Congratulations to my sister Audrey on her graduation this coming week! That's crazyweird and super exciting. Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TATE STOCK on the 1st of June (same day as graduation, if I remember right)! He was my first really close friend to go on a mission (to Fiji), and he'll be home in, like... a month? Something like that? So bizarre.
Some of the things that happen in Italy spark weird memories from a long time ago in my head. I can't think of any other good examples right now, but it's amazing how a new situation can bring to mind things you've long forgotten about, but are somehow helpful. It's such a huge and lifechanging thing to live here. I love it.
I had to play the piano in church last Sunday. They didn't understand that just because I can make pretty sounds come from those 88 keys doesn't mean I read music (which I don't). I did my best, which was pretty bad, but the ward members didn't seem to mind. Italians are... funny when it comes to hymns. Or church in general. Heheh. Everything is so different here! It's not better or worse, or even good or bad... just different.
We held a Zone Training Meeting in Verona yesterday. I got to see a lot of the missionaries from my district in the MTC. It's weird that we're not "new" anymore. I mean, we're nearly 2 transfers in. We know the ropes. We're really missionaries, and we can communicate in Italian. How cool is that? We're a blessed bunch, that's for sure.
The Training was amazing. We learned about effective planning techniques and how to stay focused on our goals, but there was a section taught by the Traveling Sister Companionship about prayer. Oh my goodness gracious. I haven't felt the Spirit that strong for a long time.
I'd like to share my burning testimony with the world that I know the power of prayer. It is a direct communication between God and his children--his literal children, all of us. Prayer is a unique and powerful gift that does not change the will of God, but unlocks blessings he is already willing to give. Prayer is a tool through which we can allign our will with our Father's in Heaven, and we are encouraged--in fact, commanded--to pray to Him often. What a blessing.
I encourage everyone to pray. Begin by addressing Heavenly Father. Express yourself to Him: pray from your heart, thank Him for your blessings, ask Him for any help you need. Close always in the name of our brother and Savior, Jesus Christ. Pray to feel the love that God has for you, and I promise you as an ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ that you will feel that unexplainable, incomparable love. When you feel His love, you will love Him, and to show that love you will keep his commandments, one of which is to pray. It's a big circle of love. D'awww.
I have felt God's love for His children in Italy. It's a positively overwhelming feeling and drives me to do my best to help them find their way back to Him. I also love all of you and I'm grateful for the good you do.
La vita è davvero bella, no? A dopo.