-- started out losing our phone.
-- sorella wiltbank (a photographer) lost her camera/it might have been stolen ...
-- all of our investigators left town for the infamous italian event of ferie (when all of the workers are given a month of vacation so everyone goes to the beach and leaves just the missionaries and members alone and lonely in the city)
-- we got in a car accident.
-- our apartment flooded
-- worst of all, i think i lost my planner ...
but THEN our week actually turned out to be one of the greatest learning and growing experiences, full of gratitude and assurance that the lord protects his missionaries and never gives anyone anything they can't handle. sorry the email is short but my family, who i have been so worried about (i worry because i come from one of the greatest worriers of them all), deserved a little explanation and such. but i will share this ...
it just so happens that i read mosiah 24 this morning in my daily reading; look at this personal sorella wightman letter i received:
2 And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.
13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.
and how about these gems from isaiah 43?
1 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
3 For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.
4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.
5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;
10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.
12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.
i am grateful for the knowledge and witness that the lord gives us what we can handle. not for punishment and not because he likes to watch us squirm, but because he knows what we are capable of and wants us to be our very very best. in order to be the best, you have to first realize that you aren't. you have to struggle before you can master something. we are in the master's program here. the lord's missionaries are protected. we have angels in the flesh (and i am more fully convinced that the lord uses mostly italians as his angels ...) and unseen. i am honored to be his representative.
italians say ofa for oops. there were a whole lot of ofas floating around this week ... but followed by smiles and laughs! my companions are the greatest people on the planet btw.
love to you all.
wear seat belts.
close your windows even when you don't expect rain and wind.
hold on tight to your belongings.
and pray pray pray because nobody expected us to do anything alone.
-- this is me yesterday. leaving sorella gigante (which means sister giant ... which is a great name for this classic big italian mom that loves me to death). we call her mamma gigante. she gave me everything she owns in that basket. food, bruise cream, a neck brace, a first aid kit, more food. haha!
-- our italian bbq with the gessati family. that is naked tita in the background.
-- siamo felici siamo mormoni. (we are happy. we are mormons.)
-- remember those people that i mentioned last week, that we kept running into? we ran into them again today and here's what they look like ...