This week has been absolutely incredible!!!
I'll just have to start by focusing on one of the biggest miracles and a really powerful moment of my mission this last week:) Well I don't know if you remember Danilo, we started teaching him maybe 2 months ago and he is absolutely amazing, and then he looked up all sorts of things on the internet and stopped meeting with us. Well a couple weeks ago Sorella Erickson and I remembered it was his birthday so we decided to go over and take him a gift and talk with him. We did and it went really well and he just talked about how his family circumstances didn't allow him to meet with us at the moment but he will call us when things calm down. Well, a few weeks go by and cute RM Alessandra calls us and said "you need to go by Danilo right now" she had felt a very strong prompting to call us. So we did and we shared with him the sii una luce video and were just talking after and then he FINALMENTE opened up and we got down to what his biggest needs are spiritually. Long story short, his father who is extremely catholic told Danilo if he ever became Mormon he would never talk to him again...well we had a really powerful lesson and Danilo told us that he 'believes' our church is true and he doesn't care what his earthly father thinks of Him but what His Heavenly Father thinks of him. I'll never forget the feeling I felt when he said that. He told us he doesn't know if he's ready to start meeting with us again and we invited him to kneel down every night for a week straight specifically to ask Heavenly Father if this is the right thing to do. Well, then Friday Alessandra, the RM in our ward invited him over to her house to work in the yard and then watch "Meet the Mormons" together...Alessandra told us he loved it and didn't flinch the entire movie, his eyes were glued! They ended up talking all day long and he by the end of the night he chose a date for baptism. MARCH 2nd!!!!!!!!!! The next day we arranged for him to go with some ysas to a baptism of a girl in another ward, and then that night they went caroling in downtown Rome!!!!! Well we're not even to the best part yet, Sunday morning he comes to church like an hour and a half early and we just happened to be their for choir practice. He gets out of the car and has a huge smile on his face and said "SORELLE! I have great news for you. I'm getting baptized!!!!" The change that has happened in him in just these few days is unreal. He met with our ward mission leader and talked for about an hour before sacrament meeting. Well yesterday was fast and testimony meeting and we're sitting there and Danilo leans over to me and asks if he is allowed to bear his testimony...I said OF COURSE! And asked him if he wanted to and he just looked at me and laughed and said no not today....and about 30 seconds later he literally jumps up, and runs up to the pulpit and bore one of the most sincere and beautiful testimonies I have ever heard!!! He talked about how grateful he was that Heavenly Father loved him enough to help him find the truth. He talked about the joy he feels reading the Bible (he could quote it page for page) but even better the happiness and peace he has found reading the Book of Mormon every day. He said he knows God will bless him and his relationship with his dad because he is doing the right thing. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room it was so powerful!!! He stayed for all 3 hours and participated so much...gets along so well with all the ysas...the members all ready ADORE him. Well last night when he came to the Christmas devotional he told us that after church he took a nap and had a dream he was at his baptism with Claudia (the other ysa who just got baptized) and that he's never felt happier. As we're watching the devotional (by the way Audrey I LOVED seeing your beautiful face on the screen!) he leaned over and said he feels like he has finally found what he's been searching for. What a beautiful Christmas miracle!! His mom is very happy and supportive of him, she invited us over this week to meet her and share a message with her. The mission is unreal and just brings an indescribable JOY!
Well we did a gesso on Saturday night at the park and it was one of the best I have had on my mission....God sent every person in need to that exact spot in the exact hour we were there. First I was able to talk to this boy Enrico and he told me he drives past the temple every day and can't wait to go inside one day to check it out. Normally people don't say that to us....well all of a sudden he's like WAIT. you guys are the ones who meet in the hotel every Sunday morning??! I used to work there!!! I loved talking to all your members every domenica mattina....we exchanged numbers and he is excited to learn what we actually believe in. After he walks away this sweet lady comes up to me, and just hugged me and wouldn't let go for maybe a minute...then she pulls away and looks me in the eyes and says I was baptized in Naples many years ago. I love the church but am not in a place in my life right now where I can come back. Then she just starts walking away so I run, literally run after her haha and she wouldn't give me her number but she took ours and I got her name...and our ward archivista is looking io every single Rosa who was ever baptized in Napoli...pray that we will find her! Well a few minutes later this woman walks by and I've never really felt so strongly in my life to go and stop someone but it was so clear that I needed to. So I do and she looks at me and says "I was hoping one of you would talk to me." And then she just breaks down and starts bawling and hugs me! She goes on to say how she took the lessons with the missionaries in the past and she could barely get a word out and said how she has read the entire Book of Mormon and gave it to her friend to read and it's the most beautiful book she has ever read. She goes on to say how she was then diagnosed with cancer and is just about start another round of chemo...I told her our message will change her life and I just started crying because I felt so much love for her (Stefania)....she gave me her number and said to call her and hopefully we will find her at home...it's always amazing how after seconds of meeting someone you LOVE THEM. I love the mission.....last but not least this sweet woman who we had met weeks ago came up and said she needed help this week putting up her Christmas tree:) we're so excited.
Okay as you can see those were only a few small things that happened this week only a FRACTION of the miracles that we saw, the experiences we have every day just confirm again and again that this is truly the church of Jesus Christ and that I could not be in a better place at a better time. God is blessing us so much, many investigators who are preparing for baptism this next month. A sweet Christmas miracle, this last week we were teaching this sweet man and we showed him the sii una luce video and afterwards he looks at us and told us we were angels...he then said he had something for us and he reached in his pocket and pulled out this sweet little glass angel...I don't now why but it was just the sweetest thing!!!!! I love this time of year because people's hearts are so open to learning about their savior Jesus Christ...have a beautiful week! It's going to be a good one, we're doing lots of exchanges with Rome and Pescara and specialized training and caroling at the biggest cathedral in Italy! Feel like I spend more time out of my area than in it and I love it, I love learning from so many new missionaries and new experiences.
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI