Monday, August 5, 2013

Week 3- I'm officially out in the field! (PICS INCLUDED)

Hey all!

The field has been an awesome experience so far! All the new missionaries came in Tuesday night and stayed the first night at the mission home. President Hansen (our mission leader) was there at the Train station to pick us up and greeted each & every missionary with a big hug! He's awesome! When we got to the mission home, we were informed by Sister Hansen, that President Monson's house was a 1 min walk away.  He is the President of our Church. We could see it from the front door of the mission home! Crazy, huh? Apparently he only goes there about once a week. 

We slept good that night and got up bright and early to go to a local church building for transfer day. I was paired with an awesome elder, Elder Allen! He's 20 and from South Dakota. He's been out 19 months. He's from a family of 11 and worked as a firefighter before he came out here! He's an amazing teacher and I've learned so much from him already. We get along really well.

Before we left the church building to go back to our place, President Hansen had a challenge for all the new missionaries...To invite someone to be baptized before we went to bed that night!! Elder Allen told me he had someone in mind, but first we would go to our apartment (actually it's a member's home and we live in their basement. It's an awesome family) so i could unpack and get settled, then we had splits scheduled tonight. Each week, the wards switch off sending young men out with us (mostly priests who have their papers in) so they can get a taste of what it's like to be a missionary. We cover 2 stakes, 18 wards total and are the only missionaries for them!!

Just so you get an idea of what this mission is like... we had to take the train to our place which is in Farmington, almost at the top of our mission. As we got there and stepped off the train, we were waiting for another set of companions who have a car (we are the only lucky elders to get bikes!) to pick us up to take us home. As we were waiting, I kid you not, we had 3 people offer us rides and 1 offer to take us out to lunch. We constantly have members picking us up and helping us out. In this past 5 days that I've been here, I have NOT spent even one dollar out of my own pocket!   

One lady stopped us on the way to an appointment, and gave us $20 because she was going to serve a mission, but decided not to. So she felt bad and decided she could help out! The people here are awesome! Our first time out to eat, we went to some oriental place.  We were informed by the waitress that our meal had been paid for by a family. Amazing huh? Elder Allen and I had to go to Smith's (basically Fry's) to pick up some stuff for a lesson, and some other stuff.  As we were checking out, some guy came up and started scanning his stuff (self-checkout) on the scanner and said he'd buy everything for us. He spent like $25 on us! THAT'S NOT IT! On our way home from our appointment, we were stopped by a guy working at a local corn dog stand (I'm talking foot long corn dogs that cost $5 each) that were apparently the "World's Best Corn Dogs"!  He gave us each one for free along with a drink, and said we're welcome back anytime. They were delicious! I am so grateful for the love of the members here.

Anyways, before splits on the first day, we had a dinner appointment (we have a dinner appointment literally every night besides P-Day) with the Hurst family. It turns out, Sister Hurst was my Aunt Nan's roommate at BYU years ago!  Small world!  After dinner we had splits with the priests, and following that we had the opportunity to visit Ricardo Lopez, an investigator who's wife and in-laws are members. He's 20 and had been being taught by Elder Allen for a few months. Elder Allen said this was my chance to invite him to be baptized and that he had already been taught all the missionary discussions, but he was having trouble accepting baptism.  We showed up at his house, and he invited us in. They asked me to share a thought, since I was new to the field. So I shared Alma 26:12 (Thanks Emily!).  After a long discussion with Ricardo and many testimonies shared by his family, Elder Allen and myself (tears shed by everyone in the room), I had the opportunity to ask Ricardo if he would be willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ, by being baptized by someone holding the power (priesthood) of God. He accepted and is now on date to be baptized on August 21st!

The Lord is preparing people. I know Ricardo has already been through a lot, and I was only the one to turn the key, buy it was an amazing experience and especially on the first day!  Also within these first couple of days, I was able to see 3 other people accept baptism and be set on date!  It's so amazing! This is The Lord's work. I love that I can be a part of this. To see the joy on people's faces, there is nothing like it!

So, everyone said I was going to die without my guitar. haha I thought so myself, but after the past couple of days visiting members homes, I've found 3 houses that have guitars!! They said we are welcome over anytime :) Elder Allen and I sang Nearer My God To Thee (Sorry Andrew!) at all of their houses, and they (and I) really enjoyed it! It felt good to play again :)

This week was fast Sunday, so Elder Allen and I had the opportunity to bear our testimonies 3 times, in 3 separate wards yesterday! It's so funny, we are like celebrities when we attend sacrament. They recognized us from the stand in all three meetings, probably because we are the only missionaries that cover ALL of our 18 wards. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. I ran into Logan Stapley, and out of no where, he gave me a big hug! I had no idea who he was!! haha  Apparently he graduated from Gilbert High and went to school with the Carroll family (He said he was uncle Vance's age). Again, a small world, but i guess I'm only in Utah, huh? haha

Gotta go, times up on the computer! Hope everyone is doing well at home! I'm praying for everyone, stay safe!

-Elder Carroll

My favorite scriptures this week- Alma 37:36-37

36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy  doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
 37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

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