Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Beautiful Week

Buon giorno!

3 guys This week was pretty incredible, hahaha. For one, yesterday we had Zone Conference (which was sweet) and I received some crazy packages!! hahaha. Grazie Mille! Now, I've got a pretty good story for you.

While I was in Foggia we had an investigator named "Michela" or "Michele" we actually weren't really sure. Anyway, I wanted to call her to set up an appointment, but I wasn't sure which one she was in the phone, and my companion was being too lazy to look it up in his planner (I didn't have her number in mine). We also had three or four Michela/Micheles, but I decided to just go ahead and try calling them. I called all of them. I set up an appointment with one, and I was told to call the other after about a month to set up an appointment with him.

Then I was transferred.

Now, one of the Michela's that I called (the one that I set an appointment with) is now meeting multiple times a week to be taught by the missionaries with help from the members and is going to be baptized in a couple weeks!!! How amazing is that?! I had just randomly called her.

This week we had an appointment with the Diciolla family. They're awesome. They're also pretty funny too, because they LOVE America. They're actually hoping to move there. Talking with them makes me realize how much we're really blessed. They went on a trip to northern Utah and they were totally amazed. They said there were churches and temples everywhere, people just leave their doors unlocked at night, they have yards, and they have more than one bathroom!! They're planning on moving there. I have to admit, I'm not really too into the whole living in an apartment and sharing a bathroom between four people (like we had in Foggia).

Zone Conference was totally sweet. We hosted it. We had all the missionaries from Puglia (Apulia) and half the ones from Calabria. I got to see Anziano Rowland, Garvin, and Garcia!! Then Anziano Garcia stayed over last night and stayed here for P-day. I seriously love my MTC district. I

Today we went to Santa Clause's church (Saint Nicholas). It was pretty cool. What was more cool is that we had some Burger King afterwards. I know, I know, I'm in Italy, but after three transfers with Anziano Halverson I can hardly handle any more pizza (he has a reputation for eating pizza on an average of four to five times a week).

I love how everything is going. We've been meeting some incredibly interesting people and the work should be taking a huge boost as we hit September. We've been having quite a few flaky investigators, but we also have lots of very promising potentials. The really cool thing about sacrifice and exercising your faith is that you know you will be blessed for your righteous desires. The more energy and enthusiasm I can put into the work, even when we're not having a lot of success, the more I know the Lord will bless us. Just look at Foggia for example. I worked hard in Cosenza, and as soon as I left, they had a baptism, and Foggia had a couple right away when I showed up. Cosenza is now up to four missionaries and I hear the work there is going awesome. Foggia has that baptism coming up with Michela, and I'm looking forward to finding all kinds of sweet investigators here in Bari.

I think as I've been working hard and spending time with other missionaries, I've been growing my testimony and my Unity. I'm really happy that we've been able to pass off so many referrals to other missionaries to help lighten their load, and it's just really sweet. The mission is sweet. I love the Book of Mormon because if someone is actually willing to follow Moroni's promise, God will answer.
I've been thinking about that lately. Some people have hesitations about things like baptism, or changing because they don't think they're ready. That's just a lack of faith. If you call upon the powers of heaven and ask God, you can be ready for anything. I think it doesn't take more than one prayer to gain a testimony. The same goes for reinforcing one. We had a member in Cosenza that told us that it took her two months before she accepted to be baptized because it took two months before she specifically asked God to reveal to her the true. What is there to fear? Will God not respond? The fact is that sincere prayer brings results. Sincere prayer is powerful. God is powerful.

I know that the church is true. Thank you for your support and all the supplies that you sent to keep me going! haha. If I had to pick a favorite thing it probably wouldn't be possible because there were too many things in there that I love. I guess though that I really appreciate the letters and words of encouragement you send, and also the seaweed. hahaha. I love seaweed. There's something about it that I crave.

Have a great week. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Anziano Banks