Monday, March 31, 2014

Teaching and Training


The kids in the computer place just yell this title/phrase all the time.

(I goggled it and it was translated to "Oxe of boring that critter, Dangit!"  I asked Dallin what it meant since that didn't make any sense to me.  He said it means, "Dang, what an annoying creature!"  Well, that sounds a little better!)

March 31, 2014


So this week was super long but still passed super fast... I don't know how that's possible, but the mission is just weird with time alright?

We started off the week with an exchange. I went to an area called Massangana to help out the greeny, Elder Gonçalves. They had a lady there who they had been teaching for a long time and really wanted me to mark for baptism. Talk about an impossible task. This lady's son is already a member. I think he's 12. In the room it was the two of them, his grandma, and his sister. Let me describe the teaching environment for you. The member was whacking mosquitoes with one of those electric tennis rackets the whole time... the little girl was crying uncontrollably and hitting her brother, running around pitching a fit.... The old lady was just talking about how good the Assembly of God is, but telling her daughter to get baptized in our church, and the lady we were trying to mark didn't even want to be there. And the whole time everyone is hitting each other. Not even a joke. I was sweating and just about to explode. She didn't want to be baptized so we just said a prayer super fast to get out of there. We thanked them for their manners and we left. Good times right? Happens all the time.

So this week we had Zone meeting so we gave the training. We talked about how we need to teach the people so that they understand. A lot of times the missionaries teach in a way that only the missionary knows what's going on. And the people nod their heads like they know what's going on because they're humble and will never tell you that they don't understand something. We have to pause a lot in our teaching and ask questions... for them to understand, and for us to know that they're understanding. Sometimes missionaries just throw lessons at people and that's not the way to do it. You gotta have a conversation with the people. It's the only way. The missionaries really liked it and said it was a good training. We also talked about the DNA of the mission which are simple things that President established which were being put to the side. Gotta always repeat things to maintain.

This week we had the opportunity to visit an English class. A member from the ward goes to this city class and the teacher has a brother who served a mission. He said the students wanted to ask me questions and hear about the culture in the US. It was pretty cool. I was able to speak English for a full hour but it was super hard. I was saying some little words in Portuguese but I didn't make myself look like and idiot so it was good. We talked about food, culture, school, the language, and at the end, the teacher gave me a chance to talk about the beginning of the church so I got in front of the class and taught the Restoration in English. It was really hard, but really powerful. I cried. The spirit was so strong and the teacher even helped us out on inviting the students to pray to see if it's true. It was great because the class ended right after that and the students left feeling the spirit.

Last night we taught a dude named Elder. He's super legit and we left him with the Book Of Mormon like a month ago but he had been traveling so we didn't have a chance to talk to him.  We went back and he had not read. But the dude is awesome and super interested so we wanted to leave him with something powerful. We destroyed him with the spirit. We talked about the Book Of Mormon and how he needs to know that it is true. We talked a bit about Joseph Smith too and it really put it into perspective for him. Elder Fereira said that God put a lot of things in our heads to teach him. It's true. I said a ton of things that I don't even remember and had never said before. It's amazing.

Our 2 families are being difficult but they're still progressing. Bishop Gostavo is trying the be friends with them and they like him and his family a lot. We like him and his family a lot too. His wife cooks real good. haha.

Well I'm out of time. A lot happened this week but I will just have to put it in my journal for y'all to read later. Love you all. Love the Gospel. And love being a missionary.

Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mad Bus Riding and Spiritual Revamping

March 24, 2014

Bom dia.

This week was different. But different is good on a mission where everything is the same every day of your life.

So this week we had Zone Conference and Temple day. Talk about some mad bus riding and spiritual revamping. So Wednesday was temple day. To get there we have to take a bus, a train, and another bus. So we left like 2 hours early. There was so much traffic it wasn't even funny. We were dying with our suits and the waves of people getting on and off the metro and buses. I think I've made the decision that I will never live in a big city because I just get antsy with this public transportation... imagine Japan. Mercy.... The whole time I just think, "stoptouchingmestoptouchingmestoptouchingme".  It's amazing the types of people you see on this public transportation. There are always tons of people on the buses and metros selling gum and candy, giving speeches about their products trying to make the Mentos gum look better than it really is.... and it's always Mentos gum. Every time. I think I've heard every possible advertisement/scam that could be made up about this gum. When you get off the metro everyone runs to get a seat on the bus and you've got to get aggressive and throw some elbows. But usually we end up standing on the bus and sweating like nobody's business. So after this 2 hour journey of sweaty people-watching, you finally get to enter the temple grounds. You would not believe the contrast. The temple is literally perfect. You enter and everything from the city just stops. It's like you're in a bubble. No noise, fresh air, mango trees... It's paradise. And everyone is nice and polite. It really is heaven on earth and something like that could not be achieved if it wasn't a holy place. We got there and greeted some other missionaries who were there and went to the session. We were changing and there were 10 minutes left until the session and the temple worker said the session had closed because it was full. We died inside. We left, ate and I called President to see if we could get into the later session. But usually we can't because there wouldn't be enough time for us to leave and end pday at 6 o'clock. But he let us go in and we enjoyed the session. It was awesome. I wish we could go more often but we only go every 3 months. So we take advantage of it.

