October 17, 2011

Shower surprises...and one awesome week

Fam and Friends,

How are we this week?! Shall I start off with my shower surprise?? Well, this morning I was showering and was washing my face (so my eyes were closed) and I felt something touch my foot....I quickly opened my eyes to find a HUGE roach frantically running around in the tub....I immediately jumped out and called for some bug spray! what a wake up call! I have no idea where he came from and why I didn't see him in the bathroom before that....dang creatures, messing with my alone time haha.

Onto the awesome week we had!!!! It seriously just kept getting better and better...I'll start with a new investigator we found last Tuesday, Aida. She is a mom and a catholic who is dedicated to the Bible. Well, when we first found her the week before, she was busy and so we set an appointment for Tuesday...wasn't expecting anything cause she didn't seem all that interested. But she was there, yay, and we started off by asking her questions about her religion, and how she came to know God. That's where we learned that she is an avid Bible-reader. That gave us an opportunity to introduce the Book of Mormon. The lesson went really smooth and she seemed pretty interested. We asked her to read and pray to know it is true and that our message is true, she said the typical thing "I know its true, its from God, I don't need to ask" however, in order for her to gain a testimony that it is true, she needed to pray and receive that answer from God alone, not from us. So we really encouraged her to pray and she accepted. Well, come Thursday, we returned and she was there (good sign number one) and when we followed up on her reading, she said oh it's good, I read just a little. But then she showed us where she was...1 Nephi 11 and she read the title page and testimonies! Only 2 days and she was telling us the storyline and about the characters...she actually READ it for understanding, not just to say she read it. She proudly said she knows it is true and that the things we are saying are true. She has already fallen in love with the Book of Mormon. So we taught her about the apostasy and Joseph Smith and the Restoration and she took it all in. We asked her to pray about this church to know it's true and she agreed then we asked when she knows it's true, will she be baptized and she accepted! Oh man, that book has power that we cannot see or describe. The honest seekers will truly be enlightened and will find.

Moving to our baptism candidate, Erril.

He is a true convert to Jesus Christ...because of the Book of Mormon. He has the strongest testimony. He's been an investigator for over a year and used to have lots of problems with the word of wisdom. Now, he's a changed man, and this change has gone all the way through. He's only 24 and has had lots of experiences in life that aren't the best. But now, the glow of the gospel shines from every part of him. And on Saturday/Sunday he officially accepted Christ through baptism and confirmation. I cannot express my joy when I see a humble, repentant person submit to the Lord's will, in any manner, but most especially through baptism. This is the GREATEST of the Lord's work here on the earth. Nothing can replace it. Did you know that as we preach the gospel and help others become qualified for exaltation, our own sins are forgiven and we help ourself into God's kingdom. That just shows how much the Lord values this work and the life of every soul.

So the 4 of us decided to do a special musical number at the baptism...i don't know why i agree to stuff like that. We found a song on the 2010 EFY CD that we really liked called "Let it begin" the lyrics are incredible and so we split up the parts...solos and all....first of all, i am not a singer, and i don't do well when i am the center of attention haha......needless to say, when it was my part my voice totally cracked like a 12 year old boy going through puberty and it was really embarrassing. Luckily, my comp was there to back me up and finished my part with me.....Heavenly Father knows how to keep me humble :)

Yesterday was Sis Francia's bday!!!

We celebrated at the Pacual's with like the whole branch haha. It was a lot of fun, I love these people TO DEATH!!!!! They have all become my home away from home.

One of our investigators also worked with us yesterday, haha, she is incredible, it's only been 3 weeks of us teaching her and she has a powerful testimony. She's only 15 too! She will be baptized on November 19. Man, we are seeing sooooo many miracles in this place it's not even funny. We are really striving to apply all that we are learning, and also striving for obedience. Those 2 mixed together equals greatness :)

Well, until next week that's all I've got. Life is so beautiful, please know that.
Love you all, your prayers and support of me here in the Philippines is not in vain. You too are making a difference in the lives of these amazing people.

Sis. Carroll

"Let it Begin"
You might think that no ones been through what you're going through
And you might think that nobody's made the same mistakes as you
You are feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders, turn it over..

Just have the courage to take one step, someone's gonna be there to help with the rest.
To start is the hardest but its something that only you can do
Don't carry the burden as the years go by, you don't need that crushing weight in you life.
Have faith to pray for the strength to finally see this through.
Theres one who knows you perfectly He can take the hurt away.
The healing starts within, just let Him in, let it begin

You've tried hard to hide from the past and to bury it deep.
You're overwhelmed by all of the things that you know you should be
Just believe, mistakes of the past don't define you, they refine you...

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