I think all parts of me are freaking out. My calves wake me up every night, multiple times, with charlie horses. My poor companion thinks I am dying every time. (Maybe I am still a little over dramatic.)
Yesterday everything became real. I gave my departing testimony at zone council, but gladly not a tear was shed. I just said how happy I was. What a blessing to be able to say that! Although I am not a perfect missionary, or person for that matter, it is a great joy to recognize happiness in ones life. Right now, that is all I can feel. Happiness for life, for the gospel, for eternity. What I really appreciate the most is helping others find that same joy.
Work is still progressing with our dear Marta, who we met only 4 short weeks ago. The baptismal date has been postponed until July 31st because she works on the 25th (which would have been her confirmation date). Therefore we decided together that it would be best to wait until the next week. Although I am sad to miss the celebration by one day, I am so happy for her. Marta is so strong and so faithful. The Lord is working miracles in her life, and before we know it, her husband will be active and they will become eternal. Actually a miracle happened. This past Sunday she did not make it to church because they were in the emergency room until 5 am. Her husband (Paolo) was having severe chest pains with high blood pressure. Well, following the visits Paolo was charged to quit smoking and to stop drinking alcohol and coffee. The first step towards reactivation. They are also starting to pray as a family every once in a while and Marta is so happy to see little changes in her love. Marta will be such a strength for the ward and especially for her husband!
An empty train ride home last week gave me a few moments to think. I sat against the window as we journeyed back from Marta's appointment and my heart filled with the deepest gratitude. Gratitude mostly for my Savior Jesus Christ, who made this opportunity possible. As we rode into Como my eyes filled with sweet tears. I spent more than half of my mission life in this beautiful place and I can hardly believe that before long my train rides will be gone. In fact they are already numbered. That is why I recommit every morning to give all I can, because this is the opportunity of a life time, but as dad said, this is not all. Just one of the necessary experiences to help me better understand and know Jesus Christ.
I think I am unconsciously trying to extend my time. Everyday is Saturday to me. Last Saturday. I even made a comment doing house when a woman said to come back Saturday. When she closed the door I said to my companion, in a serious question, "but doesn't she know it is Saturday?" My companion is helping me be sane. Although I have been crazy my whole mission.
Guess what we are doing on Friday. Participating in a wedding! Do you remember any info I gave about a little boy named Diego? Son of a less active? Well it had been quite a few months without any success of visits. During our exchange last week we were coming back from Marta and while on the train we stopped at the station where this family lives. At a spur of the moments I grabbed Sorella Simon and said we are getting off. We walked about 2 minutes to arrive at their front door. Surprise...the sister missionaries showed up! We taught a simple lesson and tried to offer some help. She shared the good news about the wedding and said we could come back to visit, but before all the stress. I called her 2 days later and we were back on Saturday for lunch. I decided to ask her if she had someone to take their pictures and she said unfortunately no, because of lack of funds. So I jumped on it and we are going to be wedding photographers and family photographers on Friday. We are going to be spending quite some time helping with the set-up. So although I could not participate directly in my sister's wedding, I will still get to help a family very dear to my heart make one more step towards covenant making in the temple. Plus, we are starting to prepare Diego for baptism!
President and Sister Wolffgram are incredible. We met them for the first time yesterday and it is a blessing to see how inspired their call is. They are just what the mission needs and are going to help the work progress so much! With only one month of service with them I am still grateful for the opportunity to have served under this Presidency!
The assistants told me a better practice my ping-pong arm. Apparently we are going to be having some rough competitions! I will be all brushed up and ready to compete against Eric. Or was it dad that schooled Eric at Carroll family Christmas? All I remember is getting comments from everyone about some intense matches. Love.
I love you all. Life is flying by and I am happy every moment of it. Even when my companion and I walk 3 miles in the sun and humidity only to sit down on a bench covered in bugs to permanently stain my skirt. Jealous? Good thing that was staying here anyway! On another, not as long and hot of a walk, we found black berries along the rode. We may or may not have enjoyed a few.
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll
p.s. love you!