Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 59 Our faith is like a seed!

P-day at the Great Salt Lake!

My good ol' MTC companion, Elder Westlund!!!


Great news! I just got word that Carrie, from my first area got baptized a few weeks ago!! I am so happy for her. I wasn't able to attend the service, but I heard it was great! :) It brings me so much joy to know that I am able to be a part of such a great work. I am so happy to know that others are coming more fully unto their Savior.

This past Friday for our Zone Conference, we were able to be taught for about 8 hours by a General Authority, Elder Arnold of the 70! It was a great meeting and I took many things from it that will help me greatly in my efforts as a Full-Time missionary.

Funny story... The other night we were just walking through a neighborhood, trying to meet the members. We knocked on this door and a 3 year old little boy answered. We asked if his parents were home and he said yes, and kind of opened the door as if to let us in. We asked him if we could come in and he said yes, so we stepped inside. About 5 seconds later, his dad comes around the corner and the first thing he says is "We're not interested!" Turns out, they were Lutheran hahaha. They were super nice and talked with us for a few minutes, but made it very clear that they were comfortable with their religion.  I'm guessing they had a stern talking with their little son after we left.  What an awkward experience it was haha I love my mission!

I am so grateful for my mission experience. I am so grateful for all of the amazing people that I am privileged to meet. I love that fact in the church, that as soon as a member sees us, or invites us into their home, we are instant friends! Conversations easily flow and legitimate love can be left. The Brotherhood and Sisterhood that we have is truly a blessing. The members here in Utah are truly amazing.

This past week, we have come in contact with 2 people who, although once very strong and devout members of the Church, have fallen away completely and lost entirely their faith. One of them who faithfully served a Full-Time Mission and was an Assistant to his President. It is so sad to see. It seems mostly to be caused by Anti-Mormon material. They are such wonderful people but have let lies and "unanswered" questions lead them astray. Our faith is truly like a little seed. We must constantly be nourishing it. It doesn't matter if our faith is currently this huge and magnificent thing. An idle mind is the devils playground. If we do not fill our minds with wholesome thoughts and desires, the adversary can so easily sneak in. He sees one doubt in our minds feeds off of that, unless we are anxiously engaged in a good cause, doing all we can to strengthen our faith and testimony, every day. We must resort back to the basics, every day. The "primary answers".  We must continually pray, read, magnify our callings, have Family Home Evening, attend our Church meetings, and the Temple, if at all possible. We must constantly feed our souls with light. If we do so, the Lord will be with us.

A quote by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

"The brighter our hope, the greater our faith. The stronger our hope, the purer our charity."

Hope is a Christlike attribute and gift from God. When everything in the world seems to come down on us, hope is what pulls us through. I stress the great importance of hope. Hope in God, His plan, and our Savior. They are there, they are real.  They love us and are cheering us on every day. They want the best for us, and know what's best for us. We must "press forward with a steadfastness in [them]". I know that as we do so, we will find great happiness and joy from the increase of our hope, faith, and charity we will gain by following them in all of our doings.

" I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
From him I'll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through grief and pain,
His voice is heard: "Ye shall obtain."
I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With him I'll stand in that great day
When on this earth he comes again
To rule among the sons of men." 
- I Believe In Christ - Hymn #134 - Verse 4

Full song version by Eclipse

I cannot wait for that day that our great Lord and Savior will once again walk among us. I know He will return and that we will be able to feel the marks in his hands, feet, and sides. What joy we will feel in our hearts and souls.

I know this is God's true and living church upon the face of the Earth at this time. I know that Joseph Smith was a truly a prophet called by God and that he restored the true and everlasting Gospel to us in our day. For that I am eternally grateful.

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

~Elder Carroll

My favorite scripture this week- 3 Nephi 9:14 - "Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me."

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