The next day we took the bus to go to Zone conference. President talked about how we are scared to mark baptisms because we are scared that our leaders will get mad if the baptism falls through. It's because we baptize more people than we mark. One Elder said that our mission is a mission of miracles and President said, "No, this mission is a mission of fear". He kind of burned us a bit and there were some Elders who presented some pretty wacky ideas but president shut everyone down and said we have to change the way we mark people for baptism.  It's always like that in Zone conference. You always have those Elders who think they know what they're doing and say just some off-the-wall stuff to try to give ideas. My companion and I were just laughing the whole time. President gave a great spiritual talk and the Assistants did practices. Three missionaries from the zone were chosen to do a practice in front of everyone. It was good because there were tons of scenarios and tons of useful scriptures that were used to teach the "investigators". Elder Flemming (Assistant) called me like 2 days before to warn me that I would sing "Come Follow Me.  So I sang the first verse myself and a choir of elders sang the rest. It turned out really good.

The two families we found last week are progressing but a little bit slower than we thought. Marriage is a really weird thing to bring up to people who aren't married. We are two young men telling adults with children that they need to get married. But we feel like both of the couples took it really well and agreed with everything we said to them.

Edinete and Flavio:
Edinete has wanted to get married for a long time, but Flavio thinks that if they get married they will split up after a couple years because that's what happened with their friends. We read "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" with them and everything made perfect sense. That's because God wrote it. So we left them off with the challenge for them to talk about it because it's a commandment of God. They agreed, but Flavio is less firm on baptism than the rest of the family.

Antonio and Cristiane:
We pretty much did the same exact thing, but said some different stuff because of the Spirit. They said that they want to build the rest of their house before getting married. huh?? We told them that money wouldn't be a problem and that we would take care of everything. Then we figured out that they didn't understand the Restoration. So we had to teach the restoration all over again to make them understand because Antonio was still asking us why there are so many churches. When we talked about James 1:5, he just lit up. He got super happy that he could actually talk to God to find out which church is Christ's church on the earth. The lesson was great. We said all the right things. Before the lesson I was just dead. Super tired. 8:00 and I wasn't even thinking/speaking straight. But the Lord helped us once again and we taught a powerful lesson.

So we'll see what happens this week with these two families. We have to baptize the parents to baptize the kids too, so really pray that everything goes through. Love the Gospel, and my mission. It's hard, but it's good too. Love you all! Pray for these families please!

Happy Birthday Ashton!
Good luck in the field Landon!

Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Mission is Good!

March 19, 2014

Helloooooooo America.

This week was awesome.
I feel like I've found a new confidence this week which helped a ton with our teaching and finding. This past week we found 2 awesome families. Seriously amazing elect families. We're getting them ready to take a dip in the baptismal font.

We baptized a boy this week. His name is Carlos and he's 11. He's been going to church for years with his Aunt but never was baptized so we jumped on him and taught him everything this week. It's always awesome when the Lord presents someone to you when you have nobody to baptize. His family is one of the 2 that we're getting ready to baptize. A few transfers ago the missionaries were teaching them but i think they quit because Carlos parents aren't married. But the family is great. The parents were supportive of Carlos a lot when we were teaching him and the Dad, Antonio, said that his son was setting the example for him by following this way. Antonio really wants us to work with him so that he can be baptized with the rest of his family. There's a little girl and his wife left. We even gave Antonio a blessing so that he could be a good dad and do everything that the Lord wants him to do. The family already has a testimony and they are progressing like bosses. Antonio said he is battling alcohol but he's got a strong will so we'll nip it in the bud. They went to church and loved it. They really want to commit to changing and really being members of the church. It's fun to watch them discover the wonders of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything is new and brings them a lot of hope for the future. The Bishop had a fhe (Family Home Evening) at his house and talked about the Atonement. Bishop Gostavo is a really powerful and inspired man who knows how to speak with the spirit. It would be awesome if we could teach with him everywhere. We could tell that Antonio really wanted to understand the Atonement more and use it in his life. It was good. We're going to mark the wedding and the 3 baptisms this week.

