Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August 29, 2016

Hi all!

Well it was a pretty good week here in DC. Things are starting to cool down a little, but it would be nice if it does more!! We are still sweating it up pretty good here. 

This week was a really regular week for missionary work, we did pretty good on lessons taught and had some exchanges with elders in the zone. We do have a baptism that should happen this upcoming Sunday though!! So Sister Hardy is a less active lady and we stopped by cause she has tons of grand kids that she has legal custody of and have been baptized and we found out she has two that are over 8 that haven't been baptized yet. So for the past 5 weeks we have been teaching them and now Kyrie and Hayley should be baptized on Sunday! We are super excited and we will make sure to keep ya in the loop on that one!

Other than that it's been a week of letting adjustments sink in. It's been kinda a hard transfer just having so much change. Usually mission presidents don't make changes so fast I feel like, but since Baltimore missionaries came down it made the changes happen faster since it was a mold of two mission cultures. And it's been super hard. The two big overlying things the church has made policy changes are just with us being more effective with our time and not traveling as much. They have been quoted saying they don't want us to make friends because we should be focused on the work. And you know me, I'm a people person and I love getting close with people. So it's been hard. Just that I can't see these guys I've gotten super close with. But we are moving forward, it's hard but it's not gonna change back so I've just had to get over it and move along. It's really hard when you are feeling like you have to prove yourself as a missionary and leader to your companion, but things are getting better. We've had some good talks and it's improving I feel like.. 

Missions are hard, but so worth it. Biggest thing I've learned this transfer is hard things are good things. And I'm glad things haven't come easy for me on and off the mission so far. Learning to work for your reward is worth it. I hope you all have great weeks adjusting back to school!! I miss and love you all!!


We drove past a High School on Friday and it's the start of 
Friday Night Lights around here!! Man it was rough, we wanted to 
stop and watch the game so bad!!

Always reppin the 801!!

August 22, 2016

Hi everyone!!

I cannot believe that it is already time to get back to school!! And that this is the last school year I won't be apart of!  Time is flying! But it sounds like everyone had pretty decent weeks. 

That's awesome the Morgan's got to come speak to the ward! I'm so excited for them to get out here.  It's always fun to have a familiar face in the mission! I'm not positive about splits but we have senior couples come to lessons with us quite often so both Pres and Sis Morgan could come out depending on where they get assigned. It will be fun to have them in 5 weeks

To answer you questions- we talked to President about flipping areas and he's still trying to make a decision. He has a lot of things going on so I don't really think it's the top of his priority list. There are quite a few details that he has to consider. So I'll keep you in the loop! We are suppose to talk more on Tuesday with him. 

This week was another pretty same old same old mission week. The few highlights were Zone Conference, Stake Coordination (not really a highlight), and Why I Believe. 

So Zone Conference was on Wednesday and it was really good! A little hectic and not as smooth since it was the Johnson's first one. But it was still super good! I gave a training on helping other missionaries more confidently share their testimonies. And then the Johnson's focused on teaching the Restoration. It was great to spend time with them, they really are like parents out here to me!

Then it was Stake Coordination.. Ugh. How much I hate those stupid spreadsheets. But we have gotten it down so it onto takes us about 2 hours. But now we had to take the Excel app off our iPads cause it's not a "Church Approved App". So say hello to 4-5 hours next time we do it.  Pres Cooke said we could use it but Pres Johnson is very by the book so we have to wait to get it approved by Salt Lake. 

Then Why I Believe was sweet!! First of all we get to see other missionaries which is amazing! I miss all my friends in other zones. I got to see guys like Elder McDonald, Florence, Jenks, Mellen, Cowan. Almost everyone! Plus even better Ismael was there!! Felt kinda bad for the Laurel guys but he wanted to come sit with me hah. I love that kid! And the on top of that Josephine Chamberlain was there with a few of her boys! So in one night I got to see two of my favorite people I've worked with!! It really made me feel good and remember the good I've done on my mission so far, especially in the kinda work slump we've been having in this area. 

Things are going good out here. It is getting cooler which is a relief and we are fast approaching another transfer which is crazy to think! There's a high probability I'll get transferred out this time and there are two places which are probably my most likely, College Park ZL or DC 2nd YSA ZL, which I would be super excited for either! So we will see soon! 

Have a great week getting back to school! I love and miss you guys!!


Ceasar (guy who loves missionaries and feeds us) at our Ward FHE this last week 

Ismael & Me at Why I Believe 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

August 15, 2016

Hi everyone!

Things are starting to get back into the normal routine around here! It was sad to see Chico go, but we have him set with some Visitors Center sisters to stay in touch with him thorough Facebook and things like that until he gets to Zambia and reconnects with the missionaries there.

About switching to South. So I served there with Elder Cowan so it wouldn't be too bad if it happens since I know the area and most the people they are working with. Just the thought is our area is super slow, and their area is too much work for them. Cause they are the French missionaries so they cover the whole stake for French then the South area just for English and it's gotten too busy with French. So President was gonna think and pray about it the talk to us at Zone Conference this week about it. 

I am so jealous of you guys getting to watch the Olympics.. I'm sure they have been tons of fun! Only 16 days until College Football starts and that one will be rough on me haha. I'll make it though. 

This week was a pretty good one.. Except for the fact it was so freaking hot here!! The heat index hit 109 this last week. The humidity.. Man if felt like a sauna. Let's just say I'll probably burn all my shirts before flying home and just get one new one to come home in. But it's all good. I got to go on exchange with some of the Spanish elders and had some good appointments as well.. We have started playing Prose-Ball for some finding. Which includes us balling kids up in our shirts and ties. It's a ton of fun and we actually get people to become more interested in the church. Plus we are a pretty good duo.. Especially since Elder Sherratt is 6'5" haha

Thursday was by far our highlight. We had interviews with President and Sister Johnson and they are the best!! I'm glad I was able to get to make a immediate connection with them. I talked to both of them for probably 30 plus minutes and they were both great talks. I'm comfortable enough with President to tell him I'm getting a little burnt out on the area and he talks to me about mission business a lot. They are just so awesome!! 

