Friday, February 16, 2007

...Just work your heart out...: June 8, 2005

Dear family & friends,
Starting off, this week has been great. At least, I say so. We'll start with business and some anecdotes.
I was wondering... could I get some pictures - maybe copies of the train tracks pictures with names written next to all of the cousins? I am forgetting names, even of people I have pictures of, and I don't have a good picture of our extended family and none from Dad's side. We'll do a trade - I'll send you some pictures right now and then I'll wait for other pictures in the mail. I know it'll be a bit of a project, and there is a baby coming, and reunions, and everything, but it would be nice to have more pictures of the family. Maybe one of the kids could be involved, and then mom could quality control.
Also, I was reading in the Ensign today (finally, we got the conference issue of the Ensign and I can read all the sessions of Conference that I missed!) and I read in a Saturday session about the importance of senior couple missionaries. Since our last uncle/son has gone on a mission, what would it take to send Grandma and Grandpa on a mission as well? I was thinking, and I realized that I would do absolutely anything to help someone realize the blessings of being on a mission - and that our family and extended family would be amazingly blessed. Grandma never had the chance to go on a mission, and maybe now she does. I was thinking, and as the talk says, there are a few F's - fear, family, finance, and faith (that I remember). For family, I think that the younger siblings would feel the most afraid, but I think they would be greatly blessed as well. For couple missionaries it doesn't prohibit them from speaking to their family, only that their main responsibilities change. As a missionary now, I can promise you that the blessings that the prophets promise us for couple missionaries are really there. We have a few in our mission, and truly they make the difference. They make it possible for us to do our work. For finances, I don't know what would need to be done, but I would be willing to pull money from my own mission fund and maybe take out a loan after my mission to help out. I'm sure that we can all work together. I mean, Grandma and Grandpa gave birth to 10 children and have about 50 grandchildren. The least we can do is support them and try to give them the blessings of eternity. And, in fact, we are promised by a prophet of God that we ourselves will the blessed the most by their missionary service. I'm sure it wouldn't take long (a couple weeks, at most) to at least put financial matters on hold and to serve the Lord. He has promised that matters, whether they be about money, family, religion, school, or health, will be taken care of by the Lord. Who can take better care? In the F of Faith, I can bear testimony of the legacy they would leave for me, even having served a mission of my own. The sacrifice involved is huge, but sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven. Maybe the kids and grandkids could talk together and determine what would need to be done, then present their commitment to Grandma and Grandpa with a promise that everything will be taken care of, so that they don't need to worry about anthing but the final F of Faith. Certainly, it will be their decision, but I truly believe that going on a mission will fix the problems that need fixing, bless the lives that need blessing, and ultimately leave a legacy of love and faith for all the Family Clan.
I'm running out of time again, but let me tell you about another miracle. We were having a rough day - many of our appointments cancelled and our finding activities proved fruitless. We went to pass back by an old contact and she was talking in the street with another man. He ended up being a professor of religion and just began talking at us - not listening for anything. We broke up - my companion speaking with our contact and I listening to this man, and suddenly a woman from Equador pushed him aside and said, "I'm a member of your Church from many years ago! I need to find this elder! Please, I need to know where the Church is!" (In Italian) She explained that she was a member from 25 years ago and wanted to contact some elders that had helped her in Equador. She said she wanted to come back to the Church and offered us food, breakfast, dinner, pictures (she's a painter), people to teach, anything! The most beautiful part was that she had spoken with her sister just the day before about finding the Church and her sister essentially told her to exercise faith in the Lord and it would happen. She told me that I looked exactly like the elder she was looking for - that our being there at Piazza Dante was an answer to her pleadings. We found a lost sister of Zion that day. I am certainly happy.
Happy almost birthday to the baby! I should probably say that this time and the next... because I don't know when the due date is... but I'm going to finish and send you some pictures. Love you!
p.s. - I got the letter with the card; I also got a letter from a friend that had no address on it - just Napoli 80129. That letter certainly flew on the wings of prayer!

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