Okay... I am sorry my letters have been short. These past few weeks have been so incredibly insane and yet at the same time I don't know what has happened. You know that feeling? When it just goes by way too fast to even comprehend anything? As for the pictures... we have't taken any. Literally my last pictures are at M's baptism. Why? Well first of all I really have no idea but I think it has to with us running around like crazy with no thought of savoring the beauty around us. BUT I promise to send you pictures next week - we are planning on visiting a castle today.
AHHHHH I am sooooo excited for Jarom to fly out!!! (Codi's brother, Jarom, is leaving the MTC and flying to Japan on Monday) I sent him a letter with all of my recommendations for traveling to a foreign country. Really, it is an amazing experience to go outside of the US and live in another world. Poor guy... that is an EARLY flight (They leave the MTC at 2:30 am) but it should help with the jet lag if he does what he is supposed to.
UPDATE on our week.....
We have been taking the time to visit our members, especially the older women who are either widowed or single. It is amazing how incredibly strong they appear in church and how much faith they have to keep going. We have discovered how hard it can be to be an older, single person in the church - to have no support and to feel so alone. As we have taken the time to meet with these members, they have expressed their faith and love for the Savior and his church. They are part of the great foundation in our wards. Because we have visited, we have been asked to return for a lunch appointment for a sister and her non member daughter. Our love for the members has grown and has given us a greater desire to serve. :)
Funny story. We planned on going shopping for P-day last week because the SALES were coming to a close and we thought "why not take a day for ourselves and do a little shopping." So we began by eating a Kabab which is another form of Shwarma that I had in Jerusalem (oh how it made me happy) and made our way to Centro Genova for shopping. I had a MUG root beer that I bought at an ethnic food store (didn't realize how much I missed that either) and just laughed with Sorella Lemos is the rain. About 20 minutes later, we got a call or rather 5 from a simpatizzanti and her mother in law. Her mother in law was on her way to the airport the day before to travel to the United States when someone stole her passport out of her purse. SOOOO they needed my help to fill out American documents to reapply for a visa into the States - the form was all in English. Sorella Lemos and I quickly went to help her and as we all know, these legal documents take a very long time. Fast forward 4 hours and we are heading to English Class. P-day over. Although we lost this time for ourselves, we gave it up to serve another, who was so very grateful for all we did. We felt tired and missed this break that we had but in the end our hearts were full with this service we performed. When we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of God.
Do you remember how we started teaching the son of one of our investigators? K? He is so incredible and his mother wants him to do everything with us and with the church. Last week we took him to the Famiglia Herrera for a lesson and for him to get to know other youth in the church. When we met up with him and his mother, she was so excited to send him off with us. It was a great experience. Then on Sunday, the famiglia Herrera took K home for lunch because his mother was working!!! The young men took care of him during church and even watched the Restoration film with him. He has been such a miracle and blessing for us to meet with and teach him. K and his mother, A have been reading the scriptures together and praying everyday and just glow with the light of Christ. :)
As for some other news, Otto received a calling in the Stake for the Single Adults - he is in charge of organizing activities and other events for GANS. He gave a talk on Sunday about how the Gospel has changed his life for the better and how happy he is. Tears came to my eyes as he spoke. I am sooooo happy for him. His growth in the faith brings me sooooo much happiness and joy. One of the many blessing of being a missionary. :)
To finish, I want to share with you some of the insights I have received while reading the BOM (thank you thank you THANK YOU for the challenge. I love it!!!) I recently read 2 Nephi 4 - the psalm of Nephi, one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. In verse 17 he explains that the more he learns of the gospel, the more he realizes just how imperfect he is. This shows the importance of coming to know God and his Word through diligent study. There are times that we beat down on ourselves for the imperfections that we have but what we must do is not grovel but rather awake and remember who we trust like Nephi. Repent, change, and grow closer to God because He is with us.
17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
20 My God hath been my asupport; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.
27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?
28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
29 Do not aanger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation
I love you so very much! It is incredible how fast time is going by. Jarom will be going to Japan. You started School. Brenna is going into her JR year. WHAT?! Time is precious. We must do all we can to prepare to meet God.
Vi voglio bene!!