Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mission Call Opening and More

At Anderson Marsh; I love that place!
I haven't posted in quite a while, so I will need to give many updates.  I came home to Clearlake Oaks, CA for Christmas break, and opened my mission call at church right before our annual Christmas party.  It was amazing; I opened my call with people who I have been friends/pseudo-family with for years, and I felt tremendous vibes of love/awesomeness from them all.  :)  For those of you out there who don't know the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have "Wards" in towns and cities that cover small areas, while stakes cover a wider area of, sometimes, many counties.  In our small ward in Clearlake (Highlands Ward), we have sent a total of zero missionaries out in the past 10 or so years...  Thus, you can see what generated so much excitement at my call-opening party.

I was delighted to open my letter from the first presidency, finding that I had been called to the Italy Rome Mission.  It's funny because my parents, my brother, and I all seemed to know where I was going before I got my call.  I even had a few strange dreams while still at BYU that, when I woke up, made two words came to mind: Rome, Italy.  The Lord has an interesting way of telling us things.

On the Bridge at Anderson Marsh
On a slightly different note, I have been looking through numerous mission blogs/e-mails from current missionaries which continue to inspire me to bring the light of the gospel to others.  One of my friends mentioned me in an e-mail as well:
"It is so crazy how so many people I know are going on missions! I got a letter this past week from one of my friends from BYU, Corey Cherrington, and she is going to serve in the Rome Italy Mission! The same country where Brother Peel served! So that will be really cool. And I´m sure many others will be heading out soon too. It is all so exciting!"
It really is exciting to see so many missionaries going out to do this awesome work.  I am proud to be a part of this huge movement, and cannot fully express my gratitude for all the support I have in my decision to be a missionary.  I'm especially surprised and delighted by my Grandpa Ben's enthusiasm about my mission.  He is not a member of our church, but he has expressed on many different occasions how proud he is of me for devoting my service and time to my religion.  He even asked me to read my mission call to him after I had opened it at the church.  While reading, I could tell that both he and I felt the Spirit.  I made no comment about it at the time, however, because I lacked a means for explaining the feeling of the Spirit without seeming crazy to him.  And Grandpa, if you read this, know that I love you, and I have hopes of finding better words to explain my faith to you in the future.

Me and Dad after my Mini-Y Conference talk
I have also been doing a fair amount of speech-making in the past couple months.  Just recently, I had the privilege of speaking at a mini-youth conference in Ukiah, CA about the "Sweetness of the Gospel."  I really enjoyed the assignment, and the youth seemed to like my talk.  Also, I will be speaking for the Upward Bound classes at my old high school, Lower Lake High, on Wednesday.  My message there will be quite a bit different, but I still hope to be able to inspire the Upward Bounders in the same manner as the kids from my home stake.

Haha, gotta love Laura.  :)
Pic from the Mini Youth Conference

 So, what else have I been doing?!  It seems like so much has happened, I could hardly share it all. :)  One thing that I am really looking forward to is going to the Oakland Temple to do my pre-mission temple work and finally being able to have some time with my Dad.  He's been working at this really intense job in Rohnert Park (approx. 1 and 1/2 hours away from where we live...) that requires him to be there 6 days a week.  I'm really proud of him though because he has taken a significant leap from being unable to move much due to his back/back surgery, to heading up a really big Casino job as the Supervising Foreman (or something to that effect).  He has an apartment up there now with his buddy Dennis (who is pretty funny by the way!) and we get to visit them every now and again.  Just looking on the bright side- he will get some time off soon.

Me and Andrew at the Dollar Store; I love my little Bro.
 Sorry for my deficiency in re. to blog brevity, but I have one last thing to say for the time being: I officially love Guido from Life is Beautiful and I aspire to, someday, be able to speak Italian with as much excitement and life as he does!  Haha, "Arrivederla, Principessa!"  Now: I miei amici, ora devo a andare.  Percio, condivido questo messagio con voi:  so che il Vangelo di Gesu Cristo è vere.  Amo il mio Padre Celeste e le tante benedizioni nella mia vita che lui mi dà.  So che la Chiesa di Gesu Cristo degli Santi Ultimi è vere.  Ringrazio il Signore per la mia famiglia e per le benedizioni del loro sostegno.  Queste cose, dico nel nome di Gesu Cristo, Amen.

Oh!  And I forgot to mention: my mission will be an 18 mo. break in my studies.  I will be returning to BYU in about 18 months from May 1st.
Round Table after the ward Temple trip
Ah, the Dollar Store... Good times.  ;)

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