Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

Hi everyone!

Sounds like it was a great week back home! I'm glad you guys were able to have such a great trip down in Moab! We will For sure have to do some of those sweet hikes when I get back!

So Brother Seay is a member of the Ward. He is one of the more solid couples in the Ward and his wife and him are super missionary minded and called as Ward missionaries. He loves reaching out to the missionaries families. Like you said it is crazy all of the picture and things you get about me since I'm stateside. It's fun to serve around all the tourist places because we always get stopped and hear "Hi Elders" yelled from across the way, super fun to be like the public image missionaries for the church around the DC Metro area! Elder Cowan and I talk about how cool it is that we serve in the area that everyone thinks of when they think of DC! It's so cool!! Well besides the fact we get a fake referral for Obama about every other week haha!

So this week was a pretty great one! I'm just gonna jump to Saturday and Sunday because that's where all the eventful things happened. 

So Saturday we had interviews with President and Sister Cooke, and have I ever mentioned how much I love them?? Like wow if I ever feel bad about myself I can guarantee they will make me feel like a million bucks after talking! I talked with President and he was just really complimentary of me and everything I've been doing. And we talked for a while because usually I don't have much to talk about because my approach has always been that I can solve my own problems and I don't need President to help out with stupid things. But he said that's great but he wants to help me out. Then he said he loves me tons.

Then I got to talk to Sister Cooke, and I LOVE that woman! Like she really is my mission mom. We were talking and she said "Elder Carroll you are really quiet" and I laughed and told her she must not know me very well. And she laughed and said what she meant was that I never call her with health or emotional related problems. (Back to my conversation with President). So she said I need to text her out of the blue sometimes and tell her how my days going hahah. She's amazing. 

Then guess who came to the Ward on Sunday?! Lucie!! (Ismaels mom) because I had talked to her about going to the DC 3rd Ward because of how she can't go to Laurel Ward with her work. So it was fun to see her and then I called Ismael later, I love that kid!! 

Then on Sunday we had a baptism! I can't believe I've forgotten to mention this before! But looks like I'm the closer missionary. I come in during the 7th inning and make sure the people get baptized. Because so far both baptisms I've had I've just walked into. So we had a Baptism for a guy named Shawn. He's investigated for a few years. Then he got serious and he's totally changed his life around to where he is now. It's amazing to see the changes that happen in people's lives as they draw closer to our Savior and come unto the gospel. He is amazing and I love him tons even in the short few weeks I've known him. He's so much fun to teach and he loves Elder Cowan and I. 

It's been a fun week, Sister Cooke said she was so happy that I'm happy with this transfer and to "soak up every minute because I know sometimes we don't always get to serve win people get get along with". Life is good. 

Can't wait to talk to you guys in 4 weeks! So crazy it's coming that fast!! I love and miss you all! 

Love you!
Love, Austin 

Shawn's baptism

April 4, 2016

Hi everyone!!

So for sessions of conference I watched the Saturday Morning at our apartment in our lounge. Then the Afternoon, Priesthood and Sunday morning at our chapel. And then Sunday Afternoon was at the Visitors Center. 

I really enjoyed Elder Duncan's talk in the Saturday Morning session when he talked about forgiveness and his quote about Saul like people in our lives that have Paul like potential. I also really loved President Owens talk in priesthood session where he talked about leaders. I love what he talked about how the best leaders are the best followers and the best leaders follow Christ. Also how he said that as leaders it's not enough to come onto Christ ourselves, but we have to help others come to Christ. Overall conference was great! I always get so much out of each talk as a missionary! It's the best.. So so crazy I only have 2 more!!  

So the week was pretty good! It's still a big adjustment to the city and all! But it's going good. I LOVE the city! It's crazy but it's been great. I'm scared I'm gonna loose Cowen since he's been here since he got here for 6 months. And Jenks just got told he's going ZL next transfer really quick because of the President change. So the apartment will change up really quick but it's all good, this transfer was suppose to happen. I've never been happier or more content with myself or my mission than I am now. 

So about conference and all your questions at the end.. We try to invite people but not lots come. So overall it's just the missionaries all across the chapel.. It's funny haha. The Visitor Center has some members but mostly missionaries and some investigators. Elder Cowen and I get along so good! I love him tons! So we don't love our bikes cause we are in the deep metro and it's kinda sketchy to ride our bikes. So we mostly metro and walk. So all the walking, kinda biking and 0 member meals I should drop some weight which would be good!! The Ward is about the size to fill a chapel without any overflow to give you a size. 

