Monday, December 31, 2012

This is our surprise Christmas picture from Dallin!!!  This letter was attached to his picture:

December 25, 2012

I am a missionary at the Sao Paulo temple. My husband and I serve at the MTC on Sundays. Your son is in our branch. For a Christmas present to you I took a picture of him and his companion today during the Christmas festivities. It was casual dress for the afternoon. Really, he is usually in a suit and tie. Merry Christmas!
Sister Stephenson
Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas! It's pretty weird having the Christmas season in the summer in a tropical place, but it's cool. Last night we sang carols in front of the MTC. It was way cool. I couldn't tell if the people across the street listening to us were all members or a mixed group because there were a lot of people who came who work for the mtc here. It was still cool though. When we were done singing we went across the street and shook everyone's hands and wished them a Feliz Natal. If I knew how to say anything else in Portuguese I would have had some actual conversations but I guess we'll save that for next Christmas. We still don't know what is planned for us for Christmas here. If it was just a day of relaxation I would be quite content, maybe throw a service project in there somewhere.
So from I'm hearing from everyone's emails everything is going alright. Hopefully the Falcons can stay good this season and pull a superbowl championship. Hope Charlie is doing well now. It sounds like he was having some weird stuff going on. Keep me updated. Also Happy Anniversary! 24 years is a long time. Is that almost the silver one? idk. And congratulations to Easton on recieveing the priesthood! That's a big step. He's getting old. 
Tell Ashton to send me an email.
So this week I feel like I plateaued a little bit with the language. I learned some new grammar stuff but nothing I really know how to use in everyday speech. It's pretty hard to remember everything you learn here. I have Brazilian roommates and it's so hard to talk to them. It's pretty frustrating but I just have to use the vocabulary that I have to work around what I want to say. I don't really know anything outside of talking about the gospel, which is OK cause that's why I'm here. I just want to get out into the field and learn by doing. That's the best way I know how to learn. All the Brazilians say the best and most beautiful place in Brazil is Recife. That makes me and my short companion very excited and also gives us a little bit of pride even though we've never actually been there.
I'm still working out. They have a mini track here that's like 200 meters long. We do sprints on it and then they also have a staircase that is fun to work out on. Pull ups, push ups, sit ups, all day every day. I'm having a hard time trying to think of interesting stuff to write about cause every day is the same here. My testimony is definitely growning here. I guess reading the scriptures and studying the gospel every day will do that to you. I've found that if I have a question in mind when I'm reading the Book of Mormon, it will be answered every time. It's amazing. The depth of any chapter in the Book of Mormon can do this. This week we fasted that Elder Frogley's Dad would have a successful knee surgery because if it wasn't successfull he would have been stuck in a wheelchair. Needless to say, it was successful so fasting works. The Gospel is cool that way. We just have to have faith that if we do our part the Lord will meet us half way. Well, I love you all. Hope you have a great Christmas and that all of your wildest dreams come true (Pedro voice) .
Elder Dallin Carroll
Wed.  December 19, 2012
Dear Family,
We are pleased to be able to send you a picture of your missionary´s recent visit to theSão Paulo temple. The morning they enter as a group is a very sacred experience for them, and it is an experience that is always anticipated with much excitement. We know they will treasure this remembrance.
It is a great honor to serve with each of these fine young people and to watch their growth as they learn more about their sacred calling of a missionary. We have a great love and respect for each one of them.
Thank you for your support for them. They love to receive emails and letters from you, and feel of your love. We know that your family will feel the blessings of their service.
President and Sister Degn

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 18, 2012

Hello family!

It's nice to finally be able to email again. It seems like the week goes by fast and slow at the same time. Things are going well here. Yesterday one of the Brazilian teams beat Chelsea so there were fireworks and people yelling in the streets all day. It was insane. We'd be studying and then we would hear BOOM! I sure which we could do that in America. Too many laws I guess... I've made a lot of Brazilian friends here even though I can't understand half the things they're saying. We also got 2 new Brazilian roommates. They don't understand any English so it's really good practice. All the Brazilians are hilarious. It's amazing how you can laugh with someone even though you don't understand anything they're saying. We're also learning a lot of slang. We're told not to but how are we just not going to learn Portuguese slang... come on.

