During our lesson with Maria Rita and Giuseppina, the call came from the mission office. Sorella O is being transfered to Rome 2, the same area as the assistants and President Waddoups. She will train a greenie (new missionary). She was pleased, but wondered how in the world she would do it. As for me, I am staying in Cagliari (yes!) with a Sister Rost (who was in my Zone in the MTC, so we are the same age in the mission).
Graffiti Artist at Large
|The mouth is around a hole in the wall|
|This piece is actually quite large|
|Many refer to the eye graffiti as the Eyes of Cagliari|
|Inside Federico Carta's Studio,|
He's not interested to hear our message, but he did accept a copy of the Book of Mormon, saying, "I probably won't read it, but maybe I will paint on it." But, hey, he has a Book of Mormon in his studio. So glad we met him.
More News: Cagliari Doubles-Up on Missionaries!
Along with Transfers, there was more news: Cagliari will receive another set of Elders and another set of Sisters, making the total number of missionaries in Cagliari - 8. So, in addition to me and Sorella Rost, there will be another set of sisters sharing our apartment. Sister Caramia (whose name, incidentally, means My Dear) will be training a greenie straight from America. Sorella Caramia is famous in the mission for being a "fireball missionary" - she had 8 baptismal dates set up in her last area. She is Italian, from the North, is nearly done with her mission, and has spent a lot of it in Rome with a Sorella Omer, another Italian. Sorella Caramia's father is a professional chef, so she also has a reputation for being an AMAZING cook. Really excited for that!
Still More News: Sardegna is Becoming Part of Rome West Stake
And more news: Sardegna is officially becoming part of a new Rome Stake, and Cagliari will change from being a Branch to a Ward. The new Stake is coming from the current Rome Stake that is really big right now. They are dividing Rome down the middle, with 2 new Stakes forming from the old one: Rome East and Rome West. Obviously, Sardegna will be part of Rome West (along with Napoli). They are holding a giant conference in Rome for it on 15 September, to which every member is invited (actually, not just invited, but strongly encouraged nigh short of commanded to come). All the missionaries from Sardegna are being flown in to Rome for the conference (so I will see Sorella O again and Rome!) Elder M. Russell Ballard is going to preside at the meeting. Presidente Sanna, counselor in the mission presidency, and Presidente Dessi (branch president) bore their testimonies on Sunday on how every member of the branch should make every sacrifice necessary to go to the Rome conference. This is a big deal - a monumental event, really. Sardegna has only ever been a district, and now it will be a part of a stake. Big things are happening in Sardegna and I get to be here for it! So exciting!
"Enlarge the Place of Thy Tent"
The Church is growing in Italy, and as numbers multiply, the Lord tells us how to handle the growth.
Enlarge the place of thy tent,
and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations;
spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.
For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left.
|Ancient Tabernacle in Moses' time|
Now, when you want to put up a tent - the primary items needed are tent stakes. Stakes ground the tent walls and secure its position. President Ezra Taft Benson said that ancient prophets likened the latter-day Church to "a great tent encompassing the earth. That tent was supported by cords fastened to stakes. Those stakes, of course, are the various geographical organizations spread out over the earth" (Come Unto Christ, 101).
When numbers are multiplying so rapidly that the tent is "breaking forth on the right and on the left hand" (ie: the current Rome Stake), what needs to happen to make the tent larger is to pull up stakes and move to a further distance from the center pole (ie: "lengthen thy cords"). And, the more the cords are lengthened, the stakes are driven deeper and made stronger to secure and stabilize the tent. What can we do to strengthen those stakes? Isaiah tells us in the verse. Check out these verbs:
Enlarge: Through missionary work. Sharing the gospel. Make all feel welcome.
Stretch Forth: The key word here is stretch. Reach out a hand of compassion, love, and kindness.
Spare Not: All are welcome, doors are open. I also see this as - don't hold back. Give your all.
Be generous of time and talents.
Lengthen: Lengthen your stride. Pick up the pace. Is there more you can do, give, or be?
Strengthen: Strengthen those around you in word, testimony, service, and kindness.
As the tent of Israel continues to broaden, its fabric extended, its cords lengthened - we have a responsibility. Our responsibility is to secure and strengthen our ward and stake. And as we strengthen the stake - it serves, in turn, to protect us.
Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth,
that thy light may be a standard for the nations;
And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion,
and upon her stakes,
may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm...
That protection will come as we extend those cords and unite together under the tent of the gospel, which is secured, in part, by the wards and stakes. What a blessing.
Goodbye Sorella O!
|District with Fratello Caravagna|
Sempre il Lavoro del Signore sta Andando Avanti (Always, the Work of the Lord is Going Forward),
Sorella Ashley Nef