration tonight! Should be good.

So that was my week. I love missionary work and sometimes I think about not being able to do it forever and get sad. I'm really starting to enjoy it. It's the teaching that makes it all worth it for me. Opening people's eyes. It's an indescribable feeling of and fulfillment! If you're not taking a part in hastening the work, get started now! Invite your friends to church, share things on Facebook, have people for dinner at home. The world needs the Gospel and we have to bring it to them!

Love you all and I hope you have a good week. Enjoy the package family!
-Elder Landon Carroll

This is a view outside of Landon's apartment
This was Landon's English teaching class setup in the public one showed up.

This is Landon's friend that they have been helping.  They have been helping to clean out his old house and property.

Here is a box sent to Landon from the Fort Yargo Young Women in his Aunt Monica's ward.  He says, "Thanks!"