Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A New Year

January 5, 2015

Good morning!

Hope you all had a great week wherever you may be reading this. Mine was great as usual. It's starting to get colder here in NC, but I still manage to be good with just a sweater. We've had some pretty big rainstorms as of late. I woke up a couple nights ago at 5 am and it was POURING! The bad news is it only lasted for about five minutes (I like it when it pours). Yesterday we actually had a tornado warning for a little bit, but we didn't find out until later that night. I guess it was no big deal.

On Monday we didn't do much because there really isn't anything to do in Clinton. We pretty much slept and then briefly hunted for one of my ancestor's graves. We're still trying to find out exactly where it may be located, but I'll let you know if we find it.

On Tuesday we had  a pretty great lesson with A. This is the lady (I don't know how much I've actually talked about her) that's about 65, black, and Baptist.  She had met with the missionaries before, but didn't understand anything, so we've been teaching her. She's actually really enjoying the Spirit that we bring and the Book of Mormon. But the Book of Mormon is actually her biggest hold up. She's having a hard time seeing the purpose of it and how it doesn't take away from the way she was raised. We planned to teach the Plan of Salvation, but we ended up just reading a chapter in the Book of Mormon with her to help her understand everything. We called her the other day just to check up and she said "reading a chapter with yall really helped. I really enjoyed that." She'll get baptized for sure. I had a dream about a month ago and I saw my Preach My Gospel front inside cover where you can write all the people you've baptized and confirmed and I'm pretty sure her name was on there, so we'll see what happens!

Wednesday obviously wasn't gonna be the most productive day. Seeing as it was New Year's Eve, we pretty much just went and stopped by some people and attempted to teach some lessons. Well, we only got one in, and it wasn't a very good one. No one in the branch or anything invited us over, so we just ate dinner at around 6 and then called it a night. I think we ended up watching a movie and eating some cookies or something? Uneventful, really.

On Thursday we went in the morning and did some service for the Tyndall's. They own an apartment that they rent out (we might actually move into it in a couple weeks, still praying about it) and we went and raked the leaves out of the yard. Then, later that night we had a lesson with J. We had Hermano Navas with us, but overall it was a good lesson. One of her daughters was there so we also taught her. We talked about the Holy Ghost and how to know our message is true. It was good. We did another one of those "someone will feed us, let's take it by faith" nights and it worked! J after the lesson served us tamales! These were really good, not to mention there was no menudo involved. But J can cook! Everything she's ever made us has been super good. While we were eating we asked her how she really felt about baptism. She said she wants her kids to be part of it as well, but the heart says yes. She's just waiting on them to be taught/agree to be baptized at this point. We're praying that they accept. That's the only thing holding J back.

We also had a great lesson with an investigator named S. I think I mentioned her before, but she's a black woman, 30ish. We finally were able to sit down and have a real lesson with her. We taught her the Restoration and she ate it up! She agreed to be baptized on the 31st. She's super excited to read the Book of Mormon to find out if what we told her is true. We were expecting her at church yesterday, but it didn't happen. In fact, none of the people we invited to church last week showed up. I think that's the biggest problem with Clinton and the country folk that live here. They just don't quite follow through on their commitments. We plan to contact them more frequently this week, perhaps daily if needed. That will remind them that WE'RE STILL HERE and that they COMMITTED.

Friday nothing eventful happened.

Saturday the sisters had another baptism. It's the husband of the lady that was baptized about a month ago. By some sort of miracle he finally agreed to be baptized. That's the power of the Gospel and the Spirit the sisters brought with them.

Yesterday we had a good day at church. We got assigned super last minute to teach Elders Quorum third our, so we pretty much just stood up there and winged it. We got some good discussion in with the brethren, but man I wish we had had more time to prepare. We pretty much just taught the Plan of Salvation and emphasized the Gospel of Jesus Christ and covenants and how they tie us back to God. Later that night, we had a Noche de Hogar (family home evening) with all the Hispanic members at the church. We just made it super simple and it turned out really spiritual. We just did a simple church tour and stopped at each painting and had people share experiences and testimonies about each painting. The members all really enjoyed it. I love the Hispanics because they're all so unified and friendly to each other. Kind of like a big family. We were all laughing and feeling the Spirit and having a great time. After the tour, we ended in the Relief Society room with refreshments and a movie. Overall it was just a great night. We're planning to do this the first week of every month, so hopefully it sticks when I leave.

Speaking of leaving, my companion, Elder Salvatierra, is getting transferred. We got a call the other day from President and turns out he's going to be District Leader! So that means that I'll have a new companion next Tuesday. Hopefully he's a good one! All the Spanish missionaries seem to be good, so I'm not too worried about it. The main thing is that we baptize. With all the recent success we've been having, we should be baptizing multiple people this transfer.

And that was my week! And Mom, I finally got the J Crew package. Thanks for the sweater! I won't dry it!

-Elder Landon Carroll

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