28 April 2010

green.

These weekly letters are getting harder and harder to write. Not because my life is boring but because it is wonderful and there are so many things to say but so little time.

A couple weeks ago we were doing a little shopping in Como which required a visit to the bank. I do not think I have ever stepped foot in a bank in America therefore I have no idea how the doors work there, but here there are two. One must close before the second opens. My companion barely missed the door leaving her inside the bank and me trapped alone between two glass sliding doors. (we could see and hear each other still, hah). I actually briefly got stuck in between the doors while my companion could not open one and the woman outside could not open the other.

It turned into a laugh for myself and Lara (the woman outside). While I waited for my companion to come out I started talking to this lady who was so kind and outgoing. My companion made it but I decided to continue talking instead of making it to the closing store. Lara gave me her phone number and walked away. She actually never went into the bank so I wonder why she came over to the doors like she needed to get in.

Our first appointment with Lara was a surprise baptism of another investigator for the Anziani of Lecco. What a wonderful opportunity to really explain our purpose as missionaries. She met with us again the next day and is already one of my favorite Italians. I have never met someone so sincere and honest.

Miracles! Everyday!

Love list long overdue:
1. onions that grow leaves because it is so humid here.
2. the shining sun.
3. green mountains.
4. new friends.
5. leaves on the trees.
6. the book of mormon.
7. Going to Pinocchio the musical on Friday!
8. no nylons in May.
9. MAY!
10. being happy!

I pray for you and I love you all!

Sincerely,
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll


Sorella Carroll and Sorella Prina at Zone Conference

21 April 2010

my my my

Well after spending a couple days in Bergamo I am happy to be back in Como. I do love it here. I love the people, and I feel like I could live here the rest of my life (with my family of course). It feels great when you recognize faces on the street and they recognize you. It is even better when one accepts what you have to offer!

This week we will talk about Eduardo. While on the bus last Thursday I noticed a man look back at my companion and attempt the read her tag. He then looked to me, but my tag was a little hidden from frantic moving to make space. He pointed to it and asked, "che cos'é?" I proceeded to explain my call as a missionary and that we are here to tell the world God has called a living prophet and given us, again, the authority necessary to return to him. When I said living prophet Eduardo did a double take and was speechless for a couple seconds. He then moved forward with many questions that I had no time to answer because he needed to get of the bus. I asked for his phone number and gave him a pass-a-long card with our number. I watched him as he exited the bus and read what was on the back of the card I gave to him. Continuing on my way to the church I did not give much thought to what had happened.

Then Friday we went to Zone conference where I was filled with even more motivation to preach and as we left I thought, call Eduardo. On the train I made the call and he was very happy and gave us our first appointment of the week on Monday.

We show up to his door, right on time, with the Relief Society President at our side. (His wife was working so there was the necessity of another woman.) He was excited and ready for us! Up the stairs we went were he had us meet his daughter and "get to the good stuff." His daughter declined my offer to listen so we continued along. Eduardo shot out question after question. We explained that we could not respond to everything in one moment but that we will eventually get to answer. We left that morning with a, "I will call you to let you know when I can meet."

Later that evening he called and we scheduled for Tuesday evening. I returned home from Bergamo and we were off. Little did we know we would encounter 45+ minutes of traffic to arrive due to a very serious motorcycle accident. I did not want to see what I did on our way up, I'll leave it at that. He was polite and happy to see us again and pulled out the Joseph Smith testimony underlined and ready for questions. He also received a Book of Mormon from a friend after that day. Eduardo is the most excited investigator I have ever met. We taught him about the restoration and invited him to pray which he fully committed to and is starting to read the Book of Mormon.
After meeting his wife I believe firmly this will become a family affair! I have never met someone so excited and willing to listen as this man is. He is sincere and earnest in his search, which he tells us he been on for over 40 years. Although he has many ideas, he is definitely on the way to find the full truth and I do not think he even understands what is waiting for him!
Life is wonderful.

A little chat on the bus is turning into something greater! At first I did not think much would come of it!

It is great being able to teach the truth and have others recognize you as true disciples of Christ.

