This week was crazy!!!! We started it off by getting robbed, haha. GLAD WE GOT THAT OVER WITH YEAH! They broke into our house in the middle of the night and took our wallets, my ipad, our phone, our permessi di soggiorno (the card that makes it legal for us to live here), our cards and cash, my camera, MY CHOCOLATE BARS, and our bags and some proselyting materials. So, its been a bit of a mess this week with working with the government and police so much; however, somehow it really hasn’t phased us, and this is where the miracle of the week actually comes in. After we were robbed, somehow, all of the members found out, even though we really didn’t tell people. In the past few days, we have had members left and right asking to give us food, inviting us over, giving us encouragement and offers for service, etc. I have never seen so much member involvement with the missionaries here in the mission before, and we are definitely taking advantage of that one to grow our relationships with them and establish a basis of shoulder to shoulder laboring. What I always loved to say is that “love is the natural consequence of service” and I know that this robbery was the greatest blessing that could’ve ever happened to us, because of the opportunities of service it provides both ways between us and them, and the love that will grow.
I truly do not kid when I say that this week has been wonderful and now our wonderful little district has four upcoming baptisms. Things are good here.
Cultural Bit: Padova is one of the oldest cities in this half of Italy, dating all the way back to 1183 BC, if I am correct.
Spiritual Bit: One thing has been on my mind lately as I have been working with the people out here. It is something that a grand majority of us has, myself included. It is guaranteed that each one of us, while in this world will mess up or make mistakes. That is part of our human nature, and the spiritual consequence to the things that we do is a feeling of guilt and shame. Now, often times, when we see others who mess up, it is very easy to tell them that it is ok, and especially if you are teaching them the gospel, it is easy to say that Christ’s sacrifice has made up for the things that they have done and that they can be forgiven. I mean, forgiveness is the heart of the things that we teach: the idea that we can change and become better people through the atonement. The problem that happens far too often, however, is that we don’t truly and fully believe it is functional for us. We know it’s real, we know it works for others, but not us. Why? Why is it that we beat ourselves up for the things that we have done and sometimes just don’t let go of that guilt inside? I cannot describe how many heartbreaking moments I have had with people out here where I have seen the forgiveness of the Lord waiting to rush upon them, yet they don’t notice because they never forgive themselves. Sometimes, we’ve even been forgiven already, but hold on to our own guilt. Let me say something: that feeling that you cannot be forgiven is not from God. Satan wants more than anything to get us to forget our divine potential and make us think we aren’t worth being saved. When proving Christ, one of the main plights of the Devil was to tempt him to prove his own divinity.
When we place the atonement to the side, in thinking that it is not for us, we are actually giving in to fear and forgetting our faith in the Lord. The truth is, YOU are worth being saved, YOU are worth being forgiven. Each and every one of us is a sheep numbered by the Father and the Son and they love us each personally. I testify that often the hardest part is forgiving ourselves, but the moment that we do, we feel the forgiveness that the Saviour has been holding out for us, and rush into the arms that He has been extending out this whole time. Nobody is perfect, so give yourself some credit, and let yourself be forgiven.