05 August 2009

to: you

Dear Family,
Have I told you I love you? Have I told you how grateful I am for you? Have I mentioned that I have the greatest family on earth? Thank you for all that you are doing at home. You say that me being a missionary blesses you, but surely I believe that your service is blessing me. In fact, sometimes I wonder why I receive so many blessings...it all must be because of you. Of course I am trying to be a faithful servant and I pray everyday that I do something that will help you at home. So, thank you. I love you. I am eternally grateful for the support you give me.

May I tell you a story?

It begins with a woman named Maria.
Eight weeks ago we were assigned to visit two members who no longer come to church. Both of the assignments were of the same last name Di Franco, so automatically I assumed they were mother and daughter. One, Giusi, had recently been coming to church with her son, Andrea, who was being taught by the anziani (and I might add was baptized last week!). We never went to visit Giusi because she was in church every week and the anziani were at their house every week. I did talk to the anziani about the mother who I assumed was Stefania, the other name. The anziani brought it up to Giusi and her mother was in church the next week. For a good two weeks I assumed this to be the other name that we received, except that her name was Maria. (You were waiting till I brought up the first mentioned name.)
While the anziani were teaching Andrea and preparing him for baptism Maria sat in and listened. Like myself, these elders assumed she was a less active member. About four weeks into her attending church we learned that she is not a member after all. As sister missionaries we decided to take this opportunity and see if we could help this woman. We quickly learned that she already had a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and wants to be baptized. Unfortunately she married herself a stubborn Italian man (like most of them are, and I love them for it). He does not want anything to do with the church and will not give Maria permission to be baptized. She is allowed to come to church every week, basta. Dad, you mentioned a woman in church last week with the same problem. I have been thinking and praying about Maria since we discovered her situation. As we teach her once a week for 10 minutes before church I learn more and more about her strength and dedication. I am grateful for women like this, who would do anything to be a member of Christ's only true and living church. I am grateful that I get to help women like this. Although this challenge is a big one, Maria discovered that she needs to just be patient and eventually she will receive the blessings for her diligence and obedience. In fact, that lesson is meant for all of us. Patience.
It is working with people like her that make missionary work worth it. Watching people change their lives for the better has never meant so much to me. I wish you could see the changes I have seen people make.

Can I tell you another story?

Sunday was the usual, leave at 8:00 to get to the bus by 8:15. We have a few different routes we can take, so when I saw another bus ready to pass I grabbed Sorella Glass and we ran to the next stop. It was very spur of the moment, since usually to take this bus we are waiting forever. We exited the bus and walked over to catch the 71. There were two people standing there, both in a cloud of smoke. We stopped for what might have been two seconds when one woman walked up to us. "Are you missionaries?" "Yes we are, have you seen other missionaries like us before?" "Yes, around." "We are representatives for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." and the conversations continued to how this woman has tried all sorts of religions but none are answering her questions. She would be what we like to call a "golden investigator" saying all the right things and asking all the right questions. Rosi was waiting for a different bus, so we decided to wait with her and travel in her direction. At the end of our conversation (that was 2 stops past where we should have exited(, we set up an appointment to visit her. Although she did not come to church with us, she recognized us that night when we were in centro singing doing our street display. It is funny how a spur of the moment decision to take a bus you have never taken to church leads you to someone who is ready for more truth in her life. I will have to let you know how it progresses.

And a story about me? Missionary work is my life, imagine that. The love grows more every day. I could not imagine being anywhere else.

love: me
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll

Zone Leader Anziano White and Sorella Carroll

The Torino Zone

1 comment:

Rachel Ricchio said...

i'm obsessed! io vedo anziano rotelli!!!!!!!!