Oh another awesome thing about this transfer.. So (Elder) Jake Kohler is serving the the Mount Pleasant Branch (Spanish) which shares the building with us. So I see him tons and we pass people back and forth! It's great to be close to people from home! He even slept over last night since he's in the city and we just sat and talked all about home!!

All is well here in the nations Capitol! I love you all and think if you lots!!


We had to get a comp picture for thank you notes we will give to members with our 
picture on it so we decided to have at least a cool picture for it. 

Conference Sunday at the Visitors Center and Temple

Elder Kohler slept over! So much fun to have someone from home out here with me 
and now serve with each other!

We just got back from a Capitol tour, which was so awesome! Honestly I
think it would be so cool to intern on the Hill at some point!

Friday, April 1, 2016

March 28, 2016

Hi Fam!!

Happy Easter to you all!! It has sure been an interesting week! I'm just gonna run down my week day by day because I think that's the only way I can keep it all straight. But to start off so you don't have to wait. My area is the DC 3rd South and my companion is Elder Cowen. Then my roommates are Elder Chapman (I came out with him) and....Elder Jenks!!! Hahah it's been so sweet! Out apartment is so stack! But so hard working and obedient together, it's great! So it's kinda interesting we are the only apartment where the roommates are in different zones. So we are in the DC 3rd Ward in the South area, in the DC Zone (stake). And they are in the Capitol Hill Ward in
the North Area, in the Suitland Zone (stake). So we live right on our area boundaries.  The DC 3rd ward has the most missionaries per ward in the mission, we have 12. So there's a North, East and South English area. Then 4 Amharic elders and 2 French Elders. So it's pretty crazy to see all the missionaries running around the Ward during the church block.

So Monday I got the transfer call saying my new assignment. I was also called as a District Leader for the DC 3 District. Which has lovingly become known as the Frat District because we are the only district in the mission that doesn't have sisters in it so that's fun. So the area is super cool, I'm sending a picture of the area so you can see it better, but the national mall is in my area! How cool it that!?

Tuesday was just the craziness of running around and saying goodbyes. I'll send all the pictures from the goodbyes! Ismael was pretty sad but we got an email chain started so we can talk and I promised we would keep in touch until I went home and the when I have a phone we can text and he can call me and all that good stuff!

Wednesday we transferred and I met Elder Cowen! I had known who he was but didn't know tons about him. He has been out for almost 6 months and he just split from his trainer. I am pumped to be comps with him! He is from Oregon and is such a stud! He played golf and basketball in HS and we get along so good! He just wants to work hard. he's such a good missionary and I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday and Friday were the annoying nitty gritty of learning the new area and trying to get a grasp. Let's just say city missionary work is much different than suburb missionary work. But I love it!!

Saturday I had to attend leadership meeting which was about 4 hours but it was really insightful! I've never appreciated how much gets put in behind the scenes of the mission. All the administrative side, but it was cool to be apart of those conversations and try to help the mission out.

Sunday was my first church in the city. And let me tell you it's pretty crazy haha. Just figuring out everything and city wards are not as strong. Plus dealing with all the visitors is hard.. But then here comes the real story. So we had a lunch at a members house (which never happens - ps.I'm gonna get skinny cause I'm kissing my member
meals goodbye), and got a call from the Chevy Chase Sisters who was having a baptism at our chapel because their buildings water heater was broken. Long story short they planned their baptism late and we had to come fill the font. We had a hose running from an outside spigot through a window and then carrying buckets from the kitchen in. So overall that kinda sucked haha. But it's all good.

So overall this transfer is a dream. I am so excited. Our apartment had this heart to heart talk on our roof where we all just talked that we felt like we have been good missionaries but there's more to improve, that we can
do even more. So this apartment is a dream with a comp and roommate that are awesome and then having one of my best mission buds as a roommate as well!! We also live in the nicest apartment in the mission so that's another bonus (you can see the Capitol and Washington from the roof)

I hope you all have great weeks! I'll keep you updated on this great week to come!

Love you all tons!
Love Austin
Laurel Good-byes!
Lucie & Ismael

This is Brandon.  When I first got to the area he was on the fringe 
but now he says he wants to serve a mission.  I gave him a tie and wrote a note on 
the back! I'm gonna stay in contact with him for sure!

Area Map

The only picture I have of the apartment so far.  Me, Jenks, Chapman, and Cowen

For p-day we went to see the cherry blossoms which are in full bloom. 
Me and Elder Cowen