Sunday, July 18, 2010

Benvenuti a Roma!!

So, we’ve now become part of the Rome mission! That means that even if I don't serve there, I should at least be able to see Rome a little bit the last day of my mission right before I go.

I personally am totally stoked about the mission change because it opens up the possibility of going to a number of exciting new places. We just had transfer calls, and for now I am staying in Foggia. It's pretty sweet because we now are starting to learn how to cook, and we also realized that just about every city near Foggia is Medieval.

Last week we went to Trani. One interesting thing about Italy is that just about every city has an old cathedral, and an old castle. Trani also had a nice park. We only had time to spend a couple hours there, but it was enough to check out the highlights of this little city. We had some Foccaccia for lunch, and we walked around and enjoyed the nice little bay they have.

 Eating Pizza TraniTrani Arch

That was my travel highlight for the week.

My cooking highlight was that we learned how to make gnocchi from one of our investigators! That was pretty awesome. I'll teach you how after the mission. I'll probably have to show mom and Lia all the things I will have learned how to cook, because I think I'm going to know a ton. On Saturday we're going over to learn something else. Gnocchi were really easy to make, and basically all you need is potatoes, egg, and flour!


My spiritual highlight this week was a pretty cool one. We were with Fratello Manzo going around visiting random less active people that he knows in the area. Fratello Manzo used to be the ward mission leader (years ago) and now he is about to be called as the Assistant ward mission leader. Anyway, we rang a less active sister's intercom, and she was happy to let us up. Fratello Manzo did some catching up with her, and we all chatted about different things (job, school, where you're from, etc) It turns out that she's the daughter of one of the first members in Foggia. Then she told us about how she had just been robbed! This was really interesting. The robbers must have had a key to the house, because they didn't have to break the lock or anything, and then they checked behind a couple picture frames and found her wall safe. They removed the entire safe from the wall, and left! All this was done while she was out of the house at work or something. It happened a few days before we passed by. Anyway, she was really shaken up. She had about 30-40K of jewelry, money, and other items in that wall safe, but the thing that really shook her up is the sense that someone invaded her privacy and personal space. Obviously now the locks have been changed, and when we came by it was the first time that she's returned to stay in the home (she lives by herself). We then decided to offer a prayer. After the prayer she was crying. She told us that yesterday she had prayed to Heavenly Father to comfort her, and today he sent his angels to her. It was really cool. Although she has been inactive, and she has strayed away, she is definitely making her way back. That was really cool.

Okay, so here are the opposites this week! haha.

Travel opposite: Today we went with Bishop to visit some members that live in the countryside (near the the direction of Calabria where Cosenza is). To get to their house we had to drive up a road that zig zags like crazy, and it was miserable. The members there are amazing though. An old couple that is unable to come to church (health problems), but they hold sacrament every week themselves. We go and visit them every few weeks. They're awesome.

Cooking opposite: I decided to try and make a pasta out of fresh tomatoes that I had. I thought it would be a good idea to have a pasta that wasn't so smooth, and so I didn't blend the tomatoes or the carrot I threw in very well, and the sauce ended up having a bad texture. The pasta still tasted okay though. I think there's a reason why Italians usually use peeled tomatoes and use a tool to take out the seeds. There were way too many seeds.

Spiritual opposite: We were doing house (which means we were ringing intercoms) and some guy started yelling at us not to bother people! He told us that no one wanted to hear from us. It was really rude because there was a lady I was already talking to that wanted to know who we were, so I said to him, can I just tell this lady who I am because she wants to know (she kept asking "Who are you?"). He yelled into the intercom and told her to hang up. She didn't! haha. And I ended up telling her who we were as he left (although she didn't end up having interest). He went around the corner and stared at us, but we felt like we should finish ringing the intercoms. Anyway, then we ended up talking to a guy who used to play soccer with missionaries in the past, and he listened to our message, and we're going to meet with him again! So it actually ended up being pretty cool.

Anyway, so there are all my highlights and the opposites for this week. I hope that you find joy in your lives as you experience the ups and downs. It's always about balancing your life.

I know that this church is true, I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and I know that without the Holy Ghost people can't really understand the Bible. This week I started studying the Bible a lot more than usual, and I found it very obvious how so many people get confused.


Anziano Banks

Pointing Trani Ocean