Wednesday, December 29, 2010
We don't have too much time today because we need to run off to some appointments soon in Prima Porta.
Christmas was great! On Christmas Eve we had lunch at the Villa (the mission home) with the other missionaries serving in Rome and the office couples and President and his wife. They fed us a wonderful dinner and we had a white elephant gift exchange and a small Christmas program. It was pouring rain and so when we all arrived, we were soaking wet! Luckily, Sorella Kelly gave us slippers to wear while our shoes dried. It was a wonderfully yummy dinner. Afterward, on Christmas Eve night, we went metro caroling with the sisters from Ladispoli. We hopped on a metro and sang Christmas songs to the people, it was great fun! Then we skyped home to our families and went home.
We didn't have any invitations from the members for Christmas so Sorella Pickett, Sorella Zeller, and I put together our own Christmas! We were able to sleep in (I was the last one to wake up at 10:00. Wow, it felt great) and we made french toast and then opened up our presents around our Christmas tree and listened to Christmas music. Then we went ice skating and to play Frisbee and football with the elders in our district and two members from the Philipines, Anthony and Louisa. Then afterward, we rented the Karate Kid to watch but we weren't quite sure where we were going to watch it. We stopped by the Crawfords (an office couple who live just up the street from us) to sing them a Christmas song and found all the office couples there, and they had just finished having Christmas lunch together. They invited us in for leftovers and told us we could watch the movie on their TV. It was perfect! Then we went home and read Christmas stories together, ate chocolate, and acted out the nativity story from Luke 2.
Other highlights from the week....
We have a new investigator! Her name is Veronica, she is 14, and her family is friends with our bishop and he invited them to the ward Christmas party. She is not sure what she believes right now but we have already met with her twice and is very open to trying the experiment of Alma 32, to plant the seed of faith and see it grow. We plan on meeting with her three times a week and hopefully get her family involved as well!
On Sunday we went to Beth's (a member from the Philippines) house and when we showed up, there was another woman and her daughter there. They told us that they were investigators in the Philippines and were really interested in learning more about the church and maybe being baptized and they really wanted us to teach them and come to their house. I was thrilled!!! A whole family that wants to learn about the gospel! We taught about the Restoration for about 30 minutes and it was going really well until finally she tells us, "I am just kidding! I am actually a member who just moved to Rome." HA! Mean joke!
We have a new finding activity that we've been doing the last few days and I am really excited about it. We bring our gospel art book and play a game with people on the bus. The game is "guess the prophet" and we flip to pictures of Moses and Noah and Daniel and Jonah and they have to guess which prophet it is (the animals and the ark, or the 10 commandments, or the lions, or the whale usually help). Then, we flip to a picture of Joseph Smith and they are like "Uh,,, I have no idea" and then we explain to them who Joseph Smith was. Good fun! It works well with some people who would never listen otherwise, it's a nice ice breaker, and its entertaining!
This Christmas season was special because I have been reading Jesus the Christ this transfer. I get on to "study kicks". I realize that I am not very good at studying if I have more than one goal at a time or if I try to spread out my studying. Its a lot easier if I just make one goal and focus on that for a transfer. Last transfer I read the Book of Mormon, this transfer its Jesus the Christ. The next transfer I am going to read through Preach my Gospel. Anyways, one thing that has really stuck out to me is how relatively few people in the world knew of the Savior and how many people rejected Him because He didn't come in great glory or in the way that they expected. I thought about how much this parallels the Church today, it is relatively small but growing and how interesting it is that many people reject it because its not exactly what they expected it to be. Big lesson in that God's ways are always higher than our own!