sister jackson and sister wightman at the going away party the ward threw for paige. please notice the faint pencil drawing of paige. via sister jackson blog.
ciao cari miei!
well can you believe it? my how time does fly. i have been thinking about what to write (for about 30 seconds ... my life is a lot of madness right now in this very moment) and all that comes to mind is
the gratitude list.
i am just overflowing with it, more so this week then maybe ever before.
so here it is, why i am full of gratitude for today, last week, the last 18 months, and for all eternity ...
i am grateful.
--we just ran into 3 girls from byu that are headed home after a semester abroad in paris. they eyed us from across the piazza in front of the pantheon and i called them over "hey! you guys are mormons! come over here!" (you think i am kidding). so they did. and we giggled together and they told us about how one of them hates country music but is going to tennesee for her mission starting next week. so we gave them a pile of pass along cards and challenged them to give them all out before they go home (they also may have thought i was kidding).
--we get to see baldo in a few hours and bear our testimonies to him. and we will get to teach him truths, and we will feel the spirit together, and in a few days i will miss that there experience that i have got to enjoy for months now.
--we wandered around rome today and i decided that i need to see more cities in the fall. it is better that way.
i was grateful.
--rita finally accepted a baptismal date. for january 4th. she invited me via skype. haha!
--rita finally came to chruch yesterday. in a dress and with an american flag purse. and she cried as the babies did their primary program. and she must have remembered that she too is a child of god and that her family can be together forever.
--roma 5 threw me a surprise going away party after church, complete with diana marchetti and the perego fam (minus ugo who is off in sardegna helping clean up the aftermath) and polenta, and a poster with a chinese version of me drawn on it, and a calendar of rome 5, and all of the members and so much love. just ... whoa. so so nice.
--we got a good giggle from the emergency phone call from the mission office telling us to get home asap because a huge storm was about to hit. we ran home and were CONVINCED that it was going to get all filipino up in here. didn't rain a drop. haha! but we read the article that sorella jackson's mom sent her about the 10 sorelle in the storm and prepared for the worst. hey, we will get obedience blessings.
--we were invited to a special missionary meeting with anziano ridd (2nd counselor in general ym prez) and presidente osguthrope (general sunday school prez). it was the greatest meeting ever. no exaggerating. they responded to every single doubt, fear, worry, question and thought that i have had for a while. it was really cool. they talked about doing everything with real intent. talked about desires, decisions, and determination. talked about teaching skills, agency, and so many other goodies. and we were just in heaven afterwards. they wanted to get a volunteer for a role play. i never do this kind of stuff but i titled this week "go big or go home or both" so i volunteered, not knowing beforehand that he would also ask the world's most timid girl to assist me (aka my companion). she knocked it outta the park though. what a baller.
--i saw sorella kimball. i heart her so.
--the anziani called an emergency meeting so we scurried off to their city to meet with them. they had some big revelation about how to work better with the members and how to really get the best out of the work of salvation. and we are SO pumped. and i got about 57819 ideas about how to be a better missionary/person when i return. i love seeing that kind of excitement!
--sorella jackson. just everything about her. i am really grateful for her, this week and always. she shared some really great scriptures during study this week. like this and this.
--amède. he is great. we invited him to be baptized, but he didn't accept. instead he promised to come to church every week and pray about the date. fine by us!
--the malara family. their baby, elena, is the cutest thing that ever happened. she gave me the greatest goodbye. oh man. i love that girl.
the last 18 months
i have been grateful.
--heavenly father has used me as a tool in his hands while i tried my best to serve him.
--i have come to know my savior as i have testified of his birth, life, ministry, authority, death, atonement, and vital role as our advocate.
--i have a greater appriciation for and understanding of the holy ghost. i know how he communicates with me and i know how to be worthy of his constant companionship.
--there is no doubt that joseph smith was all he was prophecied to become, that he was a prophet, that he restored the chruch in its fullness, and led boldly and righteously.
--the book of mormon has become a guide. i know that "no wicked man could write this book and no good man would, unless it were true and he was commanded of god to do so."
--thomas s. monson holds all of the keys of the priesthood, just like adam, and moses, and noah. and we need him. if you don't agree, come see rome.
--i have been through the highest highs, the lowest lows and all of the in between, and today i can say with all of my heart that know that i am a child of god. i know that i can return to him as long as i follow the savior. i believe in change, for i have witnessed it. i know god is near us, for i have felt it.
--you. because i have had more support than i could ever ask for. i hope you know i have tried to be worthy for all of the thoughts, worries, prayers, emails, letters, packages, and love by working, loving, smiling, and serving with my heart and with my strength.
i will always be grateful.
--i was born in this dispensation.
--i served in the best mission in the world.
--i have made and strive to keep promises with my hevenly father.
--i am part of a forever family, the greatest one.
--i know where i come from, why i am here, and where i am going.
--i know that my redeemer lives and loves me.
and i love you.
see you soon.