Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Italy, Week 21 (3/25/15) - BEST WEEK EVERRRRRR!

Ummmmm so this week was pretty much the greatest week we have had in my entire time I've been in Trieste. SO MANY MIRACLES. So warning, this email is probably going to be long and probably all over the place. Sorry! Anywho, so Thursday we had some plans that inevitably fell through, so we passed by a referral that we've been trying to meet for a while now, and of course no one was home. We had about an hour and a half and we didn't know what to do with it. So we said a little prayer and decided to go to a park that was close by and then just walk around that part of the city for a bit and find (people) that way. This park pretty much never has anyone in it, but we figured we had time so we might as well go. So we go and there was one woman. We started walking toward her but then she suddenly walked down this hill somewhere and disappeared. So we turned around and talked to a woman that had just walked into the park and she was clearly disinterested, but after talking to us for a bit about her beliefs she says "Excuse me, I have to follow the dog." And walks away. Yes, there was a dog, she didn't just make things up. Just using her resources as an excuse. Anywho, so the first one reappeared and we jumped on that. And she was amazing! Long story shorter, she said she's searching for the truth and asked why there are so many churches out there. What a great question!! SO we taught her the Restoration and set up a return appointment :) Woo! Friday was MIRACLE DAY. We taught an AMAZING lesson with the sister of a member and her husband and it was great! The member has been trying to work with her for like 30 years now, and she felt like she should give them a call and set up an appointment with us and they were like "yeah!! Come on over!!" They were soooo sweet and cute and definitely ready. We're so excited to continue working with them!
Then we had some time before another appointment, so we hit the pavement “finding.” And we found the most amazing miracle!! We stopped this one woman who was very preoccupied trying to find something in her purse. At first she seemed very uninterested, but was willing to talk with us. After a bit of talking and telling her that God is our loving Heavenly Father and he helps us with any difficulties in life, she just opened up. She's from Brazil and she has a very serious addiction that has become so bad that one time she stopped a stranger on the street to help her for a moment. She recognizes how bad it is and once so badly to be able to stop. We had the beautiful opportunity to tell her that we could help her with the knowledge we have and that God will help her. It was amazing seeing the change. At first she was very hard and kind of angry, but then the light of hope made her so much happier. You could see the hope in her eyes and it was soooo beautiful.
We've been praying for so long to find the people who are ready and who need help. Finally we're finding those people. It took some time, but it's happening! Never doubt that God hears your prayers!! It may take two months for you to find His answer, but He's always watching you and He's always there to help. He loves you! He never ignores you. Just remember to keep going forward, no matter how hard it is, and always look for the good and the miracles. You'll see them everywhere :)Then we had a beautiful lesson that night with a “less active” and she had a friend over who's family had taken lessons a bit but were scared off by baptism talk. This friend asked her about the church a bit and we were able to teach them together that night. She said she hoped that we could see her again and meet her brother! We sure hope so!! She's so cute!! 
Saturday morning we had our first lesson with a new investigator and it went well! We taught the Restoration and invited her to baptism! She said not now because she's scared, but she definitely wants to learn more because she sees a difference in us and likes that we do what we say. She's so great!!! That night we met a woman who the whole time we were talking was working really hard at rubbing my hand to make it nice and warm. It was soooo hard not to laugh. 
So our mission president gave us the goal to teach 15 lessons every week about a month ago and we have been unsuccessful up until NOW!!!! Sunday we had four lessons and about three hours to teach them. We were sooo determined!! AND GOSH DANG EXHAUSTED! BUT WE DID IT!!!! We showed ourselves it was possible, even here in Trieste! And that with God's help we could do it!!! It was so great!!!
Monday we got to go to the cutest city called Gorizia for district meeting and it was so fun! We brought banana bread and after everyone got a piece, there was just one slice left. And three Anziani wanted it. So what did they do to compete for it? Long jump, obviously. It was so entertaining. And somehow the smallest anziano won... I think there was a breeze that pushed him forward a bit.
Tuesday was THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVERRRRRRR. One, I have a greatest companion who made the cutest little Kinder egg hunt ever. Then she gave me one of her dresses that she knew I loved so much. And left cute little notes everywhere for me. Then we had a wonderful lesson with the woman we met in the park on Thursday and invited her to baptism. She said she wants to study more, but it's clear that she knows that when she knows it's true, she'll be baptized. We had piadinas for lunch and I opened my presents from my family. THANK YOU!!!! Then we got gelato with a young girl that we're working with which was fun! Plus, throughout the day I was getting phone calls from ward members either Auguri-ing me or singing to me and it was sooo cute. Then we had English class that night and our three students sang to me and one gave me a Kinder egg and took a thousand pictures of me. Then a ward member gave me SKIPPY PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!! And everyone was giving me big hugs and so many auguri's and little presents. THE MEMBERS ARE SOOOO GREAT!! I don't even know how they knew!!! We had told a few people and they must have just spread the word. They're so great!!  Then today we went to a castle which was built in the 1400's which was INCREDIBLE. SO COOL. And we went to a member's restaurant that he works at (the one that gave me peanut butter) And he gave us nutella crepes as a present. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!! Plus, birthday miracle, we got our letters a day earlier than normal so I got my mom's letter on my birthday!! GAH!!! I'm just sooo grateful for everyone. Then we ran to get little pizzettas at the end of the day and ate those after planning and chocolate cake. Gosh dang it, it was just so great. I just love you all soooo much!!! Thank you for everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Vi Voglio un MONDO di bene!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 Sorella Hawks :)

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