June 24, 2015
One more week down, and I'm less than two weeks away from Italy! Yikes!
On Thursday for gym we played soccer. It was a lot of fun to get outside. One of the anziani in our zone played for the Brazil U18 national soccer team. Emphasis on the word "Brazil". That is freaking crazy.
That day we got to walk around the MTC and bear our testimonies to random people in Italian. It was really great. I was so thrilled to be able to actually talk, and not just be reciting stuff. In terms of how good my Italian is right now, it's hard to say. Unfortunately the only people we have to compare ourselves with is the other people in our district, which makes it really tough for those who are lagging behind. I think I'm about as good as I was after three and a half years or so of Spanish. And I am proud to say my Italian is now MUCH better than my Spanish. The languages are similar but there are small differences that make it impossible for me to speak that language any more. I tried to say the name "Francisco" four times and couldn't do it- in Italian it would be pronounced "Fran-CHI-sco".
I was very inspired to hear about my brother coming home from his mission in Guatemala. From what I heard from my parents, he was incredibly hard working and obedient. I feel bad for people who don't understand that the way to be happy on your mission is not by bending all the rules you can to have a little extra fun. I have already had lots of joy because I have been able to focus so hard. We had a good devotional on Sunday. I was reminded that I shouldn't lower my expectations for my mission because of the generalized reputation of an entire continent (i.e. you won't get many baptisms in a European mission). I know that God is preparing people in Italy for me to teach right now, and I know that I don't have to be tied down to any numbers or averages if I go to work and have him on my side. Having said that, I also know I will learn to develop a positive attitude from the inevitable disappointments.
Sunday was also my companion's birthday. I gave him a card and a protein bar, there's not too much more I could have done haha. The future mission presidents (over a hundred of them and their wives!) are coming today. They are going to be taught in the main building by the prophet and the apostles. Tomorrow we are going to be taught by one of the mission presidents in our districts. Our teacher also told us that the apostles are teaching districts too. Apparently one of the districts in our building is going to have Boyd K. Packer teach them for an hour. Is that crazy or what? I'm still sick, so I would appreciate any prayers you can offer. I know someone is praying for me though, because I have been so blessed so far. If this wasn't hard I wouldn't love it.