It’s been an interesting last 10 days. I think I have learned more of what it means to unselfishly and wholeheartedly serve others, despite one’s own circumstances, this past week than I have in my entire life.
Starting from two Sundays ago, I woke up very early to make our flight to Palermo. The Pickerds were already there because they had flown the day before. Once Monday morning rolls around Anziano Draghi and I are a little relieved because we knew it was the 6th and final zone conference in a 10 day period (two of which were combined). The conference actually went really well and even though I felt like our training went the worst of any of the conferences, President Pickerd thought exactly the opposite. Amazing how an assuring word from President Pickerd can put me at ease so quickly.
After the conference was over, I had one mission to accomplish before we headed back to Rome. In Palermo there is a missionary-coveted gelateria by the name of Brioscià. The Pickerds have been so busy in their last year here in Italy that even though they go to Palermo every 6 weeks they had never taken a moment to go try the gelato. So to make a long story short I made them go to Brioscià before we went to the airport to catch our flight back. If I have done nothing else in my short time serving the Pickerds, I at least made them eat their first Pellone Diavola pizza from Napoli and their first Brioche gelato from Brioscià in Palermo. I would say those are big accomplishments given their busy schedule and work ethic. That and flying for the 6th time without a passport (don’t freak out mom, I still have my passport I just always forget to bring it with me when we fly, but I’ll have it for the final flight when it matters).
From Tuesday morning on the rest of the week has been a blur of moving missionaries in Pescara and Napoli, office training, planning, filling out reports, and endless other tasks that pile up. We also saw our investigator set to be baptized on the 22nd in the midst of all that and he is doing well. I think those are my favorite moments of the week, getting to be with them and bear testimony.
Knowing this week would be especially trying, mentally, physically, and emotionally, I decided in anticipation to make specific goals and plans in regards to my studies so I would be sustained throughout the experience. I wanted to read 1 Chapter of the Book of Mormon, 1 section of Preach My Gospel, 1 section of Safeguards for Using Technology, and 1 section of Adjusting to Missionary Life every single day. What came of this experience?
Well first, I can tell you that when you make specific goals that you are committed to accomplishing you will end up surpassing them because I was able to read more of the Book of Mormon than I planned.
Second, I can promise you that when you nourish your spirit you will be sustained in all other aspects because the grace of Jesus Christ will be at your disposal to face head-on the demands of life and you will not shrink from the opposition. Instead you will stand taller and be stronger and you will overcome.
I know that our Redeemer is lifting us every step of the way that we allow him to do so. I know that He is aware of our circumstances and that because He overcame all things He can show us the way to overcome all things as well.
I love you all,