It's been a really beautiful week:) We spent four days out of our area, two in Catania for zone conference, one in Reggio for their baptism, and one yesterday on the other side of the island in Palermofor Stake Conference. All such uplifting and incredible experiences that I won't forget. Elder Adonay Vindas from the Seventy came to the conference yesterday and bore a beautiful testimony about running and finishing the race with Christ, there was such a strong spirit in the room and it was really powerful being united with all these faithful members here in Sicilia:)
One of the biggest miracles from this week is when we went to go visit Jasmine & her son Lorenzo for the first time. She is from the Carribean, she married an Italian and he's passed away so now she lives with her boyfriend and 18 yr old son! We taught them about the Restoration, and about halfway through the boyfriend walked in and wasn't too happy that Jasmine was meeting with us, he started yelling at her and said a lot of rude things and then stormed out of the house. She began to cry and we bore testimony of Gods love for her and her worth as a daughter of God, and how he has a plan for her. The spirit was so strong and we proceeded to invite them to be baptized. Lorenzo immediately turned to his mother all excited and said "mom can I?" She said, of course, and told us she wants to be baptized as well. They came to Stake Conference (along with the boyfriend) and absolutely loved it. Three of the four talks were on strengthening the family, and the boyfriend told us how much he enjoyed it! It was all very inspired.
We had a lesson with Nino and cute Fratello Impollonia this last week, I'm telling you they are best buds! We have had a harder time trying to communicate with Nino, not just because he only has a couple teeth but more because he speaks more Siciliano than he does Italiano! Well, in our lesson last week Nino still wasn't quite understanding the
restoration so all of a sudden Fratello Impollonia started using all these metaphors and comparing the restored gospel to different gelato flavors, pasta, and panini. And CLICK! It's like this light just went on in Ninos head, I'm telling you the way to an Italians heart is always through food:) When we invited him to be baptized he told us he's too old and doesn't swim. I had to keep myself from laughing, this was by far the most interesting lesson I've ever had haha. I love him though and he's praying for an answer to know if the church is true. Who knew a simple bus convo would turn into something so great:)
We had a lot of incredible experiences this week, but I just want to really focus on one:) We had one of the most beautiful moments the other day with Sorella Muscolino. She's in her 50s, her husband passed away a few years ago and she suffers from cancer. She now lives with her boyfriend and feels like she's too far from Heavenly Father to come back to church. (she hasn't come in 6 years.) Well last week we decided to make the trek up in the mountains even though she hadn't been answering our calls and I'm so grateful that we followed that prompting. When she first saw us I don't know how happy she was that we were there, she seemed very tired, and was just quietly folding her laundry and didn't really want to talk. She eventually came over to the table and sat down with us and said a prayer, and we had one of the most spiritual lessons I think I've had on my whole mission. She explained how she knows Heavenly Father has always been there for her but she hasn't always been there for Him. She began to cry and told us she wanted to return. Immediately the Spirit just flooded my whole body there was no way in that moment I could deny what I was feeling and the love of Heavenly Father for this Sorella! I have never felt so strongly the love of god for his children. I began to tell her the parable of the lost sheep and told her that it doesn't matter how far we have strayed from our shepherd or how lost we feel. He is constantly searching for us and when he finds us he rejoices! The spirit was so strong and I was able to see Sorella Muscolino in a different light than I have ever seen her. I referred to Pres Uchtdorfs talk from this last conference and explained that if we only lift up our hearts to the Savior he will find us, rescue us, lift us up and place us on his shoulders and carry us home. And REJOICE! I felt I was in just as much need to hear what the spirit was teaching just as much as her:)
“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them,
doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after
that which is lost, until he find it?
“And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.”
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI