Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Italy, Week 69 (3/2/16) - FINALLY!

We had a lot of "FINALLY!" Moments this week.
Wednesday we FINALLY got to go to Bolzano.
Thursday we FINALLY got gelato and set a bap date with Giulia!
Friday we FINALLY got to see a less active we've been trying to meet with since I got here.
And we FINALLY got to meet with Bishop's family!
Saturday we FINALLY made contact with a less active pass by a member gave us, so now we know when to go back.
Sunday we FINALLY got to attend all three meetings for Verona 2 ward.
Monday we FINALLY got to teach an investigator the restoration and it went so well!
Tuesday we FINALLY finished weekly planning by making goals for the week and doing comp inventory.
And Wednesday (today) we're FINALLY going to Trento to do a hike!!
Well that was basically a summary of the week.... It wasn't super exciting... We keep getting bidonies, but then it gives us the opportunity to meet lots of wonderful people! And although most of them aren't accepting the Gospel right now, they've now had their first or second encounter with missionaries/the Church and they know that whatever it may be we're offering is good. More times than I can count, we'll try to stop and talk to someone and when we say we're missionaries for our church, they groan or shut down instantly. But that doesn't stop us! We keep talking to them and they see that we're almost normal and that we're truly happy, but also that we respect them. They may have to run off in the middle of our sentence or tell us that they really have no interest. But now they know that when they meet someone wearing a tag, they should talk to them and they don't need to be afraid. They meet these young people who have chosen to devote 18-24 months of their life to God and this work. It sticks, it makes an impression. We're far from our homes and families, we had to learn a language that is nothing like our own. That's not something that a person forgets like that. It's so cool! I'm grateful for this responsibility and privilege.
In my studies this morning I was reading chapter one of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price and that chapter is filled to the brim with gems! Let's take a look shall we?
1 The words of God, which he spake unto Moses at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain,
2 And he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence. (God has a body)
3 And God spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is my name; for I am without beginning of days or end of years; and is not this endless? 
(God declares His identity is and His power)
4 And, behold, thou art my son; wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease.
(God tells Moses his identity)
5 Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth.
6 And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth; but there is no God beside me, and all things are present with me, for I know them all.
(We are created in God and Christ's image. We only worship Heavenly Father, no matter how great other things may be)
12 And it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying: Moses, son of man, worship me.
13 And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee? 
(Moses received strength, council, and teaching from God according to his needs to prepare him to face the temptations of the devil)
14 For behold, I could not look upon God, except his glory should come upon me, and I were transfigured before him. But I can look upon thee in the natural man. Is it not so, surely?
(Moses calls Satan Shirley)
15 Blessed be the name of my God, for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me, or else where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me? And I can judge between thee and God; for God said unto me: Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve.
16 Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not; for God said unto me: Thou art after the similitude of mine Only Begotten.
(Same as verse 13)
19 And now, when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.
(The irony! Christ, who is actually the Only Begotten, never tried to steal the glory from God. Everything He did was to fulfill the Father's will and He always commanded men to worship the Father, never Himself)
20 And it came to pass that Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell. Nevertheless, calling upon God, he received strength, and he commanded, saying: Depart from me, Satan, for this one God only will I worship, which is the God of glory.
(In times of fear and temptation, no matter how bad, even if we're literally looking in the depths of hell, we will receive the strength necessary from God to overcome all things.)
23 And now of this thing Moses bore record; but because of wickedness it is not had among the children of men.
Well this is extremely long and I apologize. But it's not like anyone is forcing you to read it sooo... I won't blame you if you don't. BUT I just wanted to share with you how amazing these verses are! God comes, declares His identity and then immediately after declares Moses'. Or ours we could say. We are children of God and that is so important to Him! And to us! When we fully understand that we are made stronger, we know that we are special. And God teaches Moses the things that He knows he needs to face Satan. And it's so simple! Moses receives the strength he needs from knowing his identity. That's so beautiful!
And then we see in the last verse that all of these beautiful simple truth contained in these chapters were hidden from the world because Satan saw what power Moses received from it and he didn't want others to have that advantage over him. Guys!!!! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN OF OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, GOD, THE ALMIGHTY. He has asked you to turn to him as you would to an earthly father, mother, friend. He knows your name, He sent you here and He has a plan for YOU. I promise you as you come to learn and fully understand this, Satan will never gain power over you. You will know your self worth and no temptation, no lie from Satan will deter you or trip you up or lead you astray. 
I love you all sooooo much! If any are curious, yes, I will be writing next week. 
Vi voglio bene!!!!!
La Sorella Hawks :)

Bolzano - A town with everything written in Italian, German and English! 

Bolzano Plaza

Bolzano from the outside

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