Buon Sera Tutti (Al meno e qua)
This week was one heck of a week and we were able to get things moving with our investigators! We dropped a few that weren’t progressing and then amped it up for our progressors by started to talk about baptism with some of them, and one man in specific who is very muslim and usually tries to argue with us had a miracle. We had planned to drop him because he had no interest and had been standing us up, not making progress, and really showed no good signs, but when we met with him to have the lesson, he walked up to us with the Book of Mormon in hand and commenced to talk to us about the chapters that he had read in it. We then had a brilliant lesson on faith and how we can show it, and he said that he wants to take the commitments and see what happens/ what answers he gets. WOW. That is just what we need. We also picked up a new investigator that is an Albanian 28 year old who looks like Neil Caffrey from White Collar. The guy will make some incredible progress, I can already tell, because he is completely open to the teachings and says that he already believes the Joseph Smith story. He is also an intellectual so we were able to have a nice discussion where we talked about how science and philosophical ideas connected to the aspects of religion and the correlations with the mind and human experience. That was a fun lesson for sure. Other than that, nothing much is new here. Varese is a pretty stagnant city as far as change. At least Summer Saldi is here though!
Cultural Bit: Here in Italy, you pay your utility bills at the post office. Imagine the American post offices, but now full with people who need to pay their bills, no air conditioning, and a bunch of people yelling/ waving their arms around. There you go: Italian post offices!Spiritual Bit: I don’t know for the life of me if I used this example before but I will today! There was a story told to us in the MTC of these two Elders that were in the Lisbon, Portugal mission. Whilst walking down a street to find people, they noticed how two men up ahead began calling out to them. As they got within earshot they could hear a bit of name calling and profanity, but they just shrugged it off. It was a normal thing. The closer they got, though, the more caustic and cutting the insults became, and as they passed them and began to walk away the two men changed their subject of ridicule. They began to insult the Savior and spout profanities and shames to His name. The Elder on the right tightened his jaw and stopped right in his tracks. His companion could see his clenched fist turning white, and right as he was about to turn around and walk back to the men, his companion grabbed his arm and said, “Elder don’t, it’s not worth it.” He took a moment to compose himself and calm the war in his mind and they continued onward down the street, as all the while the men mocked the man they stood for. They passed to a new street and began walking a different direction for a bit when an old lady called them over and stopped them in their tracks. She looked at them with amazement on her face and asked, “You tell me what church teaches their men to act like you.”
One of the reigning characteristics of a follower of Christ is Charity. The truth of the matter is that as you decide to follow in the footsteps of Christ you will have to go through all types of persecution and ridicule. It was the path the He walked. The true mark of a disciple, versus a sympathetic who just likes the teachings, is loving your neighbor. John 13:35 states that “by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Jesus taught that even when we are smitten by our neighbor we must give them our other cheek, or when a man sues you, you must give him your cloak also. A disciple of Christ is not one to take vengeance or indulge in anger, but a love for others , especially when its hard. I testify that when we do this and when we show love for others, we are following in His footsteps and are showing Him what is truly important to us. As we do this we will also gain a greater capactiy to love others and to receive love. We will become more like Him.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Til next week,