Ciao ciao ciao !
Okay so we had a huge miracle this last week! Antonio, this cute old Italian man has been coming to every English course since I have been here in Bari...in his late 60s, he is a colonel in the military, has his doctorate in political science and well he is just so brave and sweet! The last couple of English courses he has come up to us after the spiritual thought and asked us lots of questions about the Gospel, but always said he was too busy to meet with us. Well this last Tuesday after English course he asked us why we are always so happy and full of hope and light....he said lets meet tomorrow here in church! So we had a lesson with him on Wednesday-and I can't even put into words how amazing it was. His wife left him many years ago, his children live in England and he's just so lonely! He loves Jesus and explained how he loves watching the sunrise every day because it reminds him of Jesus who is the "sun" bringing light into the world :) he went on to say how he feels so lonely, so empty, and so little and insignificant. As soon as he said that Sorella dew and I both had an overwhelming feeling to tell him how special he is in the eyes of God. That he has a literal father in heaven who loves him so much! By the end of the lesson there were tears in his eyes yet he couldn't stop smiling. We were able to kneel in prayer with him for the first time, it was so incredible! We met with him again and he came to stake conference yesterday :)
The other night Sorella Dew and I had spent an hour planning our lesson for Isaac, finding scriptures, talks and videos that might help him feel the spirit and help him receive his answer. It's hard because we've taught him all the lessons, he's come to church for 2 months now, he reads the Book of Mormon and prays every day, keeps the commandments, yet still hasn't received an answer if Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and it's just so hard because he loves it and wants to know so badly if it is true. Well that night, we walked into our lesson and both Sorella Dew and I knew we wouldn't be teaching what we had prepared. The first thing he asked me was how I receive answers to my prayers...I told him when I have a question I pray, and then open up the Book of Mormon. So we tried it right then! We knelt down, he prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet and then he opened up the Book of Mormon to Mosiah 19...to be completely honest I had a really hard time seeing how this chapter would apply to his needs, and was nervous he would be confused but I just kept praying and praying that he might find something in there that would touch him! Right as he finished, he set down his BOM and said what a beautiful story! And talked about how much faith Gideon had, and how he personally needed to have more faith that he would receive an answer. He LOVED it, these scriptures were clearly what he needed to hear. Just another testimony of how God knows us so personally and will give us personal answers specific to us and our needs. We then gave him a calendar and told him he needs to show God his faith by picking a date to be baptized and going for it, and if it's not right then God will direct him to do otherwise. He is getting baptized December 12th :) speriamo!
Funny story of the week, haha we were doing a chalk gesso the other night and Sorella Tapia and I went up and started talking to this lady...she clearly didn't want anything to do with us and tried to walk away but one of her heels got stuck in the cobblestone!! she literally couldn't move, so she was forced to listen to us for about 30 more seconds because we didn't know what else to do, until she reached down and ripped off the heel off her shoe and then stormed passed us limping on her one heel....oh mamma Mia
We met a girl in centro named Montana from Idaho, haha classic I know!! She is 16 and going to school here for a year! We were able to go out and get hot chocolate with her one night. She told us how much she's been struggling, how she was abused when she was younger and how it is affecting her now. We wrote our testimonies in the Book of Mormon and gave it to her and helped her know how she can find peace and comfort through this book!! She has such a strong light about her :)
We met Mimma a little while ago, offered to help her with her groceries and she said that's the nicest thing anyone's done for her haha! Cutest lady ever from England :) She gave us her number and we went and visited her Tuesday at this beautiful old hotel she works at! It was crazy busy in the hotel and when Mimma saw us she made someone take over for her and she snuck away and gave us a tour of the hotel!!! She took us to the top floor and ahhh the view was incredible! Anyways, we got talking and turns out her husband just passed away and she is very lonely...she hopes that we have something that will comfort her! Can't wait to meet with her this next week:)
So we had stake conference here in Bari yesterday (it was amazing, Anziano Da Feo and Anziano Pilz came and spoke from the area of the 70, and we got a new Stake Pres who is incredible!) So all the missionaries from Puglia came and went finding with us Saturday night! This night was probably the happiest I have ever been in my entire life!!! we went and did a huge GRAZIE A LUI gesso with all 16 of us missionaries in centro-this was the same night that the attack had happened in Paris, so there was a huge memorial going on downtown and red white and blue lights everywhere and TONS and tons of people! It was amazing, and we all brought our speakers and showed literally hundreds of people this Mormon message. Little kids came up and starting drawing the Paris flag, and writing hope and peace and love on our sheet it was so sweet! I don't know why but I literally couldn't stop smiling, being able to share the love of Christ with others after hearing about all the evil in the world that day,,It was so cool to meet so many wonderful people and help them understand that we CAN find good and peace in this world through our Savior Jesus Christ!
Last night we had an incredible experience...the Sontoro family in our ward asked us if we would come with them to their family friend's house and share a message with them about the plan of salvation, because their mother is about to die and they want to know where she is going after this life. This family also had an older brother, who many years ago was driving home with his pregnant wife and 2 children from the temple and they got in a car accident and all of them passed away. So last night we were able to meet with the entire family! (4 siblings, all older and married and the sweet mother in her 90's) as soon as we all sat down, the family was arguing, yelling, and asking us why we have so much suffering in this life!! We decided to show them a Mormon message from Pres. Monson "until we meet again" ....I didn't understand everything that was said in the video cause it was Italian but the Spirit in that room was so strong I couldn't hold back the tears! Looking up at the end of the video I realized the rest of the family was in tears as well. We were able to bear testimony of Gods plan for us, and all of them were silent through it all. I know Sorella Dew and I weren't even a part of this lesson, that the Spirit had completely taken over and touched this family's hearts because what we were saying was true!
I'm sorry this email is a novel, haha if anyone read it to this point I hope I didn't bore you to death! OK CIAO❤️have a sweet week! Love you all so much!
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI