Saturday, July 12, 2014

Week 51: Elika is baptized & Money is falling from the sky! (Well...almost! haha)

Family & Friends,

Hey!  This week has been a great one as usual :) I cannot express through words the enjoyment I have for this amazing work.  It has brought me such happiness.  I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to serve the Lord full-time in spreading His word.

Elika (fa'afafine) was baptized on Saturday!!  Since I'm still near North Salt Lake, I was able to attend and support him on this amazing day.  I am so happy for him.  It just goes to show that people do change. We are all able to repent and are able to come unto Christ, at any point in our lives, no matter what we may have done in the past. The Atonement is real and is in effect for anyone who truly and humbly repents.

So my new area…We cover 10 wards and the members are freakin' awesome!!  Best member missionaries I've ever worked with.  This area is (kind of) a new development and pretty much just has young families.  To put it into perspective… one of the wards we cover has 700 active members and as a result has 5 nurseries!  I thought my home ward was loud with kids screaming during sacrament meeting.   I could even hardly hear the speakers because of all the rambunctious kids everywhere in this ward haha!   But it's a good sound; it's a sound of families that are together :)

Just to give you a little glimpse of what it's like to be a missionary in the Utah Salt Lake City Mission… I'd like to share a little experience we had this week! (Sorry, this isn't at all a spiritual part of this email.   Hahaha!)

So the other day my companion Elder Taylor, and I were standing in line at Subway to get some lunch. While we're waiting, a lady came up to us and gave us $20 for lunch! We thanked her and continued in the line.  When we got up to the cash register, some guy was waiting for us and offered to pay for our food.  We thanked him, grabbed our food and sat down at a table.  While we were eating, another guy came over to us and threw $10 on the table.  We thanked him and continued eating.  After we were done, we had a little bit more time for lunch so we decided to go to a Hawaiian shaved ice place (that is free for missionaries).  As we were standing in line to get some shaved ice, another  lady comes up to us and gives us $20! We thanked her.  Right after that, the guy that was in front of us turns around and says "I know she already beat me to it, but here you go." and hands us $8... All of this happened within the hour!! hahaha I love the people here.  They take such good care of us ;)

Ok, so now on to the more spiritual part of the letter!  haha :)

This past week Elder Taylor and I were able to give training for Zone Meeting, on a talk called "The 4th Missionary".  It is an amazing talk and I invite you to read it if you haven't! :)  While reading and studying it, I have been able to evaluate my progression as a missionary since day one of my mission.  The training went great and there was much participation from the zone, which makes meetings so much more enjoyable :)

"The Fourth Missionary" by Lawrence E. Corbridge

We are currently teaching so many people!  It's so good to be busy.  We had the opportunity to take one of our investigators name Ga (from South Korea), to Temple Square for a lesson!  It went really well and she committed to drink “less” coffee! :)  She told us she couldn't promise that she would drink none.  So she is progressing :)  I am amazed of all the different nationalities of people brought here to Salt Lake City.

We are working with a young boy named Carson (10), who was just baptized a few months ago.  A few days ago, we had a lesson and had him teach us about Joseph Smith and his story.  The feeling that can be felt when learning about that Great Prophet is amazing!  I am so grateful for him and his courage to ask a simple question.  [“Which is the true church?”]

There is another young boy named Zander (10), that we are working with and he is on date for baptism on July 12th! :) Smart kid, so happy for him and his family!

Yesterday at church as we were walking in the hall, the Primary President of the ward stopped us and asked if we could teach their CTR 7 & 8 year olds due to lack of teachers.  Man, those kids are smart!!  At least a lot smarter than I was when I was 8.  We learned about prophets and what they do for us :)

With yesterday also being Fast Sunday, we were able to bear our testimonies in 4 wards (8:30am, 10:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm)! I love the Spirit that I can feel when I have the opportunity to share with people what I know to be true. (D&C 62:3)

I love this work!  It brings such happiness to me when I am able to share the joy of the Gospel with others.  My testimony is strengthened each time I am able to do so.  I invite you to take every opportunity that you have to share this amazing message so that you too can feel of the joy that comes with it.

Love you all! Stay close to the Lord, stay busy and stay safe!!! :)

Much Love,
~Elder Carroll

My favorite scripture this week: D&C 88:77-78 "And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom. Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;"

My favorite quote this week: “After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel." -The Prophet Joseph Smith

(6/26/14) My old companion Elder Smith and I!

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