Famiglia e Amici
The last week can be summarily described as the subject line denotes, perspiration and consecration... Pictures this week are non-existent, as consecration isn't really photograph-able, and I'm 100% the last thing I want is pictures of how much I perspired this week anywhere near the internet... I guess I'll write about a thousand words for every picture there should have been!
First off, perspiration:
After receiving news Tuesday morning, two weeks ago, that our new house was prepared to move into, Anziano Ferrara dropped everything and began a mad dash preparing for what we hoped would be a one day move. A week later, after plenty of miscommunication, transportation, and yes, perspiration, we finally began the true move-in process! Tuesday and Wednesday were spent in the service of our fellow beings, as we helped the Sisters move into their apartment and, along with many of the active men of the ward, lent a hand to an elderly sister in the ward, who by necessity needed to move out of her apartment. The former was only a 2 floor job, but the latter asked much more of our suffering legs. Up and down her 6 floor apartment we trampled, carrying the collected goods of a lifetime pack-rat along the way. My shirt didn't quite dry before we were back working on our own move, from Montesilvano, a little northern suburb of Pescara, to Pescara itself. We had the assistance of La Coppia Hyde, all the way from Napoli, who were absolutely irreplaceable in their tenacity and van driving skills! By Saturday afternoon, we were all moved in to our apartment, which is temporarily without hot water or gas, (count your blessings, for as Kris Allen says in Live Like you're Dying, "You never know a good thing till it's gone"...) and decided we would hit up the local basketball court despite our missionary attire. All eyes were on the two Americans dressed in white shirts, slacks, and ties, who walked on up to the court, declaring that we wanted in on the next game. After assuring our boys we weren't worried about how silly we looked, we got in the game. An hour and a half later, there was not a dry part of my body, nor a dry piece of clothing on me, (even my tie, to be entirely honest, and to paint the picture since there is no way in this world or the next I was going to let anyone take a picture of me in that state, haha) but hey, numbers were acquired, gospel principles were taught, and friendships were made. WhatsApp is probably going viral with videos of a giant, American, Mormon Missionary throwing down some tomahawk dunks. Let's just say my bounce was truly righteous...
In the process of the move, I found a binder filled with inspirational talks on missionary work. Inside, was the talk, "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary, " by Anziano Tad Callister. Remembering that I had been given the talk by Anziano Berger back in Catania, but I was unable to read it because it was in a weird format, my interest was piqued. I began to read, and I was absolutely enthralled until the final, "Amen". Many of the questions I had as a missionary, and my own perceived inadequacies were discussed by Anziano Callister, and it has been an incredible catalyst for change in the last couple days! As I read it for the second time, I cursed Apple technology, for not having been able to read it sooner, but I realized I was being prepared up until the moment I found it. I wouldn't have understood it, nor received the same inspiration from the words, had I read it even a month earlier. As a missionary, I cannot change the past six months, nor would I want to. I have learned an incredible amount in an incredibly short period of time, and the Lord waited to give me this specific counsel until I was ready to receive it and act upon it.
The gratitude I have for my Savior's Atonement is absolutely unequivocal. I fall short in so many ways, yet that has no bearing on the infinite gift you and I have been given. The Lord chose imperfect servants to preach his word throughout all of history, and he has done so again with me. We can't do anything to deserve our Savior's love, but surely we can emulate it in our relations with those around us. We cannot fathom how we have obtained forgiveness, but surely we can offer that forgiveness to those surrounding us. I invite you to chose some aspect of your life, and consecrate it in gratitude for our Saviors infinite sacrifice. Choose to serve and lift those around you, and you in turn will be lifted up. Sweat in the service of your friends and loved ones, and when you do, know that there is an Anziano not too far away in Italy doing the same thing.
Vi Voglio un Mondo di Bene,
Anziano Taranto II 🇮🇹