Well I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I’ll tell you what Easter in Italy is quite…interesting. Weird how people seemed even grumpier and closed off this week compared to others. Oh well! I had a GREAT WEEK!!!!
The Triumphant Return to the Promised Land of Napoli!!
Alright let’s start from the top. Tuesday morning we missed our bus to Rome at 7am (yeah I was mad). There was a member that lived close by who we called to see if he could come pick us up and drive us to the next stop or two since it would only be 5-10 minutes. He talked to me on the phone for 15 minutes about basically nothing. Gotta love Italians. By the time he came it was 30 minutes later and the bus was too far to catch. Luckily there was an extra bus on that specific day that left at 8am. Not bad, but our train from Rome was leaving at 11:06 and we wouldn’t get there until probably 11:45am. But thankfully there was another train that matched our exact train ticket that left at 12:36pm. So all was well. We made it to Napoli around 3! Mario was there at the train station when I arrived. I love that guy! We caught up for a little bit and then he had to get going.
We grabbed a Pellone pizza (see video), it was AMAZING. All pizza in Italy outside of Napoli is just not good. I have the right to say this. Then afterwards we headed to Sam and Lori’s! Sam is the branch mission leader and is from New Zealand. Lori is from America and not a member. They are awesome! Lori made us burgers and fries. It was delicious and super fun being with them again. Lori and I get along really well because she is super sarcastic and I know how to hang with sarcasm, have you met my family?!
Anyway it was awesome and then after we caught the end of English course! I got to see so many old friends and members and EVERYONE! It was so cool. The young men/young women were there too for institute so I caught up with them and made plans to go out for pizza the next day.
Wednesday we headed out to the Questura at 7:30am. Luckily us leaving so early helped me get my permesso by 9:30 and we were out of there! At 11 I went to Sorella Mena’s house and saw Noemi again. That was awesome. It was really special getting to be with her again. She’s been having a rough time lately. A really rough time, but it’s inspiring to see the faith that she has and her commitment to push forward. We spent long time catching up and talking. Probably the most special part of my week.
Afterwards we headed to the church to meet up with Antonio and Maria and the other missionaries for us all to head towards SORBILLO!! We got there and met up with Alexa and Joelle too. It was so fun being all together and talking, joking, and laughing. The pizza was amazing. I ate two Margherita pizzas. I am qualified to tell you that this is best margherita you will ever eat in your life. Plain and simple. But honestly it was more important and memorable just being with everyone than eating the pizza.
Afterwards I grabbed a Napoli Jersey that I had failed to buy while I was serving there so I couldn’t leave without one. Then we went back to the church to meet with Luigi. Unfortunately he didn’t show up. That was a downer. But the missionaries told me he’s been doing a lot better and has been in church the last month straight so at least that. While we were at the church Mario showed up and I chatted with him for a while and then we stopped by Salvatore who owns a small pizzeria right next to the church. He’s so cool. I love that guy! He makes a special dessert pizza called Nustella which is delicious and he made one especially for me.
After we headed out to Dario and Lello. That was a blast! I love those guys! Lello made us pasta with pancetta, mushrooms, and peas. It was so good. Then we ate cordon bleu which Lello made by hand! It was absolutely delicious. I was stuffed to capacity. It was a perfect ending to an awesome day.
Then Thursday our train left at 6:22am back to Rome for us to be there for Specialized Training which is basically just a zone conference.
Needless to say I am so behind on sleep and today there won’t be any catching up because it’s a deep cleaning day. After waking up last week at 5am, 5:30am, 4:45am, and then losing an hour for day lights saving time, you could say I’m slightly tired, but it was worth it.
This week was amazing and I’m so glad I could return back to Napoli.
This morning I was studying in 1 Nephi 10. I came across something so simple yet so powerful.
“And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God–and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come–I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.” (1 Nephi 10:17)
This verse has a lot to it! Let’s pick it apart. Okay so Lehi is a prophet and he has just recounted to his family not only the vision of the tree of life but also of his vision of the life of Jesus Christ and many other things. How can he see all these things? All of our knowledge comes through the power of the Holy Ghost, but how does he get to see these awesome visions? It’s because of his faith! But what is his faith in? The Son of God, Jesus Christ. Who would not come for another 600 years and yet Lehi’s faith was that deeply rooted in him that he could receive visions such as these. What else is there? Nephi wants to see these things too! That number one answers a question that I think many have about wanting to see great things from a God. Is it wrong to ask? Of course it’s not! We are responsible to ask for ourselves. Our testimony must be our own, we can’t rent someone else’s. So what does Nephi go on to say? The Holy Ghost is a gift. You better believe it is! Who is the gift for? All those who diligently seek. So it’s not a VIP only kind of thing? No everyone everywhere can have it if they diligently seek. And lastly the cherry on top. The declaration that the Spirit, and by association God himself, manifest themselves in the same way to us in all ages. What a powerful verse!!
I love studying the scriptures. You could spend a half hour on just one verse. They are that powerful. So my challenge to each of you is the next time you find yourself in scripture study pick a verse or a couple of verses and dig deeper. Don’t just read it. Ponder it, break it down, seek diligently! You’ll see a difference in the value of each and every word written, this I promise you.
I love you all so much. Always praying for you.