Mom and I are in full Vacation mode as we've been wandering around Venice for the last two days and loving it. We saw lots of sights but talked ourselves out of taking a Gondola ride till today. Then I thought of the times I decided not to take in a historic experience (e.g. Like in Sam Francisco when I chose not to go to Alcatraz) and we bit the bullet and took a €80 gondola ride for 1/2 hour.
Sometimes we have to decide what our money is for. Over the years we've chosen to use it more for experiences vs Stuff when we can. In the end I'm glad we did it.
I also really loved the leaning tower of Pisa!!
As you can see I got there just in time to keep it from falling over :)
It's been an amazing week in Florence. I've been mostly in training but I had the chance to meet some great people and do some fun stuff, like making my own pizza :)
Mom and I both had dreams of you coming home early this week. Hoping they are only dreams! We are so proud of you for sticking through the hard times!
Inevitably on a holiday, Mom and I end up taking about our relationship and how we can make it better. We find that we go through cycles where we are in synch and feeling in harmony and then cycle to feeling tense and cranky. I suspect you have some of this with companions. We decided to take some time regularly to use a practice we do at my work to give each other feedback using "continue" and "consider" vocabulary.
"Dear Josh, Continue to share your testimony and scriptural insights in your letters home. Also, Consider sharing some of the smaller day to day moments, good and bad, as well :). "
We will see how it goes. Relationships are the most important thing we have but also the hardest to maintain and balance. I think that's why marriage and family is so essential to salvation as it allows is to be refined and learn patience and sacrifice.
We are just waiting for the train to Rome. We have been using Air BnB for our reservations and have loved it so far. We have a nice one set up in Rome again tonight for 3 nights. It is right beside the Roman Coliseum.
We are pretty grateful for the amazing blessing it is to be able to travel and see the world. We are truly blessed. Grandma and grandpa Bruce are making sure things aren't dull at home. Tyler Bruce and the Sparwood basketball team qualified for Provincials so Grandpa is taking the boys along with Cody and Benson to BC to see his games.
Abby had her first YW winter camp and loved it. Grandma Bruce is making sure the girls are learning their times tables. Etc.
We are blessed with great extended family around is to help raise our little nuclear family.
Mom is keeping Instagram and Facebook up to date with all our travels though you won't be able to see them there. Is there any plans for your mission to eventually use iPads and/or Facebook?
Seeing all the townhouses and apartments here in Venice reminded me of some of my tracking experiences in Montreal. Though it wasn't always super productive, I had some fantastic experiences and saw a few people join the church through those efforts. Keep up the intensity and effort and the Lord will bless you as you ask in faith.
I read this in 1 Nephi 15:11 and believe it to be true:
"If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you."
Praying for you to be able to find the honest and seeking in heart and that you will be given to know, as Nephi was, what you should do and teach.
To answer your question dad, I don't think this mission will have iPads until way after I come home.