Thursday, July 30, 2015

Another Week!

                                                                                                              July 28. 2015

Hello Everyone!

So I had another couple of friends come into the MTC! Elder Bates, Elder Sabey, Sister Froisland, Sister Farrer, Sister Frisch, Elder Nelson, and Elder Nimmo who is in my zone. Always awesome seeing familiar faces here at the MTC.

I know I forgot some stuff from last week, so I apologize if any of the is stuff I've already said, but last week when we went to the temple, we got breakfast and temple breakfast is AMAZING. We got it when we went again today, soooo goood.

A bunch of people left are zone last Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and I was sad to see them go, but then we got a whole bunch of new people which was great. I got to work traffic on Wednesday for all the missionaries getting dropped off and it was pretty fun. It was a little sad because seeing all the emotional family members made me a little homesick, but I know I'm here to serve the Lord and I'm right where I should be!

Because one of my teacher's, Sister Sandholtz, was out of town all week, we had Sister De Campos and she was fantastic. Incredibly spiritual, incredibly insightful, just what I needed.

Two of the new Elders moved into our room, Elder Bott and Elder Stewart, they're cool. Although room situation is changing up again. So this morning, two Elders left that were part of a trio so the one Elder left, Elder Ebert, has become another companion of mine! I've had four comps in 4 weeks, craziness! But he's a great guy and I'm happy to have him. To keep it simple, I'm comps with Elder Kunz and Elder summers still during class time, but every other time of the day I'm comps with Elder Ebert. I'm just glad I've liked all the comps I've had so far.

Last night I was able to participate in some blessings for some missionaries leaving, and it was definitely nice and spiritually enriching to be involved in that again. More Portuguese learning, more soccer and volleyball, ya know, the usual.

But something big happened a few days ago. To keep it simple, let me all tell you that we need to be selfless and constantly working to help, care for, and serve others. Life isn't about you; it's about blessing other people’s lives and making the world a better place. This is especially true as a missionary. Time is precious, don't waste it, make every moment worth something, don't hold grudges, and make sure you always let your friends and family know how much you love them. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love all of us and will never give us anything that we can't handle. You are never alone. I hope you all are doing well, keep on pressing forward.

Elder Carroll

Attending the temple on P-Day - Priceless!
with Elder Joseph Nelson

so great to help out The Nelson Family on arrival day

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

3 weeks down , 3 weeks to go!

July 21, 2015

3 weeks down, 3 weeks to go! I'm half-way done my time at the MTC!

That first week was definitely the hardest and things dragged for sure, but since then it has been going a lot quicker and things have been a lot better. My branch is great, Portuguese is starting to come along, I'm starting to get the hang of things.

Okay my week. Like I said before, half our district left for Brazil and I do miss them a lot, but it is easier to focus and get work done with only three. We've made a lot of progress this week, we've had a few lessons with our investigators Manuela and Jose, and one with Claudia and they've all gone pretty well. I'm able to go in and not look at notes and do a pretty good job explaining doctrinal points and how I feel. It's a very satisfying feeling, but I know for sure it's all because of my Heavenly Father, Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Without their guidance, I could do nothing. I became a District Leader which is exciting, it doesn't give me a ton to do in the MTC but I definitely need to set the example. Oh and I forgot to bring my journal to the computer and that has all the stuff that happens in the week, so I may forget some stuff and will have to add more next week. Sorry!

Almost all of the people from our branch going to Africa left yesterday, today, or tomorrow which is sad, but they were great and I know they'll be amazing missionaries. On Sunday at church, a few of us Elders sang Come Thou Fount and it is one of the best experiences I've had here so far. The song brought me to tears and I'm so grateful I have a Savior Jesus Christ who died for my sins that I could be clean again and return to him and my Heavenly Father.

