Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What great blessings!: Feb 22 2006

Dear Family & Friends,

Here from Quartu, we are still seeing amazing miracles. Let's try to list them. We have 2 baptisms coming up - both Peruvians. The husband of a member gave permission for his kids to be baptized again (a bit complicated). One of our investigators comes back from the island of San Pietro just to come to Church on Sundays - he will be baptized in a few weeks. We are teaching referrals from our members, and inactive members are coming back to Church. We prayed a bit ago to find someone we could teach in the mornings, and shortly after got a call from the Office with a referral - it turns out a missionary from 8 years ago got in contact with an old golden contact (they've been in touch) and asked if he could send the missionaries. We got the referral and contacted it, and he asked us to come by in the morning. He plays first trumpet in the Orchestra at Cagliari - at the Cagliari Opera - and they are performing right now, so he can only meet with us in the mornings. Good miracle. We also have been teaching another referral from a member - Oh!!! my list!!!

I need the real recipe for Cincinnati Chili - I have made it from memory and it functioned with different types of meat and legumes instead (interesting - use lentils and peas instead of meat - it obviously has a slightly different flavor, but it was really good), but my companion wants a recipe and I would feel bad giving him an approximate that only works if you know exactly how the original is supposed to taste. So, could you send it to me? In a letter, or an email... both arrive pretty quickly.
Also, I have a huge desire to do genealogy work. Could you search and see if we have any Italian ancestors?
Also, I need all the information I can have on the initiative we did in the branch a little while ago - how did it work, what were the effects, how much involvement from what people did it include... I would like to see how integrating Family History will help in our finding work - I have a huge desire to do it, and I know it was done in AH before... but I was at school and sort of left out (even though President West was a coordinator for the Area and talked about it
at every Home Teaching appointment). Could you do that for me?

OK. Business done.

One of our contacts is a referral from a member that invited her to "learn about the Church" - the verb in Italian is conoscere, which is a very 3rd person learn about - a sort of diffident way to put it. The member has continually said she was learning about the Church using this verb, and it sort of ruins our lessons. Last night, however, I guess I sort of steamrolled. People tell me I have a forceful personality. I guess I believe it, but we invited her to do much more than just learn about the Church last night- I feel she will pray to know the truth and she will receive an answer and then be baptized and confirmed. My companion is sick - and he told me that he sees a few differences in us. I do as well. But, we're not afraid of anything, and we have the faith in the Lord to ask Him for miracles and to see them go through. Even when the trials come, we know that we are doing the absolute best we can, and then very quickly we see awesome blessings. If life were always like this, keeping a journal would be the best tool to stay faithful to the end of our days - simply receiving revelation for investigators, seeing miracles, helping others, being put in place to testify, and feeling the love of God work through us has made us better people - better servants and Sons of God. Amazing!

This week we were lamenting because we didn't have enough investigators, only to realize that all of our investigators either progress or fall off the charts. We have no lukewarms. That, in and of itself, is a huge blessing. We also aren't teaching any crazy people. Wow. And we really have tons of investigators and referrals to contact and baptisms and the branch loves us and the others in Cagliari are teaching our referrals and trust us with theirs... What great blessings! I know that the Lord is truly leading the work here - and that in some small way I am being a catalyst, no a changing part, in the work that is changing the Earth and the lives of the people. We went to knock doors last night in the hour before an appointment and got another appointment Sunday and a bunch of people to pass back by because they were right in the middle of a crisis. Hopefully the crisis will help them turn their hearts to God.
Sunday our 2 Peruvians walked to Church. It's a long way. Their ride, the mom's nephew, had lost his keys to his car and it took him 2 hours to find them, and he lives far away, and they started walking and helping each other get there and finally arrived. The talks were on the opportunity the Lord gives us to sacrifice. Another investigator had come all the way from the island of San Pietro - a voyage of many hours - just to come to Church. They have now sacrificed, and the Lord will bless them. What a concept!

Well, I'm going to make a baptismal program (I am singing I Know That My Redeemer Lives and then we are singing a capella (italian for in the chapel) Joseph Smith's First Vision), so I'll sign off. I love you all, and we should get our much-awaited packages this Saturday. Other than that, be completely obedient! Obedience is the first law of Heaven. Be obedient!
I love you! - by the way, I sent some gorgeous views of the Sea - we are on an island - and we went out for an appointment on the East Coast. It was amazing! What great blessings!

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