26 May 2010

oh happy day.

Today is the day I tell you how much I love you all.

This week has been probably one of the most stressful and unexpected weeks of my life. Because of this my head is spinning with thoughts and prayers. Because much of what is happening with our work at this point it sensitive information I figured it better not to make it a public matter. I am learning, though, that still the only way to resolve problems (big or small) is through exercising faith in Jesus Christ. His is the only name whereby we can be saved.

I gladly declare my testimony of the truthfulness of this restored gospel!

Today I bought a melon and some prosciutto for the 2nd time on my mission. The first time, though, the doctor put me on a white diet to resolve my allergy a year ago so I never got to taste the good part of Italy. Oh happy day.

Last night ended with a dance party. Oh happy day.

Tonight we are going to Swiss Land. Oh happy day.

I got the best pink package in the mail, hand-delivered to my front door! Over-done and a tear or two were shed knowing this would be the last. Thank you for going above and beyond and sending everyone something to enjoy! The gumballs are going to be a hit! Thank you!

The summer is approaching quickly. A few hot hot days have hit. Tourists everywhere!

Really it is a happy day!

Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll

Preparation Day eve dance party

Preparation Day eve dance party

Preparation Day eve dance party

The wonderful Dalmazio family

Rique teased about wild hair

19 May 2010

weekly update. number...

Lately, I spend a lot of time reflecting. The past 16 months, the next few weeks, tomorrow, yesterday. Everything seems to be running around in my head. Sleepless nights and red eyes are the latest, but still always a smile. Mostly because I am amazed at the miracles, struggles, plans, and joys God has prepared for me everyday.

Last night I sat in our ward council meeting and could not help but think about how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's church on the earth. The only church guided by God and not by man. Why did this thought come to me? Because I looked around the room; various ages, social classes, nationalities, genders. I thought about the various sacrifices these people make for others, WITHOUT receiving payment in worldly things. I thought about the 53,000 missionaries in the world who are now sacrificing their time and money to share the word. I think about those preparing to make the same sacrifice, and in doing so give up so much of the world to serve God. I thought about our Prophet, Apostles, and all other leaders who go above and beyond for the good of the world and all this without a monetary recompense. I know in the end money is not important, but if someone were to see the time, energy and effort that goes on "behind the scenes" it is impossible to deny the things we do and teach as being false. Not to mention the hope the gospel brings to our lives, even when it seems like everything has been torn apart.

Eduardo Albonico made a big step yesterday. A big step of faith, which he claims to not have much. He committed to make the baptismal covenant in June. This is a goal, but a goal that is going to be met. Every time we meet with him he is looking for more, asking more, and willing to do more. His wife and daughter are following behind, slowly, but surely.

I lost all my train of thought. The Muslim internet store owner just started chatting away and asking all sorts of questions and started the usual "I am right you are wrong" discussion that I have experienced multiple times here. I did not want to be rude, so I responded, but lost a few minutes and all thoughts.

It is funny how much opposition we face as missionaries. People all over criticizing our lifestyle. We try to explain and help them understand without forcing it. I have never told someone they are wrong, but the invite is always to pray and learn for yourself. Convincing with the spirit can work, but convincing with facts and words is hardly anything. In the end it is better to just search and find the answer for yourself, because then you can be sure. Just as I am sure!

I like when people look at me and say "You are convinced, sure, and steady." Yes, because I found the truth that God as prepared for me!

I love sharing it.

Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll

Prina family intero

Prina family

Lake Como overflowed


Baceno beauty


Gabriella and Spiderman

Wall walking


Sorella and Lara

12 May 2010

como becomes venice.


Hearing your voices makes going out and doing missionary work that much better. It is like the sun shining after 20 days of dreadful rain. (Which is also what I am experiencing, literally, this afternoon!) You always inspire me and help me become a little more of what I need to be. I thank you for you love, first and foremost.

Secondly, I thank my mother for being who she is. As I spoke on Sunday in church about repentance I actually could not help but think how forgiving you have always been of me. With my many many weaknesses and stubborn actions I hardly believe someone would want to keep helping me. But mother, and father included, I have received nothing but support and guidance. Mom you deserve to be celebrated everyday! "I wish everyday was [mother's] day."

3rd on the list is LOVE. Two wonderful days of pure love. Despite the fact that the lake has flooded the nearby piazza we are still trudging through the rain and are searching for new friends. I say friends because, that is what these people are to me. Although we are so different in backgrounds and interests there is one thing in particular that has brought us together. There is one thing, as I believe, that can create a friendship from nothing. If you have the true and restored gospel between you.

