Monday, September 23, 2013


This picture was taken in Dallin's old area.  It's amazing what I find on Facebook!

September 23, 2013

This. week. was. interesting.

Monday was a regular pday despite the fact that we were going to go to the temple and to Zone conference over a two day period of time during the week. That's a lot of time taken from missionary work, and we were surprised that it was going to be like that. For Pday we moved the other elders out of our house and into a new beautiful, white house in their area. It was depressing to see their house in comparison to ours, haha. Ours is totally a missionary house and theirs is like a white porcelain piece of art. They aren't allowed to put stuff on the walls because it's so clean and new. We moved them with this mule drawn carriage which was pretty cool. I think I already wrote about this.... 

Anyway, we woke up on Tuesday completely whipped cause of the move and the stuff we did in the city so it was a good thing that we were going to take a bus ride that lasted for 1.5 hours. You can sleep and it's comfortable. A missionary's best friend is sleep. We met up with the sisters and we all went to Recife together. Me and Bochi almost missed the bus but we literally ran to pay for the ticket and then ran to the bus. We sweated. Then slept. Erasmo had sent us with a box to give to another missionary at the zone conference because he met up with a friend of this missionary's mom. So we left the box on the bus and were super stressed when we realized at the temple. Bochi was more stressed than I was because he had already been companions with this Elder. The Elder is from our group so we know him pretty well. At the temple we did a session which was great. There really is nothing like the temple. You can't feel that kind of peace anywhere else. After the temple we went to buy ice cream and we got fat in the annex. The sisters made brownies. I was really craving something healthy. After the temple we went to stay at some other elder's house in Recife. The bus on the way there was horrible, totally packed and sweaty. It was a relief when we got out. At this house there was this Elder from one of the African islands that speaks Portuguese. It was cool to hear his accent. So we got up in the morning and went to zone conference. A lot of my friends were there. Felipe, Kennedy, etc... we had a good time. Elder Kennedy is finally training. Good for him. His filho (companion) is from Chile so he doesn't even speak Portuguese. Good luck with that buddy.
The conference was sweet. The temple president was the one who was speaking to us and he has already been a Mission President so he knows his stuff. WE talked about how we need to be more efficient in our teaching and finding new people to teach. Stuff we've already heard but repetition is always good. There's always a huge lunch  in the middle of the meeting and there's more food than you could ever want. It's like a big missionary party. At lunch we got all of our mail, 3 packages for me!! ha ha best day ever. 2 from the family and one from Abby. It's always exciting to get mail. The rest of the conference was very spiritual, President Lanius is awesome. He's super tough but very spiritual. His voice is like the black dude from the Sand Lot, but the Portuguese version. 

On the way back we went to the mission office to get supplies. WE picked up this big heavy box of Books of Mormon. Suuuuper heavy. Keep in mind that we had my 3 packages too. It was super hard to carry everything in the bus because there were so many people. I wanted to die. We barely got the bus back to Caruaru. It was another one of those running to catch things moments, with a bunch of boxes. Once again we got back home completely whipped. And got a call from the assistants about the box we lost and how it had a wedding ring in it..(don't worry it didn't)...They were just burning us and not even trying to help the situation. WE called Ribeiro the next day to apologize. We spent some time going to the bus place to look for it. It was nowhere to be found. We failed. 

With the time we had left in the week we taught some random people because we were trying to grow our teaching group. WE had this girl, Mirele marked but she wasn't home Saturday or Sunday so we couldn't baptize her. Depressing... next week it will happen. I went on splits with Vargas and we found this kid, Beto who had already been marked and 8 people in his family had already been marked too. I don't know what happened but I want to baptize everyone! The zone was really struggling with baptisms this week and last week. WE had a miracle happen with the sisters who had one baptism for this week on Sunday. That's one baptism in 2 weeks for our zone. BAD.  So we did another division for Vargas to go there with my companion to do the interview. I was with Jose in the church, but we had split up to be in our separate wards. It was really strange being without my comp but I wasn't breaking rules ha ha. I sang in Church this Sunday. I sang "Come thou Fount" in English. Nobody understood but everyone said that they felt it. Even in strange languages we can feel the spirit through music. It's sweet! Church ended and we did weekly planning. We decided that we are super unorganized and we need to repent and change. I got a call from Erasmo and he was telling me about how we're good missionaries but also how we should love the people we teach more. He passed me a scripture... 2 Nephi 33:3... It got to me. We talked about how sometimes bad numbers bother us more than the fact that the person didn't want to get baptized or hear our message. It was a great eye opener. I owe him some peanut butter. Every day he has been asking me if my package has gotten here so I can give him some.  Funny. Peanut butter is impossible to find here. I also ended up talking to Elder Ribeiro about his lost box and all the things that were inside it. Apparently his girlfriend had gone to the US and bought him a bunch of stuff. He was cool about it and I'll give him some of my stuff. Me and Bochi messed up big time. Well this week was a great learning experience to be less careless and to love investigators.

