Monday, July 29, 2013

July 26, 2013

Elder Masimmo De Feo is the Area Authority Seventy over all of Italy.  He came to the villa and met with us and gave us counsel.  Until this past April Conference, he was the Stake President here in Rome.

Home Teaching Message

Our Home Teacher in Utah e-mailed us the following home teaching message:

The dictionary defines a pioneer as "one who goes before to prepare or open up the way for others to follow."  Missionary's may prepare & open the way for those seeking truth.  Those who listen may eventually be converted.  The missionary may move on but their name and message remain in the heart of that convert for evermore.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Prepare for Tomorrow

July 28, 2013

The Stake President, President Petrollini, gave a great talk in Sacrament Meeting in Terni.  He read 3 Nephi 17: 1-3:

        Behold, now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked round about again on the multitude, and he said unto them:  Behold my time is at hand.

        I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the father to speak unto you at this time.        

        Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.

Sometimes it's hard to understand everything, especially when we aren't prepared.  Christ promised the Nephites if they were prepared he would come unto them again tomorrow--and the next day and the day after that, and the day after that, and forever--but they had to be prepared to receive him.

In this time of "hastening", we are seeing miracles everyday because people are prepared to receive the gospel.  They know something is missing in their lives.  A simple conversation or act of kindness from a missionary opens the doors to eternal happiness.  The members in the Italy Rome Mission are beginning to get the vision as well.  It's amazing what members and missionaries working together can accomplish.  

When both missionaries and members are prepared to share the gospel, and nonmembers are prepared to receive it, great things will happen.  Right now we have a very young mission, but one year from now we will have a missionary force to equal nothing that has been seen before.  It's an exciting time to be a missionary.  I'm grateful to be part of it.


We had a missionary who was having some real struggles and decided to just leave the mission.  Miraculously, one of the members found him before he got very far and we brought him into the mission home with us for a few days.  He began to see the error of his ways and eventually decided to return to his area of service.  While he was with us, we had to run an errand and took him with us.  We're still struggling to find our way around so when we got to the round-a-bout, we missed the turn and had to go around again in order to get to the right turn.  Our missionary said "Thank goodness for round-a-bouts".

It struck me as a very profound statement.  We should all be grateful for round-a-bouts in our lives.  Sometimes we lose our direction and we are grateful for the opportunity to get back on the right path again.  If we sin, we have the opportunity to go back and do it right the next time.  

Many of our investigators are stuck in a round-a-bout and they just keep going around and around.  The missionaries come along and give them directions and they take the right exit and head down the path they should follow.

Our missionary had missed a turn in his life, but he was able to go around again, see the error of his ways, and get back to where he needed to be.  He is now following the path that will get him to the destination where he really wants to be.

Terni to Rome

July 28, 2013

It's expensive to drive in Italy.  Gas is expense and most of the freeway has toll booths.  If we travel great distances, we can easily pay $30 to $50 in tolls each way.

We were anxious to get to Terni this morning, so we took the toll road.  On the way home, we didn't have anything really pressing to get back to for a change, so we told Tom, Tom to avoid toll roads.  It took us longer to return to Rome, but it was a delightful road and we drove through a lot of little communities and saw some great sights.

We have been wanting to see the catacombes (catacombs) or cimiteri (cemeteries) of Italy.  We've heard a lot about them.  We were thrilled to see a sign today that took us to one.





How appropriate that the catacombes should have cats.


July 28, 2013

We rely heavily on our Tom, Tom navigational unit.  If we just trusted ourselves to get where we need to be, we'd never make it.  Even with the Tom, Tom, we find ourselves lost quite often.  We don't understand what she is saying or we realize too late that we should have taken the turn we just missed.  We usually wind up where we need to be, but even when we leave early, we're often late.  Even today we were late for church.  We couldn't get the Tom, Tom to recognize our location and even when we got that issue resolved, she wouldn't speak to us.  Finally Michael said "I hate the silent treatment."  I suggested we pull over to the side of the road and recheck everything and reset the voice.  Ecco!  It worked perfectly.  She started giving us verbal directions and we were able to drive the rest of the way without incident.  Unfortunately, when she said we had reached our destination, we couldn't find the church.  It was around the corner and about a block away.  We called the missionaries and they were right there to rescue us.

It was a really good feeling to finally reach our destination.

Life is a lot like using a Tom, Tom.  We often lose our way.  It takes someone with a bigger picture to help us find the way.  Even with guidance, sometimes we lose our way and we have to stop and re-examine where we are and where we are headed.  We have to ask for help and then be willing to follow directions.  Even when we think we have done everything we need to, there's still one more thing we have to do.  The scriptures tell us "Blessed is he that endureth to the end."  It's wise counsel that we should always remember.

Telephone Booth

July 28, 2013

On the way to Terni, I commented to my husband that I had never seen a telephone booth the entire time we have been in Italy.  I was shocked when I walked outside after church to take a picture of the missionaries and there was a telephone booth at the end of the street.

Missionaries love to have their pictures taken.  If there is a camera around, they are posing.  Sometimes it's hard to remember that they are still mostly young kids.  They love it when I call them on their birthdays just to say "Buon Compleano" or Happy Birthday.  I called a missionary early this morning to wish him happy birthday and he was so excited that somebody remembered it was his birthday.  They may be missionaries, but they are still human, and they love to be acknowledged and loved.