“We can never be the same again.”

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 11:58 a.m.

Hello hello!

Ce mai faceți? How are you all doing? Our P-day was switched to Wednesday just so you all know why I haven’t responded to you. 🙂

Here are the highlights of the week!

– Last Monday after our p-day ended, we had the most amazing lesson with our investigator, Emil. We were teaching him the Atonement. While we were teaching, the Spirit was SO STRONG. We all bore personal testimony of how the Atonement has blessed our lives and of our love for Jesus Christ and then we sang “I Stand All Amazed” to him in Romanian. Singing in Romanian is beautiful. It’s seriously so pretty. The first thing I bought here at the MTC was a Romanian hymnbook. I love it. Anyways, our lesson was amazing—so far my favorite one the Spirit has taught through us here at the MTC.

– I found a quote by Elder M. Russell Ballard that expresses exactly what I want to continually find in my mission and throughout my life. He says: “As we commit ourselves to Jesus Christ – spiritually, physically, and emotionally – He blesses our lives with loving direction. Every decision we make from that time on is affected, because there are certain things a man or woman of Christ simply will not do. Our actions become more disciplined, our relationships become more righteous; even our language becomes more pure as we live a life that is centered on Jesus Christ and His teachings. Simply put, after the Spirit of Christ enters our hearts and our souls, we can never be the same again.” Isn’t that fantastic? I completely reevaluated my behavior and heart after reading that.

– Elder Oaks and his sweet wife came to talk to us on Tuesday night. Sister Oaks left her dying mother to come! She bore such a powerful testimony of missionary work and talked about her own mission. She told us that we are “servants of The Most High and He has great blessings for you and will watch over you.” So amazing. Then Elder Oaks spoke to us. This sounds weird but he started to talk to us and I started to cry because I could just feel so much love in his voice and see it in his countenance. He talked about the three different challenges missionaries face. He called them 1) The Challenge to Change, 2) The Challenge to Achieve and 3) The Challenge to Become. I’ll send my notes home this week so you can get a better sense of what he said because I don’t have time to write everything now. 🙂

– I made a commitment to myself this week as I listened to Elder Oaks, that I want to attend the temple weekly for the rest of my life. Go every week after I get home, every week when I get married, every week when I have a family. I just know how essential it is for us to return to the temple often to receive guidance, blessings, and remind ourselves of our eternal goal. I also made a goal that when I get married, I want to continue to do “companion study” with my husband. I love companion study here on a mission and I’ve seen the blessings that it brings to our companionship and I don’t see why it would be any different with my husband. If anything, it’ll be even better! 🙂

– Favorite scriptures from this week: 2 Timothy 4:7-8; 1 Nephi 3:7; 1 Nephi 11:16-17; Alma 7:11-13; D&C 50:10-24; D&C 101:35-36; Moses 7:26, 28; 3 Nephi 17:5-6; 3 Nephi 22 – the whole chapter. 🙂 Just fantastic.

I love you all!! You are always in my prayers 🙂

Sora (Emily) Marcheschi

 

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“Keep Doing What You’re Doing . . .”

Monday, April 21, 2014 at 3:27 p.m.

Hello everyone!! One more week down and three more to go!

