Thursday, April 4, 2013
Ciao Alle Settimane Due! (Hello To Two Weeks!)
Hello, dearly beloved family and friends of mine, week two down the hatch, and I couldn't be happier to share my joy with y'all!
What a wondrously splendid week this was! I'll start out with the most important things I learned and then take us home with some quality moments:)
I think ultimately what I learned is that I need to give everything I have, am and want to the Lord. This work is so rewarding, but it's also soooo hard. I have to hand over my every language struggle and problem to the Lord. Each day He's shaving off more and more of my rough edges as the Master refines me into what He wants and needs me to be. It's in His hands I want to be molded. I'm tasting of the sweetness of the Atonement more than ever because I'm relying on Him for absolutely everything.
I want this joy and refinement for all, be it my family, the Italians, my friends, my future family, Michael Jackson's kids:)-- we must declare this joy to ALL and let ALL take delight in the good news of the gospel! We've found it! Have we no better reason to rejoice?! There's a part in my PMG that testifies that as we come to know of the Savior and the Atonement more and more, our desire to share the gospel increases-- HOLY. THAT IS DOCTRINE. I love what I'm learning, the humility I'm attaining, the people I'm meeting and loving, and the work that I'm exhausting myself with. I've never been so tired, but I've never been so happy, nor felt so fulfilled. I need to remind myself daily to rise up to the call I've been extended, to elevate my language, thoughts, actions and desires to that of a disciple of Christ. I cannot and will not be casual about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There's no time for that. I must be anxiously engaged in good works because that's what I've been called to:) My heart is full and my smile gets bigger every day.
I realized I never told y'all but last week Sister Charity Suttner got here! And lo and behold, the tender mercies of the Lord-- our bedrooms are literally two doors away from each other. We have gym, meals and p-days with each other-- my entire district adores her and I can't even describe what it's like seeing her all the time!
ANDDDDD, Hermana Jorgensen got here YESTERDAY! I finally was able to see her for like .4 millisecs at lunch today and it was the world's best! She's in a trio and she looked good and beautiful as always. :)
Now for the fun stuff:) (For my dear Irma Abes, your advice to post-it each day in my planner about what happened, WORLD'S BEST ADVICE, because now I have all of these swell stories to share!)
1. Probably the funniest moment thus far at the MTC: Sorella Bollwinkel and I were lifting (yes, mom, like weights, my triceps are like MEGA-AWES right now) in the gym and there's this crazy awesome elder next to us. He's doing some weird air bending stuff and crawling on the floor. Like crayyyy, Mom. So naturally, I'm interested. I went up to this fellow red-headed homie and ask, "So...uh... can I ask what you're doing? I'm really interested... I've never seen this before." Then he proceeded to tell me that it was some internet thing he learned... then he literally said (AND THIS WHOLE STORY IS TRUE, SO BE PREPARED),
"Iron wrist," then he smacked his wrists together,
"Iron legs," and he smacked his legs together,
"IRON FISTTTT!!!!" and then this dear gingery elder punched the daylights out of a metal wall. Like, he just turned around and nailed the sharp metal wall behind us.
Bollwinkel and I were all, "uhhhh... sweet..." his dear knuckles started to bleed, but was he deterred? NO! he sat cross-legged as he meditated and took soothing breaths. WORLD'S BEST KID. Our whole zone now says, "IRON FIST" whenever they see Bollwinkel and I because of this story.
2. Devin- sidenote. Pres. Boynton's son, who served in Romania, comes into our class like three times a week. We chat, he's awesome, anyway, just thought you'd want to know, his dad's doing great. :)
3. Sister Shirley Davis, your dear package was lovely! Those Cadbury eggs lasted like .2 milliseconds in our district-- Happy Easter to us!
4. On Easter, we had Elder Causse come-- it was INCREDIBLE. Sherri Dew spoke at our Sunday devotional, love her. I want to be able to be as powerful and clear as a public speaker as she is. She's literally The Woman. And then we wrapped up Easter Sunday watching Elder Bednar's "Character of Christ"-- literally - mind.blown. I've never been so affected by a message before. I can't really explain it, but I mean every word when I say that I walked out after watching that a different daughter, missionary, friend and disciple of Christ.
5. I have a dear friend from Norway named Sister Rapp. On Monday she flew to Greece:( I'll miss her dearly but she'll be preaching the Grecians with the best of 'em!
6. On April Fool's Day, Sorelle Ervin, Bollwinkel, Pace and I had quite the swell idea. Mom and Dad's Easter package came on April Fool's so we didn't really know what to do with all of the Easter eggs. So we decided to hide them in the district's room next to ours. But instead of putting the candy inside, we filled them with the following words "APRIL FOOLS!" Bahahahaha! We thought we were hilarious and sly. Not really, it's actually kind of lame now that I reflect on it... hahaha ....whooops. Needless to say, the other district came into our room and was all, "SORELLA BAER! We know it was you! We were all stoked for some candy, when we found all of these Easter eggs, and oh, so great our disappointment!" I played it off like it wasn't me, and they have no idea. So. Challenge. Accepted.
7. TRC-- teaching Italian members. Basically the best thing. They definitely speak wayyyy fast. But Sorella Ervin and I had a wondrous time speaking with some dear Italian, saucy women. :)
8. After the divozionale (devotional) on Tuesday, we had a district devotional/testimony meeting. Oh my. Spirit so strong. Our district is literally one of my finest blessings here and I thank the Lord daily for the phenomenal people I spend 16 hours a day with. They're hilarious, different, and so uplifting.
9. Mom, I cleaned crusty toilets for a service project. So be proud. It wasn't that bad, all is well:)
10. Yesterday was arguably one of the best days yet. Sorella Ervin and I taught our new investigator, Salvatore. Guess how long our lesson was? 40 minutes. Oh my, oh my, oh my. 40 minutes of straight-up Italian. We were off-book the whole time. It was incredible. I love testifying in Italian. My language is simple and not flowery at all, but that allows the Spirit to reach the investigator. I felt the Spirit so strongly as I recounted the First Vision. Sorella Ervin extended the hard invitation to baptism (just a straight up, "will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?") and Salvatore was all, "... yeah." WE. WERE. STUNNED. We definitely weren't prepared for that answer! A bit caught off guard, I testified to him that Heavenly Father was proud of him and loved him incredibly. And that through prayer and the Savior, he would be ready to be baptized in 3 weeks! So tanto auguri, Salvatore! I LOVE ITALIAN. this language is beautiful. and to any who might disagree-- it IS the language of love. It's doctrine. Pretty sure it says so somewhere in, like, Psalms or something. :) jk
11. Last night, Anziano Lemmo crooned for us. This kid, is straight up, Frank Sinatra in the Italian flesh. He's SOOOO talented. And literally a professional crooner. Like, it's his job. Uhm, yeah, one of the best moments yet. I miss music sooooo. But, it's all good. I boogie and disco fingers, when it's appropriate. :)
Anyhoots, my dear family and friends, this work is so good. I'm so, so, so content right now. I love how it feels when I know that Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost is literally filling my mouth with Italian words, so that I can say and testify of what He needs me to. Our Savior is so willing to help us, we just have to ask. He's waiting. So reach out to Him.
Ho una testimonianza che questa chiesa e la chiesa vera sulla terra oggi! E perche ho questa conoscenza, sono felice! (I have a testimony that this church is the true church on the earth today! And because I have this knowledge, I'm happy!)
Tutto il mio amore,
p.s. I love you.