Monday, September 22, 2014

Barreiro: Week 70

Hey everyone!

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY dad today and Kristan on Saturday! :) I bet your favorite present will be seeing me, right? Haha. Hope you both have great birthdays!

Well, this week we did divisions for the last time.We went to Quinta de Conde. I went with Sister Harper who is from Virginia and is SO cute. I loved it. Ryan her brother lives close to DC and I was wondering if you know a Grant and Bethany Harper? That'd be cool if you did :)

We are cleaning out our Area Book really well and visiting everyone in there that was taught by other missionaries in the past. So as we went to find this man Paulo, he walked out of his house. He recognized us as missionaries and immediately stopped and talked to us. We taught him, and turns out he wants to be baptized!! He couldn't before because he moved to France. He came to a baptism and a devotional last night and loved it! Hopefully this Sunday we will have his baptism. :)

I am a little bit freaking out that I only have a week left, but let's be real it hasn't actually sunk in yet. I am going to miss this place a TON. More than I ever thought I would. But I am also excited to see you all! :) I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack when I see you all. I just wanted to write today about some of the few things I have learned on my mission. Hope that's okay. (Not in any specific order of importance haha)
  • Heavenly Father loves us, and knows us perfectly.
  • Jesus Christ is our Savior, our brother, and knows exactly how to help us because He passed through everything we ever have, are or will ever pass through.
  • Families are the most important thing on earth. They come before everything.
  • We must forgive everyone, including ourselves.
  • We don't have to know everything. We know enough to help now, but we need to continually learn more. (I still know nothing haha)
  • We are so blessed to have temples close by. (I'm going my first day back okay?)
  • Our trials strenghthen us and bring us closer to Heavenly Father. I learned more in my harder transfers than in my transfers that were easy.
  • Having the blessings we have means we have a lot of responsibility and work to do.
  • Love is the answer to everything. Really though. Charity never faileth you know? :)
  • America is truly the best place ever. We don't know how blessed we are. We have DRYERS! And CARPET! And AIR CONDITIONING! And CARS! I could go on and on.
  • This earth is AWESOME and beautiful. Take a look at the sky or mountains right now.
  • Portugal Lisbon Mission is the best in the world! :) No one can change my mind.
  • We can always be bettering ourselves and changing. ALWAYS.
  • School is super important. (Shocker coming from me, I know. :) )
  • Heavenly Father answers prayers. Seriously though He does. Every day.
  • What we read, listen to, and watch affects us a ton. It sticks in our heads forever.
  • Material things don't last. Yet, people pay way more attention to the latest clothes, house, cars, phones, and all that stuff they have than they do what really matters.
  • Obedience brings blessings, and we won't have a testimony of any commandment until we live it first. You can't expect the testimony before you try it out.
  • If we follow the prophet we won't need to worry. His words are our biggest blessings.
  • Miracles still happen every day. We just don't always recognize them as miracles.
  • We choose how we react to every situation.
  • Every sin starts with pride. Think about it.
  • This life is a tiny tiny tiny part of eternity. The Plan of Salvation is perfect and real.
Seriously I started writing a list this morning in personal study. I have 10 billion things I could share, but I decided to summarize and simplify it. If we do what Heavenly Father asks, we will seriously be so much happier. It's that simple. This might be the last time I get to email since next week there will be 40 of us at the mission office going home.

I will never regret the decision I made to serve a mission. I wouldn't take it back for 10 gillion gazillion dollars.I had some of the hardest moments of my life, but I also had the BEST experiences of my life. The things I learned here in the past 18 months are things I wouldn't have been able to learn anywhere else! I have met the most incredible people. I have seen them literally change their lives around. Flip them upside down. I have learned that true happiness only comes from living the gospel. It sounds so simple, but it's the putting it into action part that's hard. I have learned how much I still need to work on, and I hope that I can continually better myself forever. That's why we're here! I feel like I'm the same person in some ways, just my priorities have changed. I don't know how I would have gone through life without these things.

I'll miss these people so much. Their missing teeth, cigarette breath, beijinhos, soccer, pastries, public transport, talking to strangers, having people tell you everything about their lives in the first 5 minutes of knowing them, strange foods, people yelling when they talk, and the spirit I feel every day here. I love Portugal!

Thank you for all the support I have felt ever since I started praying about whether or not to come on a mission. I wouldn't be here in Portugal without you guys. I LOVE YOU! Have a great week and I will see you SO soon. :) 2 Timothy 4:7

Sister Carroll

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