Sur la terre et dans les cieux, Dieu a accompli de miracles. Mais le plus grande des prodiges est qu'il ait donné aux hommes la liberté de choisir entre la bien et le mal.
Today is my six week anniversary in Genova, Italy. Six weeks of love. Six weeks of laughs. Six weeks of friendship. Six weeks to say hello and then goodbye. I do not know where the time has taken me. But I do know it has brought moments that I will cherish for eternity! Moments that could never be replaced. Feelings that could not be reproduced. Love that has stretched beyond comprehension. I sit here and reflect (just for a moment) and only feel joy. Why? Because I have a testimony of my savior Jesus Christ. Because I know He loves me. I feel joy because He loves, not only me, but everyone. I know that through Him, and only Him, one can find peace that is eternal. [I do not know this because someone told me, but because I have felt it.]
In the world we can find temporary peace...music, scenery, laughter, love...but then you are snapped back into reality. Trains honking horns, scooters weaving in and out of traffic and people, a street vendor trying to sell you an umbrella even though the sun is shining, friends talking, etc. This is when you remember the chaos of the world. Here is where I try to let people know they do not have to have only temporary happiness. You can have it forever! Who does not want that, raise your hand...
As I mentioned, in the space of six sweet weeks I say hello and goodbye. I fall in love with a city and its people and it pains to bid farewell. During a pleasant lunch with my companion we received a surprise phone call from President who asked to speak to me. "Sorella Carroll, the Lord has given you a new assignment. You are called to serve in Torino with Sorella Smith." I gladly accepted, but deep inside it hurt a little. I may have no idea why this is happening, but it is from the Lord, I will go and I will do. I look forward to what lies ahead. I will always look back at my first area and companion with love and joy. [Have you heard me use those words enough yet?].
As for the past week, it was the best yet. This week is spotlight on Ester. She is a darling lady from El Salvador who lives two hours outside the city with her brother and a Chilean. She spends all her time just down the street from my companion and I caring for a Signora. She is a member, but can not make it to church due to work with Giulia. Instead, my companion and I have had the pleasantry of visiting her about once a week. To teach her and her brother, who is not a member. Last week we had a lesson set up with her brother and showed up at Giulia's house ready to teach. She mentioned that she had called us a couple times but that we did not respond. Miguel had escaped. [We can not figure out why he is scared of us. ha] We decided to visit with her for a couple minutes anyway and as we made our way to the family room I stopped to say hi to sleeping Giulia and asked Ester how she was doing. Ester stopped, took off her glasses, and tears started to drip down her cheeks. You could feel the pain she was feeling as she said that Giulia would not be around much longer. I suppose this is what happens when you take care of someone for six or more years. You love them and when it is time to part it is hard. I wonder why we did not hear the phone, but at that moment I learned what real love and service is. Maybe it was to give Ester comfort, or maybe it was for me to learn that I can always love more and serve more. Maybe a little bit of both. A little miracle.
If you want nothing, don't ask for something.
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll
"On earth as in heaven, God has accomplished miracles. But the greatest of wonders is that He has given man the freedom to choose between good and evil."
photo: look how far apart we are! Brother and sister.
photo: In front of Genova apartment