Mamma mia the weeks just start blurring together and getting better and better. I don't understand how it is all ready Monday again......well, to start off we got calls and I will be doing a full beautiful 6 months here in the land of Passo corese with Sorella Erickson and couldn't be any happier :)
Brayon is doing WONDERFUL, he has his baptism interview on Saturday! We went over to his house this last week with bishop, planning just to teach Brayon but instead we were surprised to find the whole family home! Bishop was amazing in the lesson and brought such a powerful testimony and as we were talking about temples all of a sudden the dad stops bishop and says, THAT PLACE I WORK IN IS YOUR TEMPLE? Well, turns out he has been doing construction and working inside the temple di ROMA for a good amount of time now....GOD is preparing this family like you can't even believe! I can't imagine the spirit the father has felt being on the temple grounds everyday :) Brayon came to church yesterday and also to the young men's activity last night--the members adore him and he's getting so involved with everything, it is so cool to be able to witness someone's conversion as strong as his. He told us the day before he had prayed before his soccer game and he got pretty beat up but fortunately nothing was broken, and he said it was a blessing that God allowed him to come to church yesterday even after how exhausted he was! He said he feels amazing every time he prays and reads and knows this is the truth. BELLO
Okay, I just have to talk about one of the greatest moments from this week....So I had been praying that I would be able to see Elsa, I knew in the back of my head though there really wasn't much of a chance of seeing her because I'm an hour away from Rome and even if I had gotten transferred to a new area the chances of being at the train station or on the same train were VERY FEW. Well, Tuesday I get this phone call from the assistants asking if me and the other STL could go out and give a tour to all the new missionaries of Rome and take them finding on their first day in ITALIA. MAMMA mia, just the biggest tender mercy, they have never let any of the STL's come on the tour it has always just been the assistants. But because they had such a big group they wanted two other missionaries to help keep track of all the new missionaries so we were the lucky ones...thank you Heavenly Father. He knew how important it was for me to see her....Wednesday rolls around and I can't even eat because I'm so excited...we head to Rome and go in the villa, Elsa has no idea I'm there and we go wait at the door for them to come in....they open the door and Elsa was at the very front of the group and just screamed (you can only imagine her scream) and hugged me and picked me up and we couldn't let go of
each other!! It was such a happy moment of my life seeing her as a missionary. She was literally glowing...we go to the colosseum and we both just look at each other and we're like "we got called to the same mission...the odds of that happening...." and it was just so special. I won't ever forget that moment, being a missionary with Elsa, walking around Italy and preaching the gospel di Gesù cristo WITH her:))))))) I am so grateful for that day...there is just something so special being around new missionaries and their sweet spirits, and seeing their faith. The next morning we had to go to the train station so I was able to accompany Elsa to her train and give her one last big hug and wished her the happiest mission.....pure joy, she is on fire and so ready to save Italy!
I just want to talk a little bit about our lesson this last week with Ada....well, she is doing amazing and we go over one night with the cute marataro couple and Ada is calabrese and so is fratello marataro. So they just understand each other and immediately connected and he shared his 6 year conversion story from the Catholic Church to our church and it was INCREDIBLE and perfect for Ada and at the end fratello marataro just smiles his great smile and says, "ADA I WILL BAPTIZE YOU!" Haha, love those calabrese people....but it was just so cute because he kept telling her that when she gets baptized she has a family in the church now and an eternal family right in our ward, which was exactly what she needed to hear because she lives all alone and doesn't have any friends or anything and the Spirit was testifying so strongly about the fact that we truly are her brothers and sisters. We went over a couple days later to see how her doctors results went and we prayed with her and it was so special, she says she doesn't know what's blocking her from being baptized but God is truly humbling her and bringing her closer to Him...She has been reading the book of Mormon every day and has a baptism date for the end of this month.....pray for a Christmas miracle:))
One of my favorite things this week was we have been visiting a part member family the Manninos, and the father Baldo is not a member YET but he is so close and we have finally come to understand what's blocking him and what he needs. We had an incredible lesson with him this last week and he told us that he doesn't believe he is a child of God and wants to believe it but he has never felt any sort of confirmation. Well, we sang I am a child of God together, and surprisingly Baldo knew all of the words and was just belting them at the top of his lungs, it was the greatest. I just knew and felt so strongly that this man IS a child of God and has divine worth and a divine role as a father and grandfather for all his beautiful children and grandchildren and that God loves him perfectly even though Baldo may not recognize it. Well, he hasn't been to church in years, and Saturday night we prayed and prayed and invited the wife to pray with us and Sunday morning I look out from the piano and there's BALDO! Smiling and excitedly waving to me.....I couldn't be any happier!!!!!!!! God is blessing so many of our investigators! Sabrina also came to church yesterday, (she's a friend of a member, we've been teaching her & her two daughters) Well it was the primary program yesterday and SHE CAME! And stayed for all 3 hours and I could tell that she felt something different in relief society, SUCH A BEAUTIFUL SABBATH DAY!
We met with Massimo last night, I just get so excited thinking about him because he's absolutely AMAZING! He told us yesterday that nothing in his church makes sense to him anymore but everything in our church does. He said "I AM SEARCHING FOR THE TRUTH, HELP ME FIND IT." And we began to tell him all of the blessings of this beautiful gospel and it made me SO INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL to be a member of this church! I know it's true! I'm so happy this week is thanksgiving, I wish I was more grateful during all of the seasons of the year but I am just especially overwhelmed with gratitude right now for my mission and this gospel and the love of our Savior, and that I get to see this gospel being taken to the far corners of the earth and being restored here in Italy:) I love my mission and I love my Savior and I know He lives! And loves us! Write down all your blessings this week and think of someone who needs those blessings...and share this message with them!
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI