So much has happened and I don't know where to begin! I guess chronologically:
The flights were good! Super long, but good. I didn't get one minute of sleep, so that was kind of painful! I sat next to lots of different people and had fun talking to them about the gospel, and one guy who I spoke with on the flight from London to Rome was a designer for Jaguar! He was pretty cool and I gave him the church websites to check out after his cruise.
Flying over Italy was surreal! My heart was pounding as I finally walked off the plane and hit Italian land! After weeks in the MTC, I finally made it! The weirdest thing was, all the signs, writings, etc, were all written in Italian! (Obviously). It was so cool! As we walked through the airport everyone was speaking Italian, and I assure you, It is a completely different Italian than what they taught us in the MTC! Hearing American teachers speak Italian aside from Italian native speakers is way different! But it's fun!
We waited about 15 minutes and then we saw President Kelly come in and great us. He is so awesome! He gave us each a hug, and then led us outside where the A.P.s were with a huge van. We loaded all of our luggage, and then we were off! Driving in Italy... Way different than America! Basically, it seems like there are no rules. Everyone drives all over the road, and almost every car is a little Ford Fiesta. The cars here are so tiny!
Fortunately, I didn't travel alone. Another Anzaino who had been out for about 10 months already was being transferred to the Sardegna also, so we went to the train station together and waited there for 3 hours for 2 sisters who were to travel with us. The four of us took a train to Cittavechia (on the way I saw the top of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican!). The countryside is so beautiful but let me tell you, the movies only show you the REALLY beautiful parts. In the cities there is all kinds of graffiti and nasty trashy stuff. But it's so cool to come across an old building, a Roman aqueduct, or an old church or castle!
When we arrived in Cittavechia, we rode a bus to the port where our boat was to take off, we were a little late, so we literally had to sprint to catch the boat! It must have been hilarious to see 4 young adults with 2 bags of luggage each in white shirts, ties, and skirts (for the sisters, not us!) all running for a boat! We barely made it in time, but we were wiped out!
The boat was huge! It was basically a cruise ship. Anziano Shaw (the elder I was traveling with) and I had our own little room with twin sized beds and our own bathroom! It was sweet! After we dropped off our luggage, we got the sisters and we bought some gelato (I don't think I'll be able to go back to American ice cream) and enjoyed the view at night as we said goodbye to the mainland.
Olbia is beautiful! Ya, it's got it's graffiti and stuff too, but the architecture and the all around beauty of the city is wonderful. I am blessed to have this as my first area!
The work is fun! No doubt, it's hard though. We have about 3 investigators, one who was about to be baptized, but in his baptismal interview it turns out his girlfriend still lives with him at his other house in Milan, so he will get baptized, no doubt, after he figures things out with her. We have a ton of potential investigators, and one who I think is golden. We were out tracting and hers was one of the first houses I actually tried, and she came outside and started talking to us. Her name is Gabriella, and she is super nice, but it's extremely sad because her dad just died. They are figuring things out right now, and asked us to come back in a week, so pretty soon we'll stop by and visit her again, because I know she could really use the gospel in her life now. I'm excited and please pray for her that she'll be receptive!
The Branch is fantastic! There are about 25 members, but we'll definitely boost it up! And yes, the church is only 2 doors down! The same people that own our apartment own the church too! (Our apartment is on the top floor of the little building and the church is on the bottom of the other). According to all the missionaries the dialect in Sardegna is the hardest to understand. And that is true because I understood NOTHING that the branch members said to me that first Sunday! They had me pass the sacrament, and then stand at the pulpit and give them a presentation about myself and then give my testimony. It was so much fun and I hope they understood!
I got to play soccer with the members yesterday, and it was a blast! I have to brag a little bit, but I scored a goal! Woo! We also went on a little hike and the members brought a bunch of non-member friends. We taught the Plan of Salvation lesson to a non-member, and even got 2 new potentials that want us to come and visit them! The Branch is so good mith missionary work!
Well, this is about it, I'm sure there's a lot I haven't said, but I can't remember at the moment, and I've written a novel already! I am so glad you are all doing good! Stay busy, and remember the strengthening power of prayer. I haven't got any letters yet, but it might take a little bit longer to get to Sardegna, who knows.
I want you all to know that I love my mission. I love it so much, and I'm so glad to be here! Missionary work is a lot different than I thought it was going to be, but It's great! Next week I hope to let you know about more teaching stories, since I've only had 3 lessons so far. It's been kind of a crazy week settling in and getting things done so I can live in the country.
Well, I love you Dad, I love you Mom, I love you Morgan, I love you Brooke, I love you Heather, and I love you Greg. Take care, and I miss you all so much! Thanks for being awesome!!!
-Anziano Clay Lacey