Small freak out moment occurred this week. I was reunited on an exchange with the great Anziano Smith in Caserta, which was awesome, but we had an appointment at the massive military base there with a member family. Let me walk you through that experience. The member is there waiting to pick us up at the train station. We drive to the base, park, and walk up to the check-in station where we are greeted with a jovial “HEY ELDERS!” I about lost it right then. Turns out the security officer is a less active but loves missionaries and was so excited to see us. We talk for a bit then drive onto the base. As we’re driving I can’t help but notice how well kept all the exterior walls of the buildings are and how well lit the whole place is. Then we pull up to the apartment and the sidewalks are manicured, there’s no trash, no weeds, everything is so clean. It was weird. Dinner was already on the table when we walked in. We ate and shared our thought in less than an hour and we’re back at the station only 80 minutes after we had originally arrived there before. I about lost my mind reflecting on the whole experience.
In other news we received a referral from the Battipaglia sorelle and set up an appointment to follow up on it. We took a train to Casoria and than walked over an hour to miraculously find this address and got all the way up to the apartment to find out it the referral is a 23 year old young woman named Manuela who lives with her 30 year old brother and his wife and their 3 kids. We get to talking and hear the trials she has endured in her life. We begin sharing the Plan of Salvation with them when her boyfriend and nephew walk in so we catch them up on the lesson and get everyone involved. I bore my testimony of the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ that strengthens us in all of our weaknesses because our savior experienced and endured all of our difficulties and pains and he is capable of helping us in any circumstance we are in. It was a powerful lesson. They even gave us a ride all the way home which was a miracle.
We also had a young single adults and youth bowling activity that gave us the opportunity to have several nonmembers present which was super fun!
This week I was reminded of a simple lesson I learned as a child that has come to teach me many things throughout my life:
I have always picked up any coin I saw on the ground. No matter how old or dull a penny may seem I always pick it up. As a child I learned that a millionaire becomes a millionaire one penny at a time. Now being a missionary I add something to that lesson. This week there were two days in a row that I came across a penny and picked it up, being my excited self I showed it to my companion who understandably didn’t share my enthusiasm for finding a penny. Then following these events I came across a 1 euro coin and was even more excited, but yet again the excitement was all mine. The lesson I learned from this simple experience was that you have to appreciate every single blessing you receive. We need to be aware of the small things we have in order to appreciate the bigger things that await. I believe sometimes blessings might be withheld because we don’t appreciate what we already have enough to receive more. It would end up going unnoticed.
So I invite you all to ponder what it is you have already been blessed with no matter how small whether it be health, work, school, relationships, success, anything and be grateful for it and then you will prepare yourself to receive even more.
I love you all! I’m praying for you all!