Thursday, December 29, 2016

December 26, 2016

Hey Family!

Well it feels so weird to write just the day after talking, and there really isn't much to say. After we Skyped we went to Sister Mayes and had lunch with her. We helped her wrap lumpia which is our favorite food she makes. It's like a egg roll kinda thing, so it was pretty great. After we went to the Senior Sisters and we had a dinner with them. It was all great, so much good food. And they even had jello-pretzel salad! So it even felt a little like Christmas at home. Then we went to the Visitors Center to take the risers down from the Festival of Lights program.  The Johnsons had come to the event so we got to talk to them a little too. 

All in all it was a great Christmas, but I'm not gonna lie it's nice to be able to sing "I'll be home for Christmas" and it is now a true statement haha. But I have loved my Christmases on the mission!  It has been great experiences to step away from all the craziness of the season and just focus on the reason. There was a part of me that was really pretty sad as we drove away from the mission Christmas party and realized I will never experience that again. It's so surreal how fast this is all going by, so just gotta make the most of the last 6 months. 

I love you guys so much! It was so great to see and talk to you guys! Enjoy the rest of your break!

Love,
Austin

Elder McDonald and Elder Florence 

Group I came out with, the sisters are all going home in two weeks


 Taking the whole mission picture at the DC temple


December 19, 2016

Hi all!

Okay I'm laying in bed snuggled in blankets cause it's FREEZING here!!  Like you said we are staying very busy right now. And this past week wasn't a change from that. This week was a great ones. We tried to get most of the exchanges with our district leaders done since we knew the weeks would fill up the closer we get to Christmas. So we went on two this past week, which always makes the week go fast! Elder Jake Kohler (from Draper) is one of our new DLs but I went with his companion Elder Chugg. We had a blast in their Spanish area, so humbling and cool to serve for a day in a language program. We also had the adventure of walking out to a flat tire and start the day off changing it. 

Another hi light was our Zone Training we had on Thursday. We felt it went so good!! President and Sister Johnson came for the first half and they really enjoyed it. One of our favorites was our role plays of "Contacting" where we set up chairs in the gym EXACTLY how a DC metro bus is. And on top of that we got to play Santa with the Zone. There was so many packages so we set it up on the stage and had the District leaders bring their districts in then spontaneously start singing Christmas carols, then rip the curtain open to the hug pile of packages (ones not marked Christmas Mom haha). It was so awesome!! I love getting to serve all these missionaries, it's made my mission for sure. 

We had our own Ward Christmas party and it was pretty great. Awesome dinner, good program, and just getting to chat with ward members. I can't wait for you to meet some of them at Tims baptism. I now have all the details!! So it's on Dec 31st in West Valley. It will be so great!!

Last but definitely not least, we had Nelsons baptism!! It was so great! We are so happy for him. So he went to a YSA ward in Virginia with a friend that was visiting from California and he got Nelson in touch with some Temple Square sisters online then got referred to us. Since next week is Christmas and we are YSA we kinda do whatever we want haha. So we got permission and did his baptism during Sunday School then confirmed him the same day (we have sacrament last) and it was such an amazing experience to confirm him. We are pumped for him and he's doing awesome!

I cannot wait until the Skype!! I'm so excited!! I sure love and miss you guys!! See you soon

Love,
Austin 
Culprit to the flat tire...

 Playing Santa for the Zone

Nelsons Baptism!!! 



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December 12, 2016

Hi Fam, so good to hear from you guys. 

This week was amazing but really busy. So since we are the closest Zone Leaders our responsibility with the VC is we coordinate getting Elders to come help with the set up and take down of the stage and chairs for the evening concerts with the Festival. But we have a good break this week without having to do anything with the stage. So we stay busy with that as well as we had a lot of meetings this week.  We had Elder Kim B. Clark on a mission tour. Having been the Dean of the Harvard Business School and holding 3 degrees from Harvard it was pretty incredible to interact with him so personally. Sadly I didn't get to ask for advice on anything business school related haha. We did a multi Zone Conference with him on Thursday which was super good and then we held our MLC with him at the Mission Home on Saturday. It was so amazing especially in MLC to be in such a personal setting with him and he did a Q&A which I think was really helpful for us all and really uplifting. After he left we held our normal MLC which went awesome, I love getting to sit on that Council with the other ZLs and STLs and get to talk about our mission and all the incredible missionaries we have. The Johnsons also did a little Christmas party for us with an awesome lunch and we practiced a song we are singing in our mission Christmas party. It was great!