We're going through a transition of kicking people out of our teaching group and getting some more people to teach. It's a cycle of trying to find the elects. Well family, I love you and miss you. And I was super excited to get my birthday box! It was perfect! The jump rope is better than the one I bought in Sao Paulo, and the pushup bars are making me sore. They let you have a wider range of motion. It's good. And my birthday cereal!! Can't have a birthday without Cracklin Oat Bran. Nobody understands why I pick it but whatever. Man.. gratitude... I love my family! and the Gospe and Jesus Christ.
Elder Carroll


Waiting for the bus

September 16, 2013

This week was sweet. I learned a lot about the area and me and my comp work really well together. Pday this week was just the transfer and we pretty much just spent the whole time in Recife and on the bus on the way back from Recife. My comp is super legit, Elder Bochi. He has 9 months on the mission so we're from the same group and the same amount of experience. He's from Rio Grande Do Sul.  He's short and likes to goof around so it's easy to get along with him. We teach super well together. He fills in the gaps that I make and I fill in the gaps that he makes, so at the end of the lesson, we end up destroying our investigators with our knowledge. Everyone in the ward says he looks like this dude in the ward who just got off his mission. EVERYONE.  We just laugh about it. 
So being the new DL (District Leader) is pretty sweet and kind of hard at the same time. I have to know what's going on in every area and call them all every night. We have 2 pairs of elders and 4 pairs of sisters. President just put us in this zone to have leadership I guess haha.  Sometimes I wish I wasn't calling elders every night because then it would be so much more easy to criticize them. You kind of have to be gentil with the sisters. One of them "got their phone robbed" and asked me for help.  She wanted to know if they would have to pay for it. I just told her what she wanted to hear and that she wouldn't have to. Ended up she didn't. Sweet. This other sister from Saõ Paulo wanted to pass her numbers from the week in English because there's nobody in her house who speaks English, and she's learning. Just the little things that you do to help people out gains a lot of respect. 
So this week we marked 5 baptisms. GITERDUN. 
Junior, Gleice, Eline.
This is a family we've been working with for about 3 weeks now. We've taught them twice. From the beginning I knew this family was going to get baptized, I just didn't know when it was going to happen. The guy that gave us their address said not to talk about baptism in the first lesson, and that it was a delicate situation. This time we went, we went in with the intention of hitting them super hard with the spirit and going for the kill with the baptismal invite. I brought Elder Vargas with me to help out because he's really good at just speaking in general. I wouldn't be able to say the things he says if I was speaking in English. He just speaks really eloquently. We talked about the atonement in detail. How Christ suffered and really gave them some imagery to let them really feel the message. Then we talked about repentance and baptism. How we have to take advantage of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ by being baptized and repenting, so that his suffering for us wasn't in vain. The spirit was way strong and the message made a lot of sense to them. We had a chance to invite them to be baptized, and marked the whole family for the 28th. Woo! Now we just have to keep checking up on them. Cause if we don't, the devil will.
This week we got a call from Erasmo saying that there would be a family night with an investigator there for us to teach. We got excited. We went there early to teach and there she was. Mirele is 15 and is caio and cacios cousin. She works down the street from their house and sews with a member. We taught her the first half of the first lesson and her mom came and picked her up. It was fast. So the next day we taught the whole thing and invited her to be baptized. She said yes. It was just too easy. I asked her what she thought when she found out that the church of Jesus Christ was on the earth again.  "Much better", she said... Wow.. Marked her for this weekend but she didn't go to church so we might have to mark her for later. 
This lady is a reference from a family in the ward. Has a 4 year old son. She also sews. Taught her the first lesson, went back, taught the Book of Mormon because she didn't read, then challenged her to be baptized. YES. It's too easy. The Lord is blessing us too much!  We went have Saturday with 5 baptisms marked. The sad thing is that the zone didn't baptize. We tried! Elisane went to church for the second time so she's good and ready.
This week was a load of learning experiences. I think we caught 3 wrong buses and got lost in the center(city) like 3 times. It's fun I guess. Got to learn by experience. It's sad to say that the Zone Leaders won't be living with us anymore. Their area is a long ways from ours so the President let them move. Their house is sweet. And clean. And expensive. We took a ghetto horse and carriage to get their stuff there. Like 4 miles away on highways and interstates. haha. Only the missionaries.
Well I'm glad to be here. I'm really enjoying my mission and the people we're teaching. It's just being a good experience right now. Christ lives.
Love you all!
Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The newest District Leader

