This week I wanted to just talk about one lesson we had with our friend Reza. He is from Iran. This is the first time that I have been able to meet him during my whole time here because he has been very busy with exams. He is here studying to be a nurse. He speaks English perfectly and is learning Italian. When I met him, almost the first thing he said to me was, "Your president is sending attacks on my country everyday." It was kind of awkward for a second, but not that awkward because he didn't seem upset about it. I tried to lighten things up though and added that I'd be sure to call Trump and tell him to stop. :) He went on to explain the very difficult situation in his country and that he loved Trump because he was the only one who was doing anything about it. Haha I'm not updated enough on the news and all, but I thought it was an interesting conversation nonetheless. There is something so humbling about hearing so many good and bad things about different groups of people around the world, and then one day actually meeting one yourself. You realize just how much you have in common and how the gospel of Jesus Christ applies to them just as much as it applies to you. I am so grateful for the knowledge that we are all children of God and that invites every single person on this whole earth to come to Him. Well, Reza went on to explain how he feels that he has been guided here to Italy. He told about how hard it was to leave his family (and he will never be permitted into the country again if he wants to return). He has had many experiences in which he felt like giving up, but he heard this voice that just said, "Keep going!" Well, a couple months ago he saw some missionaries on a bus and noticed something special about them. Something he hadn't noticed in any other church before. He approached them and got their information. They taught him awhile very slowly because he doesn't have a Christian base, but they taught him all of the Restoration and now a month or so later we got to meet with him. When we met him this time he actually got after us because we hadn't been contacting him enough! He told us how important these things were to him and how he wants to become a good man who tries to make other's lives better just like Joseph Smith did. :) I just can't believe that weeks ago when we tried to set up an appointment with him we thought he wasn't making time for us because he wasn't interested! He really just has the tightest schedule and even now we will only be able to see him every other week or so, but we will keep doing our best! It's just so amazing to me to see people like this who have literally been led by God to meet us and hear the message. Even if there are some countries where the church is not permitted to go, there are so many from those very places who our message still makes it to!
Love you all, Anziano Stucki
Grateful for an opportunity to learn and come closer to the Savior, Neal shares his mission experience with us.