Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Vi Voglio Bene

So last Wednesday, I was supposed to go help at the Duomo with the new missionaries. We were going to help them proselyte for the first time in Italy. Unfortunately, this didn't happen. The poor kids, their flight was delayed. I don't know when they were supposed to land originally, but early enough that we would have met them at 4:30. When did they actually land? 10:30. On the upside, when they finally did land, they were in Italy, so that's just about the greatest thing ever.

We're still teaching mostly new converts and less-active members. We started teaching a woman named Maria last week. She's been inactive for over 30 years, but she came to church on a Sunday and asked if we could come teach her. OF COURSE! We took Elvira with us and taught the Restoration. This sweet woman is so ready for the Gospel to be in her life again. Every time we said something, she would agree with us and explain how that concept will help her life. At church on Sunday, she came up and put her arm around me and just stood there for about 10 minutes. This woman is the sweetest!

We taught another lesson to Ramona. The best part of any lesson is when something just suddenly clicks. Especially if it's something the person you're teaching has been struggling with. We were asking Ramona to pray at the end of the lesson, and she really didn't want to. I said the prayer. (Let’s just remember I don't speak Italian, so the prayer was very simple . . . and short.) After we said Amen, I looked up and there were tears streaming from her eyes. She asked me why it was so easy for me to pray and why she was crying. I explained to her, that it's easy because I know not only is God listening, but that he will always answer our prayers. This is what we had been explaining earlier when we were asking her to pray this week about The Book of Mormon. She looked at me and said, "E Vero?" It finally clicked with her, that she can get answers and she can pray, telling the Lord whatever she wants to tell him. It was a truly special moment. 

In Italy, the members often ask you to prepare their children for baptism, so we're teaching a boy named Kevin. He's the coolest! True story. He is so prepared he probably doesn't even need us. As we talked about the restoration, he knew everything! He's so excited and ready. I'm extremely grateful for children and their love for God.

We were teaching Alberto the Gospel of Christ lesson again. At the end I was talking about enduring to the end. I was prompted to say something entirely different than I had planned, and up until my time to say it I was freaking out. I don't know Italian! I don't know how to properly help you realize what this means. Yes, I can say a few things, but I am not fluent, not even close. What I was prompted to say, doesn't even come close to anything I know. I just decided to start talking and see what happened. My friends, the gift of tongues is real! I don't know what I said, I don't know how to say it again, all I know is that I said what I needed to, and that God guided me every step of the way. I feel so blessed for this, because without help from God, I could not be speaking as much as I am. 

We had zone conference yesterday and it was absolutely fantastic. I got to see my dear Sorella Holloway and Sorella Bollwinkel. Thank goodness they haven't been transferred! We had some amazing training and I can't wait to start using some of the things we learned. Most importantly, this week is the last set of zone conferences for President and Sorella Wolfgramm. I had the sweet opportunity to say goodbye to these two wonderful people. As I said goodbye to Sorella Wolfgramm, I truly thought my heart was going to break. We just stood there hugging for a few minutes and I had tears streaming down my cheeks. This sweet woman has taken such good care of me and I will always remember everything she has taught me. She told me some amazing things and gave me some of the greatest complements I've ever received. I then shook President Wolfgramm's hand. As he talked about what he calls my gift for music, Sorella Wolfgramm stopped in the middle of her conversation and turned to us. She put her arm around me and told the President who she believes I am and what kind of a person I am. I don't think that I'm yet the person this sweet woman described, but I hope to be that person some day. I know President and Sorella Wolfgramm are two of the most precious people in the world. They are truly full of charity. I have never felt charity radiating from anyone as much as it radiates from these two. It amazes me how much I love them after only six weeks. I look forward to getting to know President and Sorella Dibb as well. Daily I am reminded how blessed I am to serve in the ward in which the mission home resides.

I know you're probably tired of hearing it, but Vi Voglio Bene. You all are helping to make this the best experience of my life. Thank you for your continued support and love. Don't ever forget, you're appreciated and prayed for daily. I love you all.

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