On friday the 24, I'll have spent an entire year of my life on Italian soil. A YEAR. Crazy!
So the work here, all I can say is we're trying our hardest haha but we had to drop SIX investigators and none of the investigators we have left are super solid. But it's interesting, drops, because they seem so sad and so final but nothing's really the end. There's a quote I like about that, talking about the parable of the laborers in the vineyard,
"Like other parables, this one can teach several different and valuable principles. For present purposes its lesson is that the Master’s reward in the Final Judgment will not be based on how long we have labored in the vineyard. We do not obtain our heavenly reward by punching a time clock. What is essential is that our labors in the workplace of the Lord have caused us to become something. For some of us, this requires a longer time than for others. What is important in the end is what we have become by our labors. Many who come in the eleventh hour have been refined and prepared by the Lord in ways other than formal employment in the vineyard. These workers are like the prepared dry mix to which it is only necessary to “add water”--the perfecting ordinance of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. With that addition--even in the eleventh hour--these workers are in the same state of development and qualified to receive the same reward as those who have labored long in the vineyard.
This parable teaches us that we should never give up hope and loving associations with family members and friends whose fine qualities (see Moro. 7:5–14) evidence their progress toward what a loving Father would have them become. Similarly, the power of the Atonement and the principle of repentance show that we should never give up on loved ones who now seem to be making many wrong choices. (The Challenge to Become)"
So I just had to remind myself that even if these people won't meet with the missionaries anymore during this time, I don't regret the time we spent together or the energy I put into them. Honestly it makes me happy and I know that I helped them, even if they won't get baptized right now. Dropping Kate was so hard. She's this African lady who I LOVE. I LOVE her. When we got to the lesson, I turned to my companion and said, "non c'è la faccio," which means I can't do this. I was supposed to be the strong one because she had never dropped anyone like this before! But she guided us through the lesson and we were able to tell her that we love her and she understood that and we told her she could call us when she wanted to come to church or when she'd received an answer to her prayer. So hard. I cried in the elevator. But she's not the first person I've said goodbye to in the mission and she won't be the last. I feel like I will see her again someday though.
Anyways, three transfers left I don't believe it!! I love the mission! I love you! Have a good week!
(Below is the first part of her email, but it works best at the end with the pictures)
Still in Firenze and I LAUGHED when President called me. My new comp is Sorella Smedley!! She has been with me since the beginning, I LOVE her, and she's followed me around the whole mission. We joked about being STL's together. I never thought I'd even serve with her. So so funny. I'll send a bunch of pics to make the point of how funny this is. So I'm excited. She's super funny, I love her humor. She's like a friend from home for me. She comes tomorrow.