Carissima Famiglia Mia!
Sounds like you had a fabulous week! What a fun Easter!!! I certainly had quite the Easter experience here too! Sunday we went to church and I got asked to share my testimony about the Savior... how neat! It was really so great to have the opportunity to bear testimony about the Savior on Easter Sunday, on my mission, in Italy. After Church we went with the Pirondini Family for Easter lunch. This is the family of our Bishop here in Verona. They have 6 kids and 5 were there with their spouses and grandkids so I felt right at home. It was soooo wonderful! Then we commenced the eating process.... 1. pasta 2.crepes 3. 3 different types of meat, veggies, bread 4. Uova di Pasqua (this is a gigantic chocolate easter egg. It is a tradition here in Italy. They don't do Easter baskets but instead have these giant chocolate eggs,and inside there is a suprise!) 5. Colomba (a dessert shaped in the form of a dove for easter) 6. Dessert!!! It was a joyously lovely day filled with eating and fun! It was so great to be with their whole family. We laughed a lot and I impressed everyone with my abilities to finish a rubix cube (the suprise from the chocolate egg). All in all it was a wonderful and memorable easter! OH! And Easter morning we had our American Easter! Mom thanks so much for my Easter basket! It was perfect! And I hid my companions basket! She was thrilled to go on a hunt for it! It made my day to see her so excited ;) She thought the whole thing was simply splendid and decided she wants to do that tradition for her kids! Then we had a delicious breakfast of french toast- complete with strawberries and whipped cream! Needless to say I ate enough for a week in 1 day! I was fabulous!
The day after Easter is also a Holiday here in italy... it is called the Pasqueta. As a result no one was really feeling the desire to listen to us. But we did have a ward activity and went on a little "Hike" around the wall of Verona and got to see the whole city. It was beautiful and soooo fun to be with the members!
This week has been so busy and full of miracles. Since last wednesday we Taught a woman named Yamilka. She met missionaries ages ago and we called her and set up an appointment. We watched "FInding faith in Christ" for Easter and asked her about who the Savior was for her. Turns out she doesn't have a religion at all and has litterally been searching all her life! We then ended up explaining the first lesson and bearing testimony that the church is true!!! She told us that in all her life she has never felt something like she did with us... i.e. THE SPIRIT!!! It was soooo neat! We go back to teach her tonight!
Also Tuesday we had a really neat finding experience. We set out to do some casa (appartment buildings) Usually you have to first get through a gate by ringing and asking someone to let you in. THen you have to do it again to get into the appartment building. If no one lets you in then you can't even begin knocking doors. Well we walked past a gate and noticed it was open so we walked in... well It lead us to not one Building, but an entire complex of buildings... we were in finding heaven!!! But after the first palazzo (building) we had to go to an appointment. We were sad because we didn't know if we would get back in to this place again. But we went... and got a bidone (they weren't there). So Slla Laratro said "Slla we have to back to where we were." We go back and found on the back side of the complex another gate open!! So we started on the first palazzo we came to. We got in and started knocking every door of the building. No one opened. We always start at the top and work our way down. We were on the 2nd floor when finally a man opened. He was an older gentleman who had just gotten back from a trip and was in the middle of the changing process... thus had a white tank top, pants unzipped, and belt undone. Yep, I was like OH dear. But we went for it. "Ciao, siamo due missionarie della chiesa di Gesu' Cristo...." and told him we had a message about families. He said it was a bad time but we asked if he had a family. He said yes. Well turns out Alessandro had just gotten back from visiting his grandkids. His love for them was so apparent. We couldn't go in but he hurried and brought a big frame with the pictures of all his grandkids and told us their names and ages. We asked about his wife... and he began to cry. She passed away 2 months ago from a tumor. You could just see that his heart was absolutely broken. He told us how much he loved her and how long they had been together. We bore our testimonies that he would see his wife again and ended up saying a prayer with him in the door way. Just as he shut the door a woman walked down the stairs. She said... "Are you mormons?" We said yes! We walked out of the palazzo with her and started talking. She had come to her moms house because she was missing her... her mom passed away 4 months ago!!! WHAT?? Again... we bore strong testimony of the Plan of Salvation again!! And where able to Give Grazia (her name) a Book of Mormon. Well we had to go to another appointment so we walked out of the complex and saw a girl on the street. We stopped her and told us who we were. This girl, Laura lost her father a year ago. AGAIN!! The plan of Salvation!!!! Honestly it was a miracle to me! We were supposed to have an appointment at that time, but following the spirit went back to that palazzo and met 3 people who needed to know about the plan their Heavenly Father had for them and that they will see their loved ones again. It was such an amazing day!
I love how Heavenly Father is so present in our work. He and our Savior guide and direct us! It is soooo apparent! They guide us not only as missionaries but also in our lives! I KNOW THIS IS TRUE!! AND I KNOW THEY HAVE A PLAN FOR US!!! How grateful I am for the knowlege that families can be together forever. As I talked to each of these people I thought a lot about you guys. I was thinking how thankful I am for an incredible family and for the knowledge that I get to be with you forever (whether you like it or not ;) ) Guys, the church is true. Point blank! I love being a missionary and getting to share this with others! I am sooo glad you had a fun Easter! Keep doing lots of fun things together because man... the family is where it is at!
Sorry this is so long today but I didn't write yesterday because We had Zone Conference. It was wonderful...literally a spritual feast! My mission president is SO inspired and so is his wife. We learned so much about the power of prayer and about presicion. Stephen Allen came to the Mission and taught some of the missionaries, they related what they learned to us yesterday. He told us about Naval Fighter Pilots. They have to land a 54,000 lb plane on an Air Craft carrier. Thus they have the space of about 100 yards to go from 150 mph to 0. And this happens in about the space of 2 seconds. He said that everything about landing these planes is about Precision and Deviations. Thus he explained that deviations in this work,one wrong move, 1 degree off on the angle, 1 second off on the timeing can literally be deadly and you have to be 100% precise. They applied this to our lives and missionary work and Encouraged Precision!! We learned that we must live a precise life and then be willing and striving to fix our deviations, because it makes all the difference! Wow... I just learned soooo much and loved it!!!
I miss you oodles and hope you have a good week! Thanks for the letters! Keep praying and reading alright?