Transfer calls came in.... Sorella Tutt is headed off to Sicily and I am staying in Ladispoli and I will be training! I pick up my companion tomorrow morning and she could be either American or Italian. I am excited and incredibly nervous. I go through waves of feeling really stressed out and then feeling okay and then feeling really stressed out again, haha. Deep breath!
General conference was wonderful. I loved all the talks about revelation and gaining a testimony piece by piece. I also really enjoyed all the welfare talks. I see a lot of poverty and misery sometimes and how wonderful it is to know that we as members of the Church care for those who suffer.
One of my favorite points was by Elder Gonzalez who said that followers of Christ
1. are loving
2. make and keep covenants
That was so simply and yet so profound to me! We are unique because we make covenants and believe strongly in honoring them. However, as most people would agree, the most important characteristic of a Christian is the love we have for other people. It is both of them together!!! That is why we get to come to Italy and share our message with a bunch of people who are already Christian. We do our best to share it with love and also we teach of the covenants that we should make to help us get back to Heavenly Father.
I love what Elder Johnson said about trials and how some of the most excruciatingly painful experiences come before those experiences that are most rewarding. I have never seen such opposition in my own life as I have now on a mission. Wow, its incredible!! BUT, I know that when I keep going and pushing and working through it, great things happen. And it works that way for you too. If you are struggling with something immense right now, you too can make it through, especially with the hope and the vision that the hardest moments often come before some of the greatest.
Oh, and did you hear President Monson talk about the Rome temple? We all cheered :)
I am working on gratitude these days. What an important principle, it has never hit me before until now! Gratitude has never been something I am particularly good at, but it IS possible to develop a grateful heart. And how completely that changes life! As always, I am grateful for the Atonement that makes every change and every vision and every dream possible.
Speaking of visions, I also loved how a few people in conference talked about desire and a vision. How our desire is created when we have a vision and of course our desire shapes our thoughts and actions and life. Also, in times of trial, we can have faith and choose to believe in the vision that Heavenly Father has for us. That is another one of the spectacular things about the gospel, we have a correct knowledge about our potential and everything we can become. We have this as our vision and it sustains us and pushes us forward!
I am working on figuring out my specific vision for the rest of the mission (aka the goals i want to set and accomplish).
The people in Ladispoli are doing great. Giovanni, Barbara, Tiziana and others are still moving along. They are moving slowly but they are moving :)
We are working more closely with the branch missionaries (a bunch of 20 year old girls who are AWESOME). I have a goal to help this branch become more involved and dedicated to missionary work because I know that when the members really care about and feel love for any investigators who come to church, miracles will happen. I am convinced of it. A lot of this investigators we have would progress a lot faster if they could feel great love from the members, if they could feel that we actually do have something special in this Church!
We are doing a Preach my Gospel training for the branch members on Friday night!
Love you all! I know that this is the true restored Church of Jesus Christ. I know that living its principles brings happiness. Look at our church leaders and what wonderful examples they are of this!