Buongiorno, buongiorno, buongiorno,
This week was one heck of a week. First off, I don’t know if I mentioned this or not last week because we received the news right in the middle of emailing, but our investigator that was about to get baptized on the fourth got moved by the organization helping him financially. Now he is in Cimiano, hahaha, at the very least I know that I can trust the people there to take extra good care of him! Plus, he lives with his wife now, so I know that he is a lot happier. I also heard that now his wife and him read the scriptures together every night. God bless that man and his wife, that made me so happy!!!!! As far as I know he is still on track for baptism soon but I am sad we won’t get to work with him anymore….
Second off, one of the beloved sisters in the mission had to return home early this week due to health issues so I ask each one of you to say a prayer for her right now, because it doesn’t matter who you are, coming home would not be easy, plus she could use the blessings for her health. Just take 20 seconds right now if you could……
Let’s see…… what else…….. oh yeah, I gave my first talk in Italian the other day in church and it went very well I believe, because the Spirit was there and I know that it was able to touch a few hearts. What an incredible blessing! To know that the Spirit worked through you, to help someone else, is truly an honor and it is one of the best feelings in the world. That’s how you know you are working the right way. OH, but here’s the kicker: we got a call from President Dibbs the night previous to the talk, and he said he would be doing a surprise visit and coming to our church services the next day!
SURPRISE! YOU GET TO GIVE A TALK ON FAMILY GENEALOGY IN ITALIAN IN FRONT OF YOUR MISSION PRESIDENT! WOOO!!!!
Cultural Bit: IKEA is huge here too guys, but we also have another place that we didn’t have in the States, called Tiger. Tiger is a store along the same kind of lines, I think Swedish too, but it has everything from office supplies, gadgets and things you want so bad but don’t need, cooking tools, electronics, workout gear. They have everything guys…. and its all sooooo cheap. I didn’t even know I needed this workout wheel thing for my abs until I went there…incredible.
Spiritual Bit: So, I’m going to set aside the frivolities for a moment and speak of a heavier topic. One that needs addressing.
In 2013, Anziano Holland gave an address in general conference concerning those with mental health issues and in specific, MDD or depression. Concerning it, he said, “So how do you best respond when mental or emotional challenges confront you or those you love? Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend. As President Monson said to the Relief Society sisters so movingly last Saturday evening: “That love never changes. … It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there.” Never, ever doubt that, and never harden your heart. Faithfully pursue the time-tested devotional practices that bring the Spirit of the Lord into your life. Seek the counsel of those who hold keys for your spiritual well-being. Ask for and cherish priesthood blessings. Take the sacrament every week, and hold fast to the perfecting promises of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead.”
I attest that sometimes you will have to take the bitter cup and trust in better days to come. For those who have depression you well know the feelings of hopelessness, utter and complete hopelessness to even the idea of feeling something other than the truly overwhelming despair that can take over. I know because I have it too. I have felt it, and some days when it truly hits… no words can truly describe the anguish you feel and how overwhelming it is in your mind. Nothing seems to fix it either, nor do you have the want to do anything to fix it. You don’t have it in you.
Sometimes, the strength is given to us to press forward through it, or the situation is fixed, but other times there is nothing we can do. Don’t you dare think that Heavenly Father has abandoned you though. Your mind will be torn apart and your heart too, but that does not mean that He is not with you. This, for those of you suffering from this nasty disease of the mind, will be one of the hardest tests of faith you will ever be given in this life. Will you have faith in a better day, and will you have faith that if you continue doing the right things that He will save you. There will be no indication that everything is alright when you are suffering. No sign that says, “15 miles ahead you will reach your destination” and that everything will be alright. It will have to be 100% faith. But I promise each one of you suffering from this that there is a way out of this. You might have to drink from the bitter cup, but take it from the man to drink the bitterest “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)
He felt the same thing, and He will help you. (Alma 7:11-13) Take strength in His love and I promise you will make. You will see another day. You deserve to feel loved, and you deserve to be happy.
Moreover, if anyone needs more help with this subject I offer what little advice I can give and invite you each to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I can help anyone out with this as well I would be glad too.
Hold fast and know you are loved, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
These pictures are of Anziano Mortezezadeh and I on scambio (exchange) where we got on a train that didn’t stop where it was supposed to, so we got stuck at the World Expo for an hour. We weren’t even mad.