February 9, 2015
Good morning everyone!
As the transfer approaches an end, and I don't know if I'll be staying in Clinton or what, but I have to just look back at everything I've done while I've been here. It's been much harder than Pinehurst, no question about it, but it's been equally rewarding. I've met so many good people and I've truly learned how to put myself before others. No, I'm not perfect at it, but I'd say I'm a hundred times more loving now than I was before my mission. Just working with the humble people here and seeing how much they rely on the missionaries has brought me to that. I left Pinehurst before I was able to see Max and Alberto enter the waters of baptism, but this time I'll get to be here for the baptism of Josefina! I look back at all the hard work we've put in here, and we've tried really hard. A lot of the people that we've taught love our message, but they just refuse to act and then you end up just running around in circles until you finally have to just discontinue teaching them. That isn't the case with Josefina.
We found her picking pecans at the park before playing soccer with some members. We saw her there so we decided to go talk to her. She said she was Catholic, but she still said we could come by. She actually told us about that the other day. She said that she would always tell missionaries to go away when they knocked on her door, but for some reason, and she doesn't know why, she decided to say yes. And now she's happier than she's ever been in her life. She's involved with the branch, she loves the Book of Mormon, she overcame her life-long addiction to caffeine in three days, she makes us dinner and cakes every time we come, and she's just open and ready to be baptized.
We've worked really super hard out here in Clinton, and the members know it. We have different people at church every week, but the just don't "stick" as the members would say. That's the difference between an elect individual, someone who's truly prepared to receive the Gospel, and someone who's not. Josefina, as well as Max and Alberto in Pinehurst, recognized the Lord's voice when He called. This just goes to show that there really are people out there that are looking for the truth, but do not know where to find it. It's OUR JOB to bring it to them. Not just the missionaries, but more importantly the members. When you have something so precious that you love and cherish with all your heart, something that has brought you more happiness and joy than you've ever experience, why would you NOT share it? I ask myself the same question sometimes. Why is it so hard to just open our mouths sometimes? It's only the everlasting Gospel after all.
So what else did we do this week? Well we laid down a hardwood floor, ate a bunch of food, found some new investigators from Cuba, restarted teaching some former investigators, had a zone training meeting, drove 200 miles in one day, contacted the largest Hispanic house I've ever seen, had some companion exchanges, and laughed a lot. But really we didn't do much.
So that is all for this week. Please pray that Josefina goes through with the baptism! She's really excited, but you never know what Satan has up his sleeve.
-Elder Landon Carroll