October 6, 2014
Muy buenos dias!
It was another great week here in Clinton, NC. I thought I would never be able to replace Pinehurst, but this place is definitely living up to standards. I love how much work we do and how the branch is so dependent on the missionaries here. This puts a lot of pressure on us that we're willing and ready to take care of the needs of the members here.
The first thing to write about is Zone Conference on Wednesday. We had the opportunity to head up to Fayetteville to the Scotty Hill building to meet with President and Sister Bernhisel, the assistants, and the rest of the zone to receive instruction to better ourselves and our areas. It was really uplifting and I learned a lot about the importance of teaching to the needs of investigators. That's something we as a companionship have been working on and we've definitely seen the effects of it. As we really listen to the investigators and the Spirit, we're able to deliver our message much more effectively, to the point that it changes lives. I've really grown as a teacher here in Clinton just from having more experience and learning from Elder Salvatierra. He's a really good teacher, and it's helped me a lot listening to him. The other highlight of the meeting was....wait for it.....we got to watch MEET THE MORMONS early. President Bernhisel got a copy and it was fantastic. Family, the candy bomber guy is one of the the six people the film follows. His story is great! The others were great too, and I know y'all will enjoy it in theaters. After Zone Conference, I went up to Dunn to go on exchanges with Elder Mora, the district leader. We had some fun times and I was able to help him out in his area WHILE learning of course. Then we switched back the next day and continued on.
Just some information on some of our investigators. O and P are an old black couple(actually bro and sis) who live together. P is 70% blind and does not let people in the house. Interestingly enough, he told us that when we knocked on his door he could feel that we were good and he let us in. That was almost four weeks ago. They're both progressing amazingly because they're humble and ready. O is already in 2nd Nephi in the Book Of Mormon and he says "I don't understand how anyone can't believe that this is the word of God. All you got to do is read it and the truth speaks for itself." She's awesome. She then looked at me as I was teaching the Plan of Salvation and said "You have been through a change. Something in your past has made you a joyful person." I told her that it was because I was serving the Lord and she let out an "AMEN!" " Haha. So then we asked her about everything we were teaching and she said "I know it's all true because the Holy Spirit speaks to me every time you teach me." Golden I tell you! Then she said that she had been praying to find a church that would give her the knowledge she was looking for and then we showed up on her doorstep three days later. Miracle. She was especially excited when we told her about Spirit Prison and that everyone will have an opportunity to hear the Gospel and be baptized. She does this funny thing when she gets excited: "Ay ay ay ay ay ay! Lord have mercy!" She's the best. We have not committed them to a baptismal date yet, but they will be baptized in time. We invited them to pray about baptism and we'll follow up with that tomorrow when we see them next.
We're also teaching M and A. They're both in their early twenties. and they're looking for ways to be successful in life. They're very hard to teach because all they want is money....that kind of success. But they're hilarious and they actually have their own YouTube channel. I'll get the info for that next time so you can watch they're stuff. But they're not progressing very well due to lack of understanding, but we'll get there. I have faith.
So those are just a few investigators. There are many more, but those are just some of my favorite.
The next highlight of the week was General Conference. This conference was excellent. It's clear that we need to:
1. Gain our own testimonies at an early age
2. Listen to the prophets.
4. Understand the importance of the Sacrament.
5. Understand how to receive personal revelation
6. Literally prepare to meet God.
7. Don't get caught up in worldly distractions that limit progress
With that, I especially enjoyed Elder Nelson's talk (I took a little pride in telling my companions that he operated on my great-grandpa.). It's extremely important that we not only sustain the prophet, but follow Him. God tells us what we need to do through His prophet and we need to follow his counsel. I also loved Elder Oaks' talk. He always has an emphasis on "the world may change but God never changes." This is so true. There's so much in the world that just DOESN'T MATTER. We need to focus on what's important if we truly want to be happy, otherwise we'll just end up thirsting forever. We need to focus on the things that help us progress in this life. Is that not the purpose of life anyway? To progress?
So I hope that y'all enjoyed conference as much as I did. I'm really enjoying my mission so far. It's brought me a lot of growth and allowed me to see my potential. Thanks for all the prayers!
Con mucho amor,
Elder Landon Carroll