20 January 2010

our lives passed away like as it were unto us,

Dear friends and family,

I do not really know what to tell you about this week. My companions bike broke and it is freezing cold. I spent the past two days with a sister from North Pole, Alaska and she was even cold. There is my proof. Dad wants to hear more stories. This week has been more of a testimony builder for me than anything. Funny things happen, but more so I am a missionary and it is the little things that help me to understand what is really important.

I ran into my old friend, "the lies of the monkey," who told me I looked like some princess named Carolina (again) but this time mentioned that Carolina is taller and more beautiful than me. I love my friends here in Como.

Monica recieved a priesthood blessing on Monday night to help her quit smoking. She bore her testimony to me yesterday. She also mentioned that she does not have the desire to smoke so much. The power of the priesthood is real and will help, always according to our faith. It is always great to witness the changes she is making in her life to prepare herself for the baptismal covenant. Monica should be getting baptized in less than three weeks and we are so excited for her. I just pray the non participating ward will get excited about the salvation of one of their very own sisters.

We are working with a new convert/less active who seems to be going through it all right now. I wish I could help her more, but she has closed off her heart and has let other people get in the way of her relationship with her Heavenly Father. This is the hardest part of the work. Watching somone deny what they know because of pride. All I know is that I am grateful for the mercy of a loving Heavenly Father and the more we bear testimony to her the more faith I have that she will remember her convenants.

As for the life of Sorella Carroll, things are moving along. We are happy and working. We are avoiding discouragement and praying a lot.

I love you.
I miss you.

a dream,
Sorella Frederique Stone Carroll

13 January 2010

and i am back

I decided it was better for me to be in Italy than the party pooper at the wedding. Between a fever and the flu I would have probably been less fun than my piece of cardboard. I appreciate all the dancing you did with me. I really hope you mean it that we can relive all the festivities when I return because it looks like you threw a real party. Congratulations. I am excited to see all the pictures.

On Saturday, after meeting the Elders in church to receive a blessing we were heading back home and stopped in the post office to buy stamps. I ran into an old friend who I contacted on the street three months previously. (My first week in Como) In fact, I did not see her or recognize her but she ran up to me and started talking to me. As I waited for my companion to make her purchase I went to talk with this woman Pina and her brother Giuseppe. I had previously contacted the brother going door to door. Small world. They recounted that one month previously their mother passed away, whom I also met at the house of Giuseppe. Immediately my missionary instincts set in and we began to talk about the plan of salvation and how families can be united for time and all eternity. It was great because I was able to mention my sister who would be making that covenant that very same day. I was able to testify of the joy of eternal families and that God has a plan prepared for us. They remained pleased with the promises and we will be seeing each other soon, hopefully.

We may have ditched the bikes for a little bit because we think it is that which caused an illness, especially with the cold weather. For beautiful sunny days helmets will be on.

I have a series of pictures to send this evening so we are keeping things short.

I LOVE YOU ALL! Even the new brother.

Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll

It looks like you pulled off a wedding! Good work, good work. Thank you for the pictures already.

Darien and Eric you make a beautiful couple, or handsome couple. Beautiful. I meant it when I asked for cute nieces and nephews.
Plus there is a little more time since I was informed I will be coming home at the end of July instead of June.

Summer school's bonked, but I am much happier spending a little more time on my mission. President informed me this week of my release date being July 30th. I am very happy about this. Maybe he will even be extending it to December and Robert and I can come home together!

This week I put my goals to paper and am very excited about accomplishing them. I decided to go to the more spiritual side of things and set my goals according to my patriarchal blessing. One in particular is temple and family history. I actually had planned to come here and tell you instead of summer school I would love to spend the summer doing family history. Maybe we, mom dad and myself, can have a little fun in August and make some progress. Thoughts? We can talk about this a little further along since it is still 6 months away.

Family, I love you so much! I miss you, but not too much. I know we are all moving along in this plan together. Keep up the good work.


06 January 2010

we need to have the same rhythm

Happy January in the year of two thousand and ten.

I slept through the New Year. Boring, maybe. The life of a missionary. We were required to return home by 8:00 pm but the sound of fire crackers and parties were well heard through our walls. I did spend the eve teaching and we might have thrown in a dance party with an investigator. (The film will not be seen until I am 100% released.)

I bought myself a nice shiny black helmet, a sturdy lock, and a tire pump. I imagine you know what this all means...I am not a bike missionary. Only a few cities in the mission have this wonderful privilege and I finally convinced my co it was the thing to do. Plus everyone laughs at us because of our helmets and I love it. It has been much too long since my bicycle was stolen and I still remember how to ride! I thought I enjoyed a bike ride before the mission, I love it even more on the mission because I can be a missionary and cruise the streets of Como. Yes, I am a happy missionary. My co is learning to keep up.

This week I thoroughly enjoyed our finding work going door to door. Specifically one moment in particular. Signora Noemi. She took about 1 minute to unlock the door, which seems like an eternity when you are waiting, anxious and nervous. She opened a crack just enough to see her eyes and paintings that covered her wall. My companion started our introduction and the lady seemed less than interested, I jumped in and asked if she had painted those pictures on the wall. She smiled and flung the door open and responded with a proud SI! She quickly ushered us in to show us all her art. Murals to little wooden figures. Antique bibles to photographs. We made a connection with her since my companion is an artist and I pretend at times. She loved us immediately. We were able to talk about our service as missionaries and the Book of Mormon. This Saturday we are returning to bring her the book that will change her life.

This past month I have been re-reading the Book of Mormon doing a special study of the doctrines and Christ. As I teach people about the Book of Mormon I realize how much my life has changed due to the principles and truths that I read therein. Although it was written more than two thousand years ago I have a firm testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and was written especially for our day. For me. For you. They labored diligently so that we would know to what source we can turn for a remission of our sins. It is a testimony of the Book of Mormon that truly gives someone the firm knowledge that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father and he is guiding us every step of the way.

love list:
I love the Book of Mormon.
I love retired, white, catholic missionaries that speak English like the Africans.
I love that our Bishop pulled out beer for Christmas lunch and it took me a second to realize it was non-alcoholic.
I love riding a bike and inviting people to hear the good news.
I love knocking doors to a man singing karaoke by himself.
I love my companion who tried to make bread in the microwave.
I love receiving new inspiration and changing my life to be a little better.
I love new years.
I love watching the changes and sacrifices people make in their lives to follow Jesus Christ.

I am here to be a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ. I am here to tell the world that Jesus Christ lives, and loves us. I am so happy to be here!

I know the party will go on without me, but we plan to party hardy without you too. :) I love you with all my banjo strings and heart stings. Happy wedding. Thanks for doing it right. I know my cardboard self knows how to get down on the dance floor too. I may just need a little assistance.

of the soul,
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll