La vita è difficile. La vita è bella.

My week was hard and beautiful at the same time.  Such is life. There were lots of little moments that made it all worthwhile.

Highlights for the week:

– Teaching the husband of one of our members.  C’era un bellissimo Spirito.  This family loves music and opera and all things, so Sorella Ervin was in heaven, to say the least.  Our love for music opened up his heart to listen again.
– Teaching lots of random little lessons.  Praying with lots of people.  Prayer opens peoples hearts and immediately helps them feel the Spirit.
– Church activity.  Members brought friends.  We were in a play with the two priests that was about Alma 32.  It was interesting, but it turned out a lot better than we thought!
– We finally have some new investigators! Our first for the transfer (oh wait, the transfer ends next week… no big deal :)) It was wonderful!
There are some neighbors of our members.  We grabbed Giaccomo, the 17 year old priest, and told him to knock on their door and ask them if we could pray together. It opened they way for these neighbors to ask many new questions and be willing to investigat the gospel more! I’M TELLING YOU, THE WORK IS SO MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE WHEN MEMBERS DO IT. There’s my plug for my family to do missionary work.
-We also visited with many less-actives and our new converts and are trying to strengthen them and help them build relationships with the members so they don’t completely rely on the missionaries.
– Another music miracle! I’ll tell this story: So we were in centro, and this street musician starts playing some music, some music that I forget existed.  I sinned a little.  I asked my companion if we could just stop for one second to listen to one of my favorite worldy songs.  Wasn’t too wordly, I promise, just not Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  And the song reminded me of my dear roommate Hannah who sang it at a ward talent show a couple of years ago.  Anyways, after a couple of minutes I noticed this man standing a little bit behind us, just listening. I wanted to talk to him, but I ignored it, because hey, the song was almost over 😉 As we were going to walk away though, I knew we had to talk to him, because, well, hey, we’re missionaries and that’s what we do 🙂 And you know what we said? – Are you listening to the music?  Yes, he replied.  And then, music always helps me feel closer to God.  It opened him up, and we taught him the Restoration right there. He had seen us before, talked with Elders in the past, and is so excited to come to church.  Sometimes, God prepares people through street musicians and beautiful melodies.  Don’t worry, we talked to the street musican too!!
Last night we had a dinner with this less-active from Russia (she was baptized in 1996 right when Russia opened… the city starts with a P I am so sorry I can’t remember).  She isn’t all that interested in coming back to church, because she has found a new way of life through only eating raw fruits and vegetables.  She has never felt closer to God.  Not gonna lie, maybe I should try this.  So our dinner consisted of only fruits and vegetables.  Our member who hosted us was quite creative to say the least! It was a fun experience!
As I have read some of the emails in my inbox this week, I would like you all to know that, there is hope.  Life is unbelievingly hard, but it is unbelievably beautiful too.  I promise it can be.  I really do look for a miracle every day, and I write it in my planner. When we search for our daily miracles. our days become brighter, filled with light, and we are filled with hope and excitement for what the next day can bring. We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.  We can’t do anything on our own. I really do know this.  In the Book of Mormon, every missionary who was ever successful never did it on their own.  The Lord is preparing people’s hearts.  Once we realize it is all Him, we are limitless.  This is the enabling power of the Atonement.
Vi voglio bene! Il vangelo è vero.
Sorella Strong
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