|Just the coolest mask you ever did see,|
straight from Venezia [Venice].
This week has truly been full of many emotions. As we've worked this week, we've seen so many miracles. I realize more each and every day how much I love my mission. We were visiting a member of our ward this week whose husband has been inactive for over 40 years. He is usually content to visit with us, but leaves as soon as we start to share a spiritual thought or lesson. This week, however, as he got up to leave we invited him to stay, as always. For the first time in years he decided to stay! As we were leaving, he thanked us for always coming and told us how much he appreciates it. I adore this man. He and his wife love opera, and we were all singing together. Can there be anything better than this lesson?
Saturday we rode our bikes literally forever. We were up in the mountains searching out members to give brownies to. We found every single one. God truly blessed us because we were without maps and had never been there before, but we found them. Many miracles happened this day, but two truly stand out to me. First, we were riding our bikes down a little tiny country rode, and a car was behind us. After a few minutes they passed us, slowly, and then stopped ahead of us and got out of the car. I've been a missionary long enough to know that this means you are either about to have a miracle or you are going to have to ride your bikes very quickly as you call the Anziani to come help you. Meno male [thank God] it was a miracle. This man asked if we were the Mormons, and then said he had been looking for us. He had been doing family history, and when he went to the city for information, they told him to find us because, "The Mormons take the best care of this work in the world." How cool is that? He was so excited to find us, and of course we were thrilled.
Later in the evening we were visiting our ward mission leader for the military ward and his family. He wasn't home when we first got there, but his wife let us in, and we had a really good visit. As we were getting ready to leave, he pulled up on his motorcycle. He came into the house, and we were able to share a message with them. The next day during fast and testimony meeting he gave the most beautiful testimony. That evening he had been planning to go to the commissary, but something told him to go home instead. He fought it, because he was in the mood for some good food, but he felt like he just needed to go home. As he pulled up he saw our two bikes in front of his house and then, as he put it, "looked into my front window to watch two servants of the Lord teaching my family in my home." His eyes filled with tears as he told the story. I felt at that moment a great love for my calling, that I am able to help others feel this spirit.
|My three beautiful companions. Please ignore my|
Well, Monday rolled around, as did my very last zone conference. I felt so blessed to have with me many missionaries I have served with throughout my mission . . . three of my companions - Sorella Strong, Sorella Russell, and Sorella Curtis - Anziano Johnson and Sorella Bennett from my MTC group, and Anziano Heaton from my very first district, not to mention my zone and district now, AND President and Sorella Dibb. What a very bittersweet day this was. We were spiritually fed and inspired. At the end of this conference, Sorella Bennet gave her dying testimony and then it was my turn. WOW, I cannot tell you how beautiful this moment was for me. My heart was breaking, and yet I felt the most beautiful outpouring of love for these missionaries and this country. As I was allowed to reflect and share on the most important lessons of my mission, I truly realized how much I have learned. At the same time, I realized I really do have to go home. I felt so blessed for this experience.
Last night we were able to go to a Europe area conference for women. Elder Ballard and Elder Bednar both spoke to us via satellite, and I was definitely in need of things they shared with us. One of the speakers talked about broken hearts, and she shared with us a Jewish Proverb. There is nothing so whole as a broken heart. I know exactly what this means and how it feels. My heart is breaking inside of me, because I have to go forward with my life. As excited as I am, this means that I must say goodbye to the mission that has meant so much to me these last 18 months. After Monday, I know that its time, even if I would like to stay another 18 months, now's the time to go. I feel so blessed for what I've learned here and so blessed that I have one more week to learn even more. But I am excited to come home, to see you, my family and friends. I truly have missed you. I love you all so much, and I'll talk to you next week!
Sorella Ellen Rose Ervin
|My beautiful zone.|
|Me, Sorella Curtis, and Sorella Bennett|
|Reading letters on the way home from conference.|
|Me and Sorella Curtis.|
|I'm sure going to miss riding along fields of beauty.|
|Remember him? Little Anziano Heaton from my first district.|
|Sweet Sorella Bennett|