Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Transfers!

no transfer for me this week!! yet another transfer in RAGUSA!!!! this is my fifth transfer here and i finally feel like i am learning how to be a missionary. and on 29 june i will be transferred to another city and have to start all over.... hahaha i love this mission. 
it was SOOO wonderful to talk on the phone huh? we will figure out how to skype for christmas. i got the letter from nick and from dad. wow! 20 of june you have to start there babbo? that's so exciting! it sounds perfect and with the fat stack of cash that they give you we can go to and from italy as we please! hahahah jk jk jk you and mom can go on missionsssss!! 
last week we had zone conference and it was WONDERFUL! i got to transalate the training from the mission president and it was really fun. it is WAY easier to translate from english to italian than from italian to english.... the thing that i really took away from the zone conference is DESIRE. that we need people who have a DESIRE to know the truth. we have started saying in some of our street approaches that we are looking for people with a desire to improve their lives, and it gets some good responses! 
last saturday was an incredible day. we went to comiso, a little city outside of ragusa, for the entire day! it was really fun. as we were leaving town walking to the bus stop, a man walked past us, and i felt like i has to talk to him. i ran after him then we talked to him about the Book of Mormon and families and he gave us his address and phone number! his name is biagio, and we are meeting with him friday :) he is very special! then we got to comiso to meet with a young muslim boy, mahad. we are always careful about meeting with muslims, because in extreme cases they can be killed if they convert.... anyway the way we found this boy was at the bus stop in comiso a week earlier. we gave him a pass along card, and didnt think anything of it--until he called us three days later. let me just put this into perspective how much of a miracle this is. NO ONE EVER CALLS US. i spend about 30- 40 minutes on the phone everyday organizing everything, but i have NEVER in 6 months had anyone call US without us contacting them first in some way. so we felt the urgency to see this boy. we met him at the bus stop. teaching muslims is particular because they don't believe that they are the children of God. that is that first point of the first lesson!!!! so when we asked him if we could pray with him and he said no, we just kept on teaching him. we asked him why he called us, and his response was so pure and innocent. he doesn's speak a lot of italian (he speaks well enough, probably about how i spoke the first time i came to italy) so when it comes down to it, all you can say is the most basic thing. he said 'voglio sapere la verità' and that was enough for me. we taught him about God literally being our father, Jesus Christ literally being the Son of God and out Older Brother. i have never met a person so humble and calm. he just listens. he soaked it up. we then invited him to pray and to come to stake conference with us in catania the next day. he said he would like to come! it was unreal. i didn't know if he would actually do it. we had to pick him up at 8:30 in the morning and he would stay with us until 4. he agreed. and he came. but let me finish saturday. after mahad, we ate lunch with a less active, and then we took at cat nap at the park.... it was HOT and she made us eat sooooo much food i could hardly believe it. then we went to see mary, our african investigator, and then we went to see mary galesi. she is very likely my favorite investigator (besides emiliano and mose the catholic priest who is moving to america!!! more on that later) we just decided to stop by and she if she was there. here's what happened. the anziani from gela found her doing house one time. i have nooo clue why they were doing house in comiso---wait yes i do. that sentence whould say 'i have nooooo clue how we got so blessed to have elders so great that they responded to the promptings of the Spirit and found this woman' so we went to her house during my second transfer. we are talking at least 2 or 3 months ago. she LOVED everything and felt the Spirit so strongly. and she agreed to everything we told her. when we called the next week to confirm the appointment, she said that her husband was against this idea and that she couldn't meet with us. she is a young mother of two, very pretty, VERY nice. and she was soooo excited to see us!! she kept saying 'hai fatto bene! hai fatto bene!' she WANTS to meet with us. DESIRE!!! and what's more, she told us about her cousin, angela, who works in ragusa, who also WANTED a  copy of the Book of Mormon. AMAZING. AMAZING. this woman. i have no more words. 
so lets pass to sunday at STAKE CONFERNCE in CATANIA!! it was very fun and it was very fun to have mahad with us. i think he enjoyed himself. he is very quiet, but we are meeting with him again on saturday. we had a fun ride on the bus, except i discovered a VERY BIG PROBLEM. remember rapposelli, the onld drunkard who has come to the knowledge of the truth? well, as always, nothing can ever be perfect. rapposelli has taken to talking to us about things that are a bit too personal and i just told him straight up that talking about that makes me very uncomfortable. it was really unpleasant. and what's worse ok let's just lay this out in the open.... rapposelli has mistaken the Spirit that we bring for something else and he thinks that 'he is in love with someone. but it is impossible and he should just forget about this woman.' so long story short, rapposelli is no longer in love with his 'wife' (who is not actually his wife!!!) and he thinks he is in love with me. now what the heck am i supposed to do? why is life so complicated people????  hhahaha oh well. so anywat we are trying to work with the bishop to have him excommunicated because he was baptized not living the law of chastity NOR the word of wisdom. im not actually sure that he understands what he said when he said he knew the Church was true. a lot of people we meet think the things we say are true, but they don't understand that this is not just some fluffy conversation about a vision and a book. this is LIFE. this gospel is the way we live, think, eat, speak, behave, dress. it's not a religion. it's practice for the Celestial Kingdom. how am i supposed to communicate that? yeah. we'll see.... 
anyway hahaha sorry that was kind of a rant. but things are going great. i told emiliano that i would REALLY like him to get baptized in the next six weeks.... and i also told Heavenly Father. 
so karim, miriam's boyfriend, was supposed to go to ireland for a few months. he is a talibani from afganistan, and as soon as he landed in ireland, they took him to jail syaing his passport was false. he stayed there for four days. poor kid. he is 19 years old!! and he is such a great person. he is sooo smart, so fun, so kind. i never expected to see him again, but they sent him back here. and then i saw him! he said in 2014 he will have italian citizenship and then he can go wherever he wants and i told him he has to come to america and visit us. he said he wuold :) he is one of my favorite people here. 
ok just a quick update on mose and then i gotta close. sooo funny. i just saw him here at the internet point!! hahaha anyway so he's good! haha he is figuring out how he can move to america. now according to the white hand book, i can't tell anyone to leave the country where i serve, and my family can't help with it either. but man if we could.... lol that's ok he is a big boy. (is that a fat joke?) and he can figure it out. either way, he is going to come to the general conference in october 2012. family be prepared for a fun month! all my mission buddies are planning on being there, including emiliano too. 
ok i need to go. this is a very long letter, but it was a very good week. :) thank you for the support. please pray for rapposelli. he is VERY confused at the moment... i love you all, i love being a missionary, i love these people. i LOVE these people. i love having friends, and i am excited to make more friends in my next city. thank you for sending me on a mission, parents. i love you all.
sorella ashman

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