Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Transfer week is crazy. We got all of the new missionaries to the station, and the we had to wait for all the departing missionaries.  It's pretty intense. This morning we were up at 5:30 because we had to get missionaries that were coming in on a bus from Sicily, and ever since we've pretty much been driving people around and stuff. It's pretty great, but it will be nice to get back to normal.

The good news is that we actually ran into a member that was on a date with a non-member that knows the church really well. haha. It was pretty cool. I think he's going to start meeting with the missionaries now.

To make sure you understood what happened with transfers: Me and Anziano Garvin were already Assistants together, and we both stayed here, and then Anziano Packer came here, so there are three of us now.  I don't know Anziano Packer really well yet, but I know that he's from Layton, Utah. He went to Weber State before coming on the mission, and he's a cello player. He had just come up from being a Zone Leader in...COSENZA! Pretty awesome, huh?

The new missionaries showed up! They're really great. I actually kind of wish I was training this transfer. haha. We tried something that the old Rome mission used to do, which is taking them by St. Paul's basilica, and also passing by the colosseo. Sorry that we're a little bit blurry, but the background looks great, doesn't it? We're going to talk with President and see if we can take them out and do some proselyting when they first come in. Next transfer might be a little weird because there is only one Anziano and 5 Sorelle, but maybe it could work. I think that would be really cool.


So this Sunday we got a really really great call from our Bishop. He goes, Anziani, I talked to Fiammetta and Fabio after church today, I invited them to come to Family Home Evening and they're really excited to come. Would you like to come as well?

Yeah, pretty amazing. 



So we went over there on Monday and had an awesome Family Home Evening! Fabio and Fiammetta brought their two kids, and then Bishop had his 6 kids and we all had a great time. I think we can really learn a lot from Italians and how they have a family home evening: Instead of just a refreshment, we had a full meal at the end!



Che buono!

Tomorrow morning we have a lesson with Fiammetta and Fabio. They're doing great. They're going to be awesome members. Fiammetta and Fabio should be getting baptized on October 6th, which coincides with Fabio's birthday. I think they're both really prepared and I'm really excited for them. Fabio was talking to us about how his mom sort of sees him as being an anti-religious person, and he wants to bring her to church and tell her, this is who I am now, I am a part of this. But he said that he will do it after he really is a part of this, and is baptized and confirmed a member. Haha. They really love coming to church and they get along really well with all of the members. It's pretty awesome.

Lately I've been thinking about how every day I have a lot of cool experiences, but I then I forget most of them. haha. I try to write the best ones in my journal, or remember to tell you about them, and I think I do pretty good that way.

So this thing is pretty cool: It's a model of what the temple grounds will look like!


We just had a big press conference at the mission home, and so they brought out this model. I think the Rome, Italy Temple is going to awesome. I know that we're planning on coming back next summer, but I sure hope you like it here because I think that we're going to have to come back again not too long after when the temple gets done (if you want to come with me). The temple is supposed to be finished at the end of 2013. In other words, it will definitely be finished by 2014. Haha.


Anziano Banks

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ciao Famiglia!


So this week was pretty awesome. Just today there was a press conference for the Temple, and it went really well. We're all really excited about the progress that is being made there. I think that the Lord is preparing a lot of people in our area so that there will be tons of people to go to the temple once it's built.

I'm really grateful that we have a beautiful temple so close to our house in St. George. Almost everyone in the Rome 2nd ward is going to have a temple that's just as close as ours is for us!

What a blessing!

Last week the Sorelle decided to make a birthday meal for the district to celebrate for me and Anziano Garvin (mine's the 11th, his is the 15th).

sep 2011 053sep 2011 057

This weekend are transfer calls! That means that we get to meet with President to help him with transfers. I love being there because it's really amazing to see what transpires. You can really feel how inspired the transfers are. My favorites are the ones that seem really out of the ordinary, and then work out really well.

sep 2011 040

Here we are with the Kelly’s eating some ice cream bars. Check this out: Sorella Kelly is not only really into tennis, but she's also really into ping pong! That means that when we come and visit next year, mom can totally take her on! Mom, I hope that you've been practicing because I think that she's probably pretty good. I haven't actually played with her yet, but I get that kind of impression.

As a mission we've all been reading the Book of Mormon. What I've realized is: A) I'm a slow reader B) I don't have a lot of time to read (we have an hour of personal study, but I have to study for lessons and stuff!) and C) I don't always feel like reading. So...check this out: I decided to make a cover for my Book of Mormon!! Now that I have a sweet cover, it makes me feel like reading way more. Instead of just looking like a boring blue book that everyone has, it has now become a custom, personalized book that makes you want to read it!

I think that I would like a Book of Mormon that was printed in the style of a novel. Then it would just be more appealing.Don't get me wrong: I love the Book of Mormon, I love reading it. I just don't always love reading it straight through because it can get hard to follow the story and some parts are AMAZING, but other parts are not as interesting. I usually just like to flip it open and read something instead of going straight through, but I'm going to make it all the way (because I'm trying to finish it all the way through for the first time in Italian).

Anyway, I hope that you are all doing well. Know that I'm great, I'm happy, healthy, and excited to be on a mission.


Anziano Banks

sep 2011 014

We went and played beach volleyball (a total blast).

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Ciao famiglia mia, 

La settimana scorsa è andata molto bene!

Well, I've been on vacation a little bit. Hahaha. 


These photos are up at the Waterfalls of Marmore (near Terni).

Also, I finally saw the Vatican! Wow. It is seriously huge. It's crazy. It's pretty nice. I think that Lia would probably like it a lot more than I do, but I still was happy to finally see it.



I know, I know, I've been really spoiled with my whole mission. Coolest call possible, and then I got to see almost the entire mission.  I actually figured out that out of the 39 cities in the mission, I've been to 29 of them.

So check this out: On Monday morning we had to come to the office so that we could get numbers for the mission. Around 9am this lady rings the bell, and wants to talk with us. She is AWESOME! She told us that she had a dream where she saw Jesus Christ, and then she saw a book that said Mormon on it, and then woke up and felt a peace and serenity that she had never felt before. So then she found where we were at on the internet, and wanted to join the church!!

She has a husband, and a 6-yr-old boy, and a 3-yr-old girl. They all met with us yesterday, and it turns out that the husband is totally prepared too!! When we read Moroni’s Promise together he said that he didn’t necessarily listen to all the words, but he felt that he is starting to find the answer to a question that he had never asked himself.

Yeah, I know. What a blessing! We’ve been praying and looking for a family for weeks, and then they just came to us! How awesome is that!

Anyway, I also played some volleyball today! BEACH VOLLEY!! It was a blast. I just really wish I could’ve taken my shirt off. You want to know what I love about America? We have free places to play tennis, soccer, volleyball, and it’s just awesome. Basketball too! (the church). That’s so great.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that things are going great. We have been really blessed. I really love my savior Jesus Christ because He has brought a lot of joy into my life. I know that He restored His church, and that has really blessed us a lot.


Anziano Banks

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Roma 2

Ciao famiglia mia!! Okay, so I know you probably get tired of hearing this...but we’re really busy. Hahaha. And ...we’re having a blast. Haha.P1020159


Every time we pass through Napoli we stop and get a pizza!

Tomorrow we are going to SARDEGNA! We have a Specialized Training meeting there. We are going to be in Sassari.





Here’s a picture of us visiting the ward in Gela.




This last week was a lot of fun. We didn’t go to the Specialized Training meeting in Bari this time, that way we could do some work here, and that was really great. We met a lot of cool people. There was one apartment that I had felt we needed to go to, and we went there to look for a family. We met a really cool kid named Giovanni that said we can come back and talk to him and his family, so hopefully that works out well. I'll let you know.

One thing that we had to do this last week was take a Baptismal Font from Terni to L'Aquila because they had a baptism there. We took the font back to Terni yesterday, and we spent some time with them. We saw the Marmore waterfalls, which are the tallest in Europe!

They were really beautiful. I have to say though, the waterfalls at Havasu are even more beautiful. They are both beautiful though.  I think that nature is a lot more beautiful than man-made things. For example, I think that the waterfalls are more beautiful than the Colosseum. Another example, I've seen the great wall, but I still haven't seen Huang Shan. I really need to get over there.




So this is at an awesome place in Sicily called Mazzarò (it's right below Taormina, which we also visited)






Floriana Misseri (new convert), told us that when she retires she wants to move to America. (She's been telling us that since before she was baptized). I think she'd be happy wherever, but I'm guessing that Utah is going to end up high on her list. That doesn't necessarily mean St. George, but what I'm getting at is that you should work on your Italian.

This Monday we went to visit a couple families here in the ward. We did a multi-family, family home evening. It was great. We all talked about what touches us the most about the restoration. For me it was personal prayer. God knows each of us personally, and listens to all of our prayers. We then left an invite to watch the 20-minute film of the Restoration with someone who hasn't seen it before.

I really love the mission. I'm glad that things are going so well. Last week we hit an all-time high for new investigators (as a mission). There was once in 2009 that they had just one less.


Anziano Banks!P1020200

Last picture with my MTC group. The only ones left will be me and Anziano Garvin.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I made it!

Wow, what a crazy crazy trip. We went down to Catania, over to Gela, down to Siracusa, and stopped by all kinds of other places. What a trip! We had a great Specialized Training Meeting. It was a huge success. Tomorrow we have one here in Rome. I'm pretty excited.

A Specialized Training Meeting is kind of like a Zone Conference. The one in Catania had the Catania and Palermo Zones. In the morning President and Sister Kelly talked to us, and then in the afternoon everyone was split into 3 groups and there were three different classrooms: The Palermo Zone Leaders, The Catania Zone Leaders, and then us. We did our training on Lesson Zero. My favorite thing about lesson zero is that right in the beginning we ask the person what they expect from us. Then we basically explain what we expect, and it's great because then everyone's on the same page.

One of the highlights of the trip was that I got to go on exchanges in Gela. That was really great. I totally know that place like I had lived there for years. It was really great to be back in that little branch and bear my testimony to them. Basically I just told them how much the Gospel brings happiness, and that's why I like it so much, and that's what makes it so awesome. It was cool to bless the sacrament with Cristian because he had just received the Priesthood the week before and so it was his first time blessing it.

We got Anziano Garvin's permesso (green card type thing) from Catania!! That was exciting.

Anyway, I'm sorry that I can't stay and talk (type), but just know that I love you, I find time for you in my prayers, and I've taken hundreds of photos so don't think that you're missing anything, you just will have to see it when I'm home.


Anziano Banks