Another family we found was the family of Edinete. We found her when we were teaching her neighbor who lives below her. We had been teaching her neighbor for a while without her progressing and then finally we got to talk to Edinete on the steps that go up to her house. Looked like she was having a tough day and we just talked about church and how God loves us. Her daughter came down and listened too and she had been crying. I guess our casual talk with them had enough of the Spirit for them to want to go to church and mark another visit with us to talk with the dad. So we went back and taught the Restoration to the whole family. Parents, 3 daughters, 2 of them old enough to be baptized. The lesson we taught was very spiritual. The Spirit was just beating down on them and there was no way they weren't feeling it. I felt like the Lord was helping me a lot during the lesson with my speaking and confidence and even remembering scriptures. We taught flawlessly and Edinete even said that she feels something different about this church. She said that the day we met her, she was about to fight with her daughter but she was calmed down and just felt better. Her husband was really into the lesson too. Seems like a really humble guy. He works a lot and just looks beat whenever we talk to him. But he receives us graciously. They don't have a certain church and they are super nice/prepared. After the lesson, Elder Ferreira said that I had never taught like that and that the Lord really helped us out. They went to church and loved it. They said that they would go again. Her daughter came up to me and asked what she would have to do to be baptized... I really wanted to tell her that she could but she's 14! We can't just baptize her yet. We'll just have to baptize the whole family! haha. We talked about marriage with them and they're willing to let us help them out. It's a shame to say but we haven't even challenged them to be baptized yet. We weren't feeling it yet. But it'll happen. We're going to mark the wedding and the 4 baptisms this week. It's going to be amazing! My companion and I are becoming famous now because of all the baptisms that are happening. But it really isn't us who's doing the work. The Lord is literally placing people in our path. It seems like He trusts in us a lot with his children in this area.

I really have reached the point where I can say that I love my mission. Everything just seems really pleasant right now and I find joy in teaching these people the Gospel. My companion is one of my best friends now. The members love us... President is really happy with us... and the Spirit is with us and that's what matters. I really feel like the Lord is happy with us. I would hate to leave this area next transfer because it looks like we'll have stuff to finish that we've started this transfer.  Dang the mission is good!!! My testimony of Christ is tremendous. His Atonement is amazing and perfect. I've been praying for all of you and know the Lord will rain down some blessings. Love you all and remember to open your mouths and talk about Christ. It's the least we can do to make up for the things he's done for us. Love you all!

Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spinning Blades of Death

March 10, 2014

This week was the leftovers from carnaval. Carnaval I think just destroyed every one's excitement because there was just no way to work sometimes. Then, the motivation takes a hit too when you can finally spread your missionary wings again. I felt like my confidence was lowered a bit because it had been like a week since we did contacts. But we'll get the feel back this week.

Something funny that happened this week... Learning experience.  It was like 10:40 PM and I was setting up our monster fan that we got from a member so I could go to sleep(no way to sleep without a fan. I've tried). Anyways... This fan is huge and turns super fast and doesn't have a guard. Also, I think it's meant to have 4 legs but only has 3. I was setting up the fan. I turned it on and accidentally knocked it over. Me, being the impulsive idiot I am, tried to grab this beast, forgetting it didn't have a guard. The spinning blades of death literally destroyed my finger. I tried not to yell because my companion was sleeping. It was the tip of my pointer finger and it was bleeding pretty bad. I rushed to the sink to wash it and slapped a band aid on it with some neosporin and went to bed(after setting up the fan again.) When we woke up in the morning I told Ferreira what had happened and he just laughed. We went to the hall to see the carnage and there were splats of blood on the wall and on the ground. Needless to say my pointer finger wasn't used this week but he's doing better. No need for stitches. Moral of the story: If you don't go to bed before 10:30, the Lord will not protect you from your fan.

So.... WE BAPTIZED AGAIN. Her name is Nair and is 15 years old. I think half of our baptisms in this area have been 15. We inherited her from the Elders who closed the area. They marked her for the day after her 15th birthday which was 2 weeks ago. She couldn't be baptized these past 2 weeks because she went to youth conference.  She's cool. It took forever to find her in her house but she never stopped wanting to be baptized. She's friends with all the youth and I think it helps that her boyfriend is a member. She has a sister too who is 12. She l looks like she's 25. It's funny. But she wants to be baptized. She just doesn't want to have to keep going to church. Completely normal but we can work through it.

