ciao ciao ciao a tutti!!
can you believe how spoiled we are? we are SO SPOILED!! the spoiling that i am referring to is that of living prophets who really brought it HOME this weekend, no? i will tell you some nuggets of mission joy (and maybe a bit on the worst day ever ...) but mostly i want to tell you why we are so spoiled!!!
-miracle of the week: we have these investigators. they are catholic. reaaaaalllly catholic, who happened to wander into the church out of mere curiosity one day. it just happened to be the night of a baptism. oh that heavenly father, he really knows what he is doing doesn't he? so we have seen them a few times. on thursday we went to their house for an appointment and the first thing the wife said to us was "just so you know, i will never, ever, ever change religions." we said "okay" then proceeded with our lesson about the restoration. at the end, the wife offered to say the closing prayer and asked heavenly father to tell her if she has taken the wrong street and if she needs to change religions." funny how quickly the spirit can change hearts. oh i hope he is working with them so so much!!
-miracle of the week again: the bishop invited us over for dinner and he made MEXICAN food!! i was so happy that i thought i might drop dead right in the middle of my nachos.
-the bishop has this baby named marta. obviously she is italian. she is maybe 18 months old or so. and i swear to you she speaks english. it is the strangest thing. to everyone else she is just ooooing and goooooing but to me she is speaking straight up fluent coherent english and i am weirded out. is it possible that she is the smartest baby on the planet? or maybe she has the gift of tongues? no, she wasn't kidnapped from an american couple (i considered it for a minute but can't deny that she has her dad's eyes and her mom's facial structure).
-worst day ever that magically ("magically") turned into a changing point: saturday morning we were out and about inviting literally every single person in our path to come to general conference. i haven't talked to that many people ever before in my life! it was all going really well. in fact we found a new investigator named sonia from el salvador and i am her number one fan (and not just because i think i can get some delicious food from her). after finding sonia we were on cloud nine. and as any returned missionary knows, cloud nine is where you do your best work. when you're happy you just are better at everything. so here we are, really rocking it up, when a couple comes down our way. i stop them and start chatting with them. they listened and nodded then whipped out all kinds of anti surprises. they clearly knew our doctrine and about what we do as missionaries and they were on attack. my happiness suddenly faded into fear, then defense, then anger, to a complete loss of the spirit. darkness; like i have never before felt on my mission. and i was scared. realllllly scared. eventually they left along their merry way, taking with them all of my previous happiness. the darkness remained. luckily it was lunch time so we went home and i had a really serious convo with my heavenly father. not because i believed anything they told me. i have worked hard for the testimony that i have and though it may be small, it is mine. nobody can take it from me. in fact, i think it is the only thing that is really truly uniquely mine. but i was upset that i couldn't help this couple feel the truthfulness or feel the light! i asked him to tell me why that happened? why me? why now? why wasn't i able to invite the spirit? what did i do to deserve loosing the spirit during a time where i needed it the most? it isn't a coincidence that general conference started that evening and provided me with all of the answers and all of the comfort and all of the LIGHT that is was looking for. and THAT is why we are spoiled. heavenly father hears our prayers. he knows what we need to grow, to overcome our natural man, to become more like his son jesus christ, and he will hold our hand the whole way if we offer it to him. offer your hand to him, okay? you are only choosing to do everything the hard way if you don't.
-GENERAL CONFERENCE is the greatest thing that ever happened! during the whole thing i was thinking "how did i ever fall asleep during this gem at home?" remind me that i said that come next april conference ... okay mom? but for reals, it is great. maybe it is super extra great for missionaries. but as we learned in conference, we can all design a missionary tag, place it on our hearts, and keep it there forever ... so therefore we can always have super extra great conferences!!
my faves and thoughts in no particular order like the rest of this crazy email ...
-packer poem. i want to write poems.
-ballard: be a partaker of the priesthood.
-dalton: i totally called her release btw. that talk had farewell written all over it. i love her. she did some really great work as yw prez. (watch the yw general meeting when you have the time. all the talks in that session were incredible and inspiring!!)
-dickson: africans were getting only a small fraction of the spotlight that they deserve this conference. (yay valentine! yay africa!)
-nelson: "missionary work began with 7 words: this is my beloved son, hear him"
-cook: (sidenote: smed and i have this joke--well she thinks it is a joke but i was serious--i want to start a hippie institute class where we talk about this cool doctrine in the book of mormon about the earth and the planets and flowers and peace and stuff like that. i am collecting it as i find it. you would be surprised how hippie the book of mormon can be) his talk added to my hippie doctrine collection. PEACE baby.
-UCHTDORF. man he is great. and inspired. all that light talk was just what i needed to hear just when i needed it most.
-anderson and all his missionary gems. he stole my mission motto ... this isn't missionary WORK this is missionary FUN!! ha! i am that annoying companion who quotes stuff like that all of the time, at least now i can say that i am just quoting an apostle!!
-perry. commandments are eternally connected to happiness. so simple and so true!
-MONSON!! obedience promises LIGHT. (can you tell that i am a big fan of that topic?)
-falabella. i want my husband to love me as much as he loves his wife.
-kopischke. seek the LORD's acceptance. wish i would've heard that talk long ago.
-porter. cheer means abiding trust in the savior. i want to be just like his friend bruce who was so happy and positive all of the time!
-christofferson. man i gotta see les mis again! REDEMPTION!
-scott. i think he must've been in the presence of my mom when preparing his talk because she lives that principle (home is a refuge from the world) like a master.
-HOLLAND! whoa whoa whoa WHHHHHOOOOOAAA i love him. be true to the faith that you have. what we know will always trump what we don't. imperfect people is all that god has ever had to work with. belief began conviction. fan the flame of your faith. i could watch that one over again, in fact.
see ... we are SO SPOILED!! but now is the most important part, time to ACT!! i hope you were all able to receive answers and comfort from the inspired words of our living prophet and apostles and leaders. if you don't feel like you did, watch it again and look harder. the answers are there. find them. and when the ensign comes out, read and study and search and apply because these men and women were inspired by the being that knows all. he WANTS to help us and he did so by revealing his word to us through our beloved leaders. miracles, baby. they exist!
however, the miracle of attaching pictures has yet to come to pass. never fear. a miracle will happen and pictures will be sent by the dozens eventually.
vi voglio bene,