Monday, March 2, 2015

Italy, Week 17, (2/25/15), Buses Come and Go, but Calcetto is Forever

Hello my beloved family and friends! I love you! Also, this week was great! We had a youth activity after P-day last Wednesday and it went really well! We had a scavenger hunt around the center of the city and we had to take pictures of different statues and other whatnots around the city. it was so fun! Afterward we had pizza and OREOS and ROOT BEER!!!! It was soooooo yummy.The next day was a little rough. Our investigator who is super interested that we had met with the week before and had another appointment for that morning called us and said she fell and was in the hospital (she's 7.5 months pregnant). So we're very worried about her. We've trying calling and texting to see if she's okay, but she hasn't been answering. Please keep her and her baby boy in your prayers. That night we had another lesson with an investigator we taught a month before. She's the one who we had that amazing lesson with and the Spirit was so strong and we broke down a few of the walls that were holding her back. We were really excited to teach her the Plan of Salvation and it was going really well until we got to the end. She said she believes in reincarnation (although she's confusing it with the Resurrection...) and that she's convinced. We asked if she's prayed about it to know if it's true and she said "no. But I'm conviced this is how it is" and we kept trying to tell her she needs to pray about it to know if it's true but she just would not listen to us and kept interrupting us. As soon as we were out of that lesson I just lost it. The Spirit is always incredibly strong in our lessons with her and I feel God's love for her so incredibly strongly every time. But she won't accept it. But I can see it in her eyes that she knows it's true, deep down, that her Spirit is crying out, but she won't let it. She won't listen for an answer from God, and she won't let the Spirit touch her heart, or at least change it. At the end of our lesson, she paused and asked " Are you always happy?" And we testified about how yes, we are. That yes, we still have challenges and we do get down, but we're still happy. We have this eternal, fullness of joy that even when we're sad, we still know that we have eternal potential and that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is always there for us. She said Happiness is a strong word, but we told her that we can say that we are truly happy, always, without a doubt. I've never felt so heartbroken in my life as I did after that lesson. I've never really known the true meaning of devasted until after that lesson. I can only pray that someday she will recognize the truth and be open to it.
This past weekend we had a LOT of conferences. We had Zone Conference on Friday and it was sooooo good! We learned SO much and it was an answer to a lot of my prayers. It made me want to go out and teach EVERYONE. Not just stop them, teach them!!! Plus, we got to watch Meet the Mormons and eat popcorn :) We also found out that Elder Bednar is coming in April!!!! Just for our mission!! GAH!!!! SO STOKED. THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST YEAR EVERRRRR!!!! With the Rome temple coming and everything! :D 
Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference and we had two members of the 70 there because they changed the stake presidency. Elder Texiera and Elder Defeo (sorry, don't really know how to spell their names) came and spoke both nights and it was sooo great! And our girl Susanna from our ward bore her testimony because she left Monday for St. George! Keep an eye out for Sister Mervar!!! She'll be in St. George in 2 weeks!!
This week we met a woman who had taken the lessons a long time ago but stopped because life got crazy. When we found her, she said she would love to learn more and really enjoyed the lessons she got before and that she will come to church next Sunday!!! Fingers Crossed!!! She's soooo nice!
Yesterday we had a lunch appointment with this sweet woman named Paola and man, she's so sweet, but she just really likes oil. I had a pool of oil on my plate after that meal. First Pesto pasta. Then veggies that she COVERED in oil. What's the point of veggetables if you pour oil all over them? No point. Then we had these fried cheesey, mushroomy, prosciutto-y things that were delicious, but fried in oil. the only things we ate that weren't oily were the dessert... Which doesn't really count. I still feel a little sick thinking about that meal. It was delicious, don't get my wrong, but i could feel my insides just covered in oil. 
Today we saw Miramare!! The big gorgeous beautiful wonderful castle on the OCEAN that Trieste is well known for and it was BEAUTIFUL. 
All in all it was a really great week :) Also, Calcetto is Foosball (don't know how to spell it.) aka, little soccer. Gotta love Italy :)
I love you all soooo much! I think and pray for each of you everyday! I love you so so so so much! Vi voglio un MONDO di bene!!!
Sorella Hawks :)
PS  Also, some funny #italy moments that I saw this week: One man we said hello to had a cigarette in one hand and an inhaler in the other.A woman was really struggling to light her cigaretter (oh, the Bora is back. Not as bad, but still pretty close...) When we saw her later, she was crouched behind who I assumed to be her husband or at least friend, trying to light her cigarette, using him has a shield from the wind. 

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