another one of our spies took this for us. thanks sister garcia!
july 26, 2012
we learned this week that italians say "ciao" as fast as they can and as many times as they can until they hang up the phone. so i am just practicing that now. i like. okay this week was madness, like every week is here in the mtc! we had a game changing lesson with one of our investigators, lorenzo. he is an old man that recently lost his job, his girlfriend, all of his money, and all of his family. he is completely golden however; he eats up everything we tell him, but he can't understand the purpose of life. we have told him over and over that "dio ha prepera un piano per lui" (god has prepared a plan for him) and that he wants us to find utter joy and happiness in this life. we tell him to pray to know that for himself and to recognize all that god has blessed him in this life. we tell him to pray for help but he refuses to pray for himself because he feels he is not worthy of it, he says the starving children in africa need more blessings than he does. so in our lesson we chose to emphasize the importance of faith and read beus & i's (i's ... yike ... that is not a word) favorite chapter--ether 12. he loved it. we loved it. and we all just sat and cried and thanked our heavenly father for allowing us all to find joy amidst all of the pain in this life. will you recognize the love that god has for you in this life sometime this week? HA! i just left an impegno (commitment) with you! eh it's what us missionaries do best.
beus and i taught sunday school this week on enduring to the end. there is a great line in preach my gospel that says that we must patiently, faithfully, and consistently strive to qualify for eternal life. that's what i focused on for my part of the lesson. and i think, no matter how cliché this sounds, that i needed it more than anyone. italian is hard. the mtc is hard. being on a mission is hard. but i have been given a promise, and so have all of you, that if we patiently, faithfully, and consistently strive to qualify, cheerfully submitting our will to the lord, that we will have eternal life! woo! so i am working on that.
we had some really nice talks at both the sunday fireside and the tuesday devotional about how missionaries are the new pioneers. we listened to come come ye saints like 4,002,178,945 times and the meaning has completely changed for me. that is a missionary hymn, right?! so good. all is well ... or as the italians say "tutto ben, tutto ben!" and it is so true, tutto ben!
in other news...
sister beus found not one but TWO spiders in my hair on sunday and i have not been comfortable in my own skin since. one time i was in st george and i killed a pregnant spider and a million babies crawled out of their dead mom. it was disgusting (right, ben?) and i tried really hard to forget that spiders existed after that ... everything has changed.
sister beutler said to me "sister wightman, i need to tell you that you remind me, even from the moment i first saw you, of audrey hepburn." WHAT?! nicest thing anyone has ever said to me besides the time my aunt barbara told me i look like natalie wood (maria ... the girl that tony just met in new york city). anyway guess who my new favorite missionary is?
mark and linda, i saw lindsay bell! she says to say hello. she is absolutely glowing and seems to be adjusting to the mtc beautifully. tell her parents thank you for sharing her with us at the mtc!
okay, i have been debating telling this story because a) it's really embarrassing (as is just about everything else i do in my life, huh courtney) and b) it's a little inappropriate for missionary-ness but it was a total accident and i can PROMISE i will never do it again. we were teaching an investigator that went to church for the first time this week. i was trying to see what he felt about the sacrament. i asked what he thought about the bread and the water that they passed out to everyone. you should just know that pane is the italian word for bread. but did i say pane? no. i said the italian word that sounds a lot LIKE pane but instead is the word for a male body part. i could've just died right there. my investigator ... who is actually our teacher, but plays a very convincing italian, LOST it. he laughed for about ten minutes, along with beus. i wanted to cry (and may or may not have) and go home and never show my face again. but this is how you prepare to never make a fool of yourself in the native land. afterwards i literally had a nervous breakdown and couldn't breathe for about 5 minutes because of it ... but it is funny now.
we have new roommates that are going to the honolulu hawaii temple visitors' center. i was waiting for them to break down in tears ... like you are SUPPOSED to do on your first night. but they were so happy to be here. i even said "you know you can be sad for a minute if you want to. we remember how tough the first few days are", but they looked at me like i was crazy and said they "have gotten over missing their families." poor girls must not have a family as wonderful and fun and perfect and beautiful and funny as mine. but that is good that they are so ready. i should've been more like them to begin with.
anyway i love my mission. i love my savior jesus christ. i know that he lives and that he and i are children of a loving heavenly father. i know that my father in heaven communicates with us on earth today. i know that through a 14 year old boy named joseph, god and jesus christ restored the gospel on the earth today. i know, without any doubt, that the book of mormon is the word of god. and if you don't believe me i dare you to read it and ask god, your father in heaven, if i am lying. also read emma smith's testimony of the book of mormon in "our search for happiness" because that is the best. i am bursting with excitement for my opportunity to serve the italians and give them the knowledge that they can live in the presence of god, along with their families, for all eternity. oh sweet the joy this sentence gives, i know that my redeemer lives!!
love to you all. don't forget me ... because i think you are starting to and i pity you for that.