Did you guys know that cemeteries in Italy look like the neighborhoods we have in America? They have legitimate houses with all the members of the family stacked one upon the next in the walls. It’s pretty incredible. We did service at the cemetery Tuesday and Wednesday this week because in Italy the 1st and 2nd of November are the days that everyone goes to the Cemetery so we went and pushed wheelchairs for the elderly that otherwise wouldn’t be able to walk around. It was a good experience.
I’m happy to report that Maria Grazia is doing very well. The ward has been doing a great job of welcoming her and including her. I can’t tell you how important and appreciated that is from the perspective of a missionary.
Cosimo, a less active, and his companion Nunzia are a couple we have been working with for a while now. We are trying to prepare Nunzia for baptism and at the same time reactivate Cosimo. For about the entire time I have been working with them it has been a never ending excuse of “piano, piano Anziano” which basically means “step by step Elder.”
They weren’t opening themselves up. This week, while I was on a scambio with Anziano Whited, I’d had enough of this mentality. After teaching them the importance of the commandments of Heavenly Father, it came time to invite them to take action and again the resistance started to arise. This time I felt guided to challenge them. I told them how long we had been meeting and that this had been the story every time it came time to commit. I told them that God has standards upon which blessings are linked. I told them that in that moment they were receiving a drastically lower amount of blessings that they could be receiving if they would simply put into practice what it is that we teach: to pray, read the scriptures, go to church, and follow the commandments. I named off all the things that they desired for themselves and their family: unity, peace, love, patience, and understanding. I testified that all these things could be a part of their lives if they would be willing to put to the test what it is that we teach them. For the first time it finally sunk in. They came to church this past Sunday for the first time.
I hope we can all take to heart the great blessings that are poured out upon those who keep the commandments of God. These blessings may not be seen but most certainly are felt. Trust that they will come.
Mosiah 2:41 – “And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.”
I love you all and I’m praying for you! Have an awesome week.