01 April 2009

I wanna be cooler than TV

"The voices of a thousand friends are dying away in the distance, while before me is a land of strangers, whose tongues soon will sound in my ears like the jargon of Babal. I have been refreshed with the company of so many kind friends, and go forth on my mission with renewed energy of body and mind." --Elder Lorenzo Snow (who served right here in Northern Italy)

I felt that same way as I left the MTC. Now that I am here I feel just at home.

I want to tell you about the first two people I met in Genova. Both female, both Italian. Both are beautiful in their own way, and both have helped me grow.

Beatrice, my first appointment. I will never forget that walk to her house with thoughts running through my mind as to what this so said Beatrice would be like. This is what I knew...She had decided to quit smoking three days prior and annouced it to my companion. The missionaries began teaching in December after she came to church on her own. I knew she was wonderful before I met her. I could write quite a bit on what this individual means to me, but I will spare you all the feelings. Our first little lesson was scary and a blur. I still have a hard time communicating with her, but I am grateful for her help always. We taught her once before our first district meeting of the transfer and as we mentioned how she was doing one elder brought up her baptism. It was already scheduled for March 29th but because of the smoking bit no one was exactly sure. She had quit by now, cold turkey, and we decided to bring up the baptism with her at our next appointment. I do not know if I have seen someone happier. I do not think I have felt happier than in that moment. The week continued and all seemed well. Last week was different. The week of her baptism she cancelled all her appointments and there was nothing we could do. English class on Tuesday night gave us a couple minutes to talk to her about all that was going on, what she was thinking, how she was doing, etc. Both my companion and I talked to her at different moments that night and apparently said the same thing, we both mentioned that the decision to be baptized or not is not a decision between you and your friends it is a decision between you and Heavenly Father. We left her that night a little nervous, and Wednesday the fear was still there. We did a quick visit that night and to our pleasant pleasant surprise she put the fear and indecision behind her and said she was ready. The baptism was beautiful (except for my weather torn appearance, sorry Beatrice). I cried everytime I looked at her. I felt true joy, I felt more love for someone than I think I have ever felt. Heavenly Father put his feelings inside of me so I could witness the incredible love that he feels for each of his children, you and me. Beatrice is beaming with love and happiness. She knows the road is not going to be all fun and games from here but she has the faith and testimony to help her through. Beatrice, the first person I met, was baptized.

I know this work is not about numbers, but If I can be selfish for one second and want to feel that love and joy I felt on Friday everyday for the rest of my life, I say please.

Now for our second victim of explanation. Adriana. We visit her every Friday to do a little grocery shopping for, what seems to be, a little self-storage. She gets the same thing every week: 7 yogurts, 3 bags of spaghettini, chicken or fish, novellina biscotti, bread and yellow apples. Her spaghetti is piling high in her cupboard, but she always wants more. I sometimes wonder what she eats besides yogurt and apples and cookies. Simple lady with a simple diet. Have you ever seen Chicken Run? Do you remember how they waddle while they walk? This is Adriana. Possibly the greatest. She eats you up every times she sees your face, she cries when you leave. She speaks very particularly, and always helps you with your language. All the missionaries who have gone before have written their name on her wall. She rejoices when she gets a letter. She dislikes when you use the formal you form, but has finally given in since we are obedient little missionaries. She waves at you from her window when she knows you are coming. She waits till you get to the bottom of the stairs and wave goodbye to shut her door. Adriana, is one of a kind. I love her.

Remember last week I mentioned getting on the wrong train? This caused us to miss sacrament so Sorella Rasmussen and I tagged along with the Anziani to take the sacrament with Adriana. (They bring her the sacrament every other week). It was a special experience having a little sacrament meeting on our own. I will cherish those simple quiet moments with that wonderful woman that helped bring me closer to my Savior in remembrance. What a beautiful blessing.

I feel right at home. These are my people and I love them. I hope you love them like I do. It is hard to explain my sincere feelings through the computer medium, but I am ever so grateful for what they have done for me in the past three weeks.

For all the kids,
Sorella Frederique Stone Carroll


Carol Lamoureux said...

It sounds like you are having a wonderful experience in Italy. I am so proud of your strength and everything you have been able to accomplish so far. Danielle and I received your postcard and I was so excited! I will be sending you one back shortly. This summer I'm going to Europe, so I'll be close to you for a while! I don't think you are able to meet up, but if you are please let me know! Love you and miss you, and I wish you the best of luck on your journey.

crazylilrunner10 said...

You seem to be enjoying your time there. I hope you keep having great experiences while on your mission. Thanks for writing these inspirational and spiritual messages. Can't wait for the next one :)