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Feb 16, 2011

I miei amati fratelli e sorelle


I'll be honest. I felt like I was struggling a little the week before this. Things were just hard and I felt like I wasn't a good missionary. But then I remember all the times we talked about in the MTC how negative feelings don't come from God, even if they were the kind of negative feelings that make you want to be better, it still wasn't healthy. Because I was hung up on things like not talking to someone or not asking for a referral etc. etc.

I was thinking, am I even doing any good? am I helping the work here at all? I know all the things I need to do to be the best missionary and yet somehow I cant keep track of all of them at the same time. And then I got on my knees and said, Heavenly Father, I need a miracle. I need to know if anyone here even wants this gospel, this knowledge of eternity, this happiness. And right after I wrote that last email we went and did some shopping. We were on our way home and this girl on the bus goes, "Excuse me, were you talking about Jesus? I would like to hear more about that."

And Sorella Foote goes, "Um, yes!!" And all the sudden she is asking us about everything. And we switch numbers and set up an appointment. Then we have an amazing first lesson. We start with a prayer and afterwards she goes, "I just felt something inside" and I said, "that is the Holy Ghost. We feel these feelings of confirmation when something is right. When something is from God" And she nodded and then we taught her the Restoration. We gave her a Book of Mormon in Albanian. She asked "Why don't more people know about this book??" She would have come to church with us, but she said she wanted to come when we had the normal meetings so she is coming this week. We are meeting with her right after this and hopefully setting a baptismal date.

Then we are in the elevator and all the sudden we are talking to one of our neighbors about life after death. She was cynical asked us why we came on missions we said, "because we have a beautiful message to share" she said, "you all say that, is that something they tell you to say?" We said, no its just true. And all the sudden I am baring testimony of the Plan of Salvation and how God has a plan for each of us and that there is a life after death, because I just know. And she said she was impressed that we were answering questions that the priest she talked to couldn't answer, she said we could come teach her sometime, but we haven't been able to yet because she is never home.

Friday we got bidonned (stood up) but only after we had gone all the way to Adelfia so Sor. Iacovelli felt really bad and told us she would make us some hot chocolate. A young man came over and was showing her some machine she had ordered. We were laughing because he was trying to be the smooth salesman, but one part got stuck and he was like, "Um, do you have a knife?" Then he was going off about coffee and Sor. I kept saying how she didn't drink coffee and he was like, "this is really good, its only a little bit like coffee" and they were going back and forth. Then he goes out to his car to get something and she says we have to teach him the Word of Wisdom so he comes back and gives her something and she goes "now we want to give you something, sit down" and all the sudden we are talking about God and he tells us how many of his family members got cancer and once again we were testifying about life after death and he was like, "I hope so"

Then Sor. I calls a friend upstairs and we go to her and she is super catholic but said she was looking at other churches because the catholic church seems to be falling apart. And we talked to her about the temple and how families can be together forever. She has an adorable daughter and husband. The little girl loved me and before I knew it I was on the floor playing with a toy kitchen set.

With the Gravinas our last lesson got hijacked by Grazia, we tried to talk about putting the things of the Lord first but she always goes off about how her life is so hard and how she doesn't have time and she doesn't have everything that we want. We bore sincere testimony and promised her that she could have the things that she wanted (a united family, peace, security) if she would read and pray everyday. She took it as us saying that she doesn't do the things that she was supposed to, but I could tell that at least for a minute she was touched. And then Giacomo said "thank you for the things that you said" at the end when she wasn't listening. He came to Stake Conference by himself, during it Sor Foote asked, "Do you know this church is true?" "Yes." "Do you still want to get baptized?" "Yes" But he still doesn't feel ready and we are pretty sure its because his wife isn't supporting him. But he is so legit and sincere.

Before I forget, Jenkies, I love you, thanks for all the emails. You were a good step-mom. And that thing you said about just telling yourself you can do things and doing them? Just what I needed when I got that email.

Another fun story: The other day TJ missionaries stopped us and started talking to us on the street, they asked where we were from and we said United States and all the sudden they go, wait, your not from our church and we both realized at the same time and just started laughing. As we were walking away Sorella Foote goes, "Oh man, even the TJs think we are TJs!!" This is a common problem for us.

And meanwhile we have made friends with busdrivers and I have developed an addiction for cornetti (croissants) with Nutella. We bought too much chocolate when we got drug at IPERCOOP (the super grocery store) and I have a cold, of course, because being healthy is just not the way I roll (I promise Ive been taking vitamins).


Sorella Foote was my Valentine this year (and also her mom who sent us Sees candy! Thanks, Sister Foote!!) so I littered her area with inspiring pink post-it notes while she was in the shower.

THANK YOU to all of the beautiful Relief Society for the pile of Valentines. It was delightful.

We spent our valentines day (ironically) talking to/teaching lonely men with hopeless love lives and eating treats with the Anziani (who also have hopeless love lives, ha!) during district meeting. Not too shabby

One of the men the Anziani are working with brought us Focaccia and delicious chocolate, so all-in-all one of the better Valentines Days Ive had. ,)

During district meeting we were trying to ask the Anziani who one of the members name was and Sorella Foote goes, "I don't know, we just call them Lipgloss and Spaghetti" So now everyone knows we don't know peoples names. And there is rumors that the Anziani are getting pulled out of Bari next transfer (a week) so we are going to be in big trouble, ha!

Can you believe its been SIX MONTHS!?? I cant. Only a year left, better get to work..

Sorella Laws

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