I got emails from Sister Spriggs and the Moon family, both of which contained adorable pictures that focused me on family and how wonderful--and quick--life is. I saw Baby Anziano Burton in my super young mamma's lap, and I saw Adri and Lauryn Moon--who in my mind are, like, newborns--riding horses with their little brother.
It's hard to believe how fast it goes. One Christmas after another, and suddenly you're a missionary. A few later I'll be a f-f-faaaath... yeah, I don't wanna talk about that.
Before I go, I want to recount to you all a few Christmas miracles! They both involve me getting really mad or sad, and then being super humbled by God's awesomeness. Firstly, because someone was a little slow getting out of bed (coughanzianokesslercough), we missed our train to Milan on Thursday by a matter of minutes. I was...really upset. We ended up taking another train an hour later and arrived at the Milano Centrale station at 11, which is when we were supposed to be at the Lampugnano church building.
There are two church buildings in Milano, actually: Lampugnano and Cimiano. They're in very different parts of the enormous city. I knew exactly where to go, having been told by the Assistants just a few days before. Right as we got off the train in Milano, though, we ran into the elders from Padova who had been in another cart of the same train the whole time. We walked together to the metro (subway) and they started through the gate towards Cimiano!
"Uh, Elders, it's this way," I said. They were shocked--they had no idea it was at Lampugnano. I led the four of us to the proper building, and though we were an hour late all four of us made it to the New Missionary Training which lasted for the rest of the day.
Much later, I realized that if we had not missed the first train, the Padova elders would have gone straight to Cimiano (where meetings are usually held in Milano). They would have wasted a lot of money and a lot of time were it not for a little sacrifice on our part. Who knew? God knew.
Similarly, just a few days ago, Anziano Kessler and I got lost in the fog wandering around Verona. He was certain it had happened for a reason. "On our way home, let's talk to everyone we see," he said. I was skeptical, as usual, but he turned out to be right--as usual. We had several wonderful conversations that night, even as we ran across streets to stop total strangers in the fog and the cold.
I could go on and on with Orbits--being where God needs us to be. We had many experiences this week that proved His omnipotence and helped me relax a bit. If I'm doing what I can, God will use me as His instrument and things will work out. I'm learning to trust God more with Anziano Kessler, and I hope it sinks through this thick skull of mine by the time I leave Verona.
Sorry for the long email. I feel like I didn't even write half of the cool things that happened this week. I guess that's why they call them Christmas Miracles! Buon Natale, everyone, and go see some miracles of your own! It just takes faith and action.