Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Addio Italia!

Cara Famiglia,

Merry Christmas!!! It was awesome to be able to talk to everyone yesterday. The Noda family had us over for Christmas and they are awesome! We were there all day and we watched The Emperor's New Groove in Italian and it was really funny. They also had a ton of awesome food, and Sorella Noda even got gifts for my companion and I! She gave Anziano Thompson a pasta recipe book and she gave me this awesome book of 90 Italian recipes that also talks a lot about the history of the various foods. It is awesome, I'll show it to you in a couple days!

This week the work went well. Actually great. Tony and Jacqueline are a go for baptism on Saturday which is going to be fantastic. It's going to be in Brescia since we don't have a font here in Piacenza. Unfortunately I won't be there! But Anziano Thompson is training so his trainee will be really lucky to come into Piacenza which is an amazing city! The work is going really well. We did Tony's interview and he is so humble and ready for the gospel, it's awesome! He reads the Book of Mormon every day and it just helps him feel the spirit so well. The Book of Mormon is incredible.

Then we also finally saw Esther again! She had been really sick which was a bummer but she has read all the way to Mosiah 7!! She puts up on facebook the stuff that she likes and her friends love the stuff she posts! She is so elect! Unfortunately her work situation makes it difficult to meet and come to church but she is so awesome. We will definitely be helping her to get to baptism.

We also had four people in church on Sunday which was really good. Three of them were husbands of sisters in the ward, and then also Cinzia came which was really good. Other than that we are just working with a bunch of potentials and there are some really cool people including some that have met with missionaries in the past. So pray everything goes well there!

I am really bummed for this weekend but also excited to come back and see everyone again. All I can say about the entire experience of my mission is that it has been one giant miracle. The most important thing I've learned and felt is the pure, complete love that Heavenly Father has for all His children and the importance of living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whenever we are sad, discouraged, facing adversity, or even just going through the motions, turning to our Savior with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength will change everything. I'm grateful for all the experiences I've had in Italy, both good and bad, and especially for all the investigators, companions, members, new converts, and less-actives I've been able to get to know! The people of Italy are amazing, including all the non-Italians. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that it will help anybody who honestly reads it grow closer to their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ more than any other book on this earth. It has changed my life! I love you all lots and thanks for all that you do!

-Anziano Benjamin Smith

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