Wowwww this week has been absolutely incredible.
One thing that has really just hit me this last week is how NO EFFORT is wasted!!! It says in pmg "when people choose not to investigate the restored gospel, your work is not wasted. Your consistent efforts in serving and teaching as many people as you can is one way God prepares His children to eventually receive His servants. He often reaches out to His children through you. Even when people do not accept the opportunity to learn the gospel, your service and words are evidence of God’s love for them and may plant seeds that future missionaries and members of the Church will harvest"
I have such a strong testimony of this!!! Yesterday at conferenza di zona they showed a slideshow with some pictures of baptisms that have happened in the last month. Well, rewind many many months ago to when Sorella Nelson and I were in Bari looking for some less actives in the pouring rain and we got off the bus, not even knowing where we were and then decided to talk to the first person that we saw to ask her for directions. We began to talk to her about who we were and it turned out that sweet girls mother was a member from Peru. After I left Bari the sisters continued to teach that family. Yesterday I saw the picture of the daughter who just got baptized this last month! You never know what can happen when you open your mouth and help others to feel the Spirit, and it was just so sweet to see all the little seeds every missionary helped to plant in that sweet new converts life!!! Along with that sweet Nino from Messina was baptized on Saturday! That all just started with a smile on the bus and offering to help him with his groceries! Don't ever underestimate what a small smile, service, words or act of love can do for someone!!!!
One night Sorella Erickson and I headed to go drop off some brownies at investigator Veronica's house! Well, she didn't answer the door but her mother in law Concetta who lives right next to her excitedly invited us in and we ended up teaching her and it was such a beautiful experience! There is something so special about not only testifying of Gods love to someone, the same moment you meet them, but truly FEELING that love for them and a desire to help them come to feel the truth of this restored gospel. We had not known about her situation but both began to testify of God's plan of happiness and how we can be united with our families for eternity, when immediately she began to talk about how she lost both her husbands and has felt so alone, lost, and sad. There was such a powerful spirit in her home and she told us she wants to start developing her faith in Christ again. I promise that there is no sadness or trial or pain or sin or loss that can't be fixed through the atonement of Christ and that because He lives we will live again with all the people we LOVE so dearly! He has broken the bands of death!!!!! She is excited to read the Book of Mormon to develop that faith and excited to meet with us again...such a special moment! As far as with other investigators things are only going uphill with everyone, we're just being very patient in Gods timing with all of them and meanwhile trying to find more people who are ready NOW. Sweet Gianni has finally come to really understand the restoration, we had an amazing lesson with him and he is preparing for baptism for November! Che bello!
In my interview with president on Sunday the first thing he asked me when I sat down is if I have ever been happier in my entire life! And I truly haven't! This is the greatest joy I have ever felt, of course the mission has tested me in every way possible but because of the experiences had here I have come to develop a relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ that I didn't even know was possible! And it brings me PURE JOY!! That night we got home late from Rome and only had about an hour left so we prayed to know what we should do and immediately a name of a less active man in our ward came up. We drove up to the tiny teeny town of Scandriglia in the mountains and found him sick at home with bronchitis and were able to sing "I know that my Redeemer lives" and he joined right in even though he barely had a voice, it was such a beautiful moment and the truth that came from those words as they came out of our mouths was just SO FORTE!!! I know that my Redeemer lives what comfort this sweet sentence gives HE LIVES!!!! At conference yesterday a missionary said that when the pioneers were crossing the plains, we as angels were right by their sides guiding them and pushing them along. And now they, those angels, are right by our sides lifting us up and guiding us in this beautiful work to help others come to know our Savior and Redeemer!
D&C 84:88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
I love my mission! I love this gospel and I love these Italian people! I love how much they love Christ and I love that we can help aid them and help them find the restored gospel! Have a beautiful week :) VI VOGLIO TANTO BENE!
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI