24 June 2009

ay-oh ay-oh

This week words are not really coming to what I would like to tell you.
Sometimes it seems this way, so much going through your head you can't pin point
a certain thought.

This morning as I was studying I read the hymn I Stand All Amazed, and wanted to
share with you a verse that struck me. Like Robert, I too stand all amazed. "I
tremble to know that for me He was crucified; that for me a sinner, He suffered, He bled and died."

My testimony is strengthened every time I remember what Jesus Christ has
overcome so that you and I can be happy. This is what I will continue to share
so that we can all find the happiness. The joy. The love. The life!

I would like to share with you a little about the people I work with. They are
so much a part of my life, that is seems important for you to know them too. I
was reviewing my past planners and I realized how much we focus everything on
our investigators. We make plans a week in advance, we pray, we focus all of our
thoughts on what we can do to help them, we study for them. My life right now is
centered on helping these special people make the decision to change their lives
and repent. Not repent because they are terrible sinners, but repent because we
are all imperfect. You, me, your neighbor, your friend, all of us have yet to
reach that stage of perfection...but with the help of Jesus Christ we can walk
along the straight and narrow and eventually reach exaltation.

Lucille Guzman. A 19 year old girl from Paraguay who is catholic but has a
desire to find a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Last week she informed us she
had quit smoking and drinking. At that point we had yet to teach her the Word of
Wisdom, but decided to make the decision on her own because she had read about
the commandment previously. We were able to read through Doctrine and Covenants
89 with her and explain the blessings and promises that are associated with
obedience to the commandments. Lucille has made the commitment and has found
more joy in her life. I am grateful for her example, dedication and diligence is
all it takes to be obedient. Then you receive the blessings.

Maurizia Miranda. A 41 year old flower shop owner who has already read the entire
Book of Mormon and is currently working on the Bible. Maurizia knows the entire
story of Joseph Smith and believes it to be true. In the coming week we are
inviting her to be baptized and as she comes to church and continues to read and
pray I know that she will make the decision to change her life.

Both of these women hold special places in my heart. Being able to think, pray,
talk with, teach, and whatever else we do is a privilege. This week I have seen
a change with both and I can feel the love the our father in heaven has for
them. It is such a blessing to see someone make a change for the better. As we
turn to the Lord our happiness radiates. Others notice. Life becomes peaceful.
We know where we are going and why!

I would like to leave you with my testimony that the Lord really does listen. He
knows the desires of my heart. He knows what I need. He is ready to give it to
me too. All I have to do is ask for the guidance. We will always receive answers
to our prayers, sometimes we just have to patient. Day after day I find an
answer, that sometimes I do not even know I am looking for. Proving that He
knows me better than anyone. Answers can come through various mediums, whether
it be through someone else, scriptures, thoughts, even looking out the window
down the street. The Lord speaks to us in different ways, it does not matter
how. I know that He wants to help me.

Tonight I will teach a woman names Giusi who said she wants the happiness I
have. I am going to tell you the same thing I will tell her. You can have it, it
just takes the effort on your part and you will find. Turn to the Lord and he
will make you clean. For us as sinners, He suffered, He bled and died. Keep
turning to the Lord and making the change.

My heart is full of gratitude. I appreciate the guidance I have received from
you family and from my Heavenly Father. I am happier than ever being a
missionary. I had the opportunity to remind myself why I am doing this when I
was asked to bear my testimony at zone conference. My testimony is reconfirmed.

Thank you times a million.

walk like an egyptian,
Sorella Frederique Stone Carroll

17 June 2009

i saw the sign.

"As we rely on the atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials,
sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All
that is unfair about life can be made right through the atonement of Jesus
Christ. In paying the penalty for our sins, Jesus Christ did not, however,
eliminate our personal responsibility. We must show that we accept Him and that
we will follow His commandments. Only through the gift of the atonement can we
return to live with God."

Today I am grateful for the testimony of my brother. That he knows what he is
supposed to be doing, and that is missionary work. I actually had a similar
experience this week visiting with someone that I have told you all about.
Remember our glorious prayer circle? We finally made it back to visit them. I
have nicknamed them M.A.R.G. for time purposes. I wish I had time to explain the
whole visit, but let us just say that we left unsatisfied. Rita kept saying, "mi
dispiace per loro." (I am displeased for them, more or less.) In our prayer
circle everyone offered a prayer. They all prayed for us to find the truth (or
hinting at it) while we prayed for all of us to know the truth. How important is
it for us to know the truth? Thank you Robert, you said it all. Who better to
ask than the Father of all?

That night when we returned home I decided to just open my scriptures and read.
I opened up to Doctrine and Covenants section 14 and began to read. Immediately
I began to feel the spirit. I began to feel a stronger testimony grow inside of
me of this work. Right then I knew I was doing the right thing, even though
there are thousands of people out there who think I do not know what I am doing.
Frederique Stone Carroll, excuse me SORELLA Frederique Stone Carroll knows what
she is doing. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

"A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men.
Behold, I am God; give heed to my word [...] the field is white already to
harvest [...] Yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is
called of God. Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will
knock it shall be opened unto you. Seek to bring forth and establish my Zion.
Keep my commandments in all things. And, If you keep my commandments and endure
to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the
gifts of God. And it shall come to pass, that if you shall ask the Father in my
name, in faith believing, you shall receive the Holy Ghost, which giveth
utterance, that you may stand as a witness of the things of which you shall both
hear and see [...]"

This is what I read. I received the reassurance that I have the truth. I am
bringing the world His truth!

I have been nothing but blessed in the work and every day my knowledge grows. In
all the lessons I taught the past week, I again feel like they were meant for
me. I learned even more the importance of being obedient. What would a life be
without obedience anyway? Of course my imperfections are always there...but if
we ask, we have the help. We may not know all the thoughts of God, but we do
know that he has commanded us to follow the example of Christ. Making the
decision to follow commandments may not be easy, but would it make it easy if
you knew you would receive blessings? I have a question for everyone today.
Actually a request. I am interested in hearing experiences of when you were
obedient to a commandment and have seen the blessings. Whether or not you have
recognized the blessings yet, obedience is key to our eternal salvation. Elder
Jeffrey R. Holland said it perfectly, "Some blessings come soon, some come late,
and some don't come until heaven; but for those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus
Christ, THEY COME." I know they will come. That is why I strive my hardest to do
even the little things...going to bed on time, waking up on time, not playing
with children, not crossing the street on red, etc. (Honestly I can not think of
anything else because they are not even rules anymore, they are guidelines that
help the work progress. Funny how your attitude can change with the help of the
Lord.) So in the end, if you have time would you want to share a little
experience you have had in obeying the commandments of God? (examples: tithing
and offerings, word of wisdom, saying your prayers, honoring your parents, etc.)
Thank you for your inspiration and examples!

I love you. I am grateful for that which you have given me. Thank you for the
examples you have set so that I have something to live up to. I was asked this
week what my motivation was for being here on a mission. Of course the Lord, but
besides Him, you were my response. Family thank you for being my inspiration, my
motivation, everything.

opened up,
Sorella Frederique Stone Carroll



My second district.
Sorella Smith (went to Milano), Sorella Carroll, Anziano Lulo (still zone
leader!), Anziano Sabey (finished the mission, woo!), Anziano Buckway (still
district leader!), Anziano Beacham (went elsewhere! I forget where).

10 June 2009

if i had the chance.

In the words of some wise orphans..."It is what you wear from ear to ear and not
from head to toe that matters. You are never fully dressed without a smile."

Are you ready for the most exciting news of your life? Well, of today at least.
Guess where I am!? If you said home you would be partially correct. I feel like
I am home...I am back in Genova! (I will always consider this beautiful city one
of my homes in Italy, coupled with Siena.) Sadly I am only here for a short
visit, but a great visit it has been.

I picked up a new companion and brought her to Torino with me last thursday,
then I left her in the dust Monday evening to go to Genova and do an exchange
with my trainer! Woo hoo. A surprise! and a struggle:( since I am in charge of
teaching my companion about our area, and I am not even with her the first week.
Crazy. An adventure for both of us. With the short four days I was able to spend
with her I can tell you that these next two transfers are going to be
incredible! Plenty of work to be done, and more fun to be had. I will have to
give you all the updates next week of us getting lost together, me falling off
curbs, meeting new people, sharing the love of the Lord!

Today I am fully dressed. Thank goodness. I want to share something I have
learned in the past few weeks. Something that I hope to never forget. Something
that has helped me be fully dressed every day all day. This something is prayer.
I was taught to pray since practically birth, and I am still learning how to do
it correctly. Apparently in 21.5 years you can not learn everything. I am
learning every day. In fact today, preparation day, in Genova was another
learning day. Instead of taking a full preparation day Sorella Rasmussen and I
decided to schedule appointments. What better thing to prepare yourself for the
week than spreading the word? We decided to go visit Adriana Piccareta. To give
you a little refresher this is the woman we would grocery shop for every week.
This woman holds a very special place in my heart. I felt so special when she
waited at the window watching our hike up the hill and scurried to the front
door to greet me when we arrived. I have never been kissed so many times on my
cheeks, those wiskers, too, hold the special place. We decided to read a small
section of the newest Liahona with Adriana and talk about prayer. As I started
to speak to her and talk about my experience with prayer she took over and bore
her testimony. It could not have been better. A simple sincere testimony is all
it takes to pierce your soul. There are times in our lives when the temptor
somes, the storms rage, and there seems like nothing can take it away. I asked
Adriana "What helps us rise above these difficulties, these storms?" Without
doubt or hesitation she announced "la fede (faith) e la preghiera (and prayer)."
The answer I was looking for was prayer, but then I thought for a second and
asked myself "What is a prayer without faith?" Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Some
words or thoughts that hit the ceiling and then scatter all over the floor. It
takes the prayer of faith to rise above the storm into the sun light. The prayer
of faith that relieves your pains and heartaches, because you know someone is
right at your side. He is walking with you, carrying you at times, and never
will He stop encouraging you. When you feel abandoned, it is NOT because He left
you but because you probably left Him.

A story I read this morning in my daily Book of Mormon study has served as a
guide and perfect start to the day's lessons. The story of the Brother of Jared
in Ether chapter three teaches one about the power of faith. I encourage you to
read this chapter, and we can work together in having the same amount of faith
that our great friend has. Eventually we will "[have] faith no longer, for [we
will] know, nothing doubting." How great will it be.

There is something else I have learned in these past two weeks that have served
as a strength to my testimony. I open my Book of Mormon every morning and it
directs my day. These are my favorite verses this week...
"For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather
thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with EVERLASTING
kindness I will have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer[...]
For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall
not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith
the Lord that hath mercy on thee."
--3 Nephi 22:7-8, 10

Family, friends, loved ones, i miei cari...I can not say it enough. There is
nothing that has changed my life more than serving the Lord. I am imperfect, but
He makes up for those imperfections and helps me all the way. Sometimes (in fact
all of the time) I feel like I am being helped more than I am helping. His
kindness will not depart. Everyday I get closer and closer to the one who loves
me the most. I know that all the help and miracles in the world are only a
prayer away. The sun will come out today (and tomorrow) if we all recognize this
great power!

Let us see how many scriptures I can leave you with today...
"O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods, Now
behold, O Lord, and so not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness
before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and
that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become
evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we
must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires."

ask the world to dance,
Sorella Frederique Stone.

post script. I become legal in Italy tomorrow...so long America!


Dear Adriana


Port of Genova

03 June 2009

gratitude.

It is the end of the transfer today and tomorrow I will be bringing a new companion to Torino. I will be here in Torino for quite a bit more time since my new companion Sorella Glass is leaving either this transfer or the next. I am looking forward to spending some time in this city and really getting to know the ins and outs. I am getting to know ward members better and am having a great time with all the missionaries, investigators, and members. In fact, this transfer we will be doing a lot of finding work to get new investigators. Most of ours have slowed down on us, so we are trying to improve the work and bring salvation for people! Yeah! We need lots of prayers, even though I know you pray all the time for me. Thank you.

Mom and dad, I could not do this with out you. My heart is full of thanks for your guidance and listening to the spirit. Thank you for your testimonies! I am indebted to you!

I hope this week is WONDERFUL! Happy Birthday Father. Pittsburgh should be fun and I am glad you get to spend some quality time together!

Love love love,
Your daughter.