Summer is officially starting to taper off! August in Italy is definitely the roughest month, as far as missionary work goes. Almost all of our investigators are on vacation, so we’ve been doing a lot of finding and looking for less actives. But by the end of this week, hopefully our friends will be back from vacation so we can keep working with them!
August 15th is a holiday here in Italy called Ferragosto. Don’t ask me what it’s for, every Italian I’ve asked doesn’t know why it exists. But basically, every single store closes and everyone goes to the beach. So for the missionaries, we did a nice deep cleaning of our apartment. Fun shtuff!
Even with the Ferragosto slump, we had some great miracles! We’ve been helping this guy named ******* with his English and then we share a spiritual message at the end. He’s muslim from **********, so our lessons have always been on the more cautious side because we didn’t want to offend him. But a couple of weeks ago, we brought a Book of Mormon in his language, *******, and asked if he would like to read it and he said yes! And then this past week, we met with him again and the first thing he said when we showed up was, “I read some of that book!” So we asked him what he thought and he said, “E’ troppo bello!”, which means “it’s too beautiful”! It sounds better/makes more sense in Italian, haha. He said he would keep reading and we invited him to pray about it. And then! Ahhh we met the greatest family ever!! Greatest for a couple of reasons. Number one, they’re Filipino, haha 🙂 That’s why they caught my eye in the first place, they had the cutest little girls! So we talk to the dad, *****, and when I told him my mom was from the Philippines too, he just goes off in Tagalog, hahahahaha, but then we kept talking and he’s so prepared! One of his friends in high school is a member of the church, so he remembers a little bit. And his wife just had a baby 11 days ago! Awwww 🙂 We hadn’t even talked about the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith yet when he asked if we had any pamphlets or books that he could read. Gladly! 🙂 And THEN he asked us where the church was and when we have our meetings so he can come! Whatttttttttttttttt?!?!?!? I’m so excited!!! 😀 He said that he’s realized lately how important his family is to him and that he wants to do everything he can to keep his family strong. Well, if anything can strengthen the family, it’s the gospel of Jesus Christ!
This past week and half has been so amazing, it’s hard to explain. I’ve just been learning so much! And lately, I’ve been learning a lot specifically about the power of charity. I mean, I’ve learned firsthand on my mission just how much power charity and just really truly loving other people has. As a missionary, you’re constantly on the giving end. You just do all of these things to love and serve others, so you learn a lot about the power of charity as the giver. But lately, I’ve been learning a lot about the power of charity as the receiver. Heavenly Father has been answering all of my prayers lately through other people and it’s been a huge blessing. Sometimes I pick a word or a phrase to describe how I felt during a transfer and this transfer, I decided it’s going to be “God loves me”. And He does! But not just me, God loves each and every one of us more than we can comprehend. If we really, TRULY fully understood just what exactly it means that we are children of God, our attitude and everything we do would change because of the great potential that we all have as Heavenly Father’s children.