1. You've got to love Africans! Hahaha Found this on the door of an African store.
2. Well, my trainer is going home tomorrow and actually so are all the sisters in my MTC group. Yep that's right. I hit my 18 month mark! I can't believe it's true. It's scary and suddenly becoming very real. A part from trainer and the sisters in my group there are many other elders going home in this group who I have served a long time with and love. This has been the first group of missionaries going home that has been really hard to say goodbye to. It is leaving a huge whole in our mission. My trainer, Anziano Melling, has actually been my zone leader here in Rome for these two transfers and my companion is the district leader so it just so happened that me and Anziano Melling were able to do a scambio this past week. It was so awesome to catch up and go get a Briosce like old times except the gelato in Sicily is still way better. Haha
3. Another chair.......
4. We did a Book of Mormon gesso as a district this last week and a bunch of children from Bangladesh (by India) came and we invited them to help draw with us. Haha it was actually really cool. The words on the sheet say basically, "Jesus Christ, what do the Americas say about him?"
Anyways, that's all for this week! I am doing well. It's very possible that I will do another here in Rome but it's more possible that I will get transferred. We will see though tonight when we get calls! The senior couple at the friendship center wrote our mission president and told him they really want me and anziano Jensen to stay at least another transfer until August when the friendship center closes for one month. We will see what happens. Haha
Love you all! Anziano Stucki
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.
Hey family! I am just sitting here in an internet cafe writing on a smartphone while my companion chooses classes for college. Yeah, we definitely just found out this morning that today was the deadline to sign up so we did the responsible thing and went and played calcio with our zone. I'll just take the blame now for that one. Good thing Italy time is ahead! Haha
This week has been anything but chill and slow. My mind is still just spinning trying to process it all! Haha I feel so good though because we have simply just tried and tried so hard. It's been amazing and we've seen so many miracles. I could not servive without those moments of personal study in the morning and then language study and companionship study in the afternoon (we do pranzo and those studies all from 1:00 to usually 4/4:30ish while all the Italians are having pranzo). We take extra time for lunch and then don't eat dinner. That's when my nightly bowl of... *drum roll* granola and Greek yogurt comes in every night when we get back at 9/9:30!! It's so weird how the daily schedule seemed so monotonous and actually exhausting at first, but now has become something I love and can't survive without. Haha
As far as one miracle this week, we went to visit a less-active man (originally from Peru) who has to stay at home with a back brace for many months because he got in a car accident. Anyways it just so happens that his mother came over and she knows absolutely nothing about the church. Well, we were all too happy to help her! Turns out she was very interested and even came to church the next day!
We had many other miracles this week which I don't have time to recall. I would just like to bear my testimony though that I know God has His hand in this work and He blesses us when we are obedient and do our best.
I love you all! Anziano Stucki
The highlight of this week would be a referral that we received from a girl from Honduras who was visiting here. She has now since gone home, but right before she sent us the number of her friend, Luis, and told us to call. Before she sent it to us, she said she felt hesitant because in her words, "He is very Catholic." Well we contacted him and made an appointment. The first appointment went so well. He was actually very open and sincere and said several times how much he just wanted to find which church was true. In preparation for our next lesson with him we decided to do the Plan of Salvation. We began doing a roleplay and made it almost to the end when Anziano Jensen just stopped and said that it just didn't feel right. He suggested that we try teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It came unexpectedly but I agreed though and we went ahead and taught it later that evening. During the lesson the spirit came so powerfully. Luis himself actually asked several questions about baptism. As we began talking about baptism the thought came to me to pull out the bible video of Christ's baptism. Anziano Jensen was talking at that point and I didn't want to interrupt so I waited but then a little bit later as Anziano Jensen finished speaking he turned to me and mentioned that we should pull out the baptism video and watch it now. It was the coolest moment! It's nice to know we were both in sink with the spirit. The lesson went so well and we asked Luis if he wanted to be baptized. He said that yes he would very very much. He said in these two meetings he has felt so good and he just wants to be a part of this church. It's so amazing to see how people are being prepared for this gospel!
That's all I have time for now, but love you all! Ciao, Anziano Stucki.
Grateful for an opportunity to learn and come closer to the Savior, Neal shares his mission experience with us.