This was one of the best weeks of my mission, and I think the 21st may have been one of the best days of my life. I can't write a 100th part of the stuff that happened to me or the miracles I saw, but I'll do my best to convey how I felt.
The week started off horribly. I was so sad, so stressed, and so ready to just step back for a while and focus on myself. Instead I turned to God in prayer and I asked my District Leader what to do. He gave me some great advice of simple things to do with my greenie to help him get some missionary experience. We ended up meeting someone who really needed to talk with us, a nice Italian woman who we prayed with on the sidewalk.
Later I did a companion exchange with my District Leader, Anziano Taylor, who is one of the coolest and best missionaries I've met. We had an amazing "scambio" (exchange) and taught 5 unplanned lessons as we tore through Ancona going everywhere the Spirit told us to. It was a really amazing day and went by way too fast. We had a great time together and saw lots of miracles as we prayed and worked with faith.
We even ran into the same woman Anziano Gomez and I had prayed with. We sat on a bench with her and taught her about the Restoration. After saying a simple prayer, we opened our eyes to see her with her hand over her chest. "Tutto posto?" I asked. "Is everything okay?" She nodded, misty-eyed, and invited us to her house later that night. We went late, and she was happy to see us. We couldn't enter the house because there wasn't another man--one of the mission rules. She, like all other Italians, tried to tell us to break the rules just this once, and that there wasn't any problem about coming into her house. I told her that I followed the mission rules because I wanted to. Her eyes shone again and she quietly said, "I'd like to meet the woman who raised you." I thought it was so cute.
So she's a great new investigator, one of the many people we met and talked with this week, and I'm excited to see the work explode here in Ancona now that people are coming back from their Easter vacations. Also, the Firenze Stake is being formed on the 11th of May. That means that we in Ancona, who have been in the Rimini District, will become part of the Firenze Stake. It's super exciting because 1) that means our whole mission will now be covered in Stakes, no more Districts! The Church is growing! 2) we get to go to Firenze that weekend for the conference. 3) Firenze has another name in English.
Florence, Italy, here I come!