On a less spiritual but still singing note, before everyone left yesterday, we all gathered in a circle and sang Bohemian Rhapsody in a very out of tune and off key manner at the top of our lungs and it was amazingly fun. We did it a little bit in the cafeteria earlier but that was just a warm up. Some people took videos; hopefully we can fit it into an e-mail. You'll all get it if we can.

Well, that's all my brain is remembering for now.
Love you all!  I love it when you write me letters and send me e-mails!
Sincerely, Elder Carroll


Here is his communication information at least for the next 3 weeks
Unit 97 Mission code BRA-JP Departure date AUG 11

 Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing – lyrics

Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
I'll praise the mount I'm fixed upon it
Mount of thy redeeming love

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by thy help I come
And I hope by thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home

Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wondering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above
outside the Provo Temple

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Week 2!

Week 2!                                                                                   July 14, 2015

2 weeks down! This second week went by so much faster, so that was nice, and honestly, I'd say it was a better week than last! Okay, so starting with last Tuesday after I got off e-mail, Spencer J. Condie of the Seventy spoke to us for devotional and it was great! I'd heard him speak before and it was high quality. We had a mini testimony meeting in our district after that and it was really powerful. Next day was a little rough cause we had to be up at 5:45 for a 6:15 service project, I was exhausted the rest of the day. Sister Sandholtz (our teacher) came back from Colorado, so that's nice. I participated in my first zone tie draft! It pretty much is exactly what it sounds like. Everyone who wants to plays a tie out on the floor and writes their name on a small piece of paper that gets put in to a box. Shake that box up, draw names, and pick ties. This one was a "low quality" tie draft, but I feel pretty happy with the one I got. Thursday we had our last lesson with Abraao and I was finally able to do a large chunk of the lesson without looking at my notes! It seriously felt so good, even though I made a lot of mistakes. We got a new batch of people for our district and they're all nice, so woohoo for that! Now Friday, Friday is a day I'll remember.

So our investigator, Abraao, was just a member posing as an investigator, and Friday he became one of our daily teachers along with Sis. Sandholtz. We all knew that was going to happen, but we didn't know his story. I won't go into details, but he completely changed his life and his attitude from when he was in the MTC to the time he got out into the field and became such an incredible and hardworking missionary. The Lord can work miracles my friends. He has been through so much and grown so much and it is so inspiring. Friday also had another strong experience, we were able to watch the broadcast of President Boyd K. Packer's funeral and it was very strong. It was so focused on hope and happiness, that death is simply another step in our existence, and that families can be together forever. I'm so glad to have that knowledge.

Okay so Saturday, funniest thing happened. An Elder and a Sister were getting way too close in the cafeteria, they were standing up and everyone could see them, and after about 10 minutes, someone pulled out the Missionary Handbook and opened to the page that talked about appropriate actions between Elders and Sisters and the whole caf started clapping and cheering, so so funny.

Sunday I blessed the Sacrament in Portuguese, so that was definitely cool. We said goodbye to 6 of our missionaries today who got their reassignments,, I'm going to miss them. Also, this morning, Tuesday, Elder's Schmidt, Bourgeous, and St. Gelais of our district left for Brazil. We've had some great times in these two weeks and I'm going to miss them a lot, but they're on to bigger and better things.

Write me and send me Dear Elders guys! I'd love to hear from all of you!
Thanks for all your support! Till next week
 - Elder Carroll
District with Sister Sandholtz (?)

At the temple

our awesome district

with Bruce Nilsson

Saturday, July 11, 2015

my address

Elder Jeffrey Benjamin Carroll
2007N 900E unit 97
Provo, UT 84602

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

MTC - week 1 photos

4th of July in Provo includes a balloon launch

Stadium of Fire fireworks

Happy 4th of July from the MTC


my companion Elder Schmidt

ran into Sister Larsen

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

one week down!!!

July 7, 2015

Hello everyone!

 It's finally Tuesday, which is my P-day, so I can send out my weekly e-mail! I'm so excited to be on e-mail and my thoughts are just bejumbled, so I'll try my best to make this a cohesive e-mail. The MTC has been GREAT! It's a lot of fun but also a lot of work, it keeps you busy and challenges you a lot, and I know it's going to help me learn and grow so much. Everything was so organized coming in, I got everything I needed and was told exactly what to do and where to go. So my host, the person that showed me around and helped me out for the first little bit? It was Elder Aiken from my ward at BYU!! So cool. I have seen sooooo many people i know from BYU, some from my ward, some not, but let me list them all off: Elder Aiken, Sister Larsen, Sister Woolley, Elder Perry, Sister Annett, Elder Smith, Elder Christensen, Sister Nicholls, Elder Cook, Sister Turley, Sister Rowberry, Sister Kerr, Elder Broburg, Elder Pryce, Elder Cox, Elder Simmons, and Elder Penrod. I feel like I've seen even more than that, but that's all I could remember.

Okay, back to business. After getting all my stuff situated and dropping stuff off in my room, I was told to go to my classroom, where all have all my Portuguese instruction and get most of my studying done. My teacher's name is Sister Sandholtz and she is so nice. Fun fact: For those of you who know them, she is Scott and Jenny Hepler's cousin! Coolest thing. I walked into the classroom and it was Portuguese right from the start. In about the four hours I was in the classroom with her that day, there was barely a word of English coming out of her mouth. I was terrified at first, but that's the best way to learn, having your teacher only speak in your mission language, and you get used to it really quickly. Not that you understand it all really quickly, but you get used to it. My companion's name is Elder Schmidt and he is THE MAN! He's from Rocklin, Cali and he is a really cool and chill dude. He's a hard worker, but he knows how to have fun. We get along really well. Happily but also sadly, his visa came the second day so he leaves on the 14th. I'm gonna miss him but we'll have a great first 2 weeks before he leaves. i have five other Elders in my room, Elder Bourgeous from California, Elder Summers from Oregon, Elder St. Gelais from Arizona, and Elder Kunz from Pennsylvania. My district consists of the people living in my room and I feel really blessed with the district that I got. Elder Smith and Elder Christensen who I know from BYU are in my zone, so it's been good having them around. Learning a new language, woah, it's crazy. I have sooooo much to learn, but I feel like I've made progress. I've prayed a few times in Portuguese and I actually bore my testimony in Portuguese on Sunday at church cause it was Fast and Testimony meeting! It was super basic and short, but I feel good to have done it nonetheless. I have a long way to go with my language, it is gonna require a ton of work, more than I think I've ever put in in my entire life, but I know if I work hard, the Lord will bless me. It's all about making progress and staying positive. Easier said than done, but I'm doing my best.

For gym so far, we've played Spikeball (look it up) and soccer, and that's been great. Yesterday we played 8 on 8 and we won 4-2. Our district scored all the goals for our team and i was in net and made a couple of good saves, so we will feeling pretty great afterwards. It was so much fun getting back out onto the field. We got to see fireworks for July 4th! Yay! We've had a couple of cool devotionals, we met with our branch presidency and they're all great, we had Jenny Oaks Baker, daughter of Elder Dallin H. Oaks come and perform hymns on her violin for one of the devotionals, along with her 4 kids who are all extremely talented, and Oh ya! The third day we taught our first investigator, Abraao! We've taught two lessons so far, it's been pretty hard but good experience nonetheless. There have been some good days and bad days since being here, but I want you all to know that I'm doing fine. I know this is where I’m supposed to be and I know I’m doing the Lord's work. Even though I can only check e-mail once a week, I appreciate any e-mails at any time. It may take a few days, but I'll get back to you when I can. Also, I'd love to get Dear Elders! If you don't know what that is, just e-mail my mom at I would also love to get letters, I forgot to bring my address down to the computer but because my e-mailing doesn't have to be all at once, I'll grab it and send it later, as well as some pictures we took if I can figure out how. I love you all! The gospel if true! Until next week! - Elder Carroll