28 October 2009

Lines that I couldn't change.

Today I have so much to talk about and no time to do it. We are running short today because high maintenance Riqué had to buy new shoes (finally). My poor companion. I found good, sturdy shoes that should last me till I see your smiling faces. We also are cutting our prep day a little short so that we can see an old investigator who has not been visited by the sorelle due to her schedule. She comes to church nearly every Sunday, just waiting on the divorce so she can marry the other man and be baptized! We will see.

Sad news, I just received word from Sorella Huber that Maria DiFranco will not be getting baptized on Halloween. Apparently it was a decision between her husband and the church. It is a tough decision when you do not have full support from your husband. We hope all the best, but keep your prayers going. Thank you.

As for the work here in Como, things are flying. Weird that I communicate with you only four times a month. When I think every week I get to write it feels like a lot, then I look back at my stack of old emails and think, “that is all?”

Last Wednesday I ran into a pole on my way home from internet. Literally. I hope someone else saw. Then Thursday comes and I am happily walking down some concrete stairs in the rain to visit Ernestina (an 80 or year old lady who gladly accepts gospel discussion, but does not understand exactly what we are teaching and the importance to her...a tough cookie. I think she likes the company. I wish it was not so difficult to leave behind people, but she may have to be put on the back burner for some time.) I slipped, fell to my knees, my bag flew over my head and my face went into the ground. All is well, brand new tights destroyed. A few good wounds on the knees for proof. Just funny that I can not walk. Nearly 22 years old and I am still learning the art of walking and paying attention.

Sunday the Stake of Milano (which Como takes part in) had stake conference with General Authority Elder Gérald Caussé. It was an inspired two hours that helped me appreciate even more the divine guidance we receive as members of a divine church. I often times feel very sad for those who believe revelation between God and man has come to an end. I suppose this is why I am here, to help people truly feel that God loves us just as much as he loves his children in times past. I am grateful for a living Prophet who speaks directly with our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ so that we can be better prepared for the ills that have and will continue to come.

At the end of our conference Anziano Caussé held a meeting for all the new converts. Us missionaries were able to listen. Anziano Caussé wanted to meet all the recent converts so the bishops introduced them all. I walked in the wrong entrance but was privileged to stand in front of the crowded room. I watched as all the faces smiled and their eyes bore testimony of their happiness. In fact, there was a couple who has very recently been through the temple together, to be sealed for time and all eternity. When their branch president explained their story to Anziano Caussé tears filled the woman's eyes. I felt for a moment her eternal joy. My eyes filled with sweet water as I thought about the eternal joys you, my family, and I enjoy. Then I thought about those joys that will continue to be added upon as my sister enters into the covenant with marriage with this selected Eric. One day, hopefully, I will add to it and Robert and Ramsey (and mother, yes the grandkids too.) I could not imagine eternity without you all in it. So thank you for being what and who you need to be, I will continue to work hard so that we can all be there together.

My favorite response at the door after we present what we have to offer is “there is no one here.” I do not know if the Italians think we American's are stupid. That could be it, but we are clearly talking to someone (often times looking them in the face) and they announce that no one is home. Thank you. Since most of the house finding we do is in apartment buildings I have developed a habit of always looking up (while we are ringing the citofono) to the balconies in case some one comes out and we can talk to them. It is my favorite when they peek over very slowly, see me, and quicker than you can say “Ciao,” have gone inside and locked the door. Five minutes, all it takes. At least there are those who are willing and ready to receive!

In fact, a few evenings ago we ran into an ex-investigator who started to talk to us. She seemed very happy to see us. When I asked her briefly her “story” she had a light in her eyes as she talked about the church. I looked up her information when we got home and found that she had been through quite a bit with the sister missionaries. We went to visit her two days ago and will see her tonight. Even if there were challenges in the past, I have learned that we do not happen upon anyone for no reason. The way she looked at me and the way she spoke to me on that bus caused me to feel like there was something we could do for her. Even if it is just to help her make a little more progress. Monica is her name.

No, I do not remember what I wrote.
Como has warmed up, we are happy. Dad has mentioned Darien's new home will be colder. Maybe I am just a big baby.
Glad the celebrating is still happening.
Have a wonderful week wherever you may be.
Here in Italy, I am expecting a good one too.

In my place,
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll

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