Saturday, June 5, 2010

MAY IN MILAN - Models, Misadventures, Member Help, Men'sVolleyball...May 26th, 2010


Here's a summary of the goings on this past week of May in Milan.

Models - I pretty much told you all about Sydney already. It really was so so nice to have someone to teach for a week that had a desire already to be baptized and a firm testimony of the Book of Mormon and had free time to see us! It was so sad to see her for the last time on Sunday. She was proof that there really are people out there being "prepared" to hear the message and be baptized. She explained to us one day all the miracles that happened that honestly just made right now the perfect time for her to join the church. For example...every January for the past few years she always committed to being dry for the month (as in not drinking alcohol). It was in the beginning of January that she first met the missionaries and so was able to have a clear mind during the whole process and feel the spirit easier. Plus it was easier for her to start living the word of wisdom. The other day I translated a conversation between a member that was baptized 3 years ago and Sydney. The member, Lucia, was explaining all the miracles that led to her conversion too...she had been working in a model showroom, was living with a lawyer in some town by the ocean, theoretically "living the life" but got to a point where she knew something was missing from her life and from the Catholic church. She left her boyfriend and moved to Milan and a few days later a missionary handed her a pass along card. She came to church that Sunday and was baptized a month later (her version of the story was obviously a lot more emotion and detail filled, sorry.)
Anyway, It is currently "model season" in Milan, apparently, so I have been trying to find us a new Sydney to teach, or at least more wife options for Cory. So, I try to talk to every thin, pretty girl I see. A few days ago we got the phone numbers of one model from Poland and one from Slovakia...hopefully we can get in contact with them and set something up!!

Misadventures - I kind of told you about this already too. Our bike adventure last P-day was a disaster. The bike was too heavy or something for my companion so we walked around the city with the bikes. I really would not have been a good older sibling. Good thing I came on a mission where I can learn patience, love, charity, etc. I've also learned that everything happens for a reason...because we walked the bikes we were super late to the dance recital of Ana's little girls and for that I am SOO grateful. I guess I hadn't realized how removed from the world we are as missionaries. I almost was in tears at the end of the 10 minutes we saw of 6 to 11 year old girls dancing like MTV dancers to songs like "Womanizer". It was horrible!!

Mexican Food and Member help - After our the bikes and dance class we rushed off to a Mexican dinner at the church for Relief Society. Kind of an odd choice of theme since there are no Mexicans in the ward but people from every other Central and South American country. Four investigators came, 2 less actives, and a friend of a member...probably one of the best nights everrrr. The ward honestly has changed so much in the past 5 months as far as helping out with missionary work goes. Our goal at the beginning of the transfer was to have 8 different member families working with 8 different investigators regularly and helping them in their progression...we are already at 8!!! This work is so so much easier and so much more fun when the members are involved.
Weird thing though is that 2 days later we took Sydney to an American member's house for dinner and FHE and they made Mexican food too?!?! I'm pretty sure Sydney never ate Italian food while she was here at all.

Men's Volleyball - Nope, that's a lie, there was a bit of Italian food (tomatoes, cheese, bread) at the Men's Volleyball fireside. Mostly the fireside was really long because we had to translate everything. There was one really sweet talk though that one of the married players gave. They were all talking about how the principles in the gospel are related to principles of sports. He told a story about a coach in high school that constantly yelled and him and told him what he was doing wrong. One day he yelled back and the coach took him aside and explained that he only treated him the way he did because he could see his potential and wanted him to become the best that he could. He compared that to hardships in his life and the knowledge that God is just helping him grow and become more refined as a person. He then gave a shout out to my companion and I and noted that we should be so grateful for the time we have on our mission because looking back, it was the hardest time in his life but the time when he was closest to Heavenly Father. It was a good reminder to appreciate every day here on the mission.

Here's a another good spiritual thoughts from a talk I read in the Liahona this week...mostly I liked it because it made me laugh but it has a really important message too.
When you stop and think about it from a diabolically tactical point of view, fighting the family makes sense. When Satan wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he doesn't poison the world's peanut butter supply (this is where I started giggling), thus bringing the Church's missionary system to its collective knees. He doesn't end a plague of laryngitis to afflict the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He doesn't legislate against green Jell-O Casseroles. When Satan truly wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he attempts to confuse gender and he attacks God's plan for His children. He works to drive a wedge of disharmony between a father and a mother. He entices children to be disobedient to their parents. He makes family home evening and family prayer inconvenient. He suggests family scripture study is impractical. That's all it takes, because Satan knows that the surest and most effective way to disrupt the Lord's work is to diminish the effectiveness of the family and the sanctity of the home." Ballard
Soo...make sure you are all doing all that you can to fight back!!!

Much love,