We had 4 conferences in 5 days. Bari, Taranto, Napoli, and both Rome zones together. Starting from the top, after a 6 hour bus Sunday afternoon we arrive in Bari and I stay with Anziano Wiggins and Anziano Osmond who are both awesome. I missed Anziano Wiggins so much!
Monday at Bari zone conference I got to see Anziano Velardi and Anziano Zito again!! They’re both doing well. We ate panzarotti dalla Maddalena for lunch and focaccia too. So good. After the conference we jetted off for Taranto. It was so nice driving those old streets again that I had come to know so well in the seven months I was at Taranto.
I had the opportunity to introduce the Taranto Sorelle, who were both new to the area, to my old friends Mariella and Silvio!!!! I missed them so much, but more than anything I loved having the chance, once again, to testify of the power of the Book of Mormon and how it blesses our lives through our meaningful study of it.
Tuesday was Taranto zone conference which went well. Without over-exaggerating what happened, at the end of the conference we look outside and find that the surrounding fields around the whole church property are on fire. At first we stay inside and let the firemen take care of it but as the fire took their attention away from the line bordering the church, it was up to us to use buckets of water to make sure the fire didn’t keep spreading along the confines of the property. Everyone was in action. Obviously we didn’t have the same effect as a massive firetruck but we are pretty sure without our efforts the fields within church property could have burned up.
That evening I visited Maria Grazia again! I missed her so much. She’s doing well. Then after we went to see the Impollonia family! She made my favorite lasagna bianca again and it was delicious. I missed Taranto.
The next day we headed over to Napoli and I enjoyed another Pellone Diavola once again. I wanted to eat two but time would not permit. At least I made sure President and Sorella Pickerd ate one themselves in the midst of all the missionary interviews.
Thursday was Napoli Zone Conference and seeing as I had just come from Napoli and spent over 8 months of my mission in Napoli, President asked me to bear my departing testimony. That was difficult. I was grateful for the opportunity to do it at the same place I bore my birth testimony. It was a tender experience.
That evening we headed back to Rome and ended up having 12 missionaries sleeping in our apartment because of zone conference in Rome the following day and the fact that people were coming from places up to 3 hours away.
Friday was the combined Rome East and West Zone Conference. I was desperate for some dedicated scripture study after a whole week of conferences and luckily there were several people that needed to leave the apartment early to rehearse a musical number so that enabled me to wake up at 4:30, shower get dressed, and take more than an hour just to myself to study the Book of Mormon. It was everything I needed and more.
Then it was time for conference. The Rome 1 chapel full of 70 missionaries. It was a great meeting. I got to see some very dear missionaries during that time. In the evening we needed to fill out more reports but in between we were able to go to an authentic Shabbat dinner at our friend Benjamin’s house. That was awesome. Then we needed to help out the Sorelle which capped off a very full week!
I wanted to simply bear my testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon. No matter how physically tired we may feel at the end of any particularly busy or demanding week, if we are willing to set aside time to open the Book of Mormon and glean the words of inspired prophets that were conserved especially for us than we will be strengthened beyond our own capacity. We will have the spirit to lift us up. I know the Book of Mormon is a book of inspired scripture written to us in these days. I know it was translated by the power of God. I know that Joseph Smith was called as a prophet and restored the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth. Finally I am so grateful for the immense blessings this knowledge brings to me to know the hand of the Lord is stretched forth to us, into our daily lives.
I love you all,