Goodness how time is flying. I can't even BELIEVE that I only have 11 more days here! The MTC seriously just keeps getting better and better and betterrrrrrrrrr. I got to host the new missionaries yesterday-- and I was so stoked to share my joy of the MTC with brand new freshies! I love these people here so much. Mom, I'm meeting like a good 35 people a day to add to a pool of the incredible people that I adore. My dear district- hot dang. Please bless we somehow reunite in Italy because I truly can't imagine saying good-bye to the very individuals I spend 16 hours a straight with every day. We sure love each other and I look forward to their company every day. I couldn't be happier or more grateful. Mercy, how I love my dear district.
Now for my wondrously uplifting week, where do I start!? How about with my SUNDAY OF DREAMS!? Picture this: Mary Ellen Edmunds bearing her testimony like it's her birthday and making me laugh so hard I cried. God bless that dear woman. And please bless I can see her again someday and tell her that she's my kindred spirit. She had the exact same sense of humor as me and had the sweetest testimony of missionary work and the power of sister missionaries.
This whole past week I've been personally studying "repentance". Unbeknownst to me, our Sunday talks topic was repentance. I've never before experienced or appreciated so much the Sacrament as I did on Sunday. My heart was filled with the sweet, peaceful, grace-filled love of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I can't adequately put into words just what I felt, but through sincere study and prayer of a better understanding of the Atonement, I testify that we each can receive that. My understanding of repentance has been sweetened. And my understanding of the infinite mercy of Christ has been deepened.
And to top off the Sabbath with a devotional by Greg Droubay (perhaps Bishop Droubay's brother? Totes looked like his twin...) He spoke about the differing media campaigns the church has. When he showed all of the church's advertisements and campaigns in London, oh my. How it made me miss it. He showed pictures of train stations and locations I remember enjoying. Mmmmmmm. Reminiscing:) Glad to see the sweet English folk are getting a taste of Mormon media efforts!
Fast forward to Monday. I'm starving. So all day I'm stoked for this one creamsicle. Yes, the delicious orange cream ones. I was just picturing it all day during class. It's finally meal time. I eat my expected healthy stuff (yes Mama, indeed) and then I book it to the ice cream bar freezer. I grab one. Rip open the wrapper. And immediately stuff that sucker in my mouth. As I bit down, I noticed that my lips were not moving. Rather, my sweet little lips seemed to be stuck to that darn creamsicle. For about 15 seconds, I walk around the cafeteria with this stupid bright orange thing stuck to my mouth until I decide to end my humiliation (joke.) So I rip the creamsicle out of my mouth. Hmm. My mouth is numb. And I seem to have lip residue on my popsicle. Yes, folks, both my top and bottom lips were ripped off and were now on an inedible, yet ridiculously anticipated popsicle. Then my mouth bled for a straight 15 minutes. My district's cracking up. And I didn't even get to eat the darn thing. So, ladies and gents, don't get too hasty. Nobody appreciates those seemingly hilarious "A Christmas Story" moments.
And then the highlight of the week? When our sweet Elder Scott came to the MTC for a devotional. Just upon his entrance, a significant spirit entered the room. His every word resonated deep within me as he testified of the sacred personal experience of prayer. I didn't stop crying the entire time. It was probably the only time in history that I'll ever cry more than Sorella Ervin. Elder Scott's message I felt, was just for me. He taught me to find a quiet place. To plead. To open my heart to Him who knows me best. My every concern, worry, thought, funny moment, interesting fact, fear, secret-- lay it on His altar. He doesn't care that my thoughts may be clumsily expressed. I need to pray with an absolute knowledge that He's listening. I need to ask in faith. And then move forward. We can not passively wait for an answer. To have faith means to ACT. Sometimes, His withholding of an answer is simply an evidence of His trust in me. Then He answers me in quiet moments through promptings. Oh how Elder Scott's message buoyed up us missionaries. Even after he left, the same spirit resided. I thought to myself, "I can't even explain how excited I am to talk to my family in 13 days. But oh, how I cherish the time I get to talk to my Heavenly Father tonight." And I sincerely have never prayed before as I did Tuesday night. What a sacred, beautifully personal, experience prayer can be for us. I plead that we all can plead before our Creator, our Father, the Almighty Maker of world's without number. For He's commanded us to do the very thing that can bring us more peace and consolation. Simply put, our sweet Father wants to hear from us. My sweet Father wants to hear from His little girl.
After the devotional, we always have a district devotional review. This time we had the three elders in our zone going to Romania join us. They're like our adopted children. Our little district is our saving grace, our family here:) And our testimony meeting that night was one of the most special moments we've shared yet.
COUPLE LAST MINUTE THINGS TO DELIGHT IN?
-Fratello Mortensen. About 5'4 Inspector Gadget (Matthew Broderick twin) Italian teacher who's the dearest, spryest little guy. He taught our class yesterday and the whole time I was just so stoked about life because he's arguably the world's best person.
-FOUR SQUARE. The big four squizz-are. Our first couple days here it was like Sorella Bollwinkel, Anziano Lemmo and I. Then we got it to be cool. And needless to say, there's like a solid 25 random homies who play with us at gym time and they're the TOPS. We're all going to way different countries but we all love each other. I have this really solid punch-hit down, and nobody has hopes of returning that sucker to my square!
-I see Hermana Jorgensen and Sister Suttner OFTEN. It's so incredible to see my dear friends here and realize they're experiencing the same things I am:) couldn't be more grateful
-P-DAY temple trips. The sweet, quiet, STILLNESS of the temple is something I long for all week long. I absolutely love it. And then I get a bit teary-eyed when I think that after next week, the next time I'll be in a temple will be in the Rome temple with my beloved family in 2014. :) If that's not a taste of what the Celestial Kingdom will be like, I don't know what is.
My friends and family, I do miss y'all and think of our good times often. I pray for you all daily and am grateful for the goodness of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. I send my love and prayers. And leave with you my testimony that there's no more fulfilling work than that of bringing people to Christ. I'm bringing myself closer and closer to my Savior and I can't explain of the sweetness that I feel. I feel so fortunate to be a full-time representative of Him who will come again. I testify that He stands as the head of this church- a church that will continue to grow and roll forward until He comes again and leads this church from on Earth.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Tutto il mio amore,
p.s. I love you.
oh and p.p.s. BE GOOD TO EACH OTHER.