Wednesday, August 31, 2011

3 weeks on Sardegna!

Dear Family,

Halfway through with my first transfer! Crazy, huh?

Thank you so much for your encouraging words, and uplifting emails! I miss you all so much! It's been a very interesting week. To tell the truth, it's been a tough week, but it's had it's highs too! 

To answer your questions, yes, I finally got the DearElder, but it took forever! I think regular mail is best (but I've only gotten one letter from Mom since I've been in Italy). Anziano Vitali served two transfers in Lecce, and this is his second in Olbia. As far as the splits went, the Anziani from Sassari came on a train to Olbia for district meeting, and then after the meeting I hopped on the train with Anziano Harris and went to Sassari while Anziano Reed stayed in Olbia with my companion. 

The missionary work in Olbia hasn't been at it's best this last week. Our Indicatori Principali (Key Indicators) have been low, and we haven't found any new investigators... yet. I have been promised by leaders that there are truly people ready and prepared to enter the waters of baptism in my first area so I have faith and hope! Things with Grazia didn't pan out. We went to visit her again and she said she wasn't interested to hear about the Gospel anymore, she just likes talking to us. So that was a huge bummer, because I thought she was going to be my first new investigator through finding with my own efforts. 

We have spent a lot of time finding this past week. We found a few potentials again, but I'm looking for people that are ready, with a sure fact, to hear the Gospel. With the potentials we have now it just seems like we have to do a bunch of convincing, and that isn't what missionary work is about. I know we'll find a miracle here soon!

I love the Olbia Branch so much, but I think they are trying to kill me. They have so many activities at the church, and they love to feed missionaries. The older ladies spot you from a mile away, and if they see that you have room on your plate they will stuff a huge portion of their dish on your plate. It's great, but I swear I'm going to explode! Me and Anziano Vitali are scared we're going to get fat, so we made a pact to work effectively everyday!

The language is going alright. I for sure am not fluent yet, but it's coming along. I'm building up my confidence with talking to people, so that's good, and I'm getting much better at understanding. I created an arduous, yet productive language study plan to use everyday to get this language obstacle over with! 

Today I finally got all my papers and fingerprinting done so I can officially live in the country! It's a relief, so I think I'm going to go buy a gelato! 

Last night we went to the Branch President's house for ward council and we had dinner with him and his family, and a recent convert and a non-member. They are the Branca family, and I love them so much! President and Sister Branca joined the church six years ago, and then one by one their three sons began to join. One son, Ellessio, served in the Catania mission, and he is now our ward mission leader. He is so awesome and he helps us out a ton. Ignassio is the next son who was baptized, and he is the Elders Quorum President. He has a wife who is a non member, and they recently had a little girl named Valentina, and I swear she is the cutest baby ever! I will make sure I get some pictures of her to send to you! Ignassio believes that we can teach and help him convert his wife. Claudio is the next son and he was only baptized a few months ago after a tough time in his life. They are an awesome family, and when we eat with them at dinner out on their balcony I really feel the Italian spirit. Next p-day Ellessio is going to teach us how to cook! I'm stoked! 

Tomorrow night we leave to drive to Cagliari for my first Zone Conference. I'm excited to see the biggest city on the Island, and to see the other Anziani! I'm also excited to see President Kelly again. I'm the only greenie on Sardegna so I might get a little flack for it! :)

I apologize that there isn't very much else to write. I love being a missionary and I'm grateful to wear the Savior's name on my chest everyday. Choosing to serve a mission has been the best choice I have ever made, and it is worth every sacrifice. Thank you so much for all your support, and especially your prayers. I need them! I love you Dad, I love you Mom, I love you Morgan, I love you Brooke, I love you Heather, I love you Greg. I miss you all so much, but I'm so excited to cook you all some awesome Italian food in a few years! :) Love you!!!

-Anziano Clay Lacey

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