This week has been so crazy. Last week we had found some new investigators but when we tried contacting them this week they didn't answer. It was sad, but it was kind of just like, well, the work goes on! At the beginning of this week the zone leaders gave an invite for each companionship to knock at least 20 doors a day for the whole week. I was totally down to do it, but a little bit surprised because house to house is usually one of those finding methods that isn't really the most successful. Nonostante, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday passed and we did our 60 doors. No one let us in, but we did have a few short conversations and gave away some pass along cards. So Wednesday early evening after we finished our 20 doors we didn't have anything scheduled for the evening so we went out to do street finding. We walked to the metro stop so we could take it to a more central part of the city. As we were at the little ticket scanner thing my ticket was being wierd and not scanning and so as I was standing there for a moment messing with it Anziano Lamoureux looked back and saw a girl who had come to English Course the night before. Anziano Lamoureux had mentioned that we should ask her and her sister who had also come if they wanted to take the missionary discussions. At this moment her and her mom were walking towards the exit to leave the station. We changed plans and left the ticket scanners. It was awkward because we had only just briefly met her at English course, but Anziano Lamoureux asked if we could walk with them for a little bit. They were friendly and we just started walking and talking a bit. Turns out they are from El Salvador in South America and moved here to Italy. We arrived to their house and then asked of we could come in and share a spiritual message with them. They agreed and we went into the apartment and walked up a couple floors to their apartment. Turns out it was locked and they didn't have the keys so we sat outside in the hallway while we waited for the other sister who had the keys to come let us in. We sat and talked for another good 20 minutes before she came. When we went in we taught them the Restoration lesson and gave them a Book of Mormon. It was such a spiritual lesson. The whole time we were just in awe. They are Catholic, but were interested in learning what was in the Book of Mormon. Towards the end the mom expressed a bit of apprehension at how learning these new things and reading these things of our church could cause confusion. Pretty much it was like she just didn't want it to change her faith and connection to God that she already has. A prompting just came to me so strongly and I assured her that if this book really does come from God and is true, there will not be confusion, but in fact, everything will make sense. We left that lesson floating on cloud 9. For sure it was a miracle. Even after we were doing house to house and didn't get let in at all God blessed us for our obedience by helping us be in a certain place at the exact time to meet this girl and her mom so we could teach them the gospel. And then he gave us the courage and strength to boldly step up and invite them to learn and do the things they need to gain testimonies and experience the joy of the gospel for themselves.
This letter is long, but one other quick thought. This week during district meeting we had a brief addastramento from the senior couple who is serving here in our zone. The Senior Anziano told a story about his childhood. He grew up in a broken home and just dark place without the church or the gospel. One day however he walked into a member's home and saw beauty and happiness and felt the spirit. He saw a vision of what he wanted his family to be like. Shortly afterward he took the lessons and was baptized. Now years later he has a beautiful family and is serving faithfully in the church blessing the life of his family and the others. Well, during all this I had this thought come to me. On my tablet I have a couple of our family pictures that I love to show to members or friends sometimes. They always comment on how big my family is, on all the adorable nieces and nephews, my beautiful sisters and sister and laws, and then admiring my parents saying how proud they should be and how hardworking they must be to have raised a family this beautiful. I am usually very happy and proud to show those pictures, but on a few particular occasions when I am sitting in the humble home of a poor family, or a family that has been torn apart by drugs and addiction or other hardships of life, I just pause wondering if maybe pulling out pictures of my "wealthy American family" would instead be discouraging or depressing for them to see in their rough situation. The thought just came to me though of how beautiful my family is! I don't have to feel sorry to show pictures of my family because they are actually a light and example to people who do not have the joy and blessings of the gospel! I had thought this before, but in that moment I just realized how much there is a light and beauty in my family that others see when they look at those pictures. I have seen it. I know they see a light in us when they look at those pictures. We may not be a perfect family, but you have so much going for us. Our family is eternal and that is powerful! I wish so bad everyone could have a family like mine. I don't know why I ever got so lucky to grow up in it, but somehow I did. I am so thankful for this opportunity to now share this with others.
I love you all. Have an amazing week! Anziano Stucki.
Grateful for an opportunity to learn and come closer to the Savior, Neal shares his mission experience with us.