Wow...I can't believe I head out to Italy this monday :) I couldn't be more excited/nervous/happy, we head out at 3:35 am monday morning and get to Italy at 7 am Italian time,,,hahah in other words I won't be getting very much sleep for those couple of days, mostly because I am so excited :)
This week was by far one of the best weeks. I feel I say that every week but things just keep getting better and better. It was wonderful!! Being a missionary is such a privilege, such an honor and I am so grateful to be a part of the Lord's work right now. It is amazing :)
To start out, Thursday morning was our first day of skype with an Italian! Wow....it was absolutely incredible! Oh my, this member was such an amazing woman. Her name was Rometta and she was from Florence.She served her mission in Milano, her 3 sons served their missions in Roma, and her daughter served her mission in Chile. I learned more from her than she did from us by far. She struggled because all of her children lived in other cities and Italy and she adores them/misses them so much. Her parents had just recently passed away as well. We taught her a 30 minute lesson on how we receive revelation from the Spirit and more specifically through the Book of Mormon. She shared some very sweet experiences she had with the Spirit on her mission that I will never forget. Hahah she laughed when I made mistakes in Italian and would smile and repeat the correct word...she was so cute :) At the end of the lesson, we asked her to pray (she was at work at the time) anyways she said the most beautiful prayer in Italian I had ever heard. During the prayer, she just started bawling, she could barely speak. I felt the Spirit so strongly and couldn't help from crying as well. After the prayer, she explained how grateful she was for us and the message we shared. She told us how badly she wished she was in our position as missionaries. Such a special moment, by far mine and Sorella Holiday's best lesson and it got me so excited to meet those Italians :)
Sunday night was also very special...for the devotional that night, Lloyd Newell from "Music and the Spoken Word" came and did "missionaries and the spoken word" with us. The choir sang about 5 songs and he shared a spiritual thought with each one, it was so powerful. I guess they had been preparing for this for about a year now. My favorite song we sang was "How firm a foundation" it was so beautiful! hahah I felt like such a baby, I can never go to choir without getting choked up. We sang the 7th verse which I don't remember ever singing....but it was an experience I will never forget. Lloyd Newell then played the Mormon Tabernacle music video "Praise to the Man" and I saw Audrey and Kathryn for a split second, ahhh it made me so happy :)
I will now share one of my favorite experiences that I personally have had in the mtc. One morning for Personal Scripture Study I decided to open up the bible and read about the time when Paul himself was teaching in Italy...I opened directly to Romans 1...on verse 15 and 16 I had put one of those transparent stickers of 2 sister missionaries when I was little, probably 8 or 9 years old. I read vs. 15, and it said "So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also." vs. 16: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth." I don't think I have ever felt to much comfort in my life about my mission. It was such an amazing and spiritual moment for me, if I had only known when I was 8 or 9 that one day I really would be teaching the Gospel when I was 19 years old in Rome :) I know that God is mindful of me, and mindful of everyone, that He really does know me and knows what I am capable of doing. I have learned to try not to doubt myself and my abilities since I have been out here, because then I would be doubting the power and the gifts and the abilities God has so generously blessed me with! He knew long ago that I would one day share my testimony of Christ with the people of Rome, and I am forever grateful for this incredible opportunity :) Monday could not come fast enough!
Last night was also another tender mercy of the week! For last night's devotional, Elder Cardon came and spoke to us. He used to be the mission president in the Italy Rome Mission. Everything he talked about last night was such a blessing to us 4 missionaries going to Rome, out of the thousands of people that were in the room last night. We felt so lucky to hear from him and his testimony.
Thank you to everyone who has been such a huge help and support to me out here on the mish :) I have never been more grateful in my entire life for this opportunity! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Ti voglio bene :) Dio ci ama!!!
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI