These past few weeks have been truly delightful. Elder Causse' of the Europeon Area Presidency presided at our Catania Conference which included all the Missionaries on Sicily and Malta. This fine French General Authority brought a simple yet straight forward message of the restored gospel and how best to share it.
Speaking of sharing the Gospel, we had the honor to teach and then baptise and confirm Duwage Chandrapala Jayasinghe, a most delightful gentleman from Sri Lanka. He is working here in Catania, met the sister missionaries on the bus, and attended our English speaking branch. He hasn't missed a Sunday since. His warm smile and kind demeanor have brightened our lives.
Jan and I are teaching the advanced English class...not because our English skills are 'advanced' but because we are least likely to be able to respond to questions in Italian! We are averaging between 15 and 20 students each Tuesday and thursday evening.
The Church is slowly and steadily growing throughout Italy and Europe. This growth is being led by established members of the church...those who are 3rd and 4th generation members. Meanwhile, growth in the Church is greatly accelerating in parts of South America, Africa and Asia and with no established local leadership. As such, full time missionaries are being sent in ever greater numbers to those areas.
So our numbers of missionaries are declining necessitating organizational changes. On July 1st the Italy Catania mission will merge into the Italy Rome Mission with the northern part of the current Rome mission moving into the Milan Mission. So it appears Jan and I will be 'merged' also, heading north to Rome. This is still not firmly set (our daughter Cori is hoping we 'merge' into a Mississippi mission!) and we should know more in the next couple of months.
It's a calming joy to know the Lord is leading this change...we will be delighted to serve wherever we are sent.