We had some other amazing experiences in our area as well. Tim is still set for the 31st and we will be having Nelson's baptism this Sunday! We are so excited for him. Justin is still doing good but we won't see him for 2 weeks cause he is going on leave to go see his family for the holidays. This area is still doing great!

Love you guys so much! Miss you and think of you lots, but I'm glad I get another Christmas here in the mission to experience all the things missionary Christmases have to offer. 

Love,
Austin 
Found this one while getting rained on checking referrals 

MLC Christmas Lunch!! This is all the Elders, the 12 Zone Leaders and the 2 Assistants

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 5, 2016

Hey Hey,

I know it is so crazy that it is already December and the Christmas season! It is crazy, December is always hands down the busiest month for us out here. With the Festival of Lights going on there is so much. As well as our responsibility with helping at the Visitors Center with the setting up/taking down the stage for performances, our weeks are pretty jam packed. 

As far as this week went we were pretty dang busy. I'll share some highlights. So on Friday we did a big service project with the Salvation Army that was awesome. We got the whole zone out and helped organize Christmas donations for needy kids in the area. So awesome as well was when the Salvation Army Service coordinator came us to me and said they were all so worried they wouldn't get the project done until they heard the LDS missionaries were coming. So awesome to see we have build that reputation with them. As the project was ending Nelson texted us he was already at the church for his lesson and needed to go earlier than we had set. So we ran to that lesson and then had 2 more lessons after that.  We ended up teaching in jeans, so that was new, but 3 straight lessons in jeans to end the night.. I got no complaints haha. 

Second highlight was our road trip!!! So a few weeks back we found out they are creating a YSA Stake in the DC area. So 7 wards in N. Virginia and then the DC YSA Ward and ours created the new DC YSA Stake. Since there was more units in Virginia they help the stake Conference there. It was in this pretty nice hotel in Reston VA. So we road tripped in big nasty (mission 15 passenger can) with a senior couple and the 4 other YSA missionaries in the mission (which included E. McDonald!!!). I've never been to church in hotel ball room but hey whatever it takes. And the conference was so awesome. Elder Perkin of the seventy and Elder Calderwood the area authority gave amazing talks. Plus I feel like everyone is more relaxed in YSA cause there was jokes getting thrown left and right. Plus we got to spend the time with the Morgan's which is always great. 

Side note yes Tims baptism will be Dec 31st at 1pm in West Valley. I'll get the address.. We have appointments with Justin and Nelson this week too. Nelson is still on track for Dec 18th and Justin is still praying about his date. 

Things are going good here. I'll include some pictures from the Lights that sure helped kick off the Christmas season out here. Sure love and miss you guys. Skype is coming up quick!!

Love,
Austin




November 28, 2016

Hi everyone. 

This week was a pretty good one here in College Park. Wednesday I got to have CAFE RIO!!! Covering YSA we have both stakes so we had dinner with YSA down in Waldorf and they took us to cafe rio.. oh dang it was the best. Then of course to follow off of that talking about more food. Thanksgiving was great! Nothing like home but it was good.. we played a little football in the morning with a ward and then we had 3 dinners. We had to pace ourselves. we started at the Dennas who's the stake president. It was super good and they are such amazing people. After stopped by at Sister Mayes family and lucky it was buffet style so I didn't have much. Then we finished off at the Senior Sisters that you got the text from. They serve in our ward and they are the best, they are like our two grandmas here. I fully panned on not eating until I walked through the door and saw homemade pumpkin pie. I couldn't resist. 

Friday we then got to go to the temple. And it was incredible. I miss so much getting to go every transfer, so all of you back home don't take the temple that is 10 minutes away from your house for granted. After the temple we had a VC lesson with one of our YSA investigators named Justin. During the lesson we offered him a baptismal date and at church on Sunday he said he thinks it might be his time to as he said "get his act together and put all his effort into this church thing" so we are pumped!

Sunday was great Nelson, Tim, and Justin all came to church. So we are looking possible having 2-4 baptisms in December which would be amazing!! Plus another cool side note, they are creating a YSA stake out here and our ward is part of it. The stake has wards in Virginia so we might get to road trip out of the mission on Sunday to go to Stake Conference! 

Anyways life is good out here. Glad things are good back home. I love and miss you guys!!

Love
Austin 


This is the picture Austin mentioned in his email.  The cute senior sister missionaries sent this picture to the 
families of the missionaries wishing us a Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

November 21, 2016

Hi all,

As far as our week and area..  So yeah Tim met his girlfriend in DC from a coworker and she's actually the YSA Relief Society president in the YSA Ward we cover. So we know them both! She did introduce him to the gospel but he's definitely not doing this all for her. He's so awesome. His baptism will be Dec 31st in West Valley. I'll get you more details as we figure it all out. 

This area is awesome!! Maybe the busiest I've been in so far. We have 3 baptismal dates right now: Tim, Nelson (guy I taught when I was sick) and Chris (I'll tell his story in a minute). Plus a few other that are really close. So we stay really busy between the two wards, it's great!

So just two things from the week I'll talk about. First off I met Jason Chafetz at dinner.  We were in Capitol Hill at a YSA dinner and all of a sudden he turns around and see us and says hi to us and thanks us for serving and all this. Pretty cool!  My companion had no clue who he was though haha. He left and Elder Tutuu was just like, "well that was a nice member" haha

Other thing in the story of meeting Chris our new baptismal date. So it's a big string of miracles that is gonna be kinda hard to convey in an email so just know it's a huge miracle. So it starts with him being a BOM online order that never got followed up with, so we called him and set a date. Then we left an appointment both feeling like we needed to get moving. We then spend like 15 minutes trying to get into his retirement home (usually for a referral we knock like twice and bounce), then a lady let's us in and takes us to his room (we are still convinced she's an angel cause she disappeared after we knocked..), then he let us in, we taught a lesson and he accepted a baptismal date on the first lesson. So all in all that was such a cool experience! This area is going so good, it's really been amazing! 

Sounds like it's gonna be quite a party at our house for Thanksgiving. Sure wish I could be there! It's so crazy that next one we will all be together though. Holidays on the mission are great, they are different and you are able to appreciate new things. But I think I would still take the holidays back home. But I'm so glad I'm here!! Wouldn't wanna be anywhere else right now. We are gonna be taken care of, don't worry. We are going to the stake presidents house, he lives in our ward, and then we will go to Sister Mayes family thanksgiving. If you don't remember she's the one with the peppers. She's in our ward here too and she's a ward missionary so we see her tons! So we will be taken care of out here so don't worry too much. 


I'll be thinking of you guys lots this week! Sure love and miss you!! Have a great Thanksgiving!! 

Love you!
Austin 
Lunch with the French Elders after an exchange

Guess who was at Why I Believe last night??
Man I love that kid.
(The answer is Ismael if you don't remember)

November 14, 2016

Hi all!!

Sounds like it's been a good week back home! I guess the sick bug hit all the Carrolls back home and here, I had a pretty bad cold to end the week and I'm still bouncing back from it. But other then that it's been good here. 

Like you would guess the elections made for a kinda crazy week. Wish I was down in DC for it! But kinda cool cause I got to experience DC on Election Day! I was on exchange with one of our DLs who's in the ASL program and we walked the mall and contacted. Plus we walked past the Trump hotel and snapped a quick selfie cause we thought it would be a pretty funny picture to have if Trump did win.. and look at that haha. But also when I was on exchange I got to teach an ASL investigator through a member interpreter, that was such a cool experience! Like you mentioned it's super cool to have so much diversity around here in DC, it is amazing to see all these people from different backgrounds yet still the gospel still applies to all of them. 

Like I mentioned I got under the weather this week, I've had a few little bugs since I've been out but this was probably the worst I've got. It was a bad cold I'm still bouncing back from. Lots of NyQuil and cough drops were put down this week. But it was actually kinda cool thing cause I woke up on Thursday feeling under the weather but went on with the day. We ended up teaching a referral that day. And on the first lesson accepted a baptismal date only 5 weeks out! So awesome! And almost as soon as the lesson ended I really fell under the weather. Kinda cool to see the Lords hand in making sure that lesson happened. We got slowed down a little on Friday from me being sick but we still rounded out a really good week. 

