Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kinder Egg Predictions

I'm getting really freaked out this week ahh.   I started to realize that this could be my last pday in Cagliari.  

Every District meeting before transfers we do "Kinder egg predictions."  They have these hollow chocolate eggs with toys inside, and we guess what is going to happen the next transfer based on what toy we got. 
Buying Kinder Eggs

I've already been kind of nervous that I'll leave Cagliari, and then I got this little flying dragon toy in my egg.   Now everyone is sure that I'll be leaving and I'm still not so sure how I feel about it haha.   

Streets of Cagliari

I've come to love Cagliari so much; I really feel at home here now.  We've got some great investigators, and I really feel like the work is starting to move forward in Cagliari (despite the summer vacations everyone takes to the beach).  

with Fratello Locci (Ward Mission Leader) and family

I love all the branch members and I know all the bus schedules... But Heavenly Father tends so move us just as we start to feel comfortable.  

We find out on Saturday and usually people leave Tuesday afternoon from Cagliari because we have to take a plane, but we will see!  Sorella Nef and I really hope that I'll do one more transfer here!

One of the biggest reasons I want to stay is to see Maria Rita and Giuseppina get baptized.  But as much I want them to be progressing quickly, I feel like the Lord keeps saying "piano piano"  (slowly). 

 For example, I had done the math and I realized that if they were able to come to church EVERY WEEK and we met with them like every day they could be baptized on this Sunday.  With my fear of leaving, I had decided I wanted it to happen.  
Maria Rita and Giuseppina

Sorella Nef and I went to our appointment with them and had this goal in mind for them.  We were determined to commit them to a date (something we've tried at least two times previously and it never seems to work), and there were just all these weird things that happened.  

Like Francesco (EC student) showed up to our lesson again!  Just wandering in the park.  So it felt weird to commit them to a specific date with him just sitting in on our lesson, but I still wanted to try it, so I extended the commitment.  

Making a Statement
They kind of just sat there for a minute and then said, "Capito" in a way which means, "Yeah, I understand."  Then I realized that I had said the question in such a way that it sounded like a statement. 

So instead of 
"Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone with the authority of God?"

 I said, "You WILL follow the example of Jesus Christ..."

 and I could feel Heavenly Father just chuckling in heaven saying, 

"Slow down Sorella O'Connor.  This isn't about your timing:  what you want or when you want it.  It's about what is right for them when I sait's right for them". 

Lesson learned.  (Then it ended up that date wouldn't have worked anyway because they had problems come up with some documents and weren't able to attend church on Sunday.)

This week I've really come to the terms AGAIN that this mission isn't about ME.  I wanted to come on a mission and accomplish all these grand things: 

I wanted to feel the joy of seeing someone I helped get baptized.  
I wanted to feel like I was a great teacher, able to convince people that the church was true.  
I wanted people to remember me as the missionary that helped them know the truth or the missionary that helped them come back to church or the missionary that began teaching their family.  
I wanted to be the ward members' favorite missionary and just change the way everything works. 

It's Not About Me
However the Lord has kindly reminded me that this isn't MY work, it's HIS work.  These are His children.  

My role isn't to bring people to me.  It isn't for me to feel the joy that comes to them when they receive these great blessings; my role is to bring people to Him.   

My role is to help people rely on the help of their Heavenly Father.  My role is to help people strengthen their relationship with God and to help them be self-reliant in their faith. 

That's where the real joy in this service comes from.  I am grateful for that reminder, and it really helped me to have comfort about possibly leaving Cagliari next week: just remembering that I really wanted to come on a mission to serve my Heavenly Father, to help people come to Him.  

The Lord will call us where He calls us, and as long as we are focused on his work then we can be the instruments that He needs us to be.

Not much else to update on.. just some really cool little things:

Like how we got three referrals from Mormon.Org!  Unheard of.
Or how Sorella Nef and I got to translate for some American tourist kids in Primary this week. 
Or how I got a kiss on the hand from a sweet 68-year-old man with Down Syndrome. 
Or how one morning we miraculously had three lessons in the space of three hours.  (That's more than we get in most full day's work). 

Primary Children with Missionary Drawings

Missionary work in Italy is hard, but it is oh so sweet.  Every day I love my calling as a missionary more and more--the opportunity I have to communicate so directly with Heavenly Father.  I know that He loves us and that He is always with us.  I know that as we sincerely seek him, He will always be there.  

Attitude of Gratitude
I am grateful for the knowledge of his restored church.  I am grateful for the gifts of the priesthood.  I am grateful for a living prophet who teaches us how we can strengthen our relationship with our Heavenly Father.  

Above all, I am grateful for the sacrifice of the Savior and his love for us.  I am grateful he has provided us a way to feel the joy that only comes from living the gospel and from having faith in his power.

With love from Cagliari (maybe for the last time)
Sorella O'Connor

(Email Sent - July 17, 2013)

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