Yesterday for language study I was reading chapter 23 of the teachings of Howard W. Hunter. It was pretty cool, and gave me a little boost as it talks about how no one is less useful (I may not have the translation correct as I have no clue what it is in English. So this is what I got out of it with my limited Italian knowledge). Every act of service we do is important to our Heavenly Father, even if it is only known by us and him. President Hunter was asked by a friend “which is the position or calling more elevated: that of a dear and trusted friend or that of a prophet of God?” To which he replied “both are sacred positions of trust”. I loved that! No matter who we are, we matter and it’s where we need to be. We don’t have to have a profound calling of high responsibility to feel significant or needed. Callings or responsibilities should not define us, just as an apostle said recently (I’m awful at remembering who said what and when!) that the thing by which we should define ourselves is that we are children of God. That’s what’s important, we are all significant in his eyes and it doesn’t matter if we influence a nation or just ourselves. The important thing is we made the best of what we got and did as God asked of us. President Hunter then went on to talk about the unsung heroes of the scriptures, starting with Sam. When Lehi is talking to each of his children before his death, he promises Sam exactly the same things as he promises Nephi. Sam’s call wasn’t the same as Nephi, but was to sustain and support him. He was diligent in that, and because he did what was asked and expected of him he received the greater blessing. We shouldn’t let titles or fame define us, in fact it can be a dangerous place to be! Equally we must be careful who we follow and look up to, especially in a world of shifting values and distorted ideals. “We must choose our heroes and examples wisely whilst thanking those legions of friends and citizens that are less famous but who aren’t less useful”. We mustn’t forget those who have influenced us more than we realise: the teachers we had at school, and that friend who was there for you when no one else was, or that smile that that stranger gave you on the bus when you really needed it. I hope that all of you realise how significant you are, you are the child of the most high God.
I read a box-breaky talk by President Hinckley from the October 1994 priesthood session called “Don’t Drop the Ball”, but as Anziano Jensen or Yskes would’ve said “it was swag”. He uses examples from baseball and American football so I couldn’t fully appreciate them but I got the main point. He talks about how one slip can change everything, how a really good baseball player dropped the ball once at a really important time thus loosing the game and now that’s what he is remembered for despite carrying on being a really good player. He talked about how every decision is important as it leads to others which in turn can change the course of our eternal lives, “today is a part of eternity”. I don’t know about you, but I often think that this life is preparatory for our eternal one. But in reality I forget that eternity is now, and I am living a part of my eternal life already. There were two pretty poignant paragraphs in his talk which seemed to sum up his point “The Lord is forgiving, but sometimes life is not forgiving. In the world in which we walk we must be careful. The temptations are tremendous. We all know about them. The little decisions can be so crucial and so everlastingly important in their consequences.” That hit me hard. I often think of the Atonement as an eraser, which it can be but only really in terms of our spiritual salvation and healing of the soul. It doesn’t cover the consequences we have to face in reality, that’s the difference between mercy and justice, as mercy cannot rob justice. We have to be accountable for our actions, and we can’t expect not to be given temporal consequences even if the spiritual consequences have been lifted.
One of our investigators called us and told us that all of a sudden she has a huge desire to read the bible, and asked if we could bring one. So we ventured down to the dungeon known as the bookstore in the basement of the chapel and all that we could find in English was the biggest bible possible to buy. So we turned up to teach her and gave her the bible and said that soon we could get her a normal size one which we’d have to order but she said “when it comes to the bible, the bigger the better! Can I keep it?” When we said yes, the picked it up and raised it above her head and exclaimed “my bible” and half screamed!
Sadly we said goodbye to a member of our district who was transferred… it was sad to say goodbye to the trio! But we went and had burgers as a goodbye! Gonna miss Anziano Campbell.
After travelling for 90 minutes to get a bidone (when they don’t show up) we were waiting for the bus talking to this woman who told us that we were egotistical because we do things for our own salvation… I couldn’t think of anything less selfish to be doing right now! That was the day when nothing went to plan…!
Then we had Stake Conference in a hotel yesterday as Elder Paul V. Johnson came to call a new Stake President, it was really cool to see some missionaries I haven’t seen in a while and the happy news that Y will be baptised this Saturday! Ahhh! Good things are coming!
We went to the pantheon today, which is pretty cool, as well as the Trevi fountain again!! Just another Pday running around Rome, I feel so blessed!
Have the best week ever,
Vi voglio bene,
Sorella Maja Tacchi xxx