Friday, February 16, 2007

Neapolis - The Ancient Center of Civilization: March 30, 2005

Happy birthday little sisters!!! To celebrate your birthdays we are having a birthday party tomorrow! Not really for you, but we can pretend. The father of a family has his birthday tomorrow (same day as one of you) and his daughter planned a surprise party for him. He is an interesting person. But the story of his life is different than I ever thought. This is what I remember. He was part of a family where the father gained all the income, and then the dad died, leaving him with his multiple siblings and a mother. The mother, who had no source of income and no opportunity prior to go to school, sent her children out into the streets to steal to support the family. Hence, the beginning of this family's ties to the underworld. After a while, the story grew, and his older brother took charge of heading up the operation. The father left the underground and went to work as an honest worker, until his brother was killed. He was the next in line, and because of corruption, if he or one of his family didn't take over, they would all be x-ed. He did so, and this was 15 years ago. This daughter watched her father, once an amazing spiritual man who loved his family and would do anything for them, degrade into the man he is today - he will only help his children and family if they are in danger. Today the daughter is amazing. Her husband is in jail, and she takes care of him. I'm not kidding - if you are in prison here they don't feed you. Someone else has to bring you food every week. I remember seeing her for the first time and wondering what was wrong. Here in the mission field I realize that the windows to the soul are the eyes. Sometimes I look at people and their hard stare portrays a lack of humility. If I go over and sit next to them, they turn away; perhaps even get up and leave. Others are too busy to listen to the Spirit. Others are truthfully searching for peace in this life, and are willing to do anything to find it. I asked her, and have asked her since, because for some reason her eyes betrayed a constant pain - a different answer than she had ever given, but as she recounted the story of her father I realized that it is impossible to stop hoping for the people that we love. She used to have a beautiful rapport with him - they would talk for hours and hours, and now he rarely calls and never has time. I walked home that night with tears running down my face. What can I do to help these families that are in so much pain? I love the people of Italy so much - I would do anything for them. I can't understand how fully the devil plays in roles. I had no idea how deeply evil people could become. There must be opposition in all things - this helps me realize how good some people are, and that we really can become amazing and stalwart bulwarks of the faith. We go to the party tomorrow, and I will look and see if the Lord still has plans for him. I know his daughter has faith, and I believe that the Lord can and will do miracles if we ask in faith and believe. If He must send angels from the Heavens, or send fire from the skies, if He must cause to earth to shake or echo thunder in our cries, He will do anything He can to help them change! He will do anything! He will do anything! Please, pray that all of us may have the faith to ask God for miracles. Ask Him for them. Be specific. Then, work as hard as you can and truly believe and expect Him to do all He can. As long as we have the will of the Lord, He will do anything! I truly believe that. Many times we do not realize what we are called to do here on this earth, nor the resources we have at hand. As members of His Church, as sons and daughters of God, we were called and foreordained to help the others, to accomplish the immortality and eternal life of man. We are involved in the work of the Lord! Everything He has is completely and fully devoted to accomplishing this design. Everything!! Too often, we feel we must do it all ourselves. We cannot - we must not, for the Lord is the only one who can accomplish it. If we have true faith we will ask for the things that will help us be instruments in the hand of the Lord. On Friday we went to the home of a Sister and invited her two sons to take the lessons. They said, "We'll see," and then both of them came to Church on Sunday. I believe the Lord can and will work miracles in their hearts. We taught another woman the Plan of Salvation and she had many questions. She was excited to learn. I believe the Spirit will work within her and she will read the Book of Mormon and pray to know its truth. We knocked on a door and answered the prayer of a woman from Santa Domingo, who is here working to support her family who is far away. She let us in and intends to travel with us to Potzuolli for General Conference. I was on Scambi with another missionary a little while ago and we got into a door with a song - they would have turned us away otherwise. The two women have accepted a date for baptism. The Lord works miracles when we ask Him to and when we have faith in Him. Please, determine where you can grow your faith in the Lord. If our wills are one, we will ask for His help. We will not fear the hand of men nor the adversary, and then we will be as it relates in Jacob 4:6 - so firmly stalwart in the faith of Christ that we can command in His name and the every elements will obey.
We haven't moved yet, so I still don't have an address. I love getting your emails, though. Even if it's just a Hi and a question I love all of you!
I Love you!
Anziano Peterson

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