I'm tired. This week has been really tiring, but a good kind of tiring. I've now learned first hand, that which Moses, Joseph Smith, and Others learned when they were super overpowered by the spirit during their heavenly visions. Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions (The Phantom Tollbooth....such a good book), I did not have any heavenly visions this week. Magari...but this has been a really spiritual week and so I'm exhausted. I never realize how much the spirit just takes out of you. We have 5 people here in Ravenna who should be already baptized and so are therefore really close and we are pushing soooooooo hard to get them baptized in February. We've been fasting and praying like no other and the spirit has not let us down. We were literally throwing spirit bombs on our investigators this week, but unfortunately, people have their agency, and so all of our work is not really going anywhere. but we are NOT giving up. I've put too much into this city to just give up now. We WILL see miracles. I know it. Please remember us and this city in general in your prayers this week. We really have need of it.
Before we get into spiritual matters, I wanted to share this experience we had the other week. We had a branch Elder's Quorum outing and we went to this restaurant. At this bruschetteria (as its called) you order bruschetta (or toasted bread with a ton of stuff on it) that is 40, 80, or 120 cm long. It was ridiculous. These things were huge!!!! And super good. It totally felt like America. Go big or go home right? haha. Then we went and played air hockey and I kicked butt. Thank you mom and dad for buying that little air hockey thing for us when we were younger. The practice payed off. haha
Now about camping. YES! I want to go. I miss camping a lot. However, we need to remember that my move in date for my housing in the 24th of August...I think. But that's OK. We still have time to figure that out.
As for our trip to Italy. OK, thanks for the skeleton dad. I will really start thinking about it and get you the info ASAP.
Please continue to pray for the Rome temple, so families can enjoy the eternal blessings that come from it in their own nation. I'm so happy to hear about the Rockwoods. That is such great and happy news. I can't imagine their joy right now, but I bet its full.
OK, so time to tell you about some sweet miracles.
On Sunday, we had this less-active family that hasn't come to Church in practically two years finally came to sacrament meeting this week!!! I've been over there a couple times to visit them and the Lord has definitely spoken through me to them. I never would have said the things that I said if the spirit didn't prompt me to say them. They promised me they would come to church, but because of health reasons, they didn't come on the week they said the would, but they came this past week and the spirit was sooo strong during testimony meeting. Our members really stepped it up this past week. It was awesome. They said that they are going to start coming more often now. It's still a work in progress, but we're making progress at least!
Then, we called this old potential in our phone the other week and set up an appointment. To be honest, he sounded like he was totally going to flake on us, but we confirmed a few hours before and we were there on time. We waiting for 30 minutes inside the station, and he wasn't there. So we called him and he told us that he was right outside the station and had been waiting there for 20 minutes!! We ran outside and found him. He actually stayed which was awesome! Then we had a super powerful Restoration lesson with him in the waiting room of the station. Not only that, but he accepted a baptismal date too!!! It was such an awesome miracle and it really helped boost our morale.
Then on Monday, I went on a scambio with Anz Blazzard in Forlì. We had just arrived in centro to do a bit of finding work before an appointment, when we were walking to a bench to sit down and say a prayer to start our finding. While walking to the bench, I saw a family with two strollers walking perpendicular to us so I knew we were going to run into them. I knew that I needed to talk to them, but I couldn't think of how to start the conversation, so as we got closer, I just smiled and them and the father told his little daughter to say "hola!" to me. I immediately used all of the Spanish skills that I remember to start the conversation (dad would be proud. haha). Luckily, they both spoke Italian. We started talking to them and found that they were from Cuba and looking for the truth in their lives. They said they had met "Americans" like us before a few years ago, but they didn't really know anything about our church. We talked about the Book of Mormon for a little bit and the father wanted a copy right there. We were able to get their phone number and even though, we did not set up a return appointment, they are willing and eager to meet us again to learn more about the church. This was such a huge miracle for Forlì. I really had the desire to find some people for them to teach on this scambio and the Lord heard my prayer.
It's been a good week. Tiring, but good. I'm really happy to still be here. This is the Lord's work, and I'm so happy to be doing it here in this blessed and sacred land. The Lord is aware of Italy. I can testify of that will all of my heart. I've seen his hand every day in this miraculous work.
I love you all so much and I hope you all have a great week. I share what you said dad, I think the best way to stay active and HAPPY in the Church is to read the scriptures everyday, pray every day, and go to Church and really search to learn something. And Family Home Evening is essential to binding a family together in the gospel. If we do these 4 things, we can become spiritually self-sufficient. I know that to be true, because I've seen it work in my life and in the lives of Others.
Un abbraccio forte,