Is it really Week six already! Transfer calls are tonight! I think Anziano Jensen and I are going to stay another 6 weeks together! But no one knows! We'll see how it goes!
This week we had some ups and downs but it was definitely a successful week! Monday night we had... well I don't remember what we did. I'm sure it was good haha
Tuesday morning we had a skype Meeting with the Mission Leadership Council and it went pretty well. We each collected goals from the different Zones for how many baptisms and new Investigators we want to have in this next. The information we pulled in came out to like 40 baptisms and 425 new investigators... we decided we needed to keep it realistic and so we decided on 20 baptisms and 350 new Investigators for the month of September and I know we can do it!
We went to Sam's for lunch and correlation after and ate some amazing Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 food which was sooo good as always! Beans and rice and chicken... I know my Mom will be surprised because I hate beans but it has become one of my favorite meals! We had a correlation Meeting and then we went to help Sam... so Sam has a bird named Sunny and he doesn't fly except for when he's scared and he got scared the other day and ended up stuck in a tree... I know, a bird that doesn't fly... it was really sad though because he's like a kid for Sam. We tried to get him to come down forever but to no avail. Sam called later and said they got him to jump.
We met up with Frank at the train station to bring him to the drum circle and it was so good! Frank is an African contact that we met the other day, turns out he's 16. He's the youngest refugee I've met. He's here with no family and he's had a rough go. He explained that he just wants parents, someone to tell him what to do, where to go... more than anything he's just bored in the camp. He doesn't have much to do so he plays soccer a lot. He had a really good time at the drum circle, he had a smile a mile wide which was really good to see. We offered him a Book of Mormon after Italian class and asked to set up an appointment with him. He pulled out this tattered Bible and said "This is my power" you could tell he reads it all the time and he brings it literally everywhere with him.
Wednesday morning we got to go see Marco and have a super focused lesson with him. We taught him a really good Restoration lesson and we invited him to baptism on October 8th. He said "Can we make it the 5th? It's my birthday!" So we said of course! The spirit was so strong and I've already seen changes in his countenance.
In the afternoon we met with an African investigator named Trust, we haven't seen him in almost three weeks because he was out of town and so we were planning on doing a repass over the Restoration. We followed-up on him reading from the Book of Mormon and he said "Well the Book of Mormon is divided into 4 parts..." and continued to explain the difference between the small and large plates regarding spiritual matters and genealogy and then continued to explain who Mormon and Moroni are complete with the burial of the plates and the need for a Restoration and Joseph Smith being led to the plates. Well... he remembered everything! So we taught him the Plan of Salvation and he asked so many good questions! He was listening so well and understanding which is great because a lot of Africans just accept what we say without understanding it. When they ask questions you can tell they are thinking. We invited him to be baptized on the 30th of September! "Why wouldn't I be baptized if I find out it's true!?!?"
We then went to the Granata's house for a Family Home Evening. They're a part Member couple with a son I think that's coming up on a year old. Francesca is the member and her husband Salvatore is not. Usually he's pretty closed off but we've been working the last couple of weeks to become friends with him and it worked. Francesca went in to the other room and so we had a good chance for him to talk openly about how he felt with the Church and he expressed some of his difficulties. He wants to read the Bible or at least part of it first so we are reading it together with him. This is big progress for him! I hope to one day see him in white!
Thursday was DDM as usual, we had a great meeting and then got Pellone afterwards... it's been closed for three weeks so it was nice to get a good pellone pizza again!
Before English Course we were able to meet with Frank. We had Peter come with us and it went really well. He is very attached to the Bible and we helped him to understand that they compliment one another. They work together to testify of Jesus Christ. It went really well and he was supposed to come to Church yesterday but he didn't make it... next time!
After we went to Sister Mena's house, she had made us Panzeit which are Philippine noodles and they're so good!! She made a huge amount too so we were stuffed. She gave us some to take home and so we ran back to the Church for English Course. Afterwards we got to talk to Nicoletta and we talked about coming to Church, how she didn't want us to think that if she came to Church she was getting baptized. She still wanted to feel free. I explained to her that we wouldn't and couldn't push her to get baptized. It's not out purpose and she said "Well then I think I'll come every week!"
Friday we had another lesson with Marco, we brought the Hydes with us because we thought Anziano Hyde and Marco would get along really well. Turns out we were right! We had asked Marco about his Mom the last time we were there and he hadn't really told her that he was meeting with us and so when we got there he said his Mom was there and wanted to talk to us. We had a really great lesson on the Plan of Salvation with him. He asked a lot of questions and really got along well with Anziano Hyde. Afterwards Marco's mom came in and told us she didn't feel like Marco was ready for this, that it was too much of a commitment. She at first was pretty firm and we began to testify to her of the difference she would see in her son and how ready he is for the Gospel. She began to soften and she told Marco "Just take it slow, read from the Book of Mormon 10 minutes a day and pray to know if it's true" that's literally our invite! I don't think she understood but she was reinforcing the things we had taught him! We left it at he would call us and we would take things slow but his Mom started to tear up at the end and I think the spirit won her over!
After lunch I started an exchange with Anziano Ruiz our District Leader here in Napoli. We had no appointments and we had heard about this park on the outskirts of Napoli. So we decided to go find it. It took us more than an hour to get there but Mamma Mia it was beautiful and just overflowing with families and young adults. We taught the Restoration a handful of times and had to catch a bus back. We will definitely be going back. Anziano Ruiz is a stud, he's a Transfer behind me, we actually met in the MTC because we over lapped for a week. He's from Washington State, he's a track star and a super good missionary. He's going to Utah State after the mission so I hope to see him there!
Saturday it rained! It was so nice! It hasn't rained in the almost three months I've been in Napoli! We made about a million phone calls and then went and played in the rain. We came back and made lunch for everyone to finish up the exchange. Anziano Ruiz made a Ragù and I made brownies for the baptism and tried to make the homemade bread I would make with Angela in college but I need to do more language study to find fast rising yeast... I made rocks... haha they tasted good but it was really dense! We then packed everyone up and headed to Pozzuoli to use their baptismal font because there isn't one here in our Church and with the rain we couldn't go to the beach! It was a beautiful baptism! His name is Austin! I got to spend some time with Anziano DeFeo again which was great!
Sunday was great! People are coming back from vacation! The Chapel was almost filled and the fasting testimony Meeting was great! Nicoletta came to Church! She originally was just going to come for the first hour. She decided to stay for Sunday School and she participated and really enjoyed it and then I asked if she wanted to stay for the third hour and she just walked into the Chapel and sat down and said "I think I'm going to come next week too! I really like this!" The spirit is working in her!
We came home and I made a roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and corn and we did weekly planning because it's been so busy we just haven't had a chance! Sister Mena called us and said come over I have stuff for you! She gave us some spring rolls and lasagna that were both really good! We met her non-member son as well!
Today we are staying in Napoli, we are going to the Napoli Underground tours and getting a pizza... should be pretty chill! The work here in Napoli is growing so fast, the people are ready and we're seeing miracles! I have been studying the New Testament and I read this verse the other day in Matthew 4:4 "...Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." And it made me think of the importance of the scriptures and prayer. So I wanted to invite all of you whether you are Catholic, Buddhist, Protestant or Mormon, feast on the Words of God and you will find comfort! I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
Anziano Jacob Bellucci