So this was basically the most busy, roller coaster ride week of my mission. It started off taking the departing missionaries to the airport early Tuesday morning which was extremely sad. I loved all of them and so many of them helped me throughout my mission. It was a tough moment, but then just half an hour after the new missionaries rolled out of security with all the shock that a new missionary can have. It was awesome. We head from the airport straight to the Rome Temple and it looks incredible!! So much progress has been made since I was there at the beginning of my mission. I was so pumped. Afterwards we took them back to the mission villa and tried our best to keep them awake by asking questions and sharing experiences until we had lunch.
Right after lunch we armed them with Books of Mormon, pamphlets, and pass along cards and went out on the streets of Rome. It was so fun!
They are a bold group. We passed by San Giovanni, the Colosseum, and the Senate. They couldn’t really believe what they were seeing. It hadn’t set in for them.
Wednesday it was training all day long. Early in the morning we had a train the trainers Skype call which went really well. I talked about the importance of checking our progress in order to measure growth and avoid stress. Then after we had new missionary training for hours and hours. It was long but these missionaries were doing great. After dinner the time had arrived for golden envelopes when they get their first assignment! It was so exciting!! Seeing their faces and showing them where they would be going and telling them about who would be their trainers was priceless. But he best part was the very end of Wednesday.
Thursday it was a very early wake up and departure for the train station. I led the group of 18 new missionaries to the metro and eventually to Roma Termini. There was only one small bump along the way, but we made it. Everyone started going their ways and then it was time for us to head out and get people from the airport. We were going every which way until the evening when we met with President to review and plan for Mission Leadership Council.
Friday there were a few more traveling logistics we had to help out with in the morning plus in the afternoon we had planning and training meetings in the office.
Saturday we had Mission Leadership Council over Skype and I think it went pretty well. We discussed some solid topics and a bunch of other stuff that I believe will help the mission advance. I’m excited for this next transfer. In the afternoon we also taught our investigator who has a baptismal date in September. We are trying to help him move up the date to next month because he is ready and believes, but it will be a process and I can absolutely relate to him.
Sunday in church was a much needed 3 hour rest. It was exactly what I needed. In the evening we were able to meet with a less active who has such a good heart but holds back his full self. We talked about having a testimony of specific things in the restored church. Not just knowing that it is true as a whole but knowing each individual aspect of it is true for oneself. I also forgot to mention that last Sunday we met with a man who was previously Mormon and is now Jewish (long story). He and I hit it off. We talked about so many things. It was sad, though, seeing his loss of faith in Jesus Christ but I could tell deep down it has never really left him.
I’m really loving it here in Rome. In the last week and a half I have learned so much. Two things in particular:
- Prayer can make all the difference. It does not matter where you are or who you are with. You can pray in any moment and if you truly open your heart to our Father in Heaven He can fill you with peace. I have had this happen to me 4 specific times in the last 10 days and I know it is true. I have never felt so inadequate in one moment and then so strengthened and peaceful in the next just because I prayed and depended on my Savior Jesus Christ.
- Church can be such a huge blessing. Partaking the sacrament has become something so important to me. I cherish those few brief moments to concentrate on my Redeemer, thank Him for all He has done, and ask Him for help in all I left to do.
I invite you all this week to find a moment to pray when you wouldn’t normally pray. In the midst of all you are doing pray in your heart and watch for the peace you will feel. And then look forward to church, draw strength from taking the sacrament and use that time to reflect and recharge. I have experienced for myself the power these two things have had in my life I know they can bless you as well.
I love you all,