May 29, 2014

Memorial Day?

       May 26, 2014

Okay, so Oscar is INCREDIBLE! It’s been 2 weeks, no 3, since his baptism and he received the priesthood yesterday and a calling! He is secretary for the YM and SO excited to serve :) That’s the awesome thing about recent-converts; they just are on fire and so willing to participate. He´s gonna be a great home teacher. We had a really wonderful lesson with him about the priesthood, and in the end he basically begged for a priesthood blessing. This makes me so happy! You know why? Because he knows where to turn for help. When things don’t go well, he turns to the gospel. NOT the missionaries, but the GOSPEL. He reads the scriptures, he looks for opportunities to go to Church, he understands the blessings of the priesthood, and (possibly the best thing), he looks to the BISHOP for help! Not us, but the BISHOP! This is when a member really is integrated with the ward :) He has been having some health problems...and also, the friends that he is living with have turned really sour against the Church and told us to stop visiting him. But in all this, he is humble, patient, and faithful. He gives me hope. Any and all prayers for Oscar are appreciated.

We had a WONDERFUL devotional last night! The counseleiro do presidente da missão came to visit and talked about family history (....okay. normally a really annoying topic for missionaries because we have no time or access to computers to put in practice what they preach. or temples.) BUT he talked a lot about the grand counsel in heaven. How everyone that is a member of the Church, who has been blessed to be born at a time with the restored gospel was especially chosen to be a savior in mount Zion before the world was created. We have the chance to save SO MANY PEOPLE.  We were giving responsibilities with these blessings. I just have this image that won’t leave my head of God explaining to me - Alysha, in my great plan you will be responsible to help the people living in Brasil Natal, Caico, Mossoro. You will take care of this corner of my vineyard. You will be the example that I place in Manchester Memorial High School to plant the seeds for many of your classmates to accept the gospel later in life. You will also be responsible for this group of people here that will be your ancestors that lived without the priesthood authority on the earth. You will be an instrument in my hands to help my children. Will you fulfill this responsibility?

And then I came to earth and passed through the veil and I don’t remember making that promise but I have the gospel now and my responsibility is still valid. And I can help SO MANY PEOPLE! Nothing is a coincidence in the plan of God. That’s why it’s called a PLAN. He puts people in our lives for a reason, and puts us in the life of other people for a reason.

If you are a member of this Church and reading this, I believe that a very similar conversation happened between you and God as well. He gave you people to help and to save, and you promised to bring them back with you to the best of your ability.

Of course, the center of this whole plan is Jesus Christ. I feel like I can’t send a letter home without mentioning him. He is THE Savior, the only one with the ability and responsibility to save all mankind. And He did. And I will be forever grateful to Him for what He sacrificed to save me.

I love you all!
-Sister Carroll

May 22, 2014

A short one!

May 19, 2014

Hey all!

Short email this week, I don’t know where the time went!

Saturday morning we helped a single sister in the ward with yard work. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun. I was reminded of how important it is to have priesthood in the home. This sister is like a mom of the missionaries, but she doesn’t have any priesthood and its hard and beautiful to watch how the elders take care of her. Give priesthood blessings; help with yard work, etc. Its amazing to see the difference that a good priesthood holder can have in the home. Its all about service. I never, NEVER can imagine home without my dad and my brother, and I wouldn’t be able to live without being married to a strong priesthood holder.

Enough trunkiness. I have a while on the mission still hahah :)

We baptized an INCREDIBLE young man yesterday! His name is Avila, he received all the missionary lessons and then started leaving with us to go visit all his friends! We are already planning the baptism of his best friend Donovan! I have never met a 13-year-old that grasped the principle of service so quickly. (He got up super early to make his mom breakfast on mother’s day. This is rare for 13-year-old boys). Avila  is basically already a little missionary, it makes me so excited to think where he is going to be in a few years :)

Annnnnnd obedience brings blessings, but obedience with exactness brings miracles. And missionaries need miracles every day :)

-Sister Carroll!

