Grazie per le preghiere

Cara famiglia,

It was a good week this week! First, let me tell you all something. I LOVE RIMINI.  The people in this branch are some of the most amazing people that I have ever met in my entire life. I want to just write a list of the little tender mercies that I have seen all week long.
In no particular order:
1. We have been finding a ton of investigators through the area book.  We found a family who had studied with the missionaries for years, but had just kind of slipped under the radar.  We went to their lesson, and we brought two of our members.  These members are from Ecuador, and when we arrived at the door, we discover the people we are about to teach are from Peru. It was such a miracle!  They connected so well, were such wonderful missionaries, and it inspired them to want to do more missionary work. The beautiful part about it was that the members had been praying that day to have nire missionary experiences.  The sister told us as soon as she had finished praying, we called and invited her to come to the lesson with us.  We have another appointment this week. (Oh, and the lesson was in Spanish… THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS REAL. Because I understood somehow. We spoke in Italian, they spoke in Spanish, there was the universal language of the Spirit, it all just worked out :))
2. We went to see a member family.  Their inactive son was there.  He listened. Miracle.
3. We got gelato twice this week.  Yeah, that’s a miracle for me.
4. Sunday, all the missionaries gave talks about missionary work.  I used the subjunctive in my talk, a lot! (The nerd in me is still here, don’t you worry.  I love my language study time.)  The members think I can speak Italian.  This is a miracle, in so many ways.  My Italian is improving here in Rimini.  I am obsessed with this beautiful langauge. Still have a long ways to go, but for the first time, I kind of saw how far I’ve come from four and a half months ago.
5. Sorella Ervin sang and I accompanied her. The members almost started clapping, one woman said very loudly — “Oh, brava.  Bellissima voce. Bravissima!” (Let me tell you, my companion CAN SING. Not worthy to accompany her voice.)  Her singing is seriously opening the doors to talking to members that maybe don’t trust the missionaries all that much. Music has such a power.  We’re going to use her voice to get into doors, that’s the next step 🙂 The members are getting exctied.  They are searching for people.  One family said, we’ll find somene, but only so you can come eat dinner with us 🙂
6. We have planted some seeds.  Some beautiful seeds.  We met this bellissima woman on a bench near a park overlooking a lake.  She has been to Salt Lake and knows about Mormons.  She didn’t want to give us any information, but she felt the spirit, she was kind, and she listened. She listened!
7. A less-active family the branch president really wants us to see answered the phone. That never happens..
8. Our branch-mission leader, Emilio.  This man, this man is a gift from God. Words cannot express how much we love him.  He gives his life for us, and helps us with things every day.  There aren’t any elders in this city (yet… rumor has it they’ll be coming… yay!), and our branch will sacrfice anything to help us sorelle.  Emilio has the kindest eyes I have ever met in my entire life.
9. My dear companion, Sorella Ervin.  This girl is always a miracle for me.  She feels things deeper than anyone I’ve ever met.  She’s patient, and forgiving, and kind, and HILARIOUS.  She makes me laugh all of the time. I couldn’t do this without her.
There have been so many more tender mercies this week I just don’t want to stop.  But this is getting long and I need to respond to the rest of my inbox 🙂
Thank you so much for your prayers back home.  I know that we are seeing miracles because of those prayers.  I pray for you all every day. I pray for all of my roommates on missions and not on missions, I pray for all of my family and random people I remember from BYU and all of the people here.  I love this place.  I am so happy.  I don’t sleep, I cry, and I get frustrated easily, but I am so happy.  This is the Lord’s work, and that is always enough.
Hebrews 6:10.
Vi voglio bene,
Sorella Strong

Sorella Strong and Sorella Ervin after church on Sunday. Some American tourists visited church in Rimini.


Look what Emma found at H&M in Rimini—a BYU sweatshirt?

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