We had another amazing lesson with Luis our investigator from Honduras. We had originally planned to teach the plan of salvation, but last minute we felt like we should watch the restoration video (the full hour-long one). Thankfully we were doing the lesson in the church so we had wifi and could pull it up in Spanish for him (he's lived in Italy for awhile and speaks Italian practically fluently, but we try and do things like videos or scriptures in Spanish for him so that they take a deeper meaning). Anyways, it was so amazingly spiritual. First off, you just have to realize how amazing Luis is! He literally has been so prepared. He has amazing faith and has just the strongest purest desire to follow God. It's amazing to see someone like Luis who grew up with a mom who is Jehovah witness and a dad who is Catholic, but Luis himself didn't feel drawn to other one and although favoring the Catholic a bit more has really just formed many of his own ideas and beliefs based on what he's seen and learned and just feels is right. Then it has been so cool to see how as we are teaching him he learns them and they are the things that he already believes, things that he missed in other religions before. At the beginning of the lesson he recounted what he had read in the Book of Mormon and then commented how much he admires Nephi and his faith. As we watched the Joseph Smith movie the spirit was so strong and then after Luis commented at how remarkable and just Christlike Joseph Smith was. It's so awesome to see his joy and excitement for the gospel!
On Saturday the friendship center for the refugees had an open house for the public and members to come and see what it is. There was food and music and the choir class that we help with performed two songs (one of which was Amazing Grace). It was so awesome to sing that especially with a group of refugees (some who are even from the middle east and don't believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior). There was a beautiful spirit there for all though. Fun detail, the president of the whole worldwide humanitarian refugee department in the Catholic church came to the open house. That was very big deal. He is originally from San Francisco, but his office is in the Vatican and he reports directly to the Pope.
Later that evening we went to an appointment. We had gotten a request from a member to go give a blessing to her friend who has cancer. When we first went there the mom answered the door and she was so cold, just not friendly at all. We of course did our best to be kind and make friends with them and slowly slowly the mom just opened up more and more. After only 10 minutes in their house the mom just turns to her daughter (who is 30ish years old) and exclaims/commands, "I like these boys. You need to listen to them and meet with them often. They have true faith and what they teach is good." We were blown away! Haha the lesson just went up from there. Valentina, the daughter, is amazing. Like Luis, she too hasn't found a lot of joy in the churches that she has seen around her, but going forward with faith she has done the best that she can. Now that she hears the Restored gospel she recognizes and so readily accepts the truth that this gospel offers. As for the mom, she just adored us. We talked to them about priesthood blessings and what they are just to give them a brief idea before doing it, then we also talked about the temple being built in Rome and eternal families. She exclaimed after how for us death is really just a "See you later." And we the whole time just exclaimed, "Yes!!" Then she said with a bit of emotion, "I am 60 years old and am ashamed to say that I am literally just discovering these teachings. Why couldn't I have discovered them earlier?" I just felt so strongly to bear my testimony of the fact that God has a plan for each of us and we don't always know why things happen the way they happen, but we just need to know that God knows what He is doing and we will be blessed in the end.
That's all for now. Love, Anziano Stucki.
Grateful for an opportunity to learn and come closer to the Savior, Neal shares his mission experience with us.