Monday, August 29, 2011

Ciao Famiglia!

This last week went really well. What am I saying? All my weeks go really well! The fifteenth was Ferragosto, which means...CLEANING DAY!! Woohoo! Our house got super clean. We made it a lot nicer now, and I feel like my quality of life has really improved. Haha. Who knew how good a clean house could make you feel?

The big news this week is that next week I'm going to be down in Sicily! I'm really looking forward to that. We're going to take the furgone (van) down to bring everyone supplies, and we're also going to be doing some exchanges down there.

August is a really funny time to be a missionary in Italy. Pretty much everyone goes on vacation this month, so things really slow down. A couple days ago we knocked on lady's door and she started yelling at us and said that we can't do that in the month of August because everyone is gone and people get scared.... I was like... yeah....

So then I asked her what we could do to find families that need the Gospel, and we started talking, and in the end she told us that we can come back in September!! Haha. It was pretty sweet. I think that September is going to be a really great month for the entire mission.

I guess the other big thing is that all over the world missionaries are getting little portable DVD players. It's pretty cool. Me and Anziano Garvin used ours today during study, and we really enjoyed it. There are different missionary DVDs that we can watch, and it was nice because it's a lot easier to focus on than the scriptures (don't worry though, I still study the scriptures too!). It's kind of funny that the DVD players are portable, because we actually just leave them in the apartment (we're not supposed to bring them out).

Anyway, I've gtg. I need to get a bunch of things done. I love you a lot and I hope that you're safe and that you're reading the scriptures every day.


Anziano Banks


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Carissima bellissima famiglia mia

So, we're just finishing some stuff up for transfers. It's INTENSE!!!  We stay super busy. I think you can count on me wanting some down time right after my mission (at least for the first couple of days).

Tomorrow is when the 9 new missionaries show up. 7 Anziani and 2 Sorelle. I love new missionaries. I just wish that there were going to be some Italians (this group is all from the Provo MTC).

I know I haven't shared much about my personal study since the MTC (because that was pretty much the only thing I had to talk about when I was there), but I thought that I would tell you about an AWESOME scripture that I read this morning. 

Lately I've been really busy and it's kind of tiring (but I love it), but sometimes things just work out that we have a lot less time than we would like to have (our problem is that we wish we had as much time to do proselyting as normal missionaries, but we just don't). So anyways, I was looking to figure out what I can do so that I won't feel stressed.

2 Nephi 9:3

Behold, my beloved brethren, I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice, and lift up your heads forever, because of the blessings which the Lord God shall bestow upon your children.

I was actually reading it in Italian, and the part that hit me is when it says "I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice", and I thought to myself, that's all I have to do! I just have to rejoice (In italian: gioire). Which says to me, Don't worry, be happy.


That was pretty great.

So this last week we’ve been meeting with President a lot so that we can give him suggestions on transfers. Then we helped him make some of the transfer calls. The coolest things that happened are: we're staying together, Anziano Shipton is becoming District Leader, Anziano Destefanis is going with Anziano Marzolla, and Anziano Vitali is training in his fourth transfer. Anziano Rowland is still the Zone Leader for Napoli, Anziano Mercado is still a Rome Zone Leader, Anziano Cox is coming up to Rome to be a Zone Leader. . . . and that's about all the news. Things are going well.

Lately we've been getting a ton of referrals. It's kind of like a snowball effect. Right now we have 7 that we need to contact (we just got three yesterday), so if you know anyone in Rome that you think could be interested in meeting us, just let me know. =)

I can't remember what all we did this last week, so I'm just going to send you some photos now. Alright?


Anziano Banks





So this  photo is me just chillin in the doctor's office (we go with missionaries when they have health issues).








This is us with our district, and Fratello Malara (it was for the baptism of Irene, one of the sister's investigators).





So this last one is our district lunch which was SWEEET.  Anziano Mercado made pasta al forno and it was super delicious, plus he made cobbler (which I didn't get to try because everyone else finished it (read: my companion) because they thought that I had already had some.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Yo yo yo.

So, here's the dealio. I'm really busy. It's transfer week. I'm going to send you some e-mails when I get the chance. I can't promise they'll be on Wednesday. I can pretty much promise that they won't be. Ha!

The good thing is that I will be e-mailing you. I will maybe do it tomorrow, maybe I will do it on Friday.


Elder Banks.... or should i say Anziano Banks, is busy proofreading a letter that needs to go to a bishop!

