OKAY OKAY! After reading all of your great emails, I am so excited to write about our week. Just imagine me yelling with excitement throughout the whole thing because if I were telling this in person, that’s what I would be doing….
We had an amazing week. We still contacted a lot of people that in the end we couldn’t find, contact, or that weren’t very interested. We still had appointments fall, investigators tell us in few words that they didn’t have time to hear us (a sign of lack of understanding of the greatness of this gospel message), and we still walked a lot and were tried mentally, emotionally and physically. But last Monday I received such clear revelation–If I am truly going to do the Lord’s exact will, my greatest desire, I MUST rely on Him. I must be worthy to receive and be sensitive to the impressions of the Spirit in every single moment. That requires humility and EXACT perfect obedience! My very very best. I found a great talk by President Benson about member-missionary work and we decided as a companionship to do all we could to show the Lord that we depend upon Him for all success in this area. We have felt the joy and seen the blessings of a more profound humility and dependence on our Savior. We have come home at night so tired! But with a sweet satisfaction after working diligently.
My short time here has been the happiest time of my life. I testify that our Heavenly Father wants to bless us and rejoices when we turn to Him. On Monday we received a reference of the Sisters in Minerva; a teenage boy who they had contacted in the street. When we called him that day, he wasn’t too interested and told us that he would call us when he could receive us. On Tuesday after lunch, I realized that his address was close to where we were! We felt like we should pass by, and we did. His mother came to the door and very shortly, told us that we could return the following day at 6 for half an hour if she had time. When we arrived at her door on Wednesday at 6:00 sharp, her attitude had changed. She sat down her 3 youngest children next to her and began to listen intently to our message. For me, it was such a beautiful testament of the way the Spirit truly can touch the hearts of the investigators. This mother expressed her desire to simply help her children be good people, follow God, and be happy. She teared up as we testified of the gospel our Father has provided to His children–the plan that allows us to know exactly how to be successful and happy in this life and, some day, be worthy to return to His presence as a family. We respected the time she had, and set a new appointment for this Wednesday. She apologized and told us that she only had half an hour every Wednesday to hear us. As she prayed to close our lesson, she was so sincere and it touched me. She asked for the time to be made longer so she could hear our message every single Wednesday. She told us she knew we were there for a reason. I know that many times, Heavenly Father has distinct ways of leading us to those whom He is preparing.
Marino was baptized this Saturday!! (His daughter told us that he and his wife woke up at 5 am because of their excitement). Marino arrived at the chapel with a big grin from ear to ear. He was GLOWING. I’m telling you guys, I’ve never seen a grown man glow like that. His children sang “Las Familias Pueden Ser Eternas” (English translation?) in the service and the bishop was crying. I love their family with all my heart. I love this ward! Marino brought cake for everyone at his baptism, and even though the water was completely cold, He came out of the water and into the baptismal service again with his great big smile. After his baptism, we had an activity which we had done MUCH planning for in which we showed “Meet the Mormons.” We had trained all of the organizations on how to contact their friends, why it’s so important, and given each one 4 or 5 invitations (including the Primary) so they could invite friends. We had a pretty good turnout and some of them even came to church yesterday.
Yesterday was one of the greatest days. A member accompanied us all day and we visited a great reference of her father with the whole family. She was very sincere and receptive and we are excited to work with her. The gospel is so beautiful, guys! It fills us with joy to testify of these beautiful and perfect truths! We felt as if we were walking on clouds yesterday, talking with everyone in our sight and sharing our great message. Sharing the gospel is what brings us true joy as children of God.
This morning, I was studying President Benson’s talk together with President Uchtdorf’s talk about grace from this last conference. I realized how greatly our missions and the grand plan of salvation are related. Nothing is possible without Jesus Christ. I love Him. I love his gospel. I love the loving Father that sent Him in order to allow us to return to His presence someday. Keep studying your scriptures! Keep praying! I love you all.
Hermana Christine Marcheschi