The foto uploader is taking forever, so Idk how many photos I will send this week. BUUUUT, this week was fantastic! Wow, was it hard, but it was really great. Maybe if I start from yesterday and go backwards, that will help me remember all the best things from this week!
So, my favorite bit of spiritual knowledge that we discovered this week was in a talk from the 2008 General conference when Anziano Bednar (he is so cool!) gave a talk about how to say more meaningful prayers. He recounted an experience from when he and his wife were at BYU-I, giving a talk or something like that and they suddenly found our that a dear friend of theirs had passed away. Anz. Bednar and his wife had decided that they would offer a prayer on the family's behalf, asking for help for the family. But, when they were about to pray, an apostle suggested to pray only in gratitude. Sorella Bednar offered a prayer of gratitude for the Plan of Salvation and for the doctrine of eternal families, and both she and Anziano Bednar felt more comforted than they could have if they had prayed for anything else. Maybe this seems kind of crazy that a prayer of gratitude to God can change our outlook on anything and everything, but I know that it is true. The scriptures always tell us to pray in gratitude whenever possible, and there is a reason for that. I have found since listening to that talk that, if I offer prayers full of gratitude, I will be lifted up in happiness and my perspective is better that is otherwise would have been. I invite you all to try this! Especially to try saying prayers of only gratitude. The results are very cool.
You can find the full story here under the 2nd point:
So, Church was really great too! We tried to pick up one of our investigators to come to church with Sorella Mazzolari, and it ends up that she didn't want to come because she had promised us the other day that she would come and be ready by the time when we would pass by, buuut it was not so, bro! It was kind of sad, but I think that going to pranzo at the Mazzolari's house made it all better!
They are seriously one of the most funny, scerzose families that I have ever met! They are really kind, and Sorella Mazzolari told us that she was 1.) the first female waitress in Taranto, and 2.) she and her husband were the first couple to be married in the church in Taranto. It was pretty cool! And their son, Manuel, reminds me a lot of Andrew because he always has headphones in and he loves rock music! Manuel is a really great kid. I think him and Andrew should be friends, haha. :)
Also! Ofori is doing great! We have been working with him to quit smoking, and he really wants to quit, but he is having some issues with stopping completely and with alcohol because he has been doing these things for years now, even since he was with his family in his home country. And, it is great to meet with him not only because we get to talk about the Word of God, but also because he tells us a little more of his story every time. This time, he told us this story about how he has had a fear of women since he was a kid because he had a dream about a woman frying him. Then he recounted a conversation with his friends (all this cam up because he said that when he talks to us, he feels like a sinner in church, but he also appreciates the help that we are giving him.). And he said to this of this conversation:
"And I tell them, 'they are not my wives,' they help me!"
I imagine the conversation went like this:
Friends: Ofori, why do you talk with those girls so much? Are they your wives, or something?
Ofori: They are not my wives, you understand, they bring me the word of God.
Ofori is the greatest! :D I feel so grateful to be one of his missionaries!
Annnnd, we also have been trying to work with this one girl from English course who took the lessons in the past. She knows so much about the church and she thinks that the Story of Joseph Smith is beautiful. She speaks perfect English, and we have had to think of creative ways to continue being her friend, but to also reintroduce her to the Gospel. And it is going well! So, the other day, we went and got gelato and we were able to talk a little about her past experience with the Book of Mormon, and were ultimately able to leave a chapter for her to read. It was especially cool because she invited us to her house to come see her cat and to talk about the reading that she will have done. We love her! She is so great! :)
And, our friend, Collins is leaving for Denmark today... A week earlier than he had anticipated. So, he will not be able to be baptized here in Taranto... Just yet at least! He gave us another bit of info that he will return in 2 months, and he hopes to get baptized when he returns! But, we discovered that he lives in the Zone of Statte, and even though he spends a majority of his time at Piazza Garibaldi, we have to pass him off to the Statte Anziani when he gets back. No prob tho! Because either way, he will have made the first step on the "covenant path," as they say in General Conference, with the decision to be baptized and confirmed. Really, these are just the first 2 baby steps on a path towards eternal life and being able to be with our families forever.
2014/04/covenants-two-way- promises-with-god?cid= HPFR042514738&query=two-way+ promises+with+god&lang=eng
Well, that is all I have for this week. I sure love you guys, and I hope that all is well for you. Can't wait to write you all again this next week!
-Sorella Corey Cherrington
(Fotos: Us and Bianca, and me with the Mazzolari family! :D)