Wednesday, June 8, 2011

7 Month mark....

today is the 8th of june, the 10th of june is my 7 month in the mission (not it italy mind you. three weeks in the mtc....) and i am so grateful!! this is crazy how quick its passing. i'm almost halfway... and i still don't do anything right... hahahjkjk
well i will say this, this past week was the hardest week of the mission so far. soooo many people we talked to flat out rejected us. several investigators broke up with us, not a single investigator came to church, half of our lessons got cancelled (maybe more) and rapposelli who was my huge miracle, has completely fallen off a spiritual cliff. seems like vanessa was having sympathy pain for me, but just like she said, these moments pass and when we look back we see what God was trying to make of us. one of my favorite stories is about the silver smith, who pounds the nasty silverish lump, puts it in an incredibly hot furnace, pounds it some more and one man who was watching asks the silversmith when the silver is done, and the smith responds that he knows when it's done because he can see his image in the silver. how cute right?! 'he is like fuller's soap and a refiner's fire' 
anyway, in this moment i feel great. we just went to the GLOBAL FOODS store and spent 35 euro on ethnic food. this is my rebellious side that we all knew was there fighting against the endless plates of pasta with red sauce that i have eaten since i've been here...... hahahah we got thai rice and curry paste and pad thai noodles and fake meat made of soy :) i am so excited! 
things are going really well. i am learning sooooo much. i wish that i could have known this stuff when i got here... like we are looking for people with desire right? well desire for WHAT? people who want to know the truth can find truth wherever they look. muslims have truth, buddists have truth, cattholics have a lot of truth! but we want people who are looking for the TRUE CHURCH of JESUS CHRIST, like joseph smith. how is it possible that in 7 months i still haven't found one???? that is the question hahaha but i have 11 months left to find a million giuseppe smiths!!! 
ok let me tell you about ambus. we were walking down the street and there was a youngish looking african guy and we said hello to him and he asked us where we were from (in italian) and then we asked him and he was from Eritrea! (never heard of it before....) anyway he was so relieved to find someone who spoke english and so we were chatting and i asked him if he was muslim and he said 'no. i am a Christian' and i think i did a little victory dance because we aren't allowed to teach muslims because they could be killed if they convert.... anyhoo we got his digits and we called him the next day and he was so excited to hear from us and he said 'thank you so much for calling!' and we have an appointment tonight and he is so wonderful! i hope that he has a desire to find the Church of Jesus Christ. when i talked to him on the phone he asked me 'what are you and the sister doing now?' i told him we were out looking for people to teach, and he said 'oh that is so great! you are out spreading the word of God.' hahaha he got that right! ambus is wonderful and i can't wait to start teaching him tonight!!
we are trying to start working with the friend of a member, her name is claudia. she is a beautiful young woman from BRAZIL!!! (the member is also brazillian DAD....) but claudia is having a really hard time right now.... she has been in itlay for about 3 years, and she came here for her husband giuseppe. well about a month ago, giuseppe took his own life. now imagine this young woman. she gave up her whole life to come to this ridiculous little town in sicily where half the streets are half as small as they should be and everything dies for 3 hours in the middle of the day, and now she is here alone. she needs the gospel. preach my gospel says every injustice in this life can be set in order through the atonement of Jesus Christ, and i know that it is only through the atonement that she will be able to be completely healed. this poor poor girl.... we had an appointment on monday, but she had to go out of town to deal with some more stuff with her husband's death. let's remember to pray for her...
we were walking down the street. there was this old lady smoking on the corner outside of the tabacheria that was playing this gambling game scratch and win, where you have to watch the TV monitor and if your number comes up you win! so for some reason we started talking to her. she was so interesting. definitely someone with a good share of problems... we told her who we were and we asked her if she was interested in our message. she said she was busy at the moment, but when we explained that we could get her phone number and come by and see her, she lit right up and said 'perfetto!' her name is FIORENZA- first of all that's the most beautiful name ever. i am DEF naming one of my daughters enza in honor of fiorenza. so we went to see fiorenza. she is divorced with three? children and living with someone else. we asked her why she accepted our invitation and she said 'avevo bisogno' which means i had a need. she needed some spiritual food because her sould was hungered. it was so cool to hear that answer. i've never heard that one before, and we ask that question at every first lesson. very cool answer. then we went again, and she said she felt better when we were there. and when we asked her to pray to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. we asked fiorenza, will you pray to know if JS is a prophet? she said 'yes of course. i want all the truths that are available' WOW!!!!!! how awesome!!!! maybe i didn't go 7 months without finding someone.... ;-) anyway i have 3 weeks left in Ragusa from today..... i am excited to see what other miracles are in store!
ok well i think this is long enough.... next week we have a mission conference with Juan Texiera of the 70!! i am sooo excited! his picture is in the Ensign just saying....
alright well more than ever i know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored trhough the modern prophet Joseph Smith, and i can't wait to find some more people that want to know that too. i hope that the sister who replaces me has some magic touch for baptizing and that all these people who are right on the edge and be lead all the way into the font... i LOVE being a missionary. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. and i thank my beautiful family and friends for everything!!
bacioni da siclia
sorella ashman

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