|Anziani in front of the Anziani Center (Elders in front of the Elderly Center)|
It was an interesting week, full of improvisation with our plans and work. Without further ado, I'll get into some key events of the week.
We got pretty dang blessed this week in the fact that we totally had some great meal appointments. One was with our cool investigator, RC. He was introduced to the church years back when his military friend was a Mormon. We ate a nice pasta romana with him. The interesting part is that after learning more about prophets, past and modern, and hearing the exhortations from Thomas S. Monson, RC has started to read the Book of Mormon on a daily basis. But what was super cool too was that we met his nephew. He is a massive rugby player, and apparently he has an uncle who plays in the NFL for the Browns. I can't remember a name, but it was pretty cool.
Later, we ate with a larger group of Peruvian members of our ward. We had some great arroz con pollo. Then Anziano Boscán blessed their house...in Spanish :). Those are fun meal appointments, because I pretty much learn tons of new Spanish, haha.
Yesterday, Anziano Boscán and I treated our district, RC, and Martin (the COOLEST member) to lunch. Martin feeds the missionaries like...every Sunday, and it's such a great sacrifice for him. But because we love him, Anziano Boscán and I knew we needed to do something good for him. Luckily, Anziano Boscán is half South American and has been honing my cooking skills. We made Arepas, pollo deshebrado, and frijoles negros with a side of platanos. To say the least it was a big success in the missionary work sense, as well as the cooking.
Then to finish talking about food on a crazy note, we met with a contact and got a pizza with him. Turns out he is absolutely insane. We sat down and we're eating pizza and all seemed normal...until...it happened. A single bee came near him. (This is a 45 year old man without a bee allergy.) He stood up and started waving his hands as to fan the bee away. He then proceeded to do this same process for the next 30 minutes on and off. In the meantime, Anziano Boscán and I were left not reacting to the tiny bee that posed no real threat to anyone's safety. Pretty soon the Ukrainian waitress came over and saw how strange the situation was - and the scene this grown man was making - and she says, "In Ukraine we smash bee with a bare palm if bee bother us." So this scene, coupled with about 5 other things that happened the same night, ensured that we wouldn't be meeting with him again anytime soon.
CM, our Nigerian member, had surgery this week. We were asked by the elders quorum to go and administer unto him. We obliged, even though it was quite a last minute call to go. Seeing as CM lives kind of far outside of Rome, we consecrated our lunch and time to go and visit CM. We got to the Anzio hospital and found him laying on his cot, chilling. We gave him a blessing and talked for a while before leaving. As we left the city, we also took a couple pics.
This week at church we talked a lot about Jesus Christ and service. As I was thinking about some things that were said, an insanely gym-lad-like thing came into my head. Jesus is our spotter in life. For those of you who are not "gym lads," a spotter is a person who is nearby while you lift weights, so when you fail, he can help you. When thinking about grace, and the way that our Savior helps each of us, I realized Jesus has the same role. If I go to the gym and start benching 3 sets of 8 reps, the first set I'll probably not sweat too bad and can do it alone, piece of cake. The second, I'll probably be able to get all the eight reps out, but on the last few I may start to struggle quite a bit. When I push myself and do the third set, I know that I probably will not be able to do all the reps all alone, but I trust that my spotter will be there when I fail. So I give it all I've got, and on the third to last rep I can't quite get the bar all the way up; and my spotter, knowing I need a bit of help, will put two fingers under the bar to help me up. The second to last rep comes, and I can only get the bar halfway up, so my spotter once again pulls a little bit - as to help me get it up - but also give my full effort. Then the last rep, at this point, when the bar hits my chest, I cannot even get it off without help, my arms are tired and muscles shaking, but my spotter, knowing that I can do it with a little help, this time lifts a little more, taking maybe 20 pounds of the weight, so I can do the rest.
In the end, I finished the workout, but it definitely took help. But what part did I do? Not 100% of the workout, but I did 100% of my strength and effort. It surely hurt, but I know it's for my good, and after a day or so I'll be stronger and better for it. Apply this same thing and think of Jesus Christ being our spotter. So often I hear people tell me that they have not felt His help in their lives, or that He doesn't answer some of their prayers. I often try to help them understand that just like this example, if I didn't ask the spotter to come help me, I too would be alone. I explain that if I didn't do my 100% and my part, I cannot expect my spotter to lift it for me and do all the work, and if He did help me, I cannot expect to grow. In life, Jesus works just like a spotter. He will always help us, but we need to ask and give our 100%. If we do, we will see He does help us. It won't be easy, but we will grow from this. We need to remember that His work and glory is to perfect us, and that will never happen easily. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that through Him we can all reach eternal joy and salvation. The way is simple but not easy.
In other news we went to an Etruscan Necropolis, but it was closed, so here are pics from Cerveteri.
Love you all,
|With our friend, CM, at the hospital in Anzio|