Miracles! I know I probably overuse this word but I just can't help it! They're everywhere! We found a family, an Italian family! Huge deal! Here's the story: so last Wednesday my front tire on my bike blew up. The anziani were super awesome though and let us use their bikes Wednesday night and Thursday morning to get to our appointments. They live closer to centro (downtown) so they could make it to their appointments too. To add to their awesomeness they even offered to fix my tire in the morning. After our first appointment in the morning they called us and asked us to unlock our bikes so they could fix my tire. Well on our way over Sorella Bowman suggested that we ride through a park which we NEVER go through because apparently it is a "Red Zone". She had also met some creepy people there so we avoided the park at all costs but for some reason we we decided to go through the park. As we were riding through, I was saying "Buongiorno!" to everyone like I always do. One man, who was sitting with his teenage daughter, said "Buongiorno" back then he said "Good Day" in English! Then I thought I heard him say "sisters" to his daughter. Woah, woah, woah, someone who knows who we are -- we HAVE to stop! But my companion was already way ahead of me, booking it through the park... Remember "red zone". Well I couldn't lose my comp., but I promised the Lord when we rode backthrough if they were still there I would talk to them. After we unlocked our bikes for the anziani I told my comp. we needed to go back and she immediately agreed. We sped back and by some miracle they were still there. Yay! When we started talking to them it was so easy. They had met missionaries in Reggio Emilia but they didn't really know much about theChurch at all. We showed them the Book of Mormon and he, the father, immediately asked where he could buy one. Of course we gave him the copy we had and he was so honored. He said that he believes in Christ and all but be just doesn't feel like he has found a church that fits his beliefs. His daughter is amazing too, she is 18 and curious. She isn't like a lot of the teenagers here who could care less about God and religion. They asked if we could exchange numbers, addresses, and then they asked to set up an appointment so we could explain more. Hey, that's our job! Our appointmentfell through because their mom is out of town, but I know we are going to meet with them soon. They are so amazing! So humble, so curious, I know they can be a HUGE strength for this ward here in Modena. I am so thankful for the Spirit and how we were led straight to them. I am still learning how the Spirit works in my life but there are some days like that daywhere I know exactly what the Spirit is telling me to do. It was amazing to see after looking back, how many little things added up so we could be in the right place at the right time so we could meet them (broken bikes, no water in our apartment, weird phone numbers in our phone, etc.) I am so thankful that I can so clearly see God's hand inthis work. He is with us everyday!
This past week we have been blessed with meeting a lot of new people. That same day a woman called us and said she used to come to our church and wants to meet with the missionaries again. Miracle! Also we met another ex-investigator from Iran. She is amazing, she says she will never change religions but she already follows the standards of our church more than her own, She just a needs a testimony of the Book of Mormon and she is good to go ;)
On Monday at the end of my personal study I realized I had been so focused on preparing for our upcoming lessons that I hadn't even taken a second to read out of the Book of Mormon. I opened it, and read just one verse, 1 Nephi 18:3:
And I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft, and I did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things.
This verse really meant a lot to me because I have seen it work this week. I had been concerned with finding more people to teach. As I took my concerns to the Lord in prayer, he showed me great things. I know prayer works. I know that the more sincere and the more often I pray the more happy I am. I know I can trust the Lord with anything. After pondering that, that morning for district meeting we talked about prayer: "The success of a missionary depends upon the depth of hisspirituality. It's manna, it has to be gathered everyday: and the way is through prayer." -A. Theodore Tuttle
On Friday we a Multi-culture Ward Party. Everyone was supposed to bring food from their home country or city. A lot of members brought food from Puglia. My favorite dish was from Lithuania! It was some kind of Potato Dumpling. We decided to make cherry pie because we had a billion cherries given to us by members (this region is known forits cherries, they are amazing!). The only problem with that was that neither Sorella Bowman nor I had ever made cherry pie -- EVER! With that said I would say that it turned out really good. All the members loved it, but none of them had never had cherry pie before so it's not saying a whole lot. The anziani made apple pie.
On Sunday we had a Sacrament meeting dedicated to missionary work. I gave a talk, and my companion played her cello. On Saturday night I had my talk all ready to go but as I was sitting in bed I decided to change everything. I was thinking about how we are called "Mormons". I know we get the nickname from the Book of Mormon but I was still pondering on why do we use this name. I think our mission scripture explains it really well: And behold, I am called Mormon, Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.3 Nephi 5:12-13So we, as Mormons, are all disciples of Christ. We all have a work to do. "All the easy things that the Church has had to do have been done. From now on, "it's high adventure, and followership is going to be tested in some interesting ways. You have been sent to earth in this dispensation of time because of who you are and what you have been prepared to do! Regardless of what Satan would try to persuade us to think about who we are, our true identity is that of a disciple ofJesus Christ!" -Elder Neal A. Maxwell
We had interviews with President Dibb last Thursday. We got to go to Bologna to do them. It was great to go back and see Bologna but the best part was that I got to see Sorella Distante! It was so great to talk to her and see how everyone inBologna is doing. She said some of the investigators are progressing really well but some others are struggling. I left some notes for some of the people there and hopefully I can get in touch with some of them through email. But, I knowthe Sorelle there are taking care of them. I know the right Sorelle are there.
Oh, speaking of miracles! Did I mention Patrizia is getting baptized on Tuesday! She is the one that we set a date with thefirst day of this transfer. She is ready, and was ready on the original date we set, but the baptismal font was not. There was something wrong with the water spout so we had to push the baptism back a couple of days. It was a huge bummer but now she is going to be baptized the same day as her friend Gianni! We are doing it on Tuesday because President asked us to do these two baptisms before transfers. We will get transfer news on Saturday. I hope I stay because this transfer flew by and there are so many amazing things happening here in Modena. We are seeing miracles daily and I am excited to see this Ward grow.
And then today... We went to Verona! Yes, Romeo and Juliet Verona. Verona is a beautiful city and we had a lot of fun! Next week, I will send my pictures from my camera. This is Castelvecchio. There is a white arc (center left) in thepicture that has been around since the time of Christ :)
Thank you for the awesome FHE ideas! It is starting to pick up here.
I hear it stopped raining so much in Texas. We had a good thunderstorm here on Saturday. It reminded me of home. We did our nightly planning on our balcony to watch the lighting until it started pouring on us!
Hope everything else at home is growing great! Hope this email makes sense, we had a crazy week and I think the emailturned out a little crazy... Oh well!
Sending miracles and prayers your way,
Sorella Dani Hamblin
P.S. We have p-day on Tuesday next week because the group that is going home at the end of this transfer is so big that they are doing transfers a day early.