Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Best Two Years (So Far)

With Thanksgiving approaching, I have been thinking about some of the many blessings I enjoy. One of those blessings has been an unending series of of experiences that, in retrospect, have built upon one another.

During my first week as a new mission president, my secretary brought a stack of letters into my office and asked me the sign them. In response to my query, he explained that they were the “death letters” for missionaries who would be released in three months.
Death letters? I soon learned that there was a rich culture of death surrounding the completion of missionary service: we sang for the “dead,” junior companions “killed” their senior companion. I had only been mission president for a couple of weeks when we had our first transfers and I interviewed a group of missionaries they day before they returned home. It was a somber occasion, not unlike a funeral.  What I began to realize during the course of those interviews was that these missionaries – most of the 21 years old – felt that the best of their life was over. It became clear during the course of the interviews that they had been told over and over again in countless ways that their mission would be the best two years of their life. It also became clear that my job was to convince them that that was a lie!
A mission is a remarkable, memorable, unique and life-changing experience in so many ways it would be almost impossible to describe them all. But the best two years of your life? I hope not! A mission is the best two years of your life so far. One of my jobs as mission president was to remind missionaries that, as incredible as the past two years or eighteen months had been, the best was yet to come. For missionary at the end of his or her mission, it is hard to imagine that any two year period could even match, let alone exceed the past two years. But it can, and it should. No one should reach their apogee at age 21.
Noah's Ark - click to enlarge
The Best Two Years: Between High School and Mission
As evidence, I have been reflecting on my own life. For more than a decade, I lived it in two-year periods, each building on the previous. I was seventeen when I graduated from high school, and the next two years – as a college student – became the best two years of my life (so far). My decision to attend BYU was made after high school graduation, and I didn’t know a single soul who was planning to go to BYU that fall. I unpacked my bags in a stark dorm room without a friend on the campus.  Because of missionary restrictions imposed due to the military draft, I would not be eligible for a mission for another year and half. Those early semesters at BYU were the best two years (actually about eighteen months) of my life to that point. It was a period of personal growth, great new friendships, social development, learning. What could be better than being a college student in the Sixties?!
The Best Two Years: A Mission
What could be – and was – better was being a missionary. I arrived in Cordoba, Argentina in June, two years after I had graduated from high school. The next two years were amazing. I learned a new language, experienced a new culture, met remarkable people, struggled, worked, got rejected, and witnessed miracles. My companions and I were given responsibilities and expectations. We got up early every morning, we worked hard, and we slept well. We did things. By the time I returned home two years later I was a very different person than I had been when I left. I had confidence, I could look people in the eye, I could teach, I knew things, I could do things. It was the best two years of my life.
The Best Two Years: More College
I arrived home from the mission field one week before classes started, and I spent the next two years finishing my college degree. It was as different from being a missionary as being a missionary had been different from being a college freshman. But it was a remarkable two years, filled with learning, growth and fun. I had wonderful roommates. Many of them were friends and companions  from the mission, but we rarely spoke of our mission memories – our life was too full with classes, dating, Church service, and planning for the future to spend much time reminiscing. During those two years, my gospel knowledge increased, my social skills improved (I still had a long ways to go from the geeky high school kid whose primary extracurricular activity was teaching a slide rule class), and my testimony deepened. It was the best two years yet.
The Best Two Years: Graduate School
After college graduation, I spent the next two years in Boston earning an MBA at the Harvard Business School. It was an amazing two years, and changed my life. I have often joked that my experience at the Harvard Business School was the best two years and $10,000 of my life! Everything about it was life-changing for me: living in Boston, traveling around New England, school, Church, new friends. Many of my closest friends today date from those years in Boston. Between years I worked in New York City, and no one can live in New York without having it change their life. And it was near the end of these two years that I met and fell in love with a beautiful young woman from Dallas, Kathleen Hansen.
The Best Two Years: Ad Infinitum
I could continue. The next two years Kathleen and I spent in New York City. We became “city people” – and we still love urban life. I served in a bishopric, we made great friends, we learned, we grew, and we had our first child. It was such a remarkable couple of years that we thought nothing would ever be better and that we would never be that happy again! We then went to Salt Lake City for two years where I dabbled in real estate development, served on a high council, had another child, and had experiences which shaped our lives. 
After that, the two-year cycle changed: we spent a year in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (where we had another child); five years in Grand Rapids, Michigan (three more children); two more years in Bloomfield Hills (a ward that changed our life); ten years in Arizona (where we wondered if we had really been happy anywhere else). There we had our sixth child, I served in a stake presidency, and we had Church, work, family and social experiences that kept us growing and learning.  A career move brought us reluctantly to Salt Lake – could anything ever be better than that magical decade in Arizona? 
The answer, of course, was yes. We segment the past nineteen years in Salt Lake mostly by Church callings. I served for several years on the high council under the tutelage of the legendary stake president, Theodore M. Jacobsen. When he was released, I was called as stake president. I was pretty certain that serving as president of the Bonneville Stake was the best calling in the Church and that nothing would ever compare to it. Then I served three years as president of the Spain Barcelona Mission. More miracles, more learning, more growth, increased faith, deeper testimony, and the most amazing young men and women I had ever met! Then it was over. Could anything even come close? I never imagined how much I would learn and how much fun I would have after the mission. I have felt the guidance of the Spirit in remarkable ways, seen many miracles in my family, and continued to learn and grow. I thought I understood baptism as a mission president, but working in the temple has given me a deeper understanding and appreciation of the power of ordinances. Pursuing my goal of writing has been extraordinarily rewarding. And the great friendships and associations from BYU, Harvard, New York City, Michigan, Arizona and Barcelona continue to be a source of satisfaction and learning.

