This will be a shorter email........so you can breathe deep and relax :)
It's Pasqua on Sunday!!!!
We had a miracle happen to us on Saturday. We live about a 10 minute walk from a trenino, a small ghettoish train that runs from the central station (Termini) out to the middle of nowhere. We were there on the platform and I started up a conversation with a woman beside me, and we continued talking after we got on the train. We exchanged numbers and she said that she was free on Sunday and we could meet up. I invited her to church and we decided to meet infront of Eurospin (grocery store) near the church to walk there together. (Its always a very nice surprise when people say they live near the church!). On Sunday, we waited infront of Eurospin and called her a few times and she didn't answer...then she called and said "I'll be there in a minute!" and she came! Her name is Mira and she is from Albania. She is AWESOME. We walked to church together and she was super involved in Relief Society (the lesson was on tithing and she talked about how important it is for parents to pay tithing to be a good example to their kids!!!) and she participated in Gospel principles and THEN she was mesmerized by the talks during sacrament meeting. They were on charity and gratitude. All of the members were super nice to her and she promised them all that she'd be back next Sunday. As we were walking her back to eurospin, she said, "I have a feeling that if I asked my Priest about this book (the Book of Mormon) that he would tell me bad things about it. I will just have to read it for myself and ask you to explain it to me." THEN she said, "I want you to meet my cousins, my sister, and a few of my friends. We need to meet up sometime this week and get a coffee and talk".
We went to find her house yesterday and she wasn't home, but she called us and said that she has another cousin she wants us to meet. She is great!!!! The Zone Leaders have challenged each companionship to set another baptismal date before Easter. We are still scratching away at the big pile of area book records we have, and we've only met a handful of them so far. We think Mira is our person. She is a miracle. While walking home from church, we could only marvel at how amazing that morning had been. The members are so incredible here.
Yesterday, while looking for Karol's house (a referral) we stopped a large man and asked him directions. He climbed into his truck and got out a map and missed the sidewalk on his way down and fell backwards. Good thing my feet are size 11. My left foot saved his life.
On Sunday, unbeknownest (sp?!?!?) to us, we spoke to the Pope's chef! She, Tiziana, is dating one of the members. Well, if we can't baptize the Pope just yet, we can sure baptize the chef! We are going to try setting up an appt to teach her. eheh.
On Friday, we were lost trying to find a member, Marcella. I looked in our phone and there was only one Marcella listed, so I called and it turned out to be someone else. She was so excited about our call that we set up an appt for the following day. We had no idea if she was a member or not. We looked up her address on the map and ....long story short, it was a miracle finding her house. Her street was like walking through the Harry Potter brick wall thing, like a hidden world. Anways, Marcella was waiting for us outside a big, abandoned building. Her first words were, "Don't be scared" and led us through the building which was full or trash and smelled terrible. She lives in one of the rooms. We sat at a makeshift table and while she talked, I couldnt help but feel overwhelmed at how blessed I am to have my life and all the things I have. She had surgery on her hand last year and it's all bent and useless because she couldnt afford to pay for the necessary physical therapy. Having had hand surgery myself, I encouraged her to just do daily hand exercises herself. Hopefully, she will be able to get some stiffness out and regain some use of her hand. I just wanted to wrap my arms around her and make her life alright. She is from Romania and has been a member for 6 years, and has been here for 4.
When we left, she begged us to not forget about her. We assured her that, "Ormai, siamo amiche!" We're friends, how could we forget about her? I want Lenora to meet her. We are excited that Pres. Kelly gave us permission to have Lenora join us for a couple of days. We are sure going to make her wish she'd served a mission :) haha.
I made a ginormous pot of soup and then.......Sorella Hashey mentioned that she doesn't like eating leftovers. I have sure had a lot of soup this past week.
In closing, I want to share a poem I really like.
Where shall I work today?
Master, where shall I work today?
My love flowed warm and free.
He pointed out a tiny spot
and said, "tend that for me".
I answered quickly, "Oh no, no there,
not anyone could see
no matter how well my work was done,
not that little spot for me".
When He spake He was not stern,
but He answered me tenderly,
"Little one, search that heart of thine,
are you working for them or for me?
Nazareth was just a little place,
and so was Galilee."
I am so thankful for the trust the Lord has placed in each of us to be His hands and help Him uplift and help those around us. I am grateful for all of you who have helped Him help me. Thank you.