Guys...this has been a priceless week,
Quantity-wise, not too many things have happened. But the few things that have gone down have honestly made up for one of the best weeks of my entire mission.
Thursday, my (now ex) comp left for Ascoli. It was only like a 3 hour train ride so it was rather close. I miss him and the good things he brought to the table while here with me in Foggia for 2 transfers (12 weeks) together, but my new comp is doing more than exceptional at taking his spot haha. His name is Anziano Martin and he came up from Ragusa in South Sicily . He's from Provo, UT and he's 3 months younger than me in age, but graduated high school in 2014, and went to summer sesh at BYU before leaving for his mish in December 2014. He's about 5'7" but he's pretty built so that's sick. We get along pretty well. He loves sports, but all he played competitively was soccer, but said he loves all sports so yeah we got lots to talk about. He's got a ton of enthusiasm and energy so as you can imagine, we never stop talking hahaha. Lessons have been interesting so far, but yeah before he came up I didn't have a comp for 6 hours so I was with the other guys in a trio for that time, so sick haha.
Alright so the first thing Martin said when we got home Thursday night was, "bro, let's clean this place. With a clean house things will get done and miracles will happen." Though I may have doubted his reasoning, I agreed completely that a clean house was necessary. So we spent some time then and Friday after weekly planning cleaning and what not. Oh my gosh, clean houses feel awesome. It stinks that this house was kinda dirty before I even got to Foggia. But let me tell you, we've seen some miracles since then.
Ok so we had stake conference for the entire Puglia Stake and we all met in Bari. It's only an hour and 45 min train trip. We went up Saturday evening, had a zone blitz, and then stayed the night and headed to conference Saturday morning. Conference was held at a super nice hotel in Bari and it was super sick. We changed the stake presidency so we had a couple general authorities come. One was Italian, another was German. But a guy in our Foggia ward got called to be counselor in the Stake Presidency!! Sooo sick, wow. He's an amazing guy. He's Fratello Conforte and he's also our "Ward Mission Supervisor." I got to see a lot of people at the conference, especially missionaries from all over. I seriously love our mission, the missionaries in it are so sick. But yeah we got to hear some awesome inspiring words from the leaders, I loved it.
Alright so Loris & Roberta. We've been praying for guidance what to do with them to get them to realize the signs and answers they've already received that this is the truth. They're very contemplative, but I love it. But, our prayers paid off, as well as yours. They came into the church last night for a lesson with us and before even starting they said, "we have some good news to share with you," ...... "We've decided to get baptized on November 28th just like you asked us to." And guys, words can't describe how I felt in that moment. I just didn't wanna cry and look like an idiot so I was smiling and holding back the happy tears that were drowning my tear ducts. Nothing short of a miracle from the Spirit had caused this change. He said one of the big things that helped them decide was how they felt this weekend. We meet with them almost every day and see them at church every Sunday. This weekend we didn't see them Saturday and there was no church Sunday because of stake conference, and they couldn't come to stake conference. They said they noticed the biggest absence of the spirit ever these two days. They said they know that this feeling only comes when they're with us in the church for a reason. They're so prepared for this day it's not even funny guys. I remember the first day we met each other, 7-8 weeks ago. They're honestly different people than they were when I met them, and it's all thanks to the gospel of Jesus Christ and His commandments that have changed these people and they're hearts. Then, Loris asked if he could pay his tithing. I said, "when you're baptized? Duh! It's a commandment homie," and he said, "no, like right now, before our baptism. I can't wait til my baptism to receive the blessings of tithing and help those in need." I just about lost it. Tithing was his biggest struggle to accept just a week ago, and now he was asking if he could dump his money to the church and humanitarian aid before he was even baptized. Plus, Roberta has been smoke free for 9 days now, without any help from anything besides daily prayers to God for His help.
The Gospel changes lives guys, it's as simple as that. I'm at a loss of words right now because of the excitement and joy that fills my soul from my friends Loris and Roberta's decision to follow Christ's example, and make their way to eternal life. Anziano Martin and I are loving it here, and hope we get more than a transfer together so we can kill it some more haha. Plus, the other guys in our house should be having a baptism the same day as Loris and Roberta. Life is good, it really is.
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. You guys are the best. I love you guys and miss you. Keep up the good work studs ;)
|view from a member's apartment|
|My new companion Anziano Martin and I eating Panzarotti|
Lasagna made by the Sorella on the left, she is Columbian and grew up in Italy so she "knows her stuff", it was the best.
|English course students. This is about half of our intermediate class.|
|"Romantic the style, black the color"|