Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I'm just...tired.‏

 February 8, 2016

Good morning everyone,

I remember when I was serving in Pinehurst as a new missionary and my followup trainer Elder Johnson would say to me "Elder I'm just so tired all the time. When you get my age, you'll understand." I can now say that I understand. Two years of dedicated service to the Lord certainly takes it out of you. I'm tired ALL THE TIME. I don't have problems getting up, but there are times during the day that all I want to do is lay down and take a nap. But....the good news is my companion has fresh legs and keeps me motivated so that I can go out and fulfill my purpose as a missionary!

This week was somewhat uneventful. We had all this great stuff planned out and things just got in the way...people's agency, sickness, work, whatever it was. A lot of things just fell through so we had to do a lot of adapting. We were able to knock some doors and we found some good prospects. Tracting is not my favorite thing to do, but it's proven to be successful on my mission. You just have to know how to talk to people and how to help them have a spiritual experience on the door. It's not easy, but with practice you can get pretty good at it and as long as you're consistent, you'll have success.
Now an update on our baptismal candidate A. He's doing pretty well! We had a pizza party with him and his friend F and it seemed to inject some positive motivation and friendship. As we've taught him, I've really been able to see him get more and more excited about what is to come. He's made a lot of changes in his life and his sister even came to church to see what this was all about. Others are apparently starting to notice the changes as well. The only thing holding him back write now is church attendance. Until he can prove that he wants to be a member of the church and participate with some consistency, we just can't baptize him. He didn't come to church this week because of some stomach bug, so it's really crucial that he comes the next two weeks in a row. That's his commitment and I'm praying that he can fulfill it.

I could write about some other things we did, but I've chosen to ramble instead. 
As I continue to gain a greater understanding of the Gospel and how it fits in my life, the need of it in the world becomes more and more evident. I'm not completely up to date on everything that goes on the world, but people keep me sufficiently informed to be able to understand a lot of what's going on. The world has changed a lot these past two years. Society continues to crumble as things that fifty years ago would never have been acceptable eat away at the Christian foundation this country was built upon. Sin today is acceptable and in many eyes even desirable. The ways of the world and the ways of God continue to drift farther and farther apart. There is a distinct separation between those that follow God and those that have elected to follow Satan. It's really sad if you think about it. We truly are in the last days. The signs of the times are here. People are losing hope in things they thought would last and they have as it says "stopped looking for the truth for they know not where to find it." I look around me sometimes and I'm able to almost visibly see holes in people's lives wherein if the Gospel was planted, happiness and peace would be restored. This is why the Restoration came about when it did. God knew that these times would be perilous so He called another prophet to guide those who would listen. Some of my favorite verses come out of Doctrine and Covenants section one:

"17 Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;

18 And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets—

19 The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh—

20 But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;

21 That faith also might increase in the earth;

22 That mine everlasting covenant might be established;

23 That the fullness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers."
It's truly comforting to know that the Lord hasn't left us alone. Because of modern-day prophets, we have all the tools necessary to combat the insecurity of the world. The Gospel truly is the answer to everything we're facing in life. And the beautiful thing about it is just how simple it is! Sometimes it's so simple that we don't even think it'll help us, but as we humble ourselves and follow the counsel of the Lord and His servants, we will be blessed to overcome the world. I have my own weaknesses and struggles, but I know that through the Gospel and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, everything will be made right in the end. We just have to remember what we've been taught and hold on to what we know to be true and right.

I could ramble all day but I'll just end it right there. Please share the Gospel with someone this week. People are starving for the truth. Also please continue to pray for our investigator A. He needs it.

Have a great week!

-Elder Landon Carroll

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