To give an update on Tim, he's pushing his baptism back. But for kinda cool reasons! So he's dating a member girl who's family lives in West Valley and they are coming back to Utah for the holidays. And he wants to get baptized back there! So you'll get to go to a baptism of one of my investigators!!! Plus he's gonna have Elder Warnes baptize him out there since we actually take Elder Warnes to the mission home tonight for him to fly back home tomorrow. I'll keep you up to date as I get more details!

Anyways I hope you all have great weeks. 
Love you guys!

Love,
Austin 





November 7, 2016

Hi Gang,

It was a slower week here just like yours. We had Zone Conference so that absorbed a lot of our week prepping and planning for all of that. I love getting together with the Zone and they announced we will now hold ZC every transfer as opposed to every other that we had been holding previously. 

On Tuesday we got to metro down to DC to teach a YSA lesson. Our YSA ward covers the Suitland and Silver Spring Stake (HUGE BOUNDARIES) and the Suitland stake has the Capitol Hill area in it. So of course I'm very happy cause I get to be back in DC sometimes!! So we went to teach this YSA referral and this guy is nothing like what I'm use to teaching. This guy is 27, got his undergrad at Yale and masters at Duke. He now committed to take the lessons and we are going back tonight to teach him!

Zone Conference was on Thursday and went great. It was fun to see the Morgan's and hear him talk about how much I've grown after he was there for our workshop. We taught on teaching the Plan of Salvation. We talking about emphasizing the Atonement in each point and using the Book of Mormon. Then there was other workshops by the APs and President & Sister Johnson. Another highlight was we got to see the churches new Christmas video!!! It's so great you will love it! 

Since I'm so short I'll tell you about our investigator who will be baptized on the 27th. His name is Tim and he's in his late 30s. He's from Ohio and is out here working in a lab trying to find a cure for malaria. He has a PhD, is super smart, and has some dope tats! He's the best, like is reads everything before hand and has great questions. He's committed to live every commandment we have taught and is good to go for later this month!

I'm glad it was a good week for all of you!! I love you guys! 

Love,
Austin 
The stake boundary is 2nd/ St (road right behind me) so the Supreme 
Court and the Library of Congress is in our YSA boundary!

Some fall colors at the temple. We stopped by the Visitors Center to pick 
up some language BOMs for the Zone when I snapped this. 
 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October 31, 2016

Hi everyone!!

Well sounds like everything is going good back home! As far as for us with Halloween it's just an all day P-Day with us having to be in our apartments from 6 until the end of the night, so a little different if I was at home haha. But I agree I can't believe that we are back into the holiday season! That's fun about the World Series! We have got a little info from on of our investigators but not tons. 

The last week was a pretty good one. We had Zone Training earlier in the week and we felt like it went pretty good. We talked a lot about faith and we got feedback that the missionaries really liked it. We talked about them having faith to find and baptize, but also having faith that if they tried their hardest and those things didn't happen that the Lord is still proud of them and their service. We used a lot from a talk by Elder Bednar where he asked a man if he had the faith enough to not be healed. As well as the Parable of the Seed Grown Secretly which is talked about in Jesus the Christ. 

This week was a lot of checking on referrals, this area gets so many!! Tons of bible referrals for African names we can't even pronounce, so that's fun. This area is a really diverse area, lots of different cultures. As well it was a catch up week where we tried to get a hang of things with the YSA Ward since this is new to all of us. The ward has been covered by the Chinese missionaries as their English area but President changed it so language missionaries now just focus on their language program so we picked up the YSA ward (Glendale) as well as our family ward (College Park). 

YSA is so weird, it kind of feels like hanging out with other kids and then taking about Jesus occasionally haha. But really I'm not use to talking to kids my age anymore, so this will be good to get me back closer to normal before I come home haha. And going to institute on campus is bomb! Holy cow I can't wait to go when I get home cause we get to go and it is so awesome!! Also YSA is tons of fun since I get to work with the Morgan's. Like yesterday I went on a mini split with the Morgan's to the YSA Ward Council and my comps stayed with an investigator in Sunday school. Luckily both wards share the chapel so it's not too bad but it does make for a long day, 7:30-4:30 at the church. 

