|Me and Sorella Walch|
Sorella Walch and I went on an exciting adventure last Saturday. One of our members gave us a referral for someone they wanted us to go visit. Here's the deal; they didn't know where this family lives. So they told us to just go out to their little town and casa the whole place. We were expecting a super small town with a couple of streets, maybe 50 houses, tops. We were wrong. The place was pretty huge. So basically we just walked down the streets looking for the family’s name on a house. We were unsuccessful, but it was such a cute town and a day we'll probably never forget.
While we were looking for this family, we got a call from Anziano Reeve. He told us Manuel had texted him in the middle of the night and wanted him to give a talk. Well, Anziano Reeve asked me to give it for him. I didn't really mind though, I love the opportunity to give talks.
I didn't have much time to prepare it, but Manuel called me that night and just told me to talk about the things I've learned on the mission. So I made a list, but to talk about everything I've learned would take far too much time. So I narrowed it down to three. I'll be honest here, I was a super nervous for this talk, because I didn't feel prepared, and that's a wee bit scary when giving a talk in Italian. I ended up going up with nothing more than the three points and a couple of scriptures.
I've never felt so led by the spirit in my life. As I talked about the things I've learned, I realized how lucky I've been to serve in this incredible place, surrounded by these incredible people. I wouldn't trade what I have learned here or the experiences I've had for anything in the world. What have I learned? I'm sure I've let you in on these things before.
Miracles happen everyday. There's not a single day that passes in which we don't witness a miracle. I'm not saying we're always aware or appreciate it, but it's there. As I was speaking, I was struck by how lucky we are to live in a time where the priesthood has been restored to the earth. The power of God is literally here, with us. We live in a time when we can take part in the fullness of the gospel. If that isn't a miracle, I don't know what is.
Happiness is a choice. When we choose to follow the commandments, we choose to be happy, but it's more than that. In our moments of sadness and despair, we have the ability to choose how to react, how to continue. When we choose to move forward and to focus on the good, we choose to be happy. Often when you ask Italians how they are doing, the response is "Andiamo avanti" or "We go forward." There is no point in staying in the same place with sadness in your heart. We keep moving forward, we focus on the good, and we share that good with others.
Missionary work isn't easy. God never said it would be. In fact, He clearly told us it would be difficult. To the sons of Mosiah he said, "Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls." Alma 17:11. So it won't be easy. You will have afflictions, but do it anyway, and you will be an instrument in the hands of God. What happened? Ammon tells us, "And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work. Behold, thousands of them do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God." Alma 26:3-4. God fulfills His promises to us, and He did promise us it would be difficult, so it will be. But He also promised us that it would be worth it, so it will be. We will be able to help people in as much as we give our best. This applies to every member, not just the missionaries. We all promised to do this work; we promised to do it when we were baptized. God will help us, but we have to do our part.
I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to think about what I've learned. There's so much more, but these three things have truly blessed my mission, and I know they will continue to bless my life.
I love you all, and I hope that you have the best week of your lives.
Con tutto il mio cuore
Sorella Ellen Rose Ervin
P.S. (from Ellen's mom) This coming Monday is Ellen's birthday. If you would like to, you can send her a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures from Torrino Zone Training
|The sorelle with sweet Nick. He's the best!|