December 18, 2014

Sprint at the end of a Race

                                                                                                 December 17, 2014

Hi everyone!
Sorry I´ve been a slacker about email lately, the past few weeks have been a little busy (yay for today! it’s the first real pday I´ve had in 3? weeks!)
But what´s going on here in Sousa. We had transfers last week, and looks like I´m finishing up my last transfer here in Sousa with Sister Lawrence! Which is just fine by me ;) Seriously, this area has been an area of miracles every single week and my comp is THE BEST EVER. So I´m really quite happy.
Last week was a whirlwind of spiritual highs and lows! Mostly based on Nezinho, a sweet little old man that we have been teaching. He is so pure! We were helping him prepare for baptism. He was getting a little nervous towards the end of the week, but we had an INCREDIBLE lesson where we literally got to see the Spirit touch and change his heart. Nezinho was a little indecisive and wanted to go to the country this past weekend to help his brother-in-law build a house INSTEAD of going to church and getting baptized. Lame excuse. But we taught about the Plan of Salvation and eternal families and temple marriage. Nezinho´s wife passed away 6 years ago and when he finally understood that he could be with her again, after this life, he started to cry. I don´t know the last time I´ve seen a grown man cry, but then I started to cry too!  We read in the Book of Mormon, 3 Néfi 13:19-21
Don´t treausre up treasures on Earth, where moth and rust consume and thieves steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and thieves cannot steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Forgive the translation...I don’t speak English anymore....)
The Spirit literally used me to explain to Nezinho that he can choose to go to the country and help build the house, but one day this house is going to get old and fall apart. Or he can come to church and be baptized and take the first step in the journey towards creating an eternal family, something that is permanent, something that will last for all time. He began to cry again and promised that he would be baptized on Sunday :)
Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of all of our control, he wasn’t able to be at church on Sunday. It was .... a really hard day for us. We are trying to help him and work things out for him to be baptized this Sunday. Please, PLEASE remember Nezinho in your prayers!
In other news, as much as I would like to avoid it, I´m officially in my last transfer. Sometimes I forget about it, when I´m teaching and finding and everything, but sometimes I get really excited to see my family and eat my favorite foods, and a lot of times I just get really panicky about doing my very best and how hard it will be to leave. This time is truly sacred and every day and every night I am just so grateful for the chance I have to serve. One of my favorite passages in the Book of Mormon gives the best visual - Jacó 5:71-72. The Lord of the Vineyard, laboring side-by-side with his servants. It doesn’t matter the heat of the day, it doesn’t matter if I’m walking half a marathon every day, it doesn’t matter when the people don’t want to hear, or when they want to hear but the voice of the world is louder. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter because I spent my day working side-by-side with the Savior. I´m doing His work, because I love Him and His purpose has become my purpose.
I´m grateful for my mom and dad because every week when they send me an email they prove to me that service in the vineyard of the Lord doesn’t end with the mission. If we are looking for chances to serve and when we have the vision of our purpose here on Earth, the Lord will always give us the opportunity to help. And they help so so SO many people and I´m proud to be their daughter. Maybe someday I can be just as good as them :)
I love you all! Have a great week!
-Sister Carroll


A few other fun tidbits from her personal response email 
We give out 10 #sharethegift cards every day! its going great!
We (the 4 sisters) are going to sing Christmas carols to everyone in our apartment building next week and give out the heisthegift cards. It’s gonna be great! We (us and the elders in our ward) have started singing Christmas songs for our message at lunch. The members love it :)

December 6, 2014

Eyes to see Miracles

                                                                                                            November 17, 2014

Yesterday, an Elder told me that I have a gift - the eyes to see miracles. He told me that I have a gift that I´m able to see miracles that other people can´t, or won´t, recognize. I don´t know if that´s true, but this week really was a week of miracles!

Monday we went back to Natal (did you know that a bus ride from Souza to Natal is almost as long as the plane ride São Paulo to the US?) and Tuesday Sister Cabral and I had the afternoon free to do what we wanted. So what do we do? Go to the beach? Go Christmas shopping? Hang around the mission office? NO WAY! Visit our Recent Converts, of course :) It was the best afternoon ever! Granted, it’s only been 3-4 weeks that I´ve left Natal but it was neat to see the people I taught and baptized still going strong. The highlight of the night was seeing Lucas and Vagner, two YM of gold. I didn’t even have to go looking for them, they were just hanging around the Church waiting for a youth activity to start! Just a few short years and they´ll be on their missions :) also, Marceilda, a YW that was baptized in my first area, went to the temple this past week!!!! She sent me a letter and told me that she has a calling as a ward missionary, she is reading the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time, and she went to the temple <3 a="" bit="" cried="" got="" have="" her="" i="" letter....="" little="" may="" o:p="" when="">

All the traveling didn’t sit quite well with me so I got a little sick this week. The Lord definitely helped us, because we only had 3 days to work in our area and everything worked out in the end, even with the time I spend sleeping (almost 12 hours straight!) I have a renewed testimony of priesthood blessings - the Lord WANTS to heal us! It’s just our faith that is the deciding factor!

Dona Francisca was baptized on Sunday! She´s just the sweetest little old lady (74 years old!) with more backbone than any other investigator I know. Satan threw a bunch of complications our way, but it all worked out in the end. There is a huge drought here in Brasil, the situation is critical. We didn’t have any water to fill the baptismal font so we had to ask the firefighters to fill the font! (If you could pray for rain....we need it. if it doesn’t rain before January, the city will stop functioning). Then when we got to her house to walk with her to church, her family said that she had ALREADY LEFT!  it’s a 30-40 minute walk! In the hot sun! We were so worried about her, we just walked around the whole city trying to find her. Well, we calmed down a bit and stopped to say the most fervent prayer of my life....and then she appeared on the street corner! Ohhh Francisca :) God really hears and answers prayers.

Saturday night was a devotional to celebrate.....THE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHURCH IN SOUZA!!!!! Wooooohhhh! The church is soooo new here. It brought me to tears to hear all the stories of the early efforts and see the sacrifices of the members here. Missionary work is their life - they spend the whole week visiting the members to help everyone get to church on Sunday! Most members have to walk 30-45 minutes in the hot sun to get to church! They really inspire me to be a better missionary. I feel like I´m part of something a lot bigger than me. We´re just all together, literally fighting for the life of Souza inch by inch. I feel like the early missionaries that served in England - it’s the best comparison there is. It was so interesting to hear the conversion stories, one sister of the ward said that it’s not the beautiful chapels but the way the members received the visitors that makes the difference. There wasn’t a church building when she started out, but the irmãs hugged and kissed her and made her feel at home. And that is simply how the church grows. The Presidente da Missão made a goal with the missionaries and church leaders last night that before June 2015, Souza will become a stake!!!!

So, it was a good week! Keep praying for my comp, she´s going home on Saturday and I don´t know what I’m going to do without Sister Cabral!

Please pray for Manual, Daniel, and Serverinho also!
 -Sister Carroll

When in a hurry write your email in Portuguase

                                                                                                   November 10, 2014

Translation of Portuguese email – some phrases didn’t come through quite so well

So .... Maybe I'll start sending emails in Portuguese. Father, mother, if that's too boring I'll stop but it is much easier to write in Portuguese.... and you have Google translate!

This week was WONDERFUL! One of the races of my mission, with a 3 day split with S. Garcia (S. Cabral went to Pombal, a town one hour from here), and then a change. Our old apartment was on the fourth floor, and moved for an apartment on the 3rd floor across town. Thank you for the elders, brothers, and the priesthood in general for help in changing! Sorry for the mission secretaries, arranging contracts is a HEADACHE! After all, ended the week well with the most important things: the Manuel baptisms, Daniel (2 brothers!) And Cícerio (the brother of a recent convert)! It was GORGEOUS and I love them all heart. Daniel wants to go on a mission, lack three years for him. Manuel stopped drinking during these weeks, and when we were on the way to the church for his baptism, one ''amigo'' called him to drink and he did not stop, only said, I do not drink more. He is an example for everyone! Remember Lord Cosmo, who was baptized my first week here? He and his wife made lunch for us yesterday! It was too good :)

A cool story - the spirit really guides us. I and S. Garcia were trying to find a house of a girl who was the reference member. We found the street but the house number simply WAS NOT anywhere! I felt an urgency to find this girl, and then pray there on the street to be guidada to his house. We went for a place on the street a little further away and made a prayer. When we finished, I looked up and saw that her house was literally across the street where we stopped to pray. Miracles have not ceased! Her name is Emmanuele, it is GREAT and your family too. She has accepted baptism and reading the Book of Mormon!

I learned this week a lot about that quote from Pres. Kimball- Every excuse, though it may be valid, weakens the character of the man. It is true! I was reading in Jesus Christ on Good Samaritan, and said that he, of all three who passed the injured man on the street side,''não had no excuse not wanting any desculpa.'' only create excuses when we do not want do something. For example, this week was difficult because I was not with my partner most of the time, and spent a lot of time setting things up for change on Saturday. Still, always had time to visit with ALL of our researchers (investigators – funny how google translated this) and prepare them for baptism. Had to run VERY 9:40 and slept all day, but had time to do all that was important. I''tinha'' many good excuses, but we fail to help these people. Why? Why did not want to apologize, for I LOVE Manuel and Daniel and Cicero. I love them! I wanted to be with them! It is love that motivates when we are busy or tired or a thousand other excuses. Think about that the next time you do not want to do home teaching and visiting teaching, and then sometimes to have that love for those people who are YOUR responsibility to love and care. They will become your best friends.

Love you! Please pray Francisca, Emmanueles, and Mary Solidade this week!
With love,
Sister Carroll


November 4, 2014


                                                                                                    November 3, 2014


Such a good week! Seriously, I just love Souza
My companion, Sister Cabral, is the best ever. I love her so much. I´m learning SO MUCH from her :) Did I mention last week, she actually should have gone home last week with the transfer because she finished 18 months but she is staying until November 24, 4 weeks more. It’s great! She says - Physically, I´m really tired and my mind has trouble focusing but what I still have is the desire and that´s what´s keeping me going.

I learned that missionary work is really quite simple. After a while on the mission, your brain gets filled with techniques and secrets and how to teach and how to plan and you know, sometimes it’s good to empty your mind and go back to the basics.

(1) You need to work diligently. Maybe there are more effective ways to work and use your time than just contacts and knocking doors, but when you do EVERYTHING within your power the Lord sends miracles.

(2) You need to love the people! If you love them, you´ll pray for them, you´ll study for them, you´ll worry about them and you´ll always be close by. Its not a sacrifice to go out of your way and return to the house 2 or 3 or 4 times to visit with them. You wake up thinking about them and go to bed praying for them. And if you truly love them, the Lord will bless THEM because of YOUR faith!

(3)Pray with faith, really believing that it’s going to work out. Just trust that God will make things happen if you´ve really given your best. Don´t be afraid to pray for miracles - but you have to believe its gonna happen! No doubting Thomas´s here!

That´s basically it. After 15 months on the mission, these 3 things are really the best way to do the Lord´s work. And it’s wonderful :)

So this week we helped João Luiz be baptized. He met the sisters a little more than a month ago, drunk, but pointed out his house and asked them to pass be. So we came :) He is so pure of heart! The biggest motivation for him was his family, his wife and sons. The BEST moment was walking to church yesterday and he told me that his son started going to church (in a different state). He said that his son drinks and never went to church. I told him that now YOU can be the example for your son that it is possible to stop and change and that it’s only following Jesus Christ that makes the difference. And João Luiz just had the biggest smile on his face and said, Yeah you´re right. I can help him. I am the example for my son.

I just love being a missionary and having these moments!
João Luiz, Fernando ,Cosmo e família! Ezequil

I love them so much! Every single one of these men had to overcome a drinking addict to be baptized, but what it really comes down to is that they needed someone to believe in them :) Someone to tell them that they are awesome, that they´re gonna succeed, that they are important. Really, I just love being a missionary so I can be the little voice that says You can do it!
Until next week,
Sister Carroll
Happy Halloween from Souza, Brazil

baptism day

baptism day

baptism day

baptism day

The Lord Really Loves Me #dinosaurl​and

                                                                                                   October 29, 2014

(Here is my letter from last week that time ran out before I could send it)
I have 5 minutes sooooo here we go!

Got to Souza after 9 hours alone in a bus (which is a REALLY long time for a missionary accustomed to having a comp), had just enough time to throw some clothes in a back pack before I left to fazer uma divisão in Pombal, a city about an hour away from here.

 When I FINALLY made it back on Saturday I got to know my area, and we helped 3 INCREDIBLE men prepare for their baptism on Sunday: Fernando, Ezequiel, and Cosmo. Cosmo almost made me cry, he´s this little old man whose wife was baptized 4 months ago and her and the missionaries have just been praying and working with him this whole time. He always drank and could never give it up, but then he drank too much and got really sick and had a life-flash-before-his-eyes moment and changed EVERYTHING. So Cosmo was baptized :) and now they are preparing to be sealed in the temple next year. Woohoo!!!!

 So, the Lord really loves us and knows each of us personally. For those of you who know me, really know me, you know that I was obsessed with dinosaurs when I was a kid. Obsessed. I always wanted to be a paleontologist when I grew up. With time, other things became more important but deep down, I just love dinosaurs.

Turns out that Souza is home to one of the biggest dinosaur dig sites in brasil, and maybe the world! Cool, huh? So the town is totally capitalizing on this and there are dinosaur statues and murals and dinosaur restaurants and gas stations and markets and everything is dinosaur-themed here. It’s just so cool

It may seem silly and such a small thing, but I think it’s incredible how the Lord remembered what was important to me when I was 4 years old, and then arranged everything - my mission, here in Brasil, my transfer to Souza, everything - so that I could be here. He just knew that it would make me happy. And He loves me.

I´ve gotten home every night this week almost sleeping on my feet and completely exhausted, but it’s the good kind of tired when you know you gave everything you had in the service of the Lord.

Love you all!
Sister Carroll
yeah for dinosaurs!



                                                                                                    October 20, 2014

Hi there!
So I found out less than an hour ago that I´m being transferred!!! Wooohhhh!!!!

I´m headed to Sousa tonight - it’s a 9 hour bus ride from here to the end of the world (or at least the mission limits!). Sousa is a district, I’ll be serving in a branch for the first time in my mission and I’m SO EXCITED! Lots of sun and horses and sun and corn and good old nordeste de Brasil.

I already know my new companion, Sister Cabral, from all the conferences and meetings and divisions and we´ve just been in the same mission, together, for a really long time. She goes home in 3 weeks. BUT is the least trunky Sister I know. It’s gonna be the sprint at the end of a race for her and I´m ready to work my little tail off :)

It’s gonna be hard to leave the missionaries, members, and recent converts that I love here (especially Sister Acosta!) but the good news is that Alecrim is the heart of the mission so I´ll be hanging around here a few more times with conferences and everything. It’s not goodbye, just see you later.

The Lord really works in strange ways. I´m always going to be grateful for the lessons he taught me here, especially in the last few weeks - lessons about mercy and second chances, about love and charity, about weaknesses and perfection, patriarchal blessings, the Holy Ghost, personal revelation, lessons about repentance and the sacrament, about service, and leadership. Lessons about Jesus Christ and what He expects of me. 

I love my Savior and I stand amazed at the love, trust, and mercy that He gives me. I´m very confused as to why He loves us all so much, but I´m starting to understand little by little as I serve and love the people that the Lord has put in my path.

Please pray for me and my companion(s) sister Acosta and Sister Cabral!
Sister Carroll




October 15, 2014

Reconhecer o Salvador

                                                                                                                        October 13, 2014

 This week was AWESOME and really hard at the same time. Funny how these two ideas go hand in hand, right? There´s a lot that I could say but I´ll just share what I learned in the New Testament and that will be enough

When Christ was calling his apostles, he begins by helping the poor fishermen with the miracles of the fishes and the full nets. It’s interesting to note that the first thing Peter says after witnessing this miracles is, Depart from me for I am a sinful man. He doesn’t feel worthy to be in the presence of the Lord, with all of his weaknesses and faults. And how does the Savior respond? He could very well have said, You are right. You are a sinner, I´ll find someone better. Or- yeah, you´re a sinner. Work on THIS weekness and I´ll come back in a month to try again. or even, I know your weaknesses, if you follow me we´ll work on them together.

But He doesn’t.

He just says - Don’t fear. I will make you a fisher of men.

Christ doesn’t call attention to our faults, He just sees who we can become. He wants us to have this vision of ourselves also. While we are tormented by all the things we can’t do, He sees everything that we can do. Everything that we are and the divine potential that we have.

I´ve read this passage so many times but I never noticed, never understood. I realized when I read this that I don’t actually know the Savior all that well. When I don’t manage to do everything the way I would like to, I get really frustrated with myself and really critical but you know, the Savior doesn’t do that. He is a god of mercy, he has charity- the pure love of Christ. I´m starting to understand how much the Savior really loves us and what kind of man He was. And I want to be like Him.

Challenge this week: Forgive someone who you think doesn’t deserve it. That´s what the Savior does every day.

Love you all!
Sister Carroll




October 2, 2014

Week of Miracles!!!

                                                                                                                  September 29, 2014

First off, you just have to know that my comp right now, sister Acosta, is like my best friend in the world. I love her SO DANG MUCH and we were in a week-long division so I got her back last night for the first time since last pday and it was like a sleepover with your friends after a long time apart.
Sister Acosta is standing next to Sister Carroll - what a gift for them to get to be together again, this time as companions

It’s been such a great week. I had a lot of really neat experiences where I felt the Savior very close to me and helping us and the work in a very personal way. It’s not anything big that shapes our testimony, but it’s the daily little experiences that strengthen and help us.

I know that the Lord hears and answers prayers.

I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, the most correct book on the face of the Earth, and the best way to feel close to the Savior. It is our guide to understanding the Atonement.

I know that God will respond to anyone who asks with a sincere heart if the Book of Mormon is true; I know that the promise in Moroni is true. Sometimes we have trouble recognizing the answer, but that doesn´t mean that we didn’t receive one.

I learned that answers to prayers come when we are serving other people, not when we are on our knees.

I know that when we love someone, we have the courage to say hard things. Sometimes the best expression of love is correction.

Another way to show love is to express confidence and trust someone, even if you don’t think they are worthy of your trust.

Perfection doesn’t come in this life, but we can learn to have the right attitude with our weaknesses.

Love you all!
Sister Carroll
new picture for the week with Sister Baker &...

