I do not know if you expect the best letter of my mission or not, but seeing as I no longer will be mailing you weekly I say "let 'em have just one more."
It is hard to believe that more than 18 months ago I parted ways with my family and friends. Honestly I had no idea what to expect of this whole experience. All I knew was that I wanted to serve and I felt the Lord had a work for me to do. Having been so blessed to have the gospel in my own life, I only felt it would be selfish to keep it to myself. Then a sister missionary in the Mesa Temple Visitors Center read to me Doctrine and Covenants 4:4. That was the answer to my every question. Now here I am at the end of my mission. The black tag in the corner of my eye and my heart fills with love, gratitude, joy, happiness.
Being able to serve an extra three weeks added the miracle of all miracles to the millions I experienced during this time. Let me recount the event.
June 20th, 2010 Marta brought her neice to church to translate.
June 21st, 2010 Marta had her first lesson about the restoration.
June 27th, 2010 During a short lesson after church Marta set a baptismal date for the 24th of July.
In between the preparation we received a few calls from the bishopric about Marta's less active husband. We did not know him, and the first time we did meet him he happened to be smoking. We were very hesitant about discussing performing the baptism since he had already expressed disinterest.
Well, July 18th rolls around and it is time for Marta to be interviewed. Bishop has already confirmed with Paulo, her husband, that he is going to perform the ordinance. I decided to just get to know Paulo while waiting for the interview. Not far into the discussion I discovered that he stopped frequenting church while in Primary. He had not yet received the priesthood. Despite a slight road block, we let bishop control the situation and he made it to their house the following evening. After an interview he left Paulo with a goal to prepare to receive the priesthood and perform the baptism. Continuing forward with the impression he received to do this, we all searched to show our faith in Paulo that he would do whatever possible to be worthy to receive the priesthood. Next thing we know Paulo is getting dressed in white.
On July 24th both Paulo and Marta stepped into the baptismal font and we witnessed one of the sweetest moments. From the first time I met Paulo to the day of the baptism, he became a new man. He is happy. Marta has helped her husband find himself again. And all this in the space of a month.
The gospel - faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring - is the only thing that can save an individual and a family. These two individuals found another reason to fall more in love because Paulo already invited me back for when they will be sealed for time and all eternity in The House of the Lord.
I am humbled for the opportunity to teach and learn from such remarkable individuals. I am grateful to be a servant of the Lord and witness daily his Love that is shed abroad. Tears have been shed for many a reason, but most of all because I have learned what love is. I have learned that no matter what Jesus Christ loves us and has given everything for us. His church has been restored to the earth and a living prophet has received the priesthood authority.
Having learned all this, I prepare for missionary work the rest of my life.
I am happy. It may be hard to leave behind family and friends again, but it is all according to the will of the Lord.
Nothing is greater than knowing the truth and this is what I have been blessed with. I echo what was said by Alma:
"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."
of the story,
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll.
Marta and Sorella Carroll
Marta and Sorella Carroll and Sorella Prina
Marta and Paulo
Marta and Paulo all dressed in white
Amos before his baptism. Doesn't know that sister missionaries can't be hugged. :)