Dear loved ones.
I am happy to tell you that I am still a missionary roaming the streets of Como. I do not know why I would be anywhere else, but I am just happy about that. Even in the moments that I miss you, I still manage to find something to smile about here. The joys of sharing the gospel.
This past week ended well and a new week started. I wish I could remember all that has happened...Maybe I will tell you about Sunday.
Sunday was a special Sunday for me. Before, during and after church. We had nothing planned for the day, all things we wanted to do, but nothing set in stone. We departed for church, all the while I was praying to hear something that would help me find more hope in my work as a missionary. (It gets, at times, discouraging when you are rejected all so often.) I just prayed to feel the spirit. I did. I was more aware of the silent whisperings than ever before.
It started in Relief Society. Sunday school was incredible and I even learned things I have never heard before. Finally, sacrament meeting! Before the meeting started I watched a recent convert who recently received the Melchizedec priesthood practice the prayer. He was so focused and a little nervous. It made me understand even a little more about how important the sacrament prayer and partaking of the sacrament are. I take the opportunity for granted sometimes, but when I really think about it I am actually renewing the covenants I made when I was 8. It is like being baptized all over again, as along as I partake worthily. What a blessing to have that promise of forgiveness! I paid attention to the words of the Hymns and was strengthened even mor through that spirit. Then the talks.
The last talk was given by an Anziano, there are two Anziani and two Sorelle in our ward here. Topic: Missionary Work. He shared with us an experience earlier in his mission. An investigator came to a fast and testimony meeting and left very disappointed because he heard nothing said about Christ. If our church really is "The Church of Jesus Christ" then why would not even one person bear testimony of Him. This comment caused Anziano Murdock to think about what he does as a missionary and member of the church. The question came, "Is everything I do centered around Christ?" I thought about that, a lot. In fact still thinking about it, obviously. I wear his name on my tag, above my heart. It is he 2nd biggest name (next to mine) that one sees. How important is it that I represent Him with ALL respect. With or without the name tag. My new daily question is that. After all, it is Him that saves us.
On my way to write you I stood on the bus next to a teenage boy who looked at my tag. When I caught him he quickly looked away. I asked if he had ever seen missionaries with the same tag. No. He just saw the name Gesù Cristo and told me he freaked out. I asked him why. He would not tell me. I invited him to learn more about Christ and to come to church. Although not super interested there is the possibility that he makes the change in his life sooner than later. That conversation was much better than the four teenagers who got on the bus looked at me and my tag and literally laughed at me this morning. It is a good thing I like being a missionary.
The rest of Sunday...
Our member friend Nelly called us right after church to explain that she did not set the alarm and that is why she was absent from the meetings. She invited us over to dinner where we met Joquin again. Nelly is from Peru and here with out her family. Joquin is 19 years old, from Peru and the son of Nelly's friend. He ate with us and let us share another spiritual thought. Apparently he has never listened to the missionaries before, and this time he accepted to meet with us next week after reading a chapter in the Book of Mormon. People really do change. Of course I have no ending, but it was a good beginning.
Then we called a family we met the day before and they said sure come on over. One of the nicest Italian families I have ever met! Pasquale, Paola and Valentina. It is always something exciting when you find a family!
The rest of the evening was here and there running into potentials and investigators and making more friends. I love happy Sundays.
I am making more friends and using them as substitute family till I see you. Thank you for making this experience all that much better! I love you and I miss you more than you know.
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll
Did I tell you I was counting down until Christmas? Bad missionary. I am excited to celebrate it here, christmas lights are already going up! I am more excited to hear your voices. I know I still have a bit of time, but I am still excited!
I told Darien I was missing you a little more than I should, but thank you for all the information and news on what you have been doing. I love to hear the little things about your life.
Mother, I am sorry about Rae and I will keep her and her family in my prayers. We are truly blessed to have a testimony of the atonement and how it saves us from temporal and spiritual death. We have the promise because Christ gave his life out of love. I talk to many people here who have no hope or do not believe in Christ as our savior. I am happy to be a representative of Him and bear my testimony everyday of my gratitude for the plan of salvation. I could never deny it to be true, even if 5 Muslim men in the past 2 days have tried to tell me I am wrong.
I love you. Keeeeeeep going!