Monday, January 5, 2015

Merry Christmas from Clinton

December 29, 2014

Good morning!

This week was really really great! It felt really long because of Christmas and all this stuff, but it was all super fun! It actually doesn't even feel like Christmas even happened over here, even though it did.

I'll fill yall in on what we did:

On Christmas Eve we pretty much just went around passing out candy canes and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. We also found a new investigator. Her name is Wanda, and she's Truth's mom. We taught Truth a couple months ago. She was great! She was super excited about meeting with us because life seems to be a little hard for her right now. She owns a salon and they're doing construction right above it and with the recent rain she has like a foot of water in her shop. She was really funny though. She said she "didn't want to take lessons" until she came to church. So we kind of left it at that. She said she really just wants God to lead her to higher ground, and I have the confidence that He can help her get there! 

Later that night, we headed over to the Luna's to try these tamales I was so excited about. They gave us those and this strange soup...called menudo. It smelled like a bathroom so I decided to go for the tamales first. They were good! I really did enjoy them. But the menudo was....well just awful. Might have been the worst thing I had ever eaten. It was this soup filled with some vegetables and this floating fluorescent, red meat. I ate one chunk of the meat and just kind of paused after I swallowed to take it in. I decided that it wasn't good. So I went back to the tamales. Then those started tasting bad. So I went back to the menudo and attempted to cut this giant chunk of meat (cow stomach) in half, but was unsuccessful. So I just put the whole thing in my mouth, chewed a little bit, and then swallowed it whole. I'm just surprised it didn't come back up! Gahhhh! That was it. I could not eat any more. So I just went back to the tamales and even struggled to finish those because my appetite was destroyed. I didn't finish the soup because the family told me I didn't have to if I didn't like it. So my companion (Mexican) took my menudo home and now it's in the fridge :)

Christmas was also a great day. We went to the Tyndall's around noon to Skype and to eat lunch. Skyping was great! It was good to see my family all together and happy. Nothing has really changed...just the same people I left at home. Part of me wanted to be there with them, but most of me just wanted to be with the good people of North Carolina. I really do love the people here. The combination of the southern hospitality and the humility of the Hispanic culture is truly a blessing. I'm glad to be where I am. 

Sister Tyndall made a great lunch/dinner. We had roast, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, biscuits, and some yummy sausage dip. Then they brought out the dessert. They INSISTED that we have both a Klondike bar AND chocolate pie. Needless to say, I was full. In fact, I was so full, that I didn't have to eat until the next morning. Later that night we went to the Barbosas' with Rudy and Yomara and their kids. We had a bonfire, roasted some marshmallows, drank hot chocolate, and watched the Testaments in Spanish. I really enjoyed being there and witnessing such a humble Christmas from the Hispanic culture. It's all about Christ and family for them, and that's really how it should be for all of us. It's about being together with the ones you love. Oh and Mom and Dad, thanks for the Christmas gifts. My watch is beautiful, my scripture cases are perfect, and the new socks make my feet smile.

So besides all the Christmas commotion, we had some miracles this week! We've been doing terrible at getting people to church, so we fasted one Friday so we could get some there. Then on Saturday morning we ordered a pizza to break our fast. Well, the fast spoke for itself after that. We had SEVEN people at church! Wanda came with her son and his two friends, and Josefina came with her son and daughter. The good news is that it looks like Josefina's kids enjoyed it, so with their approval Josefina should be able to have a baptismal date! Also, Wanda said we could stop by this week so we should begin teaching her really soon! So that was the miracle of fasting and prayer. We put our faith together and the Lord gave us success. A LOT of it. Also, I gave a great talk about the Plan of Salvation and agency. I killed it. Brother West (branch mission leader) came up to me after and said "You became a man today! I was proud of you!" I felt really good about it, and I think I was able to touch (with the help of the Spirit) the hearts of many.

One more thing. Yesterday after church we didn't teach a single lesson. We were actually on bikes for most of the week due to lack of miles, so it's been pretty fun lately. My legs are a little tired tough cause we haven't ridden in a while. We rode like twenty miles yesterday, and even rode in the dark. We rode like eight miles home in the dark and rain, and that was actually really fun to me. Glad the Lord protected us on that busy road.

But that was my week. I had a lot of fun, made a lot of memories, and witnessed some great faith building miracles.

Thanks for all your prayers.

-Elder Landon Carroll

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