|Sometimes, Italians make you put a turkey on your head|
in public. Here we are, surrounded by classy, beautiful
Italians, with a turkey on our heads. I cannot believe my life.
Basically, I love life right now. It's beautiful. There is not another word to describe it. A few weeks ago at district conference, Anziano Reina said something that touched my heart. "We are a strange people. We are strange because we have the same trials, problems, and tribulations as everyone else in the world. Bad things happen, but when they do, we smile anyway."
Sure, life is tough. I haven't had a progressing investigator in the last two transfers. My heart breaks a little more every single day. I don't remember what it means to feel rested or to feel comfortable. I can barely speak English anymore, but speaking Italian stresses me out. WHO CARES? Smile anyway.
We all have trials. Some are big, some are little, and some are just weird. I went through a while this week when I was just really sad. I was tired of feeling like I wasn't really helping anyone. But I realized there was no point in being sad. If I let myself be sad, then I'm not going to be able to do this work. I can only do this work when I'm grateful everyday to be a part of it.
So I changed my attitude and decided to smile anyway. This doesn't work if you don't find reasons to be happy. If all you're doing is plastering a fake smile on your face, it doesn't help anyone. The smile has to be real. Luckily, we're in a habit of finding miracles. These help, I promise!
As soon as I made the choice, life became a little better. We saw many miracles this week. On Sunday we ate lunch with our district president and his family. It was wonderful! We talked about the work and his vision to move this district forward so one day we can be a stake. He asked us to do training for the branch mission leaders. What a blessing! Also, I found out, when he served his mission in Milano, he served in my ward. Milano Navigli! He also baptized one of my favorite members, Fratello Angiulli, who later became a bishop.
Also at church we had a visitor from Ghana! He was here on business. He was a mission president in Nigeria until this last June. He came up to talk to my companion and me. He told us how he was baptized in England 35 years ago. When he went to Utah to be trained as a mission president, his two sister missionaries met him at the airport. BEAUTIFUL!
Let me tell you - miracles happen. Life itself is a miracle. It's not always easy to be happy 100% of the time. But it's worth a try. I love Rimini, and looking back I wouldn't change my experiences here for the world. We've had a lot of success in different ways then we have been expecting. Our branch is full of some of the best member missionaries in the world. All they want to do is share the gospel. I'm so grateful for them.
I'm also grateful for all of you. Thank you for your prayers. I felt them this week more than ever.
I love you.
|Our beautiful park.|
|La famiglia Caramia e Michelle|
|Our district trying to pull ourselves together.|
It's not easy for us.
|Me and my little Sorella Gjika.|
|Anziani Gibbons e Tolman.|
|Sorelle Lofley e Gjika.|
|Old Wild West|
|Sorella Strong and me at Old Wild West!|