Pretty exciting week, if I do say so myself! WE GOT OUR NEW MISSION PRESIDENT. Just to explain the magnitude of this for those unfamiliar with missions. The Mission President and his wife are like the mom and dad of the mission. The Mission President directs everything. He is responsible for the well being of 200 missionaries scattered hundreds of kilometers all over the mission. He receives revelation as to what we need to focus on as missionaries, how to approach the missionary work, where we serve, how long we serve there, and countless other things.
It’s a massive calling. And on top of all that, when Mission Presidents change they only overlap by one day and then the old president goes home. So, pretty big deal.
Anyway, let me talk about him for a second. First of all, he’s awesome. His name is Michael Pickerd. Yeah, I have the same first name as both my Mission Presidents. He and his wife both served here in the Italy Rome mission! They lived in Houston, Texas for 25 years . . . TEXAS. He transitioned from being Bishop to Stake President to Seventy seamlessly, then became Temple Coordinator of the Phoenix Arizona temple, and now President of the Italy Rome mission!
Seriously, they are so awesome. So we had the chance to meet them this past week for a special conference in Rome. Didn’t actually get that much one on one time with them, but it’s understandable seeing as it was a big conference of three zones. All I know is they are absolutely the right people for this mission and have been called of God.
The rest of the week went pretty good too. You guys want to hear a miracle?!? Alright, here we go. So, we were out doing English posters because our English course has basically died since summer hit. While doing that, a lady stops on her bike to ask us about the course because she had seen the posters around before. We gave her some more information, but then she asked what we were really here to do. We talked about our purpose as missionaries and she was interested in learning more, so we exchanged numbers and invited her to the English course. That evening she (SHE) texted us saying she couldn’t make it, but she still is still interested. The next day we texted her asking if we could possibly meet that afternoon, but she said she would be working and wouldn’t be home until later. We were disappointed but tried to make the best of it.
We needed to get supplies from a place in Porto d’Ascoli, so we hopped on a train out there to pick this stuff up and come back. As we are sitting at the train station waiting for the train to come, this woman just rolls up on her bike!!!!! We end up teaching her the Restoration right then and there and she watches the Restoration video on the train we take back to Ascoli! The whole time she kept saying how this was destiny. It was CRAZY. You want to know the crazier part? Her name is Bruna! Coincidence? I think not! No one can ever tell me that tender mercies don’t exist.
Over the past two weeks I have been studying the Presidents of the Church. What I have come to realize is that none of these men who were, in fact, actual prophets of God, did anything extraordinary throughout their lives to “achieve” this calling. In reality, they were completely ordinary, normal, everyday boys and men. What made the difference? To me, two things:
Hard Work & Humility
Forgive me if I ever seem to becoming repetitive in my thoughts (most of the time these thoughts are more for me personally). Though I never was actually in Young Men (a youth organization in the LDS Church for young men ages 12 through 18) while I was in high school, I count myself very lucky to have had the influence of a Young Men’s leader in my life starting from the summer after my junior year. I remember him sharing with me his 3 criteria he taught his daughters to look for in men. One of those is a hard working nature. Hard work can be likened to diligence. Diligence is the only way to have progress in life.
Through my studying I have learned that the prophets of God have all exemplified many attributes of Christ but one that stuck out to me was diligence. When they had a goal they went out and made it happen. My personal favorite example of this is Heber J. Grant. I invite you all to study his life, you’ll be amazed. In our pursuit of accomplishing our goals, we must be diligent as well as humble so that we may be able to receive council and make adjustments to more fully reach our potential.
I would say diligence is working hard and humility is working smart.
I love you all and pray for you all!