There has been talk this last week of an earthquake in Rome. It is supposed to happen today or tomorrow. Hmmmm, we haven't felt anything yet! We think it is all just rumors.... we hope!
Family, it was great talking to you on Saturday! I am glad you are happy and doing well and you got to talk to my Italian companion as well!
I am trying to think of what happened this last week, nothing too exciting! We need to do some more finding because most of our investigators stopped answering their phone or we can only see them once a week because they live or work out of town.
We haven't been able to see Giovanni but we met his wife!! When we did exchanges, Sorella Giordano and Sorella Urban ran into Giovanni outside his apartment complex so we finally learned where he lived. When we ask, he always told us the zone of the city where he lived, but never the address. Also, we have heard a lot about his wife from him, but we have never met her and he won't let us come to his house or invite her to church. Well, we decided it was time to take action. So yesterday afternoon we went to his apartment complex and knocked on all the doors looking for Giovanni. At one door, a tall, pretty Romanian woman answered and told us that Giovanni was at work. Perfect! We introduced ourselves and left an article for Giovanni in Romanian on the Book of Mormon (and if she happens to glance at it as well, that is just fine!). We finally met his wife and she seemed great!!! We hope to be able to go back and start working with her as well. Transfer goal accomplished!
Arcangelo (the husband/father of a very active member family, he comes to church every week and has met with the missionaries for years. he is wonderful but is a stubborn man and claims to not have a testimony but we don't believe him) hasn't smoked since Friday! His biggest obstacle has been the fact that he smokes and doesn't want to quit. On Friday, he got deathly ill and didn't leave his bed until Sunday. When we saw his family in church, his wife told us about this and how he hasn't been smoking since he has been sick. We called him on Sunday and even though he was feeling much better, he still didn't start smoking again! We have talked to him every day and are encouraging to keep it up and he is! We are convinced that he really does want to stop smoking but he never thought he would be able to do it so he just tells us he doesn't want to quit. He knows how much it would be to his family and how much they hate that he smokes, so we figure he just doesn't want to let them down if he tries and fails so instead he takes on this nonchalant attitude of he doesn't really care. But we know better, he loves his family so much and he would love to stop smoking for them.
Anyways, when we ask him every day if he has smoked, he just kind of laughs and tells us "no, cigarettes smell". Well of course they do, Arcangelo!
It is honestly a huge miracle that he hasn't been smoking and we are so excited, even if the price was that he had to be deathly ill for 3 days! Haha!
If he can keep it up, we can make a lot more progress with him and he might finally be baptized!
Cristian, our new 26 year old investigator from Ecuador, is doing great! He came with other YSA (young single adults) to stake conference in Rome on Sunday and really liked it! Ahh!! He already has become good friends with some of the YSA. One of them told us that on the ride back in the car, Cristian asked "how long does it usually take for someone to get baptized?". Haha, WHAT? I have never heard that question before! It was before he was even able to have a real lesson with us. But he is willing to meet with us, he goes to Institute, he is already friends with the other youth and he went to stake conference! I've never had an investigator like him before! At this point, he still believes that all the Christian churches are pretty much the same and is looking for a church where the people who attend are good people (thank goodness we have a bunch of spectacular YSA in this branch). Thats okay, its a good start and we will work on strengthening his testimony of the doctrine of the Restoration as well. Its so fun to have someone who actually wants to meet with us!
Stake conference was wonderful, there is an incredible stake president here. President Defeo. He talked about the story of Peter walking on water. He had to do three things
1. leave the boat.
aka leave behind whatever was holding him back. what is holding us back?
2. step out on the water.
we have to leave behind all fear and move forward with faith
3. keep our gaze on Christ
when the storms rise, we have to keep our sight on him and not be distracted by the storms around us
We also had zone conference and talked about focusing our teaching on the invite at the end. Everyone we meet with has to be invited to action because action is how we gain faith. Also, we focused a lot on the need to practice!
Sorella Giordano and I need to do more finding in these days. We need to find the people who are searching instead of the people who need to be dragged to meet with us and don't act on our invites!
Life is good. I am blessed. I am grateful that my faith in the Savior is growing.
I am working on changing my thoughts to think more about others. Thats hard to do!! But very important!