Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Fortunate Son" June 22 email from Elder Adam Younce

Hey everybody I hope you've had a good week.

This week has been pretty good to me. I'll start at the end of last
Wednesday, after my emailing time was over. We were doing English
class and we decided that since there were so many people at different
levels in our class, we would do 3 classes. So the Sorelle took the
absolute beginner students, Anziano Pyper took the advanced students
who pretty much already know English, and I took the intermediate
ones. The people in my class really don't know how to speak or
understand a lot of English but do know a fair amount of grammar so I
had to mostly speak in Italian and be able to translate lots of random
words and phrases that they had questions about directly. I did
surprisingly well and one of the students who has been coming since
the beginning of my time here remarked on how much my language skills
have improved since my first day. At the end of the lesson I was going
to share a short spiritual thought with them and the thought came to
my head to share a video where Elder Holland explains the Book of
Mormon. While it was playing I realized that I had that thought
because the 3 people I was with had all at some point expressed some
sort of interest in our church or had been picked up by us as an
investigator even though only one had received a Book of Mormon and
none of them had read it(I don't know how that happened). After the
video was over I talked about what the Book of Mormon means to me and
the powerful effect that it can have in a person's life as it has in
mine but for the first time ever, I didn't feel limited by my ability
to speak in Italian. The words just flowed from my mouth and even the
student of ours that had been dozing off the entire time before was
sitting up and listening. After I was finished I asked the people who
didn't have a Book of Mormon whether they would like one and they were
very interested so I quickly ran upstairs to get a couple of copies
for them. I know that I couldn't have done that without the guidance
and power of the Spirit. I finally am starting to feel like I can do
this "missionary" thing on my own. Obviously, for a lot of things it
is helpful to have someone with me that knows the language very well,
but it is comforting to know that if I needed to that I could do
things on my own. The rest of Wednesday was a little rough because we
had ward council and we butted heads with the bishop some more but I
won't go into more detail since I don't like to criticize local
leadership to such a large audience, especially since he really does
mean well and is trying to do his best.

The rest of the week was pretty normal for the most part. Isidro
didn't show up to church again because he had work, which is a
problem because if he can't change his work schedule he won't be able
to come to church at all. Since we've had a lot of referrals lately,
we have been busy trying to schedule appointments with all of them
but, as usual, it is harder than it should be because that's just how
it is to be a missionary. There seems, at times, to be an invisible
wall of force of some sort that prevents us from being as successful
as we would like to be. It's exhausting working against the grain like
that but we just have to "continuare avanti" with the knowledge that
it will not always be that way and that we are doing the right thing.

By the time I send my next weekly email out, there will be a new
Mission President here named President Allen and the old one,
President Dibb, will be gone. I've really liked Dibb even though I've
only been with him for a few months. There are some rules that he has
made that lots of people don't agree with but all of them have been
for the purpose of protecting us and making us most effective
missionaries that we can be. I've been told that there are two main
groups of mission presidents: ones that focus on missionary work and
ones that focus on missionaries. President Dibb definitely belongs in
the former category but from what I've heard of President Allen (my
companion's parents know him from back in Idaho), he is a very relaxed
person and is open and friendly with everyone around him. His wife
apparently even told the parents of missionaries serving here who came
to their farewell to write down something that they can bring out to
Italy for their missionaries. In essence, I'm sad to see President
Dibb go but I'm excited to see how things are under different
leadership. All I know for sure is that I want to try my hardest to be
a person that the president can count on for anything he needs to be
done.

This week I've been reflecting on exactly how fortunate I am. Of all
the places in the world that I could have been born into, I came to
America. I received a complete family who loves me and who taught me
from a young age the teachings of Jesus Christ. I was born into the
gospel and now have the opportunity to share those same blessings that
I've received with people in far off lands. Then I realized that
everyone on this earth has been blessed enormously as well. We all
have a Heavenly Father who loves us beyond comprehension and who
blessed us with life and this earth. We have a Savior who made it
possible for us all to return to live with God again. I am amazed
everyday as I try to think about all the eternal potential in the
people around me and I know that each of them are beloved sons and
daughters of God. If there is ever a time in life where it seems like
privileges or talents were unevenly distributed or like nothing is
going your way, remember who you really are and that your final
destination is not at the end of this life. You were created for grand
purposes.

Vi ringrazio per tutto il sostegno che ricevo ogni giorno da voi
Vi voglio bene

Anziano Younce

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