First, it’s come to my knowledge that the parents of a missionary or two here in the Taranto district have come across this blog in the infinite web of cyberspace. Shout out. I wish to you the best fish and chips and happy Christmas season.
Now onto this past week. We worked hard with our members. We are pushing this new #SiiUnaLuce (#BEtheLIGHT) initiative big time with everyone we encounter trying to get them involved in serving others. We had lunch appointments every single day and boy was I a happy missionary. I love Italy.
Our first visit was with the bishop and his wife. They are a young couple and some of the coolest people ever. She has family that lives out in the country and her uncle is a cheese shop owner and so we ate fresh handmade mozzarella and ricotta from Laterza. Italian cheese = good.
Wednesday we ate at Mariella’s house and she is doing super well! We changed our game plan with her this week and instead of focusing on teaching we focused more on discussing and learning. We are getting her involved in family history work, as well as introducing her to the church made bible video series to get her more acquainted with the life of Christ. She really doesn’t know anything about Him even though she is Catholic. By the way, we ate my favorite pasta ever! Bucatini with sugo alla Putanesca. So so so good.
Thursday we went to the Casti’s house. They are the parents of our bishop, and in fact they ended up eating with us as well, so it was awesome! Fratello Casti (the Dad) always brings out his “super spicy” peperoncini and it drives Sorella Casti (the Mom) crazy. I like to get in on the joke by smothering my pasta with these peppers because they aren’t spicy at all and it always freaks out Sorella Casti because she thinks I’m going to die from the spiciness.
Then Friday we were at the Impollonia’s house which is one of my favorite families in the ward because the husband and wife are so awesome and she cooks amazing food. She made my favorite lasagna bianca again and it was incredible. Also, the husband brought back aged pecorino from Ascoli (where I served before!) because he was up there for work. It was delicious.
Saturday we ate at the Delle Foglie’s house. It was literally walking into a Christmas toy shop with all the lights and decorations they had. Pretty cool. Ate some good tortellini. It’s always fun over there because the dad is always teasing the two daughters and they tease him right back.
Then Sunday we went to the D’Amuri’s and she made a ragù topped off with potatoes and it was delicious.
Why do I mention all of these things? Well wouldn’t it be selfish of me to tell you I had a bunch of delicious Italian Pranzo appointments and deny you the knowledge of what that entails? Obviously, I didn’t include every detail because Italian lunch appointments are multiple courses, but you get the gist.
In all reality though, while Italian food is great I just love these people so much. I love meeting with them, supporting them, building them up, getting them excited about doing missionary work. It brings me so much joy.
Okay food talk is over. Our new investigators are doing really well.
We met with George three times this week and he is really making progress. We are utilizing all these solid relationships we have with members to get them involved as quickly as possible. Also Ferdi, our other new investigator, is awesome. He was a little busy this week so we only saw him once but it was a great lesson and I have high hopes for him.
To wrap up, something I took from my study this week of the Book of Mormon was the blessed state of those who have and follow the teachings of a living prophet. Today on the earth there is a living prophet named Thomas S. Monson. He is ordained with true and real authority from our Savior to instruct us on what it is that we should be doing. He warns us with gentle guidance, as if a shepherd, just as Christ would do because he is called of Christ to direct His affairs on the earth.
It is important that each of us know for ourselves that we do indeed have a living prophet on the earth today because by this knowledge we are comforted that God, our Heavenly Father, still has the same interest with us now in these days as he did in biblical times. So I invite you all to take a few minutes to watch or read a recent conference talk of a Thomas S. Monson and then, whether praying for the first or the millionth time, ask in real words if God still works through prophets today and if this man is indeed His living prophet. I can tell you from my own experience when you sincerely and specifically ask a question of this nature your heart will be filled with peace and you will have a strange feeling of lightness. These are witnesses from the Holy Ghost that what you are seeking to know is good and right. Every single testimony needs to be continually planted and nourished.
I love you all! Praying for you always.