From Patti Landes Adams: I served in the Italy Catania Mission in 1980-81. As a sister, I served for eighteen months, which wasn't near long enough to spend in a country with such generous people, and in such beautiful surroundings. I would like to share with you, the story of two people who impacted my life as a young missionary, Vincenzo and Pina Abbate.
My first mission city assignment was Palermo, Sicily. My first companion was Belinda Harrison. Our main method of finding families was house to house, or casa a casa, as we called it. While tracting in a humble area of town, Elders John Barlow and David Kinzie were invited into the home of Enzo and Pina Abbate and their two young sons, Carlo and Salvatore. After two or three discussions, they invited Sister Harrison and I to assist in teaching the family. What a blessing it was to watch them as they were converted to the gospel and embraced its teachings.
Sorella (Sister) Abbate quickly finished the Book of Mormon and asked for other material to read. The Elders provided copies of The Stella (The Ensign) and she poured through the pages. One day when we came to visit, she was busily canning tomatoes. "Is this something you typically do here in Italy?" we asked. "No," she replied, "I read about it in The Stella . . . how important it is to have a year supply of food storage. I want to follow the prophet." She then led us into her kitchen and opened her cupboards to reveal shelves brimming with jars of tomatoes. She wasn't even baptized yet, but was truly converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was eager to follow its teachings.
A few weeks later she was and her husband were baptized by Elder Kinzie and confirmed by Elder Chester Elton. This was a financial sacrifice to the family as Fratello Abbate had left a very good job, which required him to work on Sundays, so that he could honor the Sabbath and attend church with his family. They have both since served in leadership positions and have played a significant part in strengthening the church in Italy.