I can hardly wait to see what’s next!
Tell us about your most recent two years. Share your thoughts by commenting below, or submit your own post to the blog (send to clark.hinckley@gmail.com).

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways

Guest Blogger: David Mitchell

Elders Miskin, Black and Mitchell, July 2009
Over a year ago I became acquainted with a recent convert who had immigrated to Utah seeking to distance herself from the persecution she was receiving from her family and friends because of her decision to join the church. Over the course of a few months it became clear that she was not mentally stable and would often act in self-destructive ways. We had become friends and I would often give her my advice and opinions on concerns and trials she was facing, but would always tell her to seek the council of the bishop on many topics because of the priesthood keys he holds. In April, she moved to another city and, following the advice and counsel of my bishop, I ceased all communication with her. However, she continued to send me communications that were hurtful and suggested that her emotional state was very volatile. Concerned, I went to the Provo Temple with a desire to not leave until I had an answer regarding what, if anything, I could or should do to help her. While praying in the Celestial Room, I felt through the medium of the Holy Ghost a scripture that would often come into my mind on the mission when things didn’t go according to plan. The scripture is found in Psalms 46 which states: “Be still, and know that I am God.” I then said within the confines of my mind, “Well yes, but how should I act? What would you have me do, for surely this is outside of my hands.” I then felt a confidence flow through me as if everything was going to be alright. The impression came into my mind that I had done all that the Lord would have me do and I was to not get involved, but rather to stand aside and view the hand of the Lord concerning the affair. That evening I also asked for a blessing and received the same counsel I had received in the temple.

I left the situation in the hands of the Lord, and assumed that would be the end of the whole affair, and for a time it was. In September, as I was getting ready to start my last year at BYU, the issue again presented itself in the form of a Facebook message from one of her friends stating in the midst of a plethora of vulgarity and mean things that this friend knew where I lived and where I went to school. The friend further elaborated that she was going to find me and kill me. I had no idea, nor do I now, who this person is other than she is a friend of the girl I had cut connections with. I had no idea of this person’s potential or intent, so I called the police and had a protective order filed in my behalf.

Final Interview
This was a very stressful time for me. My family prayed, sought counsel, and fasted together as we prepared for the hearing with the judge. The morning of the hearing I had prayed to receive comfort and a blessing. However, due to the earliness of the hour I didn’t want to wake my roommates and ask for one. However, contrary to the norm, one of my roommates was up. He began to ask me about the upcoming hearing and tried to calm my nerves. In the end, he hesitantly asked me if I would like a blessing. I responded that I would love one. He gave me a quick, but wonderful blessing. After finishing, he asked me curiously if I knew of a young girl with long black hair and glasses. I responded that I did, and showed him a picture of my cousin. He responded that that was the girl he was referring to, and even though they had never met before, she had come to him several times in his dreams that evening asking him to give me a blessing. I was amazed at the love I had received. After the hearing, I met with my cousin to get ice cream at the BYU creamery. I mentioned to her about the experience concerning the blessing. She told me that all during the night she had been praying to Heavenly Father asking him to send someone to give me a blessing because she didn’t think that I would ask for one. Her final prayer before she headed off to institute that morning happened to occur at approximately the same time that my roommate had felt inspired to ask me if I wanted a blessing.

Through this experience I have learned again that the Lord is aware of everything that transpires in our lives. He loves us and cares for our wellbeing and will give us specific counsel when we ask specific questions. I have learned the true power of fasting and that when many are gathered in a common cause miracles are wrought. I know also that the Lord hears and answers every prayer, even those that are not uttered vocally. While I don’t know what the future holds, I know that as long as we stay near the Lord blessings will follow and we will be protected from the evils of this life. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but in so doing, he is able to bless the lives of His children.

David returned home in July 2010. He is a senior in civil engineering at BYU-Provo.

Have a miracle story you would be willing to share? Email your story to chinckley@mba1973.hbs.edu.

Monday, September 16, 2013

¿La vida? Muy buena...

Guest Blogger: Logan Keller

I am currently still in the “adjusting period.”  On September 3rd, I returned home from a 15-week stint in the largest city in the world, la gran Ciudad de Mexico.  I often find myself feeling the desire to go get tacos around 10:30 at night and realizing that Betos is the closest thing to a taco stand, or responding to a professor’s question with “¿Cómo?” But, life is good—muy buena.

Elder Keller arrives at El Prat, 25 Aug 2009
The first half of my time in Mexico City was spent working for a foundation named the Academy for Creating Enterprises, which teaches returned Mexican missionaries business principles based on church doctrine.  Interacting with and coaching these recently (and not so recently) returned missionaries, really impacted my perspective on life. Many of the students return from two years of consecrated service to few job offers and even fewer opportunities to further their education.  I had a hard time reconciling how these new friends of mine, who had similar mission experiences, interests, and testimonies of the gospel, had such a different pathway to success and prosperity than I did.  It was neat to see how knowledge empowered them and gave them an added measure of hope and faith for the future.  They taught me so much through their humble, ambitious examples.  I am grateful the Lord is giving me opportunities to apply the skills I learned while on a mission in Barcelona along with the business education I am learning at BYU to help make a difference where I can.

At Sants
After the internship, una “amiguita” invited me to spend some time at her house in the hills outside the city. Excited to gain a different insight to the Mexican culture, I accepted the offer.  She also invited me to be a counselor in charge of missionary work at a multi-stake EFY she was directing.  Although it was a little strange being the only gringo at a weeklong conference for 500 Mexican teenagers, I experienced one of the most spiritually uplifting weeks of my life.  My assignment as the missionary work counselor was to give a lesson on Preach My Gospel and discuss how they could prepare now for their missions.  I prepared a short slide show with pictures of Barcelona and a few of the miracles stories I witnessed which they seemed to enjoy. Many of the youth are new converts and the only active members of their family. Their stories are inspiring. By the end of the week, it was neat to hear the youth of Mexico bare testimony about how excited they are to serve missions and to stay strong in the church.  I left this week with upwards of 150 new friend requests on Facebook and a strong confidence in the youth of the church.  The Lord is preparing them to preform wonders. It is clear to me they will be ready.

Last day in the mission: farewell portrait
After EFY, I checked into the newly transformed Centro de Capacitación Misional de Mexico.  Three times the size of the Provo MTC (including the soccer fields across the street), this spacious campus is beautifully maintained and houses more than 800 missionaries.  I joined a group of about 45 Spanish instructors contracted by the church to spend a period of time teaching missionaries and mentoring Latin teachers who would be teaching Spanish language instruction to English speakers.  The majority of the missionaries at the Mexico MTC are North Americans who will be serving in the Western region of the US. They are sent down to the Mexico MTC in order to make space available for visa waiters in Provo.  My time in Mexico was filled with full-time teaching, Mexican food, young single adult dances every Friday, soccer games, occasional weekend getaways with friends, and excursions to the city in the afternoons.

Through these experiences, I have gained a stronger understanding that God is my Heavenly Father.  He is aware of my weaknesses and talents. He places me in very specific situations to learn and to help others grow.  I have the same purpose as I did in Barcelona and when I focus on helping others to come unto Christ, the Lord helps me to do the same. Life is good—muy buena.

Logan is from Salt Lake City and returned home in June 2011. He served exclusively in Cataluña. He currently attends BYU-Provo where he studies finance in the Marriott School.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Still Learning and Growing

Guest Blogger: Ryan Awerkamp

I had a tender experience this week reflecting on my mission and recognizing how much I was blessed during those sacred two years of my life. I lay in bed and really thought about how much I grew and changed while on my mission. I also thought of all the ways that my missionary service is blessing me now. If you're wondering in what ways, the answer is in everything. What a precious two years. I treasure every day and experience I had in Spain. Those were the best years of my life - up to that point. 

I'm grateful to say that these past two years have been even better. I am actually amazed that Heavenly Father has given me experiences that have helped me grow just as much as I did on my mission. I didn't think I could ever experience a rate of growth and progression quite like I did during my mission, but He has built upon what I learned on my mission and helped me better understand how to come unto Christ. I'm so grateful for that. I'm so grateful for my Savior and for his invitation to continually receive the blessings of the Atonement. 


Zone Conference in Bilbao, January 2011
My mission means so much to me because it is where my quest for constant discipleship truly began. I've still a long ways to go, but my mission taught me to have patience with myself. Heavenly Father is so good and understanding. I think he watches us with the same joy and pride that I have watching Olivia try to take her first steps - yes, she often stumbles and falls, but I'm so proud of her for trying and I know that she'll eventually get it. In a similar way, Heavenly Father is patiently helping me learn to become as He is. He helps me get up when I trip and fall. He knows that eventually I'll be running. Because I believe that God is patient with me on my quest for constant discipleship, I want to be more like my Olivia. She isn't discouraged or fearful when she topples over. She just laughs and crawls back to her daddy so that he can help her try again. That, to me, is the essence of the Gospel, which I learned as a missionary and am still learning now. I'm so grateful for my mission that put me on this beautiful quest.   


Ryan served in Gandia, Zaragoza 1 and 2, Hospitalet 2, and Bilbao. He returned home in April 2011. He married Jeni Gubler on July 29, 2011, in the St. George Temple. They are the proud parents of Olivia. The Awerkamps currently live in Provo where Ryan is a student at BYU. For more information and photos on Ryan, Jeni, and Olivia, see Jeni's blogs at http://jeniawer.blogspot.com/ and http://www.thesmallseed.com/.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Elder Sebastian Ferreira

We are saddened by the passing of Juan Sebastian Ferreira, who died from cancer on 10 March 2013. Elder Ferreira arrived in Barcelona in December of 2009. His first companion and trainer was Elder Randall Hansen in Tarragona. His next companion in Tarragona was Elder Marcus Bricker.

In april 2010, Elder Ferreira was transferred to Alicante where he worked with Elder Jared Serrano, Elder Lee Smithson, and Elder Carlos Velazquez. On July 1, 2010, Alicante was transferred to the Spain Malaga Mission, where Elder Ferreira later served as an Assistant to President Richard Clegg.

We are saddened by his loss; we will miss him; we pray for his family. And we are so grateful for the gospel and the plan of salvation!

¡Nos veremos aún mas allá!

Arriving at the airport
At Montjuic
The three nuevos at Montjuic
Lunch upon arrival at the mission home
Meeting his trainer, Elder Hansen
Zone conference in Hospitalet
Zone conference 
Zone conference
Last days in the Spain Barcelona Mission - Elche


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Maintaining - and improving - your language skills


“Strive to master the language throughout your mission and after you return. The Lord has invested much in you, and He may have uses for your language abilities later in your life.” (Preach My Gospel, p. 128)
One of the challenges each of us has (who is not a native Spanish speaker) is to maintain – and improve – our Spanish language skills after the mission. Here are a few resources that I have found helpful. I hope you will add your own suggestions in the comments section.
1.              Reading El Libro de Mormón outloud. I try to read a chapter every night before going to bed. As I have little opportunity to speak Spanish during the day, this reading keeps my mouth muscles in shape and just gives me a few very valuable minutes of speaking continuous Spanish. And I always learn something useful and am edified by what I read!
2.              Listening to Spanish language podcasts. When I run, I usually listen to at least two tracks in Spanish. One is always a chapter of El Libro de Mormón (download from lds.org) and the other is usually a track from Notes in Spanish – Gold. This is a great podcast series by Ben Curtis (from England) and Marina Diez (from Madrid). They are married and live in Madrid (so they speak properly), and do a lively series of podcasts, including beginner, intermediate, advanced, and gold. Both the advanced and gold series are great. Each podcast runs about 10 minutes, except the gold series, which run about 20 minutes each but include some discussion on vocabulary and phrases used in the conversation. You can find them in the iTunes store (podcasts are free – you can pay for worksheets).
3.              Watching RTVE. I was introduced to “Telediario en 4 Minutos” at the MTC. It is a rapid-fire 4-minute news broadcast, updated several times a day, broadcast by TVE1 in Madrid. Some of the broadcasters speak at warp speed and the vocabulary is well beyond the typical missionary vocabulary. Great practice in listening to native speakers! You can find the webcasts by searching for RTVE.
4.              Praying in Spanish. While I don’t recommend this for all your prayers, praying regularly in Spanish is very rewarding. At home, Hna. Hinckley and I always say the blessing on the food in Spanish and occasionally have our family prayers in Spanish. Our grandchildren always insist on Spanish prayers when we are with them!
5.              Finding opportunities to speak. We had some remodeling done recently which gave me ample opportunities to speak in Spanish - at least half of the sub-contractors were from Mexico! I know what you’re thinking – you hated it when Spaniards talked to you in English, but they just wanted to practice their English. Now the tables are turned. The fact is, conversation time is essential to keeping up your language skills.
These are just a few things I have found helpful. What works for you? Share your suggestions and successes in the comments section. And if you developed some skills in Catalan, what are you doing to maintain and improve those skills?
I can testify of the truthfulness of the quote from Preach My Gospel above. I learned Spanish as a young missionary in Argentina. Although I worked to keep up my language skills, I wish I had worked harder and more consistently! Many years after returning home I had the opportunity to speak in some large Church gatherings in Mexico, as well as at the dedications of the Cochabamba Bolivia Temple and the Madrid Temple. And late in life I found myself back in Spain speaking Spanish every day! Both you and the Lord have already invested a great deal of time and effort in developing your language skills. You will opportunities to use them throughout your life.
¡Un abrazo fuerte!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Lo mejor aùn debìa venir"

Guest blogger Gemma Alfieri Tonoli
Hnas. Alfieri y Oliphant in Barc 2,
Agosto de 2009

Hace casi 3 años atrás estaba volviendo a casa, en Italia, desde la misiòn de Barcelona. Mi corazón tenìa una mezcla de sentimientos: explodìa de gozo, felicidad y paz por todo lo que había ocurrido y vivido durante aquellos 18 meses, y al mismo tiempo estaba triste por dejarlo todo. Hasta algùn tiempo antes de llegar a decidir de hacer los papeles de la misiòn, nunca habrìa imaginado que habrìa sido una misionera de tiempo completo.

Pero, al escuchar los testimonios de muchos misioneros regresados que la describían como la experiencia mejor de sus vidas, los 24 o 18 meses mejores, ese sentimiento empezó a crecer en mi corazón. Sentí muy fuertemente que tenìa q hacerlo y que el Señor me estaba llamando; eso me fue confirmado en mi bendición patriarcal, donde el Señor me prometió muchas bendiciones preparadas para mí, si yo hubiera aceptado su llamamiento. Y así fue, puedo confirmar y testificar que sentì la mano del Señor guiandome en su obra verdadera, y que por cierto aquellos fueron los mejores 18 meses de mi vida (hasta aquel entonces).
Una de las metas que puse fue de segur haciendo lo que había aprendido en la misión: obra misional, poner Dios en primer lugar, estudio cotidiano y eficaz de las escrituras y mucho màs. Algunas semanas despuès de mi regreso a casa habìa sentido que tenìa q hablar del evangelio a una de mis amigas, como ella vivía lejos, hablamos por chat, me hizo muchas preguntas sobre la misión, y yo estaba contenta de poderle explicarle todo. Sentì que tenìa q regalarle el libro de mormòn, le dije q había un libro importante que quería darle, pero, como ella estaba lejos y no habìa una capilla cerca, dejé que el tiempo pasara y de vez en cuando esa sensación me volvía a la mente.


Una de las cosas que el Presidente Hinckley nos dijo a mì y a los otros misioneros/as que estaban acabando conmigo, fue que si habíamos pensado que lo mejor de nuestra vida habìa ocurrido en la misiòn y que lo recordarìamos para siempre, era cierto, pero no completamente, porque lo mejor aùn debìa venir. Esa concepciòn de la vida a venir me gustaba mucho, era verdadero, porque reservar lo mejor solo a una parte de la vida?


