Wednesday, September 28, 2011

There can be miracles when you believe


sister hicks is incredible. she is so much like trisha its uncanny. she told me a story yesterday about how she yelled at her little sisters ex boyfriend because he wasnt being respectful to her sister and i just thought that trisha would have done the same thing, always in defense of her little ducklings. i LOVE sister hicks. shes also a lot like my other home girl kayla wilcox.  we work really well together. every night before we go to sleep we tell each other how much we love each other. its really been a gift from God to have her. she works sooo hard and her testimony is beautiful and she LOVES EVERYONE. she is..... undescribable. i am so grateful for her.
 
anyway thanks to the arrival of this angel from oklahoma, we have had MIRACLES already. the day of the transfer sister lecates went to catania at 8 am and i was left with the sisters from taranto. we talked to a ton of people that day and it was great. slla lecates and i didn't do as much as i would have liked of street contacting. that morning then we had our weekly meeting with fllo curci to start to work with him to teach his friends. this is the program that we are doing with the members. we picked two families with which we want to work closely. one is curci, the other is puglisi. we have already started with curci and will start next week with puglisi. curci gave us a list of names and we trusted in the revelations that would come and we prayed and we picked two people. it was cool because the person that slla lecates picked was my second choice and vice versa. so we are sure that we picked the right ones. then two days ago, curci called me and said that he just happened to run into both of them in the street. he was all surprised like "sisters! you really did receive revelation!" hahaha it was cool though. after that we had lunch and then when we went out again, we did a bunch of street. we talked to this older man named angelo, and didnt think anything of it (to be continued!!) then we went to curci's again for a lesson with these ex investigators who we think its finally the right time! grazia and gianni. but because they were late to pick us up we literally had 15  minutes to do a lesson. but in the end it went really well. then we literally ran to the bus stop to go to the station to pick up slla hicks!!!!! on the bus there was a young girl named estelle whose father is french and she happily told us that she was the lead ballerina in the nutcracker and invited us to come. she was super spunky and super excited to meet americans. haha her babysitter said she wanted to come to church.... let's hope so. then we picked up sister hicks and the news elders (THERE IS AN ALBANIAN!!!!!!!!) and got gelato and went home.
 
friday we had a lesson with antonio, then with annalisa and stefania. that lesson was a BOMB. it was awesome. stefania said the opening prayer, annalisa the closing. that prayer of annalisa was incredible. she speaks with God so tenderly. she always admits to Him that it had been a long time and she asks for forgiveness. italians are so mushy. i love it. then we had another MIRACLE!!! a few months ago, we contacted a woman doing house named lucia who was friends with the bishops wife 30 years ago. well we organized things with the bishops wife and we took a risk and we went to find lucia. she was there. and she was soooooo happy to see slla mongelli. she gave her her phone number and it was just beautiful. i wanted to sing reunited and it feels so goooooood.... then we went to see a less active family, the valerios. they are so wonderful. they always feed us. and it just so happens that one of the people on the list that fllo curci gave us is a really close friend of theirs, so we talked to them about setting up an appointment. they were all in favor. then we had the long walk home and got to know each other better.
 
saturday we saw orazio and maria and it was AWESOME. we talked about prayer and then fllo valentini gave maria a blessing because she was in a vespa accident last week. after that we tried to see beatrice, but she wasnt home, so we decided to visit sister avantario instead. she is a widow since march and has a lot of health problems. she is sooooo sweet and needs some love. after lunch we saw annalisa and stefania in the park to help annalisa with her english homework. this girl is SMART. then they walked us to the bus stop and annalisa asks "what will we do in the celestial kingdom?" and i told her that we become like God. her homework was to read romans 8 which says
 16 The Spirit itself beareth awitness with our bspirit, that we are the cchildren of God:
 17 And if children, then heirs; aheirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we bsuffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
basically that we become like Christ and i was telling her that God isnt some unknowable being and its not blasphemous to think that we can be like Him. He is a resurrected man. and we will be resurrected and can become like Him. somehow, her mind connected this to Him being a father. and somehow her mind connected that to a mother. she asked " does God have a wife?" and i said "does he have a son? i dont see how he can have a son without a wife." woah! minds were blown. really it was a very sweet moment. the Spirit testified that it was true. and we all felt it there at the bus stop. then we went to go and visit titta (an eternal investigator) at the hosptial. but as we were walking, i saw a man in a clothing store and even though we already almost AN HOUR LATE, the Spirit told me to talk to him, and i promised myself that i would never be so rushed that i ignored the promptings of the Spirit. so we waltzed right into the store introduced oursleves and starting getting to know this man. he instantly said that he knew who we were and that he had a Book of Mormon. we talked about his family and he said he knew that what we taught was true. he had studied previously with the missionaries, and the only thing that was missing from him was the time. then slla hicks bares this testimony about how she wants this happiness of the eternal family for him. he says "i know. its just a question of time." so sad. and yet so common. then we saw titta in the hospital. this was an incredible experience. i was fasting for trisha this day so i think i was feeling the Spirit even more strongly than normal. socialized health care is different, let's just say that. the hospital here is like a university in america, because in america a dermatologist has a private practice. here there is a dermatology building at the campus of the hospital. and neurology, psychology, etc etc. VERY different. but anyway it was fun to see titta. she seemed happier than ever before. she had her hair all done up and her make up. titta is about 45/50 but has the mind of the 11 year old. she is a treasure. we went and sat down on the bed with her. she was asking us a bunch of questions and then she saw the Book of Mormon, and she says "lets read the Book of Mormon!" "ok titta!" so chapter 17 of 3 nefi came to my mind. its about Christ healing the people and blessing the children in america. we read it all together and the Spirit was incredible. two young american girls in a hospital with this woman who is like a child. that chapter is amazing. we read it and then we kept talking. about 15 minutes later, she says, i want to read it now. so titta read the chapter to us. it was amzing. i couldn't hold back my tears when she read
 13 And it came to pass that when they had all been brought, and Jesus stood in the midst, he commanded the multitude that they should akneel down upon the ground.
 14 And it came to pass that when they had knelt upon the ground, Jesus groaned within himself, and said: Father, I am atroubledbecause of the wickedness of the people of the house of Israel.
 15 And when he had said these words, he himself also aknelt upon the earth; and behold he bprayed unto the Father, and the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard him.
 16 And after this manner do they bear record: The aeye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father;
 17 And no atongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.
 18 And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the ajoy of the multitude that they were overcome.
 19 And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise.
 20 And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And anow behold, my joy is full.
 21 And when he had said these words, he awept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and bblessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
 22 And when he had done this he wept again;
 23 And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.
wow.
 
