Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Magic in Messina

Ciao Famiglia

I forgot my planner again so I don't really remember what I did this week. oops. But I'll try and recooperate.  
Highlights from the week:
I got to go do a scambio in Messina this week which was really fun because Sorella Wiltbank got transferred to Messina! We got to be companions again for a day. 
So Wednesday night we took a bus to Catania to meet Sorella Stephens, the other STL, so we could travel to Messina the next morning.  So Sorella Williams wanted to leave earlier to Catania because she is scared of doing anything in the dark.. 

But I didn't want to waste all day traveling, so we got to Catania at like 8:30 and still had to wait at the super sketchy bus station for another bus to take us to their house. 
I pretended not to be afraid because I didn't like admitting that she was right and we should have left earlier, but there were all these crazy people running around and they were like trying to wave down buses for us and stuff.  

Anyway, on the way to their house we met this 22 year old guy and he said that the sisters had knocked on his door just that week, but he didn't let them in..So we had a chance to explain to him a little about the restoration and he gave us his information because he wanted to know more! 
Then the next day we took another bus to Messina.  
I LOVE Messina.  

Every time I go I tell myself how I want to serve there because it feels like EVERYONE we talk to is super prepared and willing to listen.  And they live above the Armani store... but that doesn't have anything to do with it. 
So I was really excited to be with Sorella Wiltbank again and we had SO many miracles.  First we were walking home for lunch and we saw these two Italian guys having a really intense conversation, which is pretty typical.. but as we walked by, the older man pulled us aside and he tells his friend to look into our eyes.  He says, 
“Look at the peace and happiness in their eyes; it's because of Jesus Christ.” 
and I'm thinking “Yeah, look into my eyes, but please don't notice the shock in them.” 
So he goes on to convince this guy that he needs to meet with us because we can give him the happiness we have in our eyes.. and the other guy is just staring into our eyes and he is like,
Yeah, you're right, they do have a light in their eyes... Look into my eyes; I have sad eyes.” 
So we gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and he opened it to the "What is My Purpose?” page and he just looked at it, then at us, then at it, then at us, and he said “What IS my purpose? That's what I'm looking for.”  
So we invited him to church and he said he is going to come.  He gave us his address and his phone number and the older friend is like “Hey wait, I want to come too!” and we secretly think he is one of the three Nephites because he speaks Spanish and he told us he travels all around the world, and he convinced this guy to come to our church... 
So we kept walking down this same street and we were talking about what a miracle it was and how we always see magic when we are together.  We passed by two ladies sitting outside of a bar (K: "bars" are little counter cafes in Italy.)  and we stopped them and asked them if they would be interested in our English course.  One lady said "yes" and that she is going to come.  
We started walking away when we both felt impressed to turn back and keep talking to her.. which would be really awkward, but we are both used to being awkward so we did it and I invited her to church on Sunday.  She says “Wait, are you Mormon?” We say "yes," and she replies “I'm Catholic, but I've always wanted to know the differences in our beliefs.” 
She gave us her information and said she would love to meet us.. so we keep walking down the same street and I'm ranting because I've been doing straight finding for 8 weeks in Siracusa and we have only had 2 new investigators and I walk down one street in Messina and everyone wants to give us their information to meet with us.. 
Jaw Dropping
So as we are talking about it and laughing about the magic we have when we serve together, a car pulls up to the corner where we are standing and waiting for the light to turn so we can pass.. This car lets out a young Italian girl and she turns to us and starts talking to us and right away she asks US if she can give us her number and address so we can come to her house one day to talk... my jaw is literally on the FLOOR and we exchange numbers and explain who we are and why we are here and she was just so excited to have us come over. 
At this point I've decided that I'm not ever leaving Messina... and we keep walking home and the other sisters are wondering why we are late because we are stopping and talking to everyone.
Danish Referral
Then we run into this tourist couple and they ask us where they can get pizza and we start walking with them and to show them a place where they can get pizza.  They start to walk away... so I run after them to give them a mormon.org card and they say “Oh you are Mormon?... Our neighbors in (some obscure town in Denmark) are Mormons.. They are going to pick up their son who was been in South Africa for 2 years.” 
Who has Mormon neighbors in Denmark? 
Anyway, they said they are going to go home and tell their neighbors that they met the Mormon missionaries in Italy. Cool stuff. 
It was an incredible scambio. I just have been really down because we are working so hard to find people to teach here in Siracusa.  I KNOW there are people ready here because the other missionaries here are having a TON of success and finding tons of people.  
And I know its not us because as soon as we leave Siracusa, I find tons of people.  But when you mix me and Siracusa together, we spend all hours of the day trying to find people to teach.  It's been rough for me, but I still have faith and hope that we will find more prepared people here.
Speaking of prepared people here.. we had a really great experience with Adrianna this week.  She is our (only) investigator from Romania.  She invited us over on Friday to have some Romanian dish.. We all crammed into their cute Italian kitchen and we were eating Romanian sugar donuts with her, her roommate that only speaks Romanian, and Maria (her friend that's a member). 

We started the lesson and Maria wanted to share a message from the Liahona and then we tied it into 3 Nefi 11 and we started teaching them about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was one of the best lessons we have taught here in Siracusa.  I love Adrianna with all of my heart.  

We were teaching her about repentance and baptism when her phone rang... She was afraid to answer because she didn't know the number, but we convinced her to answer and it was someone calling to offer her a job!  She has been looking all over for work and someone just called out of the blue to have her come in the next day. 
It was such a miracle.  She just sat there in shock and we talked to her about how it wasn't a coincidence that they called while we were talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was such a beautiful lesson... The only problem is that for right now they are having her work every day for 8 hours... so she couldn't come to church on Sunday.. so that is the next hurdle that we are working on.
As hard as it has been here in Siracusa finding missionary work, I absolutely love it here. 

I'm having a lot of fun and I love the members here.. especially the youth.  Our bishopric has asked us to work a lot with the youth and to help prepare them for missions and it has been such a cool experience.

So all is well here in Siracusa. VI VOGLIO BENE
With love from Siracusa,
Sorella O'Connor  

(Email Sent - June 2, 2014)

No comments:

Post a Comment