Well, this week was definitely one for the recipe books if I do say so myself. You know you’re a missionary in Italy when a majority of your appointments with members, less actives, and investigators all involve some kind of cooking instruction. I don’t mind it! I made pizza dough in a pizzeria owned by an awesome less active who has recently started coming back to church since we started going to help at his pizzeria with the cleaning and organizing and that jazz. Then I learned how to make homemade from scratch gnocchi which was absolutely incredible and so much fun to make!! Then I learned how to make a solid quick Italian risotto. And top it off with making some nice quality meatballs. I would say it was a successful week on all fronts.
We are working really closely with Matteo lately to help him be ready to continue meeting with missionaries once he takes off to Scotland to start university there. He is so awesome. He came to church again this Sunday and even brought his older sister! They weren’t sure if they would be able to come because they had papers to write for each of their respective classes, but they both ended up coming and they really enjoyed testimony meeting. Afterward they said they needed to get going because in fact they hadn’t finished their papers, but they wanted to keep their word so they came to church anyway!!! Why does he have to leave?!? Ugh! Anyway, that was really special for me to have them there, especially this being his last Sunday here. Other than that, I taught Gospel Principles again and it was a fantastic lesson. I really enjoy the chance to teach in a setting other than just missionary lessons and have group input on certain points of doctrine so we can all grow together. It’s a nice change of pace.
After English course on Tuesday we went out with a few students to grab Panzarotti from Di Ernesto, which is the best place in Taranto to get panzarotti! Anyway, we were all talking and having a good time and as always the topic turned to religion and they started asking questions. “What do you all get from living your faith? What does it bring you?” That’s a good question. I have continued to ponder it since I first heard it. In the moment my first thought was peace. I feel so peaceful about life, about unknown, about everything because the knowledge that one can gain when learning the restored doctrine of Jesus Christ brings so much reassurance into our lives. We can feel a presence, a guiding hand, a love. It is unlike anything I have ever felt before.
I remember asking my mom after she was baptized into the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints if it really was all that different, if she could feel the difference. Her answer was simple, exactly what it needed to be. “Yes, there’s a difference.” I too can say there is a difference. It’s a difference you can know, you can feel. All you have to do is ask. Ask to know for yourself. So many of us wander through life feeling like there’s no where to find anything concrete in this crazy world. Well I say it is here. It is in the restored church of Jesus Christ. Come and see.
I love you all. Help me to know what to pray for you if you need anything.