Amo Firenze


imageCarissima famiglia,

Mamma mia, I just loved skyping with you all this weekend 🙂 The next day I found out about transfers and…. the kinder egg came true! I’m going near a body of water – to… Mestre. Yep. That’s 20 minutes away from Venice. I am super excited. I get to be a sister training leader there so I’m really excited to get to see that part of Italy. It’s closish to Verona where I started! Maybe I’ll get to go back 🙂

First of all, let me announce that last weekend FIRENZE ITALY BECAME A STAKE. Firenze 1 and 2 are no longer branches but are combined to be a ward! Yay! This will make the work so much easier here. AND. I got to see a ton of members from Rimini this weekend, and I went out to lunch with Emilio and Ilaria. Ah, I wanted to cry tears of happiness I was freaking out so much. I wish I could be here to see it all unfold, but I am exctied for the changes ahead. There were some beautiful and inspiring talks given by Anziano Massimo De Feo, that really touched me.

This week has been weird. I’ve been expecting to leave since I’ve been here for 6 months, but it’s hard. I have made my closest friends here. I have trained here, and seen myself grow the most. I have watched people I love with all of my heart get baptized, decide to not get baptized, and make beautiful progress with their relationship with God. I was reflecting today about some things that Firenze has taught me, let me share:

– Charity really is the most important Christ-like attribute.
– It’s okay to ask for a priesthood blessing.
– God really does answer our prayers.
– This is in His timing.
– The promise in Ether 12:27 is real.
– We can do hard things.
– There truly are people searching for the truth and don’t where to find it.
– Praying more frequently througout the day brings miracles.
– Good studies make all the difference.
– The Atonement is honestly the most beautiful thing in the world.
– I believe in notes of gratitude.
– Make sure the water ehater works many hours before you’re supposed to fill up the font…
– Make food = people love you
– God always fulfills His promises.
– It’s okay to cry, sometimes 🙂
– My Heavenly Father really does love me.
– Truly listening changes everything. Don’t automatically think of advice to give back. Just listen.
– Sometimes, it’s a good thing to open up about our weaknesses to others.

Tuscany is seriously such a part of my heart. I have always felt so drawn to come to Tuscany, and I got to spend 1/3 of my mission here. I have adored my companions here, they are my best friends.

This week I taught a beautiful lesson with Sorella Richards, and it was such a proud moment because we taught the lesson pretty much equally, passing back and forth and everything. It was perfect. I feel good about leaving her, she’s growing and developing into an amazing missionary. She has truly touched my life, and I honestly would do anything for her I just love her so freakin much! She is brave, full of courage, can face ANYTHING, and truly will do anything for anyone else because she loves God. She has grown and changed so much in these 3 months, they have just gone by in the blink of an eye. Sorella Richards is seriously my best friend and I am going to miss her so much! She has taught me way more than I can express.

I have loved my time here, and I don’t want to say good bye. Our district has been together for so long, and I’ll miss our little Firenze family. A lot. All of the missionaries with whom I have served have truly touched my life and I have learned a lot from them. Mi mancheranno.

I love, love, love my mission. Well, as Anziano Stoll constantly reminds me, it’s not my mission. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be here. I’m trying to soak up every moment of it, but the time just goes by so fast… non è giusto…

I’m excited to see what Mestre has in store for me! This might be my last city :O

Vi voglio tanto bene,
Sorella Strong

the pictures are from cinque terre last week. mamma mia era bellissima.



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