Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Marzo pazzorello, anzi c'è sole, prendi l'ombrello

Tutti A Cosenza

More or less: March, it's crazy, actually there's sun, bring your umbrella.haha.

The weather has been insane here. We thought that Spring was here because it became warm enough that we could go outside without a jacket and it was really sunny. But then next thing you know it became colder than it's been all year! I went on splits this week with Anziano Mangifesta (he's from near Pisa), and one morning it even snowed a little!

It was really funny because I can't remember if I told you, but someone stole my umbrella last week while we were in the Internet Cafè. And so with Anziano Wood gone we didn't have an umbrella to use and so we ran from apartment to apartment in the rain doing house. It was crazy cold, but we definitely saw tender mercies because every apartment complex the door was already unlocked, whereas we usually have to ring the outdoor phone because the door is locked. But I've really had a great week. I did more house than I've done my whole mission, and it actually went really well. People always say it's more of a trial of faith than anything because it's not very effective, but we actually found some good success because a lot of people were home. Last transfer I hardly got to do any proselyting, and it's refreshing to do some again.

Missionary work is actually really cool because you talk to random people, go to stranger's houses, meet tons of people. Basically it's really social, which works out well because I love talking to people. Unfortunately, not everyone wants to listen. Like the other day we went to an old man's house who asked us if we knew the name of God was. Then he told us that it's Yahweh, and that our Bibles are no good because they say "Eternal" instead of "Yahweh." Anyway, the next morning during personal study I looked it up, and the Hebrew word "Yahweh" translates into "Eternal." hahaha. Another man we talked to this week told us that he met missionaries about 10 years ago and he read the Book of Mormon twice. I asked him if he prayed about it, and he didn't. He also said: "Honestly, I don't see how it's that different from the Bible." hahaha. I tried to explain to him that it is also the word of God, but he didn't want to listen.

Anyway, let me tell you a sweet success from this last week. I was on splits with Anziano Sadler, and we were walking down Via XXIV Maggio. There was a chinese man outside of his shop smoking and I started chatting with him about work, and found out that he's from Hang Zhou! So right away we had something to talk about because I told him about when I went to Shanghai and Souzhou last summer. We kept talking about I found out that he's Christian, and that he's wondered why there are so many churches, and why his church here is different than the one he had back home. I taught him about authority and the restoration, and then I got his phone number and I should be teaching him next week!

I also met a nice Romanian lady while I was on splits with Anziano Mangifesta. When we knock doors we typically switch off every door. She pretty much rejected Anziano Mangifesta, and then I said something (probably asking for a referral or something), and then all of a sudden she smiles and asks where I'm from. She loved my accent. haha. So then after we got past that I explained the Book of Mormon to her, and she said she wants one in Romanian for herself, and one for the Signora in Italian. Unfortunately we don't currently have a Romanian Book of Mormon with us, but we'll be getting one. : )

Our investigators are making good progress. Or at least a couple of them. We really tried to get a baptismal date. haha. Giuseppe wasn't ready to set a date, but I think he'll be baptized in the next few months. One investigator that we had to drop was really funny. He's been taught everything more than once, and he still says he's not ready to baptized, and so we asked him when he thinks he will be. He told us that he couldn't say because it's too far. Then we said, really, when do you think you'll be ready? And then he mumbled "I can't say the date....it's too far, I'll be forty" hahaha. Anyway, hopefully he'll change, but for now we're trying to do work with other investigators.

So everything is still just going great here. This next week we're really going to work hard to find the elect because it seems like a lot of people we get to teach aren't exactly to make changes in their lives right now. But I guess it is nice that we have so many friends here. We just don't have time to spend with them!! There's a saying in Italian that more or less says: Friendship doubles the joy, and cuts your worries in half. It's really true. But there's a poster in our church that says: Eternity is a long time... Spend it with a friend. (more or less, it's in Italian). Anyway, it has a picture of two friends together that are at the start of a trail. I know, you'd think it's about marriage, but it also says something about sharing the Gospel because it's more or less about referrals to the missionaries if you ask me. haha.

Oh! And I found out the name of the place we go run at (when it's not raining like crazy), it's the Municipal Public Gardens. It's pretty beautiful.
Have a great week! Thanks for your prayers.
Anziano Banks