It's amazing that it's already March. On the 20th I'll hit my year-in-Italy mark. I remember snippets of my first days here, walking through the Centro of Milan, riding my first train across the country to Padova... wow. Weird to think that was a whole year ago. It goes so fast.
Ancona is treating me well. We're having some really interesting experiences here. We ate at an old Italian couple's this week for dinner. The wife had dear missionary friends about 20 years ago, and now she sees us about once a week. She's had some really tough experiences, losing children to freak accidents, but she still believes strongly in God and his goodness. She's the first Catholic I've ever met here who actually loves God the Father and doesn't think He's out to destroy mankind. Beautiful to see such love in people.
One of our investigators is an 18-year-old orphan who grew up in Ghana without any religious background. He's been meeting with the missionaries for three weeks now, and even I have seen a huge change in his countenance as he learns about God and His Plan for us.
Because Anziano H, my district leader, had to go to Bologna for a conference, his companion Anziano H served with Anziano T and I in a trio for a day. It was super fun. We went out to a little paesino called Osimo. WOW! That was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. It's this little, ancient city on the top of this huge hill, and you can look out over this entire region of Italy, from the sea to the mountains, covered in greet, worn farmland and uncountable little cities dotting every swell of the earth. It was super cool, and we got to teach a man who's really interested in knowing more. He lives in a less-active member's home and we got to have a really spiritual, question-answer lesson on the restoration of the gospel. We work with quite a few Filippinos in this area. I love them! They're so nice!
Then we went back to Ancona on a long bus ride and taught our young Ghanean investigator. We asked him if he'd ever wondered where we came from before this life. He said no. So we started from square one and taught the Plan of Salvation. It was one of the best lessons I've ever been a part of. He went from having no thoughts on what exists outside this life from being able to explain God's plan of happiness in his own excited words. What a blessing.
There is a plan, and those who know about it need to share it with those who don't. It's a plan of true happiness, and no matter where we are--Verona, Ancona, Washington, California, or Florida--it applies to us and everyone around us. Share it!