I do wanna share the story of one of our RC though. It's a long story so I'll give the abbreviated and maybe I can tell the full story at Christmas. So his name is Anwar and he's from Pakistan. So he was in the armed forces there and after he got out he started doing a lot of charity work for the Christians in the country. And some people there didn't like it, and he had a lot of close encounters. Long story short he's been shot, beat, and had his family threatened because of his belief in Christ. He became a religious refugee and got expressed a visa to get him to Bangkok, where there he was transferred to the US. When he got here he prayed for guidance, and no joke as he got up off his knees there was a knock at the door and there stood missionaries. He was then baptized on July 24th. It is so amazing to get to work with him and keep teaching him his new member discussions. His English is pretty broken as he's trying to learn, but he is such an amazing man. I'll get a picture with him this week and send it next week!


Hope you all have a great Halloween!! 
Love you all!!
Love
Austin 
We climbed the steeple at our chapel. It's just a ton 
of ladders, quite the adventure!

 Knocking doors with 3 of us is pretty interesting.. it's a little 
too much on people's porches

For the District Activity today we carved various fruits and 
veggies.. cause pumpkins are too basic


October 24, 2016

Hey Fam!

Sounds like things are going good back home! Bummed about BYU but that is an awesome CC win!! Glad we could get the win over Alta!! 

Well things are doing good out here now! I think I was just shocked to be transferred but now that I am here I have really enjoyed it! I am now serving in the College Park area. So it is the area that surrounds the University of Maryland. It has been quite the adjustment from the ghetto to a college town haha. But I really like this area so far, we are on the DC-Maryland boarder so we have a little area that feels like DC which I love! Then we have the UofM area, some upscale stuff as well as some semi ghetto, lower income areas. So it's a great mix!! Plus there's a lot of work! 

We are double covering wards right now. So we are in the College Park Ward as well as we cover the Glendale YSA Ward. So it was a long day at church yesterday.. 7:30-4:30.  But it's fun! And that is how I serve with the Morgan's, they are assigned to coordinate YSA across the mission so they work here as well as with the other YSAs. But they live within our Zone. 

I am in a trio right now with Elder Warnes and Elder Tutu'u. Elder Warnes goes home mid transfer in 3 weeks because he would have missed 3 Thanksgivings. It has been really fun so far being with both of them, Elder Warnes has been here for 3 months so we are trying to pick the area up from him quick before he goes. Elder Tutu'u only has 2 transfers left after this one so I could be in this area for a little bit which so far I'm cool with. 

Not much to note from this week as it was mostly taking care of transfers for the Zone but we also got to teach some good RC and Investigator lessons. So it will be nice to get a full week of working this upcoming one! So I guess the only thing to note was MLC. I love MLCs so much just getting to see how much the leadership cares for this mission and our missionaries. We did get another rule from the Area Presidency that no one likes.. we can't work out in our Apartment gyms anymore, so I'm gonna be fat when I get home. But they followed up with telling us we did get approved to have a full mission Christmas party so we are so excited for that!! Also Trey, former Elder Tanner, was out visiting with his family so he dropped into the end of MLC to say hi to everyone. Then we came with us to our traditional post-MLC Chipotle. So awesome to catch up with him!

Well I don't have much more to say about this week, but things are going good! I hope everyone has good weeks back home! I love and miss you all!!

Love,
Austin 
Goodbye to Suitland Districts at their District Meetings last week before transfers 

                                

October 17, 2016

Hi everyone! 

First things first, some stuff made for a hold up on transfer board so we don't know anything about transfers until tonight, so it's been a pretty nerve wracking weekend, but only a few more hours! I'll send an email later after I find out to let you know what's going on for the new transfer. 

This week was a pretty good one! I was able to go on some great exchanges. One of them I got to be in a trio with Elder Schank and his trainee. So it was a great posterity time! We tracted, had a member meal and grabbed some ice cream. So all in all was a great time!! Also this week we did some service for a friend of a member and helped build a garden fence, so it was nice to do some manual labor and get some dirt under the fingernails for the first time in a while.

Also this week we were able to go to the temple for the Recent Convert Baptism trip! It was so nice to be back in the temple. Even though it wasn't a full trip to do an endowment session it was great to be in the baptistery with all of these recent converts doing the temple work for their direct ancestors. Such an amazing spirit. We took Clarisee, a convert who was baptized in August when Elder Zocca got transferred down here. She speaks only French and her brother is in the ward so she didn't want to go up to the French branch. So really a miracle Elder Zocca came down and was able to teach and baptize her. 

We then had Why I Believe on Sunday and I got to see the Morgan's! I'm sure they will text you with a picture of us today! It was so awesome to see them and get to talk with them. I sat next to them for the meeting and Clarisee was one of the RC who bore her testimony to start the meeting. So it made for a great night with also getting to see all the old friends from around the mission! Crazy to think it's already been a month since the last one!

Love and miss you guys! 

Love you!!
Austin 

An e-mail we got later with his transfer information-
Calls just came out. So I will be moving again. I'm going to the Silver Spring Zone staying as a Zone Leader in the College Park Area. It's up around the U of M. 

I'll be with Elder Tutuu and Elder Warnes. Elder Warnes is going home mid transfer so that is why we are in a trio to start. 

More info to come, I'll talk to you next week!! Love you!!

Austin 
Exchange with the posterity!!


Anacostia Boys! With Brother Mason, one if our favorites. He has slight mental 
disabilities and he's all the Elders buddy!

Monday, October 10, 2016

October 10, 2016

Hi everyone! 

Sounds like things are going good back home, I'm glad CC and BYU were both able to pull off good wins this week!! And sounds like Jamal has been having a monster season!  

I haven't been able to see the Morgan's yet, but we have Why I Believe this Sunday so hopefully I see them there! Like you said this area has opened my eyes tons. I feel like DC 3rd was like the warm up for this ward. So many tough situations, people who are in bad places in their lives. And sadly usually because of decisions they have made themselves. There is so many drug and alcohol problems. And I swear everyone is smoking when we are out and about. The ward is still struggling, we still only have about 50 people TOPS at sacrament. Of the 6 people who do sacrament, 2 to bless and 4 to pass, it was all of the missionaries in the ward. And then this will show how interesting out ward is, get this...so we had a child of record baptism yesterday and I conducted the service. We were missing so many ward leaders Sunday that they asked if we could do it, so a little unconventional but add it to the mission journal.

We had a pretty good week. We have been getting a TON of Mormon.org Bible referrals that we had to go check on. And then also did quite a bit of tracting this week. Kiawana is really struggling, we wanted to pick a new baptismal date with her but she just isn't ready. Her life is really kinda falling apart and it's super sad. But she finally came to church yesterday!! She just wanted to talk so we skipped gospel principles and had a lesson in a spare room. We were talking about trying to find blessings Gods given her even in all this hard stuff, and all she said was "I haven't smoked Crack Cocaine again and I still have my kids". Let me tell you we aren't in Kansas anymore Todo. 

But Valorie is doing awesome! We went and taught her yesterday and she's been reading the BOM! And she said she believes the Plan of Salvation is true. And yesterday during the lesson she started doing The whole, "if I did believe this and join your church..." game. So we really feel like she's going to commit to baptism soon! 

To top the week off we had Elder Bennett of the Seventy come and speak to the mission! It was such an amazing meeting! It was soo long but so spiritual! I took away a lot of awesome things from it. Plus we were combined with Rockville and DC Zones so I got to see some friends!! I sat next to Elder Jenks and it was awesome so see others there too!!

Well you counted right Mom, Transfer call out is this Saturday! It is so crazy how fast this one went, and I only have 6 more after this one. So nuts!! But it will be interesting to see what happens, I really have no clue. I could see it going both ways of going or staying, but I'll be happy either way. 

Love you all lots!!

Love,
Austin 

Tracting in the rain.. here is the difference in our companionship haha


 But it's okay cause we still love each other hahah. Oh man I love this guy!


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October 3, 2016

Hi Everyone!! 

Sounds like it was a good week for you all. A little low key, but those are always good weeks to have. Sounds like Caleb and Hailey are doing great in the activities and I'm glad BYU could get the W!! I'm sure the colors in the mountains are great as they usually are! It hasn't started to get that cold yet. It is starting to change though, we are in the low 70s to 60s on most days. And it is going to be a little off and on rainy for a few weeks. The colors will usually turn here at the end of October to early November if it follows like last year. 

Well with General Conference it was a little slower week. We taught some good lessons and things are going really good with Valorie. We have taught her a few times and she knows it is true, she's made comments that we know she does. Now it's just getting her to let go of the social side of her church, which she's only been a member for 6 months. We are hopeful! Sadly thing with Kiawana have made it that we are gonna have to bump her baptismal date, but we are hoping she will find her desire again and keep progressing!

Big event of the week (besides Conference) was interviews with President! He's said he's going to keep up trying to interview every missionary, every transfer. And props to him cause those are some long days! Ours went SO long! Since he's still new and getting to know people he talked an average about 20-30 min with each missionary when he is slotted 10. Then we had a few problems come up in the zone so a few missionaries took as long as AN HOUR!! Holy smokes! It was such a long day. We showed up at 9am to have a pre interview meeting with him and then we didn't walk into our interviews until around 9:45 pm. My interview with him went great, I love that man! We talked about some problems in the Zone, then he looked at me and said," Elder Carroll I so appreciate you" kinda teared up and said "We are gonna be friends a long time". I'm glad I have developed such a close relationship with him, and he's helped makes this transition to all the new rules and policies so much easier. I'm in a good place with them all now. 

Then we talked about the transfer to come and how Elder Zocca and I will most likely get broken up since there is a need to train new Zone Leaders. (Earlier that day he had said he was on the phone with Pres. Morgan the day before the Morgans will get here this week I think and he's assigned them to live in the Annapolis Stake but will serve with all the YSA wards in the mission) I jokingly said "so you're gonna move me to DC 2nd YSA to be a Rockville Zone Leader so I can work with President Morgan right?" And he laughed, then looked at me and said he actually liked that idea a lot and would think more about it. So fingers crossed! We ended the night with the Johnsons wanting to take us to dinner! So we went to dinner at 10:30 with them to Applebee's haha. Not many people can say they have been in a restaurant with their mission president until 11:30 at night! But it was great, a more casual environment to get to know them even more! 

Then of course the big event of Conference!! Wow I can't believe that I can say I only have 1 more as a missionary!! It's so crazy! But I love Conference so much now. Like I don't know if it's just I pay way better attention than I did back home, or if being set apart helps, but I get so much out of each talk. Like so much!  So we weren't able to go up to the Visitors Center for conference, we tried but we couldn't get an investigator or recent convert to go. Since we are over the Zone we went on an exchange to WP1 and actually got to watch Conference at the Beal's! So I got Conference crab again! Then we watched Priesthood at the stake center. Then both sessions on Sunday at the Stake Center. Like you Dad I can't wait to be able to go to Priesthood with all of you. Only thing that's a little sad during conference weekend is for sure after Priesthood session knowing you all are going to dinner together. But like you, I'm glad I'm here, it will be all too soon we get to all go together next fall. We got to watch all the sessions and the talks were great! I can't really pick a favorite but I did really like Elder Hales, Elder Cornish, President Nelson, Elder Yashita, Elder Oaks, Elder Uchtdorf (Priesthood Session), Elder Eyring (Priesthood Session) talks, wow that got a lot longer than I thought as I was looking at my notes. But you get the idea haha 

Well I hope you all have great weeks! I sure miss and love you all!! But guess what, 83 days till Christmas! 

Love ya tons,
Austin

here's a pic of me watching Conference with my friends

from our district Activity today


September 26, 2016

Hi Fam,

Congrats to Leby on his game! And yeah a huge bummer for BYU.  It was crazy with how many members were in town. I'm sure the DC 3rd Ward was packed! On the metro Saturday I felt like a celebrity with BYU shirts everywhere trying to talk to me haha. That's where I ran into Adam Blogett. I was talking to him and his friends, they asked were I was from then he said Draper.  So of course we asked each other where. And then when we were taking Bellevue I saw the light go off and he realized that I was "the Elder Carroll from my ward!" So it was pretty cool haha. But we are all so jealous, a lot of senior couples and even Pres Johnson went to the game.

Well it's been another pretty good week here! Elder Zocca and I have been seeing a lot of good things happen. Early in the week we did some weekly planing and made some good goals for the transfer as a companionship I think we will see some great things happen from them. Plus we did the planning over an early dinner at 5 Guys so that always helps haha. 

