This week was AWESOME.
Saturday we saw such a cool miracle! We went to Trani to help Leonarda do some missionary work, previously we had found those scadas of about 20 years old and contacted them but no one was able to meet that day. We went anyways because Sorella Brunson is going home Saturday and wanted to say goodbye! We went and ate hot chocolate (more like thick hot chocolate soup) and ate jam and cream cornetti my favvv. We then decided to go and try and find this man "Antonio" who's scada we had found. The missionaries said he had been baptized in 1999 and that he was an amazing person, they were sure one day he would be the bishop or the stake president. So we went out searching and searching and could not find this street that he supposedly lived on. We asked people all around the city if they knew where this street was but no one knew. After about 30 minutes of searching it hit me that we hadn't all said a prayer together! So I asked them if we could say a prayer and we stopped in the middle of the street, lots of people around us haha and we offered a prayer. After, we walked maybe 5 feet and Sorella Dew looked right and said "Francesco caraducci!" The street we had been looking for. It was so cool. such a miracle and Leonarda was so excited and couldn't stop smiling!! We went over, found the apartment number and saw his name on the intercom and rang it. we heard a "CHI È!!!!!'" and saw an older woman standing on the balcony looking down, as soon as she saw us she went and grabbed her husband. He came out onto the balcony, looked down at us and then smiled. It was so cute. I just had this feeling that he would be willing to talk with us. We asked him if we could share a message with him and immediately he came down and met us outside. He's about 69 years old now, and he is SO sweet. we talked for a bit and asked him if he remembered the 2 boys in white shirts that taught him. He smiled and said he did. We asked him if he had been baptized and he said no....that he went to church for a while church but that was all....we all felt that wasn't true though. He talked about how he's been going to the Catholic Church now and Leonarda stopped him and told him how tradition won't save us and she bore the most powerful testimony about Jesus Christ and the joy and blessings of being a member of this church. It was so cool hearing this from someone who is the only member in this city!!! He told us he had a BOM and we gave him a restoration pamphlet and then he told us we could come over the following Saturday. Leonarda was so excited!!!!! After we left his house, we all talked and realized we all had the impression that he knows this church is true and that he was baptized, just think his wife and family are holding him back because they're all so Catholic (along with 99% of Italy :)) When he saw us there was a light in his eyes. GOD IS SO AWARE OF US.
We ate dinner with the famiglia Ricci one night (inactive) for the copia Hansens and Sorella brunsons last time!! It was so fun, so many carbs I couldn't breathe. You would think by now I would know how to do this whole cenna thing and learn to hide my food or something but I haven't. First of all, Angelica showed us her huge pink room full of 100 Barbie dolls (20 of which were Elsa) and all her cupboards of stuffed animals and dolls and Elsa mirror and Elsa castle and Elsa shampoo and everything Elsa and I was getting a little bit overwhelmed and then she's like let me show you my other toy room, we walked into an even bigger and pinker room with a pet hampster, a pet mouse, a pet Guinea pig, pet cat, her pet eel, and their little evil poodle whose name is "terrorist." Anyways, dinner was.....very Italian. She first brought out the paninis and then sausage and mozzarella and mystery cheese and then the 2 huge pans of spinach and tuna and olive quiche and then the doorbell rang and she was like "oh there's the panzarotti and the pizza!" I about fell off my seat, and then after that when I thought I couldn't go any further she said "I didn't have time to make dessert" and I was like MENO MALE thank goodness. And then she's like "so I went and bought a platter!" And pulls this gigantic thing full of cannoli and torts and cream puffs and cakes. She set out drinks on the table and was like don't worry these are non alcoholic (the problem is at the bottom of the bottle it says it contains 1.5% alcohol, this is not the first time this has happened at a members house) and then Sorella Brunson made the comment "there's always a little poop in the brownies" and no one laughed. haha--so many awkward moments. It was really cool though because they asked me to play the piano and I didn't have any music except for the hymn book so we sat around the piano and sang I stand all amazed and bore our testimonies of Jesus Christ :) The spirit was so strong!
Haha so I'm finally (sort of) officially legal living here in Italy wahoo! Wednesday I had my fingerprinting appointment for my permesso (if we don't have this were booted out of the country) so it's slightly important, so we got to wait at the questura ALL morning! Haha mamma Mia it took me back to my high school days senior year when we went and took a tour of Alcatraz in San Fran........the inside of the building was so similar. Sorella Brunson said that it smelt like every country in the world put into one building and I think that sums up our experience pretty well. When the lady was doing my fingerprints she was like ARE YOUR HANDS SWEATY?! And I had to redo them a couple times cause it wasn't going through, hahah it was an unforgettable experience
We had such an amazing lesson with Giada this last week. Man I love her, she is so cool. Giuseppe, new convert, came to our lesson and they instantly connected...I think we found him a wife :) We asked if we could say a prayer at the beginning of the lesson and she was like sure I'll say it! And as she's praying she goes, "thank you for leading me onto this path and for sending me these sorelle." she got emotional and the spirit was so strong! she explained how she used to be Catholic and then her dad passed away 6 years ago and after that she closed Jesus Christ and God out of her life. But just a little while ago she went on this hiking excursion thing with a catholic group and there she felt the love that our Heavenly Father and Christ have for her. She talked about how when she walked into our church for English course she could feel that peace and love again. It was so cool, Giuseppe shared his conversion story and at the end we just bore testimony and talked about how this is the right path for her and she told us she knew it was. She came to church again yesterday and loved it!!!! Also, a couple from our English course who we invited months ago to church but they didn't come and we haven't really seen them since just showed up to sacrament meeting yesterday. It was AWESOME. meeting with them this week:)
So in Italy, a month after someone dies they do a huge festa and come together as a family and talk about that person. So last night the Iacavelli family invited us to come over to share a message. I am so grateful for the relationship we have with them, and that they felt close enough to us to ask us to do that. The whole extended family was there, there were so many people it was awesome! We decided to share this beautiful quote from Elder Bednar about Jesus Christ, because this has been such a hard time for them and we want them to know the love that our Savior has for them and through Him they can find peace. The Spirit was so so strong.
"Thus, the Savior has suffered not just for our sins and iniquities--but also for our physical pains and anguish, our weaknesses and shortcomings, our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement, our regrets and remorse, our despair and desperation, the injustices and inequities we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us. There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. In a moment of weakness we may cry out, “No one knows what it is like. No one understands.” But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power. Indeed, His yoke is easy and His burden is light." -elder bednar
I love these people SO MUCH! I was sitting in church yesterday listening to the Italians belting the hymns and was just so overwhelmed for how much I love them and the faith that they all have!!! It's incredible!!!!!! I am so happy to be here!
Have an awesome week VI VOGLIO BENE :) ciao
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI