Man oh man, this has been a busy week. As you can probably guess, I've been on trains a lot this week. That's because since the last time I've written you, I've been to Genova and back 2 times. So basically, I got a call a few weeks ago that my permesso was ready. I tried calling the questura to set up an appointment for me to go, but they told me that I had to go in person. So we went up last Thursday (4 hours), only to get to the questura to find out that I had to come back Tuesday. So we spent the night in Genova and went back the next morning (4 hours). Then yesterday, we left early in the morning to go to Genova again (4 hours) and ended up waiting an hour and a half for my name to be called. After that, it took about 2 minutes. Then we spent the day there and came back this morning (yep, you guessed it, another 4 hours). So basically, we've been on trains all this week. I never thought riding a train would make me so tired. I'm literally pooped. But, some really good things came out of these two trips. First of all, I finally got my permesso. It expires in July, so in a few months I will have to start the process all over again. YAY!!!... Secondly, we got to hang out with Anziano Erickson, because he had to come back to get his too, so we spent the day in Genova with him and his companion, who I also know. Then, we got to go visit some members back in Genova and hang out with them. It was so weird, but awesome to see them again. Being there so much last week, it kinda felt like I never left, but its been a long time. 4 months since I've been there. Crazy. It was funny. So last night all 4 of us were at a member's house and then he asked us if we could help him do a little service. We gladly accepted. Turns out, we sanded the paint off two of his doors. It was super hard because the sandpaper wasn't that great and we were trying not to get his house super dirty with the dust. It was fun though and just really funny. One of the kids asked us if we just came over to work. haha. Next cool thing, on our way back home last week, we came through Pisa and got to go see this famous tower that everyone is talking about. They aren't lying. It really leans. It was super weird to see it in person. I was actually surprised by how much its actually leaning. It was crazy far! But the best part about visiting the tower is taking pictures of the tourists taking pictures of them holding up, pushing down, leaning on, hugging, etc the tower. Super funny pictures. I didn't take one like that, because I figured I had enough of other people doing it, and it looked silly. Then last of all, and most importantly, while we were on our way to Genova yesterday morning, I got a Train Italia tie!! I know that sounds silly, but that is the goal of every Italian missionary, to get one of those ties. I literally just walked up to an employee and told him that I wanted his tie and asked him if he wanted to trade. He said no, but then he told me that if his wasn't dirty, then he would just give it to me. I promptly told him that I didn't care if it was dirty, so he gave it to me. Sweet!!!! My mission has been a success. haha.
Well, when we weren't on trains, we were trying to do missionary work (side note: we were still trying to do it on the train). Last week, I talked about the less active that got reactivated. Well, we saw her again this week and after teaching her, she gave us both gift bags to thank us. She is so sweet. After she left, we looked inside and she had bought us boxers and socks. She is so awesome. We thought was so funny, and nice that we both wore our socks to church on Sunday. She was really happy to see that we had them on.
Now for our weekly miracle. This week we were calling old investigators and we set up an appointment with one old investigator named Sel. We met with him on Saturday and taught him the Restoration. He was really interested in knowing the truth and accepted a baptismal date for the 29th of March. (what a great day to be baptized) Another small miracle that happened while we were teaching him is that another random person walked up to us and asked us for the address of the church. We gave him the address and our phone number, got his and invited him to church the next day. He didn't show up, but we are trying to get in contact with him again so we can begin teaching him and helping him come closer to Christ. The Lord works in mysterious ways, sometimes sitting on a bench in the park teaching a lesson is another way to find people. Now that's what I call "finding while you teach". Sorry for the bad mission humor. Everything is funny now.
So craziness. Today is my 8th month in the mission. WHAT?!?!?!?! I can't believe how fast time is going. This is nuts. 2 years is soooooo short. I bet Dad, Jason, Peter, and Dan can attest to that. Oh man. Every transfer is getting faster and faster. In fact, next week is transfers again. I feel like Anz Andersen just got down here, but that was almost 2 transfers ago. Now I understand why the Lord warned us not to procrastinate the day of our repentance, because time just keeps getting faster and then all of a sudden, time is up. Crazy. I was also thinking about something while we were on the train yesterday. I thought of D&C 61 (I think), where Joseph Smith and others are traveling down the Missouri. The Lord tells him that "it is not expedient for my elders to move swiftly, while nations parish in unbelief on the banks". Traveling on a train through city after city, just made me realize how many people there are who have never even heard of the missionaries or the gospel of Jesus Christ. It made me want to stop at every little city and preach in the town square or something, like the good old days. We are so lucky and blessed that we have found the gospel, but our job doesn't stop there. We need to help our brothers and sisters to find the joy and happiness that only the true gospel of Jesus Christ brings. "Every member a missionary". That's what President Kimball said. Now, more than ever, we need to invite our friends, relatives, coworkers, etc to come unto Christ. That is the missionaries purpose, to INVITE.
I challenge you all this week to try and invite one person this week to come to church. It doesn't matter if they've been invited a million times already or never before. I promise you that if you do, you will feel the spirit and your testimony will strengthen, regardless if they come or not. I want to hear about how you all did next week, so don't forget!!
Well, like always, I love hearing from you all. You are the best and I couldn't be out here without all of your love and support. Go BYU sports. Jude is adorable. Thanks for the tips Mom. And remember my sfida for all of you!!
PS. Be on the lookout on the BYU women's soccer twitter/website!