Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Final Blog From Italy

All these deaths are really saddening.  [Two missionaries from our area have unexpectedly passed away this month] I'm so sorry for their families.  It's hard to be happy when others are mourning.

9:23??  Whoa, I wasn't expecting that.  Lots of travel ahead, I guess.  And I have a room!!?  Wow, I wasn't expecting that either!  Ha!  Cool!  I had a dream last night that after appreciating the carpet, I literally flew to my bed and cried happily into my pillow.  Somehow I think it'll be even better in real life... even if I can't fly.

I'm excited too.  I'm so excited.  But... it's hard to leave Italy.  And this perfect school of learning. But I'll talk about that more in a minute.

Whew.  This is weird.

Well, here I am.  The last PDay.  The last time sitting in a nasty, creepy internet point and writing too fast for 90 minutes to a sliver of the people I love.  Yesterday was a great "last full work day".  We taught 2 lessons and found a new investigator, which is pretty awesome for an opening companionship in a city like this.  I'm proud.  And happy.

Yeah, you read that right, I'm happy.  I'm really happy.  But it's a... sad kind of happy.  Hmm.

There are so many things I look forward to in the next week.  Tomorrow I wake up early and head to Milano Centrale.  There I'll take a little train to the Mission Office where we'll get situated, interviewed, and then... I dunno, whatever missionaries do when they finish.  I've never gotten this far.

Then we'll eat and sleep and get on a plane and fly home.  Ha!  Just thinking about that makes me shiver and giggle.  It's weird.

I wrote a poem, and I think that's how I'm going to finish this final blog.  Well, maybe I'll say some closing remarks after the poem, but... anyway, here it is:

Oh, Italy

An old and battered building;
A window full of meat;
A thousand jagged cobblestones
Smoothed by a million feet;
An old man getting angry;
A young girl full of smoke.
She blows a sigh as I walk by
And struggle not to choke.
I used to see it differently
And with a softer eye.
Oh Italy, oh Italy...
It's time to say goodbye.

I used to say "Buongiorno!"
to most everyone I saw.
I looked at narrow streets
And even balconies in awe.
I came here with a purpose--
I came here with a song.
I'm leaving now with something else,
Because two years are long.
I could say they passed quickly
And I'd only partly lie.
Oh Italy, oh Italy...
It's hard to say goodbye.

For though I'm disenchanted
By its tongue or for its age,
And though, by now, this country
Feels to me a kind of cage,
And while I lack the hope that light
Will soon or ever shine
Again upon the nation born
Of art and bread and wine,
You've settled deep inside me
And become a part of Ky.
Oh Italy, oh Italy...
I'll never say goodbye.

I've learned so much out here.  But I think the greatest thing I learned is how important my relationship with God is.  I'm glad that we're friends, that I'm literally His son, that we've gotten to know each other so well, and that we have an eternity to keep at it.

My favorite scripture is John 17:3 - "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."  Something like that.  I lost my scriptures, remember?

I love you.  So does God.  Get to know Him, eh?  It's life eternal.

For the last time,
Anziano Burton

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