Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Week 5 Provo MTC

   Hello family and Friends,

This has been probably the fastest week of my mission so far. I honestly feel like it was just P-day...crazy! I don't have too much to say, because I mean it hasn't even felt like more than 3 days since the last email. but it has been amazing. in no particular order, I did choir again on tuesday! except this time I didn't just go to practice, I actually sang in the devotional! it was so awesome. we sang a song called "Jesus Once of Humble Birth" I think, not sure on the name. but the choir director is such an inspirational and spiritual guy, he gave some great advice during practice. and when it came time to sing in the devotional, I was overwhelmed with the Spirit. as I was singing, I could feel the emotion of every one of the 1200 missionaries in the room, I could feel that we were all here for the same reason and it was a great experience to sing with such studs. oh and Elder Galbraith was sitting right in front of me too! love that guy. and the speakers at the devotional were sooo good. the main speaker is 1st counselor in the Presiding Bishopric and was born and raised in France, along with his wife whom also spoke. they were so powerful in their message of utilizing the Spirit. they said we are essentially superheroes, and our superpower is the Holy Ghost. I never thought of it that way, but I love superheroes, so I loved that analogy. it's so true. without the Spirit present we are just normal people teaching a lesson. however, with the Spirit there to testify of the truth we share and carry it to the hearts of the people we meet--that is a superpower. I am so excited for tuesday next week when I finally go to Italy! I am more than nervous about speaking to people in a language that I barely know, but I've learned that if we are bold in sharing our testimony when we are prompted to, the Lord will put the words into our mouth that need to be said at that exact moment. I know I'm only at the MTC, but I've already experienced such things, and it is truly a gift of God.

The main guy that spoke had some family and friends that came to see him speak. one of which was a middle-aged man from ROME, ITALY! and of course, he and the Roman did a combined musical number at the end. it was the most beautiful thing ever. it was a compilation of 3 or so hymns, amazing hymns. It was Spirit of God, A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, and another one I cant remember. but it wasn't like you think it was. they blended them all together so smoothly, and it was on the piano. but they were both on the piano at the same time. it was soooo beautiful! there were 4 total hands playing the piano simultaneously, it was something I've never heard before. and I don't know how to describe the sound, but it was like somewhat upbeat at parts, and it sounded like it had an Italian/French influence to the sound. which makes sense considering they're from france and Italy haha. but it was like 8 minutes long and I didn't want it to stop, it made me happy listening to it. music really gets to me here at the MTC. between the musical numbers in sacrament/devotionals, and hymns in class, it fills my heart with joy. I have so many favorite hymns now. one of them, which is unfortunately not in the new Hymn books, is Come Thou Font Of Every Blessing....AGH it's amazing! also, If You Could Hie to Kolob, A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, How Firm a Foundation, As Sisters in Zion/Armies of Helaman, and many others. one of my all time favorites though, is this one song called "Mandate Voci di Gioia all'Eterno"...you may be wondering why it's in Italian and not English. well, that's because it's only an Italian hymn. no other language has this hymn other than Italian. and let me tell you, it is amazing. it's only 2 verses, but it's so happy. when we sing it in class it makes me smile and brings me joy. it's based off of Psalms 100 or 101 or something I can't remember, but it roughly translates to "Bring us joy throughout eternity" it's so beautiful. just the sound of it feels like Italy, and it makes me love Italy that much more already. I encourage you to find it on youtube or something and listen to it because it's so awesome!

Not much has happened outside of class this past week, just some usual Zone Leader meetings and fun times with the Anziani (Elders) However, class was amazing. I've been really praying for help with Italian, and I have seen it this past week. it's crazy that we only study the actual language like 1 hour a day, the rest is just scriptures and "preach my gospel" lessons and some activities to get us better at teaching. I mean, our teachers only speak to us in Italian, so that helps, but we really only "learn" Italian for an hour a day, except on wednesday and sunday- we learn none haha. but to think that i can understand everything my teachers say, and that I can teach 30 minute lessons, and bare my testimony for over 10 minutes, ALL in Italian...wow. The Lord is helping me more than I ever thought possible, and I couldn't be more grateful. Going through the scriptures a few days ago, I came across Alma 57. it talks about the stripling warriors. it talks about how young and inexperienced they were when they were going to war, but the Lord was on their side. it says in verse 56/57 "never has anyone fought with such miraculous strength"...that is me, that is all the missionaries. we are young as can be, more inexperienced that you could imagine, and here we are going out to a country on the other side of the world, speaking a language that I study for 5 hours a week for less than 6 weeks, and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people that we have never met before. we are absolutely NOTHING without the Lord. luckily, the Lord IS on our side, and he WILL help us, with the gift of the Holy Ghost. He will help us [preach] with such miraculous strength, that people will be incapable of denying the presence of the Spirit. he will help us with Italian, he will help us to communicate and reach the hearts of the people. if we humble ourselves before the Lord, and realize we are nothing but instruments in His hands, He WILL bless us, and strengthen us, and help us fulfill His errand of bringing the lost sheep back to His fold.

I couldn't be more excited for these next 22 months I will spend in Italy, and fully expect and look forward to the trials God gives me, because they will only strengthen me. I know this is the Lord's work, and I am beyond blessed to be able to help carry it out. I know these may be the hardest and most challenging 2 years of my life- I am fully aware of that. but, I'm glad they will be. they'll be far more than worth it. If I shall labor all my days in crying repentance unto the people, and save it be one soul, how great should mine, and their joy and glory be in the Kingdom of God. I love you all, and I think and pray about you all every night.

con amore,

Anziano Blaise
This is my Favorite Hymn!

I got my travel itinerary!

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