CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS IS MY LAST P-DAY IN THE MTC???????? What?? I simply cannot... it is crazy! Where did the two months go? I am soooo excited and a wee bit nervous at the same time! We got our flight plans last friday, and holy smokes, holding that paper in our hands suddenly made the whole thing seem more real than it ever has! I AM ACTUALLY GOING BACK TO ITALY! I would have never thought it would be this soon! So I fly from Chicago, to Frankfurt (a little shout out to Bomer... can I get a woot, woot for the German stamp I am going to get on my passport! Horrah for Tedesco!) and then to Milan! We leave Tuesday morning at 5 am from the MTC and get there Wednesday at about 11 AM. SO EXCITING!
Well, If the travel plan think didn't make this week just awesome, everything else did! On Sunday we had a special fireside in Honor of September 11th. It started off with Jaren Wood accompanying another Elder on the Piano, Singing, "I know that my Redeemer lives"- It was Unreal! Jaren played SOOOOO fantastically, that the spirit just filled the room! We watched a montage of what happened that day, and then had the chance to watch the "Music and the Spoken Word" Special the Mormon Tabernacle Chior did with Tom Brokav (AMAZING! IF YOU DIDN"T SEE IT WATCH IT!) Then President Brown of the MTC got up and spoke to us. He told us that the world is full of tormoil such as what happened on 9/11. He then told us that our message was a message of peace, and that we had to take it to the world. "your words will have a much greater impact on the lives of people that guns or swords ever will." In the scriptures it talks over and over about the Peace and joy the Gospel brings, and the Savior constantly tells us to be at Peace! How grateful I am for the peace the gospel brings to my life! How grateful I am to be an American and for the men and women who sacrifice their lives to keep us free! I can't wait to share this message of peace with the Italians :) Just 1 more week!
AND FOR THE FINALE.... ELDER BALLARD CAME LAST NIGHT!!! What an amazing surprise! We thought for sure we would not get to hear from another apostle before we left! We think it was a departing treat for the 11 awesome Italians that will be leaving next tuesday... yeah totally was! It was simply wonderful! Elder Ballard always speaks like he is talking to friends. His words were simple and powerful, and he delievered them as if he was giving a friend advice. The theme of his talk was a quote Joseph Smith told Wilford Woodruff when he left his family to go on a mission, "No Matter what may come upon you, round up your shoulders, and bear it, and always sustain and defend the kingdom of God. Get up and go on! God Almighty is guiding the course of this church... not we!" He then listed several things we should do to be excellent missionaries! And no matter what happens to just "Get up and go on!"- He told us to "Keep it simple, Become a Preach my Gospel missionary, Exercise faith in the Savior, Pray with Faith and determination, Have Confidence, Don't be afraid to committ!" He told us to let Christ help us with the work, after all, it is his church. One final quote.... OH THE WHOLE TALK WAS SO GOOD! " This sojourn we are on is a middle phase of an eternal quest... Go forward with faith; trust, serve, dedicate, commit! Be wise, don't compromise!... May the PEACE of the Lord be in your heart and minds." It was so awesome! How thankful I am to live in a time where we have Prophet and Apostles leading this church! How wonderful to hear him witness of the reality of our Savior and the truthfulness of this Gospel!
This was a wonderful week! I love every minute I am having here! We are still having uber amounts of fun with our little district of 11 and our new District of Italians... It sure is fun to have 10 Sorelle here! We have been trying really hard to speak lots of Italian... and sometimes you start mixing up english and italian. The other day in a lesson I was telling Kristina, our new investigator, that Christ overcame death and sin through the atonement. I said "Mediante l'espiazione, Gesu' Cristo ha vinto la morta fisica e sin" I completely said sin, in english rather than saying Peccato, in italian... but don't worry, I said it in a super think Italian accent... so I know she understood! My Colleghi and I just started busting up and the Sorella Camp said, Peccato? I then apologized to Kristina and we kept going!
I love this gospel! I know the atonement is real! Thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ, we can repent, we can be comforted, and we can have peace in this life because we know we can return to live with our Father in heaven and our Families forever!
My family I miss you like crazy, but wouldn't change this experience for the world! I Love being a missionary! I hope everything is great... Dearelder has been down since last friday, so sorry if you wrote and I'm not responding to questions!
Have a wonderful week! I'll talk to you next tuesday!!
Ciao for now...
P.S. Jos Bos- SAW ELDER BAGLEY! He totally came up to me and was like, "Are you Josie's sister?" We have bonded and are now friends... He says I act just like you :)