Monday, February 1, 2016

Snow and ice and what have you.‏

 January 25, 2016

Weeeeeellllllllll......this week definitely had its challenges. But I'm grateful for them! We were able to help so many people this week and I'm proud of our efforts in serving the Lord and those around us. Being out here on the mission has taught me that serving others is one of the quickest ways to relief and happiness. Every time I get out there and give someone a hand, my burdens are lifted and the Spirit enters my life, bringing me indescribable joy.

Before I get to the meat of this email, we have another baptismal date! We still have A, now for the 12th of February, who is progressing nicely, along with another man named E. We found him through our area book and he seems very committed to gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon. So pray that we can get him in the water one of these days!
As I'm sure most of you know, the east got slammed with winter storms this weekend. We were told Thursday night to prepare for power outages and time inside the apartment. So we got some visits in Thursday and then the freezing rain started to come down at about 8 pm that night. My companion, who's from Idaho, kept telling me "These people are ridiculous. They're closing everything down for a little rainstorm." "Just you wait," I told him. We woke up the next morning and everything was iced over! We were tempted to go out and work, but the zone leaders texted and told us if it's snowing, raining, hailing, or sleeting in freezing conditions, not to go out. So we stayed in. We got some planning and cleaning done and I continued my journey to complete Jesus the Christ before I get home. I'm almost there ;). So we were pretty much doing that all day until around 3 pm when we lost power. Then it kind of got fun. The wind was picking up and the rain (ice) started coming down even harder. So we waited a little bit, hoped the power would be back on when we returned, and left the apartment to buy some ingredients to make tacos. We bought all our stuff: the cilantro, cebolla, carne de puerco, and salsa verde, and then we headed back to the apartment only to find that the power was still off! There was ice everywhere and no power to the stove, so I had some cereal or something and my companion went to bed with the hopes that the power would come back on so we could make our tacos. Nada. I kept reading and then I went out on the patio to see how everything was going. I got out there just in time to hear a massive tree falling to the ground. Thankfully it didn't hit anything.

Well, we finally got power at about 9 pm and then we went to bed. We woke up the next morning to SNOW! There was quite a bit, too. Probably a good three inches or so. So we made our tacos for lunch, went down to Clinton with a convert from Durham (Pedro) to have dinner with the elders down there, and then we headed to another meal. After that, we went to go check on B. He's the man with the tracheostomy. We had got a call from him earlier that day telling us that he didn't have power and wasn't expecting it until Monday or Tuesday. So we definitely kept him on our minds and then visited him when we got the chance. We got to his house at about 7:30 pm to find him sitting in his car with the door open trying to unscrew and remove the driver's seat from the car. I guess he spilled some Brunswick stew and desperately needed to clean it. It's just who he is. Things have to be clean. So we tried to convince him to stop and go inside, knowing that if he were to get sick, he could be gone, but he refused. So we helped him out a bit and then finally got him to come inside the trailer. All he had in there was a space heater and a lamp, all powered by a small generator. He doesn't like to ask for help and he's super independent. We tried to convince him to stay with a member, but he wasn't having it. He just didn't want to be a burden to anyone. So we hooked him up with a kerosene heater and left him for the night. We came back on Sunday morning (church was cancelled) to check on him. When we got there, the seat was removed from his car, his house was clean, the kerosene heater was outside on the ground, and the power was back on. What a relief! I was really worried about this man. So we spent some time helping him clean his car, kept him company, and then headed off to another appointment.

I'm grateful that the Lord has allowed us the privilege of serving his children here in Dunn. We're called as teachers and ministers of the Restored Gospel, but sometimes we're called on for different things. I'm grateful that we were able to be of help and that B is doing okay. Come to find out he grew up in Murray, Utah! Small world!

In other news, I got recalled as district leader for my last transfer in the mission. I think I'll be a lot more prepared to lead these missionaries than I was the last time. My goals before I go home are:
1. Help Elder Christensen learn to teach in Spanish
2. Help the elders and sisters in the district reach their potential and come to love the work.
3. Baptize.
4. Take every opportunity to teach and testify.

Thank you for your prayers in my behalf. I hope everyone survived the storms okay. Please continue to pray that I can end this mission strong.

Have a great week!

-Elder Landon Carroll

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