Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Best Week Ever!

pic 1. wild fishes!!!
pic 2. please notice the unreal color of the water.
pic 3. the good shepard
pic 4. power missionaries
pic 5. the brady bunch

alright everyone, when you think live can't get worse, it can. when
you think life can't get better, it can!! it was an exceptional week.
last thursday we had a fun lesson with antonia dibenardo, who is an
older woman who broke her foot who has been investigating the church
for a long time and was supposed to get baptized about a year ago. her
friend anna was there, and anna starts the conversation by saying "i
know you guys need to say the prayer. i know you want to talk about
Jesus. I know everything." thats better in italian... IO SO TUTTO. it
was so funny. so now me and slla sobeck always say IO SO TUTTO. after
that we went to the church to have our lesson with luigi. we talked
about baptism and we asked him to pray for a baptismal date. he was
like "ok then when we meet again next tuesday i'll tell you." haha!
just like it was the most normal thing in the world. he doesnt even
know how cool he is. the funny part is that he speaks english really
well so if he ever came across my blog somehow he could read all of
this. usually i dont worry about the investigators reading my blog,
more like other people cuz all the investigators speak italian. but
luigi speaks super well. he comes to english course and we call him
louis. anyway he is perfect. he is already ready. after english course
there was an elders quorum party and luigi stayed after to play ping
pong and he stayed longer than us and became bff with lots of the
members.

friday we saw remo, the husband of a lifetime member, and the first
thing he said was "i havent read anything this week, and i did it on
purpose because i dont want you to get the wrong idea. i have no
intention of changing." it was a pretty harsh welcome, but yeah. so we
talked a lot. we read from D&C88:32-33. it says bascially that he isnt
willing to have the gift that God wants to give him freely. remo said
"if thats true then im an idiot!" and i was like "you're the one who
said it not me!" but he doesnt believe its true and he doesnt believe
he is an idiot. he thinks he is the best thing since sliced bread. we
asked him what the most important thing in his life is. you know what
he said? being esteemed and respected by others. BAHHH!! i was like
well good luck with that.... anyway. after that we saw daniele. what a
difference. he is the best!!! the Spirit was so strong in the lesson.
he said he really wants an answer, and so we talked about how the
Spirit talks. then we asked him what problems he is having with the
word of wisdom and church attendance, because those seem to be the
biggest problems for him. seems like he is just so used to not doing
those things that it will just take time before it comes natural. we
might have to move back his date. he is supposed to get baptized in 2
weeks, but i am leaving in three weeks. :( its ok i dont care as much
if i am here for his baptism as i do that he gets baptized.


saturday we went to see fllo viscanti (the one who was baptized in
september who is the three year old trapped in the 58 year old body).
he is having HUGE problems at work. here's the nitty gritty. he is a
teacher but the school where he works is packed full of mafia. his
boss is mafia and wants antonio fired. still not sure why ANTONIO
but.... anyway so there have come up a ton of false accuses against
antonio and the boss has threatened to take his job away and stuff,
anyway so the situation gets worse. the boss gave him 10 days of
suspension. when he heard that he was so upset that as he was leaving
he was kind of out of it, and lost his footing on the stairs and fell
and messed up his foot. so now he is stuck at home 1. because he has
no job right now and 2. because he messed up his foot. another funny
coincedence, a few months ago, his car was burnt to the ground and
when he came back to it the next morning it was just the frame.
coincedence? maybe.... anyway so we went to his house. it was very
humble. HE is very humble. he was very happy to see us. that
afternoon, we went to see catia and pia who are our investigators who
have a weiner dog :) the lesson went well. they agreed to come to
church the next day, and they did! then that night we went to have an
FHE with daniele, his daugther and son in law, their three beautiful
kids and slla ardito who has two beautiful kids. it was so fun. we had
the kids do a play about the prophets. when there was a profet, the
light was on, then when there wasnt a profet, the light was off, but
because God loves us, he calls another profet, and then the light came
back on. on off on off until joseph smith brought us the fullness and
the doctrine of the eternal family. it was a hit if i do say so
myself. then the kids colored a picture of the temple while the adults
talked and then we ate cake.  it was pretty dang fun. plus daniele
brought us presents. (daniele is LOADED ps. he pays for EVREYTHING
like if we go get a pizza with him, he pays. he buys us pastries when
we come do the lessons etc etc. its pretty fun to be spoiled)
rossella, daniele's daughter, asked some legit questions, like how do
you raise a mormon family in a catholic country? when all the other
kids are doing the comunion, and your kids aren't how do you explain
that? anyway it was a good evening.

sunday was... interesting. we had to go to bitonto but i REALLY didn't
want to go this time. like its hard for us to go on sundays cuz we
need to be there for our investigators, but the branch president in
bitonto really wants us to work there too. we just dont have time.
period. anyway we went. and it was good. it was their branch
conference and they prepared this super intense video like all the
huge catastrophes that are happening in the world and that have
happened in 2011 (i felt soooooo removed from the world-- i didnt know
ANYTHING!!! weird....) and then it showed the mormon message from
elder nelson http://www.lds.org/pages/mormon-messages?lang=eng#mens-hearts-shall-fail-them
wow. it was so powerful, i felt the Spirit so strong. it was so cool.
then we had a huge lunch and that evening we taught a lesson with a
less active member that i have met a few times.

on monday we taught daniele again and i told him that i know that he
knows the church is true even if he doesnt know it. i told him that he
had his testimony a long time ago, when he learned about eternal
families and that his wife was waiting for him to accept the gospel.
the Spirit was so strong!! he was all veclempt. but he is still
drinking coffee and beer. its almost like  he doesnt want to stop even
though he knows the church is true just because he is too cool. its
kind of frustrating because if he doesnt get over it, he's going to
have his date moved back.

tuesday we had an awesome day. it was like luigi day. we asked him if
he had prayed for his date and he said that he wants to get baptized
on easter! so april 7th is his date. im so glad he picked it because i
would have been clouded by my own desire to see him get baptized.
anyway after english course, we dragged luigi to a valentines day
party. it was so fun. he asks so many questions! like about the rules
of the mission and a bunch of stuff. somehow it came up that i was
going to be transfered and he was like "wait so you arent going to be
here for easter??" and i was like "no unfortunately i will not be here
for your baptism. but slla sobeck will be here with another
companion." it was a fun night but we didnt get home til like 10....

yesterday at 8:15 daniele called. there was this little part of me
that said "AHHHH!! he is going to say that he was praying and he got
his answer and he is ready to get baptized!!!" well he didnt say that.
he said that he wanted to go to lecce, which is something we have been
talking about for months and he wanted to go at 9. thats 45 minutes.
we werent even dressed. actually slla sobeck was in the shower....
anyway long story short, we went and it was AWESOME!!!!!!!! see
pictures :) daniele spent so much money on getting us food and stuff.
he also bought everything for carmen, our member who came with us who
is kind of like our 3rd comp.

today is crazy. last night someone called the church to say that she
needed help and that she needed to talk to someone who could help her.
thats us!! anyway so we went to meet her this morning, and she needed
500 euro by 2pm today. yeah.  well what happened? carmen was like "i
will give it to you." k lets amp it up. carmen is 22, only member in
her family. her parents are divorced. she works the night shift as a
caretaker. she is turning in her mission papers the end of this months
and she has saved 600 euro. thats all her money. she is now giving 500
of that to a complete stranger. but when carmen said she would do it,
i just had this overwhelming Spirit come over me. carmen servedio is
the most Christlike person on the planet. she said with tears in her
eyes, "how can we excluded people from the love of Christ? i dont
think that Christ gave his love only to the people that promised to
give it back, or the people who were worthy of it. how could i stand
there and see this woman suffer when i have the money and i will just
take up another job or something i dont care, but i couldnt tell her
no. i made up my mind." wow. so here's what is going to happen. when i
get home, i am going to pay some of carmen's mission every month. she
has changed my life. it reminds me of mosiah 4 and the long debate
that i had with JVC in 2009 about giving to the poor. carmen's last
name means "servant of God" she really is God's servant, and i hope i
can be more like her someday.

all my love
sorella ashman

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