I think it would be safe to say that it has been the best week of the mission.
And I know it is just going to get better. The mission and the rest of life.
By the way, do you know what today marks? July 7th, 18 months!
First the fun: Thursday night, culture night at the Opera. Don Giovanni, a scandal and a half. With president's permission we got home for 11 o'clock. But it was the fastest running either of us have ever done in skirts and name tags. (what we looked like upon the return home picture 070) Well worth getting home with 30 seconds to spare. Plus I went to my first act of my first opera. Outside stage at the villa by the lake. (picture 042, 065) Mosquitoes and all were in love. (picture 1)
Friday night was an even greater success. My companion has been organizing this concert for our investigators. (the primary singing picture 045) Unfortunately, I did not participate but was able to help out by sitting in the audience. We have been talking about this concert basically since Sorella Prina arrived and our ward turned around this last week and we had a great turnout, from members and non-members alike. Bishop also called and surprised us by organizing an after party. Barbecue for July 2nd. Only two days short of the big day if independence! (picture 071) My companion and I went to bed late for the second night in a row. (with permission)
Now if is does not sound like we have been partying, the fun did not stop there. Friday a package rolled in with all American goodness. July 4th was well celebrated and the ward loved our pride! (picture 002, 003, 009, 025, 050) So did our district at our district 4th of July party on the 5th. Watermelon was purchased an enjoyed all weekend! (picture 039, 063)
Amid all the dancing, eating, running, and laughing there was also a lot of success seen as far as our missionary work goes. Marta Guarisco is still preparing for baptism, although she is experiencing a little opposition she is also full of faith and ready for pioneer day, July 24th. Our newest investigator of one point five weeks came to church with us on Sunday and cried all the way through. Lara is still searching for her answers but is ever closer to making covenants with the Lord. And finally I had the wonderful opportunity to work with another Sorella, Sorella Simons, during exchanges my final exchanges. (picture 040) She is only a couple transfers behind me and we enjoyed the crazy rain and hail storm together. Being drenched from head to toe never has been so enjoyable. (picture 041)
My week ended with a lesson and tears. We are teaching a dear dear Maria from Ukraine. Apparently I invited her on the bus during the winter and she thought we were JWs and did not do anything about it. Then the elder's found her doing house and taught her a couple times before we met her. We are talking about the plan of salvation and the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. I left in tears because Maria does not believe that she can be forgiven for past mistakes. We are trying so hard to help her understand the purpose of the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ and she is holding back. As much as she would like to be forgiven she does not believe it is possible. Even if it was a difficult past for her, I am so grateful for the atonement because I know how merciful the Lord is in our lives. She is reading every day from the Book of Mormon and we promised her that she will find forgiveness. It was re-manifest to me how great my Savior Jesus Christ is and how blessed I am to have the entirety of the truth. Being able to help others find it has been the most rewarding work of my life. If I could, I would stay here forever with the people that I have given nearly my whole heart to. We just need to keep "relying wholly upon the merits of Him who is mighty to save."
As a final treat, I got to translate the dedica that would go in the English Book of Mormon being hand delivered by our ward member to Mika after his concert this week. WHAT!? I better get on that George Clooney thing. (Had I known there would be fireworks I would have asked permission for another late night, I just found out from you all it even happened. Bummer city.) The Gospel of Jesus Christ never looked so good. No, but really.
I hope a view of my life in pictures was satisfying until I can smile in your face for real. I am so grateful for your continual prayers and support. If is because of you, family, that I am here and I am happy! Dad is so fired for counting. I stopped.
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll
Como Ward Primary concert
Outside Como Villa before the opera
Sorella Carroll and Prina at opera in Como
After the curfew-run home from the opera
BBQ on the 2nd of July to celebrate the 4th
4th of July decorations from Target via USPS through Italian Customs and Postal workers to a window in Como
4th of July in Como
4th of July with Sorella Prina
4th of July and prepared for rain
Waving the flag for American independence
4th of July watermelon
Anziano Hunsaker prepping the watermelon
Our district on the 4th of July
Exchanges with Sorella Simons and Sorella Costley
A rainy bus ride home after exchanges