This week has been one of the best weeks of my mission from the beginning! I have felt so much of God's love for me and for all of his children and it has been so good! My testimony of God knowing each one of us is something that has grown so much in the last few months. He knows us individually and personally and he loves us!
On Monday just shortly after the activity that we had I had the incredible opportunity to see Sam enter the waters of baptism and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was an incredible baptism and I was really glad to be a part of it. Sam is about 40 years old, he came to Italy legally on a VISA that has since expired and so he is technically a refugee but he is very well educated. He studied theology in Nigeria and is very well versed in the Scriptures. He has come to Church every Sunday for the last year as he has been investigating, he wanted to make sure he was ready and that he had received his own personal testimony before taking this step. Life as a refugee here in Italy is rough but the true happiness that was evident in his face was incredible. You could tell that he truly felt the power that comes from a remission of your sins and the constant companionship of tyhe Holy Ghost. This was a success for the Senior Couple Anziano and Sorella Fitzner as they have worked with him from the beginning and are very much like his "parents" in the Gospel and rock of support. After the baptism and the Confirmation of the Holy Ghost Sam gave Anziano Fitzner the biggest hug I've ever seen, I thought he was going to break him in half! But the moment was so tender.
Tuesday morning I woke up sore from too much volleyball... so worth it. We had to take our car to go get new tires and brakes with the Fitzner's car too. They did the Fitzner's car first and we decided to leave Gina (Our Car) so that we could go to DDM. We've been talking so much about Young Single Adults lately and how we all want to work with them more and get members involved in the work but we've noticed that we talk a lot of talk but nothing is happening so we decided to come up with some measurable goals and keep each other accountable for them! I hope it works!
Bari is known for its Focaccia which is like pizza bread... I don't know how to explain it. It's like a pizza but it's super thick and then they put like whole tomatoes on top and olives too but those are gross. Anyway the focaccia here is so good! I usually don't like it, it's usually doughy and just not super good but we got some for lunch after DDM and it was dang good! Gina wasn't ready yet by 1:30 when she was supposed to be ready at 11... I love Italians.
Wednesday was so good! We got up early and left the house early to head to Foggia for an exchange with Anziano Osmond and Anziano Simonsen! These two Anziani are incredible, they're just doing great work up in Foggia and we had a great Scambio. Anziano Osmond is in his second transfer so he's still in training but he seems like a seasoned veteran. He speaks the language really well and he has a good head on his shoulders. Obviously his Dad is Donny Osmond and so we were listening to music on my iPad and a song from Mulan came on and he was like "That's my Dad!" It was funny. He thought it was funny that I knew the song "Puppy Love" apparently only Old people are allowed to know that... Anyway we had a great exchange, and I was bummed to leave Foggia on Thursday morning!
Saturday we had a pretty good day! We spent the morning around Bari and then we came back for our "Italian Class" with the member that lives upstairs and it was a lot of fun. We've been playing games where you have categories like jobs, animals, food, body parts and then she gives us a letter and we have to come up with a word for each category... it's real hard! But it's good to learn new things! Afterwards we ran downstairs to get lunch going. I made lunch for everyone and then I took Anziano Whitaker in the car to Trani to do the baptismal interview for Francesco. He did a great job and is super ready! We got the baptismal program planned out and ready to go and had a great "mini exchange" for a few hours. So the lady that lives above us that teaches us Italian has a big Golden Receiver named Luka, he's kind of obnoxious and barks a lot but we love him! So we went with her to take Luka for a walk and then did a Family Home Evening together complete with panzarotti (Sergi's pizza Rolls) and a game. We had a great time and I think the message was exactly what she needed!
Sunday I got to go to Church in Bari Libertà for the first time ever! I went with Anziano Carroll to Libertà and Anziano Wilkey and Anziano Bowers went to Bitonto. Sister Bellomo is Italian and she only has three transfers left, she's been learning English but is a little bit afraid to speak even though she speaks really well. She wants to learn how to live translate before she leaves and so I gave her the translator and she started freaking out! I wouldn't take it back so she kept trying to give it back. After a few minutes I left her in the back to translate and she did a great job! We can do hard things! After Church we went with the Petroni family and it was super good! I also set up 3 appointments with members in the next week, it was nice to finally meet all the members here! I sat next to the Ward mission leader in Priesthood and said "Ok, who is ..." and it worked pretty well.
Then in the evening there is a Sister from the PoggioFranco Ward that got her mission call so they decided to have an activity centered around missionary work. It was... interesting... and in the end she opened her mission call to the Milan Mission!
Today we have had an awesome Zone P-Day! We had everyone come in to Bari to play volleyball together and we definitely had a great time! None of us are super good but it was well worth it and I think it was a success. I'm super tired now and I'm ready for bed but we get to go work for a few hours first!
I love you guys and I hope you are having a good week!
Love Anziano Bellucci