I love your Son and we get along Great, I’m sure he will be the first to tell you how much patience he has to have with me some times.....lets just say my Italian isn’t at a level comparable to his. But we manage and we find and teach and baptize. I will tell you that a lot of people were kind of surprised when they found out we were both staying together..... come to find out not lots of people knew that we would be blessed to serve here in Italy a bit longer!

Brother Banks Thank you SO SO SO MUCH for those .... healthy snacks ;) we are really enjoying them.

Lia wow I think that my little brother has found his match in someone who likes Harry Potter as much if not more than he does.

Sister Banks you have inspired me and Anziano Banks to eat healthier food and drink more water. Must say you look very "HIP" in your big sunglasses.

Well I know that this Work is true I love the Gospel and I love the simple truths that have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith! THIS GOSPEL IS TRUE!! LOVE YA!

Your son(s companion),

Anziano Garvin 

As I was saying…

...I'll be getting back to you. Things are always exciting here in Rome. Like Anziano Garvin mentioned, we'll be staying together another transfer. Most people didn't know that we both extended, so they thought that we wouldn't be together, but we are, and it's TOTALLY AWESOME!


Anziano Banks : )

Sunday, August 14, 2011


How are you doing?



I'm really enjoying serving in Rome. Today we went to the Colosseum, and walked around downtown looking at some different things. It was a blast. We were with a little group of us missionaries, and we actually ran into a bunch of others that we took some quick photos with before they went off to do their thing. There was a member from Ostia that was showing us around just a little bit. He was a great tour guide, but I realized that I'm just not really the type of person who enjoys tour guides. I was mostly just happy to be hanging out with so many other missionaries.


You may notice from the photos that I have a pretty silly looking short hair cut. Well, we went over to help this less active member move some furniture and he also happens to be a hair stylist. He ended up insisting that we let him cut our hair. So next thing I know he had already cut all the way up the side, and it was too late to say anything. Haha. Yikes. That guy is a real character. He told me that I have the kind of personality that I could be President someday, or a CEO. He also told me that he thinks that if someone is in good shape then a 60-yr-old can date a 40-yr-old. hahaha, and the 60-yr-old has too much energy for the 40-yr-old. haha. He's crazy.

Anyway, I guess the most exciting thing going on right now is transfer calls are on SATURDAY!! I think I'll be staying here. I think my odds are something around 90% that I'm staying. That's my guess.

So in this last week I've started getting really good about taking photos. I mean REALLY good. I think I took almost 200 photos. hahaha. But obviously they're not all good, so I'm going to try to send you only the best.

I'm going to try and give you decent explanations of each photo.



This is when we went to get the Sisters because the rain was so intense. We were driving home (very very slowly), and we thought to ourselves, I wonder if the Sisters are home yet? At the time I was actually driving, and I had the wipers going as fast as they possibly could and they still weren't doing the job. So anyway, Anziano Garvin called them and it turns out that they had just rung someone's intercom to see if they could go in because they were getting drenched. We went and picked them up, and just in the 3 seconds or so that we were out of the car it was raining so hard that it was as if someone had dumped a bucket of water on each of us! IT WAS NUTS. That was pretty exciting.




On Thursday we went to Napoli for Zone Conference. It was totally awesome. It was actually held in Flegreo, which is right next to Napoli. It was really beautiful, and the pizza was still most excellent.






I really enjoyed Anziano Rowland's training. It was mostly centered on what we had learned the Zone Conference before when Anziano Texeira (of the seventy) came. We talked about how we applied what he taught us to our work, and how we can do that effectively. Anziano Rowland is a really great teacher.




President Kelly's training was also really interesting and I enjoyed it. Napoli typically comes up to Rome for Zone Conference, but since this one was held in Napoli we had a pretty small group and it gave it a more personal feel. I think everyone liked that. It pretty much felt like Zone Leader Council, which is probably the best thing there is about being a Zone Leader.

DSCN2280 (1)


The best thing about being an Assistant is that you get Zone Leader Council, but on top of that you get to work closely with President and Sorella Kelly all the time. I can’t remember if I had ever gotten this photo of us with Sorella Kelly to you.  Sorella Kelly is so awesome.





I really love Roma 2. Check this out: This Saturday there is going to be another baptism!! Third week in a row here. As a district (us, the other Anziani, and the Sorelle) I think are going to try to have weekly baptisms here. It's going to be really awesome.


Anziano Banks

Friday, August 5, 2011


You probably won’t be surprised to hear I had an awesome week. : )

Last Saturday was Floriana’s baptism. It was really great. There were tons of people there and the Spirit was really strong. I love baptisms! It was really incredible because Floriana is actually deathly scared of going under water like that, but when she got into the baptismal font she was totally at peace. When she came out of the water she had a smile from ear to ear and she told me later that she can’t even describe how great she felt.


The next day she received the Holy Ghost and was confirmed a member of the church. I love new converts because they really have the Spirit with them. There are a lot of members that are like that too, but there are also many members that let it get away from them by not keeping all the commandments, or continuing to pray and read the scriptures like new converts do.



For lunch on Sunday we went over to Floriana’s to eat. Me, Anziano Garvin, and Anziano Shipton. It was incredible. The first thing we had was lasagna. It was a HUGE portion, and it was incredibly delicious. She even slightly burned the cheese, and you know I love that. After finishing the lasagna I was completely full. Next she brought out the Parmigiana, which is basically a lasagna made with Eggplant (mom would love it). The portion was just as big!



I only made it about halfway through that. Anziano Garvin finished it, and so did Anziano Shipton. THEN, she brought out peppers that had a bunch of things on top. Anziano Shipton actually finished one of those too!! Anziano Garvin got about halfway through one, and I didn’t even dare touch it.

Then she brought out a lemon pie that we were able to handle. We each ate a piece.

That lunch was INTENSE.

I was really happy that she wasn’t mad I couldn’t finish everything. I told her it was totally delicious, but I was just too full.

Which is completely true. By the end we were all exploding. Haha. It was really great.

Anziano Mercado wasn’t there because he went with President to the Napoli branch. Normally one of us would go, but we had Floriana’s confirmation.

I got to go on some pretty great splits yesterday day. Guess who my companion was: President Kelly. Haha. We went down to Palermo to do Zone Conference. Sorella Kelly didn’t make it either. Somebody asked me, so is your companion on splits with Sorella Kelly? Hahaha.Anyway, it was a blast. I really love Sicily.

Did I even tell you about Zone Conference in Rome? We had that too. It went really well. We had Anziano Canuzzen and Anziano Marengo arm wrestle. Then we read the scripture in Alma 8:10. It went really well.


Anyway, I’ve gtg. We’re always keepin busy.



One more thing: we brought up Anziano Larsen from Palermo to serve with us here in Rome. It’s pretty awesome. He’s great. We’re Team Rome 2.


Anziano Banks (aka Banche)


Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I had an awesome week. I also had a very tiring week. Often President Kelly gives us permission to sleep in or to take a nap when we have crazy schedules. For example, yesterday. We got up at around 5 AM. We went and picked up President and Sister Kelly to bring them to the airport. Afterwards we came home, took a quick nap, and then we headed down to Napoli. We got some pizza in Napoli. (Yes, it was crazy delicious). Then we continued going down to Battipaglia. (It should be a little less than a three hour drive but it takes a little more with light traffic). We dropped off a car in Battipaglia, went up to Caserta to drop off some missionaries there, and then back up to Rome (Caserta is right on the way to Rome).

Okay,  so I know it's not the best photo. But you're looking at some of the best pizza in the world. I LOVE NAPOLI!!!


Then that night we went to get President and Sister Kelly from the airport again. hahaha. Needless to say, it was a pretty tiring day. It was really fun though too. : )

This week we are very excited that Floriana is going to be getting baptized. She is really incredible. On Saturday she did her baptismal interview, Sunday she came to church, and then we met with her on Monday. When we met with her Monday she had read another 100 pages in the Book of Mormon and told us that she is going to finish it before her baptism!!

The work here is going great. We have really met a lot of awesome people.

I was just thinking about that Napoli Pizza some more. It really is incredible. What makes it so good? Napoli water, Buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, and a wood oven.

Wow. I'm starting to feel really hungry. The good thing is that on Monday we went and picked up a mini-missionary named Sorella Spensierato. She is going to be serving for 6 weeks. Anyway, she is from Napoli, and she totally brought us up some pizza that she put into containers and we can just heat it up in the oven.

Yeah, I know, my life rocks.

I'm trying to think if there are any other big events that happened this last week that I should mention to you. Things are just great. I'm healthy. I'm busy. I'm happy. That's about all you need to know, right? haha.


Anziano Banks