I have good news and bad news to share this week. And one awesome thing.
The bad news is that Giorgio won’t be getting baptized this Saturday because he is not ready yet. I think the stress of the holidays kinda got to him and he asked to take a step back for a little bit. I think it’s for the best because he needs to gain a testimony for himself that the Book of Mormon is true and that isn’t possible right now considering he just had eye surgery. We will be seeing him again this week and helping him reformulate a goal for baptism. I’m not worried about him. I think all will work out with time.
The good news is that Mariella is doing awesome and we reestablished a baptismal date for her. She has grown so much since we set her original baptismal date and even though she wasn’t ready in time she made huge steps forward and even she recognized that so she is looking forward to working towards this new goal. She and Silvio are headed up to Scotland this week to see Matteo and they said they were going to go to church while they’re there! I am praying so hard that the people in that ward receive them with love. I’ll miss her so much while they’re gone during these next two weeks.
This week was quite a treat. We had two exchanges and both had the own individual experiences. First I was with Anziano Smith. He is an awesome missionary as well as person. He seeks counsel often and tries to continually improve himself and he does it in a very quiet and subtle manner. You can tell he just wants to be better every day in every way he can. We had two no shows during our exchange so we ended up doing some house to house. There was absolutely no one who would answer us until the very last door we knocked on. It was a man named Mimmo (one of the many) and we showed him the new Christmas video and testified of the mission of Jesus Christ and of our mission as well. It was actually a really powerful moment of testimony standing outside his apartment.
Then I was on exchange with Anziano Zito. He is a very kind, serviceable, and humble missionary. He does what he knows he should do and works every day to overcome his weaknesses. There are awesome missionaries in this zone. Anziano Zito and I had the lesson with Mariella when we reestablished the baptismal date.
Okay THE awesome thing of the week was when my son (Anziano Kelson Anderson) and my daughter (Sorella Gochnour) AND my granddaughter (Sorella DeMann) all came into Taranto. From now on I will be referring to them as son, daughter, and granddaughter. So son and daughter needed to come get their permesso di soggiorno which were finally ready for them to pick up. Daughter had to come up from Ragusa and since she’s currently training, her companion is my granddaughter so I got to meet her! Also since my son is in Bari right now which is super close to Taranto he came in by himself which required me (I like to see it as it gave me the excuse) to be with him the entire time he was here. The process to get the permesso was actually really easy which left more time to take my kids to Panzarotti di Ernesto for old time’s sake. I love these people so much. They are incredible missionaries and amazing people. I couldn’t have been happier seeing them again. Watching them leave was so sad.
This week I finished Alma and something I took from it was after years of battle, of afflictions, and difficulties, when Moroni (chief captain of the army) and Pahoran (chief judge) returned to their respective places of rest, Helaman on the other hand immediately returned back to declaring the word to the people and establishing the church. It was an incredible example to me of the true spirit of missionary work. I assume Helaman returned back to the work excitement and enthusiasm, hungering to serve the Lord again. It was an example to me of the privilege it is to be officially called to the work of missionary service for such a short amount of time. Every day is a gift. I love being a missionary. This is the best time of my life.
I love you all! Wishing you a Happy Christmas and a Merry Chanukah 🙂