Goodness gracious another week has passed! Do you realize that I only have 3 weeks before I leave to! Yahoo! I am sooooooo excited! So to begin this letter, Elder Swartz says hi... he is sitting right next to me as we wait for our laundry :)
WELL YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE WHO CAME LAST NIGHT!!! JUST TAKE A GUESS.... OKAY, I'll tell ya.... ELDER HOLLAND!!!! I couldn't believe it! We were so hoping we would get to hear from an apostle before we left, and allora... we got Elder! I wish I could even describe how amazing it was. Elder Holland started his talk by telling how much he and the other apostles and the prophet love us. He then spent some time telling us that we are doing the work Alma, Ammon, Paul, , and other amazing missionaries were never able to finish. Each of their dipensations ended in Apostasy, but ours won't! He told us "ancient prophets did what they did because they knew our day would come, they took heart from our success" even though they were never able to completely succeed, we will! It is such a sacred responsibility!!!!! Then he got VERY emotional, and told us that members of the church view the missionaries as perfect, even if we aren't. But he said "You don't have the right to compromise this image;" Then almost yelling (in a very spiritual Elder Holland way) he told us that after our missions, "You are NOT entitled to walk away from this after your mission. You don't have the right to defy this, DO NOT walk away and act like it didn't matter.... Every blessing in my life came through the portal of my mission. I want your mission to change your life FOREVER!"
Wow... It was amazing... He just said that the only thing that could get him mad was a missionary who comes home and walks away from the church! It was such a powerful message to me that I have to let my mission literally go through me!!! After this he said, "now I will talk to you" it was about 30 minutes in :) Then he answered some questions missionaries had written to the MTC Presidency. One questions was "Why does God Love us?" He explained that the only thing he is almost perfect in, is the love for his children. He said if that is true for me, an imperfect man, "What does that mean for our Heavenly Father... He is perfect, and he knows you. He gave his perfect son, for his imperfect ones... We are litterally his children!" Needless to say his message was amazing and I know it will have a lasting impact on my mission as a whole.
Then the closing song was done by 2 girls going on a sign language mission(shout out to Brooklyn). I don't think I have even felt the spirit so strong in my life. After the prayer it was completely silent. I know that Elder Holland is a man of God, he is a witness of the truth of this gospel. Goodness, I love being a missionary!
Well, nothing else is as exciting as last night! But This week was great... Still having so much fun! I love teaching and speaking Italian... and I LOVE learning about the Gospel!
We keep getting closer to our little zone... I am serious... These Anziani and my Colleghi have become my best friends! We even had an Anziani appreciation day yesterday because they are just so good to us! We laugh so much with our district, Anziano Vigneri, Skanchy, and Ginolfi- on monday we spent some time re-writing the lyrics to "Hallelujah" to make it be about the 10 commandments- It was a blast! All our Anziani are just top notch!
We got 11 new italians today, 7 are girls! WOW!! So now I am coordinating 11 girls! Hip hip horrah! OH! I forgot... On sunday, We had the Sorella Nilson show... I played the piano in sacrament, Sang AGAIN (Don't ask me how I got roped in!), and then got called on to speak! Wowzer... FUN!
I love you all and miss you so much! Mom, I hope you are feeling better... can't believe that happened! Dad, heard you did excellent! Siblingsis going blissfully! I love you all so much!
I want you to know that I know this church is true! The gospel brings us happiness, peace, and comfort that we can't get ANYWHERE else! I know that through Christ's atonment we can return to live with Heavenly Father, and most importantly, That he loves us sooooo much!
have a fantastic week!
Vi voglio bene,