June 9, 2014

Don't it always seem to go,that you don't know what you've got til its gone...

...paved paradise to put up a parking lot! (okay I haven't heard this music in so long)
SO. Transferênica de emergênia!!!!
Basically, everything changed this week and my mind is still reeling! 
Tuesday night, I got an unexpected phone call that said - Tomorrow morning you will leave Caicó and go to Natal! Your companion will be Sister Baker! Your new area is the area of the secretary of the missão! 

Its a little bittersweet, because the Spirit spend all of Tuesday prompting me to be a little more grateful and I just kept pushing the thought away because Tuesday was one of those days when nothing went right. I thought, I´ll be grateful tomorrow let me wallow in a little bit of self-pity murmuring for today. But then...I was transferred.
Not gonna lie, it was a hard lesson to learn. Serve with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, and LOVE with all your heart might mind and strength. In thoroughness is satisfaction. I love everything about Caicó and its been a doubly hard adjustment because I know that I didn't appreciate it the way I should have. 
The good news of the gospel is, no one is perfect and because we know about the Atonement, we don't have to suffer TOO HARD for our mistakes. We feel sorrow, and we repent. We change. Believe me, I will never make the same mistake again and I am very excited to throw my whole self into my new area :) The great hope of the gospel is that we can always be a better version of ourselves through the grace of Christ.
I think the straw that broke the camel´s back when I left was Bispo Armando, ala Seridó. He told me that I really made a difference, that I really changed the ward. It seems like a small thing, but I really feel like my work in Caicó was almost more with the members than with the investigators. I worked SO HARD for them! And a lot of times it didn't seem to bring results. But to hear the Bishop, who i LOVE, thank me for what I did there...well, maybe I cried a little bit haha
Okay. So my new area is Ala Alecrim Natal! Some fun facts:
We share the ward with the secretaries! And live 2 minutes from the heart of the mission! Its really a happening place! 
We live in the Lucy Home, which is like a hostel for sister missionaries. The sisters spend their last night in the mission here, and the newbies spend their first night in the mission with us. Its gonna make transfers all that more interesting!
The Mission President and his wife are ALWAYS here. We´ll probably see them 2-3 times a week. I'm excited to get to know them better. They´ve offered to teach with us and invite our investigators to have FHE with them!
We also live, I kid you not 10 MINUTES from Stádio das Dunas - The stadium for the World Cup here in Natal! LET THE CRAZINESS BEGIN. Its such an exciting time to be here in Brasil! There are flags painted on the streets, on the cars, on the houses, balloons everywhere, decorations, the whole 9 yards! I´ll send pics next week
Sister Baker is going to be a GREAT companion!!!! She's my second American on the mission. Its a weird dynamic, because she actually entered the CTM the same day as me but she spent half of her mission stateside and only has about a transfer here! She has lots of different ideas about missionary work from her other mission - I will learn A LOT from her and I hope that I can help her adapt a bit more to the mission culture here too. We are both leader personalities, which always makes things interesting, but that also means that we have a lot of wonderful potential together :) 
The investigators here are perfect! More about them next week, but real quick - Glaydson, a YM of almost 12 years old was baptized yesterday! And now we are teaching his whole family and his older brothers are preparing for baptism next week! Please pray for Artur and Eduardo!
Okay, I know this email is already super long but just a couple more things.
Our success on the mission (or in life) is directly connected to WHO we are, not just WHAT we do. When we make a specific effort to become more Christ like in who we are and our interactions with other people, the Lord blesses us in all the aspects of our life. 
Its rare to put real effort into things. I can remember a handful of really sacred experiences when I prayed with REAL sincere heart, when I had REAL faith, when I literally gave my all to the Lord. And every time, a miracle followed. I want to build up a bit of consistency, so that its a part of who i am to serve with my whole self, and not hold anything back. Its scary, but it brings results!
congrats to Molly on her mission call!
love you all,
Sister Carroll 

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