I am in love with Padova. Seriously, this place just keeps getting better and better! Saturday is a baptism of a great Nigerian man named Jeff that the other guys are working with, then the next Saturday is our main man Renzo, and then a few weeks after that are two more people!! In a recent interview, President Dibbs told me that he put us specifically here in Padova so we could get the baptisms up because it’s been about 7 months since the last, and somehow we were honored enough to have the help of the Lord to change that up! Honestly, if you expect to be able to do missionary work without the Lord then you need a MAJOR wake up call and some healthy doses of repentance. We owe all of our success to Him right now.
One cool thing of the week was that Renzo just recently showed us around his house and said, “look at all this empty room, we could easily fit a family here that needs it. Can I speak to the Bishop on Sunday to see if anyone needs a place to stay?” The man just wants to help people, and turns out a man just lost his home a few days ago, in the ward, so Renzo can now help him out! It’s incredible to see this occurrence in the lives of those being taught, and that is: when truth flows into them, they naturally begin doing good. This is actually the spiritual message of the week, that when we do the little things God asks, we allow Him to change our natures, and even though we don’t often realize it, we begin to be more Christlike with those around us. It is the natural consequence of the closeness with God that we achieve when we read the scriptures, pray, and go to church. Also something interesting, about 100% of the people out here that I have met, that are inactive, always say that the first thing to go was their reading, praying, and church attendance, then everything else just came crashing down and they found themselves inactive. Want to know the path from inactivity to activity? C.P.R. (church, prayer, reading). Want to know the path from activity to discipleship? C.P.R. Want to know the path to getting closer to God? C.P.R. When we do those three little things, we will find that our natures begin changing, and everything else begins to follow.
Other than that we celebrated Anziano Benge’s birthday for about three days, it seemed, with members having us over, us making cake and tiramisu (with orzo mind you), going out for dinner for once, and random members and investigators giving him gifts. He says he hasn’t celebrated a birthday for five years, so we fixed that one up real good.
Cultural Bit: Bread is often cheaper at the local bakeries than the supermarkets, so go get you some fresh bread and mozzarella.