Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Olive Pitting

I am truly blessed to be here in Como. I realize that more and more everyday. Today we walked by the Lake and were able to enjoy looking at the beautiful fall leaves that are almost all gone. The lake water was choppy and the wind was blowing my hair but in this moment I realized how blessed I am to be here serving in this great city with these great people here.

We picked some leaves and I got them lamenated so they won't change colors. I am trying each day to recognize the beauty of como the little things that I have just gotten used to seeing everyday. Riding the bus to church and being able to see the beautiful city as we go to church. There are so many things I am blessed with. I am truly grateful for the church.

This week we did some casa and were having no success. Then a man was walking by and started to talk to him about how we have a message that can bless his family. In that moment he told us that his son had passed away the day before. Sorella Stephens and I both bore powerful testimonies of the plan of salvation. He had to go be with his family but we gave him a plan of salvation pamphlet that we hope he will read to provide him comfort. The gospel is so important! I realize this more than I ever did before. There are so many challenges that we all face in this life but the gospel provides us with comfort and peace during those trials. I am blessed..veramente.
We had a lesson with one ofour investigators this week and had a member come. It was interesting because both were going to cancel but for some reason they didnt. It was amazing too because they had soo many things in common almost as if they were the same person. The lesson was filled with the spirit. Our investigator had to pick up the phone so I asked our member is she could bare her testimony how the gospel has blessed her family. She told me this year has been so hard for our family and almost began to cry. She bore powerful testimony of how the gospel has blessed her and her family. It made me realize how important this mesage is for me and my family. I have seen how the gospel has blessed my family and how it continues to bless our family. I am blessed.
We have a new investigator who is so sweet! She is from Bolivia and is here by herself. She came to a relief society activity and serata famigliare (family home evening). Our members from Peru are great and just helping her to feel important and so loved.
Serata Famigliare was a hit this week! The most people we have had since I have been here in como. We had both members and investigators there. It was a great turnout. I am very grateful for our sweet ward members and their testimonies. So many of them are converts to the church and they bring such a poweful spirit when they bare their testimonies. I am blessed to work with these members.
We were able to do service this week! Yay! ha We thought we would be helping to clean this woman's home but instead we were pitting olives..ha Which we took out hundreds of seeds out of olives. The good things was we had gloves so our hands didn't get stained and also we smelt like olive oil after. Never did I think I would have to take out the seeds of olives, let alone while I was in Italy. hah! It was very relaxing. Luckily we didnt have to de-seed all of them because we had another appointment after! phew! there were hundreds of olives. I was blessed to only de-seed a portion of the olives..hah very blessed. It was a lot trickier than I thought it would be!
 I hope that this week you all can try and look for the blessing in your life no matter how big or small they may be. We all have things and reasons to be grateful for. Although the leaves are almost gone I know that I will be blessed for whatever wintertime will hold for me. I love you all and hope you will look for the blessings and enjoy halloween this week. (I guess some Italians celebrate halloween here! who knew?)
enjoy the week!
sorella carter

Monday, October 28, 2013

Thirty Years Later..

