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Sciacca – Week 10
Transfer 16, Mission Week 99

Ciao tutti!

I hope that everyone has had a great week and that you are all enjoying the winter back home, which never seems to make up its mind, for Illinois at least. Hope that all is going well in your lives too!

This week was another great one and we were able to see a lot of really great things happen and it was super cool to be able to do all that we did. I recounted a little of our zone conference things and such and then we had our pday on Tuesday of last week. Towards the end of Pday we had our english course and we have been in small numbers for a while now and we were able to get a new student this past Tuesday who is in fact the brother-in-law to our branch President. Well we had another lesson with him after the course, which our President came to as well. Well the lesson went super well Sunday and this went just as well! We weren’t able to leave all the normal invites due to time restrictions Sunday so we extended all the invites and we were able to do that Tuesday. It went so well and he has just come out of a difficult time in his life and he has humbled himself so much and really wants to find more faith in God and just be at peace wit himself again working at always being a better person. He is such a great guy and he accepted a baptismal date for the 4th of February which is so amazing!! We are so excited and we will be preparing him for his interview next week. It was such a fulfilling lesson and his prayer at the end was super powerful.

Wednesday we had a scambio with Caltanisetta that went super well and we were able to accomplish a lot of good things during that as well! Unfortunately Anziano Bowers and I were unable to get into a lesson setting because our lessons fell through. We did some great finding though and it all went really well! We were excited to work tougher and we got to know each other a little more too! It was great stuff! I loved the way that Anzinao Bowers can really play well off of everyone. He listens intently to the people we are talking to as well as his companion which he is very easily able to play well off of what the people really need. It was very instructive to be able to do some finding with him.

Thursday the highlights were definitely getting to go visit our member who is in the hospital right now for an operation. He was very happy to see us and you could tell that he was very grateful that we came. It was really great to see him and talk with him and his mother who is super nice as well. The other people in the room even chatted with us and a lady was asking a lot of great questions as well. We then had another great lesson with our new investigator and he really understood everything contained within the Plan of Salvation. It was a great lesson and we were very happy with the way that it went and the more and more we meet with him the more that we can tell he is ready for baptism. He didn’t hesitate to accept that baptismal date and knows that it is going to change his life for the better. It is a very big commitment, but one where we really come to know that God gives way more than we realize on his side of the pact or covenant that we make with him. I know that it is going to bring many blessings to his life and the lives of those around him as it would with anyone.

Friday was a great day and we were able to go visit our member in the hospital again really fast which was another great visit with which we were able to help lift him up again. After that we headed straight to what we were hoping would be a lesson with one of our new investigators with his wife who is the member. He unfortunately didn’t join us this time and we are heading back there today to watch the restoration video with them all. We are really excited to see how that will all play out and where we will get with him. It was really cool to see more and more the changes in him since we have been here. We dropped off that pamphlet to him after we got back from zone conference and we wrote a little dedicha (like a letter thingy) in the inside. I put my name as Anziano Taylor Garrett and so he was making some jokes about the inauguration and how they were missing two Anziani there and he used my first name by memory so I was super impressed by that hahaha. He is so funny and just has this Sicilian mumbling voice that cracks me up no matter what he says hahaha.

We had a great day Saturday and we were able to have another great lesson with our branch president’s sister-in-law which went super well too! We taught the restoration and we had three other members there with us and it was great to see all the different conversion stories and how we each have our own way in which we gained our testimonies. This ended up being an essential ingredient to all the invites that we left her. The first one we extended we were floored to find out that she has already read the whole Book of Mormon this past summer after she had a surgery. Well she was willing to read it again thank goodness and she also accepted a baptismal date for the 25th of February. It was a super powerful lesson and we were able to really see the blessings of having member there to help us out in explaining things and offering another witness to the truths that we are bringing to them.

Sunday was a crazy day. It started raining in the middle of the night when we would wake up occasionally because of the wind or the thunder and such. It continued to rain really good while we walked to church with some good lighting going off around us. it was coming down hard all morning during the classes and sacrament meeting. It was pouring and the power was flickering on and off. Well after we found out there was a lot of water on the streets similar to how it was when I first got to Sciacca. President went and took our new convert home with his friends and had to go contrary to the one way honking to make it to the house. We then went to the hospital to go and give the member the sacrament and a priesthood blessing. Well there were rivers everywhere on the street it was crazy!! I haven’t seen flash floods like that since I was in kindergarten hahaha. It was really cool, but there were some spots that were really crazy, but it was a great day in church. We had both our new investigators there and our new convert brought three friends so we had a nice filled up room for everything this week!

I really enjoyed being able to study out of the Doctrine and Covenants this week and I am now doing a study of them which is going super well! I am enjoying studying also the context in which the revelations were received getting a historical background on it I have been able to also reflect a lot on Joseph Smith the first prophet, seer, and revelator of this last dispensation. I know that he is a prophet of God and the more and more I study his life I know that he has done many divine things to further the Lords work. He taught pure doctrine and was always stringing to help all those around him. I am thankful to have this knowledge that he was truly called of God because I have read the Book of Mormon and asked if it was true or not. I know that we can all know he is a prophet if we ask God. What a message of hope to know that God has restored priesthood keys once again to the earth that he truly speaks to us today and that there has been a line of prophets ever since that have had these keys as well. I love this story and quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson

Later, the incomparable Ralph Waldo Emerson rocked the very foundations of New England ecclesiastical orthodoxy when he said to the Divinity School at Harvard: “It is my duty to say to you that the need was never greater [for] new revelation than now.” “The doctrine of inspiration is lost. … Miracles, prophecy, … the holy life, exist as ancient history [only]. … Men have come to speak of … revelation as somewhat long ago given and done, as if God were dead. … It is the office of a true teacher,” he warned, “to show us that God is, not was; that He speaketh, not spake.” In essence, Mr. Emerson was saying, “If you persist in handing out stones when people ask for bread, they will eventually stop coming to the bakery.”

We know that he speaks today and it all started with a 14-year old boy in a sacred grove in New York City in 1820. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that this is his church today. I love him and thank him for leading and guiding this church through the prophets chosen of God. I love this verse from D&C which is very powerful to me.

D&C 135

3 Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!

I know that to be true. I hope that you all have a great week and that everything will go just well for you all!

Ti voglio tanto bene,

Anziano Garrett

Sciacca traffic

Good pizza

Palermo Zone, January, 2017. My last zone conference.

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