This week was totally awesome. I don't really know where to start, so I'll just hit you up with my Sunday.
During sacrament meeting the Patriarch gave a talk about going through trials, and how we are able to get through them. Towards the end of his talk he said something about us being able to get through them, and all of a sudden an old lady raised up both her arms in the air and yelled: PERCHE' NOI SIAMO FORTI!!
haha. It pretty much means: BECAUSE WE'RE STRONG!!
Me and Anziano Tingey had to hold ourselves back from laughter, but everyone else didn't seem to react at all! haha. She kept rambling about something, and then she calmed down and he just kept giving the talk. It was sweet.
That night we decided to visit some less actives that a member said could use a visit. It turns out that this sister was 90 years old! Her husband (not a member) is 93!! It was pretty hilarious. I'm afraid it may be a little bit of you had to be there, and a little bit of I have to tell you about it in person. It's also a shame you don't speak Italian. Basically,
Siamo andati e all'inizio lui non voleva farci entrare. Abbiamo detto che soltanto volevamo condividere un piccolo pensiero spirituale, e quindi siamo entrati. Lui diceva molto: noi dobbiamo morire! Anche ci ha detto che lei deve morire prima, perchè lui possa trovare un'altra moglie piu' giovane. Abbiamo spiegato un po' del piano di salvezza, e lui ha detto, io non devo morire. lei deve morire, ecc. Sorella Milella invece rideva molto perchè lei non ha la testa. Oh! Lui anche ci ha detto che la moglie del Diavolo (che si chiama Caterina), viene di sera, e nasconde le cose. Per esempio, dove sono le chiavi? Sicuramente sono nascoste da Caterina! haha. Perchè lei fa così. It was totally hilarious the way Sorella Milella kept laughing, I'll try to explain it to you after the mission. Trust me though, it was way funny.
On Saturday we did mostra and that went pretty well. A guy came up to me and asked who all of us were (we do it with all the other missionaries in Bari), and so I explained that we're missionaries, and then he was really curious about our church so I explained the restoration. It went well. That's how mostra is supposed to be. (mostra is when we set up a big display downtown and talk to people as they look at it).
Yesterday we started English Course! That was pretty crazy. We got into a really tight situation because we had an Anziano with us from Bitonto, and he had to go to his English course there. We found a member to go on splits with him, but the way things worked out, we were late to our first day! When we showed up at the church (maybe...five minutes late) and there were about thirty people outside the church. We weren't too prepared...but it went great! Our English course totally loves us. I'm also really excited because I'm teaching the Intermediate/Advanced course, and they basically just want to do conversation. We didn't contact any of the old students, and some people may think that's a bad thing, but I think it's awesome. Almost everyone there is new. We have a number of people that said they're interested in hearing our message about the restoration, and we had three people that asked if they could take restoration pamphlets that we had sitting on a table. I'm really excited.
This week I've been thinking about a principle of faith. It's about demonstrating our faith. One thing that I've always found interesting is how the Lord blesses in ways that we don't expect. I think that even if we don't have faith in a particular proseltying technique (for example, knocking doors), we should still put everything into it, and we'll be blessed for our efforts in other ways. I've seen this work with tons of other things. You just need to put forth the effort. I'm not saying that you can't get blessed directly for what you do as well, but I've just found that things will work out one way or another.
Yesterday was Sorella Tinoco's birthday! We had a couple other missionaries over so we called in the morning (at 6.30 to sing her happy birhtday. Before we finished, we accidentally hung up! haha. It was pretty funny.)
One more thing! We went and visited Bishop's parents this week and his mom read from the Book of Mormon! We watched the restoration video with her and she was crying at the end. That's a pretty awesome video. Bishop bore his testimony of how he knows the Book of Mormon is true (most people think he converted because of his wife, and that really bugs him, haha, but it's because he finally had the desire to know, and he prayed). Moroni's promise is really interesting. We always tell people that if they read and pray they can know the Book of Mormon is true. That's true, but they should also understand that they won't receive an answer from God if they do it without the conditions that are laid out. They have to pray to God, with faith, and with real intent, in the name of Jesus Christ. If they aren't really interested in following Jesus Christ, or don't really have faith, they won't receive an answer.
I really like the testimony of Sorella Ziccarelli in Cosenza. She met with the missionaries for a couple months before she finally decided to pray and ask if the Book of Mormon is true. As soon as she really asked, she decided to get baptized! haha. Up until that point she was just meeting with them, but not praying about the message. Spiritual things can't be understood only intellectually.
Reasoning things out is important and good, but then to know the truth we have to ask the one that knows everything.I saw some of the mormon messages on another missionaries iPod today. Some of those are really powerful.
Have a great week. I know that the church is true, and that a couple of the most important things we can do every day is read the scriptures, and pray.
(Vi Voglio Tanto Bene)