I am excited to write about this week because there is a lot to say and it didn't get the opportunity last week.
First off, all I can say is, General Conference was so amazing this week! I actually have only been able to watch the Saturday and Sunday morning sessions, but I am so excited to watch the others. I heard about the temples being announced too and I am so excited. Being in a country that is about to get a temple for the first time, I was especially excited to hear about all the countries this time who will be getting a temple for the first time. The temple brings such a spiritual power and lifts everyone's eyes higher than just baptism and going to church. Also, even though Nigeria already has a temple, I just have to say I am so excited for that temple. I have never served in the mission of Nigeria, but I, especially at certains points in my mission have definitely served in the "Roma Italy mission of Nigeria" and it is sweet! I can't wait to see the blessings that will come to those amazing people and the blessings that will come to their country which desperately needs it.
Well, this has been an amazing week which I will remember for many reasons. One, which I will remember for years and years and years to come, will be the moment in the Sunday morning session when we were watching Anziano Bowen's beautiful talk with a bunch of members in the church where the session was being projected onto the sacrament meeting wall. At a certain point Anziano Bowen standing on the conference center behind the pulpet disappeared and a video of a little girl playing with toys appeared on the screen. Let's be honest, in this conference they used A LOT of visual aids, which, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love! In fact a lot of my companions will kind of make fun of me as that one missionary where every time our investigator has a problem I instantly suggest to send them a Mormon Message or something. Hahaha What can I say... There is just something powerful about the combination of a beautiful track of music accompanied with inspired words of prophets and carefully captured visuals and camera footage 😊. Anyways so in that moment everyone was confused, but no one really freaked out. A moment later the video went on as the camera spanned to show a cluttered room of toys most of which were pink. A moment later the video exited out of fullscreen view and we saw before us a YouTube page and upon reading the title of the video unraveling before our eyes, we soon discovered that we were watching an advertisement for Barbie on YouTube, BUT might I add, with the continual voice of Anziano Bowen that played in the background!! When I first saw that I was horrified because we had investigators and it totally interrupted the spirit of the conference, but it was only about 15 seconds before one of the bishopric counselors jumped up and with a quick flip through the menu using the projector remote, discovered that somehow the input on the projector had been changed from the broadcast of general conference to the tablet of a member's very very young daughter who was sitting in the chapel having the time of her life watching Barbie on YouTube!! We actually don't have a confirmation of that, but that's what me and my companion pieced together based on what we saw. In the end, it was so startling and confusin, but thinking back on the Barbie commercial detour, me and my companion spent a good amount of time dying of laughter later that evening when we got home. Hahaha well, just wanted to share that story with y'all so maybe y'all can laugh too. I'm not really sure what we can learn from this. Maybe first off, to make sure that when you are streaming general conference to your local church building that some child's tablet doesn't accidently connect to the projector screen. Maybe also we can learn that just as Anziano Bowen's voice continued on despite the fact that the screen changed, the spirit will always speak to us, but based on what we have before us (or in this case, what we are watching) it may be really easy or really hard to concentrate on its message.
Well that's all I have time for for now, but just wanted to finish saying how much I loved President Nelson's talk about the correct name of the church. I know he is a true prophet of God and he really is inspired to know what to say and do. I am so glad to be a missionary and to teach people about the Restored church. I did a scambio last week in Ascoli Piceno (cue Google Maps) and at one point me and my scambio campanion, Anziano Bacon (Yes, that is his actual last name 👌), and I stopped this man on the street. This old man asked who we were and I was about to say the usual about how we are well-known as Mormons and so on. Well, thankfully Anziano Bacon took the lead and started out by saying how we are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The man looked confused and asked, are you Catholic? We said no, we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He asked if we were Jehovah Witnesses. We said no, we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And then in the next few minutes we began to explain how the church after Jesus Christ was corrupted and lost and how it has been restored on the earth today. He was so interested and began asking more and more questions and it turned out being the coolest and most beautiful conversation ever. I don't know what has happened with that man since, but I am grateful we chose to teach him who were really are rather than giving him a quick explanation that would have led him to simply make assumptions or be satisfied with whatever information he has randomly heard around town. I know we will continue to have more blessings as we obey this commandment and remember most of all, to never ever leave out Jesus Christ.
Love you all, Anziano Stucki.
Grateful for an opportunity to learn and come closer to the Savior, Neal shares his mission experience with us.