Dear Family and Friends,
You know you've had a good week when you end it with aching muscles and just begging to take a nap for P-day. All I can say is that I haven't ever experienced a week like this in my mission. It was unbelievable.
Suffice it to say, I am having a good time here in Cagliari. Every day it seems like is an adventure with Anziano Wiggins and having two other Anziani in the house helps with the jokes, but especially the spiritual strength we have together. As a house, we keep ourselves constantly updated on how the work is going, especially in finding new investigators, in an attempt to encourage one another to work as hard as possible. For example, one night we sacrificed taking the next bus home because we saw someone on the other side that we thought we should talk to and we had a very good conversation and we got his number!
Some funny events include a strike happened for the air traffic controllers so a missionary trying to get his permesso di soggiorno was stuck here an extra day, we had a ward party where the Africans sang a traditional song for Christmas and then we had to do the same unexpectedly (all we could think of was Jingle Bells), and looking for a smoke detector and finding out that no one in Italy owns a smoke detector. But the week was really defined by the people we taught.
First off, Victor. Victor is a refugee who is from Nigeria and is also only 22 years old. He is a friend of a member that just came to church one day and felt a different spirit than he had in other churches. We have had the great opportunity to teach him for the past 3 weeks and we had an amazing lesson with him and Bishop Maltesi on tithing. Actually, it was the first time I had ever taught the law of tithing to an investigator I think. It was amazing to see his dedication to endure to the end, that's definitely something that defines him. Since he is a refugee, he is interviewed by our mission president for baptism and so that wasa really cool expereince to participate in. We told Victor to show up at 3 and he showed up at 3:45. Good thing the interview started at 4. It's not their fault usually though, but in general Africans show up late thanks to buses being late or other things.
But all went well and his baptism will take place on the 23rd of December! He is really amazing and so we are glad he wants to take a big step toward becoming closer to God. If he was the only miracle, I would be content but there's more. John has been struggling to come to church on time even though he has so much faith in what we teach. We gave him a Word of Wisdom pamphlet to read over and he came to the lesson, explaining that he had quit smoking the day before because he felt that was exactly what God wanted him to do. He taught us the lesson basically and so we decided to really commit him to come to church and so Anziano Wiggins invited him to be at church at 8. He didn't hesitate a bit and said he would be there before we were (and we are usually the first ones in church). Sure enough we get a call while we are on the bus to church, and it's John asking where we are because he was in front of the church. Just so amazing!
And then there's Domenico. Our ward mission leader gave us the information to contact someone that was interested on Facebook. And so we met at the church for a lesson and in Anziano Wiggins' words, he is the most prepared person I have ever met. We sit down talking about why he wanted to meet and so he explains that he was thinking about how many denominations of churches interpret the Bible in different ways and then searched on the internet for scripture that hadn't been changed, that was original. And so the Book of Mormon came up. For me, he was exactly like Joseph Smith in his search for where the truth was. We explained it all and left it all up to him, to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and to come to church. Well he started reading and had an amazing time in church and the members couldn't believe how cool he was. He is certainly one of kind. He even wants to see the Rome temple construction site when he visits Rome for Natale.
I've learned a lot this week. God has blessed us so much this week and is continuing to help us be his instruments. In my studies this week, I've found myself turning again like I did last year to charity and I remember the question posed to me by someone, Do you really love those you teach and serve? We are doing a lot of great work but the most important thing I should do, I realized, is love others. More importantly, show that I do love them. So I hope during this last week before Christmas that it will be possible. I love this mission and see the blessings that God has bestows on me everyday and I hope to share those with everyone. It's going to be an amazing Christmas in the Lord's service, all thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ.
Vi voglio bene!