Oh mamma mia... we are having so many miracles here in Forli. :)
Thanksgiving came and went suuuuuper fast (just like every day in the mission field) so I am a little worried about how fast Christmas will go by. That being said, being a missionary during Christmas time is such a beautiful experience. I just have this LOVE and joy for the little things - like all the Christmas lights and decorations - and especially for the birth of Jesus Christ. We can sing more often to the people, talk more about the beauty of the gift, and just all rejoice more together. I wish it were more like this through out the year but it really is so magical! :) For Thanksgiving, we ate at L's and Ao's home and celebrated A's birthday. It was sooooo beautiful. We invited one of our "dry members" who is 89 and very lonely. L is such a loving and accepting person that she immediately began to show love to him. The next several days were just filled with miracles that touched our hearts. The work is rolling forward in Forli!
This weekend we had one of the most tender and touching miracles. The Jefferies have been working with an inactive member of the branch by the name G. We had never met her and had only heard "Good Luck" when we talked about visiting her. As Sorella Jefferies has gone to visit teach G, her heart has been softened more and more. Sorella Jefferies suggested that we go and visit her, bringing some banana bread because it was her favorite. On Sunday we went, not really knowing what to share and going with the intention of getting to know G and follow the Spirit. This woman is such a special and beautiful child of God. We felt prompted to just sing some Christmas hymns which invited the Spirit and made it very easy to talk about the love of Christ. I then asked if I could share my favorite scripture (Alma 26:35-37) and we shared how much God loves her and has not forgotten about her. G began to cry and explain that she missed this, how she had forgotten these things that she once loved and believed in, and how she wanted to come back to church. The Spirit was so strong and guided us along to say the things that G needed to hear. It was so beautiful!
To finish, I just wanted to share an insight that I read this morning in parallel to the chapters in Mosiah 23 and 24. So many of us are faced with trials and challenges that we must overcome. At times we feel there is no hope. I have seen this so often with meno attivi or with simpatizzanti here and it just breaks my heart. They often say to us that we cannot possibly understand what they are dealing with because we are so young. Yes that may be true. But the thing that I know with every single FIBER of my being is that our Savior Jesus Christ can help us with ANYTHING in this life. I just love these chapters in Mosiah because it explains so clearly that we WILL have trials but that, with the promised covenant that we make, the Lord will help us.
In regards to Mosiah 23:21, Elder Orsen F. Whitney said "No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God... and it is through sorrow and suffering , toil and tribulation, that we gain education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven."
Now I must apologize that this is a little bit shorter than usual. :)
VI VOGLIO BENE!!!