Asì empecè a ver al futuro con esta perspectivas, de que lo mejor sòlo habìa empezado. Cada dìa podìa ser lo mejor, y por cierto la vida no acabarìa a los 21, 23 o 25 años (como en mi caso). Algo que el presidente nos pidiò fue, tambièn, que una vez a casa fijeramos unas metas de corto, medio y largo alcance e hicieramos los planes para cumplirlas. Y asì hice, un dìa durante mi estudio personal em mi habitación en casa, después de haber orado, me puse a pensar y a escribir las metas de los proximos 3 años. Hace poco fui a leerlas, me dí cuenta que el tiempo estaba para acabar y que ya tenìa que verificar lo que habìa conseguido hacer y lo que no. 
Octubre de 2009

Agradezco el Señor porqué tiene muchas maneras de actuar, y mis faltas no pararon su obra; tiempo después esta chica se mudó en la ciudad donde vive mi hermano, el cual la llevò a unas actividades de la iglesia, ella se fue a vivir con una familia de la iglesia y empezò a recibir las lecciones de los misioneros. Sabìa que se habría bautizado, y así fue, se bautizó hace 8 meses y actualmente estudia en BYU. Eso me hizo regocijar muchisimo, sé que habrìa podido hacer más, pero agradezco haberle dado mi testimonio y que el Señor usó otros medios para q ella aceptara la verdad. A veces nuestra tarea es poner semillas con un testimonio puro, y asì los misioneros pudieron encontrar a una chica lista. 

Una de las cosas que querìa hacer al volver a casa era partecipar como consejera al EFY, algo nuevo en Italia y que justo estaba empezando. Tuve la oportunidad de hacerlo poco meses despuès y me encantò, fue a mitad entre vida misional y vida “real”, y allì conocì a quien, tiempo despuès, se habrìa convertido en mi esposo. 

Otra de mis metas era de terminar mis estudios: antes de la misiòn ya me había graduado en psicología estudiando 3 años , pero para completar la carrera faltaban 2 años màs de especializaciòn. Siempre he pensado que escoger adonde ir a estudiar, en qué ciudad y universidad, fuera una tarea muy importante, y por eso necesitaba de la ayuda del Señor. Oré y ayuné para saber cual de todas sería la mejor para mí, me quedé con dos opciones y al final sentí paz, tranqulidad y que todo iría bien si hubiera ido a Torino (mil kilometros desde la ciudad de mi familia). 

Que la decisión fuera justa, me fue confirmado ya poco tiempo después, porque conseguì muy facilmente todo lo q ocurría para mudarme allí (entrevista de entrada aprovada, piso barato, un buen barrio muy cerca, amigo/as, etc.) y muchas bendiciones llegaron poco a poco. Sé que fui bendecida porque en los 2 años de carrera conseguí aprobar los examenes sin problemas, terminarlos todos, salir con los chicos, conocer y salir con el chico que ahora es mi actual esposo y así casarme con él.

Desde la misión aprendí, tambien, que si un investigador no progresa hay que ir a buscar a los que estèn màs preparados, así en la vida, si las citas no progresan hay que dejar y buscar lo mejor. Tal vez casarse en el medio de los estudios sea algo normal en los Estados Unidos, pero en Italia no, es muy difícil hacerlo todo al mismo tiempo. Pero mi esposo y yo confiamos en el Señor que nos ayudaría, porque sabíamos que ibamos a cumplir un mandamiento. Y asi fue: cuando decidimos casarnos aùn me faltaban 7 examenes, poco antes tenía aún 5 y después de la boda conseguì acabarlos todos en pocos meses sin quedarme atrás.

Puedo confirmar que lo mejor aún habìa de venir. La misión ha sido la experiencia más llena e increible de mi vida, pero la vida después ha sido y es aún más completa. Sé que la familia fue instituida por Dios, en ella, de niños podemos aprender todo lo necesario para seguir adelante, y de adultos, con nuestro/as compeñeros/as podemos poner en practica todo lo que aprendimos a lo largo de la vida, de la misiòn, y aprender aùn màs juntos. Si confiamos en Dios y seguimos todas sus enseñanzas, seguramente tendremos los 18/24 meses mejores de la vida en la misiòn, y todo lo siguiente serà aùn mucho mejor.


Último día en la misión

Gemma servia en Alicante 2, Hospitalet, Barcelona 2, y Benidorm. Regresó a casa en febrero de 2010. Se casó con Alberto Tonoli en abril de 2012 en el templo de Bern. Viven actualmente en Verona, Italia (sí, el mismo Verona de Romeo y Juliet).