Oh my dear family and friends! I love you all so much. I look so forward to every Wednesday when I'm able to hear from you and write to you. It's the best! This week, I truly witnessed some incredible miracles. I feel so blessed to be serving in this area, with these truly exceptional people.
We moved English Course and Family Home Evening to Wednesday nights. So basically Wednesday is always full and wonderful. Yay! Last week we had multiple people invite and bring their non-member friends. This is unheard of for us! It was exceptional! For FHE, we taught a short lesson on obedience. We then played Simone Dice. Yes, we played Simon Says, in Italian. Once again, Italians love these games they've never heard of before. I didn't know it could be quite this much fun. Granted, I don't speak Italian, so I never had any idea what was going on.
We teach mostly new converts and less-actives. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of investigators right now. However, the people we teach are 100% incredible. We recently started teaching an in-active member of 30 years named Maria. Her daughter came to visit about a month ago and brought her to church. A couple of weeks later Maria showed up at church again by herself. After, she asked us if we would come teach her. Of course! Here's the great part, without telling us first, she invited a friend to her second lesson. So we show up and it turns out we're mostly teaching her friend. Maria proceeded to share on of the most beautiful testimonies I have ever heard in my life. (We all want to know where she hid it for those 30 years.) The friend, Mercy, was really interested. Throughout the lesson, she would ask us questions. Every time, I saw in her eyes the moment she realized what the answer was. A moment later when we would answer, you could tell it was what the Spirit had testified to her just before. It was such a beautiful lesson, and I feel so grateful to have been a part of it.
We had another activity at the church Friday night. Truthfully, we weren't expecting more than two people to show up. The Sunday before everyone told us it was too early and they were all too busy. Well, over twenty-people showed. This is a huge deal for us! Two of our investigators came, as did a friend of Elvira. The activity was really wonderful; we took a tour of the church, and in each room the heads of the auxiliaries explained their programs and answered any questions. It was supposed to take around a half-an-hour, but everyone had so much they wanted to say, it ended up lasting an extra hour. We then, as we do at everything in Italy, ate a large amount of wonderful food. I think all of the missionaries in our ward were very grateful the members came out to support us. Several members later told us they had people they wanted to invite to the next activity, so now we're planning that. Yay!
Little miracle - I fixed our air conditioning. We've been living in Milan without air conditioning or fans! It's been like 30°C [86°F]. I don't know what that converts to, but it's too hot! So now we can sleep at night and don't hate coming home.
I know last week I told you I had the wonderful opportunity to say goodbye to the Wolfgramm's. Here's what I forgot: they're in our ward! Since it was their last Sunday, of course they came to Milano Navigli. I was able to say goodbye to them again - actually about 15 times because Sorella Wolfgramm would hug us, say goodbye, talk to someone else while we translated, and then hug us again. This process lasted the entire three hours. I'm not complaining. I actually had the opportunity to share something that means a lot to me with them. I am very aware of the love the Prophet, Apostles, and General Authorities have for us. So much so, that I believe you can feel this love before you see the person. I have several examples of this throughout my life; let me share a short one. After we sang in the Tabernacle last year and we were walking downstairs to get ready and leave, I felt this overwhelming sensation of love and peace. A couple seconds later, the elevator opened and Elder Ballard walked out. The Wolfgramm's radiate love in the exact same way. Several times on my mission, I have felt this same feeling of love. A few moments later, the Wolfgramm's walked into the room. I love these two beautiful people and am so grateful for them. I saw them again yesterday because we had our district meeting at the same time they were training new missionaries. I feel so blessed to have had them as a part of my mission, and they have forever changed my life.
After church on Sunday, we went to have lunch with the Albello's. They are always so kind to us and feed us so much food! They are from the Philippines, and I always look forward to what they are going to feed us, because it's usually something I've never tried before. After we ate, we shared a short message with the entire family. It was wonderful! Both Fratello and Sorella Albello were involved and shared some beautiful experiences with us. After, Fratello Albello asked me to sing "How Great Thou Art" for them. Sorella Stewart played the piano and I sang. The family took tons of pictures of us; it was very sweet. Then, he asked if he and Sorella Albello could sing "Because I Have Been Given Much" with me. It was so much fun. Frat. A took charge and told us when to sing what and we ended up with a beautiful arrangement. It reminded me how much I love music and sharing music with people. I'm so grateful for that time to revel in the beauty of music. I'm also grateful I'm singing in church next week, so I have a few opportunities this week to practice and prepare. It's the best!
Also on Sunday, we met a really nice man named Jimmy and his friend Vincenzo. We were on the bus and I was holding the Book of Mormon. Jimmy practically leaned out of his seat to see what I had, and then Vincenzo held out his hand and asked for the book. We talked to them for a while and exchanged numbers. Jimmy's coming to church this Sunday, and we're hoping to set up a lesson with them as well.
I am once again grateful to be surrounded by wonderful anziani. They are truly the best. In fact, they're probably my biggest blessing serving in Milano. We were followed off the bus, again; actually, we were followed from the time we got onto the bus until we got to the church. Thank goodness the assistants were able to meet us at the church. At first, I don't think Anziano Young believed us when we said we were being followed. We sat inside the front doors while they stood outside, and they couldn't see the guy for like 5 minutes. Suddenly Anz. Young looked at me and asked if the guy had a black stripe on his shirt. Yes, yes he did. He had just turned the corner and was looking for us. I'm not quite sure why Anz. Young would think I would make a thing like that up, but at last now he knows this actually happens. Don't worry though. I'm always safe, always protected. We just get lots of opportunities to be reminded how wonderful our anziani are. I'm actually grateful for that.
I love you all! Thanks again for all of your support. It's always appreciated, and you are always prayed for. I promise.