Il nostre fondamento (letter from 9/17/14)

Cara famiglia,

I’ll give you a little rundown of my week. Thursday night we went to “La Fenice” to see Giuseppe Verdi’s “Il Trovatore.” My favorite scene was the gypsies singing and using the stuff they steal out of the trashcan’s as instruments along with the orchestra. It was so so so good. And very surreal. It was a beautiful opera house, reconstructed in gold and very old fashioned and beautiful. Once in a life-time experience. Thank you President Dibb for giving us permission 🙂

We did 2 scambios this week! I did one with Sorella Russell from my MTC group and Sorella Jones from my MTC group. It was so much fun and I loved catching up with them and seeing all their strengths as missionaries. I learned so much from them. I got to do my last scambio in Verona this week as well, since they’ll be opening more sister training leaders in Verona.

This week as Sorella Bennett has been saying goodbye to everyone, she has been sharing with them her favorite scripture, Helaman 5:12. We have been asking people who Jesus Christ truly is for them. We have had some interesting respsonses, and it has helped me analyze and figure out my relationship with Him as well. He is absolutely everything. His Atonement gives us the strength do absolutely anything with His power. That is who Jesus Christ is for me. Yes, He is the son of God, he came to this earth and He did miracles, but He lives. He lives and He helps me every day. We can strengthen that relationship with Him by doing what He asks us to do, by studying about Him, and by striving to follow His example. It is only thanks to His atonement that we can become like Him and acquire His attributes, little by little. He loves us so much. I just want so badly for all of these people whom I love so dearly to understand how much He loves them and how He sees them. It hurts my heart so deeply when they don’t understand what He did for them and the potential that He gives them. It hurts me when they willing choose to disobey His commandments, because they don’t understand that relationship with Him and with their Heavenly Father. But, I am so grateful that I can testify of Him. That I can wear my Savior’s name on my chest every day. My heart burns with the knowledge that He is there and that, as the scripture says, He is a “sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” He is my best friend. Truly, truly, truly. Ah. I just need to give Him my whole heart.

I am filled with love for this country. Italy is absolutely beautful and the weather is perfect right now.

Just one last shout out to my beautiful companion, Sorella Bennett, who goes home this week 🙂 This girl is an amazing missionary who was the answer to many prayers I have had. She has worked so hard to the end, has filled me with energy, and given me the physcial strength I need to finish strong. She is so confident in who she is, in her authority and power as a missionary, and does not doubt the work she has done. She has taught me that truly no effort is wasted in missionary work, and that confidence is beauty. Sorella Bennett has a gift with people. Her happiness radiates and makes everyone happy. I have seen her smile change lives, soften people’s hearts, and bring the spirit into the room immediately. She just brings light with her wherever she goes, I don’t know what I’m going to do without her! She also has served me endlessly, taught me how to really clean and cook, and how to work hard until the end.

My new companion coming in tomorrow is Sorella Bringas! I’m excited, she’s from Peru but grew up in Firenze since she was 14 years old. I already know her entire family from Firenze and we’ll have many mutual friends 🙂 I’m also excted and hope my language can improve a little too 🙂 I’ve always wanted to have an Italian companion! and who knows maybe I can learn a little spanish on the side. But I still trying to learn Veneziano dialect a little. Too much to think about I’ll just stick with Italian for now.

I love you all and you are in my prayers. Keep me in your prayers too, please 🙂 We’re seeing miracles. Patience is a virtue, I am definitely learnign that.

Vi voglio bene,
Sorella Strong

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