|Me and Anziano Betchi|
Thursday we had zone training. As always I love seeing missionaries. Anziano Betchie gave us little Canadian flag pins for Christmas. He's the greatest. The best part of zone training was definitely the end. MAIL! I received probably the best gift I ever could have gotten. Letters from all you wonderful people. I didn't have time to read them then, obviously. We went to the station with the Sorelle from Torino, and we grabbed a quick lunch. Sorella Walch and I had a few extra minutes before our train left, so we walked into a bookstore and saw . . . Disney movies, in Italian, on sale. We each bought one. I'm not quite sure why, because we won't be watching them for at least nine months, but I'm excited comunque.
|Anziano Valencia and his favorite tie.|
On the train I started reading letters. At last I came to a fat envelope. I opened it and all at once there were tears in my eyes. Twenty-five letters from some of the people I love most. Thank you. My mom had meant it to be an advent calander for December, but I didn't get it until January. I'm counting that as a miracle. I received those 25 beautiful letters exactly when I needed them most. I read all 25 on the way home, and my heart was filled with so much joy and so much love for you, my family and friends. Thank you.
Last night at English Course, I taught my class, "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes." Yes, I'm the best English teacher in the world. Ok, lets be honest, I'm probably the worst. Paolo had walked into class and was standing in the back watching. When I told them what we were going to do, he started laughing and said, "That's a kids game." Well, yes, but I maintain that it can be fun for anyone. My English class is the best; they just went along with it. At one point Stefano closed the curtains because he didn't want anyone to see us. Oh, Stefano. I think Paolo might hate me because I made him join us. Oh well, he's still letting us come over for dinner tonight.
We had a super beautiful experience with one of our investigators. She called us one morning while we were studying and asked us to pray for her. Later, she called us again and asked us to pray for something more specific. At the end of the day, we set up an appointment with her for the next morning, and she also asked if we could find someone to give her a blessing. The anziani were, of course, more then willing. It was a beautiful lesson, and in the end she received a beautiful blessing. Time after time on my mission, I am reminded of how beautiful the priesthood power is. A blessing is truly a miracle. The opportunity to hear God speak to one of His children through the blessing is something I hope I never take for granted. The next day, this sweet woman came to church. There was such a change in her. It wasn't that everything she was worried about went away, but she was able to better face it. There was a beautiful light in her eyes.
This is what the gospel does. It restores the natural light into our eyes. I think we're all born with this light. Babies and young children have it; I'm absolutely certain. But throughout our lives it begins to be dimmed as we go through the tests and trials all of us must face. Our burdens weigh down upon us, and we begin to feel alone, even when surrounded by people who love us. But when we have the gospel, those simple sacred truths we hold to be most dear, the light comes back. We're reminded of Gods love, reminded that there is someone who shares our burdens, who has walked through every test and every trial by our side. If we let Him, He often carries us. When we recognize Christ as our Savior and every beautiful truth that goes along with His Gospel, there is hope and joy in our lives once again. The light in our eyes is rekindled and burns bright.
I love you all. Thank you again for the letters and for your prayers. I pray for you daily and I can't wait to hear what happens in your lives this next year.
Vi Voglio Bene