Ok, well to start we received our transfer calls this last week and I am being banished from the mainland and headed to the island of SICILY! I'm going to Messina, about a 12 hour bus ride from here with the anziani so that will be fun haha. So I think I'll be closer to Africa than I am to Rome. My new companion is Sorella Cueva, she's from northern Italy so you can bet I'm really going to forget how to speak English hahaha. She's a transfer younger than me and it's just us 2 sisters there so it will be quite the adventure. I have heard tante belle cose about the members there, I guess the church is in a little cute apartment. I couldn't be more excited and grateful! I'm definitely leaving a piece of my heart here in Bari, it's going to be hard but I will never forget the experiences I've shared with the people here. Looking back on the last 6 months my heart is so full of gratitude for all the people I met, loved, and all the spiritual experiences I've had. God has been so good.
This last week I have really come to understand how this is not our work, but the work of the Lord. He has been so aware of us and we have seen so many beautiful tender mercies!!! One miracle was one afternoon everyone we planned to see had bailed on us so we decided to take a bus out to Triggiano and stop by the member families there! It was pouring rain so not very many people were out, and I didn't remember which stop to get off so we just got off a random one. We asked the first girl we saw walking down the street if she knew where this address was, and she stopped, smiled at us and in half Spanish/Italian she said, "I moved here a month ago from Peru, so I don't know. But I do know you're Mormon and my mother is Mormon!" It was so exciting! We got both her number and her moms number and she told us we could come by :)
Something fun this week is we got phone numbers from people from Poland, Latvia, Peru, Ukraine, Nigeria, Georgia, and Italy of course! Made me realize how there are people ALL over the world who are ready for this message and it really is being taken all over the world!
The Lagattolla couple, the ones who wanted to prepare to go to the temple came to Stake conference yesterday-the second time the wife has been to church since I've been here. We've been helping her move around her work schedule so she could come to church, and her husband Angelo told us he feels a piece of him is missing when he sits in church alone. And yesterday when I saw them walk into church together I think I almost fell of my seat! They were so happy to be sitting together in church. Angela, our other less active was sitting next to me as well yesterday. She's getting back on track! and told me yesterday she wants to go on a mission. God is so good.
Haha something funny this week, one morning we were headed to go see cute Angelo our less active who's struggling with smoking. We're walking to his house and all of a sudden we turn the corner and there he is with these 2 huge water jugs and he yells SORELLE! The water went out in our house so I'm going to the fountain (a public fountain in the middle of the park, not meant for drinking) to fill them up haha COME with me! So we did and then we had a lesson with him in the park. After our lesson he was so excited to go do missionary work so were walking back home and he's literally talking to everyone about how the gospel will change their lives. As were walking and talking and he was looking at me all of a sudden BANG he ran straight into this pole! It was so loud haha. He grabbed his head and then gave me a huge smile under his HUGE mustache. Going to miss that man.
After I found out I was leaving Bari I texted Priscilla, this cute girl from our corso (English class) and told her I was leaving and we would love to meet with her. So she met us in the church and we had such a wonderful lesson. We have never really been able to get a hold of her so it was such a miracle and we asked her if she was interested in taking the lessons and she was more than excited, and took a Book of Mormon!! I see more and more every day why there are missionaries here in Bari, there are so many people ready for the gospel! Priscilla said "I love the way you pray after spiritual thoughts at English course much better than us Catholics pray, it's so much more personal and real.." We also found a golden woman Leonarda this last week and started teaching her, she was about to become a religion teacher so when she found out we were Mormon and she didn't know anything about us she was so excited to learn! YAY. Going to teach our family tonight and then invite them all to be baptized, we prayed about a date and felt inspired for May 1st. There's something special about this family, they are just so full of light and desire to learn!
I love being a missionary! So excited to go to Sicily! LOVE YOU ALL. THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT.
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI