December 30, 2013

The best Christmas of my life!

The Best Christmas of my life!                                                           December 30, 2013

 Feliz Natal! Feliz Ano Novo! Seja feliz!

 So this past week was my first Christmas away from home. Mom, don’t cry when I say this, but it was honestly the best Christmas I have ever had! Seriously. The members in this area are absolutely incredible, and showered us with presents and chocolate and hugs! We had a zone Christmas dinner in the house of the Stake Presidente which was a BLAST! Then talking with my family!!!!!! And then, we got to go straight to work on Christmas. We ran around like little Santa elves to all of our recent converts from the past month, bringing them pictures of their baptisms and some really beautiful pictures of Christ in picture frames to stick up in their home. It was so special, to individually choose the Christ pictures for each person. A picture of Christ with the lamb for our lost sheep who is starting to feel loved again. A picture of Christ blessing the little children for the primary girl who got baptized. A picture of the Second Coming for the guy who loves talking about Julgamento Final and the Celestial Kingdom. And so on. Seriously, I will always remember that day. I just love these people so much! Finished off the day with a pizza party. It was great :)

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, however, This weekend was interesting because it was (1) dang hot - the hottest so far! and (2) we had no running water....yeah. It kind of felt like Girls Camp. Ya know, brushing teeth using a water bottle and so on and so forth. It got old pretty quickly BUT the water came back this morning in a giant explosion! Like, the tap broke and it was like Yellowstone! Made for an interesting start to the day.

Probably the highlight of everything was Antonio (yes, I realize I talk about him all the time but its cause he is AWESOME!) He got set apart as a counselor in the YMs presidency yesterday! Not gonna lie, I cried. No shame.Helping someone get baptized is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Watching them grow and help other people in the Church and staying strong and faithful - that is probably the best feeling in the world. I think of my life and what I’ve left behind, and then I look at the changes in my investigators and I am just filled with gratitude that the Lord has counted me worthy to be an instrument in His hands. What I have given up is so little in comparison to who I am helping, and how their lives have changed.

Basically, I love my life and (even though I miss my family a lot!) there is no where I would rather have been this past Christmas :)

Happy New Year! Don’t forget those goals!

 Love always,

Sister Carroll

Feliz Natal & Merry Christmas

Feliz Natal & Merry Christmas                                                              

December 23, 2013

Mundo Feliz, nasceu Jesus! Nasceu trazendo a luz! Trazendo salvação, trazendo a redençaõ, Louvemos ao Senhor!

That was Joy to the World, in portugues. Want to know something great about Brasilin Christmas carols? Pretty much every single one of them is so focused on Christ’s life mission and the Atonement. I love it. It’s the true Spirit of Christmas! I love thinking about the birth of Jesus Christ, but it means so much more when I think of WHY He was born and WHAT He came to do. And all the brasileiro Christmas hymns reflect these truths annnd i love it.

This past week has been nuts! We had our all-mission conference which was a BLAST! The 4 hour bus ride there was so much fun, with our entire zone just chilling in a coach bus they rented out. Also, did I mention that I’m in the zone of sisters? There are literally just enough Elders to be our District and Zone Leaders. And then there are 12 sisters. I feel bad for the Elders, they must be so overwhelmed. But its so much fun :) And then the theme of the Conference was the Atonement. There were lots of tears and wonderful talks given. I got to play a special musical number on the violin and it was so so beautiful. Music is so powerful in bringing the spirit.

Then Sister Christensen got sick and went to the hospital (it’s all better, just an allergic reaction) and then I got a NASTY cold and had to stay home, so all in all not a great week for finding and teaching BUT we still had a baptism on Sunday - Jessica, she is 11 and SO sweet! spunky as all get out, but adorable just the same. Plenty of Christmas miracles to go around :)

If you could pray and help us out, Sister Christensen and I are looking for a miracle family to teach. We just want to work with entire families so badly and it is so hard to find them, but with prayer, fasting, and your help i am certain that it will be a week of miracles :)

Mom, Dad,  Benjamin, I can’t WAIT to talk to you! Infelizemente, we are going to stick really close to the 40 minute limit as told in the missionary handbook but still, its Skype, so it will be wonderful all the same :) I will be online right around 4:00, Mossoró time. I think it’s just 2 hours off, though you might want to check on that. (it’s actually 3)

 I love you all!!!!! MERRRRRY CHRISTMAS!!! FELIZ NATAL!!!!

 It may be my first Christmas away from home, but it also is my first Christmas that I am literally set-apart as a representante of Jesus Cristo. And I am so humbled and honored by that privilege :)

 -Sister Carroll



Meus Queridos

Meus Queridos,                                                                       December 16, 2013

 ANNNNNND we will see what i can get out in less than 10 minutes.

 The lesson of this week has been serving with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. i think there are a lot of good missionaries who work really hard but still hold a bit back. We all have a line that we draw in the sand about what we won’t give up for the Lord. And sometimes its good things that we are hanging on to, but we need to reach for better things.

This week it was the first presidency Christmas devotional. I reeeeallly wanted to go, but because of stake conference we had spent a lot of time outside of our area this weekend (Yes Dad, we are keeping up the streak of someone in our family participating in every stake conference. 15 years running or something. I got to be the stake pianist!)

So i wanted to stay for the devotional, but my wise companion said that we had souls to save so...we walked an hour to get back to our area after stake conference, arrived at 8:00 and had just one hour to work. and we found the BEST gentleman in the world! We were praying for inspiration, and we just knocked on his door (not a lot of doors, just this ONE specific house) and he opened the door and we talked and he accepted baptism for the 29th of December!!!!! His name is Antonio :)

At first when we made the decision to leave, i was all laman and lemuel murmuring. I love the scripture - They murmured because they knew not the dealings of the God who created them. When we really understand the nature of our all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing God we have no reason to complain.  Anyway, I felt that i had a RIGHT to watch the Christmas devotional and was feeling a little jipped, but we decided to sacrifice for the people in our area. And now we have Antonio and because of our little, really little sacrifice, his life will be changed forever. He has the gospel and he will be baptized and it’s just such a beautiful thing.

The Lord blesses us when we sacrifice. And a lot of times, especially as missionaries, it’s not just us that receive the blessings. We sacrifice, and other people receive the gospel! It’s as simple as that! I want to give my all for these people, and give my whole heart to the Lord.

In other news, it’s almost Christmas! Huzzah! Mom, Dad, I hope you are going Christmas caroling! Sister Christensen and I have something great planned, so never fear. The tradition won’t die :)


Love always,

 Sister Carroll

December 9, 2013

Livro De Mormon is awesome!

Hi all!                                                                                             December 9, 2013

 So it’s only been a few days since the last pday and not much has changed...the work is continuing! We baptized Wilkaely, the sweetest little 8 year old girl you’ve ever met! I’m the pianist/violinist for the stake choir! Rachael Davies is getting married soon and I really miss her! I got maybe-poison-ivy from this weird fruit tree! We are still trying to figure out that one. Ah well, life happens :) Oh, I also bought

Probably the coolest thing that’s happened was that I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time while on the mission! It was so wonderful. I went through and read it in English, highlighting any reference they made to baptism. If I’m going to be teaching and inviting people to make this sacred convent, I need to understand the doctrine. I learned SO MUCH over the past couple months about this sacred topic, had my own testimony strengthened, and really started to discover what exactly I’m doing here in Brasil. I decided to serve a mission because I love my Savior and wanted to do whatever He asked. But now I am truly doing the work for the PEOPLE here! They are amazing and incredible! I have been so blessed to have the gospel in my life. The chance to be born into the church is probably one of the most precious blessings that the Lord has given me. And now I get to serve and help and lead other people to Christ and it is the most wonderful feeling in the world :)

Have fun in your preparations for Christmas, and don’t forget the Savior!

Love always,
Sister Carroll



December 5, 2013

Feliz natal!

                                                                              December 4, 2013

Meus queridos,
What a week! Transfers are always nuts beyond belief, but this time everything stayed the way it was! Huzzah! I’m so happy to be staying in my area for Natal (Christmas) and with my same companion. The stake has so many wonderful activities planned, most of them involving music, so I’m ridiculously excited for this transfer :) It’s funny, because December is literally the HOTTEST month of the year here. Like, I’m dying. So it kind of feels like cheating to be singing Christmas songs. Like Christmas in July haha. Here goes my first Christmas without snow! That’s okay, there are lots of other wonderful blessings here to make up for it. Principally the amazing members in my amazing little ward here :)
We had an all-sisters conference this past week, in natal! The 4 hour bus ride was great, it was so fun to see the other sisters and oh my goodness I LOVE my Mission President! He is so wonderful! It was definitely a learning experience for me. Presidente Soares gave the same training that he gave at a zone conference my third week in the field. Same power point slides and everything. BUT. My reaction was soooo different. The first time, I was a punk and didn’t really agree with anything he was saying and was actually upset because...well, I just had a lot of pride to iron out, still do. But this time I was open and receptive and learned SO MUCH to improve my area and my focus and help my investigators. And it was the same training, just a different Sister Carroll. I love who the mission is helping me become. It’s definitely a furnace of fire to purge out the weak parts, but I truly can see how the Lord is changing my heart.

Testimony of the week-
I have been blessed with a wonderful testimony of the Atonement, even before I came into the mission field. However, it was principalmente based on my own experiences. I saw in my life how the atonement has changed and helped me. But you know what is even more powerful? Seeing the Atonement work in the lives of other people. I love being in this ward because I can see my recent converts - who they are now, and who they were when I first started teaching them. It is a beautiful thing. The gospel changes lives. The Atonement is real. And it is only through the grace of Christ that real change will ever happen.

I love you all!

-Sister Carroll


                                                                                                              November 25, 2013

Oi família!

This has been SUCH an incredible week. For starters, we had 3 baptisms yesterday! It was soooo incredible; each one of them has such a neat story. I love being here in Brasil, where the people are so receptive and we are blessed to baptize a lot of people - but each person is so special and so individual! Each baptism is such a miracle! The Lord truly has a hand in the salvation of his children.
 Bruno is 12 years old, and the first three times we tried to teach him he refused to talk to us because he is so dang shy. We were TERRIFIED for his baptismal interview, cause he just doesn’t talk, but Elder Lopez, our DL, was able to get him to open up in a matter of minutes! (Its cause they played a little bit of soccer together before the interview. Crazy brasileiros haha) 
Then there was Macielda. She has had a hard life, is 14 years old, and spend the majority of her childhood living on the street. But now she is with a family and baptized and reading the Book of Mormon and going to seminary and I am so grateful that she has the gospel in her life now! I love her so much.
Annnnd Calianne. Her whole family was baptized 9 years ago, but she wouldn’t do it. Wouldn’t even look at a Book of Mormon. And we were blessed to come to her family just at the right time to help her make these sacred covenants. She had a lot of stuff to work through in the past 2 weeks, but I can testify that the power of the Atonement is very real. It’s not just something nice we read in the scriptures, it’s truly a power that changes people. We have worked and studied and cried, and her family has been working and crying for her for almost 10 years, and she was finally baptized yesterday. Baptism is a remission of sins. It literally takes years of sorrow and guilt off a person’s shoulders. I feel so privileged to have been a witness to this miracle.

Fun moments of the week:
Sister Christensen and i are teaching our Ward Mission Leader some American slang. So far, he has learned YOLO, bubbler [FOR ALL YOU NH NATIVES, YOU'LL LOVE THIS ONE], and Haters gonna hate. It’s hilarious to hear him bring them up in everyday conversation now :)
We were helping a member move, and randomly found a macheté in her closet. Normally I’d be a little weirded out, but I guess that’s normal in Brasil haha.
Our old Bispo, Rubenei, had me watch the music video Carrie for the old 80s hair band, Europa. He sings that song to me all the time now because Carrie sounds like Carroll. Can I just say it’s so amusing to her brasileiros sing 80s pop when they don’t know the words?!?!? :D
The baptismal fonte wasn’t draining so Sister Christensen and I got to just empty it by hand, one bucketful at a time. Pictures are coming soon :)
Annnnnnnd lastly, there will be no Thanksgiving this week BUT I’ll try and make some mashed potatoes. Be grateful for all that you have! If you have a house, clothes to last you more than 3 days, food for more than one meal, and water that doesn’t make you sick, the ability to read, and a family that loves you and so many other things - you are more blessed than over half the people I am working with every day. Thank Heavenly Father for the simple things in life - even if it seems mundane, say a prayer of gratitude anyway.
I love you all! 
Sister Carroll
emptying the baptismal font with a bucket - what fun!
silly sister missionaries


Sister Alysha Carroll
Brazil Natal Mission
Av Interventor Mario Camara, 2066A
Dix - Sept Rosado
59062 - 600 Natal - RN

it should cost $1.10 to mail a letter from the states - thanks for all your love and support!