Many more miracles took place, and I am noticing the spirit more abundantly as I am more obedient. I thank you for the help you have given me to reach this point. Through the difficulties and trials, joys and laughter...just like Robert said ... I only have my Father in Heaven and you to thank!

I could not imagine doing anything greater with my life!

Have a wonderful week!

Sincerely,
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll

14 April 2010

to you.

I bought an afro comb this morning. Yes I am excited to use it.

God does exist.
God does guide his faithful servants.
God does love everyone of his children!

Three weeks ago I met a new companion. We discovered our differences, our likes, our dislikes. We also pretty quickly began to understand that this was going to be an interesting experience together. But I am learning that the Lord has put us together for many a reason. For both our learning and experience. This past week has been on of real miracles. As we tried to find our points of unity we saw more of the Lord's hand in our work. More than I could have ever imagined.

Easter morning, companionship study. Neither one of us really excited but came to the conclusion that we should read the story of Christ's last week from the Gospel of St. Matthew. Again my testimony was strengthened and I felt the eternal and unexplainable love the Savior has for me and everyone of my imperfections. It is written that Christ still called Judas "friend" after the betrayal. That is love, pure love.

I prayed for patience and this kind of love and I am beginning to see the many strengths my dear companion has. Many of which brought about the miracles we witnessed.
Thursday morning we set out to find the souls who are ready. A nice warm day, people at the lake, who better to talk to than the families enjoying their time together. Some interested, others not. On our way home I noticed my companion stop so I turned back. We introduced ourselves to a young mother named Chiara. She proceeded to tell us that se was left widowed last month and as we saw has a daughter of one year. As we testified and taught simple, yet brief principles Chiara listened and felt the truthfulness. A busy street of shoppers and noisy teenagers quickly turned into one of the most spiritual moments of my entire mission. This woman looked at us as if we were the answer to her pleading prayers. She confided completely in us as the Lord's servants. I do not know if she was scared or what, but she would only leave with our phone number promising to call. She left while I cried. My companions arms around me while innocent passers-by wondered what was wrong. I still believe she will call and I pray everyday we will meet her again. That morning I realized that even when I do not know what to say, the Lord does. I opened my mouth and the spirit guided. My body warmed up and I too felt every truth of what I was saying.

Still on the walk home we were chit-chatting and saluting the few hurried italians. Then a woman comes running out of a job agency office. One, two, three seconds passed and both my companion and I stopped dead in our tracks. Without saying a word we looked at each other and turned around. We caught up to speed walker Anna. It is true, what when you search for real unity the spirit will speak to both of you and tell you that which you should do.

Later that evening...

All of our plans fell through so we made the trek to an ex-investigators house with big hopes. Fail. Since we were in the area of a previous casa-in-casa expedition we decided to contact those who said we could return. First name, Luigia. I remembered that she was an older woman and I thought was just being nice when she said we could return. Really, I started with her because I figured she would at least let us into the building. A head popped out the window and a smile came to her face. She remembered telling us we could come back but did not want for us to enter at that moment. I walked over to her and started explaining that we wanted to share five minutes of peace. Still refusing, she explained "today is just not my day." My companion said a few things and then Luigia began to cry. She has some health problems and is widowed with no kids terrible close. She is alone and in need of truth. Another moment, letting the spirit testify, we came to the conclusion that we were going to offer her the peace she is searching for. Luigia consented and let us in. Five minutes turned into 30 minutes and a return appointment.

We returned Saturday a little apprehensive as to whether or not she would remember and with a great big smile welcomed us warmly into her apartment. We taught her about the plan of salvation and again she was very open and happy about what we had to say. As the spirit directed we invited her to make the baptismal covenant with the authority given from God. She asked if it was okay to be baptized twice and as we explained she accepted. It was all a little surprising and we planned on bringing her to church the next day. When we called Sunday morning with the ride, she mentioned that her son was coming early to get her for family lunch and there was nothing we could do. We confirmed the appointment for Tuesday and left it at that. I still was a little nervous about working with an 81 year old woman and when we showed up you could see a little trouble in her eyes. She quickly told us that we are not allowed to visit her anymore because her son does not agree. She was excited to tell her family but apparently they shut everything down. Her son threatened to never step foot again in her house if she allowed us to keep coming. We still taught the message of the restoration and she soaked in every word. I really started understanding that this woman does understand and has noticed a big difference between us missionaries and the catholic church. Luigia, very discouraged told us she could not continue because her family is so important. We spoke with her and came to the conclusion that we are going to give her son a week to calm down and she invited us back for the following week. We left her with the commitment to pray and ask for God to touch her son's heart so that they can all enjoy the blessings of the Gospel. She agreed. She is going to read from the Book of Mormon all week. I have never have someone trust us so much.

We decided we really liked working by the lake and have found quite the club of old folks interested in the gospel message. On our walk down to the lake I ran into Antonio (in his 70s and apparently a well known artist) who I met on the bus last transfer. He stopped for a little small talk and we ended testifying about the sacred priesthood of God.

My co also promised Italo that we would find him a wife. What!? My middle name must be cupid? Italo is serious and 62. He is coming to church to meet people who have the same principles and values as he does.

My evening yesterday ended with another member of the club freaking out a little. She called us and set up the appointment so we went with it. She read the passage we left her in the Book of Mormon and brought it up when we arrived. Silvia, 70, is catholic and has known the sister missionaries for nearly 20 years. We found her doing house. An interesting lesson turned into our friend feeling the spirit and understanding what she needs to do. I felt inspired to ask her if she had ever prayed to know if the Catholic church was true. She said no, even though that was her excuse because that was the way she was raised. Denying her feelings Silvia got really nervous and started stuttering. I have noticed that many italians start acting like this when they are scared of change and they throw any excuse they can in order to not follow through with commitments.

I believe I talked about change a few weeks back, change is hard and I am realizing more and more how blessed I am to have had parents that taught me the entire truth because they searched it out for themselves. I thank you family for helping me understand what the truth is and helping me make it to this point where I can help many others understand the truth. I am grateful for the true church of Christ that encourages us, as members and non-members, to search out the truth on our own. Ask in prayer and ye shall receive. Only in this way, through God, can we understand the truth and the right path.

I again, this week, am so grateful to be on a mission teaching the truth about Christ. I am happy to bear His name and help many people feel the joy. In a world or fear and difficulty, we are deeply in need of a greater strength and help from God. He is our Father, and has provided us with a miraculous plan so we can find the way back.

We are not alone!

Adieu,
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll

p.s. this is Luigia.

07 April 2010

no time to say.

All computers are occupied and my co wants two hours on internet so I have almost no time to write you. All I have to say is how happy I am to tell you all is well and that I love you.

This past week has been so wonderful. Vacation and easter were wonderful and we are back full swing. The opportunity to listen to the words of modern prophets has changed me life again this weekend. I walked with prayers and prayers and left with a thousand answers and helps. Evidence that Heavenly Father really does know me and really does listen. I filled pages with spiritual guidance and am even more excited to see what I learn from written word (hint hint dad...). Since being in Italy and having hardly any communication with the world we are always a few months behind in receiving the written word. Also having not seen the last session of conference I imagine I have more to catch up on.

Miracle of the week. I saw Monica walking down the street from her mothers house in the pouring rain. We were talking to a lady at the nearby bus stop but when the lady got on her bus I started waving both hands in the air like I just didn't care. Monica was so happy to see the sister missionaries. Since we were on our way to an appointment just before conference I invited her to come. She said she would but when she did not show up on saturday evening we lost hope. Much to our surprise she walked in the english broadcast half way through the Saturday evening session that we viewed on Sunday afternoon. She remained and talked with us and watched the next session. She knows what she is missing and you could see it in her eyes and hear it in her words. I learned an important lesson this past weekend. The gospel is the ONLY way. Well I guess I was just reminded as I am everyday.

I wish I could tell you all personally that I love you, but I hope this e-mail will suffice for the week. Next week I will beable to tell you more.

I read this scripture yesterday..."And now behold I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out." (2 Nephi 25.29)

Nephi says it so simply. The right way is Christ. We are on the right path. I invite us all to STAY on the right path giving all we can to Christ, since He gave us His life.

I love sharing the gospel and am grateful to be one of our Father in Heaven's fifty one thousand seven hundred and thirty six missionaries in the world.

hello...goodbye.
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll