Hey all! Singing went well. It was a very spiritual experience. Every opportunity I get to do anything with music is the best! As I got up to sing I looked at all the new missionaries who had just come into the MTC and remembered how I felt only four weeks ago sitting there listening to someone else sing a musical number. I remember how I was nervous and the suspense was high, but throughout it all I felt the Spirit saying to me, "This is where you are supposed to be and you can do it." The words to Savior Redeemer of My Soul were perfect for the welcome ceremony. I felt the Spirit so strong as I sang the line, "Then let my lips proclaim it still, and all my life reflect thy will." I was so glad I got to do that. AND yesterday I got a note saying they are going to use my other audition piece for the missionary welcome meeting next Wednesday! I will be playing my piano arrangement of Joseph Smith's First prayer. I'm so excited! I am determined to not let these opportunities diminish when I go to Italy.
Yesterday my district played a game called Who's The Italian. Basically you aren't allowed to speak English and you have to speak as much Italian as possible. It was pretty hard and sometimes it was frustrating not being able to express myself completely, but honestly my Italian improved so much just from that. My teacher said one of her districts awhile ago set a goal to only speak Italian for five days straight! We are determined to beat it! So, starting tomorrow, we can only speak Italian for six days (we can speak English to someone if they only speak English). It is going to be crazy, but as we like to say, "Perchè no?" (Why not?) Haha
One thing I've learned is that when the spirit prompts you to speak you should speak no matter how simple it may sound. During a lesson with our investigator this week, he kept asking how he can receive answers to pray. I had the thought to explain the importance of praying sincerely and being patient with God's timing. I also had the thought to share a personal experience that I had with prayer. It seemed too simple. I felt like I needed to have some long, deep explanation. Finally, when our investigator made it clear that we weren't answering his question, I decided I'd give it a try. I shared a story about a time when I prayed and God didn't seem to be answering. I was so frustrated. I didn't understand why he wasn't answering right then. Then, I had the thought to simply get up and go serve someone. When I did, the Spirit came and I found the answer to my prayer. As I spoke, the spirit was so strong and my mind was able to speak Italian freely. I felt joy and excitement as I encouraged him to look for the answer to his prayer.
This past week at Tuesday devotional was awesome! During the devotional I had the thought come to me that the time is now to try my hardest, to be as obedient as I can, to open my mouth and speak with power. It's not when I get in the mission field, when I know Italian well, or when I feel comfortable in my surroundings, or anything else. I felt the Spirit telling me so powerfully that I am enough right now for Christ to work with. Good thing it's not about my power or capacity or else I couldn't do it. It's about Christ's power and capacity. He is the one who makes it all possible. I can do it with him. Also, when I came on my mission I thought it was going to be all about me helping others and me teaching them. But, I have been continually surprised at how much I have been learning instead. I used to think that was bad, like maybe I wasn't prepared enough before coming on my mission, or that I needed to stop focusing on myself so much. But, during the devotional I remembered a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland where he says that every aspect of the conversion process must happen to us before it can happen to our investigators. I realized that it's okay if I feel like only I am learning. When I grow and learn things for myself it adds power to my testimony and in turn it enables me to be able to help others better.
That's all for this week. Love you, Anziano Stucki.
Grateful for an opportunity to learn and come closer to the Savior, Neal shares his mission experience with us.