May 17, 2014

My testimony of Christ

My testimony of Christ

So this is a little different and if you all don’t have time to read, I understand. (1 hour is pretty dang short)...but I wanted to write out a bit of my study journal. I was reading in Mathew 16:15-16, when Christ asks Peter, Quem dizeis que eu sou? (Who do you say that I am?) Many people had (and still have) a distorted and half-complete understand of Christ, but Peter responded: Thou art the Christ, the Son of God.
So I spent some time thinking how I would respond to the same question, if given the chance.

 Quem dizeis que eu sou?

He is my perfect Example. I know the path to follow to return to my Heavenly Father by observing what He did and who He is. When I have doubts or am confused about what decision to make, I look to my Example and follow Him.

He is the Counselor. He guides me along the path. He hears my prayers, He understands perfectly my pains and challenges and temptations, and He knows how to succor me. He gives answers and guidance every single time that I ask in faith.

He is my Leader without equal. He motivates me to do my best because I love Him and know that He loves me. I am astounded at the confidence He has in me and strive to be worthy of this confidence.

He is the Comforter in every situation, whether it is a result of my own poor choices or just because life is sometimes hard. He comforts me when I am sad and disheartened. He shows love for me when I suffer because of my own imperfections and weaknesses.

He is the Master Teacher. He teaches me the principles of the gospel in a manner that is so easy and so clear to understand. He always teaches me at a level that I need to understand, and I learn the same lessons over and over again with a little more depth with every year that passes. He teaches using the scriptures, living prophets, and the whisperings of the Spirit, but more importantly, He puts me in situations and then allows me to learn by experience.

He is the Author of my Salvation- the salvation of every living person, and also my personal salvation. Knowing me and loving me, He created a plan for my life that would lead me to eternal life. He gave me a specific family for this purpose, and each person, each challenge, and each situation of my life He planned to give me the experience and the example that I need to improve.

He is my Rock. He is always with me, has always been with me, and always will be at my side to support me. No matter what else changes, He is always here.

He is my Savior and Redeemer - His most important purpose. He took upon Him the punishment for all the things that I fall short of and that keep me from the presence of my Heavenly Father. He suffered everything, and opened the door for repentance. I can change and improve every day of my life because of Him. I can be forgiven. He gives me grace and strength to change what I am not capable to change for myself. I will leave the bad behind and choose the better part and this is only possible because of Him that loves me so much that He gave His life for me.

He lives and one day I will see Him face to face!
-Sister Carroll

lessons learned...and lessons that need to be relearned

May 14, 2014
Dear Everyone,
Transfers week!!! Always a crazy ride. Drumroll please......


Basically, almost no one in our whole district was changed! The Elders are all the same, the sisters that live with us are the same, and it’s just going to be...normal? Does normal even exist on the mission?

Good news: The work just barely started picking up again in the area. We found out yesterday that there are 6 less-active members that live ON OUR STREET. Who knew? So it´ll be a wonderful ride helping them come back to church and helping their familes accept the gospel as well. We also have some great families that we are teaching :)
 Bad news: I swear I´ve talked to everyone that lives in our area already. So we´ll have to get creative to find new investigators.

Good news: I love my companion to pieces! Yay :) I feel like I didn’t do training as well as I could have, so I’m grateful to stay with her a little longer and we can learn more and more together! She has also been teaching me Spanish for the past few weeks and I’m getting pretty good so another 6 weeks will really help!
Bad news:  I´m the companion of a sassy Argentinian during the World Cup in Brasil. ´nuff said.

Good news: All the missionaries that I love are staying too!
Bad news: We´re all best friends at this point and need work on be a little more focused

Basically, I was getting pretty down about the area the past few weeks and really thought that I would be it was a bit of a shock to hear that I would be staying for a third transfer. BUT I woke up today so excited to work and change things and really make a difference in the lives of the people here. Its feels like the Lord is giving me a second chance with this area and I´m determine to make the most of it.

Mother’s day was WONDERFUL!!!! :D yay for family! I had trouble speaking English! (Heaven help me in another 9 months)
Love you all, até segunda-feira!
-Sister Carroll