It was kinda a same old, same old week so it might be a thinner email. We are still meeting with Kiawana and her kids and hoping to keep the same baptismal date, but we will see. There are a ton of hurdles we are dealing with. It's so sad to see these good people be gripped by all of these horrible things in their environment and situation.  The other person we are excited about is named Valorie. She was a Mormon.org referral and we called to see if we could visit her and she said we could come over right then. We went and taught her and she told us her daughter is a member so she knows some stuff but had tons of questions. And it's so awesome to teach her cause that's all we do is answer her questions. And it's been cool for me to see us answer these questions and just again show me the church is true. We have to answer all of her questions first with the Bible and then the BOM and we can answer them every time. I'm so glad I'm serving in a place like this, cause my whole mission I've had to learn the Bible to be able to answer all of the questions that people who already are in Christian denominations have. And I've gotten pretty good at knowing what scriptures to use and like I said it just confirms everything. #ChurchIsTrue

Then Saturday was the best!! Former Elder Herring was in town for the game since he's red shirting at the Y. And him and his parents took a few of us out to breakfast! It was so sweet to see him! We was the AP when I came into the mission and he's such a stud! After that I got to go down to WP2 on an exchange!! I got to see the Vances, Heaths, and of course I had dinner st the Chamberlain's! Ah it was the best. I'm glad I've got to stay connected with them my whole mission. Things are slowly still getting better! Sister Chamberlain, even said.. "ya know when the kids finally get to be baptized you better come down to baptize one of them". Ah man that was the best to hear!! All in all that day ended up being 14 hrs.. out at 8 back at 10 at night. It was a killer one 

Sunday was then filled with stake coordination meetings in the morning. Which was nice cause we got to see Elder Torgerson and Jenks, love those guys! Then church with our always interesting congregation, and going to the refugee community for Elder Zocca to teach in Swahili. 

Hope you all have great weeks!! I sure miss and love you guys! Time is going so fast though plus 90 days till Christmas so 90 days till Skype! Have a great General Conference too!!

Love you all!!
Austin

#NoFilter....like really. There is no filer on that!



Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19, 2016

Hi everyone!! 

Okay to answer your questions- Elder Zocca has been out for 17 months so just a little longer than me. And he was called French, he's served in the French program and Amharic program before going English to serve in leadership. But like you said super cool about him getting to teach in Swahili. And no there are no sisters close to our Ward haha. Nor do I think there ever will be. Just the 6 elders in the ward here. And Elder Zocca had been in the area for one transfer before I came here. So the bed bugs got taken care of.. We threw out the mattresses, bed frames and box springs from the room and did a spray treatment. And it's now been a week and a half with no one getting bites and no bed bugs seen so I think we are in the clear. 

Well this week has been a whirlwind trying to get things going. Going to a new area is always interesting because you know how to do the missionary work, but you are re learning the people in the ward, the people you are teaching, and your area. But it's been good. This past week Elder Zocca and I gave a Zone Training on missionaries extending and following up on commitments. I'm happy with how it went and President was there and really complimentary of how it went.

Then the story I wanna tell this week is about the investigator we are working the most with. So her name is Kiawanna. She's had a pretty rough life, she was using crack-cocaine for a while but has since gotten off of that. She is a pretty accurate representation of what this whole area is pretty much like. But she has such a desire to change, and ever since she first stared meeting with missionaries she has wanted to change. And slowly she is, we have her on baptismal date for October 16th along with her two twin kids Issac and Kyana. We are super excited and hope we can resolve a few more W.o.W. problems and get them all baptized! Elder Jenks was actually one of the missionaries that found her, and at Why I Believe last night I got to tell him about how she was on Date and he was so excited just grabbed me in a huge hug and told me how glad he was that I was down here to finish what he started! When we both got called as Zone Leaders at the same time he came down here before he was called as an AP last transfer.  

Sunday was our other hi light. So we got asked by the Stake Presidency to be a part of this panel Q&A at a Stake Mission Prep fireside and it was tons of fun! Plus I saw some familiar faces from WP2 there! After that we had to fly up to the VC late for Why I Believe. And it was a blast! We are holding onto that since its about the only thing they haven't taken away... yet. We are hoping they won't. But it was so nice to see some faces I haven't for a while like Elder McDonald, Elder Cowan, Elder Chapman, and all the other great friends I've made out here! I love getting to serve in DC North, there's no mission like it in the world. So unique and truly "The Greatest Mission in the History of Life"!! 

Love you all!! Hope you have great weeks!! Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers, you guys are the best support from back home!

Love,
Austin 

Elder Zocca and I found a license plate this week.. It's now a souvenir for me

Reconnecting with DC Zone!