How is everyone doing!!! Thanks for all the mail this week! Mom, I did get the line of authority, and I also got you're GREAT letter, my card, the money, and also the HUGE Christmas package you sent me! I can't wait to start opening these gifts! You guys are the best!!!
So the big news for the week is that I am leaving on....... the 26th! The travel office has given us like 5 different flight plans... its been such a hassle, but we got our finalized flight plans for the 26th! So, we leave the MTC at 8am, leave Salt Lake at 11:35am, fly to Chicago, then to London then we arrive to Milan at 12:30 pm on the 27th. I'm so excited! The longest layover is for 2 hours in London, so I'm not sure when we get to call home, but I promise you I will! And I'll try to let you know when too! To tell you the truth, I'm kind of relieved that we aren't leaving the MTC til after Christmas. I'm loving the MTC, and I'm learning so much here! I mean I know I'm going to Italy, but its still a little scary! I feel so comfortable and at home here! However, thats how the Lord works, he always takes us out of our comfort zones so that we can experience and learn in this life. I'm gonna enjoy my next couple of weeks here to the fullest, but I'm also gonna be pretty excited to start such a crazy adventure in Italy! That being said, this week is the last week of American postage, so if anyone is dying to send me a letter, now would be the time to do it. Oh and next week I'll send my mission field address, so that you can post it on facebook. Ahh there's just so much that I need to do before we leave!!!! On the bright side, I'm feeling pretty confident in the language, or at least confident enough that it will carry me through my first few weeks in Italy.
Aunt Mimi wrote me this week and told me what the doctors told her! I think that's so amazing!!! I was so happy when I read it!!! Miracles really are true! I've been, as I'm sure you have to, really praying for her, and the Lord is truly answering our prayers! Also, I'm sorry about Zack's foot, that's such a bummer.... maybe on the bright side it'll give him more time for school and homework. And at least he was able to go out on a good note, pinning that kid from Calabasas. Way to make me proud kid;)
A couple of exciting things from this week.... first of all, we were able to host the new missionaries this week because we've been here for so long. It was pretty cool, but actually a little hard too because we had to see all these moms cryin their eyes out as they left their kids! Haha just so you know mom, all of the moms wanted the same picture that you wanted, with the missionaries walking away with their bags, giving one last look back. I guess its a mom thing. Also we got to give a little spiel to the new elders about the MTC, which was pretty fun. Have you seen that Office episode with Prison Mike? Haha when we were planning on how we were gonna welcome them, we were thinking about coming about "MTC Mike" and tellin them all about the gruel we eat everyday and stuff. Haha we were on one that day. Don't worry though we didn't actually do that. We also got to exhibit to the new elders that came in this week how they should teach a first discussion. It was weird because I'm so used to doing it in Italian that it was hard doing it in English! Haha it was also funny because I introduced me and Elder Allen to the investigator as "Anziani" and all of the other Elders, whose tags say Elder, had no idea what that meant. Afterwards, one of the new Elders asked me, "what's an Anziano, is it like a super-elder or something?" Haha that was hilarious. It's true though, Anziani are super elders. It was funny too because we always use SYL (speak your language) around the MTC campus, and the Italian zone is doing so well at it that a lot of the other missionaries from other zones know a bit of Italian so that they can communicate with us. This is my favorite quote that I overheard from a new English-speaking elder this week in the cafeteria: "The MTC is so confusing! Everyone speaks Italian here!!!" I think its so cool that we've made our mark on the MTC as a zone. Literally things are so great up here! My district is great, the language is going great, my scripture study is going great, and I have nothing to complain about! That's why I'm glad that we don't leave til the 26th. Although I"m sure that I'll love Italy just the same.
Also, Jessica (our investigator from Milan) came to church with us this last Sunday!!! She's really loving learning the gospel, and she gave us her info to look up in Milan when she goes back after Christmas. Oh, and our new mission president and his wife our here in the MTC, but we haven't met them yet. And we're not allowed to say their names yet. There's also been talk from the MTC presidency about the possibility that a 3rd, and possibly even a 4th mission in Italy will open up while we're out there!!! It's crazy because I could be serving in a completely different mission by the end of my two years! I think it would be cool to serve in Northern Italy for the first half and then get transfered to the Southern part of my mission when the mission changes, so that I can be reassigned to the Rome mission. That way I would've served in like all of Italy! All this is just specualation though haha.
Spiritual thought for the day: I've given a lot of thought to the quote in the New Testament where Christ says that we should "have the faith of a mustard seed" and I've come to a conclusion. Listen to this: a mustard seed knows only one thing, and that is that it will become a mustard plant someday! All of its efforts go into acheiving this outcome. If we want to have the faith of a mustard seed, we must 1) know what our potential is, and 2) be willing to put our all into achieving that potential. That is the key to faith, and the key to life. A quote from Spencer W. Kimball sums it up perfectly: "Everything favors those who have a special destiny: they become glorious by a sort of invincible impulse and command of fate." As children of God, we all have a special destiny. Let's all realize who we are, and put our efforts into becoming what we know we can become!
Next week I will send my last email from the US!!!
Vi voglio bene,