September 23, 2014

Mais uma semana em paraiso

                                                                                                                       September 21, 2014

Okay. Novidades da semana.

(1) I’ve officially forgotten how to speak English. The élderes think it’s really funny. So sorry if me email is short or switches back and forth.
(2) SISTER ACOSTA É ÓTIMA! Seriously. I love my companion. She was one of my best friends on the mission, and now we´re together 24/7! hahaha :D but seriously. We laugh a lot and work hard. She keeps me from getting too stressed.
The ward is great; we had a ton of investigators on Sunday because it was all the members that brought them!
OH! Jaqueline and Luiz are going to get married! Yayyyyyyy!!!!! We spent a good 3 weeks trying to teach them about the law of chastity and they really want to get baptized and they finally decided to get married officially. They don’t have money for a big party, but the irmãs na ala are already planning to make a big cake.
Anne got baptized! After so long! It was great :)


                                                                                                                       September 17, 2014

OK. Hold on. Time is flying way to fast here, it seems like yesterday I was sending the transfer news from 6 weeks ago.

I’m still here in Alecrim! We´re going on 4 months already péople! Luckily it’s a big city. Like, New York but not really. Basically all that means is that there are ALWAYS NEW PEOPLE. And lots of them.
My new comp is a good old friend, Sister Acosta!!!! Another gaucha (number 3!) [from rio grande do sul] and we actually lived together for a good amount of time in Caicó, without being companions. It’s gonna be a blast! I love her to death already. She is going home at the end of this transfer, so we´re going to have to push through, baptize, and throw that trunkiness in the trash where it belongs! Yeah!
I got to go on a neat pday getaway today for Parque das Dunas. Pictures to come. I learned the name of a praying mantis in Portuguese - Louva-a-Deus, which literally translates to Praise God. The bug named  Praise God. Also, I saw 2-headed snakes and coach roaches the size of my hand.

ANNE IS FINALLY GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!! After more than a month! She is so ready, we´re finishing up the plans with the YW president and her boyfriend is coming in from Forteleza to baptize her. It’s going to be so special. I feel so privileged to teach Anne, she is gonna go places. As a matter of fact, she is already planning to go to the temple first week in October: D

Lots of love! Please pray for Anne, Jaqueline e Luiz, e dinha!
-Sister Carroll

September 12, 2014

Trust in the Lord!

                                                                                                September 8, 2014

Helllloooo world!

We had a surprise visitor at Church yesterday - Elder Leal, of the 70! It was really neat to hear him bear his testimony about the plan of salvation and the Atonement. A real privilege :) Not sure if he is the official Autoridade Geral for our mission, but this is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve gotten to talk to him. He is a really Christ like man,

We´re still having some difficulty in our area helping people come to Church. Man, I don’t know what´s up, but things will look up soon. HOWEVER the Elders are teaching an INCREDIBLE family - mom and dad that finally decided to get married last month, and 5 kids ages 6 to 16. And they went to Church! And loved it! And are having fhe and reading the book of Mormon and the kids were so well behaved and president soares is helping the elders teach them and it’s just the sweetest thing to see the whole family sitting together during sacrament meeting. The cool part? Sister Baker and I found this family doing street contacts! We passed them to the elders to teach and we get to watch their progress from the outside :) So that was an awesome experience :)

we´ve been helping a member of the ward who has been going through a messy divorce the past few months and we felt inspired to visit her yesterday (even though we had A TON of other visits that we ´´needed´´ to make). We helped her straighten her hair and do her makeup to go to a devotional later, and shared a message with her and her less-active daughter. And she just starts crying and says, I will never forget you. You two are the only ones that have passed by and every time I’m feeling low, you just appear. I haven’t had any help these past months but you two are always here and I will never forget what you´ve done for my family.

Wow. I almost cried too. There is no feeling in the world like knowing that you were literally the answer to someone´s prayer.

Definition of trust: you will do anything that person asks you to do, without needing a proof or an explanation. You them.

So, do I really TRUST in the Lord?

Food for thought!
Love you all,
S. Carroll

Awesome Zone/things I have eaten

                                                                                                September 1, 2014

My awesome zone! And our new t-shirt!

Yes, we´re the only sisters. Its ridiculous(-ly awesome)

There in the middle is Presidente Morais, the stake pres here. he´s the missionary´s best friend in the field, in the ward counsel room, and on pdays - how he has so much time to help us, I have no idea but it´s AWESOME!
our awesome Natal zone!



Hey all!
Cool things that I´ve eaten in the last few weeks that I forgot to mention:

-alligator...tastes like fried chicken, just a little tough

-tereré - an herbal drink from the Sul de Brasil. You make a drink of bitter herbs and mix it with ice cold lemonade and use a special silver straw called a ´bomba´. It’s more a cultural, fire-side thing because there is just one cup and everyone passes it around. Also, chimarrão is the same thing but hot instead of cold with chamomile tea. SO GOOD

-picado. okay, so this wasn’t so great. it’s basically goat intestines. but when you put a lot of pepper sauce and farofa (flavored flour?) you can almost fool yourself that its beans, which is a staple food here kakakaka

Funny moment:
We´ve been teaching a less-active sister trying to help her come back to church, cause she has a super strong testimony, but she uses any and every excuse to not come to church. We invited her to an activity and she said, Í can’t come. Why? Ummm....umm..... I have only one finger nail painted....?
We looked at her skeptically and then everyone laughed. WEAK. weakest excuse I’ve heard to date. Man, I love her so much but it’s really quite sad that she has this barrier to get out of the house and get to a church meeting.

Moment that made my heart smile:
Vager! Our recent convert! He is 15 years old and soooo sweet. We saw him on the street the other day, eating Açai. (It’s kind of like ice cream but 10x better) We stopped to chat and then asked what we could do to help him. He looked at us and said - can you help me eat? I don’t want my acai anymore!!!
Well, we all know that is a lie but he was so sincere and gave us the puppy eyes look and I knew that if we refused, it would break his heart. so he just gave us açai and you know, that’s the real meaning of the widows mite. He gave all he had, and it was motivated by pure amor.

