This week seemed to fly by and I have a feeling the next two weeks will be the exact same way so if I use the same phrase next week please forgive me now! We had a scambio (exchange) this past Wednesday with the district leader in Pescara, Anziano Maxwell. He’s awesome. It went super well and was technically my first real exchange on the mission because in Napoli during exchanges I was always with Anziano Rosenberg who was my MTC companion so I wasn’t with anyone new. It was a great experience. I had success with talking to a few people during s gesso that we did in one of the big piazzas in centro. I really enjoyed it.
I also finally got to the meet the group leader for our branch – basically he’s like the “branch president” but we’re not really considered a branch so we only have a group leader since we are just considered part of the Pescara ward but we meet in Ascoli. He’s incredible! Definitely one of the top five coolest people I have met in Italy. Him, his wife, his daughter, and his daughters husband are all awesome. Seriously I wish you could all meet them. We made strides forward in working with a part member family here in Ascoli and I think with patience and time we can see big things come from that.
This week we as a mission received the challenge to reread the entire Book of Mormon again before our new mission president arrives here in July. I was in the middle of reading Alma when I received this invitation and decided to go for it and I would come back to Alma after I finished. In the past, meaning before my mission and before I was baptized, reading the Book of Mormon for large durations was always difficult. I don’t know why, probably because I let myself get distracted to easily or didn’t fully apply myself but whatever it was I never made much progress with it. When I started reading the Book of Mormon again from the very beginning the other day it was easier than breathing to move from one chapter to the next and hunger for more.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately and it reminds me of the parable of the sower found in the three synoptic gospels. The enlightenment and direction we receive when we read the scriptures is directly correlated to the state of our hearts and minds when we set out to do so. We must cultivate fertile soil in our hearts for the full weight of the scriptures to have room to expand our understanding. I think a lot of times we might try to read the scriptures like we do any other task, moving to it and from it like it is just another thing on the list. What’s important is to give ourselves a few moments beforehand to breath, to pray, to separate ourselves from the worries of our schedules and just have a few moments with our Father in heaven. Than after give yourself a moment to reflect, maybe pray again, ask for help in remembering the things you studied and how they might help you through out the rest of your day. I know when we do things like this it blesses us so much more.
It’s the greatest gift we can give ourselves to devote time to study the scriptures everyday.
I hope this reinvigorates your desire to study the scriptures helps all of you grow stronger in your personal relationships with our Father in heaven.
Till next week! Love you all,
(This was the only picture mom received this week, so here it is again. You can click on it for full resolution.)
“And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul”