Not too much news since the maxi-conference. Here’s our group picture; I’m in the front row.
The other day we decided to do what we call an "excellent activity." Basically it means that we do something that's really fun, while doing missionary work at the same time. For this activity we decided to do a spiritual thought with Salvatore, and then play soccer with him and also a member so that they could become better friends. He is our investigator that is getting baptized on the 5th of June that is making great progress. He's been smoking since he was 16, (he's 21) and he's trying to quit. The spiritual thought went great. Then we started playing soccer and that was a blast. We have a soccer field to the side of church, and we played with a bunch of local kids (who are all crazy good). But Salvatore didn't want to play! We were shocked, and then asked him if he played basketball, and he said yes. So we played a little bit of soccer with this member and all the local kids, and then we decided to play a little basketball to get Salvatore involved--he played for about two minutes and then went inside the church!! It was crazy. haha. So we told him next time we're just going to watch a film with him, and I think we're going to watch the restoration. So far in Italy this is only the third time I've played soccer!! I thought I would play every week! But it's okay, I still played alright.
We do weekly service at the soup kitchen here. They actually have really good food there! Yesterday we went and did service and the food we served was a lot better than the food I ended up cooking for lunch. As usual I made a pasta with red sauce. We had leftover meatballs from a member lunch appointment, so I put those in. I used one bottle of red sauce, and a can of peeled tomatoes. I cheated a little and used this pre-mixed spice that I found in the cupboard. I also grated some carrots, and I put in a little garlic. I tried something weird this time. I decided to put some Basil in the water while I cooked the pasta. I'm not sure if it did anything or not, but the pasta ended up tasting pretty good. The only problem is the meatballs didn't have enough flavor. I also learned an awesome recipe the other day. It's really weird, but it tastes really good. I'll have to make it for you when I get home. It takes 2 boxes of "panna". I'm not sure exactly what that is, but you always use it when you want a pink sauce. Two boxes is a ton, but this sauce ends up tasting awesome. I've found that most sauces that I like would taste better with hamburger meat with them as well...but that's mostly just because I love hamburger meat so much. I also learned a pesto recipe the other day that I'm going to try sometime soon. It just takes a lot of basilico and pine nuts. It's just the classic pesto - genovese. I've tried it and it was tasty.
Institute here is pretty funny. I've had to help teach a couple times. They just meet once every week on Sunday evening and go through a few chapters in the Book of Mormon. There are usually only three or four people there. One girl in our ward just sent in her mission papers! I should probably be here when she gets her call.
Speaking of calls, transfer calls come tomorrow!! This is my first transfer, so I'm sure I'll be staying, but what we don't know is what will be happening to the city. Right now there are four of us here, but odds are that the city is going to go down to two missionaries because there are something like 10 missionaries leaving and none coming in, so everywhere is getting downsized every time we have a transfer. What will probably happen is I'll just stay with my companion and the city will go down to two...which is not that exciting. haha.
Which reminds me of something that is exciting! I met a Chinese guy this week in a store that may be coming to church one of these weeks. It will be hard to do translating for him, but it'll be really cool as well. He's from near Shanghai. He's buddhist and I taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I think anyone who will serve a mission in the future should learn another language, because even if you don't go to a country that speaks it, you'll probably meet someone who does. I've met people who speak Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, Romanian, Bulgarian, French, Russian, English, Farsi, and all kinds of other languages. Basically, Chinese has helped me a ton, but if I had studied Spanish more it would have helped me as well, or any other language. It's starting to seem crazy to me that anyone doesn't speak at least two languages!
Okay, so my advice for this week would be to serve others, and plant things. haha. I think those are two great ways that everyone can better the world. More plants, more kindness.
Have a great week! I'll let you know of any changes to our city next week! For sure something has to change because Anziano Shaw is going home.