sunday was another cry baby day for me. we had stake conference. i sang in the choir and i think the fact that i was fasting really made me sensitive. the stake president started by telling us to realx. to just let the Spirit speak to us. we sang praise to the man for the opening hymn and AGAIN my testimony of joseph smith was strengthened. when the stake president gave his talk, he talked about angels. he quoted d&c 84:85 and he talked about one of the sisters in our ward, slla magno, who personally has sent 10s of thousands of names to the temple. she really is an angel. grazia and gianni and annalisa and stefania came to the conference and it was another miracle.
 
ok i think i say everytime that this is the biggest miracle that i have ever seen in the mission, but this time it really is. do you remember the man angelo that we met thursday during transfers? well we set up an appt for monday afternoon. i wasnt expecting anything. i was actually a bit sceptical. well sister hicks said the opening prayer and it all started from there. the Spirit was already strong. angelo had tears in his eyes. then we started asking a few questions about him and he opened right up. this man has had FOUR heart attacks and the most recent, he said he knew he was dying and as he was dying he drove himself to the university-- i mean hospital. somehow he lived. he doesnt know why. but he knows that the pope doesnt have his answers. he said already from the beginning he was feeling the Spirit. we were 20 minutes late, and in general it would have stressed him our but he felt so calm and peaceful with us that he didnt care. then we talked about how the gospel has been restored and how he now has the opportunity to see the changes in his life and restart (even though he is 70) and she said he wants to. so we told him that if he will prepared himself to be baptized by someone who holds the restored priesthood of God on october 29, that he will have more blessings than he has ever had before. he said he cant wait, and he hopes that his wife will see it to. then he said the closing prayer, and when he finished he says "what is this warmth that i am feeling? i dont understand, its like a pressure but its good." it was so awesome. SOOO AWESOME!!!! so pretty much we are being blessed for some reason and finding all the elect people in bari.... i am so grateful!!
 
yesterday, angelo called and said that he was reading the Book of Mormon and he was super confused that someone was commanded to kill someone else.... hahaha anyway he is reading the Book of Mormon. then we followed the Spirit and got on a bus and as we were on this bus, i thought i need to talk to someone. and there was a woman who reminded me of my gorgeous mother. i really wanted to talk to her, but there was a lady sitting across from her. just as i thought that, the lady got off the bus, and i swooped. turns out this woman is the aunt of one of the members!!! haahahaa it was awesome. we did a lot of house yesterday morning..... then in the afternoon we were kinda going around with nothing and we saw this young man and we stopped him and turns out HE was supposed to get baptized two years ago, and he asked if we could have a family home evening with the desantis family. he is practically a member, but just didnt actually get in the water.... who knows why.... but we will find out. miracle after miracle family.... then we started teaching temple prep to one of the members, angela, who wants to go to the temp. she is 27 and she is amazing. she really really wants me to live here. she asked me to be her escort when she goes to the temple. she said i have changed her life. i dont know how, but she can think whatever she wants haha. and then we had english course which was awesome because a ton of students came!!! including two ex student/ ex investigators. after course we were outside and a very young and scared looking girl came up and started asking us about some nun house. long story short, she is a guest there and we helped her find it, but she came from napoli by herself and we gave her our phone number and told her to call us because she for sure is going to be lonely. she was super cute and reminded me of me in 2009....
 
anyway thats it for this week.  happy bday shout out to the best mom ever. your shoes are FAB!!!!! and i love the st. francis painting, i want one too!!!! miriam good luck with college everything. i know you will be the best fotografer EVER!!! and yes mom send me the package. i was wondering when it would come!!! but put a picture of Jesus on it and its sure to arrive.
 
k all my love
sorella ashman
 
 

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