Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Nothing Can Stop Me

So many great moments this weeeeek. I love baptisms. I want one every week. 

So here are the deets:

Monday it was raining all day so we stayed inside and wrote a lot of letters. boring. I know.  But it was nice to get a break and it was seriously miserable to even go outside and do the shopping.   So we vegged for my first pday ever.  Monday night we had an FHE with the Teodosi family..  

Shoutout to Sorella Teodosi who reads my blog and makes really good food. 

It was really fun.. We went with Carol to FHE and Vescovo (Bishop) invited the elders' investigator so they came too.  We talked about Carol's baptism and she and Jomar (the elders' investigator) shared their testimonies with us.  It was really dolce (sweet) and a lot of fun. 

Killing Me with Karaoke
Also we have the NOISIEST Asian neighbors... twice we have had to move our mattresses into the study room because they think it's okay to salsa dance at midnight... or this week's karaoke marathon with a special "Killing Me Softly" musical number that I found extremely ironic.  

Why is it So Hard?
Tuesday we had an incredible DDM about receiving personal revelation and it was really beautiful.  I feel like receiving revelation is one of the hardest things to recognize and so many people struggle with it..  

Anz. Perry started by asking "Why is it so hard for us to recognize revelation?"  

But really though... why isn't it easy for us to always recognize our answers from God?  Why doesn't he just give us dreams like he does for most Italians?  

It got me thinking and just made me realize just how much we learn from the process of receiving revelation and how we have to humble ourselves and seek and search -- it reminds us to turn to our Heavenly Father. 

Scambi Miracles
Wednesday we did a scambio with the sorelle in Ladispoli.. so Sorella McKenna (from Paige's MTC group) came here to Rome with me.
Sorella McKenna (Top, Far Left) with Paige at the MTC

With scambi miracles, we met the coolest people.  I gave a Book of Mormon away to a man on the train who has a Russian wife and a daughter named Helga.   

Also, they changed the binnario (track platform) where our train comes usually, so everyone was confused.  
There was this man who looked super lost and he just yelled "How do I get to Monte Rotondo?!"  

So I was like, "Hey!! Come with us! We will take you".. 

Gift of Tongues
So he followed us and I realized that he doesn't speak much Italian.  So he started speaking to me in Spanish AND I UNDERSTOOD HIM. 

It was weird.. I taught him like the whole first lesson in Italian and he was responding to everything in Spanish.  It's like I don't remember anything from high school Spanish, but I understood the meaning of everything he was saying.  

Sorella McKenna kept asking me, "What is he saying?"  I don't know how I knew, but I knew. 

Anyway, he was super excited because he found out we were Mormons and he said 

"Are you serious? We have TONS of Mormons where I am from in the Dominican Republic.. They all ride bikes and wear ties."  

Yep, that's us.  So we laughed about that and we got his number so that we can give him a Spanish Book of Mormon. 

For the Strength of YSAs
We also got to take Carol to a fireside for the GANS (YSA) and Anziano Defeo of the 70 spoke. (He is in our ward but hardly attends here because he is always traveling on church business.)  

We had to leave early to get home on time, but Carol got to stay for the whole thing and she said she loved it.  Also Flavia was there (the investigator we taught and then passed to Ladispoli) who said she is getting baptized in two weeks here in Roma 2!!  So I really hope that I get to go. 

No Ride Shares
Thursday we got followed by this scary Libyan guy for a while, so I told Sorella Wiltbank she isn't allowed to talk to Libyans anymore.  We blamed it on Anz. Perry because President made a new rule that elders can't give the sisters rides anymore.  So he couldn't give us a ride with them to correlation... 

Also we started a new Language Study exercise where we take American songs and try to translate them into Italian and sing them.  It's really annoying and really funny and the elders started getting into it too.. "Call Me Maybe" in Italian is the worst. 
I Like to Look for Rainbows
Saturday was the BAPTISM DAY!  It was the best day.  

It had been raining ALL week.  Then on Saturday we spent all day getting ready for the baptism and when we got back home for lunch, the clouds parted and there was this HUGE rainbow.  It was so cheesy, but so perfect--just like the Primary song.  

The baptism was so beautiful.  Even more beautiful then the Robles Family baptism from the District 2. yeah. that good.  

Carol looked so beautiful and the baptism was FULL!  Everyone came out to support her and I have never seen her so happy.  We had a beautiful moment before her baptism where we just said a little prayer together.  

She just has the strongest faith and the strongest testimony and I just feel so blessed to be able to see her go through that process.  After our little prayer she said, 

"I know what I have to do and nothing can stop me from doing it."  

So for the service I gave a brief talk about both Baptism and the Holy Ghost and the covenants we make and the blessings that God gives us from those covenants we make.  Then Jomar did the musical number!  He sang "Amazing Grace" and it was totally pop and the coolest baptism musical number I've ever heard.  It was really sweet to have everyone involved.  

Then we went over to the font to watch the baptism.  Sorella Wiltbank and I got to stand on the edge and watch from the little hall on the inside so we could hug her as soon as she got out of the water.  It was the most beautiful moment to watch her come out of the water and see her huge smile.  Just one of those mission moments I know I'll never forget. 

Afterwards she gave her testimony and it was so beautiful.  She was so confident and so happy.  Then she took photos with everyone and we cleaned up and then went across to get pizza and celebrate. 

It was the best day. We were just happy all day long. It wasn't one of those overemotional experiences where you end up crying a lot... but just a day filled with peace and joy and just a sweet confirmation that the Lord was aware of her, and that the choice she was making was the right choice.  

Anz Brynt explained it perfectly.. he said "There are baptisms, and then there are REAL baptisms."  

Sunday she was confirmed and she bore her testimony in Relief Society of HOW she received a testimony.  Sorella Wiltbank and I are already picking out her future callings and things.  She is going to be such a strong member and such a great influence for her friends and family back home.

So it was the best week. We are really happy. We are working really hard to get some more of these really great weeks in. 

With Love from Rome,
Sorella O'Connor 

(Email Sent - February 3, 2014)

We got Sorella Stuerer flowers for her birthday.. 
We told them she likes yellow, so this is what they gave us.

Also Tiziano got baptized. 
 He is the son of Ann Ferrari  (baptism when I first got here) 

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