12 August 2009

first things first.

Happy Anniversary Mother and Father. The best years of my life, the only years of my life, are spent with you two. Thank you.

I was thinking about you both a lot yesterday as I read the August Liahona about prayer. President Eyring brought tears to my eyes as I remembered the way my parents have also instructed me. I know that I am here today because of your examples throughout my life. You have taught us well, even when we do not always follow your guidance, we have learned from your testimonies and strength. I know that being worthy members of the church of Jesus Christ has always been on the top of your list. Because of this it is also at the top of mine. Mother and Father, one day I hope to have what you have!

Seconds: Congratulations on the start of school. I hope it is the best year yet!

I have a few stories for the week. Little things that keep my companion and I entertained.

Last Thursday we walked into Sorella Marchis' house to continue teaching the new member lessons. We got past the chit chat and prayer and I decided to just jump right into the lesson. The second sentence I looked at my companion and she asked me if I wanted to teach in Italian. No, I did not realize I was even speaking english to a person who might not even know what 'hello' means. I guess sometimes you do forget where you are and what language you should be speaking. Oops.

Later that evening we went to visit Rosi, who I mentioned in last week's letter. Rosi completely rejected us, which broke our sensitive hearts, but we continued on ... As we were walking to the metro to go visit Epifania my companion and I had a laughing attack. A good ol' man named Ceasar stopped us and thanked us for being happy. He mentioned it is rare to find people happy on the streets. We invited him to come to church and meet with the missionaries and learn more about our happiness...
Saturday night I experienced one of the best bus rides of my life. It started with three teenagers sitting on our bench, where NO ONE ever is. So as I walked up I said "ciao." They all looked at me and mumbled their responses. Then the boy yelled, "perchè mi saluti!?" in almost an angry tone. I responded with, "perchè volevo." Just because I wanted to say hello to them. But it brought some new friendships as we rode the bus together for some times. On the course of the ride a drunk man entered the bus and began to harass one of the girls we had been talking to. They got off the bus at the next stop, which I believe was to avoid the man. Next thing we know the guy is asking my companion to go get drinks with him, although we tried to explain what we do, he did not fully understand until the rather large African pointed to my tag and said "lavorano per Gesu Cristo" about 5 times. Then our big African friend gave the other little friend a slap on the stomach and sent him on his way. We also invited our french speaking African to come to church with us...

Sunday, most magical evening ever. I may or may not have mentioned my favorite wanna-be Arizonans. Paola and Sara. We met them through the Anziani last transfer and have been to dinner twice at their house. They were more fascinated by the fact that we were from Arizona, Paola's dream place. They came to church with us once and then called us after and asked if we could wait until September to come over again. It broke our hearts, but we consented. Until one day we had a bidone (meaning a cancellation when we get there or a no show) and were by their house. We decided just to stop by and say hello. Paola invited us right in and we read a couple verses from the Book of Mormon with her. Sorella Glass left with a new skirt and Sorella Carroll with a porcelain doll she grabbed off the shelf as we walked out the door. And now for a Sunday evening drumroll...They had come to find us after church but we had to leave really quickly and missed them. So we stopped by that evening. Paola is a little crazy, but a crazy that I love. She is alive and ready for something more in her life. We watched a film called Finding Happiness with them. It is a 5 minute film that asks a series of questions about life and our purpose. A good introduction to what us missionaries teach, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The room was quiet as we asked what their thoughts were. Paola began to cry and recognized the lack of God in her life. She is ready to be happy. Even if it may take a little while, she is recognizing the change that needs to happen. Vacation time hit so Sorella Glass had to bid them the big farewell. And myself just until they get back. Again, Sorella Glass left the house with a gift for going home and Paola gave me a pot. I love her, giving us the things in the house that she does not want any longer. We put them to good use in the missionary apartment!

I wish I could better explain into words all the feelings I have right now. I am just so full of happiness, gratitude and love. The miracles never cease and I can not imagine doing anything else with my life. I am learning to never doubt myself or my Father in Heaven, even in the most unlikely of circumstances.

I love you all.
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll

p.s. Surprise/excitement of the week. Sorella Glass makes the trip home to Arizona on Tuesday August 18th and will arrive in Phoenix at 6:49 pm. I heard Darien is coming home that day as well...if you see three Italian missionaries in the Airport I ask you to greet them for me! Especially my very wonderful companion. All this means I will need a companion or somewhere to go until the end of the transfer...so I get a mini-mission Italian who is preparing to leave on September 14th for the Washington DC Temple Visitor's center mission. Her name is Lia Cagnacci and is from Genova. I was present when she received her call and I am so excited for the opportunity to work with her. We will be together until September 7th!

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