Lasagna, il sacerdozio, e i fiori –letter from 3/12/14

Cara famiglia,
Che settimana! It’s getting warmer here, and the trees are all starting to bloom with spring flowers.  It is one of my favorite times of year, with Easter and a lot of birthdays in the air.  It’s baseball weather! Except, they don’t have baseball here.  But, I still think of baseball. Anyways.
First of all, auguri to everyone at home.  Sarah 🙂 And please know that you all are in my prayers, and I am praying for Grandma Lockwood too. This week was a really good, long, but good week. Last week, I wasn’t feeling too good again, and we were on scambio so I was with Sorella Stewart here in Firenze.  I told her that I was a little scared that the health stuff I had a month ago would come back, and she said- “Well, you’ve gotten a priesthood blessing, right?” Um…. Nope, I hadn’t.  So I called up the elders and asked them if they could give me a blessing of both health and comfort and direction.  Thursday, I received one, and it was seriously just what I needed. It gave me the hope and the strength to move forward. I can’t even explain, except that I felt really close to my family, all of you, during that moment, as things came to my rememberence and it helped me look at my mission in the scheme of my life, and how there are things I am experiencing now that I won’t understand until later on in my life. I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood and that it is restored on the earth.  I am grateful that although I couldn’t ask my father for a father’s blessing, I serve with worthy elders and am surrounded by a network of support no matter where I go. Oh, and I’m still healthy!
Among the random events that have happened this week-
1. gelato TWO TIMES. Yes, I will find the best gelateria in Firenze.  There’s a lot, but we found some really good ones.  I’m starting to really really like the nutty flavors instead of the fruity ones.  Almond gelato. Yum yum yum yum yum.
2. My companion caught someone trying to pickpocket her and then we saw the same guy pickpocket another person and we told him and that was freaky. Uuuuuuugh. Not a fan of public transportation.
3.  Yesterday, we had a lesson with this investigator who is very Catholic, and then her friend who is a philosopher/now Hindu came, and her Muslim roommate.  Yeah, that was an interesting discussion. I know that there is absolutely nothing I can say that can convince someone that our message is true.  I can throw out any bible verse I want, I can start talking about the history of the Christian church and a detailed look at the Great Apostasy, I can start talking about this and this and this, and it seriously won’t do anything.  Arguing never does anything, and I am not the one convincing these people.  It is the power of the Spirit that converts, and the only way someone can know that this gospel is true is through asking God themselves.  I sat there, as they start throwing all this stuff at me.  And, I responded.  But, in the end, I could only bear testimony of what I know to be true.
Our American investigator is doing so well.  People are prepared to hear the gospel, I know it.  We just have to do our best and be led by the spirit, and they can be found.  Mamma mia, she is beautiful, searching, and read so much in the Book of Mormon already.
We have had some beautiful moments with our members this week as well.  We got to teach 3 lessons with investigators at the home of our members this week! It has made seriously all the difference.  One lesson was with our Brazilian investigator in the home of our branch president.  She is really making progress with the connections of these members.  It has been really really hard to set up the lessons, but once it finaly happened, we are seeing leaps and bounds of miracles.
Today, we spent our pday in the home of one of our members and she taught us how to make Italian lasagna, but with white sauce.  Let me tell you, this is seriously one of the most delicious lasagnas I have ever had in my entire life. We had so so so much fun.  One of my favorite pdays, that’s for sure.  True happiness on a mission doesn’t come from seeing all the sights of Florence, but by getting to spend the time with the people that we love.
I know this gospel is true.  I have had a spiritual week, felt very close to my family and my father in heaven, and I know that this is His work.  I love you all, and I love my Savior.  I am praying for you, by name! Vi promesso.
1) Sunset on the Arno river. CHE BELLO.
2) Sunday morning, waiting for the bus so we could ride with one of our investigators to church.
3) Today, making lasagna with Raphaella. BEST LASAGNA IN THE WORLD.  A white sauce lasagna, made with Italian sausage and tons of veggies. It’s amazing. Guys, I’m learning how to really cook.  Basically, that’s what we want to do on all of our pdays now since we’re just a little obsessed with food. Italians know how to do food right, I’m just sayin.
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