It's been another week! Things are going well here in Rome.
This past week was so full! On Wednesday we did a zone afternoon of finding. Pretty much from 4:30 in the afternoon until 9:30 at night our whole zone just went out on the streets and did finding in our various areas whether it was on the bus, the street, the metro, parks, anywhere! We were all connected too because we had a zone WhatsApp group and everytime each companionship made attempt to talk to someone (whether it was successful or not) they sent the stop sign emoji or if we gave a Book of Mormon away we sent the Book emoji or for a citifono rung the house emoji. Haha it was fun and as you can imagine basically all evening the chat was blowing up! For me and Anziano Castro, after doing finding for several hours straight had had several good conversations, but we hadn't received any new contacts. We found ourselves in this kind of abandoned park when it started raining. We felt pretty discouraged and went under some trees and sat on a bench to reevaluate our progress and talk about what we could do differently. We said a prayer together and then began talking to people again. We left the park soon after and then it started raining once more. We ran to stand under the overhang of an apartment building roof. It was raining a lot so we finally decided it would be best to finish out the evening just talking to people in the good'ole underground dry metro. When there was a break in the rain we headed down a street that we thought would take us to a bus stop where we could take a bus to get to the metro. On the way we ran into a man and asked him where the nearest bus stop was. We began talking to him and he asked who we were. He spoke English and so we started talking about how he had studied and school. Then his friend came along who also spoke English. The conversation after awhile came to an end and they started to say goodbye when I interrupted them and just asked if we could leave them with a Book of Mormon. I gave a brief explanation about what it was and added how much it had had a positive impact on my life. Anziano Castro then came in with the most amazing testimony and they happily agreed to take them. It was the coolest experience and let me know that God answers our prayers and is guiding us to where we need to go so that we can meet the people we need to meet.
Secondly, we had another really cool experience on Thursday when we did a scambio with the zone leaders (since Anziano Castro is the district leader). We started Thursday evening with me staying in our area with Anziano Baker. Well, we had a lesson with Ali our Egyptian investigator so we went right away to the Colosseum to meet him. As we were walking by we met a returned missionary who had served here 6 years ago. He is actually from Green River which was kind of cool. He wanted a picture with us and then we headed on our way. It was only a small moment and soon I forgot about the whole thing as we went on with the scambio. About 24 hours later we were finishing the scambio and me and Anziano Baker were on the metro heading to our predetermined meeting point where we would re-swap companions. I was sitting down on the metro and Anziano Baker had just finished talking to a man when another man, who I noticed had been listening to their conversation, pulled out his smart phone and asked Anziano Baker, "Ma questi siete voi?" (Is this you guys?) Anziano Baker just had the most shocked look on his face. I got up and walked over to see what they were looking at and I saw on this man's phone on his Facebook, a picture of me and Anziano Baker with that returned missionary from the day before, standing in front of the Colosseum!!!! It was the craziest most unbelievable moment ever!! Turns out that man was a convert of that returned missionary 6 years ago! They were friends on Facebook and somehow within a 24-hour period we ended up running into both of them and in the most miraculous way!!!! Hah the sad part is this man has since stopped going to church. He didn't even want to meet with the missionaries, but still he gave us his Facebook so who knows! Obviously some pretty miraculous things can really happen on Facebook! 😁 I know the fact that we met was for a reason. We will do the best we can and just pray for him and pray that we can have patience.
Anyways, those were just two miracles from this week. My last note is: this week I finished reading Il Libro di Mormon (The Book of Mormon) in Italian for the first time! I was so excited!!! It has been an adventure from reading those first verses in the MTC and understanding less of the Isaiah chapters than I ever have, until the last chapters of the book of Moroni where I sometimes would almost forget what language I was reading in. I know that my Italian isn't the only thing that Book has helped me with. :) That book has shaped me as a person and missionary. I am not the same person I was when I first started reading it. I know it is true because I followed the instructions in Moroni 10 and prayed after I read it and I felt in my heart the spirit telling me it is true. I invite you all to read it and pray about it.
Love you, Anziano Stucki.
Grateful for an opportunity to learn and come closer to the Savior, Neal shares his mission experience with us.