It was so awesome to see you all! No worries about the tears, I loved it. I was just trying not to cry myself haha. I was a little bummed because I kind of wanted to talk just to mom and dad about the panic attacks, but I knew that wouldn't really go over well with the rest of the fam so I just counted my blessings and moved on. But then mom devoted a whole email to it, which was awesome, thank you for helping me with my struggles. I really wanted your advice, so thank you for sharing with me. President Wall has also been super supportive (he used to have panic attacks too about elevators after he got trapped in one - he used to not used an elevator if he had to go to the 10th floor or less. Then he started carrying a crowbar in his briefcase so if he did get stuck he could open the doors and escape. He said that he will be my crown bar and i can call him whenever I need to. What a gem! I will think about the medicine thing too because that could be another "crowbar" haha)
So me and Sister Lucherini's packages got there on Thursday, the day after christmas, and we had a fun time opening our presents. Thank you so much for the clothes! Everything you sent is freakin' amazing - you have awesome taste! Everything fits and I feel so pretty in everything, thank you thank you thank you!!!! I'm also loving my jammies - I've been sleeping in them every night since Christmas. Thanks for the gift cards and the claritin and the letter writing stuff, it was needed and will be used! You all are seriously the best. My birthday package got here on Friday or Saturday, I can't remember which, and I opened it and I almost cried when I say the balloons in there it was so cute. I can't wait to open everything tomorrow!
So I have to tell you about one of the most joyous moment I've had so far on my mission. It was so amazing I seriously almost started bawling haha. 2ish months ago we went to the M's for dinner and, under the direction of the Spirit we did this like puzzle with them and their 13 year old ADD son about why it's important to read scriptures and we invited them to start reading the Book of Mormon as a family. We never followed up with them so I assumed they never did it, and I left feeling like Br. M didn't really have a testimony, he just came to church because his wife made him. We went back over there for dinner last night, and when it was time for the lesson, Br. Maggio said, "Are we going to do that puzzle again?" And I was so shocked that he remembered what we had done and I said, "No, we got something else this time. You remembered that?" And he said "Of course haha." So we played this game about becoming perfected in Christ by doing the little things and gave their son his own chart to check off when he does the daily little things that will help him to become perfected in Christ. And then we asked the parents if they would support their son in the challenge. And Br. M told me that they had actually started reading the Book of Mormon as a family since we came over last time. And he told us that he has never read the Book of Mormon all the way through in his whole life, how he's struggled with doubts, but things have started to click more for him over the years, and now, on the days when he reads the Book of Mormon, he can tell that he is more patient at work, that things don't get to him as easily. On the days when they don't read, he gets grumpy easier and is more irritable. As he was telling us all of this, I just had this immense joy in my joy and I felt like I was either going to explode with happiness or start crying or both. And we pointed out that what he was feeling was the Spirit - in Galatians it says that the fruits of the Spirit are joy, peace, love, patience, temperance, long suffering. He had said earlier that he's never been hit over the head by the Spirit, so when we pointed out that he was feeling the Spirit because he is reading the Book of Mormon, he got this puzzled look on his face like, "Huh, interesting, I'm actually feeling the Spirit." Man, the whole experience was so cool. I totally misjudged Br. M, but he is a rockstar, and we ended the lesson by asking if he would share his conversion experience with C, an investigator that we are working with, and if it's ok, could we teach her in their home. He said, "yes, absolutley." It was freakin' amazing. Please pray that things go well on Friday - we are going to visit C with Sister M and then Sister M is going to invite her over to have a lesson at their house. So great. I'm just humbled, blown away, so happy that the fact that I followed the Spirit led to somebody feeling the Spirit and increasing in their testimony. There seriously is no better feeling. I felt like I could hear the angels cheering in heaven. :)
Well family, keep fighting the good fight! I love you and I'm so so so thankful for you. Love you more than all the sheahorshes in the shea! :)