Tuesday, November 30, 2010

First Palermo Stake Conference

This last week I attended the first stake conference of the new Palermo Stake (which includes all of Sicily). It was awesome. I got to meet one of the Chinese members in Palermo! I can't remember what part of China she's from, but anyway, she's married to the brother of a member I knew in Bari.

The entire trip was crazy. We rode over to Palermo with a bus that came from the Ragusa ward. We were the only ones from our branch that went to the conference. haha. At the conference I also got to see Anziano Rowland! I also had a pretty scary experience. I've picked up the habit from mom of always carrying around a little water bottle. I've also picked up the habit of using the restroom whenever I get the chance. So, right after the conference I decided to use the restroom before we had to leave. I went into a stall, and closed and locked the door. Then I tried to get out, but the door wouldn't unlock!! I was pressing down on the handle, moving the lock around, and instead of being a normal stall, it was more like a closet in the sense that I was in a closed room. I kept trying to get out, but after a little bit I decided it would be best to call for help. I started yelling, "AIUTO!! AIUTO!!"
I could faint voices of people talking. I even heard people saying that the third stall was occupied. "AIUTO!!" I screamed. I faintly heard my companion chatting with someone. "ANZIANO DESTEFANIS!!! AIUTAMI! NON POSSO APRIRE LA PORTA!"
Finally, my companion heard me, and tried to help me. After a few seconds he was able to get the door open using his lucky coin to open the door . It was crazy. My companion told me that he couldn't hear me because of the hand dryers. Anyway, it sure was a stressful experience.

Afterwards we got a ride from the Zone Leaders to Agrigento. Anziano Acerson was too tired to give us a ride home, so we stayed the night there! That was pretty fun. I love our Zone Leaders. Anziano Acerson and Anziano Reyes (he's originally from Peru, but he's from northern Italy). They had hardly any food at their house! We ate a couple little frozen pizzas and the last of their pasta for dinner, and then in the morning Anziano Acerson and I made pancakes.

So then it was Monday, and we took the train home. We talked to a lot of people on our way home from Agrigento. We taught a couple people about the restoration, and one of them worked for the train station. I asked him about his tie, and I think he's going to give me one! It's a sweet tie.

Then we had to go to Ragusa to give the Sorelle the baptismal clothes that Agrigento had borrowed (that's why we stayed over there), and we gave a blessing to one of their investigators. My first Italian companion, we've given two blessings together, and both times I've been the one who does the sealing. haha. It went well though, and I really like the man we gave the blessing too.

Speaking of blessings, things are going great with Nicola! We taught him the word of wisdom, and he was good with it except that he drinks two or three cups of coffee every day. He was having a hard time overcoming, and then his doctor told him the he had to quit drinking coffee!!! How awesome is that? Unfortunately, at this point we had already promised him that I would make him a cheesecake if he quits drinking coffee, and now he quit. haha. Today I gave him his cheesecake, and we also went to see some things around Gela with him for his birthday (he just turned 33).

Nicola is going to get baptized on the 11th (we decided it would be best to go a week later instead of earlier because we wouldn't have had enough time to teach him everything well).

So anyway, as far as everyone else goes, we just found a new family!! We were finishing up the end of our housing zone (where we had chosen) and we found a family of four! They're pretty awesome. We went by them again yesterday, but their son (young) was extremely sick and went to the hospital. We also found another family in that zone. I think it's part of the whole enduring to the end. haha. We didn't really have much success at all in that zone until we reached the end.

By the way, Thanksgiving tomorrow!! Happy Thanksgiving!! We were going to have a party in church, until we realized that we don't have any money, and no one can come! haha. So instead we decided we're going to do a special fast. haha. I think this will be the only Thanksgiving that I do something like that. haa.

I hope you're all doing well. I pray for you. I pray that you remember to read the scriptures and go to church! haha. This week I was thinking about something. In our last Zone Conference our President mentioned something about how we demonstrate our own faith and testimony by how much we want to share it. That made me feel pretty good about mine because I understand that in the end every person will be happier if the accept the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. What does that mean? That means that when I talk to someone that says that they're happy, I tell them that they can be even more happy! That's the truth.

Anziano Banks



Be thankful for all the great things you have, like internet at home instead of in a smoky internet cafe where everyone plays online poker and they play the same song over and over and over and over again.
But I'm grateful that I at least have that!