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I [Anziano Toronto] being born of goodly parents, (but especially a good mother) wanted to take the opportunity to share a few of the lessons that came to mind as I reflected on the impact she has made on my life.
Patience is a Virtue, and Thankfully so is Forgiveness:
Each of her children have been uniquely challenging to raise, and each posed their individual challenges to Mom, yet each challenge has been met with an astounding amount of patience. When her children make mistakes creative punishments were invented to fit the crime, such as the memorizing of scriptures and hymns, and the study of selected General Conference messages. #WillNeverForget2Nephi2:27 #NobodyMakesChristianAngry ... Despite their tendency to be "quick to iniquity," Mom has always been quick to forgive. She doesn't hold grudges, and doesn't easily take offense. She is Job-like in her patience and long suffering, and I have often found my self wishing on my mission that I had my mother's patience!
Reverence is more than just quietly sitting:
As Camille touched on during her sacrament meeting talk, getting her (mom's) 7 children to sit through a sacrament meeting without killing one another was a weekly miracle. Sometimes however, silent prayers on our behalf didn't suffice, and sometimes the aforementioned creative punishments were in order. Time lost during Sacrament Meeting was time spent on the couch holding hands, singing Barney classics. Through this, and other experiences in church and in the temple, I learned to have a deep respect for the sacred nature of certain things. It is not inherently wrong to joke, laugh, or have a good time, but she taught me that there's a time and place. Mom exemplifies quiet dignity, an enviable attribute to be assured, and one gained through sincere love for Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the way we worship them here on the earth.
There came a certain point in the Toronto household, where the frequency with which Christian's clean laundry would appear on the laundry room floor, amd Mom's, 'Conniption risk' kept getting higher and higher. Eventually, she said, "I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS!" (think Bill Cosby bath time sketch), and declared that from then on, I would do my own laundry. Similar episodes occurred in the kitchen, and on the piano bench, along with in my bedroom, each adding to my already budding independence. I learned to cook, clean, manage time, money, studies, athletics, and more from a mother who had me doing those things since the moment I was able to do so. She cultivated what was already there, until the figurative plant learned to water himself.
Cheerleader in High School Turned Cheerleader for Life:
Mom is anything but a helicopter-parent, however don't let that fool you. She's as supportive, and more so, than anyone I know, of her 7 children and husband. She has spent innumerable hours watching and cheering them on as they compete in sports, perform in the arts, showcase musical talents, and simply put achieve. When they wanted to give up and stop running, when they were frustrated with playing time, when their tennis team went 0-13, when they sang surprise solos, or squeaked away on clarinet, saxophone, and bassoon, and when they sang "Lida Rose," she was there. She was there to cheer on, encourage, calm down, laugh at (with), and cry. She was there, and always will be for those she loves.
Lift Where You Stand:
Mom has always taken and run with the opportunities she has been given to serve. Whether it was simply making a meal for a sick sister in the ward, or helping out in nursery or primary, no matter the calling, Mom has responded with enthusiasm, impacting lives wherever she went. Like President Monson, she was focused on the one, and I remember many times going to the houses of friends to lift them and serve them. I remember in particular trips to Holly's home in Minnesota, and who could forget the time I accidentally ate a dog treat thinking it was a cookie for me? As President Hinckley would tell her, "You never know, you never know the good you do," (one of my favorite Mormon messages by the way, makes me think a lot about Mom). Can't wait the neighborhood of celestial mansions Mom's building up for herself and her posterity with her dedicated service here on the earth!
Love for Learning:
Inspired by her professor father, and (all but formally titled) teacher mother, Mom has always sought to instill in her children a thirst for knowledge and a love for learning. This resulted in a reluctance to pollute their brains with cable television or mindless TV, and instead replaced them with learning programs such as Planet Earth, Marty Steiffer, and the ever classics, Eyewitness "Birds." School House Rock, America Rock, Liberty Kids, and more. She taught them to read early, and helped them with their homework where she could. Trips to the library were a biweekly adventure, (If not only to avoid late fees), and the same for trips to the science museum, and even the occasional art gallery. Children were expected to take their education seriously, and were gently encouraged to strive to do their best in school. Luca, (famous Pescara Luca), loves the quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley that says, "Il processo di apprendimento è interminabile," and that just about sums up Allison Toronto real well!
Dad, you got a good one!❤
The happiest of Mother's Days to the best of the best! Loved interacting with each of you yesterday, and loved even more the fact that I'll be able to see all of you wonderful humans before Christmas!
Forgive your missionary for his overlong, rambling testimony. He had thought his thoughts were gathered and coherent, but there's always something else he wants to tell you he's come to know for himself!
I'd love any pictures you captured of our short time together, and Anne Katherine tells me Simeon is or has already translated the epistle from your favorite Roman disciple of Christ!
Next week you'll hear about transfers and we'll be back to the typical missionary update, don't you worry!
Vi voglio bene!
Anziano Toronto II 🇮🇹
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