Saturday, February 16, 2013

Missionary Work Day 1

Yesterday, February 8,  was a great day – probably our first day of actual missionary work. 

Elder Carr, Sister Scherbel, Sister Petruzziello, Elder Taylor
 at hospital in Avellino
The first city I served in as a young missionary was Avellino. I only served there for six weeks and never dreamed that I would return. There were no members when I left and it was closed to missionary work a couple of months later. As it turns out, missionaries returned a couple of years later and there was actually a branch established there with a dozen members or so. Due to economic problems, several families moved to other cities and the branch was closed. Yesterday, we met with a former Branch President named Umberto Petruzziello and his wife Luigina. He is in the hospital with kidney problems. He had one kidney removed a few years ago and the remaining one isn’t working very well at this time. We were able to meet him and give him a blessing. His wife doesn’t drive so she has to take two buses each day to visit him at the hospital. She has a pacemaker, so has a bit of problem walking up hills, but is really a trooper and goes to see her husband every day. It was good that we could give her a ride for at least one day.

After visiting the Petruzziello’s the Elders had an appointment with a young lady who had been taught by some sister missionaries in Milano. It turns out that she found out she had leukemia when she was sixteen. She traveled to Rome at that time and had a bone marrow transplant using her sister as a donor. However, the transplant was unsuccessful. After a couple of years, she went to another hospital in Milano and received another bone marrow transplant using her father as the donor. This time it worked and after a great deal of pain and suffering including three years of chemotherapy her leukemia is now in remission and she her hair has returned and she is a beautiful young woman. She has an amazingly strong testimony and wants to be baptized. While she was receiving treatments in Milano, a friend suggested that she might be interested in the LDS Church. She was taught in Milano by a pair of sisters who must have done an excellent job.

 However, while she was receiving treatments in Milano, she met an older woman who had a son who was receiving similar treatments. Unfortunately, the treatments weren’t as successful for him and he passed away. She has remained friends with this woman who is suffering from depression as a result of losing her son. Flavia, the young lady, wants to be baptized in Rome where this other woman lives so she can attend Flavia’s baptism. Her friend is Catholic, but Flavia believes it would be a big help for her to witness her baptism and feel the Spirit. Flavia is a really special girl and has been through a lot.

She set a baptismal date for March 2 in Rome. I am sure we will be able to help make this happen. We also met her grandmother and her Aunt, both outstanding women and very supportive of Flavia.

We also met a lady from Russia during our walk yesterday named Nadia and a lady who lives in our apartment building named Maria. We are planning to invite them to our home to get to know them. Battipaglia is a bit challenged economically, but there are lots of wonderful people here.

The Elders introduced us to the owners of a little pizzeria called Sofia's (named after Sofia Loren who was born in their home town of Pozzuoli) in the neighborhood last night. They gave us a discount on their wonderful pizzas. We will definitely get to know them better.

We are definitely enjoying Italian cooking, and are trying to walk at least a mile each morning together and are also taking the stairs instead of the elevator a few times each day to get some extra exercise. We live on the fourth floor (fifth floor in the US) so the stairs might help some.

1 comment:

  1. Im so happy with you Guys, keep it up I know God be with you always.