Favorite member moments:
Anne didn’t come to Church on Sunday :/ she was sick. BUT the YW President was so worried about her that we left the second hour with her to see if Anne was okay. And two YW had been sending messages to her on Saturday asking how midterms were going and if she would make it to Church on Sunday. Seriously, people, this is such a miracle!!!! Our ward is taking care of our investigators! And we didn’t ask them too! I just love Anne so much.
Pérola is the 8-year-old daughter of our Bishop. She´s friends with Alice, the 8-year-old girl of Dantas and family, the family we have been trying to reactivate. They didn’t go to church on Sunday and Pérola noticed before anyone else in the ward and she asked her Dad to go visit them after Church to see if they were okay and why they didn’t come. GO PÉROLA!

Favorite S. Baker moment:
She taught about the allegory of the olive tree for our message for almoço on Sunday and taught me something I never notice before. Every época in the story, when the Lord wants to burn his vineyard, the servant asks for a little more time, just a little more time. But the very last time, the last chance the servant asks for more servants. He doesn’t ask for more time, and the Master doesn’t give more time. Just take a look at the number of full-time missionaries serving today and you will know that this really is the last time, the last chance for the world before Christ comes. He´s asking for more servants. That’s why the prophet is asking the members to work with the missionaries - because in this last chance. We need everyone who has ever covenanted to take upon himself the name of Christ to rise to the call. The full-time missionaries aren’t enough this time.
Okay, so the last month and especially the last week have been really challenging and humbling for me. There have been a lot of difficulties with the area and the members and other missionaries and investigators that have left me wondering if anything I did made a difference. I think I haven’t ever in my life understood more fully the King Benjamin sermon that says even if we give everything we have and are, we will be unprofitable servants.

But. In my time teaching Anne, I’ve started to understand just a little bit more what it means to say that Christ takes away our sins.
We are never going to be able to pay the price for our own sins.
It just won’t happen.
And all our efforts aren’t going to change that.
We will never be able to earn Christ´s grace, we will always be in debt to Him.
But we just have to learn to trust Him enough to give Him our all and He makes up the rest. Its that simple. It’s because He loves us, and He will always be merciful towards us. It’s because of who He is that we are saved.

And our efforts should be less focused on trying to pay back the debt and more focused on appreciating the gift of the Atonement.
I know that Christ lives and loves us and I am so grateful for everything He has given to me. And now I can share this knowledge and testimony with others :)

-Sister Carroll

Good Week!

                                                                                                August 25, 2014

Last week´s email didn’t get sent so..... Here we go

Good week!

Erica was baptized! She has been coming to church for 2 months and has just been getting more and more excited every week! She is going to be such a beautiful YW :)

We met, to date, the most prepared investigator I have ever met! From the very first day we started to teach her, I had the strongest feeling that we knew her before this life. Anne is INCREDIBLE! Her bf is from Forteleza (8 hours away) and he is preparing to serve a mission. She started investigating the church on her own because she didn’t want to change religion just for him. We taught her the first lesson, returned and she said she read the chapter we marked in the book of Mormon 3 times, read in the bible to confirm it, prayed, GOT AN ANSWER, then asked all the members she knew about their experience with praying about the book of Mormon to see if her answer made sense with other answers.

We taught her about temples and she is already preparing family names to go to the temple!

We gave her a personal progress book and she´s already started!

She had questions about the law of chastity so she went to the YW President to clarify her doubts!

She showed up to church 8:30am right on the dot, got there before the other YW!

She already has a part in the youth program for this Saturday!


The Lord is truly preparing people, through angels in heaven and angels on earth, to hear the news of the restored gospel. And I am just so privileged to see His hand in the lives of other people.

So, please pray for Anne :)
-Sister Carroll

September 10, 2014

Tourist time

                                                                                    August 18, 2014

So our pday was AWESOME today (that’s why the email is a bit late)

Presidente Morias, the stake president, took us sight-seeing in downtown Natal on his lunch break. This man is definitely going to heaven. I´ve never met a man with more to do that still takes time to give referrals, teach with the missionaries, and help a couple of Americans see the sights! 

We went to historic Natal and visited a couple government buildings and Old Catholic churches and parks. it was a very Carroll-family type of visit. Reminded me of a freedom-trail Boston experience

Pillar directly from Rome Italy when mussoulini made a deal with the brasileiros

A park that is directly in the CENTER of Natal. how cool?

Folklore from the amazonas


Here we are in front of a really pretty catholic church

If you look carefully, you can see our pictures of the baptism of Jesus Christ

As sister baker (and the wife of president Hinckley) said - life is hard, you either have to cry your way through it or laugh your way through it. I choose to laugh, crying give me a headache 


batismo of Erica! Elder Torres, the missionary couple of the office, is her neighbor and got to baptize her. Really sweet experience :)

Sister baker with a Pepsi can that has the face of David Luiz, our favorite futbol player. World cup fever is still alive and well in brasil
at Historic Natal

super special baptism

Pepsi can with our favorite futbol player David Luiz

in front of a Historic Catholic church

in front of a Historic Catholic Church


in Historic Natal

we are scared...?


one year...?

August 6, 2014

So, this past week made ONE YEAR on the mission. I don’t know where the time has gone.
Transfers!!!!!! Drum roll please.....
I’m still here!
Sister Baker is still here!
Our beloved trainee, S. Carvalho got sent AWAY to Caicó!
Needless to say, I’m very very very very very sad. very. I really wanted to actually stay with her for the whole trainamento. But I’ve long since learned the lesson that the Lord knows better than me so I´ll be fine. It’s weirder than weird to just be me and S. Baker again, because we were together for 3 weeks, then trained together in trio for a transfer, and then she left and we´re back at the beginning! Go figure.

DANTAS AND FAMILY WENT TO CHURCH AGAIN - one month strong people! I am entirely convinced that this family is the most important work I will do in this ward. Allyson, their 15-year-old son, received the priesthood :) Next step is to help his dad prepare for the Melquisideque before the next stake conference. (....just like my little brother Benjamin. How did he get so old?)

We had the COOLEST activity Sunday night - The Night of the Missionary Plaque! The ward here has been a little the missionary fire department. I understand, after enough time of go-getters asking for references it gets a little old. So we planned up an activity to help them FEEL the joy that we have every day. Every returned missionary prepared a table with things from their mission - plaques, journals, old planners, fotos, ties, shoes, gifts from investigators and members, all sorts of things! And the rest of the ward walked around looking at the displays, hearing the missionary stories. At the end, we called all the RMs to the front, name tags on, and sang Called To Serve. Lots of happy tears :) It was so neat to see them remember how wonderful it was to be a missionary and we hope that we´ll work with the members a lot more this transfer.

I learned a lot about agency this week (wouldn’t you know, I learn so much more when I am TEACHING the lessons during the lessons than when I am studying. just one more reason to live what we know). We have been teaching a family for a REALLY long time and they haven’t really progressed in a while. We sat down with the mom to find out what it was and - SURPRISE - she never really read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. No wonder it wasn’t going well, if you don’t have a testimony of this than nothing we say makes a difference. She started giving lots of excuses and we asked her what the real problem is. She said...Well, I guess I don’t really want to read this book. If it’s true, God will touch my heart and make me want to read it and then I´ll know. But He hasn’t touched my heart yet, so I don’t really feel like reading it. If God wants it to happen, then it will happen.

Waiting on God to change our lives for us is a FALSE DOCTRINE.
Ensiando e pregado pelo diáblo.
God does not, and will not, control us. It doesn’t work like that. That was the key difference in the war in heaven- Lucifer wanted to control us, Christ wanted to preserve the free agency that we received from our Heavenly Father EVEN IF we would choose the wrong things sometimes. Testimony doesn’t come if we don’t seek after it. We don’t receive answers if all we do is ask. If we are sad and alone and don’t have work or friends or a family because all we do is sit on the couch all day, it’s not because God wants to see us like this and this was His plan. It’s because we never made the choice to ACT.

God wants us to learn. For this, He lets us make our own choices. So we learn! And grow! And become like Him!

Sometimes I wish that God would just make the choice for me. That He would force me on the path and take away my weaknesses and just make me get back to heaven. But that’s not what He does. He teaches me, and helps me learn to make the right choices. And I´m grateful and overwhelmed at the same time at the trust He has in me. And it is the deepest desire of my heart to always be worthy of this trust.

I love you all! Until next week!
-Sister Carroll

July 29, 2014

As Familias Poderao Ser Eternas

July 28, 2014

Twas a good week! Here are some highlights -

Dantas and family!!!! Ahhhh! 3 WEEKS STRAIGHT GOING TO CHURCH! And this time the WHOLE family was there again! And they stayed for all the meetings! Alice received the gift of the Holy Ghost and during the blessing me, Sister Carvalho and Sister Baker all had the distinct feeling that one day she would serve a mission. I can’t wait! Allyson had an interview with the Bishop to receive the priesthood and has been going to Seminary every day! Dantas is not only going to the regular Sunday meetings, but went to the devotional on Sunday night without any member or missionary help...he just paid attention to the announcements in sacrament meeting, and then went! Seriously, this family is so wonderful. (Continued prayers are welcome!)

Last Monday night, we taught them how to do a Family Home Evening. When we showed up, Alderiluce (the mom) had searched out and found all of the church material they had hidden in the house - RS manual, Liahonas, Principles of the Gospel, everything - laid out ready for the FHE! Everyone participated, singing and reading scriptures and when Allice said the prayer at the end, her dad got all emotional and gave her a kiss on the forehead. I had already lost it when we all sang Families Can Be Together Forever :)

We are teaching another wonderful family as well - Ricardo and Cristiane. They have 3 kids, including one with special needs, so they stopped going to church after the kids were born. Cristiane says that she knows it doesn’t matter to God if she is at Church with a screaming baby, but the people inside the churches don’t like it so she stopped going. It was quite touching to explain that God created the church to help families, not to exclude them. They are very excited to go to Church on Sunday and have a baptismal date for the end of the month!!!!! (Prayers welcomed as well).

Basically, Presidente Soares gave an incredible training about the need to find and teach whole families and prepare them to go to the temple. We had a wonderful district meeting that touched on this aspect and Sister Carvalho bore her testimony of her little niece that is 2 years old and already knows when it’s time to pray and who Jesus Christ is. Very emotional. We´ve spent the whole week finding and teaching families and it makes the work so much more satisfying.

The only way to bear any moving testimony of eternal families is when we learn to value our own families. The more love and appreciation we have for our families, the more power behind our words. The Spirit is strongest when we are speaking from personal experience. Dad, I’m grateful for your example and everything you taught me to always do my best. Never Settle. I value even more the letters you send me every week and value the chance to still learn from your example. Mom, I am so glad that you loved me enough to give up everything to stay at home and teach me. To be the only mom on the playground in Boston, with a huge group of nannies. To know that I will always have an email in my inbox and that after 1 year on the mission, my family is still just as faithful in supporting me as you were in the beginning. Benjamin, I’m grateful for your example of love and patience. I am inspired every week with the stories Mom sends and you are NOT a Sunday-only member of the Church. You love, and because you love, you serve and every week it is an inspiration to me.

I understand that we have to have an eternal family to reach the highest degree of exaltation because it is only in FAMILY that we can experience the greatest joys and blessings of eternity. God´s greatest joy comes from seeing His children succeed, so if we want to be like Him this will be our greatest joy and blessing here on Earth and in the heavens. ``All the Father hath´´ as promised to us in the scriptures doesn’t really consist of principalities and worldly power and great mansions. It’s the opportunity to see our families grow....forever. Forever! And what a wonderful blessing it is.

I know that my Redeemer lives and loves me. I stand all amazed at the love that He has, to die for me. But I am in awe of the love of a Father that gave His only Son to die for me. And I will try every day to be worthy of this great gift.

I love you all!
-Sister Carroll

Even the Little Things

Hi everyone!                                                                                    July 21, 2014

 So, this week was actually...normal? If normal weeks exist on the mission. We spent most of the week trying to find new investigators because our work right now has been with less-active families. Which is awesome but....there are definitely people waiting for us, and waiting for the message that only we can bring! It’s been an uphill climb, for sure.

We´ve been working a lot with Dantas and family! It’s been great! The Stake President has been helping us visit them and we taught an incredible lesson on the gift of the Holy Ghost. How much do I appreciate the gift of the Holy Ghost? Out of all the blessings the Lord could promise during the sacred ordinance of the sacrament, it’s the gift to always have his spirit to be with us. Not forgiveness, not health, not safety, not even eternal life - it’s that we can have his spirit for one more week. And when we choose, actively choose, to disobey EVEN THE LITTLE THINGS, especially the little things, we lose a little bit of the Spirit. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it just shows the Lord how little we value the gift he has given us. Think on that.

