Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Italy, Week 25 (4/22/15) - I Experienced the Best. Day. Ever.

So I've had many really good days in my life. Some I would have dared to title "best day ever" in the past. Like the day I walked across the stage and graduated high school, never having to go back to that place ever again. Or when I got into BYU. Or when I went to BYU. Or when I received my mission call. Or when I started my mission.  Anyway, I've had a million "Best Day Ever"s, but this day. 27 April 2015, was The Best Day Ever..The day Anziano Bednar came and my life changed.
Oh my goodness gracious I'm still 
geeking out so hard over that wonderful Conference where the Spirit of the Lord taught me so much as an Apostle of the Lord spoke directly to us missionaries of the Italy Milan mission. First of all, all 241 missionaries of this mission in one room together at the same time: Incredible. Singing our mission hymn all together to an Apostle of the Lord: Indescribable. Just that whole day was amazzzinggggg. I die.
Anziano Bednar just asked such inspired questions and the Spirit was so strong and so many questions were answered and I learned so much about myself and what I need to work on and how I can be a better missionary, a better person, and how to help our investigators and my city more. 6 hours flew by way too fast. But it truly was the most beautiful experience.
Okay so that first paragraph was a little dramatic, I'm not going to deny it. But i just learned so much and the Spirit was so strong that I'm still on that amazing Spiritual High. I'm so excited to see how making these changes-in myself and how I do missionary work-are going to affect this city, and every other city and person I meet for the rest of my life.
Gosh, I could just write my whole email on that Conference, but y'all probably want to hear more about what I did.... Last Wednesday we met a wonderful woman on the street and we talked to her about how Christ helps us in our lives and she was agreeing and was like "yeah, this is cool. But hey, I 
gotta go, sooo..." So we're like "let's say a prayer!" And after the prayer was asked if we could see each other again and she got sooo excited. She was like "yes please! look, I live literally right here. This is my name on the [ringer thing]. Come any evening. I work at home. Also, here's my number." So that was exciting. Power of prayer is SO real. Use it!!!
Then this one woman that is friends with a member that we had a met a few times called us and was like, "get on the bus with me" so we got on the bus with her when it pulled up to our stop, we went to her house and she gave us a TON of old clothes and a little tray of food that she had made for us. It was so cute! She told us that she was making one for her daughter and she thought of us because we were so far away from our friends and families. She's 
suuuuch a gem!
Our investigator with a bap date passed her interview!!! We had to move her date back two weeks because she invited her non-member father to come who lives in Rome, thus giving him time to work out his schedule and come up. He wasn't happy when she told him she was getting baptized but she just straight up told him that she knows this is the true church and that she's making the right decision. She's such a boss, i love her so much. But she passed her interview with flying colors because she's so fantastic.
We went to Verona Sunday night to stay with the 
Sorella there because we are the farthest away from Milano in our mission :) So we went there and that was sooo fun. One of the sorelle was Sorella Burt's companion in the MTC and she was my "day companion" when we traveled to Verona together when I was transferred to Trieste. So that was fun! and her greenie is from Maryland so I had a fellow East Coaster with whom I could enjoy company :)And then Monday was the conference and it was so great to see so many wonderful missionaries again!!! And Tuesday morning we headed back to our little home in Trieste :)
Have I ever told you I love missionary work? I do. I just feel so happy and blessed to serve God's children here in Italy. Times sure as heck get hard and sometimes it gets hard to go outside knowing that most of the people you talk to will reject you, some being very rude. We had a woman ask us how we could be so stupid at such a young age when all we said was "hello how are you". But out of all the rejections we get, those beautiful souls who stop and find hope and joy and feel the love of God through the Spirit make it all more than worth it. I'm here because I've been sent by God to find those people that He has prepared to hear this message. Who's hearts are ready to accept it, whether they know it or not yet. The badge I wear is truly an honor, that my name can be so close to Christ's as a full-time, set apart, representative of Him.
I continue to thank you all for your help in getting me here. your examples, love, support, and teachings have been a greater blessing that you know. I love you all so much and pray for you. Remember who you are as a son or daughter of God, and what that means. To me it means that you are worth more than anything in the world. Vi 
voglio un mondo di bene
Sorella Hawks J

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