June 13, 2012
I finally managed to find Drake and tell him to meet me for a picture with Elder Austin Madsen, and Elder Tanner Weatherston. It’s so great to see so many people here I know. I saw all my college roommates and Cody Andrus put his papers back in and got his call to Salt Lake City South Spanish Speaking. He already left last week so he already did his time here. Allen Hawkins (from Washington) is doing great and he left to his mission last week. Tanner Hansen from (Boise) just finished his 9 weeks here last week and shipped off to Frankfurt Germany. No word on what Derek Buckner is doing (California)
Ok now to the good stuff
OHHH Girl... this last week was a rollercoaster to say the least. My companion got out of surgery last week. He will be in a sling for 6 weeks. He has not come to class in a week so he now has to add on 6 weeks to his stay at the MTC. He will have to stay behind with the rest of the new Italians coming in next week. It’s all been really hard taking care of him. It’s like dads knee surgery all over again! Ha-ha just kidding, dad you were way worse than him. We are all very happy for his decision to stay here, but with that decision it has placed the burden of the entire zone to watch him through the day since he can’t go to class someone has to missionarysit. We rotate out on who watches so no one misses too much class. It has been a HUGE struggle to catch up in class. Every day we are expected to master an entire part of the dialect in one day. It’s terrible! I.E. Yesterday was using verb conjugations in the future tense (AKA) Squash verbs and super squash verbs. I am about 10 days behind the rest of the class, but I usually make up 2 days in one. It’s just a lot of hard work. I’m starting to get very nervous about Italy though... and I know everyone says hey it will be fine, but I’m not sure you understand what is about. Someone’s Eternal Salvation is at stake and they might not get that because I can’t speak the language. Now you tell me it’s not time to be worrying when we’re talking about that. Yes the Lord will help us out, but it’s not like I’m going to spend a week In Italy and then be able to say whatever I want. I have to work my very hardest so when I get to Italy I can say, I did my best and there was nothing more I can do. Then the Lord will help us with the rest.
I got emails from the new missionaries in Italy and they said in their own words "I was ready to come home after day 2 in Italy" It is literally that hard. What a humbling experience it is to learn a language. You go from knowing so much to knowing so little. Something we use more than anything else in our daily lives is words. If you can’t say anything you go crazy very fast. THIS is by far the HARDEST thing I have ever done. No questions about it. I would fill 10,000 antifreeze tanks before I do this ever again.
I love what Jeffery R Holland says about being a missionary.
He asks “why is it so hard? Why are people not just lining up to be baptized? We have the true gospel, they know it’s true and you know it’s true. But they won’t be baptized. The answer is that Salvation is not cheap. If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ you better be ready to suffer a fraction of what he felt! YOU wear his name and a part of that comes with a few steps to the summit of Calvary, The road to salvation leads through the garden of Gethsemane. Now we will never suffer as he did. But we are expected to grow up and follow the rules!"
Anyways that’s just a little bit of my favorite talk of all time that Holland gave here. Its go time and I am now on the 3 week countdown. Time is ticking and it’s getting harder and more intense. It’s only going to get harder when I get to Italy. Ya in Italy the food is great, the cities are great, the people are amazing. But this isn’t some vacation and touring around Italy. This is day in, day out Work, Work, Work. Even on P-day its work work work.
What a blessing it is to serve a mission. I feel like I have already changed so much. You get weird here Fast! Missionary weird that is and that is a good thing. If I were to come home now none of you would know who I was (I’m NOT coming home though!) sorry mom
One last thing. The other day for the first time I saw a family. For the first time in 2 months! I had not seen a family. Some family came onto the MTC campus when I happened to be practicing placing book of mormons. I felt a peace, a joy, happiness. A realization of why gods plan of happiness is centered around the family! Love your family, they are the most important social unit of all time. God is our loving Padre Celeste, the plan of salvation is made for families to be together forever. Jesus Christ is the son of God and through him we can obtain eternal life with our families. I love my family and this church is true!
Amore Tantissimo (tons of love)