This week I'm writing from Palermo because we got evicted from our apartment in Trapani after our neighbors complained about me singing too much. Just kidding! But we really did get "kicked out". It all started when the sink in my bathroom started leaking (one transfer ago) and after looking at it more they decided to call professional help because they had to replace some pipe or something in the wall. Comunque, they sent a guy out to look at the apartment and they decided to also paint it and put some protector stuff up for the humidity. We came to Palermo for zone soccer today and we'll be staying here for 3 days.
This past week we had zone conference which is always good! We also went to Erice again but this time because some members invited us to come pranzo with them and then teach a spiritual message to some of their non-member friends. As summer comes on the Italians seem to be eating more and more seafood. For one of the courses of the meal they brought out a huge bowl (like one of our big bowls we put popcorn in for movie nights in Moab :) filled with mussels. That was probably the weirdest thing I've ever had to eat on my mission so far. They tasted alright but the texture was so wierd. Afterward, we briefly taught the Restoration lesson and all went well until one of their friends asked some trivial questions. After that it just got worse and worse. We and the members tried to explain our beliefs but their friends took more and more offense and the spirit of confusion and contention grew. It fell apart so fast. We left that appointment with our ears ringing from all their loud words. We felt pretty discouraged and frustrated. Little did we know what would happen however. We learned from the members later that sometime after we left and things had died down, one of their friends actually asked for a Book of Mormon! We are so excited! God definitely blessed our efforts.
We also had another awesome lesson with our investigator Erika (she is the mother of the 4 children who I talked about a letter or two ago). The usual member we bring to lessons with her couldn't come, so this time we decided to invite the branch president and his wife. They were happy to come and even brought their 11 year old son. We taught the Plan of Salvation. At the beginning we asked Erika what she believed was the purpose of life. She gave some sort of general answer and then added that well probably no one could really answer that exactly. Smiling we turned to the branch president's 11 year old son and asked him the question. He nailed it!! It was so good, straight forward, simple, and sincere. (He basically just talked about how we are here to follow God). Erika was so impressed with him. It was awesome. As usual though throughout the lesson the four kids were crazy and disruptive. At one point Erika was recounting a beautiful story of how she had met many many missionaries in the past who have come to her home but until we came and brought a member things just didn't click. She continued basically saying how we had come and been the answer to her prayer. It was at that point in this beautiful story that she suddenly screamed, "Attenzione!!!" A fraction of a second later a good-size 10-step latter came falling down. It missed the back of my head by inches and came crashing into the side of the head of the branch president who was sitting in a chair beside me. Her son apparently had bumped the latter with his tricycle and knock it over from its resting place against the wall. The branch president was fine and played it off kindly but Erika was mortified. We all started laughing and Erika ran into the catching to get something cold. She didn't have anything so she came back with a small chunk of ice she had scraped off the freezer. Hahaha it was so funny and surprising. Before this lesson we had been wondering if it would be a good time to give her a baptismal invite and we weren't sure, but during the lesson she actually asked about baptism. The Sanacuore's shared their conversion stories which definitely were very much about baptism. We gave her a soft baptismal invite and she said she hoped it was something she could reach someday. We invited her to church also and she said she would come. Fast forward to Sunday 30 minutes into church, we were having doubts if she would come. Suddenly just as the testimony meeting was starting she and her 4 little kids came in! I was so amazed too because the kids behaved themselves perfectly! They all loved church and one of kids even cried when they had to leave primary.
That's all for this week. Love you! Anziano Stucki.
Grateful for an opportunity to learn and come closer to the Savior, Neal shares his mission experience with us.