It appears to me like we all had a fantastic week. Parents busy and happy, sister engaged and happy, new brother in the family (lucky him!), elder on a mission working hard, brother (as i assume) always being the life of the party! Me: happy as ever and moving onto companion number 5 tomorrow. I have been told I fail to mention information about my wonderful best friends so here is what I can tell you.
My companion Melanie Glass just returned home to Mesa, Arizona and is currently attending Arizona State University (go wildcats!). She and I quickly became the best of friends and I miss her dearly but her replacement is not too shabby... Sorella Lia Cagnacci, right from my city of Genova. I was lucky enough to have a companion so talented and so diligent. I am sad to tell she will be departing tomorrow as I receive another new companion. Sorella Cagnacci (last name means bad dogs, by the way. hah.) will be leaving for the Provo MTC (if all goes according to plan) September 14th to prepare to serve at the Washington DC temple visitors center. If you make a trip up there stop by and tell her and Hermana Smith hello from me!
The replacement...Sorella Huber. I served with her in the MTC for a short 3 weeks and am more than excited to have another companion to learn from. 5 companions 5 transfers, and I love them all. I will tell you what I know about this one. Her and I are in the same film program at BYU, so we already have something in common. I am teaming up with another giant and more than happy to do so. The tall ones serve as good body guards.
Really though, I am as happy as ever! Some would call these girls, rather women, companions. I call them friends. The lord has blessed me with friends that will be eternal.
As I have mentioned we ALL had good weeks. I saw miracles in ever moment. One that brought me to tears, yes I cry as a missionary, as an experience with Giuseppina. Last week I received a call from the Sorelle of Torino 1 who said there was a less active member interested in coming back to Church. I said "yes!" This is the first story I got: Giuseppina called the mission office to find where she could go to church. She explained she had been a member for 23 years but for some reason or another she decided she wanted to live life outside of the church. Two years passed and she realized the she wanted to be happy again. She recognized it was the gospel of Jesus Christ that brought her happiness.
Without a phone number and only an address we took the opportunity to look for her that day after we had a cancellation. After a few questions to odd old men and long walk we found the women's community she was living in. We attempted to ring the citofono (doorbell) with no response. I rang all of them twice. I was determined to find this Giuseppina so I even started yelling her name up to the apartments. Sorella Cagnacci took me by the hand and said, "Sorella Carroll, andiamo." A little sad we walked down the street towards our next appointment. I saw a bus in the distance and thought "should we wait?" Then I decided no, it looks to far. Five seconds later it was right next to us and as we were about to run I said, "no, lets walk." Down the street we went. The first person to approach had a smile from ear to ear, took out her headphones and I thought, "Giuseppina." We could hardly introduce herself before she was explaining she was already a member. I asked if her name was Giuseppina, and she smiled. We had found her! All because we had a cancellation of an appointment and we decided to walk instead of taking the bus. We have met with her two times and she came to church with us on Sunday. Even if it will be a bumpy road back, Giuseppina is making some big changes in her life. I feel so blessed to know a person so strong and so determined.
I learned an important lesson last week. It truly is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that brings the most happiness. Sometimes we like to think otherwise, but true, eternal happiness comes from our Father in Heaven. I have experienced this joy in my life, I see others witness it in theirs. How many times this week have I testified this week to people on the street, bus, or in their homes that there is a Father in Heaven who loves us? Too many to count, but I do not say it because someone told me. I say it because I know it. I feel it. I live it.
Have I told you that I love being a missionary?
Thank you for the love you give me, so I can give more of mine. I love you.
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll