Un cuore spezzato

Carissima famiglia,

It has been a crazy week, that’s all I gotta say. Sorella Lopez is preparing to go home! It’s been crazy, running around trying to get everything together, teach as many people as possible, and just processing everything that’s about to happen. And, I just found out that my new companion is Sorella Bennett. She was my sister training leader when I was in Firenze, so I’m pretty excited to serve with another friend 🙂 She’s going home next transfer as well, so, unless I get white-washed my last transfer in the mission, I think I will be finishing the mission here in Mestre :O Weird. We’ve got a lot of work to do. And it’s a good thing I love Mestre to pieces otherwise this would be a little hard.

This week was pretty eventful. First of all, I have money again, so don’t you worry, we’re not starving. I’m rich actually, since I saved so much money from not eating the past 3 weeks. okay, I’m exaggerating just a little bit.

Once again, I just want to write about a couple of lessons that we had that really touched me this week. I know, I know, I always seem to write about the lessons but I just learn so much from these people. First of all. I love Africans. They have so, so, so much faith. Monday morning I was talking with Sorella Lopez in companionship study about the hard things, the beautiful things, everything that we’re learning on the mission. About the constant repentance process we’re always going through. About how I’m always getting on myself for never doing enough. Well, that night, we’re in this lesson with Wilson and his girlfriend, and after watching the Because of Him video together, he begins to explain to us that he is grateful for the guilt he feels because it brings him closer to His Savior. “He breaks us.” Oh mamma, this phrase hit me. It hit me a whole lot. Everything that we go through to break us just makes us stronger. I mean, I know that, but, every experience on my mission that has “broken” me, it is to bring me closer to Him. These are my experiences, my hardships, my tears, my laughs, everything. And it was all catered for me, to bless me, and to humble me to bring me to Him. And, life is good, sapete? Life just needs to be looked out positively – there’s always a lesson to learn, and really, the hard things just make life all the more beautiful. Ah. I know this is true.

Last night, Evelina and Moreno taught us how to make pane arabo. (arab bread). It’s actually quite easy. The lights in their house were turned off, so we taught the lesson by candlelight. IT was beautiful, it reminded me of camping and sharing spiritual thoughts around the campfire. Sorella Lopez and I bore testimony of the atonement, that there is never, ever, ever, a point too low that Jesus Christ can’t pull us out of. We promised them this as representatives of Jesus Christ. How great is our calling, how great is our calling.

Just one last tribute to my beautiful companion, Sorella Lopez. This girl has seriously taught me so much. She has taught me more about the atonement than I can explain. She has built me up and helped me recognize the good that I can do. She opens her heart to people immediately, and she knows how to discern people’s needs immediately. She has seen so much success in her mission because she has truly given everything over to Him. We talked about the analogy of a phoenix today. She is an example of one who has truly risen from the ashes, and is about to take flight into the world as a beautiful bird. (wow, that couldn’t have been cheesier… but it’s true.) I am so grateful for the willingness she has to share her story with others, because this sorella literally changes the life of everyone she comes in contact with. Not even kidding. I hope I can take what I’ve learned from her and put it into practice in my work here too.

I love you all. We can have faith as we recognize God’s hand in our life every single day. He is there, I know He is. This is the restored church of Christ on the earth, I know it with all my heart.

Vi voglio bene,
Sorella Strong


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