Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hello Everyone!
Updates for the week of the New Year: We had to be home at 6:00 on New Years Eve, all of our neighbors went crazy with their huge bomb fireworks from 6 until after midnight. I don't think any type of firework is illegal here and they were sooo loud, it was nuts! Our windows shook and we jumped every time they went off. I am so glad we were inside! We made a nice New Years dinner and I started my new years resolution of writing in my journal every day. We tried to sleep at the normal time but there was a huge karaoke party going on upstairs and all the fireworks going off around us so it was a long night! And then New Years day was one of our designated apartment cleaning days! So we cleaned all day :)
Good fresh start to the new year!
On Sunday after church we had a party at Ben the Philipino member's house and ate huge amounts of Philipino food. We programmed for the week and did some casa (knocking on doors) in Fidene by where we live. I learned something from the new elder serving here in Rome. Every apartment complex (palazzo) has a ringer (citofono) outside the door (cancello) and we have to ring to get into the complex. Sometimes we give them our approach over the citofono, sometimes we find a palazzo where the door is left open. This time, they asked "Who is it?" or "chi e?" and I said "Its Sorella Askew, can you open for me?" and they did! Then we got to knock on doors and see people face to face which is a lot more effective. It was funny though because several neighbors came out of their apartment and asked menacingly, "Who let you in?"

We tried something else new as well. We have a picture of the design for the Rome temple that is being constructed. When someone would answer the door, we would immediately ask them if they knew what the picture was. Sometimes it worked and people would say no and then we got to explain to them what a temple was and how it was a place where we could be married for eternity and how there was one being constructed here in Rome! Good fun!

Good news for this week, Veronica is making progress! Veronica is our 14 year old Italian investigator. She started off a week or two ago not believing in God and when we met with her on Monday, we asked her if she felt her faith was growing and she said yes. She said that she now knew that there was a God and when we asked her how she knew, she said (pointing to her heart) that she just felt it right here. Ah, how exciting! This is the first time I have ever seen someone make progress like this and it is awesome. What does it take? Someone who is humble and desirous and willing to try to experiment of Alma 32. We are seeing her again today.

Random finding stories of the week:

We tried to find a Romanian friend of ours to give her a Book of Mormon but we couldn't find her. So we were going home for lunch and I was still holding this Romanian Book of Mormon with a pamphlet in Romanian inside. I decided I wanted to find a Romanian to talk to on the way home while I had this book with me. I saw a woman sitting with an empty seat next to her on the bus and thought, "Hmm, she looks kind of Romanian. I'll give it a shot". So I sat next to her and asked her where she was from and she said Romania (yes!). I showed her my book and said "This is in Romanian" (haha, duh! kind of a dumb introduction). She asked if it was the New Testament and I said no and explained to her about the Book of Mormon. She had to get off the bus really soon but I gave her my Romanian Restoration pamphlet that was inside the book. I hope to hear from her, she was sweet and humble and open. Small miracle! It was awesome.

We were looking for a woman named Emanuela from our ward member list who we had never seen before. Her address was unspecific and included about 6 big apartment complexes. We searched for her name on the citofono on all of the buildings but it didn't exist. We called the phone number listed for her and the person told us that she doesn't live there anymore. So we decided to give up and just do a little bit of casa in the area. The very first complex, the very first door we knocked on, they asked through the door "who is it" and we just responded simply "le sorelle". He mumbled something like "Emanuela doesnt live here anymore, just a minute." We were thinking, "What? Did we hear that right? Did he just say Emanuela? Why would he say that???" He opened the door and it turned out to be her brother! He told us that she moved and he gave us the right number for her. What a miracle!

The prophet game is still very entertaining and effective. A lot of people say no when we ask them if they will play but its still a good ice breaker. One older grumpy woman said, "A guessing game? I don't want to play a game" so I just started talking to her with the gospel art book in my lap. A few minutes later she said, "So what is this book you have?" and we played the game and talked about Joseph Smith. Her curiosity got the better of her after all :)

Two first lessons this coming week, I am excited! One with a girl we found on a bus and one with a referral!

I am so grateful for my life and all the blessings I have. I am so grateful for this experience as a missionary, no matter how hard it can be sometimes. It IS difficult being rejected over and over again, but what a faith developing process it is for us.

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