Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Italy, Week 61 (1/6/16) - L'Epifania!

Happy Epifania! So today is yet another festa in Italy. It's the day where the Befana, which is a witch, comes and gives candy to all the good girls and boys. She came and filled our fridge with more chocolate than there is normal food. Yayyyy!

This week was good! For New Year's Eve we went to our senior couple's house to eat a good ol' American dinner with them and talk. It was wonderful! We were home by 9:30 and then we went to bed and set an alarm for midnight because we're lame tired missionaries. At midnight we opened the taparelli, but you still couldn't see anything because we're only on the second floor of our building... So we just laid in bed and listened. Some of the fireworks got super intense. Like it
sounded like bombs. But we survived so all is well :)

This week wasn't super eventful, very similar to our other weeks... We visited many wonderful people and had many wonderful conversations of many wonderful things :)

Last night we had English class and only one guy showed up. He was baptized in Romania about a year ago and man, does he talk. While he was talking it came out that he decided that he's not leaving his Orthodox Church totally behind and he's combining and becoming a mixed Mormodox. Ummmm yeah. So we had a nice long conversation about there only being one true church and authority, etc. in the end we talked about God's will. I remember when I was in high school, my mom taught me that the only thing that we have that is totally ours and God cannot take from us is our will. And that is the very thing that He asks us to give to him.

This morning my companion and I had a really good talk about this in comp study. It's interesting because we teach so many people and invite them to do what God wants them to do. But you have to look at yourself as well.  As missionaries, we hear a lot from people that they're fine where
they are, doing what they're doing, they don't want to change. That drives us nuts! That is the opposite of doing God's will. Doing God's will requires faith, hope, diligence, and humility. We need to have faith that God has a very specific plan for each of us,  with the end being Eternal Life by His side. But we don't know that plan. Yes, we have the Gospel that teaches us what to do to return to God. But there's another layer after that. There's a layer that guides us in the smaller things, such as work, studies, where you live, where you go, what you do. That under layer is often the harder one to uncover and follow that map that's on it. As humans we know what we like and what we want. And it does indeed make us very happy when we do what we want. We feel content with our lives because we accomplished what we want. And that's good! It's certainly better than doing nothing. But there is a best. And sometimes it's hard to know that it's the best.  It's hard giving up what we want not knowing 100% that the thing for which you are giving up what you want is so much better. And sure, sometimes that path isn't always the most fun, but in the end, it brings us a joy that we wouldn't have had, had we not followed God's will. God is happy when we are happy. He works so hard to help us to achieve greater happiness in this life! But if we don't seek it, and
act upon it, we miss out. And we may not feel that we're missing out.  But I promise we are. God doesn't want us to miss out. This life is a beautiful time to grow, to experience, to learn, and do all that we want to do. But we need to give our will to God and He will show us the way that will lead us to greater joy in this life, while being able to live life to the fullest,  in accordance with God's teachings of course.  This life is meant to be lived, enjoyed, filled. And the best way to live life and love it, is according to God's plan for you personally.

I love you all so much. Thank you for all your love and support. I couldn't ask for better friends :) (that includes you family because you are my friends)
Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Hawks :)

 Our daily bike ride. I promise I normally wear the helmet.

 This is the piazza right down the street from our house. CHRISTMAS Picture 1

Another piazza shot - Picture 2

Another piazza shot - Picture 3

 Another piazza shot - Picture 4

 Another piazza shot - Picture 5

 This is Sorella Tolosa! She's from Spain, we did a scambio last transfer but never got a picture. She's moving to America after the mission and we're going to hang out all the time :)
 Us being dorks 1
Us being dorks 2

Love you guys!

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