Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Miracoli ci sono!
Buon giorno famiglia!
Hey guys! Thanks for the awesome emails! It was really nice hearing from you all. And I finally got the package! Thank you so much, the candy was great, the note was cute and I loved the little pictures! Dad, you look like a stud in that wake boarding picture! Grazie mille! This has been such an awesome week! I've loved every minute of it.
The investigators are doing great! We are now up to five progressing investigators which isn't too shabby! Step by step. The Tache's had an interesting experience. In the house they live in there are some people from Pakistan and they said on November 11 that the world was going to end at 11:11 o'clock at night, so Iona called us and frantically said that she was freaked out and didn't know what to do. To say the least they want to move to a different home and she said that from that experience she was so sad that she wasn't baptized so shes going to do everything she can to get baptized. She might go live by herself in Sassari so we'll see! They are doing great though.
We haven't been able to visit our investigators in Calangianus since last week, but they are reading and praying. We just have to get them to church now! We officially picked up a new investigator on Sunday. Drum roll please... Ignazio Mazzone agreed to take the lessons! We talked to him about it after church and he said he would love to take them and that he needs them. A few days before Sunday we went to talk to his wife to see if he was ready for the lessons and she gave us the thumbs up to ask! She also shared some tender stories about some of the reasons why he might have had this sudden change and this want to be closer to God. His sister has a tumor in her intestines that the doctors found recently. I guess it's been there for about two years so it's really serious. Because of this experience he's got down on his knees to talk with his Heavenly Father. On Sunday his wife asked him to bear his testimony in Gospel Principles class. He used to be atheist, but know he knows that God exists. Che bello! He's in Cagliari right now, but when he gets back we will have the first lesson with him. So either tomorrow or Friday. I can't wait to tell you all how it goes! Now is where faith, hope, and a ton of prayer come in handy!
Well, yesterday I had one of the coolest experiences that has ever happened to me so far on my mission happen. We did a split with the Sassari Anziani and I was in Olbia with Anziano Harris. We went to do a few pass backs in this one zone where we found a few potential investigators a few days earlier but we didn't have any success finding them and some were home but didn't answer the door. We were stopping nearly everyone the we saw on the streets (I'm so grateful that the car is gone, I'm starting to become a pro at street contacting and getting numbers - it's a huge testimony builder that the Lord strengthens our weaknesses). In the end, we were not having too much success. We went to a few palazzi to do some house to house and the last door we knocked on a man told us to wait a second. When he opened the door Anziano Harris said that we were missionaries and that we were bringing a message about Christ and that we wanted to share it with him. He said alright and invited us inside. As we were walking in he changed his mind and said to come back another time. I was a little bummed, and as Anziano Harris started walking away I used my Sherlock Holmes skills to find clues. I looked inside his house and saw two newborn twins in car seats on the coach. I learned how to be very persistent from the assistants when we had our split, so I decided to put into practice. Pretty much everything I said after this was completely lead by the Spirit. I first told him that we weren't Jehovah Witnesses, and that immediately took the weirdness away (it works well to say that) and right away I began teaching him truths about the family at the door and how we can live with our families forever, etc. He was really listening intently and again (knowing that we weren't J.W.'s, invited us in his home. We sat at the table and began getting to know him a little bit. He is a really young guy named Leonardo, married, with two new babies. It was also quite the coincidence because he has a really good friend living in California (where I'm from obviously), and a friend in Idaho (where Anziano Harris is from). We asked if we could began with a prayer and he was down for it. After that we taught completely relying on the Spirit. We didn't teach him the entire first lesson, just the parts that seemed to be the best for him at this time without overloading him with a ton of new stuff. We taught him a lot about the Book of Mormon and it all seemed to make sense to him. During the lesson he talked about an experience he had. He is a very religious guy, and of the Catholic faith. He took his two babies to be baptized, but while the ceremony was taking place he said he didn't have a good feeling about it and didn't like how the Catholic church worked. He said that their priests and other leaders shouldn't be men of God and wear gold, silver, and other expensive and flashy clothing. He also said more but I don't want to get into too much detail but to say the least he felt that the Catholic church didn't have all the truth. He said something that was perfect: "Today in the world it's hard to find all the truth." Immediately I opened the Book of Mormon to the most commonly used missionary scripture in Moroni 10. I asked him to read it and when he finished I bore my testimony to him. It seemed to really hit him. We asked if we could meet with him again and he said of course. He wasn't sure at what time he was free but we got his number and once we fix another appointment he will officially be a new investigator. It was such a cool experience with being led by the Spirit and listening to it's promptings. I have a lot of faith in Leonardo and he seems to be one of the elite! I've been prayer to find and baptize families! I think this is the answer.
Last Thursday wasn't anything way special. We went to a recent converts home and helped him build this huge cabinet/closet/bed frame thing, so that was kind of fun. I love eating with him because he went to school to become a cook, therefore he makes good food. The only problem is that he has this huge, fat, stinky, old dog that likes to breathe on my food waiting for me to give him some food that I will never give.
Friday was awesome. We did a full day of splits with the assistants! I was with Anziano Banks and it went so well. He was a week away from finishing his mission, so he knows missionary work in Italia! He taught me so much about how to get new investigators and it was amazing to see how much people you can find in one day. He also had a lot of little tricks he liked to do that actually worked and altogether I learned so much. During some finding work we actually found one of our investigator, Agostina's, nieces named Martina who agreed to meet with us! I wish the assistants could have stayed longer, but I'm grateful for their decision to work with us for a little while.
Sunday was a bit crazy! All of the youth on Sardegna was doing a youth activity at the Branca house, and we had all of them and some parents in church. The Olbia chapel isn't a church building, kind of a little shop turned into a church. It's way small. Well we had about 50 people in this little broom cupboard, and some of us had to sit on primary chairs one foot off the ground. It was awesome to see that many people, but it was so crowded! After church we had a big lunch altogether and we all had fun together.
On Monday we went to Sassari for a little district meeting and Anziano Harris and I came back to Olbia (about four hours of train riding). It was kind of cool, on our way to a teaching appointment these boys were playing soccer and one kid kicked it hard and it flew past one kid straight towards us. They yelled for me to kick the ball back to them, and I was super nervous, afraid that I wouldn't kick it well enough and ruin our good missionary name based on my lack of skill with soccer. Luckily, I kicked it and it flew right back to the kid. He was impressed and ran up to give me a handshake. He said something about how he didn't know J.W.'s could play soccer and we quickly cleared that up that we weren't them. It was way funny and I'm glad I didn't mess up!
That night we had FHE with the Mazzone's agian, and it was a blast, as usual. I was a little nervous though because it was all a mess of seafood dishes. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it and I'm excited to go try Bubba Gump Shrimp and Red Lobster back in the States.
Well that's the awesome week! Other than that I taught the beginning English course class for the first time and it was pretty difficult but I had fun! Things are going really good over here in Olbia. Are mission goal for the next few weeks is to find a bunch of new investigators before the holidays when it's hard to find new ones when they are all busy. We are working hard and we'll see baptisms soon!
Thank you all so much for your prayers and your support! I couldn't do it without you all! I love you Dad, I love you Mom, I love you Morgan, I love you Brooke, I love you Heather, and I love you Greg. Take care and have a fantastic week! I love you and miss you so much! Vi voglio benissimo!
Con grande affetto,
Anziano Clay Lacey