My dear friends and family,
VICENZA IS ON FIRE! Davvero, non posso spiegarmi. Pero, sono emozionata. (Really, I can not explain. But, I'm excited.)
Allora, this week. Where in the crumb can I start? There has been soooo many wondrous things!
A bittersweet experience was our last zone conference\meeting with the Wolfgramms. There were many a-tears to be shed. They had all of the newer missionaries with soon birthdays come up one-by-one. I was first. It was so swell, Mama. We have a mission tradition when it's someone's birthday that they have 3 people say things that they love about the birthday person, and then we all sing, and get chocolate and toothbrushes and toothpaste (I wish I could just channel Sorella Wolfgramm right now because the way she describes all of this is just darling). Comunque, it was soooo fun. Singing to all of the birthday missionaries. Good times. I felt like I was amongst my dear friends. I ADORE being with and meeting up with other missionaries. It's so fun to be edified by their goodness and tell each other about our cities. I swear, these missionaries here are POWERHOUSES. I learn something from each one of them. After birthdays we had a farewell slideshow for the Wolfgramms, how we love them so. May their family forever be blessed by their goodness and service. I cherish and herald them and will sincerely miss them. And yet, we are so blessed to receive President and Sister Dibb in about a week and a half! In fact, President Dibb and President Wolfgramm were mission companions in the Italy South Mission YEARS ago! Isn't that incredible how the Lord works?!
Ok, now for the explanation of why Vicenza is on fi-yah!
My dear friends and folks, Sorella Beutler and I are pleased to announce that both Lilly and Kelum will be baptized in two weeks!!!
Kelum-- our dear dear Sri Lankan man. I am forever changed for the things he's taught me. We have a tough time with the language barrier because neither English or Italian he understands very well, but we teach and learn and work, piano piano (slowly). He's taught me about the simplicity of the gospel, and the beauty and power that can be found in simplicity. He's so dear and refers to the Book of the Mormon as ''la verità'' or ''the truth'' he says alllllll the time, ''Si, si, mi piace la verità'' We absolutely adore him, he has the purest heart and the tenderest desires. He will be baptized 28 giugno!
And our Lilly. Sweet Lilly. She's a Brazilian young wife and mom who's lived in Italy for about 8 years. She met with the missionaries in Brazil for years. And has met with the missionaries here in Italy for years and years. She's basically a member. She teaches her darling 4 year old son Davide the primary songs. She's an outstanding mother. The ward adores her. This woman, is unbelievable. And folks, she's ready. Oh what joy fills my heart to say this. Yesterday, we had a magnificent lesson with her and one of the most powerful moments yet in my mission. Beuts and I desired to go in there and talk about baptism, where's she's at, what she's feeling, etc. We sit down, and my dear companion beautifully introduces the topic. As it's my turn to speak, I open my mouth, and spoke, what I know to be the best Italian I've ever spoken in my life, for about 3 minutes. Mom, I don't even really know what I said. I know I was far, far, far more bold than I ever expected myself to be. The Lord filled my mouth with the very words I needed the very moment I needed them, as the scriptures promise countless times. I expressed to her how it doesn't make sense to me to live like a member, but not receive the blessings that we all can enjoy through baptism. I testified of the magnificence and the magnitude of the baptismal covenant-- how sacred, beautiful and necessary it is. I was bold. And those who know me, know I'm never bold like that.
Sorella Beutler testified after me with such sweetness about the sustaining power of the Holy Ghost that she will receive. Of how the Holy Ghost will help her as a wife, mother, member, friend, etc. The Lord blesses companionships, where when one companion stops, the other companion steps in and picks up. Thank goodness I have my dear Beuts, because she follows the Spirit and expresses what is on my mind but I can't express. We looked at Lilly, our sweet friend. I asked her point blank, ''Cos'è il tuo desiderio?'' and she replied with some of the most poignant and wonderful words, ''Di essere battezzata (to be baptized).'' She wants to be baptized. She proceeded to tell us how she's ready. How it's time. How she's known of the truth for so long and that she needed to be baptized for a long time, she just didn't know when. And when she went to church and saw that Vicenza got sister missionaries, she knew that was her answer. The date is 6 luglio:)
The Lord places us where we need to be, when we need to be there, if we're following Him. I testify, and know with all of my heart, that the baptisms of Kelum and Lilly and their progression is not accredited, and can not to be, to me or Sorella Beutler. We acknowledge and appreciate the many other missionaries and individuals that have taught and aided them in their journies. We also realize and are so grateful for the lives that both Kelum and Lilly have lived. That they're here. Now. Ready. We feel so privileged to watch them enter the waters of baptism and make those beautiful covenants with the Lord.
Nothing is more fulfilling than bringing desirious, willing, pure individuals closer to their Savior. To remind them of a relationship, knowledge and feeling that is familiar. To see this message resonate in them and ring with familiarity. They already know this. We're just here to remind them. Ultimately, this is the Savior's work. He is in every district meeting, baptismal interview, street contact, companionship study, extension of an invite, and pleading prayer that we offer. He is in it all. He guides this work. As we're submissive to His will and worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost, He places where we need to be. I pray to be an even more worthy missionary so I may be a better vehicle of His love.
That is my favorite thing to do, share His love with everyone I talk to. The universal language, as President Uchtdorf calls it, the language of love. We're here to love and be loved, and this is only accomplished through the Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
It's His name I bear on my tag. It's His name we close our prayers with. It's His life and ministry that is our PERFECT example. It's His gospel that is faultless. It's His arms that are opened and extended to all. It's His grace and mercy that empowers to be who we need to be. It's His message that I delightfully share.
Let's come unto Him, shall we? And bring people with us:)
Con tutta della mia amore,
p.s. I love you.
p.s.s. Mom, I'm now the Sacrament Meeting pianist too. Mercy alive. Color me freaked out of my mind.
p.s.s.s. Beuts and I got a new phone. Like new new. Like we're literally talking touch-screen, droid. Trust us, we don't know what to think. We're overwhelmed. and loving it;)