On Sunday my companion and I both spoke. It was kind of a last minute thing but it went well. I talked abut the regular "Preach the gospel because its good for you and for other people too" type deal. With a hint of Christlike charity. It was supposed to be 7 minutes but I think I went overboard like 5 minutes. I lose track of time while I'm up there. Next time I'll look at my watch haha.  The Bishop liked it. He said the people were into it. We confirmed Neuma too. She wanted me to do the confirmation. I remember at the beginning of my mission when I was afraid to confirm people in front of the congregation. Now it's a piece of cake. My Portuguese is pretty dang good. The Sisters ask who they're talking too when they talk to my companion on the phone. And that's after a good minute or so.

Well that's about it. This next week will be full of door knocking because our teaching group is empty so pray that we can find some good people to teach and to BAPTIZE.  I'm truly grateful to be here serving the Lord. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. We love the people and the people love us. Now I know what charity truly is. It's loving everyone in spite of everything. We get to know Christ more when we develop his attributes. That is the key to becoming perfect too. We don't see results until we do something to improve. We can't hope to be like him without self-sacrifice. It's something crucial that we must develop to enjoy His love and His blessings more fully. Hope y'all have a great week. I pray for everyone with your needs every day, so I hope the Lord is just raining down blessings on y'alls end!

Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week of Carnaval

Here's a picture that I found of Dallin and his zone on a sister missionary's blog.  Thanks!

March 3, 2014

Hello Family!

Here we are at the computer once again. Feels like I'm here every day because the time just flies. This week was really just a blur. Seriously.

We started out the week right playing volleyball. It was sweet. We shipped in the Elders from Pina to play with us at our church. The sun here is super hot so we just soaked ourselves with sun screen. We were sweating so bad, but it was great exercise. Something different on pday is always good, but let's just say I'm pretty dang rusty in volleyball. Took a bit to get used to it but we had some good fun and I was sore the next day. Funny what makes you sore while you're a missionary. Not really funny, kind of just pitiful.

Tuesday, My companion and I gave a training to the zone about taking responsibility. It was a really light training and we didn't have much to go off of because literally everyone was sick this week. We kind of just tried to help them to evaluate themselves in a way which they could please God so that the week could be a good one. We talked about independence and prayer and how we should have the desire within us to do our best without being annoyed by our leaders. Then one of the Elders(junior companion) said that we should pick out something that they were doing wrong and teach them ways that they should improve their work. The way he said it was as if our training didn't do anything for him and he wanted us to whip something up right away, in a kind of condescending tone. I kind of chewed him out a bit and said that everyone was sick and that all the missionaries are sisters so we can't do exchanges with them to see how their teaching is, so there was really nothing to evaluate but the numbers (which were super low because everyone was sick). It was just kind of annoying because we stayed up a while that night to try to prepare something good for the zone, and one missionary decided to make the situation awkward for everyone. Just gotta role with the punches. Turns out we went on exchanges with him and his companion that day, and I got stuck with the complainer. I just acted like it didn't happen and we worked like champs.

Oh, This week we went to the airport to renew my visa. Elder Kennedy was there too and guess who his new companion is..... ELDER FERREIRA!   My trainer who was the biggest fubeca ever. Now they have a fubeca companionship haha. They like each other. I guess I could say that Ferreira is a lot cooler when he's not your companion and you can understand what he's saying. When I get off the mish, the last transfer is gonna be sweet. Me, W. Ferreira(my comp right now.), and Kennedy will all leave at the same time. It's gonna be awesome.

This week was carnaval so we had to get home by 5 every day. Carnaval messes everything up. We're in the church right now because of carnaval. All the computer places are closed and there are tons of drunk people dressed like clowns in the street. We've heard some pretty bad stories about missionaries getting harassed by people in the street during carnaval. We're safe. I would just hate to hit someone for harassing me. It would be unfortunate for them.

WE BAPTIZED AGAIN THIS WEEK. Her name is Neuma. She's 50 I think and her son is a less active member. She was super excited this week for her baptism. She likes to talk a lot and joke around so it's always a relief to go to her house when we've had some heavy lessons. She always tells us that there's something different about us and that we always say what she needs to hear. It's really good to hear stuff like that from the people we teach because it lets us know that The Spirit works through us. So we baptized her on Sunday and it was just great. Her son was there and so was her sister who's not a member(yet)... She was kind of sad before the baptism because she was without her contacts so she couldn't see all the things she wanted. WE told her to pay attention to her feeling and not her vision and it helped her out a lot. There's nothing better than helping someone start over.

I think that's it fam. The work is going well and everything is good here. I'm happy and healthy and doing the Lord's work. Nothing better.

Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll