Dear Elders and Sisters,
As another holiday season begins, we express to you once again our gratitude for the association we share having served the Lord together in Rome. Sister Pacini and I hope that as you hear of progress being made by the Church in Italy, and especially as the Rome Temple moves forward, that you will realize that you were a part of this great work – an important part!
During the Thanksgiving period I had occasion to telephone President DeFeo, the stake president in Rome. He indicated that while significant progress is being made in obtaining the necessary approvals to commence building the temple, the building permit process is not complete. As you can imagine for any city of over 5 million inhabitants, the city must take many aspects of a major construction project into consideration prior to giving its approval. President DeFeo indicated that all the members of the Rome Stake have been asked to include the temple approval process and those so involved in their fast for December. Evidently additional meetings and work will be scheduled during December and the Lord’s help will be greatly needed. Sister Pacini and I have invited our family and friends to participate in this fast as well. As fellow laborers, we extend that invitation to you and those that you feel would find this a meaningful event to participate in. We also remind you to thank the Lord for all His help to this point. Without His direct intervention, we would not be seeing the great strides that are being made.
You may also hear many faith promoting stories about the progress of the temple. I would suggest that unless you hear those directly from the person involved or a member of the First Presidency in a public forum, that it is better to keep the warm feelings such accounts give us to ourselves and not pass them on. It is always easy to have a story change as it is passed along, and we would not want to embarrass anyone or otherwise slow down the work unintentionally. Knowing by the Spirit the Lord is pleased to build a temple in Rome is really the only thing we need to dwell on right now.
President DeFeo shared that the most recent stake conference in Rome was a great spiritual feast for all that were involved. In addition to the spirit that was present in all the meetings, he felt particularly grateful for the many new families that have joined the Church in the last six months and those that have come back into activity. He said that almost every ward and branch has had full families and others either come into the Church or back into activity or both. What a great report and tribute to those missionaries currently serving together with all the local leaders and members.
President DeFeo also indicated that he has seen the plans for the temple and that they are beautiful. He is not at liberty to share them at this point, but once the city and the area presidency have given their approvals he will share the plans with all of us unless the Church has made them publically available through some other means. He also expressed his thanks for the many prayers which continue to be offered for him, the other local Church leaders, and those involved in granting the approvals. Isn’t it wonderful how the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ can give us common purpose in a world that is so filled with division and strife?
Please know that you each remain in our prayers. We pray especially at this time of year, that despite the trials of life, that this Christmas season will bring you great joy as we each reflect on the eternal blessing which Christmas helps us remember –
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Our love and best wishes to you all.
President and Sister Pacini
"Cari Fratelli e Sorelle,
Vi ringraziamo per le continue preghiere in ogni occasione come richiesto dall'Anz.Oaks, e per i digiuni di tutti, al fine di aprire i cuori dei governanti per favorire la costruzione del Tempio di Roma. Questi sono tempi di grandi miracoli per noi tutti mentre vediamo il Regno di Dio avanzare, e siamo invero testimoni di come il Signore operi direttamente con piccoli mezzi per far avverare grandi miracoli. Siamo felici di poter dire apertamente che i cuori si stanno davvero aprendo e che questi sono giorni di miracoli. Come preannunciato durante la recente conferenza di palo chiediamo a tutti i santi del Palo di Roma di unirsi ancora in un digiuno speciale in occasione della prima domenica di digiuno di Dicembre e di dedicarlo all'edificazione del Tempio di Roma. Chiediamo ancora una volta di esercitare una fede possente come santi e di essere uniti in questo sforzo spirituale.
Noi testimoniamo che il Signore ascolta le preghiere di tutti e che e' pronto a riversare le piu' grandi benedizioni secondo la nostra fedelta' e obbedienza. Possiamo noi offrire il meglio di noi stessi al Signore cosi' che Egli possa benedirci con il meglio delle benedizioni che ha preparato per noi tutti".
La Presidenza del Palo di Roma