We had Anziano Modugno's last Zone Conference this week, too. I'm not sure if I've made mention of it, but Anziano Sanacuore--the elder from Sicily who I lived with in Padova--is one of our zone leaders here in Verona. The other is an Anziano Garner who is incredibly tall, good-hearted, and motivational. It's a good zone, we're seeing amazing things, and my closest Italian friends both bore their final testimonies at the end of the meeting. They're both headed home... next week.
I feel... funny. I don't know how to describe it. I feel like my eyes water up a lot. It just all seems very real at this point in my mission. I've realized why I'm here, I know what my goals are, I've experiences how hard it is to reach those goals, and I'm running out of time to do what I want to do because the pesky natural man is always in the way. And a lot of times I let him hold me back, I think.
The real war is inside: Eternal You vs. the Natural Man. I learned this from Superman. The key is to strengthen your spirit (by living the gospel of Jesus Christ) and prove to yourself and God that your spirit is stronger than your body, and that your spiritual desires to return to your father will overpower your natural desires to be of the world. Like President Hinckley taught, your testimony--and, I would add, the "strength" of your spirit--is like the muscles in your arm. If you don't try it and exercise it and make it grow, it will shrink instead and become weak and useless.
Please don't let that happen. And, if it has happened, start working out.
|Quick prayer before going out in the cold|
|happiest spot I can imagine (We were playing musical chairs with the primary kids. I provided the music. When somebody "lost", they got to come help me. Ha!)|