Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Home stretch

Hey guys!

Well another week has passed and it felt like I just blinked my eyes...😳 super weird. I'm not sure exactly what you guys wanna hear cuz I mean I feel like it's weird to tell you about my week since I'll be home in 2. But I guess I'll just talk about some cool things that happened.

I've been feeling weird the past few weeks, kinda out of it I guess. And then I realized that I hadn't fasted in over 3 weeks...(usually I'd fast at least once a week since several transfers ago). I was also getting bummed out that we weren't having a ton of people to teach like I would like to, since teaching is literally why I'm here. Then I remembered a key scripture again in Alma 6:6 in the Book of Mormon. It talks about how the people of the church of God were commanded to gather themselves together often, and pray and FAST on behalf of those who "knew not God." So, after really understanding that and taking it to heart about...6 months ago, I decided to fast at least once a week. Fasting is a thing I could talk about for hours, but 2 years ago wasn't familiar at all with its potency. It is literally a way to show God you want a miracle and you're willing to sacrifice for it. During my mission I have seen absolute real-life miracles happen because of it. I've seen people's lives saved and happiness found, thanks to fasting & praying (always with faith though). So anyway, I fasted. Long story short, it worked. That day I finished my 24 hour fast, we found someone. He's from Egypt and never wants to go back. He wants to be Christian. He is so prepared. He said there are so many different Christian religions though and for that reason he can't just join any random church, because there's obviously something different in each one, making all but one single church different from the actual truth. He expressed to us his desire to study it out and find the true one. After our lesson he was so happy and stoked to read the Book of Mormon we gave him in Arabic (his mother language). Btw he also speaks English and Russian, and is learning Italian. He told us that he felt something he had never felt before while he sat down and talked with us about the story of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (and His church). He said it all seems right and legit, but he needs to read and confirm it all. We'll see how this goes, maybe we can set the next missionaries up with a nice baptism :)

Other than that, we've just been doin our thing really. We need to grow our English course cuz it sucks rn TBH, like it's really small. But luckily our two homies always come cuz they absolutely LOVE IT. They're actually really curious about what we're all about as missionaries. We're thinking of meeting up this week actually to go grab some grub together in Rome and we'll have a nice chat about our religion, since they have a billion questions. They're pretty informal guys and I think they're just curious; I don't think they want to change anything...but that's ok cuz it all starts out with curiosity.

This reminds me of a dumb phrase, "curiosity killed the cat" lol. It's funny and sometimes true, but unfortunately out here in Italy it's soooo true. People look at you weird if you start to ask questions and think about leaving Italian tradition established 2000 years ago. It's like a real-life version of the book Brave New World (if you haven't read it, it's a good read and I recommend it). But like if you do something out of Italian routine people are like, "you're not Italian, you're weird, don't talk to me." It's not always like that, but it's common haha especially out here where the good ole Pope is 😂 but honestly thanks to God Himself, we're finding people that wanna break out of that tradition, kinda like in The Giver when the kid sees color. We see color and we want others to see color, but unfortunately there are too many tryna stay with the comfortable black & white. That's really all it is. But, like I said, miracles have happened, and are happening as we speak!! I love meeting people that have been prepared to listen to us and what we have to say; it makes life so much more awesome.

I just wanna let you all know that reflecting on my mission a bit, this is the best thing that's ever happened to me. As a result of these 2 years, everything good that has ever happened to me or will happen, has either come as a result from my mission, or my eyes of appreciation have been open to these things...thanks to my mission. I've learned to love what really matters and not preoccupy myself with things that don't. In doing so, I've finally learned what the secret to happiness is. Matthew 6:31-33

Love and miss you guys. I'll write a better email next time haha, I hope. See you guys soon 👋🏽✊🏽

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