Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spreading the Gospel and Nutella

So another beautiful week in Roma 2.. We had a ton of success this week:  5 new investigators!  We are really excited about it.  I've never had that many new investigators in one week before. 

Monday we spent p-day with all the departing missionaries, which was sad. but fun.  Get this:  we went bowling. yeah. bowling in Rome.  Definitely the elders' idea, and I definitely put up a fight..  

"WHY would you go bowling on your last day in ROME?"   

But it ended up being a lot of fun and took me back to all those high school bowling parties that I hated and loved.

It was fun to get all the advice from the sisters leaving and to see Anziano Prieto, who was a big part of Carol's conversion story. 

Square One
Then Monday night we did a FHE with the Salerno family and Shadi.. It is really cool to teach her because we get to start from square one and teach her all about Jesus Christ and his life and his purpose.. I've never taught someone without a Christian background, so I've been learning a lot for myself about Jesus Christ and his role and his life.

Church members faithfully give generous fast offerings each month and perform service in a spirit of love. 
They literally offer helping hands in the Lord’s way. ()

Helping Hands
Tuesday we did a service project with the elders. The elders quorum volunteered to clean up a street and so all the missionaries went to help.  Except every time we tried to pick up a tool of any sort, the leaders would be like 

"SORELLE!  Don't touch that; I don't want you to hurt yourself.

and I'm like "Guys, it's a rake, tranquillo"..  

They told us OUR job was to hand out the "Mormon Helping Hands" vests and to spread Nutella on bread... (Italian gender rules).. 

  So Sorella Wiltbank and I grabbed rakes and ran off before anyone could tell us no.. 

(Quidditch Practice)

"Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, 
and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God.” 

"We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. 
He is dependent upon each of us." Thomas S. Monson

until we got tired and gave in to spreading Nutella on bread.  

BUT it was really fun, and everyone was really grateful. We got to stop and talk to some people walking by and everyone was super impressed that we would volunteer to do that.

Soul Sister
THEN Tuesday night we had a lesson with this lady named Stefania.  She is a referral from one of the elders and I think we are soul sisters.  We never know what to expect with elder referrals (seeing as they have given us MORE THAN ONE CRAZY PERSON), but she was so cool. 

She invited us to her CUTE apartment and she invited her ex-boyfriend and her college aged son to come and listen as well. It was probably one of the most elegant lessons I've ever been to.. elegant in the fact that it's fun teaching well educated people that have really thought hard about religion and spirituality-- that's how I love talking about it as well.  

Anyways, it went really well.  We talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation and it was a really well-guided lesson as well.  I could see the Lord guiding us to know what to see and guiding their questions.. Those are some of the best missionary moments. So we have a return appointment with them tomorrow.

Wednesday we had a lesson with the anziani and a Japanese investigator they wanted to pass to us.  

We also had another lesson with Simona, another one of our new investigators who even came to church on Sunday!  She is 21 years old and really cute. (Things that tip off the members that we have a new investigator in church: lip rings).  

0 to 12
She committed to read the Book of Mormon and came to church and she is even coming with us to an FHE tonight with all the YSA.  It's been REALLY cool to see how the young adults in our ward have grown.. 

When I first got here there was ONE active YSA and then she moved to France.  Now with Carol baptized, Jomar baptized, Luca getting baptized THIS WEEK and all the investigators that we and the anziani are working with, we could have about 10-12 YSAs between the two wards.. SO COOL.

Damage Control
Thursday we saw the Iakaniani family and they brought a friend to the lesson!  Her name is Barbara.. and the lesson didn't go too well.. by the fact that while we were explaining how the gospel blesses families, she said 

"You know what? I USED to think that my husband loved me.. but now after what you are saying I'm not too sure."... 

DEFINITELY NOT what we were going for.  But she came to the RS activity Friday, so we must have repaired it enough. 

Slow, Constant and Sure
We also saw Ilenia and she is doing really well.  She came to church on Sunday as well!  She said she has been praying EVERY DAY and that she feels like Heavenly Father is listening to her and answering her prayers.  

That is so amazing because a few months ago she didn't even believe in God. 

The coolest thing about staying in the same place so long is that you get to see how much people progress. You get to see where they started and where they are now.  You realize that the Lord's work is slow, but it is constant and it is sure and as we persevere it all works out. 

Change of Perspective
Friday I had a little freak-out moment. I've just been afraid of becoming too comfortable: we take the same routes every day, see a lot of the same people, spend a lot of time doing lessons in the church.  I got a little stir crazy and might have tried to cut all of my hair off.. 

Don't be alarmed, Sorella Wiltbank stopped me. 

We decided to find better ways to change things up this transfer, so we moved our whole house around (which was probably a bad idea, because it takes more time than we thought, so now it's been 3 days and its only half finished).  But it was really good just to have a little change of perspective even if it's just the way our desks are placed and where our beds are. 

Also Friday night we did and FHE with this cute young married couple.  Carol came and we watched 17 Miracles and cried.

Talent Show
Saturday we got 2 buca's (no show appointments) but then we prepared for the ROMA 6 TALENT SHOW, which was so much fun.  

We had to do an act as missionaries so Sorella Wiltbank had the idea to do the whole "be upside down and draw eyes on your chin and lip sync to 'Lollipop'."  The elders couldn't think of anything else, so they did it too.. hah. and the Italians LOVED IT.  

Anz. Sorgiacomo (he is from Muggiò where Paige is serving!) putting on his truca for the talent show.

Anz. Jones, who was probably the least excited about drawing eyes on his chin, needed a little help.

We also did "cups" from Pitch Perfect. 

Lucas' band came and played "Sweet Child of Mine" and "Knocking on Heaven's Door" and the ward LOVED IT... seriously.  I've never heard them scream like that.  

Lisbane makes their appearance at the Roma 6 talent show. 

We were all singing along and then afterwards the sisters came up to me and said, "Sorella O'Connor, we saw you singing ROCK music..." all disapproving.  Then I translated the words for them and they said it was okay.. so we are all good there.

Then another great Sunday. We went to lunch with the Wilkins (American family) and they gave us VANILLA. Like real American vanilla.. not the powdered Italian kind.

No time no time.  But I love you all.  I love Rome 2.  We have had so many good things happen this week, and I'm really happy to still be here because I just love this ward.  The members are so involved in our work and we have the best investigators and there is nothing more that I could ask for.

Vi Voglio Bene
With Love from Rome, 

Sorella O'Connor

(Email Sent - February 24, 2014)

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