10 June 2009

if i had the chance.

In the words of some wise orphans..."It is what you wear from ear to ear and not
from head to toe that matters. You are never fully dressed without a smile."

Are you ready for the most exciting news of your life? Well, of today at least.
Guess where I am!? If you said home you would be partially correct. I feel like
I am home...I am back in Genova! (I will always consider this beautiful city one
of my homes in Italy, coupled with Siena.) Sadly I am only here for a short
visit, but a great visit it has been.

I picked up a new companion and brought her to Torino with me last thursday,
then I left her in the dust Monday evening to go to Genova and do an exchange
with my trainer! Woo hoo. A surprise! and a struggle:( since I am in charge of
teaching my companion about our area, and I am not even with her the first week.
Crazy. An adventure for both of us. With the short four days I was able to spend
with her I can tell you that these next two transfers are going to be
incredible! Plenty of work to be done, and more fun to be had. I will have to
give you all the updates next week of us getting lost together, me falling off
curbs, meeting new people, sharing the love of the Lord!

Today I am fully dressed. Thank goodness. I want to share something I have
learned in the past few weeks. Something that I hope to never forget. Something
that has helped me be fully dressed every day all day. This something is prayer.
I was taught to pray since practically birth, and I am still learning how to do
it correctly. Apparently in 21.5 years you can not learn everything. I am
learning every day. In fact today, preparation day, in Genova was another
learning day. Instead of taking a full preparation day Sorella Rasmussen and I
decided to schedule appointments. What better thing to prepare yourself for the
week than spreading the word? We decided to go visit Adriana Piccareta. To give
you a little refresher this is the woman we would grocery shop for every week.
This woman holds a very special place in my heart. I felt so special when she
waited at the window watching our hike up the hill and scurried to the front
door to greet me when we arrived. I have never been kissed so many times on my
cheeks, those wiskers, too, hold the special place. We decided to read a small
section of the newest Liahona with Adriana and talk about prayer. As I started
to speak to her and talk about my experience with prayer she took over and bore
her testimony. It could not have been better. A simple sincere testimony is all
it takes to pierce your soul. There are times in our lives when the temptor
somes, the storms rage, and there seems like nothing can take it away. I asked
Adriana "What helps us rise above these difficulties, these storms?" Without
doubt or hesitation she announced "la fede (faith) e la preghiera (and prayer)."
The answer I was looking for was prayer, but then I thought for a second and
asked myself "What is a prayer without faith?" Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Some
words or thoughts that hit the ceiling and then scatter all over the floor. It
takes the prayer of faith to rise above the storm into the sun light. The prayer
of faith that relieves your pains and heartaches, because you know someone is
right at your side. He is walking with you, carrying you at times, and never
will He stop encouraging you. When you feel abandoned, it is NOT because He left
you but because you probably left Him.

A story I read this morning in my daily Book of Mormon study has served as a
guide and perfect start to the day's lessons. The story of the Brother of Jared
in Ether chapter three teaches one about the power of faith. I encourage you to
read this chapter, and we can work together in having the same amount of faith
that our great friend has. Eventually we will "[have] faith no longer, for [we
will] know, nothing doubting." How great will it be.

There is something else I have learned in these past two weeks that have served
as a strength to my testimony. I open my Book of Mormon every morning and it
directs my day. These are my favorite verses this week...
"For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather
thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with EVERLASTING
kindness I will have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer[...]
For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall
not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith
the Lord that hath mercy on thee."
--3 Nephi 22:7-8, 10

Family, friends, loved ones, i miei cari...I can not say it enough. There is
nothing that has changed my life more than serving the Lord. I am imperfect, but
He makes up for those imperfections and helps me all the way. Sometimes (in fact
all of the time) I feel like I am being helped more than I am helping. His
kindness will not depart. Everyday I get closer and closer to the one who loves
me the most. I know that all the help and miracles in the world are only a
prayer away. The sun will come out today (and tomorrow) if we all recognize this
great power!

Let us see how many scriptures I can leave you with today...
"O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods, Now
behold, O Lord, and so not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness
before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and
that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become
evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we
must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires."

ask the world to dance,
Sorella Frederique Stone.

post script. I become legal in Italy tomorrow...so long America!

Dear Adriana

Port of Genova

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