Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 37: Fabian and Shaynell are Married!

Hiking in Utah

Hey everyoneeeeee!!!

This has been an amazing week. We have truly been blessed by the Lord. 

These past couple of weeks, we have been working our butts off with street contacting. We have met so many great people, a lot of whom are less-active members of the church. About a month ago, we went tracting in an apartment complex in order to help the ward with their directory. Guess who's door we randomly knocked on?? Miss Utah 2004! She is less active, but wanted us to teach 2 of her non-member friends! She also gave us free haircuts! :) Because of complex schedules, meeting her friend (Chris) took longer than expected. But we were finally able to meet with him this past week! He is an interesting guy--lots of questions and philosophies. But he agreed to read from the Book of Mormon and to ask God if it is true, and to know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet! There is such a comfort when people accept our invitation to do those simple things. Because if they do them sincerely, the Spirit will testify with power.

Another street contacting miracle... We were roaming another one of our apartment complexes (we have 10 in our area), and ran into a less-active member named Jenny! She called herself "Jenny the Devil" because she doesn't go to church anymore. She was just baptized about 5 years ago! She then informed us that her live-in boyfriend wanted to know more about the church! This past week, we were able to meet with them! They made us dinner and we had a great lesson on the Restoration of the Gospel. Her boyfriend, Casey, was super interested and sincerely wanted to know. He is in the Airforce, and his Captain is an LDS member. They've had lots of talks about the Gospel and it really spiked his interest. Casey agreed to read from the Book of Mormon and ask God if it was true or not. :)

One more contacting story :) - While walking around the same apartments that Jenny lives at, we felt inclined to knock on a certain door. A lady answered and we gave our door approach. She told us she used to be a member of the Church, but now is an open Atheist and did not want anything to do with God or Jesus in her house. We asked her if we could share a message just about families. She agreed and we set a time to come back. For a few days, Elder Boyles and I struggled to figure out a way to talk about the importance of families, while still respecting her request (not to mention God or Jesus). We finally came to a conclusion and headed over on the day of our appointment. She let us in, we sat down and we then told her that as hard as we tried, we could honestly not think a message that we could give, without mentioning God or Christ. They are central to our message! To any message we give! Christ is the center of everything we know. We just couldn't do it. We told her we were not there to argue, or to tell her she was wrong. We just wanted to know why she considered herself an atheist.  She explained and gave multiple reasons why she did before she broke down crying and said "I have never told anyone that before. It feels so good, thank you so much for asking me that." We testified and left with an open invitation from her to stop by anytime! :) 

The Lord has prepared people. We just have to be willing to act on the prompting we receive.

Fabian and Shaynell were married on Saturday!! The Lord continues to bless us with remarkable experiences. Fabian is a hard Mexican raised in the hood of Bakerfield California..he doesn't cry.. but! On Saturday, he did :) The joy of being able to be married to his longtime girlfriend was too much for him to handle haha :) I love them so much. I can only imagine the joy they will experience when they get sealed in the Temple of our Lord, in a year from now! Also, both Fabian and Shaynell will be baptized on April 13th! :)

Sam is still solid for April 12th as well! :) Please keep Fabian, Shaynell, and Sam in your prayers :)

We have picked up a total of 4 new investigators this week; the Lord is truly working miracles for us!

These past 2 Sundays, i have been able to share my testimony of Joseph Smith's First Vision, of God and Jesus Christ appearing to him. The Spirit testifies to me, every single time I testify of Josephs experience. I get chills. I get that "burning in my bosom". I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to do it so often, and feel our our Heavenly Fathers amazing and honest love towards me. Honestly, that is how i gained my testimony. Someone bore a very powerful testimony of Joseph Smith and his experience in the Sacred Grove. You know who you are, thank you so much for that amazing testimony you bore. You changed my life. I am so grateful for the such amazing and wonderful people that have been put in my life, the great influences you have been on me.

We were able to do a session at the SLC temple this morning! I love the Temple.. the Spirit there is undeniable and i love it. I love this Gospel. I can't get enough of it. All it does is bring us happiness. Well, it actually does a lot more than than, but in the end, all of those things lead us to happiness :) I am so blessed to be serving the Lord at this specific time, in this specific place.

My invitation to you is to be an example through your actions. Show what happiness the Gospel brings YOU. The Lord taught "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35) ..."Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

Thanks again to everyone for the letters and emails! I love them, so thank you!

Hope you are having much success and an amazing time, wherever you may be! Stay close to the Lord, and he will bless you :)You are in my prayers! Hope you have an amazing week. Stay busy and stay safe! :)

Much Love,
~Elder Carroll

My favorite scripture this week- 2 Nephi 9:17 -"O the greatness and the justice of our God! For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out of his mouth, and his law must be fulfilled."

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