Funny story... So we were teaching our teacher a mock lesson about the plan of salvation and my companion was talking about why God wants us to be here. He said in Portuguese, "God sent us here to be testical..." our teacher started laughing out of nowhere so she broke her character a little bit. We had no idea what he had he said right then. We were wondering why she laughed because she's the one who never laughs or smiles or anything. Five minutes later into the lesson both of my companions started laughing cause they realised what had happened.. And I was still completely oblivious to the whole situation while they were trying to keep their composure (they were doing a really bad job of it). Anyways I was all by myself in teaching the rest of it and they closed it before I could challenge her to read or pray or anything cause they just couldn't take it anymore. So dumb. Funny as heck though.

On that note.... The weather here is standable now since it's been raining for the past couple of days. It definitely doesn't feel like Christmas, not just because of the weather though. It's because we're in a bubble compound place with no culture in it except for Christmas hymns, which even then don't bring in that much Christmas spirit believe it or not. It don't matter though.  Apparently Nike is really hard to get here because  when I whipped out a pair of my Nike shorts in the room one of my Brazilians got really excited and pretty much wanted to trade all of his possessions for them. I got a sick orange tie and a Fortaleza jersey out of the trade. The jersey is way cool, red, white and blue stripes.

This thing would be cool if you actually used it. You can also add other people onto it. You just link email addresses to your account and they get to use it for free. It's like 9 bucks a month or something like that. Also, I'm pretty sure hand written letters take a week to get from there to here. I'm not sure how long it takes to get letters from here to there though.

The Sao Paulo temple is super cool. It has a lot of gold trim on the inside and palm trees on the outside. The Celestial room is spectacular. Its not big, but the whole theme of it is amazing.

Gym time is fun here. When it rains it leeks onto the gym floor for some reason though. So they have to mop it up and stuff. It's alright though. I like playing volleyball here more than basketball.  In Provo everyone was chill about playing basketball. I've gotten pretty good at spiking the heck out of the ball, so fun. There aren't weights to use here like there were in Provo though so my roommates and I just do pullups and pushups, stair sprints and situps, etc... bodyweight stuff just repping everything out. That's really all you need. I haven't gained or lost weight. That either means I've lost muscle and gained fat or just stayed the same. I hope it's the latter.

I still haven't been informed of a blog that's been made or a missiontie account started. I would love it if that would happen. You can decide for yourself what needs to be censored haha. When you make the account for missionties, make sure you add everyone's email addresses to it so they don't have to pay. Its 9 buck a month for you... maybe I already told you that. But make sure you put that up on facebook to please.

Tell Ashton to send me an email or something. I've only heard from her once. She owns a laptop for crying out loud. And I hope charlie is okay. That weird scab thing sounds... weird. Keep me updated. Also keep the sports updates coming, they're legit. I guess right now our house is covered with Christmas. I do miss it but I know I'm in the right place. Everyone keeps saying these Christmases will be the best of my life. I don't think they realise how amazing Christmas is in the Carroll household! Traditions out the wazoo. Those gummybears are still being eaten and conserved to last as long as possible. Those are my favorite. Also I haven't finished the builder bars. Those are my other favorites. I have a list of things I need once I get to Recifie. You can just go ahead and send them to the mission home there and I will get them when I get there. I heard packages take 3 weeks anyways so it'll be right on time for my arrival.
I hope everything is going alright. It sounds like the normal life.  I'm glad to be here. I met a guy at the temple today who had been here for a year and he said not to even worry about the language. The mtc is stressful in that way. Everyone is pretty competitive in how fast they learn the language and who can speak it the best. Well, at least I am. I'm ready to get out of here. It's the same thing every day. And I'm not sure how Christmas is going to work out here, probably just like how Thanksgiving was in Provo, service project and a movie. Yay. Haha whatever. I'll be alright. I love you all so much and miss you tons. Keep me updated with everything!

