Thank you to all who have written me!! I absolutely love getting emails!! Everyone sounds so great!
This has been such an awesome week! It first started off when we went to "Padre Pio Land". It's actually a church 100% dedicated to the Catholic Saint Padre Pio. It is in a little mountain town called San Giovanni Rotondo. About 7 million people come to this shrine every year to pay homage to Padre Pio who died about 40 years ago. My entire district went (6 of us) and it was quite the sight to see six Mormon missionaries in the church. It is always interesting to learn about other religions. From what I know.. The Catholics worship Padre Pio because they believe that he performed 1/3 of the Atonement. (the other 1/3 by Mary and the other by Christ). The entire inside is completely made of gold and mosaics of Padre Pio on the cross with Christ. Padre Pios actually bones/body are also on display there. There were people praying and crying to the bones/body of Padre Pio. It was very interesting. Because we do not believe in Saints and we believe that Christ performed the Atonement by himself for us.... it felt apostate and kinda creepy. It didn't seem sacred...... just creepy. It was an interesting learning experience!
So the big miracle of this week started with what did NOT seem like a miracle.
Late on Monday night we got a phone call from our zone leaders. They continued to inform us that as a zone they set a new goal. We needed to have 10 meaningful gospel conversations--with a commitment-- EVERY DAY! I don't know what it is like for missionaries in other parts of the world but here in Italy that is very difficult. Most of the time our conversations are explaining that we are not nuns and people just want to know about America and come to our English class. So we were really stressed out about this goal. The next morning we were struggling. We were waiting for a bus and it was an hour and a half late. We were trying to talk to some people but everyone out in the morning is like 99 years old. We finally got on the bus and taught a lesson and then returned on a different bus. We got off the bus at a different place than usual but it was a miracle! Because.. as we were turning the corner a random girl (about 30 years old) stopped us. She said "sisters sisters... basta(stop)." We were like... what is going on? She introduced herself. Her name is Angela and she is a member. BUT she hasn't come to church in over a year because she lives in a town about 2 hours from the closest ward building. She doesn't have a car and the bus doesn't come on Sundays to her town. She asked if we could meet with her. We were like "OF COURSE!!" When does anyone ASK US to meet with them?! So on Saturday we took the longest bus ride up into the mountains to find Angela. (bonus of the trip... the radio on the bus played Shake it off by Taylor Swift and we had a mini dance party!) Anyways when we got there we found her and had the most amazing time. She is an opera singer, and she is living in this town because there is some prodigy teacher who lives there. She is been to the temple, and loves the gospel but she has been struggling lately because she has been alone and hasn't gone to church in over a year.
Earlier that morning-during my morning personal study- I felt like I should study the Atonement and the comfort that is given to us because God is always with us. I read the talk "None were with Him" by Elder Holland. I had no idea why I studied that but I did.
While we were with Angela I shared with her the message of the talk and the blessing that God is always looking out for us. It went soooo well!! I can already tell we will be great friends! Later that night before we went to bed she called us! She said
"I just wanted to call and tell you how much I appreciated you coming today! I felt the spirit of the Holy Ghost for the first time in a while. I have been thinking about the message you shared Sorella Fuller and it was exactly what I needed to hear!"
When she said that on the phone it was like God calling us and thanking us for our work. I felt like i actually made a little difference in the world. Our purpose as missionaries is to bring others unto Christ. Many times people think it is all about baptisms. But I know that you can bring others unto Christ IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS!! It was like a little "Its a Wonderful Life" moment!
Time is so short, so I send mi amore to you all. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about love! So xoxox to you all!