September 9, 2013

Alright fam.  I'm going to write this thing at the speed of light because we just got back from transfers and the lan house is about to close.

So this week was a little weird but I liked it. I was making sure that everything was ready in my mind to get a new companion and take care of the area all by myself when Doyel left. 
So the week started off strong and we were teaching a lot as usual because we're bosses. I went to this English class in the city to go talk to the students in English. It was cool. The place is called "the people".  There's a dude named Davi in our ward that goes there and said that the teacher would love it if I went there and talked just normally. So it started out with a bunch of predictable questions about culture here and there and how I learned Portuguese, blah blah.... and then the teacher wanted me to teach one of the lessons that we leave with the people every day. So I decided to talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was sweet. I was speaking in 2 languages at once. But the thing was that I was more fluent in Portuguese than in English. I would say something in English and then translate it to Portuguese. The spirit was felt. Then they asked me to sing because I told them that that's what I liked to do. I sang this David Ryan Harris song and the national anthem. They loved it. At the end we got some addresses and pronto.
So we started teaching this new guy named Rock. Erasmo has this sister named Jô who was super closed up when we taught her. Was super committed to not going to church.So we called her a cork cause she was never gonna get baptized. Then we went there the other night and Rock was there, her husband. He's super open to everything and is very baptizable. Sometimes you need a rock to sink a cork. Kind of dumb but true. So that was cool. 
This whole week Doyel was planning on getting his parents from the airport on Friday.  We went to the area that has the airport in it and stayed there for a couple nights. Let me tell you there were so many freaking mosquitoes there it wasn't even funny. I literally got eaten alive in my sleep. I even got bit on my eyelid which isn't very cool. We went to the airport Saturday morning and got Doyel's parents. It was super weird. Everyone was crying and hugging and speaking in English. It was weird. I couldn't even speak straight to his parents. It's like English didn't want to come out of my mouth. I said some stuff in Portuguese to them and it was kind of embarrassing. Liked his parents though. They were cool. 
I ended up working in that area for a day and helping the elder out who had his companion go home too. We taught this lady who wanted us to teach her in less than 10 minutes. She even put the timer on her phone. So I accepted the challenge and went for it. I ended up teaching the whole restoration in 10 minutes and softening her up with the spirit at the same time.  I'd like to find out what happens with her but it's not my area so whatever. 
Tranfers were fun today. (When you get a new companion) I saw a lot of Elders that I worked with in Olinda and that was funny. Elder Amaral was there because something weird happened in Aguas Compridas where they closed the area and opened it up again. It was good to see him though and hear about my previous investigators. I also saw Kennedy. Good times. He's training. Then I talked with Felipe on the phone because he wasn't there and he said my Portuguese is perfect, that I don't have an accent. Goal accomplished. Felipe is awesome. Then we caught the bus and now we're here. The life of the missionary is crazzzyyyyy.
Well I love this gospel and Jesus Christ. This work is his! Sorry to hear about Brad. That's terrible. I'll pray for him. Also... good luck in college Landon!! It's a blast. Love you family! Bye!
Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

 (All photos this week were "yanked" off of a Brazilian facebook page, a friend of Dallin's.  Thanks!!!)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Life of a Missionary

September 3, 2013

Sweet. This week was super fast. I know I say this a lot but the time is just flying. The weeks feel like days!
Monday was pday and we did absolutely nothing. I loved it. This sister in the ward called us and said that she was having problems with her husband and wanted us to do something to help. We always get distress calls from people who think we can do more than just give a message and say a prayer. We have limits but sometimes we are expected to solve problems that we're not qualified/allowed to deal with. We went to their house and did an FHE(family home evening).
The past couple weeks we've been teaching this girl who works as a cobradora on the bus.(the person who takes your money and passes you through) She's young and cool and easy to teach. I think Education has something to do with how easy someone is to teach. Everything made sense to her in the first lesson. She said, "So you're telling me that if I read and pray that I'll get an answer and want to be baptized?"  Yes, that's exactly what we're saying. It was a piece of cake.
We've been teaching this 16 year old kid. We met him in front of his house when we met some kids playing in the street. We gathered everyone together and taught the first lesson. He's pretty legit. He's super thin and he has a tattoo with his mom's name on his arm. We taught his mom one day and asked her for her name.  He yelled from the kitchen, "Did you not see the tat on my arm the other day?" It was funny. We taught him alone one day and got him really thinking. We marked him for baptism. He was really thinking during the lesson, but he wouldn't tell us what he was thinking. Later some less active member girls in the street told us that he smokes weed and is a criminal. All the more reason to throw him in the water and change his life!
We found this chick named Ariandne on the side of the road. One day as we walked by we said hi to her and she gave us on interested look so we went back and started teaching her. As we were teaching her, her neighbor popped her head out he window and asked  "Can I participate?" The more the merrier!! Ariandne looked super interested and I think was really spiritually touched, while djure, her neighbor was just there for information/to speak English. She's from the adventista(don't know how to translate) and is an intellectual. We get those sometimes and we have to break them out of their shell.
We found this lady this week. We were doing some contacts and Doyel saw someone he had already taught so we tried to teach her. She didn't have time so she led us to someone who did. There was a group of moleques(dudes in the street) and a mom standing under this tree talking. We taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the mom just ate it up. It was funny.. Doyel started the lesson and they started talking about Portuguese and she told her son, "Doyel knows a little bit of Portuguese but this blonde guy over here doesn't understand almost nothing." "No senhora, I understand just about everything"... It was funny. Sometimes people get surprised when I open my mouth to speak. We taught her another time and she really liked the lesson. She told us about her husband that took his own life. We told her God would judge him and that God knows what's going on in the hearts of his children. Then she promised that she would go to church and assured us that we didn't need to pass by to get her. Sunday we passed by just to make sure. She wasn't home and we got disappointed. Then on the way to church, we saw her waiting in front of a member's house we always pass by to bring people to church. She was wearing a white dress and white shoes, which made the surprise of her getting herself ready and waiting for us look that much more miraculous. haha. We marked her for baptism, but she wanted to pray and think about it more to make the decision. She's as good as baptized.
This week in church we taught the Gospel Principles class. We talked about talents and how we can develop/discover them. We went around the room and asked everyone what their talents were. So when I said I liked to sing everyone pressured the crap out of me to sing a song. So I sang "Come Thou Fount" and it was cool. I forgot the words, but that's OK because the only one there who spoke English was my comp.
So in general, the work in this area is just going, And the time is just flying. I try to write in my journal every day not to forget the good stuff but sometimes there's just no time. We just wake up, work, get home, take a bucket shower(the hot water is broken so we heat up water on the stove and throw it in a bucket), and go to bed.
The life of a missionary......Next week is transfers and Doyel is going home. His parents are coming to get him so we'll be going to Recife on Friday to meet up with them. be woI'll rking with another companionship for the weekend and then I'll get my new companion on Monday. I'll be District Leader too, which will be interesting. I don't know if I have the patience to call all the areas in the district every night. It'll be cool though.
Well that's all folks. I'm happy to be here preaching it up. Christ lives and his gospel is here! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. Ashton, I prayed this whole week for your whole teaching deal, so expect some blessings. That's sweet that Landon's an Elder now. Landon have fun preparing for freaking college! It's a blast. Easton be good. Love you.
Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll