Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Challenge of Believing the Lord's Blessings

This week was one of the hardest weeks of my mission and possibly of my life. But I think that that is why it ended up being one of the best, most rewarding weeks of my entire life. So, as some of you know, I started off the week with some pretty bad news that a dear friend of mine who is like a brother to me had lost his life a few months back. I talked to someone about how I was feeling because I was really not doing good for a while as a result of the sad news. But, when I was finally able to talk to Sorella Perry, and she really put things into perspective for me. She told me that, because of the Atoning sacrifice of the Savior, my friend is okay, and that he is in a safe spiritual situation where he is able to heal. I felt peace in this and I immediately began to feel better because I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for my friend and that he has nothing to worry about, and nor do any of us here on earth. I know this is true, because it immediately brought peace to my sad, suffering heart. God lives, and he loves us. I know that for a fact. And he will never forget or hold a grudge against anyone of us.
So, this week was really intense... The other Sorelle also just left the city too, so we are managing all of their work into ours this week. It has been a bit rough, but Sorella Bradford and I are up to the challenge. Also, we got to see our buddy, Martin, the other day, and he is just fantastic! :D He was going through some hard times this week because he had to change classes, and it did not seem possible for him to catch up in school before the grades would be published. So, he came to one of our lessons a bit down. So, we talked with him about how we can face our trials, and I was able to share with him a story about when I was at BYU and I didn't think that I could finish all of my classwork prima di andare to New York for the Model UN conference. It literally seemed impossible. But, my Dad came up from CA and gave me a blessing and some council, and all went right and well. I advised Martin to get a blessing, he accepted the invite with faith, and told us that evening that the blessing had worked! He was able to understand all of the Italian texts that he had to read (he is from Hungary, and has not been in Italy long, so that has also been difficult for him), and he was so excited that his faith, along with the priesthood authority of God, were able to help him through his seemingly impossible trials. It was a miracle!

Also, because this week was a week of break-throughs with all of our Simps, we had a turning point also with Collins, Ofori, and Joseph. It was amazing! The lesson we did the other day was wayyyy crazy because so many things happened like this crazy lady was yelling at us and the pigeons as she waved a bible in the air and fell to the ground in an odd prayer position..., and then the church bells went off as we were trying to give the baptismal invite and... just everything man... BUT! We were able to get through all of the hard things and we really got to know our friends better. It ends up that they are refugees from Libya, and that is why they have had to search for work all around Europe. We told them that we wish we could help them more, but they said that we are helping in the best way we can because we are preaching the word of God, and that is more than enough. Ofori and Collins accepted the invite to battesimo, but said that they would not be able to be baptized on the dates that we offered to them because they will have to move to different countries before long. But they want to find the church in the countries they go to and are not actually 100% sure that they will have to go. All I know is that I really feel like these friends of ours, and also Martin, are our brothers, and we love them as children of God. It is amazing, the profound and pure love that we feel for people as we invite them to come unto Christ.

Annnd, there is also Giovanna! So, this is a cool story: 
Giovanna was an ex-simp of the Sorelle A who we (then Sorelle B) had met when we were with Sorelle Hibbert and Perkins before Zone Conference. We had planned to stop by Giovanna's house and start teaching her, but then we discovered that she was in the Area Book of the other Sorelle, so we gave her to them. Then, the first time that the other sorelle had taught Giovanna after that was when we were doing a scambio with the other sorelle, so Sorella Bradford was able to go to the teaching appt. with Giovanna and be there for the baptismal invite. Giovanna accepted the invite, had a baptisimal date, and we are now the missionaries who will go to see her! Crazy how these things work out! We love Giovanna! And her kids are so great too. Her son (8 years old) is paralyzed and cannot walk, and is one of the coolest, funnest kids I have ever met. :) We love their family, and we are excited to help her towards battesimo and to help her come unto Christ, above all. 
Hmmm... What else? I love you all, and I hope that everyone is doing good. :) Right now is a really good time in my mission, and there is a lot of stress, but it is a good stress because we are in the service of our brothers and sisters here in Taranto, and there is no better thing to be doing than the work that our Savior would do if he were on the earth. Love you guys! Be strong in your hard times and the Lord will bless you. I hope you all were able to see general conference ( because it teaches us how to endure our trials with patience. Some of my favorite words of advice were these:

-When we have an attitude of gratitude, everything will be good. We don't have to pretend that we like our hard times, but when we have an attitude of gratitude, we will find little miracles in every and any situation

-We have to take upon us the right load, or the right preoccupations, concerns, opinions, etc., and that load is the yoke of Jesus Christ. This means that we have to ensure that we are serving others and doing what He wants us to do and then, we will see happiness unlike any other happiness known to mankind, and we will find our way back to our Father in Heaven someday.

Vi voglio bene! :D, 
Sorella Cherrington

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