Not much new to report, we are still doing a lot of finding and we are finding new investigators but then quickly sorting through them as well (we hear a lot of "I'm too busy" or "I'll call you" or "I have absolutely no intention of ever joining your church" excuses, haha). That's okay, we are working through it and inviting lots of people to read the Book of Mormon and pray along the way!
One new thing we started doing this week was singing hymns to people when we are doing house. It was an idea that came to me during zone conference, a spiritual impression. I remember that President Kelly was talking about knocking on doors to find people, he wasn't even encouraging us to do it, he was just talking about it as a side note, but I felt this tingling sensation and this idea that I thought we should do some more house in trying to find people! Later on in the same conference, the idea came to me to sing to people at their doors and help them feel the Spirit. So we decided to try it!
On Friday night we had a lot of extra time so we chose a street in Ostia and off we went to do some casa. They would open the door, we would ask if we could sing a short song for them! Most people still say no, some people listen to our sing and smile and thank us. One of the first few doors, an Italian woman answered. She said, "no thanks, I am Catholic" and we countered, "that's okay, we just want to sing to you!" She hesitated and then invited us in to sing to her, her 20-something year old daughter, and the Spanish girlfriend of her son. The three sat on the couch and we stood and sang one verse of Sono un Figlio di Dio (I am a Child of God). When we finished, we looked up to see all three with tears running down their faces!
They invited us to sit down and asked us a lot of questions about who we were and what we were doing here. They explained to us how the woman's son (and the other girls' brother or boyfriend) was in prison right now and how they were going through a really rough time and how we were sent to them at just the right moment. We shared a little bit about how we are all children of our Heavenly Father and how he loves us and has a plan for us and our happiness. They invited us to come back and share more and we set up an appointment. It was a very touching moment and a testimony to me how God prompts us to do things so that we may be more able to more fully serve his children.
Other random moments:
Yesterday Rome public transport went on strike from 9 am to 5 pm. We live in a neighborhood, far from everything else and if we get stuck in our neighborhood with no way to take a bus or a metro out, we were left doing casa or street finding all day long! So we decided to go to Ostia in the morning before the strike started and spend the whole day there. After eating lunch, we walked to the library to study Italian for an hour and found that it was closed for the strike as well! With no better options, we camped out in front of the library on the steps and studied the language. It turned out to be a great finding activity! Every one who walked up, we would inform them that the library was closed and then when they stood there, not knowing quite what to do next, we would strike up a conversation. Two phone numbers taken from that, yes!
We are helping Adriano prepare to get the priesthood. He is taking his time because he ran across a few verses in the Doctrine and Covenants that have him worried. One of them is D&C 84:42
42 And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.
Adriano read this to us and he said "I don't want God to warn his angel army about me if I don't fulfill my priesthood duties!" Haha, he is a little nervous now, but we are working through it :)
There is a place called Circo Massimo in the center of Rome by the Colosseum. It is an ancient chariot race track and now it is just a huge empty field you can walk around in. Luca is working in a different city outside of Rome now so if we want to meet with him after work, he takes the train into Termini, the central station in the middle of Rome and we have to get creative about where to meet up with him. Last week, we decided to meet in Circo Massimo. So the three of us plopped down in the middle of this ancient chariot race track and read from the Book of Mormon. I love Rome.
Spiritual thought for the week:
I have been thinking about the grace of Jesus Christ and how we are "saved". We have so many commandments we need to keep. Sure, it might be relatively easy for us to never drink coffee or wine, or to go to church every Sunday. But to honestly love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength? To direct our thoughts to the Savior and pray always? To be fully converted until Christ, being born again as a new creature? We know that these too are requirements for the celestial kingdom. But it all just seems so impossible sometimes!!! I am not always filled with love, not all my thoughts are heavenly, I am not always filled with great desire to serve God and glorify Him. That is a lot to be continually working on. But that's just the point! Yes, we know that these things are required, but as long as we are working on it Christ's grace makes up the rest! Even if we simply have the desire to change our desires, that is enough if it is sincere, and we can be made perfect in Christ. We can't look at all our weaknesses (which God gave us coming into this life) and think to ourselves, "I'm not filled with love like the scriptures command me. I fail. I am not a true disciple." Instead, we see where we are at and we have the faith and hope that one day, thanks to Christ's perfect and infinite Atonement, we can have that perfect love, and He will help us get there. Discouragement is a tool of Satan to keep us faithless and much below our true potential. But we choose to believe in and follow Christ when He tells us that it is all possible thanks to Him.