Saturday, July 20, 2013

Transfers and the Kinder Egg of Revelation

In District meeting this week, we made our predictions for next week's transfers.  To help us out, we each purchased our own Kinder Egg of revelation.
This is a candy egg with a surprise toy inside that my former companion swears by as a means of receiving "revelation" for the next transfer.  Hahaha.  So with great anticipation and egg in hand, we each carefully folded back the foil wrap and gently broke the chocolate shell to reveal the yoked toy of destiny.  I got an inexplicable paper disc launcher thing with a blue tiger on it, as did another elder in my district (we assume this means we will be in the same city).  Sorella O'Connor, however, got a Flying thing.  Which seems to indicate she will be leaving.  NOOOOOOO!!!  Vediamo (we will see).  

Good Luck Comes in Threes
In the last week we have received 3 referrals.
Don't know what's happened all of a sudden, but three different women within our area all asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon online.  Alright!  We called the first woman and she doesn't know if she wants to actually see the missionaries, so we are mailing her a copy of the Book of Mormon along with a DVD and pamphlet on the Restoration.  Speriamo bene (we hope well)!  The second woman seemed pleased we contacted her and asked us to return again later.  The third woman we haven't seen at all - just her mom, who told us to come back another day.

District Meeting moved this last week to Tuesday, so Monday for us became Miracle Monday during which we taught 3 lessons in the morning (that's never happened).  One is a definite pass by again.  We'll see with the others.  We actually found these people while doing casa (knocking doors).  Sorella O and I have been doing lots of finding with not much success, but the Lord will provide.

But we have 3 steady investigators in our teaching pool.  Maria Rita and Giuseppina are wonderful.  Saturday, we had a cool lesson with them in the park.  They are excited about returning to Church, but they didn't make it last week.  Something about filling out paperwork with the dad.  Our goal for the next discussion with them is to get them to commit to baptism and set a date.  Fingers crossed.  Maybe we should consult the Kinder Egg.

While in the park, we frequently bump into Francesco, an English Course student, who has been showing interest in the gospel.  We sometimes wonder if he strategically plants himself there in anticipation of seeing us.  We're hoping the motive is conversion to Christ rather than crushing toward Americans.  But no matter, in our impromptu encounters, we've taught him lessons on the Plan of Salvation, The Gospel of Christ, and we've read and explained 2 Nephi 31 about the Doctrine of Christ.  He's even been to Church.

Beautiful Bonaria Cemetery
Bonaria Cemetery was the first cemetery outside of church grounds, where, traditionally, they buried their dead.  Because of the plague and other matters of health, they thought it would be a good idea to designate a special burial area separate from city dwelling.  For that reason, Bonaria Cemetery was built in 1828 and opened in 1829.  We visited Bonaria because we heard that it was known for its beauty.  In fact, French writer/traveller, Vuiller Gaston described Bonaria as "a rare beauty."  I agree.  The exquisite artistry of the monuments is breathtaking.  Take a stroll with me and see for yourself.
Bonaria Cemetery, built in 1828

This monument has a poignant history.  The woman laying down is Francesca Warzee, wife of a Belgian businessman, who died in 1894.  Her son raises the covering to give her a final kiss.

One source said that the son had found his mother dead and kissed her in an attempt to wake her from sleep.  So sad!  Parts of this cemetery look as if it were a museum of fine art.  Many of the statues are from the great sculptor Giuseppe Sartorio.

Parisian Banker Victor Ferrier draped by an angel 1898
Birocchi-Berol Mausoleum painted with murals

Maria Ugo Ortu
died age 2
Giuseppe Todde's wife mourns her husband, 1897.

"Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."
Henry David Thoreau

The grounds are HUGE and GORGEOUS with a strong smell of pine.  White monuments peek out from large, beautiful cyprus trees, creating a quiet reverence that's striking.  The song Christine sings in the graveyard in Phantom of the Opera kept going through my mind:  Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.
Me, still alive and kicking

Will the Real Convert Please Stand Up
I'm just scared about having to take over Cagliari if Sorella O leaves.  But, as my studies have been pointing to this week, this isn't my work, it's the Lord's, and He does everything.  I am just a tool.  Preach My Gospel talks about the role of the Holy Spirit in teaching.  As we teach by that power, the
Holy Ghost will:
    •  Teach you new truths and bring doctrines you have
         studied to your remembrance. (John 14:26)

    •  Give you words to speak in the very moment you need
         them. (D&C 84:85)

     •  Carry your message to the hearts of people you teach. 
         He speaks when we do not. He reaches hearts when we
         can not.  (2 Nephi 33:1)

     •  Testify of the truthfulness of your message and confirm
         your words.  He is an additional witness. (D&C 100:5-8)

    •  Help you discern needs of the people you teach. (Alma 12:7)

Partnering with the Spirit, missionaries teach the gospel to build faith in others.  In the process, we end up developing our own faith to rely on the Spirit.  It's a win-win (or faith-faith) situation!  The mission is really about converting yourself, but that's not your goal as a missionary (and if it is, you are doing it wrong).  The Lord's work goes forward, but it's our decision whether or not we will participate, and it is through that participation - that service and love for others - that ends up converting you...closer to Him...more like Him.

It is a dream come true to be here, serving the people in this beautiful area of the world.  Inexplicable paper disc launchers, blue tigers, and flying thingers aside, no matter what transfers may come, this is simply the Lord's work, and I will remain or transfer wherever I am needed most.

Ecco a Vita,
Sorella Ashley Nef

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