Buongiorno tutti...another amazing week in Bari:) Transfer calls are on Saturday, don't ask me how time is going by so fast I don't understand! I don't think I'll ever be ready to say goodbye to these people but it's gonna have to happen sometime...excited to see what happens!
Well this week was a little bit interesting....every now and then down here in southern Italy the buses decide they are all going to go on strike hahaha which means us missionaries can't get to any of our appointments! So we had to be creative and find new people to see and teach and the amount of miracles we saw was SO AWESOME! One night we were waiting at a bus stop when this cute girl comes up and starts talking to us and informs us that all the buses aren't coming, so we had the chance to walk all the way back home with her!! And she was SO ready to hear this gospel. She's from Ostuni but works here in Bari during the week. She's an architect and lived in London so she speaks English and we had a really cool conversation about the gospel, at the end she gave us her information and told us we could come by and share more! She said she wanted to escape and get out of Italy but after talking with us she said maybe this is what she's looking for:)
Another day we were walking to the church and out of no where this cute old man stops in the middle of the road and just smiled at us. We approached him and started talking to him, and immediately he remembered in 1966 he was given a Book of Mormon and had taken the lessons with the missionaries! So we set up an appointment and taught him and his family twice this last week...oh my goodness they're something else:) ...I think we have found a golden family!! We taught them the plan of salvation and afterwards Sorella Nelson and I just looked at each other and were like "this is why we came on a mission." It was just one of the best moments to teach a family and tell them they can be together forever through Gods plan. The Spirit completely took over and this family seemed very touched. This is why I left my family for a year and a half, to teach families that more happiness awaits them than they can IMAGINE!
So to sum things up I was weirdly grateful for Italian transportation this week.
One morning we went with the anziani and cleaned Sorella Avantarios house (she's the hoarder) it was quite the experience haha. She was a bit hesitant at first but within a couple hours we had thrown away SO many things and cleaned up lots of mold and cat poop, haha it was a bit schifo but we replaced all her cat pictures on the wall with pictures of Christ and the Rome temple. And at the end we shared how when we have a house in order we can feel the Spirit and she couldn't thank us enough, service is the best it was so much fun! Also she came to church for the first time since I have been here, (she has realllllly bad health) I think that was one of the best moments of my life. When she walked in the door I think I shed a few tears, as she was hugging all the members and singing the hymns she started crying she was so happy. God is so good!
Giulia. We met this cute 18 yr old girl at English course a while ago, exchanged numbers and never heard from her. Last week Sorella Nelson and I both felt impressed to ask her if she had interest in the gospel and if we could teach her, so we did...and guess what she said? SI! We met in the church and began by asking her what role Christ has played in her life, it turned out to be one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever been apart of in the mission. She was in a car crash 3 months ago and her best friend driving the car passed away, and she told us she felt alone and no one understood her. And we were like you're right we don't, but CHRIST DOES. And the Spirit just filled the room it was so amazing. She began to cry and we cried with her. She said she's been searching for something and I know that if she continues on this path she will find so much peace and comfort, because the gospel of Jesus Christ does that for us!
We had a real awesome lesson with Gabriella, she is reading the Book of Mormon every day and has some real desire to know if this is right YAY! We drew this visual thing with faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and perseverando fino alla fine and asked her what step she was on and she was like repentance! and we were like do you want to progress? And she's like well of course that's the whole purpose of life, so I guess baptism is next right? So she really has a desire now to be baptized, she's a bit hesitant to set a date but her desire to prepare herself is super FORTE! So happy for her!
Haha something funny this week. So we had zone conference and it was so powerful and inspiring and really just pumped Sorella Nelson and I up to be more consecrated and dedicated missionaries and we were just on fuoco and wanted to go talk to EVERYONE about the gospel. So we head to the bus stop hoping that a bus might come and here was a man waiting so of course we took the opportunity to talk to him, haha so we do and it was very clear he didn't want to talk to us, he wouldn't make eye contact and he was just kinda grunting but that didn't stop us! So we continue to talk about who we are and why we are here and still nothing, and then Sorella Nelson and I realize how weird people probably think we are and we just started laughing and we couldn't stop! And then the man just joined in and started laughing with us!
Still no eye contact, but it made my whole day to see that man laugh.
I love being a missionary! Haha last night we were doing a gesso and the police made us move so instead we stood in the middle of downtown and sang hymns-all us missionaries. It was a cool experience and the Spirit was strong:) I have learned that even if people don't listen to us or reject our message we still have the opportunity to help others feel the love that God has for them! And I love that, even though people think we're really crazy and our message is not importante I hope I can help them feel loved. God loves us! He's so good to us! Go share that love with everyone :)
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI