January 16, 2014

Expect the Unexpected

January 15,2014

Dear fam e amigos,
Transfers!!!! Today is transfer day and let me tell you, the Lord (and Presidente Soares) have an odd sense of humor! I got transferred....to another ward in the stake that is right next to my area!

S. Christensen and I have been in Urick Graff ward, and S. Sousa and S. Gonzales have been in Belo Horizonte ward and tomorrow after our district meeting, we are going to switch! S. Gonzales is headed to Urick Graff and I will be comps with S. Sousa!

 (Yes, Ellen, the S. Sousa that your comp knows! The church world is so small)

 Basically....this is going to be really strange haha. To still see my old comp at all of our missionary meetings but not be companions! Also, there are a lot of members in our ward that travel the stake every Sunday, so I will still see my old ward all the time too! It’s a weird mix of HUGE CHANGES but so many similar elements weaving in and out. Might take a bit of adjusting, but I do LOVE Staca MossorĂ³ so it’s nice to stay in my little piece of home for a while (I have been here since September).

BUT. Here is the really cool part.

In the midst of doing lots of divisions the past couple weeks, I had the opportunity to go to Belo Horizonte and work there for a couple days and just in those two days I had so much love for the people! I helped find some investigators, and start teaching them, and even invited a young man to be baptized (and he accepted!) I just felt so much love for the area that I actually cried leaving them, after just 2 days. But now I get to go back! And I am so so SO excited to see these people again! I’m very grateful that the Lord gave me that little bit of preparation. It is so easy to see His hand in the work.

 I had a very interesting experience on Monday that will probably stick with me for a long, long time. The past few weeks I have been really struggling with the question of the power and autoridade of missionaries. All the scriptures teach me that with faith I can do anything, and stories of amazing miracles - healing the sick, casting out devils, curing the blind. Really amazing stuff. But I have just felt very powerless here in comparison. Not that I want to do these amazing miracles just to feel all cool. That isn’t it at all. It’s just these people that I love so much that are suffering so much and I just feel like I can’t do anything to help them.


There is a recent convert, a yw, that we baptized 2 months ago, and her little sister, so we still visit them and their family a few times a week. The family situation isn’t fantastic and they are very, very humble. They are so poor that I honestly don’t know where their food comes from or even if they had enough to eat. I just don’t know. Most of the children, and the parents, can’t read. They are the kind of family that makes my heart hurt. But as humble as their situations are, they still give SO MUCH. So much of themselves. And I just started crying in the lesson as we sang hymns to them because I felt so powerless to help them. I want to give them everything and I just don’t have the means to do so.

Our next appointment was with a less active guy who is my age. He hasn’t come to church in almost a year, but still has one of the strongest testimonies I have ever, ever seen. We have been visiting him on and off for 3 months and he is INCREDIBLE! This past week, S. Christensen and I have prayed to know who we could help, who the Lord needs us to visit of all the menos ativos and investigators we have. And we had the strongest impression to fast and pray for this guy, and do all we could to help him. Which is strange, because he hasn’t given any indication that he had any interest in going to church. But we went to visit him and the spirit was SO STRONG!!! He started opening up (first time in 3 months!) and we started resolving some issues and he asked us to come back and just teach him stories from the book of Mormon again so he can feel the spirit and feel motivated to come back to Church. It was a MIRACLE!!!!!

 So maybe I don’t have the power to make food magically appear. And maybe I can’t heal sick children to make the mom´s life easier. BUT. I have the opportunity to be a mouthpiece for the Spirit of the Lord. God can use me to touch the hearts of His children. I can soften hearts, I can bring the Spirit into a home, and I can help people change. And this is a power that brings real miracles, with results that will last not just for this life but for all eternity! And I am so incredibly humbled to know that the Lord trusts me with this responsibility and opportunity. The Lord rarely asks His missionaries to move a mountain or part the Red Sea, figuratively speaking. He asks us to love the people and help them change their hearts. And that is miracle enough for me.

 I love you all!

 Keep your eyes open for the little miracles that happen every day in your lives!

-Sister Carroll

January 7, 2014

New years, Divisions, and corny inspirational thoughts

                                                                                                                JANUARY 6, 2014

Hi all!

This week has been so strange, and next week is going to be so strange, and all and all time is just FLYING by! I have been doing divisions like crazy!  I spent a few days, including New Years, with a really sweet Bolivian sister in another area. Everyone here goes to the beach for new years (you think I’m lying when I say everyone. I’m not. the streets are DESERTED!!!!! imagine downtown salt lake city, with literally no one. that was how Mossoro was) but there were apparently some people left over, hiding, because there were fireworks going off all night! We spent a little bit of time at a members home, and she taught me how to make cuzcuz! it’s so yummy! And impossible to describe...I will just make it for you when I come home!

Then Sister Christensen went to Natal for a mission leader thingy and I am in this weird limbo without a companion! I mean, I’m never alone but it’s still odd. I spend the mornings with the other dupla in our house, and then go out to work with Camila, a member who is AWESOME!!!!! She is my age, and preparing to go on a mission, so it’s great for both of us :) her testimony is inspiring

Once sister Christensen gets back, we will be doing another division with some other sisters and then TRANSFERS!!!! dun dun dunnnnnnnn!

(So mom, don’t worry when I don’t email on Monday, next week pday is Wednesday. it would not surprise me if I had some interesting news. Things are gonna get changed up)

So this past Sunday was a little hard. We didn’t have any investigators at Church and our baptism fell through...and then Sister Christensen left (rather unexpectedly). So I was feeling a little down. And then I just was thinking during sacrament meeting, you know Heavenly Father it would be really nice if   (insert awesome hymn here) was the sacrament hymn today. it would make me happy. AND BAM! Not 30 seconds later, they announce the sacrament hymn as what I was just thinking of! It was a nice tender mercy.

So i was thinking, Heavenly Father really has all power. He can do anything He wants. He knows me, He loves me, and He has the power to take away all my frustrations. He could have arranged things so Sister Christensen could have stayed here an extra day. He could have gotten my investigators to Church. He could have taken away all my problems. BUT. He didn’t. Because He trusts me and He knows that I can handle them and He wants to give me the opportunity to grow.

I was reading a talk by Elder Oaks yesterday that basically says (I’m paraphrasing):

God has the power to send legions of angels to do His work on the Earth. But He doesn’t. He chooses to allow us to do the work instead because He knows that it is only through these experiences that we will become the people He knows we can become  .

 So...God knows what He is doing. And when things get tough, be grateful because it’s a sign that God knows you are capable. And don’t get too dejected to miss all the tender mercies, the little blessings that He sends literally every hour!

I love you alll SOOOOOO MUCH. Beijos and cherios por tudo.

-Sister Carroll 
because zone meeting are so far away - we take a bus

Christmas eve 2013

Christmas eve 2013

Christmas eve 2013

with Stake president Nibson Christmas eve 2013

its a Brazilian flag

my comp - Sister Christiansen

just because we cant ride them doesn't mean we cant take a picture with them