This week I did my first two scambios, made some really stupid mistakes (why did I talk to an American tourist about Lost Books? Oh, because it made sense in my head but you don't feed a baby steak, Sorella Arndt...) Anyways, I feel not super up to this calling but we did a training yesterday at zone conference about our role as STL's (it was sort of a weird subject, no?) and hopefully everyone understood what we were trying to say. Here's a section from my notes that I wrote for this training:
"Scripture in Alma
26 And when the priests left their labor to impart the word of God unto the people, the people also left their labors to hear the word of God. And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God they all returned again diligently unto their labors; and the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; and thus they were all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength.
Can you explain this scripture in your own words?
How can we resolve the idea that many of us are in different leadership positions but God is telling us that we are all equals?
How are we all equal? Two things: body of Christ scripture example
Second, Because we've all passed through the same things. None of us were born perfect or with all the answers. All the things we've learned have been gifts from God. Experiences that we've had. If I'm advising a Sorella on a problem that I've faced too, I can't pretend that I'm just born più brava. I only learned those lessons because God loves me, He wanted to teach me, and it's thanks to Him that I know any of those things. So I think that we're all equal because we need to be humble. As leaders, from senior companion to mission president, we need to be humble and recognize the Higher Power, that as long as we have a God, we are all subject to Him. And the people lead need to be humble too. As a young(er) missionary, I loved scambio where I really learned something and felt truly blessed that God had put people in my life who could help me. That thank goodness I didn't have to be the first person to face these problems, but that if I was humble, I have more than just the example of Jesus Christ from 2,000 years ago to follow, but that I have a friend who I can hear and see and know who is one of His disciples and can show me something about how I can follow Him more fully."
Anyways, made more sense when I said it but Sorella Allen also talked about the divine structure of the church and how it's a circle and not a ladder. That is, a lot of people think the prophet is in charge of everyone, the apostles, the 70, stake presidents, bishops, elders quorum leaders, and home teachers...but that's not how it works. Because even the prophet has a stake president and a bishop and an elders quorum leader and a home teacher, no? And those people are set apart to be his leaders and his counselors. So it was really cool to reflect on the divine organization of the church bc it's something I've never thought of.
We had an incredible lesson with a less-active couple who is our age. It is really cool when your strengths can help people you work with and you realize why you're here. We're also working with a South American lady who wants to be baptized but has an ex boyfriend who is so scemo and lives with her bc he didn't have anywhere to go after they broke up so she can't get baptized yet...also an eternal investigator from Nigeria who is SO slowly getting closer to baptism, but is actually praying to know what to do to be ready to be baptized. Hasn't received an answer yet but she is making progress and I hope she gets baptized while I'm here. Then a middle-aged Italian couple who ADORE us but don't really understand our purpose here and talk so much and if you're an ex-missionary from Italy then you can probably imagine how our lessons go (we share a scripture and then they talk for 45 minutes and then close the lesson themselves by offering you a piece of pandoro...) but the work here is real and it's strong and it's amazing and it's growing. I love sharing this gospel with people and I'm excited with what I can do here at Firenze with my awesome companion and the difference that God will really be able to let us make here.
Anyways, I love Firenze and the people here and my companion and my district (I'm serving with two Anziani that I've already served with, how cool is that?!). So thanks for all the emails and prayers and love and support, hope you have a great week being missionaries for a righteous cause yourselves! The world has need of you! <3 cuoricino bacio ciao
|Anziani Jill has served with in the past|
|Jill at Pisa|
|Jill at Pisa|
|Jill and Sorella Garcia at Pisa|