Monday, March 2, 2015

Welcome to Rexburg...I Mean Clinton

 The Centeno Family
 Elder Carroll with the Navas family
Rudy, Yomara, Yoisa, Jordy, Joel and Elder Carroll

February 23, 2015

Good morning!

You're probably curious to know why I titled the subject "Welcome to Rexburg...I mean Clinton." Well it's been a cold one here and the only thing I can really compare it to is Rexburg in the winter.

If you don't already know, we had some ice storms this week. Actually it's kind of been icy-cold the whole week. Monday night was the actual ice storm, and the power did go out in our apartment for about five minutes. But the rest of the city varied...some never lost power, others lost it for over fourteen hours. Josefina was one of those unfortunately. But she's okay no worries! So needless to say the weather made the work a little slower. We definitely didn't go out knocking doors or anything like that. Last time we tried that, people told us to "go home, it's too cold." You would think that they would say "Come in and get out of the cold!" but that would just be too logical. This is Clinton, and people's logic just may not be quite up to par.

But in other news, the work is going great! We had some really great lessons with some of our investigators. We've been teaching K a lot lately, and he's actually starting to progress. I've definitely seen a change in him since we started teaching him. He went from "Jesus is black" to "what's your belief about this?" He said that the things that we teach him really fill in the holes that he has. I have never taught someone so knowledgeable my whole mission. Because he knows the Bible so well, it leads him to believe in everything that we already teach. There's nothing that we have taught him, even deep doctrine and Doctrine and Covenants, that he hasn't agreed with. I just wish I could be here to see him get baptized (foreshadowing). He actually came to church on Sunday and he loved it. He was involved in discussion and everything. Originally he was worried about the church not accepting him because of his skin color, but I'm sure he feels plenty comfortable now. Everyone welcomed him in and there seemed to be no prejudice of any form. So that's good! He says he really respects me and I firmly believe I was sent to Clinton to help him receive the Gospel. For some reason, black people really like me. I don't know what it is, but they just do. It didn't say anything in my patriarchal blessing, but maybe it's a spiritual gift?

But regardless, the work is great. I really love the people here in Clinton. The place itself is an armpit, that's for sure, but I would serve my whole mission here just for the people. You've got your basic southern folks, blacks, Hispanics from all over the place, and you're occasional Filipino or Haitian. It's quite the selection. It makes things interesting.

And now you're probably wondering about the foreshadowing up there ^. Yes, I'm getting transferred. After six great months, the hardest six months of my life I might add, I'm getting transferred. Did I leave the area better than I found it? Absolutely. We have begun a period of serious growth in Clinton. With the baptism of Josefina and the eventual baptism of her children and siblings, the reactivation of various members, and the changing the slightly racist views of the branch, I'd say we've done a great job. The future is bright for Clinton if they continue to work hard, fulfill their callings, and do missionary work. I can't wait to come her after my mission and see how things are going. Hermano Centeno told me "When you get home, come over here. When you get married, come. When you have your first child, come. When you have your second child, come. When you have your third child, come. When you have your fourth child, come. When you have your fifth child, come. When you have your sixth child, come. When you have your seventh child, come. When you have your eighth child, come." At this point I'm thinking "How many kids does he expect me to have? Jeez." So yes, I will return one day. I think the fruit of our labors will truly manifest itself when I do.

So tomorrow I go to Raleigh to find out where I'm getting transferred. Wherever it is, I know it will bring new laughs, adventures, people, and challenges. I'm gonna miss Clinton for sure, but bring on the change!

I love y'all and hope you have a great week! Pray that my companion is awesome!

-Elder Landon Carroll

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