The coolest thing this week though was meeting our new mission president! President and SIster Pickerd are so amazing! We had an hour on Saturday night to sit with them just the 14 of us that are going to Rome and talk to them about anything and everything! President Pickerd is 6'5" he's so tall but probably one of the nicest men I've ever met! They're from Arizona and they both served in the Italy Rome mission back in the 70's when there wasn't even a church owned building in all of Italy and now there is a temple being built on a 16 acre lot in downtown Rome! Such a crazy change and so apparent that the Lord is hastening His work!
On Sunday we got to leave the Prison compound to walk down to the BYU Morris Center for lunch! They made a huge steak dinner for all 2000 of us and it was actually pretty good! It was nice to see the outside world too! All the people in my zone that went to BYU were super weirded out though because that's where a lot of them ate when they were at college.
We also watched Meet the Mormons on Sunday night! I've seen it a couple times but I love it so much! Especially the story! If you haven't seen it (Whether you're Mormon or Not!) you should check it out! Last I knew it was on Netflix but if not my parents have it and I'm sure they would love to let you borrow it! It's a really cool movie that shows how we as Mormons are just normal people! At the end we all joined in with David Archuleta singing "Glorious" which is probably my favorite LDS song! Check it out!
We sang "Hurrah For Israel" which was really cool! It was a song written by prisoners in one of the Utah prisons, many of the people were LDS. When I think it was Ezra Taft Benson but that could be completely wrong, came to speak to the prisoners they sang it for him and the arrangement was given only to the MTC. It was a really simple and powerful song based off of some of the best modern day missionaries Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball. It was really cool and really powerful!
We got to do our Teaching Resource Center again this week but this time it was on Skype with a native Italian speaker! His name was Max and we shared a really cool lesson with him about using the sacrament to its fullest as well as our time each Sunday at church. Its amazing how much more we get our of church when we go with a question or a topic that we want to learn something about. I'm going to try and do that this week too! It was really fun to skype with someone who speaks fluently. At the end he spoke to us a little bit in English and told us that it doesn't matter how well we speak Italian, it matters more how we speak the language of the spirit.
The Italian is actually going pretty well! I actually love it so much! I can't wait to be fluent but I know its going to take some time! I've taken some of my language study time each day to read from the Italian book of Mormon and its actually helped a lot! I don't know all the words obviously but I can figure out the context which is really cool! I think sometimes we get lost in the English and over complicate the message but I can't do that in Italian so I get more out of it!
Another cool lesson with our fake investigator! We taught Sara the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is kind of a summary of the Gospel and we invited her to be baptized and she told us she was afraid. She didn't know if she had enough faith to be able to live up to the baptismal covenants. She said "You missionaries have so much faith to learn a new language and move across the world and give up two years of your life, I don't think I have that much faith" This was all in Italian and I had no idea what to say, so we sat there for a minute while I thought and a scripture came into my mind Ether 12:27 which says: "And if men come unto me I wil show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them" My companion and I were able to bare testimony that we are weak, we cannot do this alone but when we go to the Lord in Faith he will make us strong. THe spirit was incredible not because of anything I did but because we were able to listen to the spirit and even in our broken Italian we could convey a message of hope and faith. So my invitation to you all this week is to exercise that faith! I know that your faith will grow when you act on the faith that you already have.
I love you guys and I hope you know how much I love getting emails and letters from you all! Have a great week! I only have one more week and a few days here at the MTC! I should get my flight plans tomorrow!
Here is some Italian for ya'll!
Dio ci ama, e perche Dio ci ama manda suoi figli. Il vangelo e molto simplice! Vi voglio bene!
Anziano Jacob Bellucci
Italy Rome Mission