Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Just Another Week in Paradise

Love them!
(me, Sorella Alley, Sorella Burkman)

This last week has been absolutely incredible. Honest. I have learned so much about God and about myself. Everyday, I'm more grateful that I decided to go on a mission. I'm a different person then when I first left, a better person.

This last Thursday, we had a zone training meeting. I will never get over how much I love district and zone meetings. I was able to see Sorella Bennet for the first time since the MTC! I had forgotten how much I loved her. Really, she's amazing. I started talking to her about how I'm quite possible the clumsiest person in the world. Soon the whole zone was listening to my crash story. I'm glad they're able to find so much joy in my inability to ride a bike. Really, at least it's good for something. We all decided it's a great finding tactic, and whenever I crash my companions should talk and try to teach the people who stop to help. Well, I've only had the one crash, but we might have to try it out one day. Also at the training, our zone leaders Anziani Dowling and Anderson asked me to share a mission experience/testimony to start the meeting. I'm really glad they did, because it gave me the opportunity to think about all the miracles I've seen in the past months. I haven't really been in Italy very long, but I've served in two beautiful cities, with a wonderful ward and branch, met some of the very best people in the world, and have seen the hand of God in my life each and everyday. I think sometimes we just need to be reminded of how lucky we are.

We have a new investigator named Ivo. I absolutely love this man! He reminds me of my grandpa, so every time I see him I get a little sad because I miss my grandpa, but it's also such a blessing. We've met with him a few times, and he's scheduled to get baptized in September. He came to church this last Sunday, which was a huge blessing. He seemed to really enjoy it, even though he had to leave a little early. It amazes me how people are able to meet with us one day and just decide to join us at church the next. I don't know if I could do that. We ask people to change their entire lives, and because of their faith they do. I know that's because they trust the Lord and they listen to Him, but I am still in awe of how incredible they are. I don't know if I were in their situation, if I would do those same things. I'm so grateful for their examples. 

So one night Luigi invited us out to see his boat. He works in Riccione, and his job is to take the sand that builds up out farther to the sea so it doesn't get too high. His boat is crazy awesome, really. Well, it was like a 15-mile ride out to go see him - definitely worth it, though. Sorella Burkman led a really beautiful lesson about the Brother of Jared. Then we talked about how he met the missionaries. He just met them in the park and when they asked if they could come teach him, he said of course. Oh my goodness! His faith has grown so much in the past few weeks. He adores the gospel, and he really loves learning about it. After the lesson we had to bike back to Rimini. We bought ourselves Gelato after though, so it wasn't too bad.

Sunday we saw a really amazing miracle. We were at church and a man we've never seen before came up to greet us. After a little bit, we found out he's Fratello Bruni! We've been asked by the branch to visit this family, and we haven't been able to! But they came to church! They haven't come to church in months. They explained how to get to their house, and we're going to visit them soon. 

Monday morning we had a wonderful district meeting. Why was it wonderful? Because the zone leaders came and they brought letters! I have never been so happy as when Anziano Anderson opened his bag and handed me that beautiful mail. Thank you all so much. You're all so inspiring! You have uplifted me and given me strength to keep doing this. So thank you.

I'm exhausted. Everyday is a little more difficult to get out of bed, to keep going. But everyday, I see more miracles. I learn more about this beautiful gospel. I've definitely learned that the hardest days really are when you see the most miracles. Satan pushes you most right before something beautiful is going to happen. If you ever have a moment when you just don't want to go on, DON'T QUIT! There is a miracle just around the corner. Satan doesn't want you to have it. But I promise, if you can just move forward one step at a time, you will see beautiful things come to pass. I can promise this, because once, Fratello Weller promised this to me. His promise came true. His words gave me strength to get through the difficult days. Look ahead, with faith in Christ. Hold His hand, and He will never cease to guide you. I love you all, and I know you have the strength to do whatever the Lord asks of you. I pray for you daily. 

Until next week,
Sorella Ellen Rose Ervin

We maybe stole Emilio's helmet. Oh, well.

Sorella Burkman's birthday in Italy! The Zuffolini's had us
over for dinner and surprised her with the cutest birthday bash ever!

Emilio shaving chocolate into Sorella Burkman's
anxiously awaiting mouth.

A stimulating gam of chess, if you will.

Sorelle Ervin, Alley, Burkman and Elena!

On the way home, already late, and we come across this.
Blew my mind.

The Anziani from Ancona brought Sorella Burkman a present!
Woo, a creepy little bunny thing . . . 

The three amice at San Marino, while the
anziani from Albania is chillin' in the corner.

This is where we do strada, nbd.

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