Hey Everybody! This has been kind of a short week since the last time I emailed, but it has been a week of miracles! Crotone is growing fast and we are so excited to be a part of it!
So since Wednesday we have been pretty busy, that night we went to Salvatore and Eleanora's house and did a little Family Home Evening with them, we talked about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon as a family and even though sometimes it can feel like a three ring circus to get it to happen it is so worth it and the blessings will come! (This is the family that I spent Christmas with) They have a 15 month old son named Giuseppe and Salvatore always calls me Zio Bellucci which is Uncle! Haha, I think Giuseppe just loves us because we will siut on the floor and play with him for a minute! Oh to be little...
Thursday we passed by some contacts that Anziano Allen and Anziano Friedman found on their exchange a couple weeks ago and we got to teach the Restoration a couple times. We walked along the beach/board walk and did some finding before English Course and then taught English Course, nothing too eventful!
Friday was weekly planning, always one of my least favorite days but it helps us so much to be ready for the next week. So I have an excuse to get up and walk around we usually make a ragu and let it cook all morning long so we have to get up and stir it. Planning went really well and we were done just in time for lunch! We recieved a referral from Bari, actually from a missionary that I knew from Sardegna and it was for a man named Giuseppe, he moved about 45 minutes away by train and he has a baptismal date and everything. SO we went to the Church to download all his info and give him a call. Well he moved here for work and he had to work on Sunday, but we are hoping to go and find him this next week! I found an old Teaching Record in the Area Book for a guy named Giovanni and we gave him a call and he said "Sure, come on over!" So he told us where he lived and we went over. I was looking up the stairs and I saw one of our English Course Students whose Dad's name is GIOVANNI! Everyone and their Brother in this country is named Giovanni, Antonio, Giuseppe, or Salvatore... Anyway it was a nice surprise! They invited us in and it was Giovanni, his wife, and their two kids. They made us some Herbal fennel drink and we kind of began to scope out their interest on the church... They said that they had talked with the Anziani in the past but never really understood everything. We shared a message about the Book of Mormon and about how Jesus Christ established a Church, a perfect Church and how the Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ. We want to keep teaching them as a family, it went really well!
As we were walking home someone yelled over to us in perfect English with no accent "Hey, are you guys the Mormons?!" We both turned and saw this group of people talking "I was actually just talking about you, my friend here needs to study English and I've heard about your English Course" Well I don't know how to Missionary in English, honestly I feel kind of handicapped when I try to talk to people about the Church or English Course actually in English, I feel like the words just don't come. So Anziano Allen came in clutch and started explaining it to him in English and then to the group of people in Italian. (Proud Mission Dad moment) Apparently he has been studying English since he was 10 and then went to America and taught there for two years so he speaks perfectly. Anziano Allen and I walked away and he said to me "I think his friend is going to come to English Course, and I think she's going to get baptized!" I felt the same way too, it was too perfect to be a coincidence!
Saturday we had ward council and went and sang some hymns to a Sister in the branch who is pretty sick. We sang "I know that my Redeemer Lives" and "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and the spirit was so strong! There is a scripture I think I have shared before but "The song of the righteous is a prayer unto me." Its true! Then we went to Centro and did a Gesso (The chalk and sheet thing!) Then of course Pizza after...
Sunday was my favorite that I have had here in Crotone! We got to the Church early and had everything set up and I had my iPad plugged in playing hymns on the sound system, and the spirit was already coming in as the members walked in. I gave a talk on Faith and Testimonies and the importance on relying on our testimonies in time of doubt and fear. I think it went really well and then our Branch President spoke as well. After my talk Oriana and Antonio walked in! Our investigators with the Baptismal date! They came to Church! We were some Happy Anziani! They stayed for all three hours of Church and Sister Bonzo went to Gospel Principles and said they had a great experience, and Antonio said the prayer!
On top of that Antonio's Aunt who is a less-active member came to church and then invited us to lunch! Turns out she is a dang good cook! She made us pasta with a homemade white sauce and broccoli and clams and then chicken and potatoes, we were so stuffed!
Then we went to pass by a bunch of less active members in the afternoon and none of them were home... we passed by a member's house and shared part of the Fourth Floor Last Door talk which is one of my favorites and he talks about relying on God because he can always see more than we can.
Thats pretty much the week so far! It was obviously a short one but it went well! I hope you all had a great week! I want to leave you all with my testimony that I know this church is true, Heavenly Father is in the details and he loves each one of you.
Anziano Jacob Bellucci