|The arena in Verona! How I wish I could have gone|
to an opera here. It's beautiful.
So my dear companion had to go back to Verona on Thursday for her permesso. I'm not complaining. We were a little worried we'd have to stay the night and then we were going to miss Zone Training, but we made it back. Lucky us. While we were killing time before taking the train back to Rimini, we did get to do a little sight seeing. Basically we just saw Juliet's house, but it was quite fantastic. Also, the arena in Verona is probably one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Someday, I will see an opera there, and it will be a life changing moment. True Story.
We did see a pretty cool miracle this week. We stopped by the house of Pollina, a woman whom the missionaries taught in 2009. At first she didn't remember the missionaries, but then she did. She started to remember the feelings she felt when they were there, mostly an overwhelming feeling of love. As we taught her and her daughter, Julienne, about the restoration, I felt such a spirit of peace encircle us. At the end of the lesson, they both agreed to be baptized. It was a reminder to me that sometimes on the mission we're planting seeds. Maybe the people I teach won't get baptized right now. Maybe there will be people who don't even want to listen to the message. But, if I'm doing my job and I have the spirit with me, in a month, a year, or even ten years from now, when they meet missionaries again, they will remember the love they felt when we talked.
I think that's my reason for being a missionary. I think that's why God wanted me to serve. Too many people go through this life feeling unloved and unappreciated. They need to know their Father in Heaven loves them and that there are people in this world who love them as well, even if they've never met, because we're family. During English course last night, we were teaching one student who is fairly advanced. His name is Michele, and we just had a conversation class with him. He started asking us why we were serving, why this is important. I said it's important to me that people like him know they're not alone. He shared with us that growing up he felt like the black sheep. He felt comfortable enough to share his innermost thoughts with us. Then he said sorry, because we shouldn't be his therapists. But it's okay. I'm not a therapist. I don't know how to help these people. But Christ, He's the ultimate healer. The reason He can heal us so fully is because of the Atonement. The reason for the Atonement is love.
This week I've been reminded, that all it really comes down to is love. Yes, my purpose is to invite people to come unto Christ, but why? . . . because Christ loves them, because God loves them, and because they want us to return home. I received a blessing recently. In this blessing, I was reminded that there are people in Rimini who are hurting, who are alone. I was called here, in this time, so I could love them.
Thank you for your love and support. I know one of the reasons I'm able to be here right now is because of your love. Without it, I could not hope to share love with the people I meet. Every time we see Fratello Scarpulla, he says, "Ah, our angels." You are all my angels. Truly.
I love you.
Sorella Ellen Rose Ervin
|A beautiful pizza in centro Verona.|
|We were waiting for a train in Bologna, and|
we witnessed this beautiful sunset.
|Anziani from left to right: Jefferies, Ramey, Quinton, Dowling, Herrin,|
Warnick, Lovett, Miller, Kekoolani, Mustafaraj, Valentine, Anderson, and Anderson.
Sorelle from left to right: Bennett, Burkman, Alley, Jameson, Ervin, Brown,
Strong, and Jefferies.