Successful Baptism!

Hey Famiglia!

What a week it has been here in Crotone.  I really am loving it here though.  First off and the most exciting news is that Julietta was baptized on Saturday!!  [The names of all investigators have been changed.]  The Spirit was SO strong.  There aren’t many other places or moments when the Spirit is stronger for me than during baptisms.  I really do feel such an immense love and joy for our investigators when they take that critical step in their lives.  I love it.  We are well on our way for some more coming up soon!  Her confirmation also went really well on Sunday.  She is such an awesome girl.  We gave her a Bible on Sunday at her confirmation with some messages written in it.

The district president also had a surprise visit to our branch and we were strong in numbers. We had 45 people there in church!!!  I was really excited to hear that Crotone is growing as fast as it is.  I was surprised when they announced that we had surpassed Cosenza in attendance, which makes us the biggest branch in Calabria.  It looks like next year we’ll be getting a new building, and once we hit 60 people on average in Sacrament Meeting we can buy land for a chapel.  Then once we hit 80, we can actually build the chapel.  Those are just the numbers I heard during branch council though.  We’ll get there soon!

Another bit of exciting news is that after Julietta’s baptism, one of the less actives that we are working with came up to me and asked me if we could start preparing her child for baptism, who is 9 years old.  We went over to that particular less active’s house a couple of months ago to ask if we could prepare their child for baptism, and the answer was no.  I’m so glad that this baptism helped soften their hearts!  We asked the child (Vito) if he would like to be baptized, and he said yes.  We’ll be heading over there in a couple of hours to get started!

Nario and Pippa have to have some of the biggest hearts I know.  Italians really are such a kind and giving people.  We helped Nario translate some things on Friday after we cleaned the church ALL morning (it was a LOT of work and very needed… We had a big concentrated effort that day), and then he brought us over to talk with Pippa.  We also saw them Saturday at the baptism, Sunday in church, and we’ll have a family home evening with them tonight. It is so sad that they have to wait until December to be married (because of the divorce process), but I am sure they will be ready by then!  They absolutely LOVED the baptism, and I’m sure that it helped them a lot.  Unfortunately Pietro had to head back to the hospital yesterday when we were planning on visiting him, because there were some problems with his arm that he had surgery with.  But he did make it to church in the morning!

This week was weird though.  We spent a lot of time in the church…  The week included knocking out all of the glass of the broken door, taking off the door and getting it fixed, hauling the old refrigerator of the church up 4 flights of stairs to a member, then carrying her old one down, and then doing a super deep clean of the whole church on Friday.  We knocked out like all of these weeds that were in the back of the church, and shoveled out absolutely bags and bags of mud clogging everything back there.  The good news is that our church looks really good right now!

For Anziano McArthur’s birthday we went out and got pizza and a gelato!  The Anziani from Catanzaro also came for an exchange so they could be there for the baptism.  It was lots of fun.

I think that Skype at 4 o’clock my time on Mother’s Day should work out.  If it doesn’t, I’ll let you know.

The Catalina trip sounds like lots of fun!! And that’s really cool that Jenna got hired by Dancing with the Stars!!!  That’s crazy!  She is such a good dancer.  I’m super excited to hear where Topher ends up going!  Let’s cross our fingers for Italy!! 🙂

It’s really cool that Dan Campbell will be the new bishop!  That sounds like it will be great.

Well, I’m not sure what else to mention this week…

I think I’ve got some good pics!

Ciao!
Anziano Jones

These first few pictures were taken at Julietta’s baptism.

Craig, Julietta, and Anziano McArthur

I think that little girl with the purse around her shoulder is really cute.  I believe she is Julietta’s younger sister.

Anziano Kenney at the baptism.

This guy doesn’t look familiar, but I think he must be Anziano Kenney’s new companion.

Craig said this is some pizza they made.

Yep, I do believe those are french fries on top of the pizza!  I’ve never heard of french fry pizza before.  I wonder if they came up with that idea themselves or if it’s just something everybody does in Italy.

I bet they enjoyed it!

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