Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Giorno di Preparazione a Palermo!

Hey guys!

Thank you all so much for the emails. I am so glad that you are all doing so well and are all safe, healthy and happy. Today we are in Palermo for p-day so I will be pretty quick. 
Palermo, Sicily, Italia - 8-8-12

Palermo, Sicily, Italia - 8-8-12
We just finished one of the best zone conferences I've had my whole mission! It was weird switching from a zone conference with just ten missionaries to over thirty. Every missionary in Sicily was there and it was so much fun. I saw friends that I already had, and met a ton of new people. President really felt that he should do interviews again this transfer so we did those and I learned so much. He is honestly the most inspired man I know!

Anziano Lacey and Luke

Anziano Luke, Lacey, and Botalla 
The main point of the conference involving missionary work was baptismal invites. He really wants us to invite people a lot more, and to look at it as something joyful, instead of dreading it and being scared for the reaction that the investigator might have. Our purpose is to invite to baptism, so why not do it right away? Some of the most spiritual moments I've had in my mission have been the baptismal invites, so I look forward to pushing myself to invite others even more. 

The other theme was that of an apostolic prayer. Elder Jefferey R. Holland hasn't been on a vacation with his family for years. He called up the Kellys asking about local hotels and they insisted that he stay at the Villa. He agreed and was given, along with his family, a tour of Rome with the Kellys. President said that it was funny because the whole time he was there he wasn't in a suit and tie, he called President "Tom", and was amazingly positive, optimistic, and energetic. At the end of their short two day stay, he told President that he wanted to give a prayer and leave an apostolic blessing on the Italy Rome Mission. They all knelt down to pray, and right away the Spirit was felt as a special witness of the Lord addressed his Master to humbly pray for this mission. He prayed that the branches might become wards (interesting to note that that is the number one goal for the members here in Trapani), he prayed for us missionaries, especially those with a firm testimony of Christ, and for their families that the blessings of heaven may be poured upon them. He blessed those that we teach and will teach so that they will come to know of the truth. These are just some of the things that were mentioned but I feel so spiritually pumped and have a vision of the future as far as what kind of missionary I need to become. 

This week has been great for the Lord's work in Trapani. Myself and Anziano McMullin, my zone leader from England, did a very productive split. We saw a great miracle especially with those that we met and saw, and we found two new investigators from Napoli. We ate lunch with the Sanacuore family and they invited some friends over that are American-Italian from New York. We shared a little message with them and helped them understand more about the Church. 

The family we teach invited us out again while the zone leaders were with us and we played soccer! I am finally able to hold my own ground and I made a goal! Woo! I used to hate soccer but now it's really getting addicting! The Sicilians play a lot more soccer than the Sardinians, that's for sure! 

Since half of our members were still on their way back from their week long temple trip there weren't very many members in church so I was asked to give the lesson in priesthood with a topic of my choice. I felt strongly about 2 Nephi 4, also-named "Nephi's Psalm", and we dissected the beautiful words that can help strengthen us to avoid temptation. It was a great chance to gain the trust of members and to share my testimony of the Gospel with them so they can know that I really do care. 

The greatest miracle happened on Monday. The members came back from the temple, and have been so spiritually hyped up to share the gospel. Our branch president called and said, "Anziani, if there is anything I can do to help with the work, call me. Anything." We got a call from a member that was just sealed to his wife for time and all eternity. We went over to his house and there was his brother who isn't a member, but who has been curious about the church. We did a lesson with him and everything went perfectly. We invited him, Sergio Valenti, to be baptized when he will come to know that these things are true. He said yes, and now we can very clearly proceed down the path of the missionary lessons and the miracle of the conversion experience. I feel so good about this and I have high hopes for this wonderful man. 

Thank you all so much for your wonderful examples to me! I love you all so much and I pray for you always. 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! Have a great week and be safe! Remember that you had an apostle of the Lord pray specifically on your behalf! How wonderful and true this Gospel is! Vi voglio tanto bene! Divertitevi un sacco durante scuola, lavoro, ect!

A presto, 

Anziano Clay Lacey

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