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!