But the coolest thing happened during interviews. So a guy named Paul showed up and wanted to talk to missionaries. He told us his story and how he's been jumping from church to church trying to find the true one. And he kept coming back to the Mormons. Long story short he felt like he needed to come to the chapel so he could be taught. No one is usually at the chapel on a Thursday at noon. We taught him an awesome lesson that President even came and sat in on for a few minutes and we are going to start teaching him.  It is so cool to see how the "coincidences" of life are not that at all. But the Lords hand in our day to day lives. He cares about Paul enough to prompt him to go to the church when we are there, and he cares enough about us to prompt and help us as well. If we are mindful and watchful everyday we can see miracles. I know God was and still is a God of miracles. 

I hope you all have great weeks getting ready to go back to school! I love and miss you guys!!


I'll fill you in in them all next week! They are grand kids of a less active.  We are teaching the 
two that are 8 and 9 trying to get them baptized. It is a crazy house with all the kids but nothing a 
video on the iPad can't fix haha!

August 8, 2016

Hi everyone!

Yeah the transition is setting in a little better. We have interviews with President this week so I'm excited to be able to talk to him a little more about everything. Like you said when we are serving others and serving with them our prospective of them will change. So I'm sure it's just a matter of time for the 2 missions cultures to be able to better mesh. But it will be all good!

My week was pretty uneventful as well. So this might be a boring email. (Yes Mom I know you are saying any email is a good email..) We just did some settling into the area, a few zone errands, but ended up teaching a good amount of lessons! 7 investigator lessons, which for this area is pretty good! We are teaching a part member family where the wife isn't a member as well as two grandkids of a semi active grandma. So it's good! Especially with this sad news.  So Chico is moving back to Zambia. So we are sending a baptism to Africa, cause he had all the lessons taught and was ready to have his interview. That was really rough. Then on top of that Alex dropped us pretty much. But said he would meet with us after 2 weeks of reading the BoM on his own. So hopefully he will and we can come back and keep teaching him. But if not we will just move on and find others to teach. This area is pretty slow though. I'm kinda getting sick of it but there is talk we might get flipped down to the South area which would be AMAZING! I love that area and it is such a active area! I'll let you know any updates on that next week!

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. I'm glad you are able to interact with all the old ward members! There are so many good people in the two wards back home. I will still claim most of Bellevue as my home ward!  

Love and miss you!!
Official Year Mark Shirt Burn!! 

We went to the Library of Congress and the Capitol Building for p-day

Almost all the DC 3rd Elders.  Just missing Elder Stubell and you have the 6 of us 
that serve in the ward together.

My new companion, Elder Sherratt, is the tall one to my left.

August 1, 2016

Hi all!! 

Like you, I can't believe it is August and Friday is my official year mark. We are either a year out until I'm home or less and that is just crazy. In some ways it has gone so fast, others I feel like I've been here forever. Sounds like it was a good relaxed week for you all. Man do I miss those! 

So to be 100% honest this week was a pretty hard one. Really tough and overwhelming. So I am staying here in DC 3rd and my new companion is Elder Sherratt who came down from being one of the Annapolis ZLs. He's from Anaheim, California and has been out for 15 months. He's a really great missionary. 

Sending home a group of 24 that includes some of your good friends on the mission is really hard. This was the first group that has been hard to see go. Some of those guys were like older brothers to me when I got here. So watching them all leave the Stake Center parking lot to go to the airport was a real heart breaker. But they all served great mission and I'm happy for them to move on to other things. 

So as we all would have guessed, getting a new mission President, loosing 24 missionaries, bringing in 23, plus adding a new stake and 28 missionaries from another mission is a lot of changes. And change is so hard sometimes. It is good, but so hard. There have been so many little changes (and big ones) that have happened it is super overwhelming. It's been tough. I could list out all the little things that have been changed with rules and everything, and each one on its own doesn't seem like much, but add them all together and it's been rough. I know all of these changes are meant to make us better and serve better but still is tough. Plus the missionaries that came down from Baltimore are struggling with the new mission. I can't blame them for missing their old mission, but DC North is such an amazing place to be. And they just keep complaining about anything we do different than how they did. So that's hard.. Elder Sherratt isn't like that, but it's sure an adjustment to a comp who is use to a lot of things going different. 

But I'm glad that through all these changes we have someone great like President Johnson. It's a good thing I love him cause it would be pretty rough if I didn't. I had a really awesome interaction with him after MLC (Mission Leadership Council) this part week. We had discussed a lot of changes during the meeting and there were a lot of not happy people in the room but by the end everyone accepted it and moved on. So I was talking to him after and made a comment that I may have been mad, but I accept the changes and support him. Then he looked at me and said, "Elder Carroll I'm glad you were mad. Cause that shows you are passionate about this and the other missionaries. I would so much rather have someone who is PO'ed because they actually care." Then he went on and just was really complimentary of me and talked for a few minutes with me. It was really nice and is something I've looked to this past week a lot. 

Overall this is one of those weeks I'm sure I won't miss on the mission when I get home. But the mission as a whole is so worth it. There are gonna be ups and downs and the best thing about downs is you then get to go up. Well, hopefully cause it will be rough if we have to go down any more haha. 

I sure love and miss you all! Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!


Great-Grandpa, Grandpa, Father, Son. 4 generations on the mission is pretty rare!! 
Also the only picture I got with Elder Coombs before he left!

Me & Elder Tanner