This week has been another work of miracles and working through the hours of blank schedules to be able to find them. I will focus on three main miracles - all having to do with investigators!
So first, Carla. Carla is mid-thirties and wants to be baptized (yes!)....that's kind of it, we have an investigator who wants to be baptized. This is a miracle for missionaries, ok??
Carla has been being taught for years, she originally met the church through the free English class we do. The cancer her younger sister got recently has caused her to become closer to the church and often shows up to church and English class late because she was with her sister but expressing to us, "I wasn't going to come but I just felt a real need, I just need to come." She is so real, she totally gets it. She works at a conservatory of music and is super sharp, so she's awesome. She's the sort of person who will get baptized on her own, on her own time, she just needed simply to be taught things that her church hadn't taught her and then she took that and ran. Anyways, we're not able to see her this week but definitely next week and hopefully in the next few weeks she will be baptized. I made a crazy promise to my mission President when I got the call to come here that there would be a baptism, I think this could be her!
Next, Lolita!! K we need to thank our Anziani for all the work they've done because a lot of this we just walked into without having done anything to prepare these people. Instead, the Anziani have had a couple lessons with Lolita and handed her off to us bc she is a woman. She's from Madagascar and her and her daughter, who is Calabria now, have been meeting with the missionaries recently. The cool thing is that we've never met her, from as far as we could tell the daughter was more into the church than the mom, and we weren't even really sure we would get to see herwhen we did.
But, we went over to her house, chatted with her a little bit, said the opening prayer, finished the prayer and sat in silence for a good 3 minutes while she cried. Finally we asked her, "what are you thinking Lolita? Happy thoughts or sad thoughts?" Hahaha. Well, she said she was so touched that we went out and visited her when everyone else in the world is taking a napafternoon. She said she had been making excuses to not come to church but that she knew she needed to go this .
Well, we could have ended there! "Yes Lolita, you do. We know that coming to church this Sunday is the right thing to do and will bless your life. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." I mean, honestly. We didn't even teach anything, the Spirit did everything. We barely even used words! Incredible. Anyways, no, we did teach her. We read Alma 32 with her which talks about faith and how her praying and coming to church will prepare her to be baptized, which she also said she would do when her daughter gets back from Calabria!! Che incredibile!!
And finally, Matteo. Wow. Matteo is quite the miracle. So, we met him finding 1.5 weeks ago with our member friend. Meno male we brought a member with us!! Members change everything!! He stopped our member, asked us about the name tags, we get to talking. He's an older Italian guy which, if you know anything about older Italian guys, means that instead of a 30 second explanation of who we are and an invitation to know more, we actually ended up sitting there with him for 20 minutes while he told us his life story and we ended the whole thing by playing the violin for him and offering to bring him a Bible. Anyways, I mentioned that all last week. So after that we brought him the Bible! And the Book of Mormon! And he gave us ice cream! Said he would come to church!!! Look, this is not super mega rare in Italy but it is kind of rare! Lots of times people will tell us that they will come because it's good to learn about other churches but that's it and often they don't come.
But Matteo totally came! He came and the members were so nice and the Anziani's investigator also came for the first time ever and Carla also came so we had THREE investigators in church!! How dope is that? So we got to see Matteo again yesterday but this time it was with Francesca. Guys, I swear to you, the Spirit was so strong that we could have given him a bap date right then if it wasn't that we were mega short on time and already running late. A bap date! To an old Italian catholic man! And his wife who both said they want to come to church! So many cool things happened in that lesson. They ate up Francesca's testimony on the Word of Wisdom (we asked her to bare her testimony on the Book of Mormon but ok hahaha), they talked about how they felt something different in all the times they've met with us or come to church, and he said he'd already been reading the Book of Mormon!! What the heck?? But in my opinion, one of the coolest parts was when they were expressing a desire to come to work but he works often. He had mentioned this several times, which is often unavoidable, but then for some reason it came to the surface that he has to actively seek opportunities to work and that includes . SO we were able to make him a super cool promise that if he puts God first and sets that time aside to come to church , their lives will be blessed.
They said yes! Guys the Spirit is so real because literally they know so little about our church (bc they're Italian so it's hard to say anything bc they are typically doing the talking so, seriously, we haven't taught anything yet haha) but they're already letting the Spirit into their hearts and are repenting, coming closer to God, without even really understanding why!! It's so so cool and this is truly how I know that God is there because I've never seen his body with my eyes but I've felt the Spirit burn inside of me and I know that He is there.
Lots of other things happened too this week but you're a champ for making it this far so I'll end here! I love you all so much! Have a good week!
🇮🇹 Transfer 12 with Sorella Hurst 🇮🇹