It is honestly crazy how fast time flies out here, and all i hear is that it will keep going by faster every transfer. It was a busy week, but mostly for the better. some highlights:
Had my first Pranzo with an investigator and his fam! this guy is awesome and so is his family. his name is Massimo, and he is a dentist. he is probably in his late 40's if I were to guess, and he has 3 kids. the oldest, Marco, is 20 and super cool. they have an 18 year old daughter who is cool too but i forgot her name. and they have a 9 year old named Alessandro who is super legit at soccer, of course. and the wife is sooo nice and an amazing cook. Mamma Mia...that food was "in gamba" which basically means "on point" in english. it was funny because they offered us wine while we were waiting for food to be done, and so we ended up talking about the word of wisdom and why we dont drink wine. and they honestly respected us a ton, it was cool. they had so many questions about our church, and we answered all of them throughout pranzo. they also told us they wanted to take us somewhere some P day because they said that we're fun to hang out with I guess...so yeah these people are soo sick. and Massimo is pretty dark, so I think he's Sicilian, which is awesome. and then, after pranzo, we taught a long lesson about the restoration of the church. it went pretty well. they had great questions and are eager to learn more. they committed to read the book of mormon and to pray to know if it is true. and we explained to them how that, if the book is true, that it means that this church is in fact the RESTORED church of Jesus Christ here on the Earth. and the best part was, they didnt speak much slang or dialect, so i understood about 95% of what they said! it was so refreshing to here actual italian haha.
Another brief story. another investigator, Larissa, we met with on saturday morning. the lesson went super well. she's 20 years old and atheist. however, she is very open for discussion and is open to new ideas and beliefs. so, we ended up talking about the book of mormon, the restoration, and the plan of salvation as well (my favorite lesson). she is super cool, honestly. and she speaks pretty decent english. anyway, after the KILLER lesson, she also committed to read from the book of mormon, but she wasnt sure about praying. its something we will have to work with her on, but its tough seeing as she doesnt even know if God exists. so, I told her she should pray, just simply to ask God if He exists, and she said she would. so we will see how that went when we meet next. but the best part is she came to church yesterday! we sat with her and explained to her what was going on and she asked a lot of questions, which was good. and she had to leave right at 10 in order to get to work, so she missed the last 10 minutes of sacrament meeting, oh well. but we texted her last night asking how she HONESTLY liked it, and she said she loved it! she likes how it doesnt feel like a church really, she said it feels more like a family with common beliefs. I loved her answer. I love families and I love this Gospel because of the family-oriented core.
Guys, aside from all the amazing times this week, it was tough. we got cancelled on several times, got rejected, had a couple weird and rough lessons, but theres always light at the end of the tunnel. I was pretty discouraged on wednesday because of the lack of success we were having overall after all of our efforts. then, I actually remembered a scripture I read while back in the MTC. it is in Alma 26:27. it says, "now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said, "Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites(Italians), and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."
This really struck me. I decided that I wasnt going to give up and throw in the towel. I immediately said a quick prayer in the other room, asking for help and guidance. immediately after, i felt like calling 3 potential investigators that werent answering us the whole week. surprisingly enough, they all answered their phones. 2 of them were Larissa and Massimo, who we met with and had AMAZING lessons and have great expectations and hopes for them. another was Rodriguez, who we set an indefinite appointment with him this week!
If anyone can learn anything from this, its that the scriptures can help us today. they may have been written thousands of years ago, but they reveal truths, that are still true today. and more importantly, promises from God. I decided to call upon one of those promises, and it worked. I know God is there, and that He hears our prayers, and answers them IF we have faith that He will. I know He loves us all more than we can comprehend. I am so grateful to be under His watchful eye and to do His work every day. I love it out here. great experiences every day. dont give up guys, no matter what it may be. God is there, especially when we think He isnt. Pray always. Obey the commandments. Have Faith. Repent daily. Love one another. all of these things will bring nothing but peace and pure joy into your life. I love you all so much and pray for you all every day and night. Miss you guys.
God be with you til we meet again,