Well family, it is time for changes again. Tomorrow I make the trip to Milan to bring a new companion back to Como. Companion number 8! I am excited! Plus I get to spend Christmas in Como. I live on Viale Roosevelt, 12 [click here for map] which is right next to one of the main streets that leads to centro. They are hanging Christmas lights down the road and everyone is starting to get into the spirit. The magic of the season begins!
Remember I had the goal to learn how to whistle a tune on my mission. Well I think I finally learned. I used to whistle hymns walking down the street, but I was informed by a dear member that it was inappropriate for a girl to whistle. Ooops. Is it also inappropriate in the United States and I just am oblivious?
A few weeks ago I was walking home with my companion. There is a rather large catholic church where a man plays his accordion. I have a few cents in my pocket and felt the need to give him something. It was probably just 15 cents, but it was all I had. I dropped it in and left. I believe a few nights later we were home a few minutes early so we decided to walk around and find someone to talk to. A little man was walking across the street so I greeted him. He was so excited to talk to us and just started rattling things off. It took us a few minutes to learn he was from Romania and had only been in Italy a few weeks.
We gave him a pass-along-card with the address of the church since there was not much we could do. We saw him a few days later and said hello. A couple more days went by and he stopped us to ask about the church. He could only say "Gesù" (Jesus) and we pulled out another pass-along-card to give him with the address. Then to our surprise he opened his little wallet and pulled out the one we already gave him. I said "bus numero uno" and pointed in the direction of the area of the church. Then he started talking and talking. Since we were near our apartment I asked him to wait 2 minutes and we ran inside to get him a Book of Mormon in Romanian. This was our only mode of communication, he could read the Book of Mormon. He gladly received it and started to look in the back for hymns. When he found nothing he started to sing. He sang a whole hymn to my companion and I on the street. By the end he was crying and walked away. It was a special moment with Lucian.
We were sitting in Gospel Principles when the door opened and Lucian and a friend were lead to a couple empty seats. I believe they are homeless, but took the time to gel their hair and walk all the way to church (a 20 minute bus ride up hill). I was actually very surprised he came, not to mention with a friend. They understood nothing, but the Anziani took over and were able to set up an appointment with a Romanian family in the ward to teach them. Yesterday evening we were walking by the Catholic church and I noticed that it was Lucian, the accordion player. Again, who knows what is going to happen, but I was glad to meet someone who already had much love for Christ and was willing to put in the effort to do more.
I am excited for everyday. You never know who you are going to meet!
Another story. Lucia De Tommaso who lives on Via Ferrari number seven. I saw her walking up a hill with a couple grocery bags from the market. Being in her late eighties she was struggling a little bit. I decided we could help her. She gladly accepted calling us her "marvelous little girls" or "angels." She was walking back up the hill to find an umbrella that she lost. First she thought it was in the church because she had gone to Mass that morning. When we did not find it there we started back down the hill. About every 2 minutes she asked us if it was okay that we helped her. I reassured her that was what we are here for.
About 30 minutes later we found the umbrella, she was praying the whole time, while I had no idea how she was going to find it. The market seemed like a difficult place to find anything. She took us back to her house and introduced us to her husband. They were so sweet and invited us back anytime. We shared a message with them and asked if we could pray. After I prayed she got excited and started reciting her prayers. We remained reverent. At the end her husband noticed that we did not make the sign of the cross when we prayed, Lucia explained that were not Catholics but were Christians. Then he says, "oh okay, non practicing Christians." We will be explaining a little more when we return.
I tell you right now I am very much a practicing Christian. Of course I can improve, but I practice what I preach and I preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Again, I repeat, I can always improve and am working on it!
Thank you for all the updates at home, I am glad to hear that all is going well. I love you and miss you! Thank you for your prayers, love, concern, help, support, examples, etc. etc. etc.!
heart it races.
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll
I sent a package home, finally. It does not have very much exciting stuff. Not like you send me. Sorry. I hope you get it. Picture CDs also went in the mail.
I wish I could tell you something about my new companion, but I do not even know her name. She is going to be spending at least her first transfer with me. Last night when we got the phone call from our zone leaders I was sure Sorella Casalino and I would be staying together. I was not even worried about a big change. Then they gave us the news. All I know, is I will be relying a lot on the Lord to help me do a good job being a good companion. I have yet to be so nervous about a call. I will meet her tomorrow morning bright and early!
Happy week, happy wedding planning, happy seminary, happy pittsburgh, happy chile, happy idaho, happy school, exams, fun, life, and everything else you are doing!