Hello Family and friends!!! Ahh I can't believe that I am halfway done with the mtc, haha to be honest that really scares me to say that. I am trying to soak in every moment and learn so much yet time is literally flying by. Couldn't be happier with this last week, it was so wonderful :))
We taught 3 members of the church this week, 2 students at BYU who just got home from their missions and Brother Haynes, who served his mission in Rome about 40 years ago. This was by far my favorite part of the mtc so far...it was so amazing listening to them bear their testimonies in italian, it got me so pumped to meet the members in Italy :)) I loved these lessons so much because we walked into the room knowing literally nothing about these people, and walked out minutes later just feeling so close to Christ. The Spirit in that room was able to help these people with their spiritual needs and we just shared our testimony with them...it was powerful and so crazy to finally be teaching real people.
Last night the devotional was absolutely incredible....as usual. The 1st counselor of the presiding general bishopric, Bishop Causse (i think) and his wife came and spoke to us. They are from france, I don't even know where to begin but they were amazing! One of the coolest couples I have ever met, they were just so real and completely spoke from their hearts. They didn't just get up there and recite their talks but instead completely poured out their hearts and testimonies of Christ to us..and talked to us like we've been best buds for life. It was so awesome. Bishop Causse then played the prettiest version I have ever heard of "come come ye saints" on the piano. So amazing! Another tender mercy from last night, when sorella Holiday and I sat down for choir, out of the thousands of missionaries we could have been sitting by we happened to sit by the one sister missionary in the mtc from Italy. AHHH!! She was so cute, she was from Calabria, I think that's off the Amalfi coast but she lives in our mission...it was so cool.l We got to practice our Italian with her, hahaha her accent was molto thick and I pretended to know what was going on...anyways it was so amazing meeting her :)
Another highlight from this week was mine and sorella Holiday's lesson with Blessing yesterday....wow. We decided instead of preparing a 15 minute lesson on a bunch of doctrine that doesn't necessarily apply to her needs, we were just going to talk to her, really strive to get to know her better and share maybe a 3 minute thought on something that the Spirit would hopefully prompt us to say. I was a bit nervous knowing Blessing might throw some curveball at us and we wouldn't know how to respond, but we said some pretty heartfelt prayers before we went in to the lesson and just felt so good about it. By far the best lesson me and Sorella Holiday have had...I felt like I wasn't even in the lesson, like me and my companion showed up to teach Blessing but that was it, the Spirit did the rest. We had a full 15 minute conversation with her on stuff that I didn't even know I could say in Italian, and she completely opened up to us about her life in Nigeria...and we ended just bearing our testimonies on Christ, and committed her to baptism. I will never forget that lesson.
haha our district goes and plays sand volleyball almost every morning, it is sooooo fun. All that playing in Arizona really paid off fam :)) This week we got super close as a district, everyone is sick (haha when one person gets sick, everyone gets sick) but there's been a lot of things going on back home in these missionaries lives that is so challenging...I have no reason to ever complain, I have had a pretty easy life compared to these missionaries. I can't even imagine how we could get any closer, I don't even want to think about saying goodbye to them in 3 weeks! One thing I have learned while being here is to be so mindful of others. Everyone is always going through something hard in their lives, whether it be the death of a parent, abuse at home, parents disowning their child because they're on a mission..list goes on and on. But what is incredible is the blessings these missionaries are seeing back at home. Elder Hogan from Laguna Beach, his dad hasn't been active in the church for 18 years. The Sunday after Hogan left to the mtc, his dad went to church for the first time in 18 years, and has continued going since. We have been hearing things like that happening constantly this last week.
Elder Pyper (plays football for BYU) was slightly mad (haha) he missed the BYU game last week so he decided to take the gummy bears his mom sent him, haha and see how many he could stick in his mouth at one time...he got to 100 gummy bears, it was disgusting and eventually started choking......it was no bene
I am so grateful to be on this mission :) It is such a privilege learning Italian, it's a powerful reminder that the Gospel really is being taken to all over the world. I am so happy, I grow closer and closer to my companion, my district, my teachers and my zone every day!!! haha Fratello Wortham is the greatest teacher ever, no one has ever made me laugh so hard or feel the spirit so strong in the same day. Well that sums it up for this week! I hope you all have a wonderful week, I love you ALL! If I could I would personally write each one of you every week, but time just doesn't allow it. Shoutout to cute Whit Springer getting called to Paris France!! That is so perfect for you! so exciting. And happy birthday to my girl Chloe Ferre, hope you're soaking up that warm az sun:) Testimonio che il vangelo e la chiesa di Gesu Cristo e vero. Io so che Gesu Cristo e il figlio di dio e ci ama molto. Io so che la sua famiglia essere eterno mediante il vangelo. Ti voglio bene molto!!!
-ps mom, We leave the 29th to chicago around 7 am so I will probably call between 5-7 am that day :)) haha and guess what we found out? Me and Sorella Holiday return from our missions on Valentines day 2017. Not that I'm looking forward to that day necessarily, but that day will be quite lovelyyyy :) Love yall
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI