The sun is shining. Birds are flying. People are playing. Missionaries are preparing. What a great day. I could not ask for anything more. Especially when I get to see the old ladies sitting on a park bench with their feet dangling in the air, like they just don't care. It is even better when you try to talk to them but can not seem to understand what language they are speaking. You look a little closer, and realize they do not have teeth. Something I may or may not have struggled with a time or two.
Sorella Carroll is welcoming the lion's mane for her entire mission. Who would have thought too much power came out of an Italian electrical outlet? But it is all okay because we just had the first day of spring. Even though the wind blows fiercely and makes the mane that much more wild, I smile because soon the flowers will blossom. I just imagine this city turning into a wonderland. Well, it already is a wonderland.
Story of the week: As a sister in Genova you get the privilege of working with two wonderful wards. Travel between areas takes place by train. I ride a train or two daily which makes life that much better. Switching off between wards every Sunday can be fun except when you take the wrong train, in the wrong direction, and it does not stop. My companion may or may not have misled me. But as soon as we hopped on board and found satisfactory seats the train was on its way to Pisa. Although it was not a direct train ride, it only makes a few stops. We made it about 30 minutes before it went for more passengers. Supposedly there would be a train going back right away, but that was delayed 30 minutes. Church has started and we are stranded. The ward we ended up at was not the right one, but maybe a good thing. In the end I can say the mistake was worth the ride. A good learning experience and new friends met.
My trainer is an all-star. We love her. Despite my quirkiness, she seems to express some love for me too. I feel like the work is going to soar as long as we keep up the dedication. One thing I have learned is not many people are interested in what I have to share with them. You stop in a park, you knock doors, you attempt to help people on the street and most just say "No, no grazie." I want to shed a tear or two for each person who does not want to have joy. I want to shed a tear for the people I meet on trains who have no hope in the world. I want to shed a tear for the investigators who give up. But somehow I have the strength to keep going because there IS someone who wants to know, I just have to find them. I am learning everyday how I can improve.
Speaking of improvement. Zone Conference. My first. Truly inspired. My mission president may be the smartest man in Italy. I know what I need to become, because that man (along with other missionaries) have inspired me. One missionary in particular struck my attention. One that you may know...Elder Josh Morris. This here is my mission idol. First of all, it was a familiar face that made the sun shine a little bit brighter. Second, he blew me away with his comments, teaching, and testimony. It is so neat to see that change that can take place in the life of a person. I hope, I pray I can emmulate the missionary that he has become. (Brother and Sister Morris, I am sure you are proud, but I am proud to say he is from my home stake. I am proud to associate with such great missionaries.)
Say hi to someone you do not know today. Smile at another. Give a compliment. Start a conversation. Make a new friend. Surprise someone with a kind gesture. In Italy it seems to surprise people all the time. People have stopped to ask if we knew each other. I stutter a no, but it is a beautiful day to say hello and offer a message. Then you say a little prayer that one day they will run into another missionary and that missionary will reach their heart and soften it.
My eyes fill with sweet water as I think about how blessed I am to be here. How much guidance and help I receive everyday. The love that I have been filled with. There is nothing more exciting than meeting someone new and loving them like I love my sister.
How you do that trick!
Sorella Frederique Stone Carroll
Elder Morris and Sorella Carroll (both from Ahwatukee)