Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 43 - There's A Reason He Did What He Did In The Garden

P-day (Preparation or day off)

Hey guys!!

Hope you have all had an amazing week! Mine has been nothing short of exciting and filled with great things!!

First off, we picked up a few new investigators this week!! But i would like to share one of them with you! His name is Alika, and he is Samoan! He is what the Samoan people would call  a Fa'afafine [Fah-Fah-Fee-Nay] (Google it!) He (or she??) is 21, and has been coming to church for a while now, but has been wearing dresses and going to Relief Society... and he also had hair down to his rear... But has recently cut it real short and started wearing pants and attending Priesthood meetings! :) So he is progressing! We've had 3 meetings with him this week, and he has agreed that if comes to know for himself that the Book of Mormon is true, he will be baptized! :)

So yesterday we had the opportunity to go to 2 sacrament meetings! They were great meetings, but something happened during our first one that made me think about my role as a missionary, but more importantly, a member of Christ's true Church on the earth today.. So as we were sitting there on the pews, I was sitting next to a 6 year old girl to my left, and Elder Boyles on my right. In my peripheral vision, I could see the small girl continue to look at us. She would look at our hair, then look at your shoes, then at our ties! It was quite funny! :) I then looked over at her, to see her holding an Ipad. She had an App opened that was like a coloring book. I knew it was an LDS App, because she had a picture pulled up of 2 cartoon missionaries teaching someone, and she was coloring it! It gave her the option to color each and every individual part of these missionaries (clothes, hair, and accessories), so she was coloring us!! At the end of sacrament meeting, she tugged on my arm and showed us her beautiful coloring job she had accomplished :)

It made me realize that as missionaries (especially in Utah!) we are ALWAYS being watched! Whether is by a 6 year old girl or a 66 year old lady! We no longer have a personal identity, but instead personally represent our Lord Jesus Christ. Then it made me realize that it's not just missionaries who represent Jesus Christ. As members of His Church, we have promised to always stand as a witness of who He is. Everyone knows we are members. They are constantly watching us. What we do, is what they perceive the Church to be. It is my invitation to you, to always remember that promise you made when you stepped into the waters of baptism. And for those of you who have not yet made that promise, i invite you to do so. The blessings of baptism are truly amazing. The Lord is just waiting for to bless you with more happiness than you could imagine.

One last thing i would like to discuss is something that, even as much as we talk/discuss about, we could ever comprehend what really and truly happened. This is the Atoning sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ. Our Lord has atoned for every single last sin we have committed. With sin, comes guilt and shame. These burdens can be lifted, if we can humble ourselves, and confess and forsake them. Some people associate repentance with being a bad thing. It is NOT! It is a wonderful blessing that allows us to come closer to our Heavenly Father and His loving Son. Being out here in the field, I have seen many, many people enter into the steps of repentance. And let me tell you, they are the happiest people I know. I know that as we continually repent and do our best, we can feel of God's love for us always. There is a reason He did what he did, in the Garden. It was for me. It was for you. If you are currently not taking full advantage of Christ's Atonement in your life, I invite you to do so. As a personal representative of Jesus Christ, I promise you, your burdens can be lifted. There is hope. Through the Atonement, we can become the happiest that we can be.

I love my mission and i love what i have learned. I have experienced things that have helped me to truly come to know what i want in life. I know this Gospel does bring us true and everlasting happiness.

I hope you are all well, and hope you have wonderful weeks! Love you all!

Much Love,
~Elder Carroll

PS - Helaman 5:11 "And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance; therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls."

My favorite scripture this week - Helaman 5:11 "And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance; therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance,which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls."

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