 So Dantas and the whole family came to church for the SECOND TIME IN A ROW!!!! (....this is the first time in over 5 years. miracles!) And we are going to teach them tonight how to do a family home evening. It’s gonna be great.

Lots of love! Pray for our investigators!
I can just feel it, this next week is gonna be incredible. Stay tuned for more milagres :)

-Sister Carroll

July 14, 2014


Hi there!                                                                                  July 14, 2014

So this week was interesting, I KNOCKED DOORS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY MISSION. Let me explain
I spent the week with another sister, Sister de Oliveira, in what is probably the RICHEST area of the mission. Plus side: we got to go to the gym that’s part of their apartment complex to exercise in the morning. Also, all the members have cars. Down side: it’s really dang hard to find someone who wants to listen to our message.
So it was a really good growing experience for me. I don’t think I´ve been sufficiently grateful for my mission - Missão Brasil Natal. It really is heaven on earth here. In general, the people want to listen! We see miracles every day! We always have people to teach! I am so, SO grateful that the Lord has put me in a place where the people will listen to me. Most of my mission has been teaching, not finding people to teach, and this has made the experience that much sweeter. This past week was a rough wake up call to what the rest of the world is like, when people DONT want to hear and I have an even greater love and respect for the missionaries serving in different parts of the world.

But, live and learn, right? One thing my mission president loves to say is
Ser diligente é fazer tudo certo mesmo que tudo está dando errado. - To be diligent is to do everything right even when everything is going wrong. Words to live by. I’m still working on my diligence.
We are working with 2 WONDERFUL families right now that really, really need your prayers! Dantas and family are a mom, dad, and 4 children that are less-active and live NEXT DOOR to the Church. (Even still, they find excuses to not go to church...?) We have been teaching and preparing they´re youngest daughter, Alice, for baptism these past weeks and she was finally baptized yesterday!!! But the real work is helping the whole family come back. They are so close!!!!! They never went to the temple :( But that’s why we´re here. We taught the plan of salvation and asked Alice (8 years old) if she want to be with her family forever and she said, Yes of course! And the mom almost cried. They are so close, but we don’t know what is keeping them from returning! So....prayers. Please. I just want to get this family to the temple.

We are also teaching Tiago Fransisco and Cristiane, and their 3 sons. We had a really spiritual lesson last night and read John 3 together and asked what it means to be born again. The spirit was SO STRONG and at the end of the lesson it was so natural to invite them all to prepare to be baptized. It was the Spirit that taught everything, and they accepted to prepare for August 10th! We need to help them get married first, but that’s okay we have the Lord on our side. One more family to put on the path to the temple.

Close with a little spiritual thought-
As missionaries (and members) that have taken upon us the name of Christ, we often have a very good idea the weight and responsibilities that this name carries. At least, I never forget. I never forget the magnitude of what I have to do and who I represent. But don’t have the same understanding of all the blessings and saving grace that is the other side of these covenants. When we are sincerely, honestly striving to do our best and give everything the Lord will complete our efforts. Our best efforts won’t always be up to the task, but He has promised to never leave us alone. Never. Remember that covenants are a two-way promise, and the Lord has promised to do His part when we do ours.

I love you all! Until next week!
-Sister Carroll

(Also, I almost cried this week because of the World Cup. It’s just plain sad!!!!! )


July 9, 2014


July 7, 2014

I have not had time to THINK literally all week! Just running and doing and teaching and praying and time to sit and ponder just hasn’t happened so sorry if this email isn’t particularly inspiring. Here are the highlights.
(Also, I never want a civil wedding. just temple. I’m not trunky, but the wedding was so different than what I’ve always imagined for myself. temple wedding = priority. always)

And almost the whole ward counsel was there!!!! Members that go to convert baptisms are my favorite people ever. The Pres of the RS even introduced Cintia´s visiting teacher for her. Literally perfect!

A YM that received all the lessons with other sisters, but his parents never let him get baptized showed up at church and said, I want to be baptized today and my mom said I could. UM, MIRACLE?!?!?! He passed the baptismal interview with flying colors and we had a lovely baptismal service with lots of support from the members....the YM Pres is his neighbor :)

Right now I’m working on memorizing the national anthem during language study. Its reeaaallly hard, those of you with YouTube should go listen to it.

So, this month is my month of faith. I like to think that I have a lot of faith in Jesus Christ, but there are plenty of his teachings that I don’t quite have a testimony yet. I decided that I really wanted to gain a testimony of a LIVING PROPHET. And the best way to do that what he teaches us! Put it in practice! And he has been teaching us for the past 2 YEARS PEOPLE that Now is the moment for members and missionaries to work together to bring souls to Christ. Work together :)

You know, sometimes it’s challenging to be a missionary. We love the members and we get sad and frustrated when it’s not only the people on the street that constantly reject us, but the very members of Christ´s church that reject our invitations as well. Invitations to act - to teach, to invite, to open their mouths. To pray. To help. So...after a while we stop asking. It appears easier to work alone. But this month, I’m not going to do that! I’m going to try my very, very best to follow what a prophet of God has taught us. I’m going to love the members, I’m going to serve them, and I am going to help them understand the same joy that I feel every day! The joy of feeling the Spirit touch other people through our righteous choices :)

You know how the prophets always ask for the members to pray specifically every day for missionary moments? Well, I’ve flipped the invitation this past week. I´ve been praying every day to have ´member moments´. Opportunities every single day to work with the members and help them get involved in our work and help them help their friends and family as well. And would you believe it? Every. Single. Day. I have taught a friend or family member of some brother or sister in the ward, with the member sitting at my side and testifying. I have seen the light of the missionary fire in their eyes and helped them remember how good it is to serve other people. And I LOVE to work with these wonderful brothers and sisters!

Please, if you have ever raised your hand to the square to sustain our prophet, please listen to what the Lord is asking us to do. Help the missionaries. Better yet, help your friends who don’t know the glorious news! And then after, invite the missionaries!

