“A Faithful Learner—Selene Zuppardo of Subbiano, Italy,” Friend, July 2008, 34–36
When you look at Selene Zuppardo, you might notice her brown eyes and friendly smile. And then you might notice that she is upside down, and her toes are where her head usually is. That’s because nine-year-old Selene is doing a handstand, a move that she learned in her gymnastics class. In her hometown of Subbiano, Italy, Selene is a busy learner. She learns at gymnastics; she learns at home; she learns at school; she learns in Primary. One of the things she has learned and excels in is serving and loving her family.
Selene has two older sisters, three older brothers, and one younger sister, and they have a strong family relationship. “I like that we’re never alone because there are so many of us,” Selene says. She likes to talk and play with her family, and they like to sing together. She also enjoys spending time with her family at the park.
Selene’s brothers and sisters look out for each other and try to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. One time when Selene was little, she went into the kitchen and found some chemicals. Her older sister had a feeling to go look for her. She went and found Selene and stopped her before she drank the chemicals.
Selene is serious about learning the gospel and developing a testimony. “She has prayed to find inspiration to help not just herself, but the family as well,” says Selene’s mother. “She is spiritual, determined, and tries her best at what she does.”
Selene’s father and grandmother passed away recently, and it has been hard for her and her family. But thanks to the gospel, her mom says, “she’s been strong enough to get through it.”
Before Selene was baptized, she prayed to know if the Church was true. She wanted to have a testimony. After she prayed she felt Heavenly Father telling her the Church was true, and she felt that her dad wanted her to be baptized.
In Primary, Selene likes to participate by reading the scriptures. Her favorite scripture story is Noah’s ark, which isn’t surprising when you see her cuddling her cat’s new kittens. She also likes to play with her friend, Chiara. “I like to tell her my secrets,” Selene says with a giggle.
It’s no secret that the members of the Zuppardo family love each other very much. Selene makes that love even stronger with her kindness and spirituality.
School subject: mathematics
Family activity: trips to the ocean and mountains
Free time: singing and playing the piano
Primary song: “Silent Night”
Goal: archaeologist—“I like to discover things,” she says.