Yay Audrey! Called to serve among the descendents of the Lamanites. That is amazingly fun, and Spanish will serve her for the rest of her life. Congratulations, and prepare well!
This week was a good week. I'm in a super happy mood and just feel really loved. I'm getting to know the members better, they're giving referrals that we get to go visit, and I'm contemplating a lot about what all has happened in my first year in Italy. That's right, one year ago today I was in a plane headed across the ocean. A lot has happened, and while I can easily pick out little details from all across the board, it's great to look back and consider this first year a really positive experience. I've grown a lot, and I just have more to learn.
Our investigator P was baptized on Saturday. C will be baptized this next weekend. We're headed to Padova for a multi-zone Conference on Friday, taking the fastest train available in Italy. I'm so excited. Good things are happening.
Of course, it's not all sunshine and roses. There's still a lot of work to do, and a lot of it is really stressful and hard, but it's sure fun. It's all just so much fun. Maybe not in the moment, but when I lay down in my bed at the end of the day and think about everything that's happened, I always fall asleep with a smile on my face. And that's a good feeling.
I guess I don't have much to say. I imagine next week's email will have more cool stories or inspirational thoughts to share. Inspiration is a really cool thing all by itself, too. I've gotten to know a lot of great people out here among missionaries and members that really understand what it means to have a relationship with God, to be able to communicate with him. Prayer is beautiful and miraculous and it works, but there's so much more than that. We, too, can get answers from the other side. It doesn't have to be a one-way thing, talking into a broken phone.
I can't say that I'm great at hearing the voice of the Spirit yet or understanding what God wants me to do, but I'm learning that my spirit--the eternal part of me--wants to get back to God. Like, that's all it wants. And God wants me to come back, too. The only thing in the way is this pesky body. But the body is an important tool, and part of the reason we're here on earth is to learn how to use it.
Lots to think about, lots to study, lots to ponder and pray and believe. But... it's all so fun. I imagine that at the end of my mission, it'll be a lot like that moment at the end of the day. I'll look back and compare who I was to who I will be, how much I've learned and how many people I've helped, and I'll just smile.
And, y'know, I'll probably cry.