This week I was reading in the book of mormon in Alma 14 which is about Alma and Amulek. They are both amazing people and went through so many trials during their time preaching the gospel. They were smote several times, mocked, spit upon, laughed at, and etc. They truly recieved almost all forms of ridicule. In one verse Alma cried," How long shall we suffer these great afflictions, O lord?" As I read this I thought to myself how in life there are so many times where we think to ourselves "How long will I have this trial?" or "why does this trial have to happen to me?". But I love how these men continued on. Through all of these trials they continued doing the work of the Lord. I thought about this alot because as a missionary we recieve some much criticism from people everyday I can understand how Alma and Amulek felt when people reject what we say, when we are mocked for being so young, etc. But I have yet again realized how grateful I am that I can represent Jesus Christ for a year and a half of my life and talk about him everyday.
Although there are moments when people are rude and tell you that you look like dracula or that you are so young to have experienced any trials...It is those sweet little tender mercies that I am so grateful for each day that I have to be here.
We decided to do some whiteboard finding work this past work and we wrote "What makes you happy" and drew a smiley face above it. We recieved lots of great responses.. "Gesù!", "sole"..but my favorite that made us laugh was when I asked this old man probably in his 70's or 80's this question and I just smiled at him and pointed at the board. The old man smiled and said as he caressed my cheek "Looking at a pretty girl like you"...Sorella Roth and I just started busting up into laughter. It is the little moments..mamma mia..too good.
We had a wonderful miracle this past week. We were on the tram and we both wanted to speak to someone before we got off the tram. There was an old womn..But she kept falling asleep. I told myself "as soon as she opens her eyes you are going to talk to her and compliment her on her hat"..she never woke up..then three old italian women walked on the tram. I thought to myself "Yes! I am going to talk to them! I am so excited to talk to these cute old women"..Then they all started doing Italian Sign Language to one another.. caspita..
We were both just praying in our hearts that we would be able to speak to someone. Then a woman and her son get on the tram. They sat next to Sorella Roth. Her nametag was perfectly facing this woman and the woman starts talking to her and asking about the church. She tells her son probably 9 or 10 years old "They are from the church that you have been wondering about". We talked to her and told her that we are going to have an open house of our church and that we also do english class. She was so excited. It was really cool because we made english class flyers the day or two before and changed the location to the church. She was so excited because the english class will be held in the church because she wants to visit it. After she asked us if we wanted to meet her other son and her husband. So we met them all as well. She told them "These girls are from the church that you all have been wondering about!" So know when have this woman's number. We hope that they will be interested in the gospel because It was such a miracle that we met here because we have been praying and fasting because we are trying to find new investigators. Vediamo. They are so great and they are such an elect family prepared to recieve the gospel.
Tram is wonderful. I love it! We also met a woman this week who knew about Torrance, california because she lived in ca for three years. We meet lots of good people on the tram.
Well all I can say is that I love blood oranges! They are so delicious and are my favorite fruit that I have had in Italy. They are my go to questi giorni.. Much better than the cachi. Also dessert polenta? who knew? it is a real thing and tastes delicious.
This week the snow is supposed to come. It should be interesting. ha I am going to Verona this weekend for a scambio and saturday I will hit my 9 month mark in the mission! yay!
I love Italy. I still don't speak Italian very well but I love the culture here. I love how they use their hands when they speak (I do that now), and just their love for life. I love these Italian members. We have a ton of great members from Ecuador and Bolivia.
Every once and awhile I have to take a moment and stop and realizing everything that I am doing. It is crazy how now I just start speaking to people on the street with no fear. Not every moment in perfect or easy, but I am grateful to be here.
Sorella Rebecca Carter