22 July 2009

i'm glad.

Saturday afternoon my companion and I took a walk through the park on our
attempt to find new friends who are interested in the gospel. We approached the
typical group of Italian men who gave us the typical, "but how many wives do the
Mormons really have?" As usual we never get really far with the old men here in
Italy, they just make you laugh and you get on your way. But, while we were
talking to these 5 men I noticed a girl sitting on a bench watching kids play on
the play ground. I thought, "we should to talk to her." So on we go to try and
teach her about the Book of Mormon.

Claudia is a 17 year old girl with a 13 year old brother and a 2 year old
sister. The kids were spending the morning in the park together. (Immediately I
thought of my siblings and times that we would ride our scooters, bikes,
skateboards, roller blades, etc. to the school play ground. Oh the days!) I
could already tell she was one that loved others by the way she gladly accepted
us. We started explaining a little about the Book of Mormon and how it has
helped us in our lives. She seemed curious and mentioned that she would be
interested in reading. As we continued to converse we approached what she would
be doing for the summer. She started to talk about a community service program
that she participates in. There is a program set up for the "stranieri" (meaning
foreigners) to learn Italian, work on their education, make friends, etc. The
types of things they do remind me a little bit of Mini-Town. Claudia was
actually getting ready to go to the mountains with a few new friends from Iraq,
Peru, Romania and Italy for a summer camp. The reason I relay this whole story,
because at this point in the conversation is when she brought up the race
problems people still have in the world.

She has friends from all over the world, who have different religions, different
color skin, different personalities, we are all just different. Some of her
friends have seen the death of family members in war, which makes her wonder why
she has been so blessed to grow up in a family and country that does not face
those kinds of problems. Once again I thought about my life and wondered the
same thing. I have asked myself before, "What have I done to deserve all this."
But I still take it for granted at times. All I know is that I have been
immensely blessed. Blessed with a family who loves me, and who I get to spend
eternity with. Blessed with friends who have helped me stay strong, who have
served missions and help me be better missionary. Blessed to grow up in a
country of freedom. Blessed to be a member della Chiesa di Gesù Cristo dei Santi
degli Ultimi Giorni. Blessed to be in Italy, speaking Italian, being happy and
loving my life. Blessed to be a missionary. Blessed to know that I have a
Savior, Jesus Christ. Blessed to be living here on this earth.

The more you think about what you have, you realize that every second is a
blessing. It all ties back to who gave us life, Heavenly Father.

I'm glad I met Claudia, who reminded me of what I have. Whatever comes my way I
am trying to look to as being a blessing, because as I said...it is.

I was once again invited to investigate The Church of Jesus Christ by our dear
friend Fratello Spagnuolo. He told me how thankful I will be one day when I
understand. Although I find it humorous that he keeps sharing the gospel with
me, I am grateful that he does it. If an 85 year old, losing his memory can
still remember how important missionary work is, then I can too. I can be the
missionary that makes sure everyone knows where to find the way. I'm glad to
have examples helping me give more.

There seems to be a faint ringing in my neighborhood from the Bruce Springsteen
concert last night. Trash lines the streets and I have seen the shirts already.
If I were anyone else I might have participated in the festivities, but this
morning, instead of echoing the tunes we heard last night blaring from the
stadium, Sorella Glass put on our favorite EFY cd (the only one we have...so
yes, father, you may send ANY (or all) music that you would like. Sorella
Carroll would greatly appreciate church music in the form of CDs). I was
listening to the words of one song in particular as I straightened my hair.
Topic: giving more. Working on giving more of me. I'm glad I have the Book of
Mormon so I can learn how much of Nephi gave of himself. And he did not know
most of the time why. Can I give you an invite? Maybe you are already working on
it, but since everyone has need of this book I invite you to find someone in the
next month to share it with. What is the worst that could happen? Just like
Fratello Spagnuolo told me that one day I would thank him, that person will
thank you.

I'm glad.

I love you.

I thank you.

Happy week!

I hitched my apple wagon,
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll

Rique finds another penguin friend in Torino (click picture to enlarge)

Fratello Spagnuolo (click picture to enlarge)

Fratello Spagnuolo again (click picture to enlarge)

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