Love Elder Dallin Carroll

All Is Well in Brazil

December 11, 2012
Hello family!
Everything is going well here in BRAZIL.  I still kind of can't believe I'm in a diferent continent or country. It's way hot here, like Georgia in the summer. But, I'm getting used to it. I had a fever on Sunday and got a priesthood blessing that day to remove it and it was gone the next day. Pretty wild. It strengthened my testimony of the priesthood for sure. My temperature was about 102.
The food here is good but it's like the same thing everyday. They have a lot of fruit that I haven't tried, like guava. We were sitting with the Brazilians at lunch and they were laughing so hard because I was trying to eat just the pink part. Apparently you eat the whole thing. It's funny talking to the brazilians. They all know a little bit of english but, not from school. They just learn it from videogames and shows from America. It's hilarious.
It's good to hear that I'll be able to sleep in a queen bed when i get back... cough... it better happen. You need to figure out how to use that mission ties thing. Its basically like dear elder. I don't really have time to explain it.
I'm in a trio companionship. Its legit. We're all good friends already and don't really hate each other. My teachers are both native brazilians. One is a long, lanky dark guy who is hilarious. He never stops smiling, you gotta love him. He teaches us a lot of slang. My other teacher is this short dark sister. She never smiles or laughs. You know you say or do something hilarious when you even get a chuckle out of her. My language is coming a long. It's a lot to learn in such a short period of time. I'm really focusing on how to conjugate my verbs and learn new vocabulary. It's tough. We went out on the street today cause we are allowed to on P Day.  We tried talking to this guy and had no idea what he was saying. It makes me feel dumb because all I do is study Portuguese all day and I can't understand squat when I try to apply what I've learned. If you haven't noticed I'm not too worried about grammar or punctuation because I have little time to write.
I just started wearing my other Eccos with the longer toes than the other ones that were killing my feet. They're awesome. I'm trying to sell the other pair. Um what else? We live on the 4th floor of the CTM and we can see the skyline of Sao Paulo pretty well. It's awesome. There's a guy that blows a pteridactile whistle that walks by every night without fail. It's ridiculous. Elders throw apples at him I've heard. iIwant to try to send a package for Christmas but I don't know how much it will cost. I want to send Brazil stuff.  I don't know, we'll see. The city is so dirty. It makes me know how lucky I am to be from where I'm from. Suwanee is the bomb but, this is a sweet experience for sure! I'm glad im here. I love you all and can't wait to receive the next email. I'll send ya'll some letters today too through the missionaryties thing. Love you! Bye!!!
Elder Dallin Carroll

First Letter from Brazil

Dec. 10, 2012

Hello Family,
I am currently residing in the Sao Paulo MTC.  It’s hot and humid here.  It’s way better than Provo because it’s more relaxed and it has better, more authentic food.  I also got a new companion.

The city here is huge, miles and miles on end.  We walked through the city where we’re allowed to go on P-Days.  It was a bit of a culture shock.  The cars and people don’t watch where they are going.  They just go.  I feel dumb trying to understand people but I know I shouldn’t.

I’ve come to realize that the particular pants I’m wearing don’t breathe.  It’s like I’m wearing plastic!  There’s a cookie place across the street where I can email.  They have a program kind of like but it’s not free.  They apparently have options where you can send me stuff through them, but they gather the stuff here and give it to me.  It sounds pointless because I have money and PDays.  My shoes are doing alright.  I’m in a trio companionship.  One kid is from Utah and one from California.  The kid from Utah ran the 400 at Utah State so he’s healthy and works out like me, should be nice.  He’s been in my district from the beginning. 
Everything is good.  I’m exhausted because of that long flight and I think I’m coming down with something.  I think I can just sleep it off though.  We have more free time here so far.  There’s snack time at night which is awesome.  For dinner I ate Banana Nutella pizza.  It was amazing.  There was this strawberry/chocolate flan, delicious.  If you want to send me a package you have to send it to the mission home in Recife.  I’ll be able to get it there in 6 weeks.  I love you all.  I’m doing well and I’m excited.  Bye!


Elder Carroll is in Brazil, Finally

Dear Parents,

We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC. What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.

They now have companions and are settled into their rooms. They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study. The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give them a second greeting. These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.

The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs. He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.

Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple. This will be either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on individual assignments.

Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “ There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an Elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".

Please accept our love,
President Ralph Degn and Sister Mary Ann Degn

Visa Arrived: Heading to Brazil!!!

Fri, 30 Nov 2012

So ridiculous news.... MY WHOLE DISTRICT JUST GOT THEIR VISAS LIKE AN HOUR AGO. We're all going to be on the same flight. It goes to Atlanta then Sao Paulo. Everyone is freaking out! Including me! This is real life now. I leave for Brazil on Tuesday. And I get to call you guys for like 5 minutes tonight so make sure you're home!! Everything is alright. I have way more tolerance for my companion now and my district is like a band of brothers. I'm going to send you guys my black peacoat and I already sent you those Clarks. They are a size 9.5 and I need a size 9 because the heel was slipping pretty bad. They were awesome apart from that so the half size down should be just right. So just order some off zappos and get the fastesst shipping so I can have them before I go to Brazil!

This is stressful. I have to pack up and leave again. I've made a lot of new friends here and it's going to be kind of hard to leave them but I'm sure I'll find them on facebook or something when I get back. Portuguese is coming a long. I don't think I have the Spanish mental block anymore so that's good. I can teach a lesson pretty well in Portuguese and testify and pray. When we role play with investigators I'm always the one who carries the lesson. My companion can't speak as well as me so it's hard sometimes. But he's trying to do better and that's all that matters. We read over 3 Nephi 11 in our district and it was awesome. I felt the spirit so strongly when we were talking about Christ and when he came to the Americas. I feel sorry for our teachers... they don't even have students anymore! Oh well. It's stressful writing emails in the laundry room cause everybody is breathing down your neck.

Here is my flight information for Tuesday/Wednesday...

Delta 192
Dec 4 11:10 am- 4:42pm. That's Salt Lake to Atlanta.

Delta 105
Dec4 7:30pm-8:15 am Dec 5. That's Atlanta to Braizil.

So plan when you're going to be home accordingly! I'll be calling on the layover. And I'll try to call before the first flight and after the second one.

So I guess update my address on facebook to the one they gave us for my original Brazil MTC address.

Until then send me DearElders until I leave on Tuesday if there's anything you really need to tell me or whatever!

I got a haircut here like an hour ago and I don't know how I feel about it. You know I'm picky about my haircuts, but who am I trying to impress?! It was just a regular mom who cut my hair. My district wasn't the only one who got their visas today. The missionaries that just got here who were supposed to go to Brazil also got theirs. Not fair but whatever. I thought I would see Derek Jackson here but I guess not. That would have been kinda cool. Well I have to get off now so I'll call you tonight around 6-7 Utah time! Give or take. K love you all! Hope everything is going great.

-Elder Dallin Carroll


Dallin sent us some pictures that he took while in the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center.  These are pictures of him with his district on a relaxing Sunday afternoon.
 Dallin proudly carries the Brazilian flag in front of the Provo temple.

Growing in the Gospel

November 26, 2012

Hello Family,
I sent an email to Dad for the whole family so I hope ya’ll got that.  It’s Sunday.  On Sundays we basically just “relax”. We have priesthood meeting in the morning, Sacrament after that and then devotional after that.  But, of course there are a few meals and study times dispersed throughout.  Today I’ve really been trying to strengthen my testimony.  I’ve tried to soak up everything and process it so that I can become stronger in the gospel.  Sometimes I feel like I think too hard on it though.  I need to read my scriptures more.  I want to have a solid base of knowledge on every principle of the gospel so that I can teach investigators what I know. 

We watched the Joseph Smith movie after devotional.  It amazes me how much Joseph Smith sacrificed to bring forth the gospel.  He never looked back on what he knew to be true no matter how fierce the opposition.  It makes me realize how awesome the gospel is and how precious.  We are truly blessed.
We had a temple walk, just like all Sundays and we took a bunch of pictures that I will try to send to you.
I received Mom’s email.  I’m glad to hear Thanksgiving was a success. 
Landon: How’s Basketball going?  So your coach is weird?  Are you getting better?  How are the shoes?  I’ve been playing basketball almost everyday.  People are surprised at how I can jump.  I get like every rebound…but my shot is terrible.  I just have to drive all the time.  Did you tell our friends to write me?  Haven’t received any friend letters yet.  Oh, and you have to let me know what’s going on in sports!  NFL, NBA, College football…
Easton: How’s basketball for you?  Do you like your team?  Coach?  How are the Nikes working out?  Just remember to be aggressive and fast.  And pass the ball.  If you’re not a ballhog, then your teammates will pass to you as well!
Still haven’t received a letter from Ashton yet.  I guess she’s busy….SIKE!  Tell her to write me.  Also, I would love to hear from Brandon as well…any advice from him would be cool to have since he also went to Brazil.
Dad:  Thank you for all the advice.  It really puts everything into perspective.  The language is coming slowly but surely.  I like how you talked to yourself in Spanish while on your mission and your companion thought you were talking to him.  That happens to me too, just in class.  I’m like the only one who repeatedly tries to pronounce a word in my class.  People laugh but, who cares?  I’m glad I am out here.  It’s tough sometimes but, I know it’s where I’m supposed to be.  It’s just a lot to take in at one time so sometimes I get overwhelmed.  I just always have investigators in mind.  If I fail, I fail them.  I think the Clarks (shoes) are coming in tomorrow so I’ll let you know how those are.
Mom:  I haven’t received a package yet but I’m going to just thank you in advance for that!  You said you had one on the way or something.  You’re the best mom!  It sounds like everyone is sick over there.  Hope you all feel better.  It’s a challenge staying healthy here…in every sense of the word.  Today in devotional everyone around me was coughing.  I felt like I was next.  I wash my hands a lot now though and I drink Airborne every morning no matter what.  It seems to help.
I can’t wait to receive everybody’s next letters!  Letters are gold here.  I love you all.
Love you!
Elder Dallin Carroll

Elder Carroll Is Positively Doing Great!

November 23, 2012

Hey Dad,

I got all of your letters on Wednesday and I loved them. I'm in the laundry room right now waiting for my laundry. Its not as bad as you described it in your letters. I assume they've improved since then. So I really started warming up to the MTC on like Wednesday. Leading up to that point was pretty discouraging. I think I expected it to be easier than it is. Portuguese is coming slowly but surely. That was really the main reason for all of my complaining and stuff. We've taught our mock investigator 4 times now. The first 3 times were basically just reading off our prepared lesson in Portuguese. But our last time I actually got out of my notes more and started talking to him very slowly. But at least now I can somewhat communicate. They have this program on the computers here which is kind of like Rosetta stone but the lds version. It has helped me to develop my vocabulary pretty fast. I was surprised how well i did in the mock lesson. I talked about the restoration and the BOM. We asked him to be baptized at the end and he said he had already been baptized in his other church. I hadn't studied vocabulary on how to talk about how we have the right priesthood authority but somehow the spirit led me through it. My companion and  my vocabularies combined were good enough to answer all his questions. I know how to pray and testify in Portuguese too. I'm surprised at how fast it's coming. But I know I still have tons to learn. My shoes are breaking in I think. Thanks for the Clarks. I haven't received them yet but I'm pretty sure anything will be better than these.

On Thanksgiving Elder Holland came to speak to us! It was very powerful.. He had his grandchildren come to participate in the program. They sang and bore testimonies and played piano solos. It was a nice break from studying and stuff. Elder Holland is awesome. He talked about how we are as apostles because we share the same title and some of the same authority. He told us our missions are the realest experiences in our lives and that we should not look back. Also he bore strong testimony of Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, and how we are so lucky to be in todays dispensation. I feel so lucky to be a missionary. Just in this last week my testimony has grown so much. It makes me want to be in Brazil already and share what I know to be true. The dinner was basically thanksgiving cafeteria food. But then again, when is thanksgiving food any better than that? Minus mom's cranberry sauce of course. We also did one of those humanitarian service projects making health and education kits for kids in Africa. Very Christ-like. We closed the day with a surprise. They played 17 miracles on the projector and gave us each individual bags of popcorn. That was nice. It was nice to just relax for a little bit.