So highlights of this week: TOO MANY TO EVEN COUNT
– On Tuesday night, Elder Neil A. Andersen and his wife came to our devotional and spoke to us. He gave such an awesome devotional about the Book of Mormon and how it just always testifies of Christ. His talk was interactive so we got to share places in the Book of Mormon where it teaches/testifies about Christ and His Atonement. He talked also about the Doctrine of Christ and said we need to get it “deep within our hearts so that it will never leave us.” He told us to learn to LOVE the Doctrine of Christ, and LIVE it every day. His wife was a sweetheart and told us their story of how they would read and study a conference talk by one of The Twelve or The First Presidency every week for FHE and I thought that was such a fantastic idea. We should all be studying the words of our modern-day prophets – those conference talks are latter-day scripture and there is so much to gain from reading them.
– Stephen!! I wrote you a birthday letter and have some presents for you but just have not had time to send them! Maybe I can get them to you by Thursday 🙂 I hope your birthday and week was the BEST. You are such a great example to me and I’m so proud of you for being ordained as a teacher! What an incredible experience. I hope you love the opportunities you have to exercise the priesthood. Throughout my time so far in the MTC, my testimony of the priesthood has grown tenfold. It truly has the power to bless all those who utilize it. You are given that gift from God as a way to truly help others and it will bring you and everyone you serve tons of happiness and blessings. 🙂 I’ve been praying that you will know what to do about football. I know sometimes it can be hard to choose what is right, especially when you’re not sure given those tough circumstances. But I know that if you pray and ask for the Lord’s guidance that He will help you. Sometimes you even have to go to Him, already having made a decision and then He will let you know what to do. And sometimes He won’t even answer you, or it will seem like He isn’t answering, because He knows you already know what to do, or it doesn’t matter because either choice will be ok. John Bytheway once said something like, “In the absence of a ‘NO,’ keep moving forward.” I know that whatever you choose, it will work out for the best 🙂 Love you bud.
– I GOT TO SEE DAD!!! Thursday was the best day in my entire life. So I woke up and I wore my pink shirt with the crabs on it so I already knew it was going to be a great day. Then we had study time and I had one of the best personal study sessions since being here. Then came lunchtime and I knew that Dad was in the building. Hahaha, all my friends here were laughing at me because I literally COULD NOT SIT STILL. I was checking the door in the cafeteria every 20 seconds or so. Everyone was asking me what he looked like and I said my dad was tall, and sort of bald. So then they were pointing out almost EVERY old man that walked by asking if it was my dad. I couldn’t stop laughing and then I SAW HIM. I jumped right out of my chair and bolted out of the cafeteria and yelled “DAD!” and then ran and hugged him so hard. I started tearing up I was so incredibly happy. I was so happy. So so happy to see him. And that was only after 2 1/2 weeks; I can’t even imagine what it will be like to see you all again in 18 months. 🙂 Dad was able to come and see my classroom and we talked a bit in Romanian for him (see if you can get that video up on my blog!!). I was so glad he got to meet the Italy missionaries in our zone. And he got me my bag with letters and skirts which I was so happy for. 🙂 Seeing him lifted me in ways I can’t even explain and helped me have strength for the rest of that week which was the hardest so far of my experience here.
– I loved the packages you sent this week! And the sweet Papenfuss family sent me a box of Krispy Kreme donuts – THANK YOU 🙂 It made me feel so special. And very popular with the rest of the missionaries. 🙂
– Mom, thank you thank you for my patriarchal blessing. That was a Godsend for me this week. I really needed to read it again and it helped me so much.
– Saturday night our zone got together and watched the Mormon Message “He is Risen.” By the end we were almost all in tears. We shared our thoughts and testimonies after and the Spirit was so present in that room. It truly was a holy and sacred experience. Like so many we have here on our missions.
– EASTER. EASTER. EASTER. and PRESIDENT UCHTDORF. Yeah, that happened. We had a special Sacrament Meeting with him and it was so cool. We all took the sacrament in the gym and then President Uchtdorf spoke to us. His message was so amazing. I can’t even describe everything I was feeling as he spoke. His message was centered around Easter (obviously). I’ll share my notes with you all cause there’s no way to write everything I want to. He told us that we should be aware that we celebrate Easter week every Sunday when we partake of the Sacrament. Then he told us the story of Peter, and how he turned from a fearful, weak, disciple of Christ to a revitalized, fearless, champion of God – because of the Resurrection. I don’t have enough time to write everything, but I’ll write it this week and send it home to you, Mom.

Honestly, this week was the hardest I’ve had since being here. I was getting discouraged from the littlest things, but they hit me so hard. I can’t explain all the reasons why, here, but sufficeth it to say that I was really down and others were noticing. Apparently I’m like always chipper and happy with everyone so when I’m not they worry about me. Everyone I’m serving with is amazing. So my day and week had been really hard and then on Thursday we had individual coaching sessions with our teachers. I had mine with Frate Frandsen and before we started he asked if I’d offer a prayer. I started out in Romanian and I immediately got choked up as I thanked Heavenly Father for the chance I have to be a missionary and as I asked for help to be a better teacher, and to have a sense of peace and a feeling of reassurance. After I closed, sweet Frate (Brother) Frandsen just looked at me in the eyes and said, “What’s going on?” I kind of chuckled and said that it had been a weird week. I shared what had happened and why I was feeling the way I was feeling and how I was struggling. It was funny/weird because until now I’ve really been good and ok. Of course there have been hard things and thing I haven’t liked but I’ve just taken them and moved on with a good attitude. He looked at me with a smile when I was finished and said, “You’re like my wife…you take and take and take and then things build up and burst.” (Ok – when he first said “you’re like my wife” I had to restrain myself from laughing so hard – it was just a completely unexpected comment). He then told me that he wished he had a solution but he really didn’t and that he would share his feelings with me instead. Then he so sincerely told me, “I understand. I really do.” He continued to say, “All those things you’re feeling/dealing with aren’t from God. So just throw them off. The adversary is going to and is working so hard on and against you because you have incredible potential. And I don’t say that lightly. I’ve seen a lot of missionaries – I’ve been involved with them every day for the past 4 years of my life – and I don’t say that to every missionary, if any at all. But Romania needs more missionaries like you Sister (Sora) Marcheschi. So just keep going. Keep doing what you’re doing ’cause you’re doing it right.” I felt so grateful and touched to hear those things from him. It helped me a lot.

Go read 3 Nephi 17!!! Favorite chapter from this week. 🙂

Love you all! Stay classy!

Em

Seeing Dad at the MTC

On Thursday, April 17, Michael had meetings at the MTC and Emily saw him when he poked his head into the cafeteria. She ran to him, hugged him, introduced him to her companions and teacher, and showed him her classroom. What a special treat.

Em comps MTC 4.17.14

Emily with her companions, Sister Anderson (WA) on the left and Sister Honey (Australia) in the middle, in their classroom

Em MTC 4.17.14

Emily with her companions and the other two sisters (going to Italy) in her zone–she is the “Sister Training Leader”

 

Teaching with the Spirit

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.

Hello Hello!!

That’s what I always say to everyone in my zone and they laugh at me. Whatever :). How is everyone doing?? I LOVE getting your letters. They are the BEST! And thanks so much for sending some to the Elders and Sisters in my district and zone. All my district Elders loved the letters from you, Julia. 🙂 Stephen, Elder Helton told me that the letter you wrote him was really cool and that he’d write you back so check the mail.

Honestly, I’m trying so hard to remember everything that happened this week. It’s a struggle sometimes to even remember what I ate for breakfast by the end of the day, so hopefully the letters I send home during the week can help you get a feel for each week I spend here.

I’ve had some awesome personal studies this week. I’ve been going straight through the Book of Mormon and then reading along in Romanian for about 20 minutes at the end. In 1 Nephi 15:5-6, Nephi is talking about how he feels overwhelmed with the knowledge that his people will be destroyed. This is my entry: “So sometimes I feel like I worry or think too much. Sometimes I’m really sad and overwhelmed like I felt last night. I love these verses because Nephi was feeling overwhelmed about his afflictions, which he felt ‘were great above all.’ But then in the next verse he says, ‘…I had received strength…’ The Lord doesn’t ever leave us alone or overwhelmed when we need His help.” As I thought more about it this week, I realized that the Lord will let us struggle and labor and be overwhelmed, so we have the opportunity to exercise our faith in Him and then (at least for me this week), He will bless us.

We had the most amazing experience this week as a district. We taught one of our teachers as if she were our investigator but she didn’t play a character, she played herself. We asked her questions before we taught her about herself and what she was going through in her life. As we then prepared, all of us got so much inspiration as to what she needed. I felt specifically prompted to tell her that there is such a peace that comes through prayer, that God knows her and loves her and that He wants and is going to answer all her questions and prayers. We started teaching and the inspiration didn’t stop. Elder Boydstun asked her what she wanted from God right now and she thought about it and then said, “reassurance.” As people kept talking, I felt inspired to share with her some personal stories and then read her D&C 121:7-8. I told her the story behind that section (as well as 122 and 123). I testified to her that she is not alone. God knows her and knows her desires and that if she endures this well, she will be blessed, grow and God will answer her prayers. Then Elder Boydstun shared a scripture with her and his testimony. We all were pretty emotional, including him and the Spirit in the room was incredibly tangible. I haven’t felt happier in any moment since being at the MTC as I did right then. After we ended, our other teacher Frate Simmons said, “This is what it feels like to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands.” If that’s what it feels like, then I want that, and that feeling, for the rest of my life, not just here in the mission. Best day so far :).

I forgot to tell you that Vocal Point came last Sunday for the devotional and sang for us and then last night the BYU Men’s Chorus was there!! It’s such a blessing and a curse ’cause I see people I know and tons of my friends. But it mostly feels like a blessing, especially since we can’t listen to music here at the MTC. Men’s Chorus sang “O Magnum Mysterium” (Mom go listen to this!! I think it’s the Lauridsen version), He ain’t heavy, He’s my brother (MY FAVORITE) and then a Maori song where they did the Haka!!! All the sister missionaries got a little excited about that, hahaha. I was laughing so hard. During their devotional I wrote a little letter to Sister Applonie and then at the end ran it up to Sister Hall and asked her if she could pass it on to her for me. She said yes and gave me a HUGE hug and told me she loved me. Totally cried. I know that the Lord always knows exactly what we need and when we are in His service and living our lives like He has asked, He is able to bestow those little blessings when we need them. OBEDIENCE GUYS. We literally CANNOT receive blessings unless we are obedient to the laws they are predicated upon. That is so important. God wants to bless us all the time because He LOVES US, but He can’t unless we keep His laws.

I love you all!!!! I am having SO much fun 🙂 Please keep writing! It makes every day so great. I think there was a day I didn’t get a letter from you guys and I was so sad, hahaha. Thank goodness for awesome friends and companions and the Lord.

Favorites scriptures this week:
D&C 121:7-8
D&C 122:5-9 (I love Joseph Smith. What a man.)

I love you all!! Stay classy!!!

Em

Her first week!

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 1:27 p.m.

FAMILY!!!!! HIIIIIIII!!! 🙂

The MTC is so great!! Today has been the first pretty day we’ve had though that isn’t too cold, or rainy. But it’s such a blessing because we got to go to the temple this morning and it was gorgeous. I love my district and my zone!!! We have all the Elders and Sisters going to Romania as well as ITALY. So I hear and am picking up Italian all the time too 🙂 So much fun 🙂 The language is difficult but it hasn’t been too hard for me yet. The only thing that’s frustrating is not knowing everything I want to know NOW, so that I can teach how I wish I could, you know?

Haha, how are you?! This is the first we have been able to email but did you get my letter? I sent it Thursday so hopefully you’ve gotten it by now. The MTC is so great!!! I truly love it here. The first day was crazy. You’re just kind of sent off in all these random directions without much clue of what the heck you’re doing but it’s awesome.

I have THE BEST companions. Their names are Sora Honey and Sora Anderson. I just love them. S. Honey is from Australia and is loud and fun and we just laugh all the time. S. Anderson is so sweet. She is humble and teachable and helps us focus which is great. Our district has another pair of Sisters and a companionship of three Elders. We’re also in a zone with all the Elders and Sisters that are going to Italy!! They are so hilarious and we have a blast all together. We’re always laughing about something. Like last night, Elder Blair and Elder Anderson (Italy Elders and our ZL’s, haha) decided to do the gallon challenge (more like half gallon) at dinner with chocolate milk. It was pretty interesting. Elder Anderson held up alright but about 30 minutes later Elder Blair was running for the bathroom. Hahaha, we were dying. We’ve started this running quote board with all the funny things people say in our zone. I wish I could tell you all of the funny quotes but they just won’t be as funny to you, haha :).

L - R: Sora Timmins, Sora Cox, Sora Honey, Sora Marcheschi, Sora Anderson

Sora Timmins, Sora Cox, Sora Honey, Sora Marcheschi, Sora Anderson

Mighty Zone Elders :)

Mighty Zone Elders 🙂

Zone Sisters with treats!

Zone Sisters with treats!

The second day we got really into the language. It’s going to be hard but I’m so glad I’ve taken French and Italian – it makes it so much easier, not only because I can understand more and speak it a little better but also because I’ve been taught how to learn a language before. It’s so humbling though because you really feel so frustrated that you can’t say all that you want to. It’s the most frustrating when we’re teaching our investigator, Christian, and he asks things and we have no idea what he’s saying so all we can do is just bear a simple version of our testimonies. I realized the other day, as well, that I’m always going to be asking myself “Is there anything more I can do?” I know that the only way I’m going to learn the language and be able to teach and serve these people is if I’m doing EVERYTHING I can possibly do. But it’s a great feeling to go to bed each night completely physically and spiritually exhausted. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen asleep so fast before in my entire life.

Friday night we had our gym time and that is going to be a saving grace here at the MTC. It’s a lifesaver to have that time to decompress and just have fun. It’s also completely necessary because they feed you so often here. I swear it’s like I eat, sit down, eat, sit down, eat, sit down, go to bed. And the food is good but it’s already gotten old. It’s just not the same, ya know? My companion S. Honey and I are doing our best to eat healthy and to not eat too much which is so nice and makes the BIGGEST difference.

I’ve run into so many people! Dad, I ran into your friend, Brother Jarman, which was such a tender mercy to have that second day at the MTC. He spoke so highly of you and I was so proud to be your daughter :). I see Elder Huckvale ALL the time and he’s such a positive influence for me so it’s a blessing that I get to see him as often as I do. Christine!!! Haha, so I have some people who know you in my zone! There is an Elder Chase Minor, and an Elder Palazzo (Spencer’s friend!). There is also an Elder Gallagher. They all told me to say hi to you!! They think you’re pretty great 🙂 Chris, I LOVE reading your letters. That first email you sent home was such a blessing to me and helped me feel so much better. You are a great strength to me and I’m so grateful to have an amazing sister serving with me!!! LOVE YOU!!!

My teachers here at the MTC are so great. We have one teacher who is actually FROM Romania so he is awesome and incredibly helpful at explaining certain language differences and the culture to us. Our other teachers are so sweet and helpful and you can tell they truly want to help us learn the language. It’s so funny, we have absolutely no idea what they’re saying most of the time but the more they speak to us, the more we pick up which is going to be good. Class is amazing and so hard at the same time. I have a hard time focusing sometimes because it’s difficult to be in one place for such a long time. We’re usually in class for about 3 or 4 hours, but that also includes personal, companion, and language study. I prayed that I would be able to focus better and I have been so that’s been great!! It’s also kind of strange to have personal study in our classroom surrounded by other missionaries but it’s just something I’ll get used to eventually. I’ll probably end up loving it in a few weeks :).

GENERAL CONFERENCE. Can we just talk about how powerful that was?! I think it’s the best conference I’ve ever had the privilege of listening to. I took SO many notes (24 pages!!!!!!) but I still feel like I didn’t get everything I wanted! How crazy. It was AMAZING. I hope you all got SO much out of it and have new goals and commitments to the Gospel. 🙂 Elder Holland just started it off with the biggest bang he could make and it only went uphill from there. I love how he told us that we have to defend our faith! Not just the missionaries out here but EVERYONE. But then he so sweetly said, “Take heart. Pure Christlike love flowing from righteousness can change the world.” HOW AWESOME IS THAT?! All we have to do is LOVE, people!! It’s that easy. And hard. But mostly easy, especially as we pray and SERVE THEM!!! I was so touched by Sister Reeves’ talk and felt so grateful to have been able to talk with her just last Sunday – it feels like years ago. I love what she said about daily prayer and scripture study and weekly FHE – DO IT!!!! She gave such powerful promises and I know that if we make time for those things in our life, everything else will fall into place eventually. The Lord wants us to be doing the best and what is better than reading the scriptures, praying diligently, and spending quality time with your family?!? NOTHING. 🙂

Other notes from Conference:

Elder Andersen:
– As the world slips away from the Lord’s law (of chastity, but it could be anything), WE DO NOT.
– Just because the “times are changing” doesn’t mean we need to.
– The way you feel in the temple is a pattern for how we should feel in our daily lives! (Loved this).
– As we live faithfully year after year, our experiences will confirm to us over and over that JESUS IS THE CHRIST.

President Eyring:
– We hold in our hands the happiness of more people than we can imagine.
– Duties must sometimes be difficult because their purpose is to move you along the path towards the Lord and Jesus Christ.
– If you let the Lord be the head of your family, things will work out :).

It was bittersweet to hear about Kim Clark’s release and Elder Callister’s as well, although Elder Callister has an amazing new calling!

Elder Nelson’s talk was FOR ME. I felt so endeared to him and close to you family as I listened to his talk. Faith is amazing and one of my favorite aspects and doctrines of the Gospel.
– Are we securely tied to God, so that our faith shows? Or are we tied to something else?
– There is only one in whom your faith is safe, and that is JESUS CHRIST. You need to let your faith SHOW.
– Truth is truth. It is not divisible and no part of it can be set aside.
– Keeping divine commandments brings blessings EVERY TIME!
– Let us have the courage to defy the consensus. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval.