Well after transfer news I have to be honest I was wondering to myself "Why am I still in Como?" I absolutely love it here.. The people, the ward, the city, everything..but I didnt know what I still need to do here in this city. Well to say the least I recieved that answer this week. This week we had an appointment planned and it was cancelled and all of our backups were not at home. In my mind for some reason I thought of an inactive member and the name popped into my mind. So I told Sorella Stephens "I think we need to go pass by this persons home"..When we got there I couldnt remember the last name for the citofono but the apartment door opened so we were able to get in. We then knocked on her door and she was home and she told us she just had gotten home from work.
 We had not seen her since my first transfer in Como and she was one of the few people that remembered dad. We talked about that for a little bit with her. She loved dad. It made me grateful to be able to still be in Como and talk to her. Especially to be able to not only represent Gesù Cristo but also my dad and bring back those good memories.
But that is not all a few days later we had a similar situation where our appointments got cancelled and another persons name came into my mind that we have tried to visit since I first got to como. So I told sorella Stephens again " I think we need to pass by this person"..So we ring her citofono and she was home! She never was home before. At first she told us she had no interest in the church but Sorella Stephens was so smart and decided to aske her when she was baptized. She told us over 30 years ago...Everything in my mind was clicking...I then asked if she knew my dad and showed her a picture and she said "yes!" All of the sudden her whole attitude changed. She remembered and called her mother to see if she remembered my dad and the mom said she remembered he was from california..She was shocked and so was I. I dont know why that before I never recognized her name it did sound very familiar.
I know I am still have work to do here in como. I feel very blessed and honored to be able to do this work and to help these people who know my dad remember the testimonies that they once had. Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways and I have seen many times how he knows what we need more than we think we need. Which is sometimes hard because we want things to go the way we have planned out. I am very happy to be here in Como with the rain and wind.
It is getting rainier and windier everyday. That is all I have tosay about that.
So I have a problem everytime we get in a lesson now I have a cough attack...ogni volta...okay only about 3 times
It usually goes like so. We are starting the lesson everything is fie and then rigth before the prayer everytime the itch in my throat comes. I look to Sorella Stephens with fear in my eyes. The coughing begins. The person we are teaching realizes that I am not stoping and gets me water and slowly but surely I stop coughing. Sorella Stephens had to tell the people to get me something to drink all of the times because when I would start to talk it would just get worse..hah
The funniest is part of it all was the face I had when I looked at Sorella Stephens because I had this face of utter fear for my life before the coughing scene.
So from now on I always have water and honey cough drops..ha
As a sidenote this week after my coughing attack during one of the lessons we found out that this woman's family was from Croatia and Yugoslavia..As she was saying this in Italian I got very excited thinking to myself, " Those are my people!" So I had to wait awhile to bring back the fact that we both have family from those places (so there would not be another cough attack scene). So we talked with this woman a little bit about family history and the class we have in church every week.
We had stake conference this weekend in Milano which was great. We had Anziano Boom speak who is an area seventy from Holland. Also Presidente Dibb and Sorella Dibb came and spoke on sunday in Italian! Which was so great to see him speak after many years after his mission. It was all focused on missionary work which was great to hear. Anziano Boom had all of the missionaries stand up and he talked about us and how we all need to work together. My favorite thing that he said was that "there are doors only sorelle can open..doors only anziani can open and doors only members can open." I loved that and I know that is true.  
It truly is interesting how the Lord knows exactly where we need to be and when. I know I still need to be here in Como and I am grateful that he was able to show me a little part of why I still need to be here.
Heavenly Father truly knows me better than I know myself and what I need right now to grow the most. I love you all.
Sorella Carter

We have a new Sorella in Como, Sorella Brown

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rainy Days

This week I was pretty stressed because of transfers. But the good news is that I am staying in Como with Sorella Stephens. Seriously I love Sorella Stephens when I am doing something weird/random she just goes along with what I am doing and always brings a smile to my face. I am very lucky to be serving with her for another transfer in Como. She has such a joy of life and is always smiling even when things get challenging. She is the best and I am very grateful to have her as my companion.

I love como. The more I am here the more I love this city. The ward members are the greatest people. I look up to all of them so much. They are all such strong members of the church and such amazing examples to me. I appreciate their testimonies and I am truly blessed to be with these people for one more transfer. I love to see their love for this church because itmakes me love it even more myself. I wish you  could all know these ward members because they all have so much joy for life and such a love for the lord.

Last week I finished the Book of Mormon. I have such a strong testimony of this book. I know that it is true. I know that those who read this book and pray about it can recieve an answer whether or not this book is true. I feel very blessed to be able to talk about this book to other people because this book has truly changed my life.

I am very grateful to be able to represent Gesù Cristo and to talk about this church everyday. Being far away from home you begin to realize what is truly important to you in your life. I love the lord and I am grateful for this opportunity to bring his message to the children of Como, Italy. It is hard I am not going to lie, ma when I think about all of the blessings I have recieved from the Lord, I realize how I need to share this message to the people of italy.

Something that I realize more and more everyday is how much heavenly father loves his children. I have a testimony of this and I know that he is so very much aware of us and he wants us to have joy in this life. There are some many people that we meet everyday and I feel so honored to share the gospel to people who have never heard of this church before. Yesterday we taught to different woman and both told us "Thank you for teaching me this because now I have hope" and "Thank you for sharing with me the love of Heavenly Father". There are so many people who are grateful to hear this message and I am so blessed that I am able to share it with them.

I have also seen each day the importance of faith. I know that when we have faith truly all things are possible. I love reading in the Book of Mormon about Nephi and Lehi and seeing how much faith and trust they had in the Lord. They did so many things that everyone mocked them for and for following the promptings they recieved. I am grateful for their examples because it makes me want to have even more faith and trust in the will of God.
I am very blessed and I know there will be new things to learn this transfer in Como. I love you all and I am grateful for all of your love and prayers.


Sorella Carter

Lets just say it has been raining just a little bit here in como.. ha

Our view from our apartment

Stormy days in Como

Thursday, October 10, 2013

General Conference

This weekend was a bit crazy. Two days before conference I got sick with a cold/chills/stomach hurting. But luckily I was well enough to watch general conference. It was amazing. I loved all of it. We only missed the last session. I wrote down some different questions that I wanted to have answers to and it was very interesting how my questions that I wrote down were answered. I am very grateful for the power of prayer and that our prayers can and will be answered even in through other people. I loved the theme of conference this time as well. I am hoping that we will be able to work with the members even more so to have this member missionary work happen. There were many talks that I loved and I am excited to read them again.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Well Sunday morning at 4 am a alarm went off. I was very tired and thought to myself "It is probably someones alarm" as I went back to sleep..but then one of the sorelle yelled "it's the carbon monoxide alarm, we have to get out!". I quickly put on my rainboots and ran out the door. We called the mission office and we went back in and had the windows open that night..

    The next day Monday morning at 5 am the alarm went off again.. so we went outside again and this time we talked to our mission president. The next thing he tells us is that we need to put on church clothes and go to the church and someone would pick us up and take us to the mission office/home. So we waited a little bit and then we went on our way to the mission office.

     It was funny because we had interviews on monday in Milano but we had them in the mission home instead that night. It was strange but a cool experience in a way because we were able to help and organize the inventory of missionary supplies to help out the office.

      This experience was all very strange that we had the carbon monoxide alarm go off twice but I was very grateful because it truly was an answer to my prayers. As we were in the mission home I felt such an overwelming feeling of love and during my interview with President Dibb. It is strange how Heavenly Father answers our prayers in sometimes unusual ways. ha It also was a blessing because a senior couple came to fix some things in our apartment. Also we found out our carbon monoxide alarm was broken so we got a new alarm. ha

Well we have transfers next week. I have a strong feeling that I will be leaving como, but you never know. I am ready to do whatever the Lord wants me to do.
I love you all very much. Thank you all for your prayers and love. I have felt that love times here. I am so grateful for the support I have from you all.
sorella carter

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Conference is Coming!

Conference Finding
Well this week has been pretty good. The usual bedones from people, finding, teaching and etc.
This week we have been doing a ton of general conference finding. We made little flyers to invite people to come to conference this weekend. Which has been very interesting. I asked this 20ish year old italian if he believed that we have a prophet today. All I could get out quick enough to say befor he left was.. perchè? He then told us that he didnt believe in it. I then looked to my companion Sorella Stephens unsure what to say. She begins to talk about general conference and invites him to come. At the end he said he might come out of we are hoping to have some people come to conference this weekend.
I think one of my favorite things about the mission is during finding especially when people say they dont believe or are not interested. I have truly seen the spirit touch their hearts so we could share our message with them. Like with this italian man we talked to.
Como 1
I love my ward. Last weekend we had a ward activity. It was the best. We went to a park that had a little dirt track and every few feet there was an excercise they were supposed to do. I loved seeing all of these members just be themselves and have their personalities come out. Seriously these members here in Como are special. I really look up to each of them and I feel that they are truly teaching me more than I am teaching them. It will be hard when I have to leave como because it truly feels like my second home here.
Sunday surprises
One of the cute older women in the ward came up to us and the anziani and told us that she made us some homemade lasagna to take home for pranzo..which was delicious
One of our new converts got a calling! He is now a ward missionary! He was so excited to get this calling and we are very excited to start taking him to some of our lessons now.
Ottobre 1st
This week I hit the five month mark on the mission. Time truly flies by so fast on the mission. I was looking through my old mtc italian notebook and it made me realize how far I have come with the language. This week even a member told me that they have noticed a difference in my italian and that is has improved so much since I have been here in como. It seriously was good to hear that they thought I have improved because it is sometimes hard to recognize if my italian is improving. I have a long wa to go with italian..It is a struggle every day but it is getting better little by little each day.
Today I read Ether 12 in the Bookof Mormon which is about faith and hope. I just  wanted to write my three favorite verses from this chapter.
ether 12:4 "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."
ether 12:6 " And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these thing: I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen, wherefore, dispute not because ye se not, for ye recieve no witness until after the trial of your faith."
ether 12:27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble, and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
I have a strong testimony of these three scriptures and I know that they are true. I know that as we have faith we can gain hope as well. Life can be very challenging at times but I have seen how muc the book of mormon has helped me through these trials. I also know that as we humble ourselves and ask to know our weaknesses they will be made known to us and they truly can be turned into strengths. I have seen this to be true many times on my mission.
I am excited for conference this weekend and the here the words of the Prophet Thomas S. Monson and the 12 apostles. I hope you all will watch it as well. I love you all and enjoy conference weekend.
It is starting to get cold here in como!
sorella carter

Homemade lasagna

I bought this scarf today to keep warm!!