Its really hard to eat healthy here. Everywhere you turn you see ice cream or pie. It's not fair. But I do push ups, pull ups, and sit ups almost every day to combat the horrible diet plan. They say we need us to be healthy but they also serve us huge desserts for every meal? I don't understand the rational behind it but, whatever. We play basketball in gym. Those indoor soccer shoes are basically low bball shoes. I started off rusty but now I'm getting better and pernoning noobs. It took me a bit to get used to the elevation but now it's fine. Lets see what else..... Oh yeah. I've been praying to have more tolerance for my companion. I love my district. We're all like brothers. We joke around and stuff but we always work hard when we need to. I'm still a little homesick but not even half as much as I was a week ago. I'm mad that first few days were rough. One of my roommates who is also going to Brazil got his Visa this week, as well as 3 others from my district, 2 twins from Utah and another Elder from Arkansas. That means there's hope for the rest of us. I've heard that the Sao Paulo MTC is much more chill. It sounds nice. But I'm fine with whatever happens. I went to the temple today, It was cool. Its always nice to get out of the compound, even if it's just across the street. Tell Ashton to write me a letter. I'm assuming you already put my address on facebook. It would be nice to get some letters from friends. I'm about to go lift weights for the first time in 2 weeks. It should be fun. Well, I love you all and was really glad to hear from ya'll this week. I'll send out some letters later cause I have to get off the computer. We have a time limit and people are basically breathing down your neck waiting for the computer as you type. Ok bye!

Elder Dallin Carroll.

Things Are Looking Better

November 17, 2012

Hey again!
It’s the second letter in two days.  I must be homesick….but I just really need letters right now.  I feel like I am completely cut off from the world.  Even though it’s only been a few days, I woke up really stressed for no reason and just really wanted to hear from someone.  If you could get me some addresses of people I could write to, I would love that!  I guess you could get Landon to collect our friends’ addresses.  I have figured out that I need snacks, healthy snacks por favor.  Oh, and earplugs.  My companion is pretty loud. 
Dear (a mail service) is awesome.  You can type me a letter on and I will get it that day.  Make sure you advertise that on Facebook.  I need Ashton’s address or just a letter from her.  The same goes for all friends and brothers!!!  Either get them to send me letters or get their addresses if they don’t want to write me because they don’t have time.
The language is coming along slowly but surely.  The pronunciation is weird in Portuguese because sometimes “D” is pronounced like a “J” and sometimes it is normal.  My high school Spanish keeps making me confused because it is similar but a little different.
I’ve really been trying to get the spirit to help me learn Portuguese by praying and asking for it.  It definitely helps keep me relaxed and it keeps my thoughts clear.  When are the family pictures going to be developed?  I want one.

My shoes are breaking in gradually.  It’s making me nervous because I don’t want to be walking in Brazil for miles with tight shoes. 
One of the Elders in my district said his sister told him the Visas are stuck in New York because of Hurricane Sandy.  Our Teacher said if we don’t know by now that we’re leaving (for the Brazil MTC), then it’s not going to happen within the next week.  I think we are here for a reason.

I miss working out.  I think my muscles are slowly deteriorating.  Food is just being stored as fat because I can’t work it off.  I guess it’s ok because I’m still healthy.  
We haven’t had any super spiritual experiences yet but I know they’ll come soon because we have church on Sunday and devotional on Tuesday.

I love you all and I miss you.  I use my hangers, Mom.  I thought that would make you happy.  Ok, I’m going to try to send this today but I don’t know when the mail closes on Saturdays.
Dallin Carroll

First Letter Home

As you will read in Dallin's first letter home, he seemed pretty overwhelmed after being in the MTC for just two days:

November 16, 2012

Hello Family,

I’m writing this letter on Friday so you’ll probably get it on Monday.  The first thing I can think to say is my shoes are killing my feet!  I went with Grandpa to Macy’s an hour before I went to the MTC to get some new Eccos.  I got the size 41 and they felt good for the first couple of hours, but now I’ve come to realize that my forefoot is way too wide for them.  I don’t know what to do about that.  Other than that I guess everything else is fine, I guess. 

The food is good.  Usually I get whatever they have in the regular lunch line, and once I’m done with the stuff I like I go get a wrap from the wrap bar.  Those are pretty good.  I might start getting those for every meal because they are healthy and I don’t want to get fat and stuff my face like everyone else does.

The first day of class was overwhelming.  Our teacher greeted me in Portuguese and expected me to understand and respond.  Yeah, right!  They block out every minute of the day for us and there’s really no time to write letters or journal entries.  I never realized how much I liked being alone until I got my companion…more on that later though because he’s basically reading over my shoulder right now.  Mom, you should tell me if I should or shouldn’t write on the back of the page. 

These first couple of days has been overwhelming but I think they do that to humble us.  Spanish from high school is helping me some with the language; a lot of it is the same.  It’s hard to switch over to the Portuguese pronunciation.  We are packed in a small classroom with twelve huge guys so it gets super hot and loud.   It’s really hard to think when studying.  We have to teach a 20 minute lesson to a mock investigator today.  It’s ridiculous because we have to do it in Portuguese and we’ve only been here for 2 days, another humbling experience.  I feel like they’re seriously trying to break us this first week so we work hard to overcome how pitiful we are.  We read the scriptures in Portuguese at night with our roommates and that kind of helps us learn the language.  It’s really hard. 

 For gym time the first day we just played basketball.  I wanted to lift weights but my companion didn’t want to.  He’s straight out of high school and is very Utahan.  He’s got the accent, has blonde hair and he played football.  I’m still getting used to the whole Elder thing.  We aren’t allowed to say “guys” or anything like that.  I feel like I sleep for 5 minutes each night because we wake up so early.  It gets cold at night so I just wear my sweats and put my pea coat over my blankets too, then I’m alright.

 My P-Day (Preparation Day) is on Fridays except for this week because we are new, I guess.  You will receive emails on Fridays from 12:45 to 3:15 Utah time.  Did I mention my feet are dying?  Oh yeah, we aren’t allowed to go to the mall on P-Days.  I have no idea how I’m going to get shoes if I don’t break them in within the next week.  This is stupid.  Dad, are your dress shoes tight when you buy them?  And do you have to break them in? 

 We met our Branch President last night and he told us that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed for the first few days and that our main purpose for being here is not just to learn the language, but to effectively teach the gospel.  The Portuguese Elders keep randomly yelling out, “Muito Beni”, which means very legit.  They won’t stop! 

 I’m in the classroom right now so I can’t tell you my address because I left it in my room but when I do, I’ll get it to you.  We need to make sure to post my address on Facebook so my friends can write me.  I’m craving some Builder Bars, peanut butter preferably.  I need some Old Spice body wash.  I’m trying to get used to being so regulated with what I do and how I do it.  It’s a little annoying right now but I guess I’ll get used to it.  I can’t think of anything else to write about except, how is it in Georgia?  Tell everyone to write me because I miss communicating with people and stuff.

Elder Dallin Carroll
P.S.  You won’t get an email until next Friday….just a disclaimer.  Hopefully I am less stressed out by then and I’ll have something optimistic to write you.  Oh and I don’t think we’re allowed to wear Peacoats…

Elder Carroll arrives at the MTC

Elder Carroll arrives at the MTC, November 14. 

Getting that backpack on...
Dallin with his sister, Ashton

Goodbye Grandma Homer!

What a good looking Elder

Okay, I'm ready to go forth and serve!

It's official: A new missionary!

Dallin was set apart by President Benjamin Wood to serve as a missionary in the Recife, Brazil mission on Monday evening November 12. We took him to the airport on Tuesday November 13 to send him to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. He would report on Wednesday November 14 at 12:45 pm with Grandpa and Grandma Homer and his sister, Ashton there to drop him off.
Dallin Skypes with friends for the last time before he is set apart to be a missionary!

All of Dallin's stuff is ready to be packed!

Elder Carroll and his family eating out at his favorite restaraunt, California Dreamin' after becoming official missionary.

Mom, Easton, and Landon

In the car on the way to the airport...Dallin is talking to Ashton one last time on the phone.

 At the airport getting all checked in...


One proud Mama with her son!

 Just a little snack and some silliness with the brothers!

                                Dallin is waiting to go through security.
Elder Carroll is on his way! Good luck and we love you!