This week we saw so many little miracles. We started the week not having many appointments set which is always a little sad but we had faith and by the end of the week we had the chance to serve one member family and meet with three others! I am still amazed! We also made it through thundering and lightning and a hiccup with a phone not working! And to make it even more miraculous the lady we recently gave a book of Mormon to was able to make it to church! She actually surprised us And didn't really tell us she could for sure come! She also told us well I didn't come for you, salvation is a personal thing. Wiser words were never said. Salvation is up to each of us. That's I think a lesson of my mission. All we can do (and are asked to do) is to invite in the best way possible every one we meet to come unto Christ. And when we have invited it is up to them - it is up to us to choose if we want to. If we have a little courage, a little faith, a lot of Hope, and a prayer we can do anything. We can receive all the blessing our Father wishes to give us. All the expierence that will shape us into who we need to be.
I've loved every moment here. Every difficult moment, every tear, every rejection and rudeness, every hug and kiss of the cheek, every good conversation, (every gelato), every Sunday and meeting with the members, and every oppourtunity I have to stand as a witness Of my Savior, Redeemer and Older Brother, Jesus the Christ. I know He Lives. God is real and is our Father who loves me. And you! The church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints is Gods Kingdom on the earth today! He established it through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The only true church in the whole world! That's a big claim!
These last few weeks have been the hardest I think as I start to think of a future still a little foggy, but I know great thing wait ahead.
Though im excited to step into the fog so to say there are so many Little italian things I'll miss. You can find anything on the street (im not sure if this says more about the littering situation or my abilities in finding random stuff), groups of cute old Italian men, this beautiful language, taking walks dressed to the nines, the history!, shopping organized by colours, walking every where and being self sufficient in getting around a foreign country, all the yummy eating oppourtunities, all the tattoos, watching people roll their own cigarette, cornetti, the way fruit is eaten or meals in general-several plates-, fruit stands/stories organized by what the specifically sell (you never need to leave the neighbourhood!), kissing on the cheek instead of hugging(surprised I'll miss that?! Me too!).
But I will miss more the people who I have come to love. Who have loved me. Be it missionary or member. Ti voglio bene Italia.
Thanks to all who have made this possible.
For my missionaries : Madie234@gmail.com (hit me up with those weekly emails )
Missionary quote from Now Is the Time to Serve a Mission! By Richard G. Scott April 2006
" It was not easy. The Lord gave me many challenges that became stepping-stones to personal growth. There I gained my testimony that God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, did in fact visit Joseph Smith to begin a restoration of truth, priesthood authority, and the true Church on earth. I gained a witness that Joseph Smith is a singular prophet. I learned essential doctrines. I discovered what it meant to be led by the Spirit. Many a night I got up as my companion slept to pour my heart out to the Lord for guidance and direction. I pled for the ability to express effectively in Spanish my testimony and the truth I was learning to a people I had come to love. Those prayers were abundantly answered. At the same time, my future eternal companion, Jeanene, was being molded to become an exceptional wife and mother by her own mission.
Most important, all that I now hold dear in life began to mature in the mission field. Had I not been encouraged to be a missionary, I would not have the eternal companion or precious family I dearly love. I am confident that I would not have had the exceptional professional opportunities that stretched my every capacity. I am certain that I would not have received the sacred callings with opportunities to serve for which I will be eternally grateful. My life has been richly blessed beyond measure because I served a mission.
Now can you understand why I am so anxious to motivate every one of you young men to be a worthy missionary? Can you comprehend why I encourage you as a mature couple to plan, if health permits, to serve the Lord as missionaries? Can you see why I suggest that some of you young women, where there is a desire and it will not affect an impending marriage, seriously consider serving the Lord as a missionary? Our home has been greatly blessed by a wife and mother who chose to serve a full-time mission during my period of service."