Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Hey guys! Buongiorno!
It has been another great week here in Siracusa! Wednesday night of last week we made it to Trapani, slept there, and in the morning I got my Permesso di Soggiorno (residence permit), and we headed straight back. About ten hours of bus riding all for a fifteen minute process! But my Permesso is good for another two years so I can extend my mission for a third year and still be legal if I wanted!
The best part about the trip was seeing Sergio Valenti, the man who I was teaching and got baptized a week after I had left. I called him and we organized for a small moment to meet when I had arrived Wednesday night. We were so happy to see each other and I can't begin to describe the change that I saw in him. He is 100x more happy, and seemed like a new, more improved version of himself. He loves the Gospel so much and he openly acknowledges the change that it had made in his life. He loves the church and now he's preparing to enter the temple. There is nothing better than having someone legitimately thank you, and say humbly: I love you.
I saw other friends from Trapani just walking around the city, and I even stopped by an old investigator's house who was a tailor for Armani suits and is super rich. The branch president even came to find me as I waited for the government office to open to take my Permesso. It was a very nice trip in the end!
We went to Lentini, a city about 45 minutes outside of Siracusa where we set up an appointment with Sabrina, the cousin of a member who we gave the blessing to. We met at this member family's home, the Scamporrino's, and we waited for Sabrina. It was forty-five minutes past the time she was supposed to come, and the Scamporrino's were scared that she wasn't going to come. As they left the living room frantically calling her and failing to get a hold of her. When they left I quickly folded my arms, bowed my head and prayed hard that she would be able to make it! Literally when I said, "Amen" they came back and said, "She's here!"
Sabrina was so excited to see us and we had a great introductory lesson with her. Unfortunately her son Christian was at school so he couldn't make it, but we had a very spiritually powerful lesson and we invited her to be baptized on December 1st as a goal, and she accepted it if she would be ready, and she wants to be baptized with her children. She has been very impressed with the church and loves the members. After the lesson we went to the train station and waited there for awhile. The ticket machine was broken, and there was no way for us to buy tickets because we didn't have cash, so we were in a panic! We went to a bar to buy tickets, and they didn't accept cards and there wasn't an ATM anywhere close, so we were concerned because we had to get home for more appointments. The bartender was very nice and gave us the tickets anyways! It was one of the nicest gestures ever, and this week when we go back we will pay him back for sure. As we waited at the station, Sabrina came with Christian because he wanted to at least say hi to us before we left. He is such a great kid and I can't wait to teach him!
This week has been crazy because zone conference will be held on Friday instead of November 6th, so me and the other ZL's have been rushing to get things done, especially things regarding our trainings that we need to give, and organizing everything else. I guess the airport in Catania will be closed during November so we have to get things done right away! Me and Anziano Davis have prepared a great theme though, and we'll get together in Catania tomorrow night to put it all together.
Church was great and we had two investigators come. One of them, Giovanna, has been coming frequently to English course and has shown a lot of interest in the Church. She has been asking a lot of questions, especially after the spiritual thoughts in English course, and last night was her second time at the Family Home Evening the ward puts on and she loves it and she's making great friends with the members. We are praying and working hard for her too, and she is really a great friend to everyone.
I finally met an Italian guy with the name of Ezio! A Russian tourist that is living in Malta stopped us and wanted to talk to us because she lived in Provo with a friend for a little while. She was with another Russian friend, and also with this Ezio guy that is living in Malta to improve his English. It was really funny and we got their number to give to the Malta missionaries as referrals.
This week has been great! Crazy, but great! The work is really stepping up and the members are noticing that we are trying our best. Things are going great and everything looks positive as we help investigators, especially with Sabrina and her family.
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, and I love you Greg. Have a great week! I'll talk to you soon!
Anziano Clay Lacey