A few new friends of mine consist of rollerblade stars Sophia (8) and Irina (11) and bicyclist Matteo (9). We found them knocking doors Monday afternoon. They kept going back and forth and looking like they wanted to talk so I finally stopped them and started chit-chatting. What do I love about kids? Their curiosity, sincerity, love and honesty. They asked what we were doing so we gave them the run down. Then they started recommending neighbors we could try and talk to. They were so excited about it they started ringing the doorbells.

Sometimes they would hide and ask us what happened after and sometimes they would talk to the people with us. All three were appalled at the fact that people said they had no interest before even learning what we had to say. Matteo was perceptive of truths and kept making comments about how closed adults were. "How can they say no if they do not even know what it is about?" I heard that question more than once.

As we were making our way back to the main road, the kids were following behind. Sophia ended up falling so we brought her back to her house. Her parents still stared and tried to take the kids away from talking to us. Unfortunately without parental consent we can not teach the children. But thanks to a friendship maybe these three young friends will run into missionaries at a later time and remember the fun they had knocking doors with the sisters!

Eduardo Albonico is making tremendous progress and I have never seen someone so sincere in their search! This past week His wife and daughter joined in on the lessons and this family is going to see great changes in their life!

The work is moving and so am I. Today, again, I was reminded of what a great work I am participating in. I have never gained so much love for the gospel as I have even in these past few weeks. Really it amazes me the truths and discoveries we find when we search! Helping others do the same makes my heart fill with joy!

Happy weeeek!

Laughter Optimism Vivacity Enthusiasm.
I love love.

i'm a computer,
Sorella Frédérique Stone Carroll

05 May 2010

Como Esta Como?

As dad would say. Well you can ask me that same question for another 6 weeks! I have been called to continue my service here, nestled between the Italian Alps. Apparently it snowed back in the mountains. Wet and happy feet are down here in Como.

Miracle of the week! We found another family!
Here is how the story goes: A few weeks back we took a trip into Switzerland to meet a member. This required a little wait at a bus stop until she came to pick us up. There was a woman with her son that I started a conversation with. Mostly with her little boy about Peter Parker and Spiderman since he showed me his new H&M shirt with Spiderman on it. We talked for maybe 3 minutes total, about life, her family and just as I was about to throw out the invite our ride pulled up. Apparently she was in a hurry so I never got anything out. I got in the car full of regret for not extending the invite sooner. The woman was so nice and her son was darling. She seemed really happy to be talking to someone. I said an immediate prayer for the opportunity to meet her again. I prayed a couple more times and when she came to mind I would pray again. To be honest, we do not go to Switzerland often, so I thought it unlikely.

Last Wednesday after writing you my companion and I headed to Switzerland for some finding work. We stopped at a potentials tabbacheria (ideal right?) and then went to look for some apartment buildings. Having never been to this part of the city most things looked like office buildings rather than residential. We happened upon a smaller building and decided to try it. With ease we entered and began knocking. I do not remember what happened but at our second to last door something caused us to laugh rather hard. I was still laughing when the last door opened (only the second of 14 doors). The man opened it wide and said "hello." Startling both of us we did not know to speak English or Italian. His wife then came to the door and it was the same woman who recognized us! They quickly invited us in and we started to talk, get to know you things. They were both running back and forth with other things, son in the bath, work, phone, dinner, etc.

We returned two evenings later to meet with Gabriella, since Pierdamiano was working, and "Peter Parker" her son. It was an interesting evening, but it is true that God does prepare people to receive the gospel. I am grateful God put her in our path again so that we can be the messengers of truth!

I am falling more and more in love with my calling as a missionary. I am gaining greater and greater understanding of the truth and it is one of the grandest blessings to help others find the truth themselves.

Amid the many experiences, the good and the bad, I know one thing is for sure...my Heavenly Father loves me and has me here for a reason. That reason is unfolding!

Peace love and happiness!

Sorella Frederique Stone Carroll

Italians feed their babies horse meat

Food with Giustina

Sorella Carroll and Sorella Prina at Zone Conference

Antonio plays the according, harmonica and sings and dances

Making bread for Luba

Waiting for an appointment

Sprouting onions in the kitchen

Elena, Marianna, Tiziana, Sorella Carroll, Eduardo, and Sorella Prina

Silvana and one of her dogs