Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Zone Life


So I'm keeping really busy nowadays. There are a ridiculous amount of Portuguese missionaries that can't get to Brazil. So we just had 38 join our Branch this last week, and we're going to be having another 30-something coming in tomorrow. And...of course I have to talk to them for a couple hours, tell them about the MTC, give them a tour and the like.

So keeping busy.

This last week flew by. The highlight though is for mom. Guess who I saw here!!! Do you remember those Elders we took to McDonalds when we were in Taiwan with Clark?? Well now they're both Chinese teachers here at the MTC. haha. So one of them recognized me last week and it was really cool. We also got in 30 new missionaries that are going to Taiwan this last week. A couple have taken Chinese, but they were still blown away when I went and chatted with them. I realized I can bear my testimony in Chinese pretty well actually. I would really like to have a Chinese Book of Mormon, just in case I meet any Chinese people while I'm in Italy. Cause I'm sure I could place it.

Really exciting news? I believe I'm going to receive my flight plans this week! So that will be awesome.

I've received some awesome packages and letters lately, which I very much appreciate!! Such a nice surprise. I got cookies from Grandma, a couple weeks ago I got cookies from Sister Buss, and I also got candy from the Gillette family. It's pretty sweet.

I've been trying to decide when I should break this news to you...but...okay. hahaha. So I've been working out a lot lately (every morning, plus an hour every day of soccer, basketball, or more working out). And I didn't realize something until it was too late! I want to be able to do a hand stand push up before I get out of here, but it turns out that working out overhead makes your neck bigger!!! So I no longer fit into a 15 1/2!! hahaha. But the good news is I got this "button extender" that seems to work alright. But yeah, it's pretty nuts. In a couple weeks I'll let you know all the physical goals I've accomplished here because they're actually pretty phenomenal. I've put on a little over twelve pounds, but I can assure you that I've only lost fat. So it's pretty cool.

I accomplished a sweet goal this week!! I have now seen over 50 people here that I know! (People that I actually remember their names too, haha). I was hoping to see over 50 before I left the MTC, but I already have. I love it here.

One more thing. Soccer has been favoloso. I love it. The new portuguese Elders in our Branch are pretty good, and so it's really fun to play with them. It's been snowing here, but it melts so we're still able to play. Except Anziano Garcia, Anziano Garvin, and I manage to do alright. My companion (Elder Garvin) did something really funny yesterday during soccer: Okay, so first he kicks the ball out of the air, and it hits some big guy in the face and knocks him down. THEN, my companion runs to the ball, without looking kicks it towards the goal, and right then that same guy was standing up and he got hit in the face!! hahaha. It was so funny. The kid was alright. So that was good.

One thing I forgot to tell you is that we once again had a lesson tutto in Italiano. And I'll tell you what, I'm feeling pretty good about it. I can understand pretty well, and I can also communicate most of what I can say. I can also ask some pretty killer questions in Italian that have been really helping me get some good responses. There's a ton more to learn, but I really feel quite prepared. We're doing three SYL days this week. So that should be good. Our last ones have gone really well. Discussing a fairly wide variety of subjects.

The Spirit is great. I really like the firesides still. I've been singing in the choir with Elder Ben Savio at all of them. I love that kid. So much fun. He seems to be doing great.

We had a quick health scare the other day. Anziano Rowland got sick, but it wasn't swine flu, so he didn't have to get quarantined. But check this out. There is one sister that didn't leave today with the others because she is having some health problems. But she will go to Italy in 2 weeks. Other than her, we are now the oldest Italians here.

Pretty cool.

Con Affetto,

Anziano Banks

P.S. Grazie mille per tutte le cose