Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chapter 57: "Happy Easter, Harry!"

That ๐Ÿ‘†๐Ÿผis how my comp greeted me Easter morning, since she knows how much I love Harry Potter. What a gem.

Hey friends! I hope you all had an INCREDIBLE Easter!! Alright I'm not gonna lie, it's been a really hard week. Buuuut luckily it's also been a week of awesome miracles and crazy good experiences, so I can't really complain๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผ‍♀️ gotta love the rollercoaster of life, yeah? And we woke up at 5am to spend today at *wait for it* CINQUE TERRE!! It was insanely beautiful!! Get excited for these pictures ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ok so last Wednesday after Pday stuff, we went out with the youth to do some finding, specifically based on the Book of Mormon. We did splits with them, and had some super cool experiences. One was with a guy who claimed to be an atheist. Sorella Arndt and I love talking to Atheists because so far, we've been able to get 100% of them to admit by the end of the conversation that there IS, in fact, a God! This guy was super awesome, and he even admitted in the end that he thinks God migh have sent us to specifically find him that day. I think he is right๐Ÿ˜‰ It was awesome overall- these youth are so amazing!

Thursday was a day of member appointments, extending President Allen's invitation for members to invite their friends and family members to meet with the missionaries. It's been such a humbling experience. So far every single member we've extended this invite to have called or texted friends about meeting with us. They've all had various fears and excuses at the start, but in the end have all gotten up the courage and faith invite their friends and family to come uno Christ. It's super inspiring to me- I think of how often I was the member at home who was too scared or too busy or just too awkward to share the gospel with friends and whatnot. Gosh dang it, these Italians are just too good❤

Friday, we got up dark and early to head over to Pisa for scambio. I was with Sorella Arkell, a young but awesome missionary! I've never met a missionary so good at being lovingly bold- I'm pretty sure I learned more from the scambio than she did! We biked from appointment to appointment, so that was new. I mean, awesome because who doesn't want to ride a bike through beautiful toscana? Buuuut also pretty rough when we rode for literally hours in the hot sun. And I haven't been in a biking city my whole mission. Oh mamma, my butt still hasn't recovered, lol.๐Ÿšฒ Make fun of me if you want๐Ÿ˜‚but hey, you try riding a bike for two hours after a year of not doing it, and then lemme know how your booty feels. Gosh. It was fun though because we got to meet with some people who knew both my trainer Sorella Smith, and my bff Sorella Anderson! Super cool to spend a day serving in their birth city! We got home from Pisa Saturday morning (after doing morning workouts at theLeaning Tower, of course). Literally none of our investigators could meet last week, which was a bummer. Buuut we made good use of that time by meeting with some more members and less actives, so yay!

Sunday was EASTER! So many awesome lessons during church! And then we went over to the Morelli family for Easter lunch! Haha, and so many members gave us food for Easter lol. Easter egg hunts may not be a thing here, buuuut Italy does have giant chocolate eggs with a surprise inside and who doesn't want that??

Remember how Italy likes making up their own holidays? Same. So Monday was essentially Easter part 2 lol. So there was a super huge Easter lunch at the church, so that was fun! ALSO we were out doing passbys (since holidays in Easter typically mean no busses and no one wanting to meet, lol). We saw the name "Cabezas" on a citofono and were like "oh that's funny, there's a fam in our ward with that last name" and so we rang. And it wasn't them. But it was their niece Carolina and her family. And they are not members. And they let us in. And we had an amazing lesson with them. And we are coming back Friday. I. Love. Them. I can just see this adorable family getting baptized, and I'm sooooo stoked we were able to find them!!๐Ÿค—❤ they have a 2 year old son named Christian who kept playing his accordion and pretending to be a dinosaur during the lesson. I want to adopt him.

Yesterday was awesome! We had normal Tuesday stuff like English class and district meeting, but we got a new investigator and she is amazing! She is also named Carolina lol, but she's like 19 and is basically our new best friend. Like seriously it was one of the best lessons ever! She is sooooooo ready for the gospel! She talked to us about how she is missing peace in her life, and she wants what we have! She had so many awesome questions, and we are seeing her again on Friday as well! Seriously, a miracle week!!

Well friends, this is the last week of video-themed spiritual thoughts (although if you STILL haven't seen the actual video, here ya go https://www.mormon.org/?player=bc lol)

3- Prince of Peace

This week has been pretty hard. Just physically and emotionally and just all the ways. Obviously tons of miracles as you've seen, but a rough week nonetheless. Interestingly enough, I was rereading my journal from the MTC, and realized last year's Easter week was pretty hard too! I don't remember all that went into it, but it was apparently a difficult week. I remember last year on the Friday before Easter, our district was having a hard day. Our teachers came in and noticed that something was off, and decided to change our lesson to talk about Easter, and specifically the death, Atonement, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And that changed everything for me.

I remembered it then, and I remembered it this week- that Easter week was also hard for someone else. It was easily the hardest week for Christ. There's a quote by Joseph B Wirthlin that I love (shout out to mom for randomly sending it this week, you champ!)

"It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow. Of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest.
Each of us will have our own Fridays-those days when the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. But I testify to you, in the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. 
The Messiah overcame all, that we could live forever.”

Meno male it's been Easter time, so that I could remember and reflect upon His hardest week. Sorella Arndt and I have been memorizing The Living Christ in Italian, and I'm so so so grateful for the knowledge and testimony we can attain of Him during this life. Plus, I'm studying Romans in the New Testament (Paul is just a boss. I'm loving it) and chapter 8 is literally the best. Just look at how it ends๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So I guess those are my scrambled thoughts after this awful, no good, really bad week that also happened to be full of miracles. 

He lives

Nothing can separate us from His love. 

Through Him, we are conquerors

And Sunday will come.

Sorella Smedley ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿ’

1-4 Pisa scambio   5-8 Leaning Tower   9&10- Easter!    11-23- P-day in Cinque Terre

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