Thursday, March 13, 2008

Missionary Letters--Rome Italy

So these last few weeks have been kind of hard. We had about 3 amazing
weeks where we found all of these people who let us teach them the
message of the restoration and then when we asked them to commit and to
hear more they slowly fell off the planet. But there was one man named
Venturino who was just amazing we gave him a pamphlet in a train station
and he called us and told us he wanted to read the Book of Mormon. He is
in retirement so he likes to be outside all the time and to take walks
by the sea. He says that the Book is too heavy to carry with him and he
has already read all of the pamphlets that the church produces. So he
has this idea that God exists because one time it was raining and he
prayed for it to stop so that he could cross the area that was not
covered and the second he stepped out from under the cover it stopped and
when he got to the other covered side of the street it started again. So
me and Sister Barth prayed that it would rain so that he could stay at
home and read the Book of Mormon. The next 4 days it rained practically
nonstop. No one wanted to see us. We did finding work all day long for
4 days in the rain, joking that Venturino had better be reading. When
we called him he told us that the more he read the more bad things kept
happening in his life. Like his car broke down and he couldn't sell his
house because the deal fell through etc. Anyways we had a zone
conference where all of the missionaries meet for trainings. The Assistants
there gave a training where they read a quote by Gene R. Cook where he
talks about how he doesn't know of a single prayer prayed by a missionary
that meets certain conditions he named that hasn't been listened to by
God. I know that God provides a way always for his children, even when
his servants and missionaries are just normal people who mess up, who
aren't perfect but who try to with conviction help the spirit touch the
hearts of his children. I know that God listens to our prayers for the
people we love and teach and serve, then they need to chose what to do
with the miracles and the chances and the atonement that God has provided
for them. I love the power of prayer, through which we have a prophet
on the earth and a knowledge of the true nature of God.

This week we saw the Pantheon and also a church where they dug up a
grave yard and decorated the whole church with the bones of the dead monks
and babies in the graveyard. The only room in the church where the
walls are not totally full of bones make into patterned decorations is the
chapel where the ceiling is a giant painting at the top of which is
depicted Jesus Christ handing a crown to an older man who looks almost
exactly similar to him. It makes me think of (The glory be thine). We
taught a group of Catholic theology students who tried to explain to us
this week why the trinity makes sense and why the great apostacy never
happened. The irony of this made me laugh then want to cry. Sometimes when
people tell me the great apostasy never happened, I go home and read
the chapter in Jesus the Christ and then I am like... oh yea it really
did happen. Then I see evidences of truths lost all around me and I am so
grateful for such a merciful and loving God who restored the
priesthood di nuovo on earth. All we have to do is read the Book and pray, and
we can know for ourselves. I ask myself so often why people don't just DO
IT... but that is a topic for another day and I am alas out of time if
you are still even reading this email.
Vi Voglio Molto Bene

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