Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fast Sunday in Prato...

We went to church in the Prato branch. It is a small town right outside of Florence. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I witnessed while in Italy.

We first went to Relief Society and one of the sister missionaries translated for us. We noticed an African-American girl there and quickly realized she spoke English. She was from England and we made sure she could hear the translation and then we talked to her a little bit afterwards. She was visiting someone there in the ward, staying with them for a week while doing some sort of school project.

We then went into Sunday School, and Sacrament was last. It was Fast and Testimony meeting, and I think the best one that I have ever attended. Everyone (except for maybe one slightly crazy one at the beginning) bore the most beautiful testimonies. An elder translated the meeting for us. The testimonies were pure testimonies, very sweet ones. You could feel the spirit so strongly. The chapel was packed with members and investigators.

Near the end of the meeting, the girl who we had spoken to earlier came forward to bear her testimony. She did it in English, so a member of the ward quickly stood up and helped her translate into Italian. She said that she was not a member of the church, just visiting. She had never been to our church and didn't know anything about it. She said that she felt the spirit so strong during the meetings. Everyone had been so nice to her, she said that she hadn't ever been treated so kindly. Then she announced that she would be finding our church when she gets home to England and she will be joining it. Wow! What an amazing experience to be a part of. The young man who had helped her translate happened to be a return missionary from her area in England! So, he called the missionary president up, gave her information to him, and made sure that they were waiting for her when she arrived.

It was really an amazing meeting. One that I hope I will never forget. The members here are some of the most beautiful, strong members I have ever seen. The church is very strong in Italy and the members are outstanding, as are the missionaries teaching in this area. I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have had to witness such miracles here in Italy.


Stacy said...

Wow, what an amazing story!