As always I don't have time to write about everything. Probably the highlight of this week was zone conference. I love seeing President Pickerd and it was cool to see the AP's again after not seeing them since my first day in Rome, but over all the spiritual messages were so good.
The night before zone conference we did a Gesso which is basically where you put a sheet on the ground, right a question on it, and then stop and talk to people about it as they pass by. We haven't done that in Trapani yet, but with so many missionaries here for zone conference in Palermo, it was so fun! It also helps me improve my Italian so much. At one particular time during the evening, I stopped and talked to two guys who looked about my age. They didn't believe in God and didn't really believe in any purpose for life. There was another missionary who came over to talk to them with me. He had only been out one more transfer than me so pretty much both of our Italian was horrible. At first the two boys seemed more annoyed, or amused by the two Americans trying to talk in Italian, but somehow we just kept talking to them and understanding what they said just enough. At one point, one of them turned to me directly and asked if this gospel has benefited me in my life. I was so proud to bear my testimony that the gospel has without a doubt changed my life for the better. As me and the other missionary walked away after talking to them, all we could do was think how blessed we were that somehow despite our weaknesses and inabilities, God had magnified our efforts and done something amazing.
There are many things I would like to share from zone conference, but one of the best parts was towards the end as they talked to us about hastening the work as the Rome temple continues to make progress in construction. I couldn't help but think how lucky I have been to grow up surrounded by not just one or two, but many temples! The idea that when we're up in the Wasatch Valley we can even choose which temple we want to go to is incomprehensible for the people here. It is so strange to me to see so many people here who have been married for years but have never even recieved their endowments. The temple here is going to get a crazy amount of usage from the very day it is dedicated. In my zone, I think there are all American's except one who is an Italian. As the discussion moved to the temple, this Italian missionary shared a comment about how much he loves all the American missionaries, but with a slight laugh he said, "I really want more Italian missionaries." The significance of that sunk deep inside me. I know as we reach out to others to bring them into the church, the blessings of this gospel go so much farther than just having the knowledge of the truth on a bad day, just baptism the day they're baptized, just recieving the Holy Ghost, or even going to the temple and recieving the ordinances there. These blessings reach throughout the generations of our family who came before us and who will come after us. The blessings of the gospel are so much more than a one and done thing. It is a process as we go through our life and then raise children and bring them up in the gospel all the while reaching out to those around us who are in need. I am so thankful to be here among these people. Even when I honestly wonder if I am helping the work or just causing the Lord more problems (haha), I'm thankful that of all the miraculous things God can do, He let's me play a part in this great work and gives me a front row seat to see how He is touching hearts and changing the masses.
I love you all! By the way, I don't know if you've seen it, but the church has a really cool short video of the day they placed the Angel Moroni on top of the temple if you would like to watch it!
Have a great week, Anziano Stucki
Grateful for an opportunity to learn and come closer to the Savior, Neal shares his mission experience with us.