What lack I yet?

Buongiorno cari,

There was an earthquake here, if you didn’t already know, and it was scary…

…To wake up to the news and sad to hear about its destruction. My heart and prayers are going out to those affected.

On a lighter note, I’M GOING TO ROME!!!!!! Just for a few days though for mission conference – it’s going to be weird to see so many missionaries all in one place, I suppose just like the MTC!? It’s pretty cool that I’ll be in Rome for my 6 month mark, I can’t believe that I’m almost 1/3 done. And I’m pretty sure I’ll be home this time next year because of where transfers and university fall! 😱 Freaking out just a little.

This week we had a pretty cool miracle last week, we did spesa (good old grocery shopping) on Monday and Sorella Ensign and I were taking in English (because we’re not going to debate ‘which type of body wash’ in Italian) and this woman walks up to us and asks us where were from. She then proceeds to ask us to teach her 6 year old English – which we say yes and explain that we do a spiritual thought at the end if that’s alright. She calls to confirm the time of us coming and starts to ask us about our book, and asks if we can bring one for her to read. So not only did we get to teach English to a cute little girl but we also got a new investigator!

On Tuesday I did my addestramento (training in DDM) which went pretty well, although with things like that I always feel as if I’m babbling on and on about a topic aimlessly and then we made pizza for district lunch. It was pretty cool, and it tasted pretty good too! Oh and we also made pasta al forno for the first time for the district – and it tasted good (probably due to the amount of cheese we out into it!).

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about consecration. After a series of events in the mission and a big drive for consecration by our mission president, Sorella Ensign had me read to her “A Consecrated Missionary”; for those of you who haven’t read it, it can leave you feeling inadequate because it essentially asks us to lay everything on the sacrificial altar, which is a big ask. I’m not there yet, nor am I anywhere near close, but I have hope that “line upon line, precept upon precept” I’ll get there. It was also clear from the goals I made for this transfer; at the bottom I wrote “dedicate and consecrate” partly because they rhymed and also because I want to be more diligent. Then, if that wasn’t enough of a prompting, I read chapter 19 of Matthew this week, which is where the rich young man, a commandment keeper, asks the Saviour, “what lack I yet?” To which the Saviour tells him to give all of his possessions to the poor and come and follow him. This young man decides that’s too much for him and turns away. This caused me to think, is this too much to ask? No, I suppose it’s not, but it’s pretty close.

I was comforted by what I read today in a talk called “what lack I yet?” by Larry B. Lawrence: “The Holy Ghost doesn’t tell us to improve everything at once. If He did, we would become discouraged and give up. The Spirit works with us at our own speed, one step at a time, or as the Lord has taught, “line upon line, precept upon precept, … and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, … for unto him that receiveth I will give more.”…
The Spirit can show us our weaknesses, but He is also able to show us our strengths. Sometimes we need to ask what we are doing right so that the Lord can lift and encourage us. When we read our patriarchal blessings, we are reminded that our Heavenly Father knows our divine potential. He rejoices every time we take a step forward. To Him, our direction is ever more important than our speed.
Be persistent, brothers and sisters, but never be discouraged. We will have to go beyond the grave before we actually reach perfection, but here in mortality we can lay the foundation. “It is our duty to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today.”
If spiritual growth is not a priority in our lives, if we are not on a course of steady improvement, we will miss out on the important experiences that God wants to give us.
Years ago I read these words of President Spencer W. Kimball, which had a lasting impact on me. He said: “I have learned that where there is a prayerful heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God, the Lord pours out more and more light until there is finally power to pierce the heavenly veil. … A person of such righteousness has the priceless promise that one day he shall see the Lord’s face and know that he is.”
It is my prayer that this ultimate experience can be ours someday as we allow the Holy Ghost to lead us home.”

The whole talk is so good, on the mission and through reading the Book of Mormon you can really recognise how pride is the start of the downfall – but if we’re asking our Father in Heaven, and constantly seeking perfection, we can avoid this. But I also loved the part that talked about direction is more important than pace. We can’t expect rapid progression and immediate results, it’s a life time pursuit and to be a consecrated missionary, an entire mission. Patience, love and encouragement are required to give ourselves. Chapter 21 of Harold B. Lee’s teachings are a great insight too, I especially liked the quote  “… [The Apostle Paul] pointed to the course by which perfection comes. Speaking of Jesus, he said, ‘Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.’ (Hebrews 5:8–9.) …
“… Let then no day pass but that we learn from the great lesson book of [Christ’s] life his way to a perfect life and walk therein to our eternal goal.”

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Also this morning I read the parable of the labourers in the vineyard, and likened it to us as members (well actually Sorella Condé did but I’m gonna steal it;)). We’re the lucky ones born into the church (ie. The labourers who started work in the first hour) and the Lord has promised us eternal life if we labour diligently (ie. Our penny). So why should we be jealous of those baptised later in life and getting the same reward? Eternal life is still a wonderful gift and we can feel  blessed for the opportunity to work the whole day!

Know that I love you and think of you often, stay safe, be happy and remember that you’re oh so very loved!

It’s not about me, it’s not about us.

Sorella Tacchi xxx

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The fridge broke!

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