14 October 2009

All the way from Como.

Well, I will start by recommending a honeymoon location. If you even want my opinion at all, it is Como Italy. This city is beautiful and full of wonderful people. Although I love every moment here, I find myself missing Torino. I know this dream land will quickly become my home. It is a good thing I lived in Provo for three winters because I am going to have a very cold one here. Our apartment has a broken window and the heaters have yet to be turned on in the complex. Cold showers happen, I am just glad that I am not bathing with a cup. I am happy to be here, nylons and all!

One thing is for sure, the work here is much different. Adjustments are being made. There is not much progress with investigators so Sorella Casalino and I are on the hunt. Sorella Casalino has been here for her first two transfers and we are going on her number three. She is a great missionary. Our biggest excitements are getting lost together. I think I almost have the city down. This might be the fastest I have ever learned an area! Maybe my memory is improving.

Sunday number one was incredible. In fact, I feel like I knew all the members already. They are so wonderful, caring, helpful and full of life. Everyone is more than excited to help with our work and they have great goals to help their brothers and sisters find the restored gospel. A missionaries dream come true! Since I am completely new to the ward and the area I have a lot to learn, but I can tell that I will have plenty of help and support.

Would you like to know a little about my traveling companion? Sorella Sara Casalino was born in Southern Italy. At the age of 7 her parents migrated to the United States. The family currently lives in Rexburg, Idaho. And I thought Darien would be living in her own private Idaho, I am getting a little taste of it myself. She tells me she likes to write and draw anime. I enjoy her little quirks, I hope she enjoys mine.
I might have scared my poor companion on Sunday evening. We were having our regular “count the numbers” and planning session. I would like to share my emotional breakdown. We were talking about our Monday when one thing led to another and I began to cry. I do not cry very often on my mission. Maybe once a transfer, you just always hear about it. Anyway, I began to talk about missionary work and my thoughts about it. I bore a testimony that I did not really know I had. I knew I loved the work and I knew I would miss being a full time missionary one day, but I did not realize what was really going on inside me. The Lord helped me see as I spoke to my companion. I just want to say that I am so grateful for this time I have to serve. I am so grateful for the blessings of the Lord in my life. Missionary work is often talked about as making sacrifices – which sure sometimes you do eat two hours late or you do miss a couple hours of your preparation day, or you have (literally) cold feet or a head ache, and the list goes on – but in the end we see that it was not much of a sacrifice at all. The Lord gave you more than you probably gave. I am learning every day that this is not about me but about my brothers and sisters. About the eternal progression of others. I benefit in the end, but as long as I forget myself I will get more work done. The principle of diligence is staying on the top of my list. For the rest of my life.

Now I would like to tell you about some interesting experiences from this week. Probably mentioned already, but we have a mission goal of 10 invites everyday. That is 10 per person. 20 per companionship. I at one point had a fear of talking to people, now I am helping my companion get over the fear. She is getting better already! We are working together to reach the mission goal and to show the Lord we are willing to do all that is asked of us. In the mean time you get numbers and appointments to visit people! Karina was my favorite invite of the week. I noticed her reading on the bus so I asked her if she liked to read. I proceeded to tell her about the Book of Mormon. She did not want to accept an appointment for us to come, so I handed her the book in my bag. Who knows what will come of it, but I made a new friend in Como!
Sunday we had a return appointment to visit a couple from Africa that the sisters had met before I came. We headed over after church to find they were not around. We moved on to our other plans and visits are were turned down to both appointments. In the end we did finding work, success in the fact that we were able to talk to many people. That evening as our house finding was coming to a close we decided to hop on a bus and to a little talking. We happened to get on the wrong bus when everyone got off a few stops later. I decided, not effective, so we got off the next stop and walked across the street. The next bus had a few people so we got on and headed back. I noticed a woman look at my companion like she wanted to say something but did not since she kept walking to the back. I decided to stay next to the lady and started a conversation about getting directions. Even if I knew the way, you gotta do what you gotta do. She told me she was from Ghana and I said I have a cousin serving a mission there. (Elder Healey is in Ghana, right?) Then I asked her if she had seen missionaries like us and she proceeded to tell me that the sisters had visited her and her husband the week earlier and were supposed to come back today. Well, we found our African couple and got the right phone number this time. The merciful hand of the Lord at the end of a long day.

I have officially decided I need to learn Spanish, Ukranian, Russian, Romanian, Albanian, Chinese, German, diverse dialects from Africa and continue the Italian. According to everyone here I do not speak English I speak American.

A man I met the other day told me that the Mormons are “delicious people.” Good word choice.

Tip of the week: Do not give an Italian man a pair of scissors and your head of hair. Too bad I did not learn the language of hair when I came on my mission. We are not short short, but much shorter than I asked.

Week one in Como. Check. Life is great!

Yours very affectionately,
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll

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