Tuesday, March 16, 2010
A week from now I'll be taking off!
Ciao tutti! In exactly a week from now, I'll be at my gate waiting to board. Agh! What excitement mixed with a wide range of emotions. To answer a few questions: Yes, I will be traveling alone. I'm the only one going to Rome, and my 4 Anziani are traveling together to Milan. We leave an hour from eachother, so I recieved permission to head up to the airport with them; at least I'll be able to do a leg of the trip with them. We are all super excited and also there are a few of us who are nervous- we're now looking back to all the time we could have used better in learning the language and the doctrine. This is my new email account- so write to this one if you do write. They just had us all swap; apparently it's better.......but I still don't see how I can make a contact list.... Alright. So I have a question for Mom and Dad- I'll be at the airport from 5 to 9 am on the 23rd- should I just call when I get there? I think I'll be able to call both you and Lenora, so I'll call her..... oi. You'll be in class L! YOU tell me when I can call. I can call you first and then mom and dad,....ok? Just let me know, or if you don't really care about hearing from me....I can wait till Mothers Day (which month is that??) I'm taking Delta all the way, and only stopping in JFK New York, so that'll be nice. I'm excited to walk off that plane and see the Acersons (Mission President) as a missionary this time. I'm arriving in Rome FC at 7:25 am on the 24th, so I'll be looking for Zia with black frames glasses, lurking behind a column ;) Here's the address you can write at: Sorella Urban Italy Rome Mission CP 11/282 Montesacro 00141 Rome RM Italy I won't get to know until the day after I arrive which will be my first city, or my trainer. I'm stoked to have a companion! Not much has happened this week, but Lenora did come to volunteer at the TRC :) That was sure awesome. Our whole district was excited at the possibility of her coming, and it was really fun. Anz Deursch, Stoker, and I got to to teach her and then she sat with us for awhile afterwards while we waited for the rest to finish teaching their lessons. She brought a plate of cookies that we're excited to eat once we end our fast- today will be our last time we get to go through the temple- it's a bitter sweet feeling. I'm really going to miss being so close to the Temple, but how wonderful it will be to teach the Italians that a Temple is coming to them! We heard that groundbreaking will begin this fall, and it's estimated that it'll take 2 years to build. That means that we'll all have a reunion in 2012 in Rome....so mark your calendars! Yesterday, I went to visit the Russians going to Moscow West, and was able to speak with Ben Fisher for a minute- he is their teacher and he was an Elder in Kazakhstan while we were there for the summer we graduated. I have a soft spot for Russian-speaking missionaries, and have made friends with most of them, and the group going to Armenia. I heard Roberto has put his papers in ----- I couldn't be happier! I really have been thinking alot about him my entire time here, and want him to know how grateful I am for his decision. This experience is going to influence the rest of his life. I'm so happy for him. And for Carla. And Giancarlo. !!! I almost want to write messages and stick them in secret hiding places for them to find when they get here Ü How exciting. Seeing that this is the last email I'll be writing from the MTC, I wanted to add in a few points of things I hope I can always remember. (p.s. Don't write me after Friday, otherwise....who knows what happens to the letters that will arrive after I'm gone, so just a heads up) Yesterday, we watched a talk given by Holland 'The Miracle of a Mission' and here are some things I got from it (I'm comparing it to a mission but also to life) Think about the preearth life- we were all anxious to come down to earth. As my district has been counting down the days till our departure and looking forward with excitement, so did we before this life. We counted down the days, and those who returned before us would tell us stories and how amazing their lives were and how much we'll enjoy it. They warned us, 'it's going to be hard, but it's going to be worth it.' So it is with life AND my mission. I know it's going to be hard, I've already had a taste of it. But what I've experienced these past 2 months have helped toughen me up and strengthen my testimony on how important this work is. I dont want to miss a thing. I don't want a 16 month mission. A 12 month mission. There's nothing I want more than to serve a full-time 18 month mission, and give it my all up to the finish line. Don't live with the regret of what might have been. This is the greatest opportunity of my life, and the same with each of us. How short our life is compared to eternity- and yet, everything we do here hangs in the balance of our eternal happiness. I know that this is where I am supposed to be. Yes, I signed up for this, but in reality, I was chosen to be a missionary. The experiences and circumstances I've been in have made this possible for me; nothing will matter more in setting the course of my life. Every good thing that will happen to me will come because of my mission. I'm planning now to look back and talk about my mission with love and devotion. The most important thing that I can share with others is the reality of the Atonement of Christ. Yes, I am going out to baptize, but foremost, I am going out to help others develop faith in Christ. That's where it all starts. Salvation is not a cheap experience. It's meant to be hard. If I'm going to be His missionary, how dare I ask to never get close to what He suffered! Christ has a resurrected body, and yet, He chose to keep the marks of His Crucifixion, to show that suffering is part of working for God's work. I hope I never waste a minute feeling sorry for myself these next 16 months. This is not my time. It really is the simple steps of the Gospel that brings success. All of my blessings have come and will come from either my exercise of faith or others exercise of faith. How grateful I am for the righteous choices of others that have led me to where I am today. Mom, please thank Bill and Kent for me. And, when all is said and done, despite our weakness and things we feel overwhelmed with, think of how much confidence God has in each of us. He has prepared a plan of happiness, a plan of success, NOT FAILURE, for us to return to live with Him again. Again- because we've lived with Him before, and we knew it would be worth it. So here we are now- we have such precious little time. May we all strive to be better each day, and to remember to smile and lift up those whose arms hang low. I can't express the gratitude I have for my Heavenly Father. For the love He has for me, and for caring for me so much that He has entrusted me with this sacred calling. I am humbled at how little I can do on my own. Thank you for your prayers. I love you all. A presto, from Roma!
at 2:32 PM