Well, just another week goes by on the mission. But what a week it was. I know I keep talking about the rain, but it has literally raining every single day for the past 2 weeks. To say I'm tired of it would be an understatement. However, I'm not in the Polochic river valley like dad was trying not to fall in the street, but I am trying not to get hit by cars. A missionary in our district this week got hit by a car, and then literally on our way here to the internet point, we saw this old lady get layed out by a car. It was bad. We jumped off our bikes and helped her up. There were two other men there with us helping her, so we let them take care of getting her squared away with the guy that hit her. It was crazy to watch. You have to be super careful here. Italians are not the best drivers. But funny story about the rain. So we were inside doing some area book because it was POURING, when all of a sudden we got a call from one of our members saying that his family home teaching comp bailed on him and he wanted to know if we could cover for him. We eagerly said yes and set off on our bikes....in the pouring rain. He called us when we were less than a block away and asked us where we were because the home teachee wasn't there. When I told him that we were about 10 seconds away, he was shocked that we got there so fast, and then you should have seen the look on his face when we pulled up on our bikes, soaked head to toe with big smiles on our faces. He then said in his funny Italian/German accent "effective missionaries". He was so surprised that we were there on bike in that rain, and I thought the same exact thing Dad, "only for the Lord".
Anyway, onto the week. So this week we had a huge miracle, but it wasn't without trials. So at the beginning of this transfer, we found this super awesome investigator who is super interested in the gospel. We've taught him a few time and every time he has a ton of questions, but his questions are like, "when do you guys do baptisms?" or "what do you have to do to get baptized?", so he's pretty elect to say the least. We were really excited because our copia hasn't had a lot of success in the legit investigators department, but then when we taught him last time, we found out that he lives in Firenze, so we have to pass him to the Anziani there. We were pretty heartbroken, but at least he didn't drop us like another one of our investigators the night before. It's really hard sometimes, but I'm happy that he will probably be baptized, just in Firenze. That will be the second referral baptism that I've had. haha. So in light of losing 2 investigators this week and a ton of rain, we had an awesome miracle. For the past couple transfers, we have been working with a less active. She was here by herself working to support her family in Honduras. Her son is on a mission in Mexico and the only reason she is less active is because her padrone (boss more or less) won't let her come to church. The situation got worse and the padrone started getting hostile. She felt abandoned and discouraged. We visit her every single week and try to lift her spirits. Our elder's quorum president starting giving us a huge hand with her. He invited her over to his house so we could all meet together and he gave her rides to visit her daughter who recently arrived from Honduras. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of giving her a blessing of comfort and in the blessing, she was promised that she would be able to find a new work and come to church. I cannot describe the feeling you get when you are able to have the spirit work through you in giving a blessing. In a different language nonetheless. She then called us a few days later telling us that she left her work. We saw her the next day in church for the first time in almost a year. She was there with her daughter and was so happy. She hasn't found work yet, but her daughter found work and now she is able to come back and worship the Lord that she loves so much. It was such a blessing to see her back in church and to see her so happy. This really has been a huge miracle for me. It really helps me see just how much the Lord loves each of his children and is aware of their needs. I'm so honored to have helped her on her path back to the fold of the gospel and I honestly can't explain the amount of my joy. It may not be a baptism, but I was lucky enough to help a lost soul find their way back to the loving embrace of the gospel.
Now for some funnier stories. So we helped a member move this weekend, after 3 weeks of planning. They kept on canceling because of the rain, but after 3 weeks of moving it back a week, they finally decided to do it regardless of the rain. Like you would guess, it rained. Not that much, luckily, but it did. So they didn't have our Tetris skills when it comes to packing a truck. We easily could have fit everything in one trip, but they decided to leave the truck half empty and make two trips. Not really a problem for us, but whatever. So we hop in a members car and we are following the member who was moving to his new house. We get to the end of a street to turn, when all of a sudden, his car dies. It ran completely out of gas. So we get out and help him push it out of the way, while the other two fratelli who were with us went to get some gas. While waiting, we discovered another thing about Italians driving. They all use their flashers so much to park illegally, that they don't even pay attention to them when they are on and there are 3 people standing outside the car waiting. So people would pull up really close behind and then honk after literally 3 seconds of waiting. Italians love to use their horns. For literally everything. They honk right as stoplights turn green. No joke. Anyway, the other came back with gas and we used a cut in half water bottle as a funnel for the gas. Then the car didn't start, so Anz Windley and I said a quick prayer, and sure enough, the car started. Small miracle, but still a miracle nonetheless. Then the rest of the move went fine.
Next story, so last week for p-day we went to play basketball in Chinese park with the local Chinese population. We may or may not have destroyed them. It helped that Anz Windley played in high school, but we beat them soundly. It was pretty funny, because they didn't speak Italian or English, and there was one that kinda spoke Italian to his Italian friend, who then spoke to us. It was pretty funny. They did speak basketball, so there were no problems there. haha.
OK, another spiritual moment. We watched "On the Lord's Errand" this week. If you haven't seen that, go watch it. It is incredible. President Monson is amazing. His life is crazy! I still can't believe he was a bishop at 22. WHAT???? But after watching that, there was no doubt in my mind (not that there really was before) that he is the prophet of God. He is the Lord's mouthpiece and servant on this earth. I'm so grateful that we have a living prophet today. It means so much, and without him, we would be lost.
OK, now onto sports. That super bowl sounded really boring, unless you were a Seahawks fan. I was not expecting that big of a blowout. Wow. Yet another great week for BYU sports. Speaking of that, you should watch the BYU women's soccer page/twitter for a picture that I sent to one of my friends on the team. Yes, I know I'm a dork. Somethings just don't change.
Next, I'm really jealous of those vacations, those sound like so much fun!! I love camping so much and then ATVing and kayaking...oh man. I'm jealous. But I guess I can't really complain because I'm in Italy right now...Oh well. haha. Speaking of showing you around after my mission, that's going to be so awesome to show you all the cities and people that I've grown to love. This country really does have a special place in my heart. They may frustrate me sometimes, but that happens everywhere. Especially because this country is in such great need right now, I try and share my love with every single person I meet. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and he doesn't abandon us. He loves each and every one of us and he know that pains and suffering that we have to go through. I'm so grateful for my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that it can and will bless the lives of all those who search for the truth.
I thank you all for your love and support like always. You all mean so much to me. Keep on keeping on. When the times get hard, just remember President Uchtdorf's words from the May 2009 Priesthood session, "I am doing a great work and cannot come down".
Forza fratelli e sorelle,