Ok, so here was something amazing from conference. I don’t know if any of you caught this, but President Packer specifically said that he was an EYEWITNESS of the Lord Jesus Christ. So he just basically said that he has SEEN Jesus. WOAH!!! I kind of had an impression that this might be his last talk/testimony to us, from the way he was speaking and what he spoke about. Something to ponder on :). What an amazing man and servant of God. I could write SO many more things – maybe each week I’ll write more about my conference thoughts/notes.

Helen, Grace, and Julia!! I got your letters today!!!! They made me SO happy. And everyone in my zone was laughing because I get SO MUCH mail. Literally everyone wants you girls to write them letters too. You should, cause some Elders and Sisters don’t get much mail and they would LOVE a letter from you all :). I loved seeing your faces in the letters and I laughed so hard at the funny faces you put in, Helen. I miss you girls SO MUCH. I hope you listened extra hard to General Conference this weekend. If you didn’t, that’s ok, but when the Ensign comes out, go and read one talk a week. I promise you will have a stronger testimony and that Heavenly Father will bless you! I love you all!!

So a typical day has us waking up at 6:30 (we actually get up at 6 so we have enough time to get ready and I still feel rushed, but it’s not bad). I always feel tired though. It’s just such hard work and we work SO hard and go all day and by the time 10:30 comes along, we literally drop into bed and I’m fast asleep within minutes. I’ve been waking up slightly before 6 when our alarm goes off every day, which is strange but I’m not complaining. My eyes hurt every morning when I wake up, probably cause I’m still tired and cause we turn the lights on right when we wake up, but that goes away within a few minutes of putting my contacts in. Breakfast is at 7 and I love mealtimes cause we sit with our whole zone and just LAUGH. I’m pretty sure nothing we’re laughing about is even that funny, but we think it’s hilarious. Then we have PS, CS and LS, and depending on the day we have class, or gym and then class. Class is about 4 hours and we have lunch in between. Dinner is at 4:30. (It’s SO early – we don’t really like that but what can you do?) Then we have more class and then either gym (if we didn’t have it that morning), a devotional (on Tuesdays), or something else I can’t remember because it’s so hard to remember anything here cause they tell us SO MUCH ALL THE TIME. But I love it. We get to go on a walk to the temple on Sundays at 1:30, and then we go to the temple every Monday morning at 8, which I absolutely love. Today was amazing.

Em with zone at Provo temple 4.7.14

Emily’s MTC Zone – all going to Romania or Italy

I had such a sweet experience because I had been feeling sad and slightly discouraged and said a prayer in the celestial room. About 5 minutes later one of the Elders in my district came over to me and handed me the scriptures. He had it opened to D&C 8 and, with a smile, told me to read it. It was a sweet and direct answer to my prayers. Heavenly Father is incredibly aware of EACH and EVERY ONE OF US. You are ALL loved. None of us is left behind or forgotten, even in the hardest, darkest moments of our lives. We are engraven upon the palms of His hands. Just remember that, :).

I don’t have much more time to write, but I will send pictures next week!!! LOVE YOU!!! Stay classy :). I miss you tons but it didn’t hit me until last night. We have been so busy and honestly just having so much fun that we don’t really have time to think of anything else. Know that I am doing well and I’m happy and that I know this is the true church, restored by our dear prophet Joseph Smith, through the power of God and that we have living prophets on the earth today who LOVE US SO MUCH. Seriously, I hope you and mom and all the kids go back and read all the talks from GC and apply EVERYTHING. You will be so so blessed. 🙂

I LOVE YOU!!!!

Em

P.S. mom can you send me some conference talks from this weekend? If you can I’d like Elder Scott’s, Elder Zwick’s (his talk on communication was SO important for me to hear and I loved it!), President Uchtdorf’s, Elder Ballard’s, Sister Steven’s, Bishop Stevenson’s, Elder Bednar’s (AMAZING), President Packer’s, and Elder Bednar’s from a few years ago called “Tender Mercies.” THANK YOU!!!!

Her first day at the MTC…

Wednesday, April 7, 2014

FAMILY!

Our MTC President told us to write home tonight and tell you what’s going on so far. Well… it’s sure been a crazy day! After you dropped me off, I was taken to get my badge, ID card (to use to eat & buy things, etc.) and then to get my language materials. I HAVE SO MANY. Like I literally hurt my arm carrying it. Or I’m just super weak. Probably the latter but still. It’s heavy. CAN’T WAIT.

After that I got to go to my room to drop off my luggage. Then I went to take some evaluations on the computer and then I went to my very first language class. I love Romanian. It’s seriously so pretty. We have classes near the other countries in our zone, Italy & Germany. It’s so nice because I can already pick up certain things just from knowing French & Italian. Romanian definitely sounds more like Italian, though.

After language class, all the new missionaries got together for a fireside with the MTC presidency. They spoke and it was really good. One thing that’s super weird, though, is that we sing hymns OUTRAGEOUSLY FAST. It’s bizarre. Oh well. Haha, I’m always out of breath at the end so that’s fun. President Nally (MTC President) had all the missionaries stand based on where they were from. There were TONS from Japan, California and, of course, Utah. Haha, okay, funny story. We were sitting in the back and there were about three rows of missionaries from Asia sitting around and in front of us. This one South Korean just starts massaging the necks of all the Asians sitting around him—we were laughing so hard. All the Asians were super jet-lagged so they were already having the hardest time staying awake and the neck and back massages probably didn’t help. It was too great. We got to go eat after that which was amazing because I was starving! That’s what no lunch will do to ya. Anyway, the food is pretty typical BYU food, straight down to the Chicken Cordon Bleu. There are healthy things, though, which is nice.

My companions – yep, I’m in a trio! – and I ate with the rest of our district. We have another sister companionship and then a trio of Elders. They are all awesome. We’re going to be so tight by the time we leave! We also made friends with the Italy district. Tons of guys going to Milan! I totally thought of Christine, haha ☺. So it’s been fun to make new friends!

We had 45 minutes after dinner to start unpacking, etc., and then we had our first teaching opportunities. Wow. I loved it and was so completely frustrated at the same time. Several times when all us missionaries were talking to our investigators it was easy to not be clear and to make it confusing and go off on irrelevant tangents. But then one or a couple missionaries would say or do exactly the right thing and you could just feel the Spirit touching everyone in the room. Our first investigator kept calling the Plan of Salvation “The Happy Plan.” SO CUTE. Our last investigator was so cool, though. He was Japanese and practiced Shinto religion. The missionaries kept saying things that got way too bogged down in big words and confusing doctrine (if you don’t know the foundation). I could tell our (fake) investigator was trying to help us approach it the right way. He finally asked if we had good voices. My companion, Sora Honey, nudged me and said, “She does.” He came over and asked if I sang and I said, “What would you like to hear?” He said “Anything.” So I started to sing “I Am a Child of God,” and my companions joined in. Pretty soon all 20 missionaries were singing. It completely changed the entire spirit of the discussion and in the room. Do I even need to remind you all why I LOVE music so much?!?! It brings the Spirit incredibly fast and can touch people in ways only words can’t. Such a cool first experience. We met our Branch President quickly and then had a zone meeting.

I already just love all the missionaries in my zone. We talked about why we all came on missions and I loved hearing the reasons why. The Lord really does work with us so uniquely. I really love it here. Truly. My companions are THE BEST. Sora Honey is from Australia and just about the funniest quirkiest girl. I already love her tons. She and I laugh and joke about the funniest things. Sora Anderson is so so sweet. She’s our younger companion (19; Sora H. is 22) but she is so optimistic and you can tell has the most sweet and humble spirit. I’m so looking forward to being with them. I already KNOW we’ll be close friends!

I love you all! This is the Lord’s gospel and the Lord’s work . And I am so honored to be a part of this! Remember, if you are prompted to do something, ACT ON IT! As quick as you can. It makes the biggest difference. You’re really showing the Lord you are ready and willing.

Alright, it’s
BEDTIME!
YES!!!!

Love,
Sora Marcheschi

P.S. During zone conference, Branch Pres. Willis said something about how the international missionaries needed immunizations. Under my breath I whispered “shots, shots, shots!” haha, and a couple people heard me but I think it actually made their day. So score 1 for Sora M! ☺

STAY CLASSY!

LOVE YOU!! Thank you for everything!