"Time and again over your life, the Lord has been giving you the experiences to build strength, courage, and determination. He knew how much you would need that to serve Him." -- President Eyring
"He knew how much you would need that to serve Him." I am still amazed every day at how well the Lord knows me. How much he cares. How much He wants for His children to recieve HIS word. He has given me numerous experiences to help me be a better servent, and because I am far from perfect He has so much patience with me. I can say I am grateful for all the experience I have had in my life. But this week I am grateful mostly for my mother. (Mother, I love you). Festa della Mamma is approaching and I have been thinking quite abit over the past 5 months what I have learned from the wonderful woman that gave me life. She has taught me everything I know, and is full of more wisdom to offer every day. Every mother is important. But my mother is most important to me.
Since entering the MTC, arriving in Italy, going to my first city, having my first companion, having my first transfer, I have recognized what having a mother and father in my life has done for me. I have learned the importance of their roles. Now I am teaching families, mothers, sisters, daughters and I have had the best examples to help me provide a little more knowledge for these people in Italy.
For some reason the past week, possibly the approaching of Mother's Day, I have been thinking a lot about my future. Mostly my future as a mother and wife. Honestly, right now I do not want to think about this since I am serving a mission. Almost everyone I have been working with since arriving in Italy has helped me realize what I want and do not want in my future. As I try to guide these people to Christ, our Savior, I am learning for myself what possibilities are in the future. The good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, you see it all. Here is where I think about what my mother has done and taught me. I imagine what I want my life to be like and I look at how my mother has done it. I stop when I come to the rememberance that everything is possible through Christ. Absolutely everything is possible. I have seen my mother accomplish miracles, and I know it is through her faith in our Lord and Redeemer. It is her testimony that has strengthened me more than once throughout my life. Sometimes I wonder how anyone does anything without this knowledge of Jesus Christ. Mother, I thank you for standing firm and sharing your testimony with me.
I have had a few interesting experiences in the past couple days that have also caused me to remember the importance of the Savior. Yesterday I sat down behind a man that turned and smiled at me. I asked him how he was doing, and he replied with a happy "bene, grazie." (I am used to getting the response, "okay", "not good", "eh". So I went along with it). He asked me in return and I replied in the same. The conversation continued as I asked what he had done early in the day and he asked in return. We both said we had typical days, but I continued to explain what I do every day. "My companion (I pointed to her two seats back) and I go around everyday visiting people and trying to talk to people. We have a message of joy that we want to bring to people. Because we have found this joy, we have left our families to help people find the same. We are here to invite people to come to Christ." He responded, "you do a pleasure." I explained to him that it is fun and then asked if he had interest in hearing our message. We only had two short stops together so I handed him a pamphlet and gave him the address of the church and our number. I do not know if he will call, but I do know that he was surprised with what us missionaries were doing here.
Monday night, my companion and I were off the bus walking towards our apartment. We decided we were going to talk to four more people. We stopped the next four we saw and were able to get a conversation out of two. One in particular was asked, "How have you found joy in your life?" He gave us the response that "Joy has not come yet, so I do not know." My heart broke. I then said "We are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we have a message of Joy. A message that will bless your life and your family's life." The conversation continued in the way that we kept promising joy and he kept denying. He left with a pamphlet and I said a little prayer that maybe one day he would accept.
In the past week I have sat in gum - not once, not twice, but three times - and been pooped on by a pigeon. I think those are my only complaints, but even then my companion and I just laughed as we cleaned me up. Torino is growing everyday on me. I get to witness miracles, and am still counting them. (You can count yours too, because I know they are there.) I am glad that I keep having the experiences that will help me be a better servant. I believe everything happens for a reason, a "for a wise purpose, which I know not."
Sorella Frederique Stone Carroll