Friday, May 6, 2016

2016-05-04 Teaching an Atheist

 Leslie is planning to continue with her bap date after a
Spirit-filled, member-present, beautiful lesson. But it's tentative
still. Actually, we just saw her yesterday and apparently she told her
mom that she won't do anything without her moms consent, so now we are
in limbo again. We need to meet with her parents to show them were not

We got a couple new investigators this week!! Yea! One of them is an
investigator's sister. Her name is Joy and her sister - the new
investigator - is named Blessing. They're from Nigeria. Joy is
pregnant!! And I was there when she broke the news to us!

The other new investigator is a girl named Xiao we'd never met before,
she's from China but has lived in Italy for about 9 years and speaks
almost perfect English. Somehow her guy friend was friends with an old
Italian lady in our ward (still don't know how that really worked out)
so she got invited to church a couple weeks ago and the anziani got
her number for us and so we called her and set up an appointment.
We met in Piazza Vittorio Veneto. It was cloudy and kind of chilly
that day, Friday or something. So we were really excited to teach
her...that she has a God! That she has a Savior! Because where she
comes from, people aren't Buddhist or Muslim or anything, they're not
even atheist. They just don't think about religion. So we were excited
to share the good news, we say. But when we sat down and started
teaching her, it started to feel really intellectual, like she just
wanted to know what Christians believe because she's living in Italy.
That's fine, it's just kind of a letdown to explain your faith from an
intellectual standpoint because there's so much more than just logic.
So we had so so much to explain. Take a second to think about how you
would describe the individual members of the Godhead and make it feel
in any way believable. It didn't seem believable! There's a great man
in the sky who is perfect and who is your father and He loves you! No.
But we started at ground zero and it was taking a lot of time to
explain stuff! But I felt like it was really important to say a
prayer, because we NEEDED the good feeling the Spirit brings if she
was going to have any faith. So after we had established who God was
and how we can talk to Him (took about 30 min), we prayed. I didn't
hear what sister Harris said for most of the time during the prayer
(sorry Harris) because I was saying my own prayer, begging God to let
Xiao feel the Spirit haha. After we said the prayer, it just felt nice
to sit there for a couple seconds and not say anything. With no
prompting whatsoever, having no background knowledge of God or prayer
until 30 minutes ago, she said "I feel very good."
Dang🙏🏼prayer works I guess
So we explained the whole Godhead, just introducing Jesus Christ. We
weren't going to talk about him until later because His role is too
big to explain in an hour on top of God and the Holy Ghost haha. But
she kept asking about him, so we explained briefly His identity and
why she always sees Him on the cross when she goes to Catholic
Churches. Again, it's a little unbelievable that there's a man who
lived 2000 years ago who was the Son of God and paid for our sins. But
after we were done explaining and answering all of her many questions,
she thought for a second. Then she told us, "He is a very good man. He
must be a very good man."
I'm serious the Spirit was so strong during this lesson. We felt so
peaceful and calm and happy and me and Harris started to tear up at
one point or another. At the end of the long lesson, Xiao told us
"it's a beautiful day." Guys hearing that was a million times better
than if someone told me I just won the lottery. It was an UGLY day
outside, it was cold and cloudy.
I wish I had recorded the lesson so I could send it home to you all so
you could feel the Spirit too. But I know that God lives and He loves
us, and He wants our happiness so badly that He sends the Spirit
whenever we hear the truth, because He wants us to come close to Him,
the perfect all powerful guy who lives in the sky. And I know that
Jesus Christ is a really, really good man, and Im so grateful for Him.

Also, we had transfers so we have a couple new missionaries including
a greenie that I met in the MTC because our departure date got hecka
messed up!
And we cooked an amazing ragu
and we had a lot of appointments fall through which was really
frustrating because we run all over this huge city and at the end of
the day, we've taught a fraction of the people we were going to.
We got to go to a kinda sketchy building full of immigrants to get my
permesso stuff so I can live here legally and we talked to an couple
of young parent Indians.
Matthew Haines sent me a package of yummy yummy military food that is
safely hidden in the back of our pantry for a special occasion.
We had a nice appointment with an older lady member who's husband
passed away and she reminded me so much of my grandma, I just wanted
to hug her so bad. She has a way cool life story, she's seen a lot of
things and she knew Torino when it was younger. She fed us pudding .
And we visited with another young couple and they took us out to
gelato afterwardss the members spoil us, absolutely spoil us.
We had another member appointment where the wife is a member and the
husband is not. It was a frustratingly short lesson because Italians
talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk about
nothing and it feels rude to say "WOW OKay so can we start with a
prayer then?" But afterwards we ran into this member again and she
said that this was the only lesson her husbands ever stayed for so
that's cool.
And finally during ward council, one of the older, long-time members
came and took us out of the meeting on the pretense of something
important and then he just took us into another meeting where they had
food and fed us pizza and tiramisu. He said, "I know how those
meetings go, they just talk and talk." And we were like "haha....yep"

Jill's Lifeblood

They made Ragu.  They are in Italy after all.

Stupinigi, Hunting Castle for Savoy Familiy.
Note the Elk on top of the building.

Jill in front of Stupinig
Jill and other Sorella's
Looks like Downton Abbey to me
Furniture is incredible

Bath tub

Ceiling Detail

Original Elk that was on top of castle

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