02 December 2009

you want to.

I believe I forgot to tell you about the Sorella Carroll freakout moment a few weeks back. I was sound asleep in my bed, and am awoken by running water at 2:30 am. I thought, did I or my companion really leave the sink running? I got up to turn it off. The light was burned out in the bathroom, great. So I try the light in the hall. Nope that too. Bedroom, nothing. I open the bathroom door and find that it is very hot and I panic. Water heater broken and losing water all over. (We had received CO detectors previously from the mission because there was an incident in Spain with near deaths due to a broken water heater and CO excess in the missionaries apartment.) I thought I got light headed, woke up my companion and we ran outside. In the middle of my panic, like I thought we were going to die, I called President Dunaway. HAH. In the end it was just a broken water heater and we had no electricity for the morning. Poor president and the dramatic Sorella Carroll.

A couple weeks ago Dad sent me an article from when President Hinckley visited the members in Chile. There is a quote that I took from His talk with a beautiful promise. A promise that, yes, was given to the members in Chile but could very well apply to every member in the world. It goes as follows, "I want to say to every one of you that if you will live the gospel, if you will live in faith, if you will do what you ought to do, not only will you be blessed, but this entire people will be blessed, because the God of Heaven will smile upon you with love for you and for the land of which you are a part." I have been thinking a lot about my work here in Como. We are not seeing as much progress as we would like. Even though we are working hard, their is still patience needed. As I read this quote I felt at that very moment it applied to me. I even let a tear trickle down my face while reading it in my room. I know that if I continue to life the gospel and do it in faith and do EVERYTHING I ought to do, I will be blessed. But not only me, this entire people of Italy (or at least those I am serving with at the moment.) This really is a promise for the world. The lord blesses his righteous followers. Keep doing what is right, and I will too!

The past two Sundays in church have been very special to me. Not only have we had investigators show up, but the programs were very meaningful. Two weeks ago was the primary program. Oh how I have missed my favorite Sunday of the year being in a student ward in cougar land. The children sang songs and gave talked about eternal families. To hear an 8 year boy bear testimony of his baptism and his eternal family made me really appreciate the blessings of the gospel. Even an 8 year old child can understand its importance. The spirit touched me as I know it reached out to all who were in attendance. This past Sunday was a sacrament meeting for the Young Women. It reminded me of the one we used to do after girls camp. During the talk of one of the girls who bore testimony of the importance of being prepared, reminded me of a talk I gave in Sacrament after our girls camp of the Ten Virgins. That was one of the first moments I really gained a testimony of the importance of being prepared spiritually. As this girl spoke I remembered how I felt standing in front of the ward. I could hardly get the first sentence out and the spirit testified to me that what I was saying was true. I learned so much in my youth that I hardly put into practice, and now I am remember the importance and try to teach it to others.

The topic of discussion these days has been "the last days." When people read our name tag they say (because the direct translation of Dei Santi Degli Ultimi Giorni is The saints of the last days) "you believe we are in the last days?" or "The world is going to end soon?" or "What do you think about 2012?" To me none of this matters: when and how the second coming of Jesus Christ happens. Just that it does happen and I am prepared for it. No one knows the hour or the day. But God has prepared a way for us to be ready. God has loved us enough to restore the gospel and priesthood authority that we could make covenants and prepare ourselves for eternal life in the Celestial Kingdom.

Last night we had a return appointment with an older couple. We walked in to teach them the lesson of the restoration. At the end the man said "I have had 70 years in my faith and there is no way I can change." I reassured him I was not here to convince him, but let him know that God has called a prophet and our invite was for them to search it out for themselves. The man simply said, even if I am wrong I won't do it because I am closed in my ideas. We left them with a testimony that God is our Eternal Father in Heaven and that Jesus Christ, our older brother, is our savior. They want for us to return to them, but that is up to us whether we do or not. It breaks my heart when someone will not even try. But that is the nature of many people. I pray daily that someone I meet will be prepared to hear the message of the restoration and recognize its truthfulness.

I know the Lord is preparing people for me to teach. I am ready. I love doing this work, even when I want to cry because of the pain.

Happiest December. The lights are on in centro and it feels just like home. In fact, last Saturday we decided to do some work in centro where there were hundreds of people. It was like the festival of lights, activities for the kids, people selling things, the only addition here is an out door ice skating rink. Christmas is just around the corner! I am glad to share the real spirit of the season and wear His name on my heart!

Thank you for the many birthday wishes. I imagine this is going to be one of the best birthdays ever!

I love you!

I want to,
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll

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