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A little bit of Italy: From my mom to my brother

Dear Anziano Roberts,

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it's 2010?

We had an amazing miracle happen yesterday. Remember how we told you that Christian's aunt was going to bring you your Christmas presents after the 2nd ( as she was flying home to Italy from Christian's house on that day)?

We were impressed that you had been transferred 10 hours away to Slovenia. We thought that you wouldn't receive your gifts till later because of your transfer. Little did we know that you were moved much closer , thanks to a loving Heavenly Father.

Suzanne McNairy Tomasetti called yesterday and talked with Dad. She told him that she had just spoken to Christian's mom in Italy. Sister Tomasetti told Suzanne that new missionaries had just been transferred to their branch. She said one had born his testimony and had been so beautiful and humble. Suzanne asked his name AND it was YOU!!!!

She told her mother-in-law who you were and Sister Tomasetti was so excited ( as we all are). She said she would take GOOD care of you and feed you well. They called Uncle Lou "King Kong" and our 2 month-old Michael Louis-"Baby King Kong"...Remember the lasagna she made for us after Christian and Suzanne's wedding, that Daddy just loved?? The Lord is good.

Christian told us that Italy celebrates the Three Kings and that they bring presents to the children on January 6th. Remember me telling you the story of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" an opera by Gian Carlo Menotti? It's a story I first learned my Favorite of Favorites ( Mrs. Anderson) when in a 7th grade choir. It tells of a very poor crippled boy who lives with his widowed mother. Three kings come and ask to stay with them while they follow a STAR to find a special child who was recently born.

The mother sees all their gold and the gifts they want to give to this child- one they don't even know. She starts to steal some gold for her child and is caught. The kings then tell her about the child they seek who - doesn't need their gold. "On love alone, He will build his kingdom" they tell her- and he will bless the poor.

The mom realizes the meaning of the baby king and says that she has waited all her life for such a king... that she would send him something of her own if she had anything... Just then, her son, Amahl, shouts that he will give the child his little crutch, because"who knows, he may need it..." Amazingly Amahl begins to walk... he is healed by his faith in the child and goes with the three kings to give his thanks to the Christ child.

Gian Carlo Menotti wrote this for American T.V. in the 5os. He was asked to write a Christmas opera. He wanted to share his Italian Christmas tradition of the Three Kings. I helped put this opera on in So Pas ward when Dad and I first moved in. Carlos Garcia was Melchior. Paul Deveraux was Balthazar, the black king. He had dark make-up in his ear on the next day- Sunday... I sang the mother's part. Grandpa Bluth was the servant to the kings who catches the mother stealing the gold. It is a beautiful memory.

We are humbled and amazed at the Lord's Blessings that He pours out on His children so liberally. The tender mercy of this around- the -world, magical Christmas time...the reinforcement of the knowledge that He knows each one of us individually and loves us unconditionally, warts and all.

We love you, dear son,
Pray always, Choose the Right (CTR), and remember who you are: a child of god.

All our love,
OX OX,
Mom, Dad and kids

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