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300 non-members to the Rome Temple Open House

$7,526 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 72 people in 8 months
Created December 10, 2018

Rome Temple Open House:
  - 1 family
  - 300 NON-MEMBER guests
  - 5 busses =  WE NEED YOUR HELP!

OUR STORY: Over the past 10 years,  we have lived in Florence, Italy.  Our LARGE family of 5 daughters and 1 son have created quite the visibility - and lots of questions. Most of the people that we meet have never heard of our Church or know very little about it.   So, when we invited 150 friends to come to our daughter's baptism, we didn't expect 125 non-members to show up.  It was amazing to witness such interest!

OUR GOAL:  We set a family goal of 300 personal non-member invitations to the Rome Temple Open House.  We actually invited more than 400 non-member friends and acquaintances including our doctors, our bankers, our barber, business associates, local media, members of our social organizations, university leaders, shop owners, restaurant owners, taxi drivers - all of the people that we frequently see and meet each day. 

INCREDIBLE RESPONSE:  People really want to come!!!  We expect at last 300 actual guests!!!   We prepared a formal invitation and have been making personal visits and the response has been incredible!!!  "Absolutely!"  "Can we bring a friend?"    We have reserved 280 tickets for Feb 2, 4 & 9 and we're concerned that too many non-members want to come.  Its simply amazing!

BUSSES?  The Rome Temple is 2.5 hours away.  It will take  5 separate buses to get them there - all of our friends together - so the missionaries can speak to our friends.  Imagine...being a missionary on a bus full of non-members beading to the Temple.  How cool is that?   We have been saving money to fund the buses to take the many people we have invited to Rome, but didn't expect such a high level of interest.

COST.  Each bus will cost $1,500 - just over $8,000 for 5.  We will also be providing copies of the Book of Mormon in English and Italian for our guests.

HOW YOU CAN HELP... A donation of any amount would be appreciated.  You may be far away, but can still help us with our missionary efforts in Italy!  Every little bit helps. 

THANK YOU AND PLEASE FORWARD!!!!!

PS - Dave has worked with such government and educational officials in Italy, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey and 8 other countries - even they have been invited and we expect 20-25 diplomats and politicians to attend on a separate day. 

Thank you for helping us with our efforts, every little bit helps!!
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Additional photos of our non-member guests
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Our 1,500 personal invitations proved successful in getting 440 non-members to attend the open house with us - not including a few dozen diplomats and VIPs. We had hoped more would have attended, but many have attended the visitors center since the open house and I'm certain more will during the next month or two.

We are now providing personalized copies of the Book of Mormon to the missionaries and having good success teaching some of our guests. There has been a shortage of Italian copies...imagine that. So we are painfully trying to get our hands on enough copies to get to our guests asap.

Here are a couple links you might enjoy:
- https://ksltv.com/410937/carving-history-2/
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2u7dRotDdo
- http://www.ldsliving.com/From-Moving-to-Italy-to-Avoiding-Bombings-in-Iraq-How-This-Family-Has-Been-Led-to-Share-the-Gospel/s/90130
- https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900054920/how-an-american-latter-day-saint-family-is-helping-to-bring-busloads-of-italians-to-the-rome-temple.html

Thank you for supporting this incredible Missionary opportunity. We'll post photos shortly.

One of our non-member guests said the following:

“Hi David, sorry for the late night message. I needed a little time to understand the sensations felt Saturday, before during and after the visit to the Temple. First meeting you and your family, then listening to the presentation by the artists, then visiting the Temple. Serenity, calm and tranquility were sensible by all the people I had the good fortune to meet; from all the people to whom I have addressed and who have turned to me, from the place where I was. I have absolutely not had the feeling of being out of place, but in a place where one can only feel good. Knowing new people, and having the feeling of knowing them already, is not a sensation that happens every day. Thank you for this great opportunity that you offered me, thanks for your hospitality, thank you for having had the opportunity to spend a day that sure does not leave [me] indifferent and [I] cannot forget."

PS - If you are purchasing a 3D wood puzzle, Marble Resin copy of the Rome Temple, or copies of the 12 apostles in mineature, visit www.WhiteStoneStudios.org. Our son is a marble sculptor preparing to serve a mission and created several wonderful items to remind people of this special experience.

Dave Evertsen
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I want to share some updates of this experience with all of you!
First, I want to apologize for not giving live updates of the progress. I have been running full-day tours to Carrara with 1-3 busses per day all of the days that I haven’t been taking these busses of Non-Member friends to the Temple. So, I’m sure you can imagine it has been very busy.
It has been a very humbling response to this Go Fund Me effort. We have worked hard for years to prepare for it and wanted to pay for this. It was through prayer that I had the idea to do this, and I was surprised by the response. I hadn’t thought before to ask others to get involved and help with these efforts, but was grateful by the response and your comments. I enjoyed reading your comments and it has been an even more positive affect with these efforts.
I shared with all of the guests that, “there are many people in the US that would love to be here for the Open House but can’t and that they wanted to make it possible for you all to come.” This sounded much better than, “We paid for these busses for you all to come” They were all very honored when hearing this and it meant a lot more to them.
The first day we had 1 full bus. We shared our personal experiences and about the different rooms in the Temple. We showed them the movies of “Meet the Mormons” and “How Rare a Possession”. They all really enjoyed it, especially the story about Vincenzo di Francesa.
The 2nd day we had mostly women on a smaller bus because it was on a Monday. So, it was a fun girl’s day, and more personal. We talked about special experiences that can happen in the Temple and how often we can feel close to our loved ones that have passed away. One of my friends said that she chose to come on this day because her Dad had died 2 years ago and it was his birthday. She thought that even thought she is not Christian, that it would be a good way to spend the day thinking about him because he was always open to inspiration and new ideas.
Other comments were about how beautifully simple and elegant it was. Very special that is was modern, but not too flashy, very special in a heavenly way and the colors were very peaceful.
The 3rd day was another Saturday and we had 2 busses with just a few empty seats. As I was getting some final counts and confirmations, I had a lot of interest at first, but when it came time to confirm, I was getting a lot of NO’s. But I was determined to have these busses full. So, I reached out to the members. I told them that if they would bring Non-Member family members and friends or inactive members that they could come on the bus for free. It was a great motivator and it filled the bus. It was very positive. We have been inviting everyone we knew, but were trying to encourage the members to do the same. But it didn’t seam like they were trying that hard. I realized that there were also many members, that couldn’t afford to go down and this was a great way to get them there.
There were members that were coming with their family members, friends’ colleagues and more. A full bus of 45 had only 5 members on it. It was wonderful!
We hadn’t planned to have more days but we are now adding another bus for this Saturday. Even though I will be working I have arranged for another member to run the bus for me. Many of the members have been working hard to get more friends there and were asking me how many seats were available. Thanks to all of you, we will be able to add another bus.

We will post photos and videos next week!!

Thank you!! for you loving and generous donations!
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$7,526 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 72 people in 8 months
Created December 10, 2018
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