Wednesday, February 15, 2012
I am glad everyone is doing good! This week has really flown by. Things are going really great and I'm hoping the snow will stop coming! Church was canceled on Sunday because of it (but the snow really wasn't that bad) so I was a little bummed that we missed a Sacrament meeting as missionaries. I was asked to give a talk and I got out of it so maybe it's a sign that I need to prepare better!
And news about going to Rome. Unfortunately, we are flying out of Cagliari (some missionaries had a very negative experience on the boat coming in and did some complaining I'm thinking). We will have our preparation day on Tuesday, so you guys can write me Monday night, and then we take the train to Cagliari that day where we'll fly to Rome that night. Our conference is on Wednesday in the morning and we fly out of Rome that night so I don't think there will be much site seeing! Elder Teixeira from the Seventy will be speaking to us. I guess he spoke a few months ago too before I came into the mission and according to some he's quite the strict guy, and as you say in the very popular Italian phrase; "he breaks boxes (rompere la scatola)". The only missionaries I've really heard say that though are the one's that need to have "their boxes broken!" So I'm really excited to hear from a general authority, and fun Rome stuff will have to wait for another time!
First, I want to give you guys a link. I've been on the Church website and I saw this video, and she came to the MTC and gave a talk/performed for us so I'd thought you guys would like to see: http://www.lds.org/church/news/grammy-nominated-artist-shares-testimony-through-music?lang=eng
Okay, I'll begin with details on the investigators like usual. Unfortunately they aren't making much progress. We try to meet with them, but they are always busy. A bit of good news though, when we called Maddalena Sunday night to set an appointment up with her she told us that some members in the ward got the OK from president to do a sacrament meeting in their home and Maddalena attended so we were pretty happy to hear that!
We tried looking through past investigators to try to see if they would be interested again, and we found a man named Gianni. His progress record wasn't filled out all the way as to why he was dropped from being an investigator, so we called him up and he said we could stop by. He was super nice, we did a lesson with him, but the death of his wife destroyed all his faith. He said that he'd believe when he saw a sign. We tried explaining to him that we need to have faith and that signs aren't what converts people. In the end it helped strengthen my testimony in fact, but Gianni isn't interested in our missionary purpose unfortunately.
Our time has still been filled with a lot of finding work. We have been getting a lot of potentials, but nothing has really stuck with our efforts with knocking on doors. I guess the Vatican has been doing a huge effort to reactivate less-actives in their church and they have sent missionaries out too, so nearly everyone thinks that we are them and it becomes extremely awkward when old ladies do the Sign of the Cross when they see us at the door! It was funny, I prayed hard Monday night that someone would let us into their house. I had this prayer in my heart for the duration of the evening, and then boom, this lady let us in! Well, we weren't able to do a lesson with her, there wasn't a man present, and she wasn't entirely interested, but hey, my prayer was answered! I joked with Anziano Hill that I should have been more specific!
Well later that night a miracle happened. We were waiting for a bus to go home after a long day working, and then this young, clean cut guy came and was waiting with us. I had a feeling that we should talk to him, and in my mind I was thinking of something to do to initiate a conversation. Meanwhile, Anziano Hill was telling me a story, and didn't know how to say 'forest fire' in Italian. He went over and asked the man, explaining it in Italian. After he figured out what it was and told him, I made a joke and said that we were learning Italian, and he said that he also was. I asked where he was from and he told me from Bolivia. After that we just got to know each other. He is actually of Italian decent, and just moved here to Italy with his family about five years ago. His name is Adhamar (I think that's how you spell it, I call him Adi), he has a wife he's been married to for seventeen years, and they have four kids. He owned a huge ranch in Bolivia, and is a horse trainer! That's what he does for work right now in Italy. He has seen missionaries before in his home country because a relative of his was taking the lessons with the them. He was very interested in our message, and told us that we could come back to his house the next morning to teach him. Yesterday, we went and the lesson was fantastic. We had him give the prayer at the end, and he thanked our Father in Heaven that He sent us to him. He was very interested in it all and he wants us to return Saturday so we can meet and teach the rest of his family. We are so excited! A golden new investigator and a potential eternal family! There is only one thing we are a little nervous about. Right now his wife and two oldest children are studying with the Jehovah Witnesses, and I guess he used to also, so his vision of God was a lot like theirs, because they say that no man can see God, so he is just a spirit. Well we know that we were created in God's image (Genesis 1:26 and 27) and not in a cloudy spirit's. Also there are accounts of Enoch (Gen. 5:24) Jacob (Gen. 32:30) Ether (12:39) and many others who have seen Him. In the end, we have some work... and fixing to do, and we pray that his wife and children will also be as willing to listen and to pray as he was, or at least be supportive of him meeting with us. They are a really beautiful family, and have very high standards, as he explained to us. Pray hard for them!
Well that's about it for the week! Things are going great here! My testimony is really building, even in the negative experiences. I am so lucky to be here in Italy, and especially on Sardegna. I've got a feeling that I'm going to be able to say that I spent a whole year of my mission on this island, and I'm completely okay with that. I love you all so much! I love you Dad, I love you Mom, I love you Morgan, I love you Brooke, I love you Heather, I love you Greg. Mi mancate! State bene! Vi voglio un mondo di bene! Alla prossima!
Anziano Clay Lacey