August 2, 2010

Next stop...Philippines!

Well...I can't believe it's been 9 weeks already!  At our departure meeting last night I felt like it was just last week that I was sitting in orientation!  I leave this place in about an hour and 15 min, woohoo!!!!  I have learned SO MUCH here and I am SO grateful for all of my experiences, it has been the best thing in the world (so far)!  Let me just run through my feelings about everything....
I have had many many struggles over the past 9 weeks from feelings of discouragement and inadequacy to just wanting to relax and sit around with my new friends and hang out--maybe watch a movie and talk about life.  There have been moments of frustration with the language, my companions, and my district (nine 19 yr old boys!)  Just when I think I'm doing pretty good with everything, the Lord shows me my weaknesses.  I have looked plenty of weaknesses straight in the eye and Satan has even helped me compare them with other's strengths (not cool Satan)...  I am 100% positive though that God has shown me my weaknesses so that I could build them up.  And I can attest that every single time I have turned to Him with a problem or bad feeling, or a change needing to be made, He has lifted me above that trial/weakness and made me even stronger than before.  As I have turned my will over to Him and really shown Him that I want a change, I want a weakness turned into a strength He has helped me, every single time.  My testimony of relying on the Lord has truly sky rocketed, and it's only the MTC!
I know this not only applies to a missionary, but to everyone out there.  Much of the world is controlled by Satan and His devils and if we for one second are not choosing God, are not progressing we are automatically choosing Satan and digressing.  That is not a lie, and it is not something to play around with.  It is so very important that we are constantly trying to improve ourselves and our weaknesses, continually evaluating our desires and direction.  Because Heavenly Father loves us so much He has shown us the way home--and that way is only through our Savior Jesus Christ.  I was reading hymn #115 "come ye disconsolate" and the words really spoke to me the other day.  It was as if Christ himself was talking to me and it was so very powerful and special....this is what the words were saying to me (which apply to you as well):
"Come to me ye who are alone and uncomforted, wherever you are suffering in the world. 
come to me in prayer, for I am full of mercy, kneel with purpose.  Bring your wonded
hearts-tell me of your sorrow and sadness.  There is nothing in this life you can go
through, that I cannot heal and take away"
I want to add my testimony to this that no matter what Satan offers and no matter how bad our current situations are....Christ can and will take it away.  He has given us the invitation to come unto Him and He will heal us. (3 Nephi 17:7-9)  But that's just the thing...we HAVE to go to Him in order to be healed.  Baptism is the ONLY WAY we can "go to Him"...and if that has already happened then you are on the path to God, and it just takes enduring to the end.  We can ALWAYS go to Him.  My companion and I are convinced that the only reason we have laws and commandments are because Heavenly Father loves us so much and wants to bless us but He can only do that if we are obedient to something and choosing good over evil.  If we keep the commandments He has asked He is more than happy to bless us, because He can.  God is bound by His own laws, so if we keep our end--He will always always keep His.
Well, here's lookin at the toilet paper, spiders as big as my face, never being clean again, and sweaty for 16 months straight!!!  I just know I will love every single minute of it!!  I will be 100% involved with the work in Laoag on Thrusday morning!!!  I promised Heavenly Father that I will open my mouth to everyone I meet...His work is importand to me and so are His children. 
Thank you all for your love and support of me...there is nothing greater that I can be doing right now and you all are making it happen for me!  I pray that the Lord will pour out His blessings upon each one of you and your family!!

Mahal ko kayo nang sobre!!!!
Sis. Carroll

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