I love you all very much :)
-Sister Carroll

June 30, 2014


                                                                                                  June 30, 2014

Okay, so it’s only been half a week since email so I’ll keep it short - here are the highlights

So, the day after transfers we had ANOTHER crazy transfer!!!! (Have I had time to breathe? No. between the world cup and transfers we were on the street maybe 2 days this week ahhhhh)

Another sister in the mission broke her foot, so they sent Sister Baker in her place to work and Sister Smith stayed in a kind-of trio with us! She studied and slept with us, but spent the day with members. BUT now she is in a trio with Presidente e Sister Soares, so it’s back to just me and minha filinha for now :)

We totally got to watch Saturday´s game with Presidente and Sister Soares at their house! Ahhhhh!!!! It was SUCH a nail biter but so much fun :) The assistentes were there too, and I think I’ve heard every pun that can be made about missionary work and soccer haha

Cristina and Eduardo (mom and son) were really excited to be baptized on Sunday, but they decided not to at the last minute. Very sad. It’s so hard to watch people you love make the wrong decisions. I love them so much and only want the best, but they weren´t willing to raise their own moral standards. Very sad.

BUT THE GOOD NEWS is that we will be spending 4th of July at the WEDDING of Cintia and Jeorge!!!!! And Cintia will be baptized on Saturday! Miracles never cease!!!! We´ve been teaching them since before I got here (weddings require lots of paperwork), and its finally happening :) Jeorge is a less active member that is coming back, and bringing his wife and family with him. There are few things more beautiful than this :)

And the lesson of the week comes from Sister Carvalho. One thing I really admire about her is that she ALWAYS ends her prayers saying, Seja feita tua vontade Pai e não nossa (Thy will be done, not ours). Just this little phrase has completely flipped the way I look at the work I´m doing. If I sincerely pray with all my heart, might, mind, and strength that the will of the Lord be done during that particular day, I know that He responds to the prayers of His faithful servants! So when we give EVERYTHING and it still doesn’t work out the way we planned or wanted, I have a strong conviction that what happened was the will of the Lord and I can look for other opportunities to teach other people and change my plans. It’s not always easy to accept His will, but my plans are so wrong most of the time and I would rather just do what He desires for my area. Our companionship is  developing a connection much stronger and sweeter with the Lord as we sincerely seek to do His will.

I love the mission! I love life! I love soccer! I love my calling!
-Sister Carroll

I feel like I’m serving in England (so much rain)
Also, Glaydson was baptized the first week I got here! He turned 12, and went to the temple last week!
Thanks for the birthday presents mom :)

birthday outfit

the World Cup has taken over Brazil. Sister Carroll & the other missionaries in the office were able to watch the match between Brazil & Chile with their mission president on Saturday

view from her mission presidents apt

it rains allot in Natal

June 26, 2014

Never a Dull Moment

June 25, 2014

Okay. My head is spinning. Let’s get it all out

Firstly - thank you for the birthday well-wishes! I’m sorry if I don’t respond to all of you, or only a little bit, but I appreciate the love! Everyone says that people back home forget about you after 6 months on the mish but I almost at 1 year and still feel the love :) I got the happy birthday song sung to me more than 6 times by various members, investigators, and companions and it was a blast :) the highlight was a yummy cake and birthday lunch with the Bishop and his family! also, the birthday package helped too :) pics next week...I promise!

Scratch that, the highlight was definitely the spirit. I felt like Heavenly Father gave me a greater portion of the spirit all day so that the sacrament meant more, our lessons were more spiritual, I knew exactly what scripture to share, and we found the addresses that the RS pres gave to us with hardly any trouble. It was almost like Heavenly Father gave me a vision of how missionary work SHOULD be, with the Spirit, so now I have an ideal to work towards.

Also, for you Dad, Bishop asked me to say the opening prayer in sacrament meeting. I laughed and remembered how when you were bishop you always called people to say the prayer on their birthday. It was a little piece of home :)

Secondly - BENJAMIN IT’S YOUR 18th BIRTHDAY!!! FREAK!!! When did you get so old? Make the most of the next few days to be a child and do silly things while you still can. Oh wait, I still act like a kid sometimes :p your birthday present will get put in the mail today! I hope you are watching the soccer games! Also, King Benjamin is like my new hero in the Book of Mormon. I’ve been studying his life lately and there are very few people that have a more noble heritage and noble name. Live up to it :)

Thirdly - TRANSFERENCIAS!!!!!!

After only 2-3 weeks in the area, I got a phone call that I would get the chance to train again!!!! Yay!!!!! So awesome :) I’m nervous, but I know the Lord trusts me so we´ll obviously be okay. My new companion is Sister Carvalho, from Rio Grande do Sul (2 time!) and i’s learning LOTS of new words. She has a super strong testimony, super strong desire, and is really in tune with the spirit. Also, she’s like a boss with push-ups so I’m going to actually get in shape this transfer haha.

But the REAL kicker came that night, dinner with Presidente. I was lifting a fork to my mouth when he announces for the whole table - Sister, you are being called as Sister Leader Trainadora. Also, Sister Baker is being called as Sister Leader Trainadora. You will stay in trio, training Sister Carvalho, and be the first companionship of sister leaders in the mission! Good luck!

Um, hello!!!!!!!! Needless to say, i lost my appetite real quick haha

So. I was subconsciously asking the Lord to give me a chance to do more this past week. Ask, and you will receive. I have no idea what I’m doing BUT the Lord will teach us how to do His work in His way, and if we are obedient and pray a lot then He will carry us through. I have little faith in me, but A LOT of faith in Him and that’s really all that matters in the end, right?

Presidente showed us 2 scriptures - JSH 1: 26 (?) and D&C 135:3 (?)

Basically, it’s about Joseph Smith. The first, he is sorrowful and confused about all his weaknesses and sins. The second, says that Joseph Smith did more for the salvation of men than any other man that walked the face of this Earth, after Jesus Christ who is literally our Savior. Both scriptures talk about the same man. Moral of the story, I don’t have to be perfect in order to make a difference. And YOU don’t have to be perfect in order to make a difference. Just try to help people! Share the gospel! Do something good! It’s not perfect, but you can change lives. We have the power, we have the opportunity, and we have the duty to do so.

My favorite scripture of the mission: Mosiah 8:18

Please pray for my companions, and for our investigators - Cristina, Artur, Eduardo, and Ana Paula. They need your help and prayers more than I do!

Love you all!
-Sister Carroll