Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2 weeks in Sardegna!

Caro Mia Famiglia, 
Ciao, ciao! I'm sorry It took me all day to write! (And I'm especially sorry to you, Dad, if you woke up at three in the morning!). I have been in Sassari for the past few days on splits with my district leader, Anziano Harris from Rexburg. We had a great time, and it was a ton of fun being in a new, bigger city! Sassari is very old, and there is a bunch of history everywhere you walk! For example, we were walking down the street, and we were walking past a wall that got converted into apartment buildings, and then we saw a sign that said the wall was thousands of years old! It was part to some ancient castle! I love Italy, it's so beautiful. And I especially love Sardegna and being surrounded by the ocean! It will always have a special place for me since it's my first area.

Nothing too out of the ordinary happened this week besides the split! I had my second Sunday with the branch, and it was really nice because I understood them way better! They asked me questions during Sunday school and Priesthood, and I was able to answer back... Kinda. It was a ton of fun though (when you know what people are saying). There were two sisters who both served their missions in Rome, and they were touring all the places they had served, and they stopped by our branch. They gave me some advice on how to survive as a greeny!

The work is going alright! One day was really tough because we followed up with a bunch of potential investigators, but they weren't really interested anymore. I got Mom's letter the day after my last P-Day, and it was a nice booster! I still haven't got your DearElder yet though, Dad. On a happier note I got to teach a lesson with my companion to a lady we found my first week here! She liked what we had to say, but the Book of Mormon wasn't doing it for her. Next lesson I think we'll use the Spirit with us more, so we shall see. Her name is Grazia (Grace). As far as our investigator Francisco, he is making amazing progress, and we got him super excited to read the Book of Mormon. He is from El Salvador, and he really felt the Spirit as we watched The Testaments. It was amazing to see him recognize who his ancestors were, and even more exciting to see him excited to read. He is so awesome, and he will be baptized soon, just as soon as he figures out things with his girlfriend back in Milan. He's moving back there soon so we won't be able to teach him very much anymore, so I'm a little bummed, but it gives us more time to go find more people to teach!

I love Italy, but some things are so weird! From 1:30 to 4:00, everything closes down, and everyone goes home for lunch and to take naps. The cities here are like ghost towns during that time! That's when we take lunch and do language study. Another weird thing here is they don't use ice in their drinks. Some think it's bad for you! Funny, huh? I love it though, all the little quirks. 

I'm glad I'm starting to understand better because I can hold out conversations for a little while. There is a form we are supposed to speak in when conjugating our verbs that is like your speaking in 3rd person to them, as a sign of respect. It's hard to explain, but basically people get really confused because to ask some one's name in the respectful form is "Come si chiama?" Which means "What is her/his name?" and so I get a lot of funny looks since young Italians usually only speak it to the Elderly. It's fun though!

Actually, kind of a cool story, me and my companion were tracting in a neighborhood, and there was this sketchy looking man standing on the fifth floor on the balcony of his apartment in a palazzo, and I yelled "Salve!" since he was staring at us. A few days later we went back and knocked at a door and he answered (I didn't know it was him at first) and we started talking. He was super nice, and he is married and they have two little girls, one who isn't even a week old yet! He mentioned to me that I said hi to him and that he thought that was nice, and liked about what we had to say about families. We gave him The Proclamation to the World, and he asked us to stop by again. I hope all goes well with him because I've been praying to find a family to teach!
Today was a ton of fun. We drove out to the coast, and we went to Grota di Nettuno (the cave of Neptune) and explored that. It was a fun P-Day activity, and we had fun spending time together as a district. After that we whipped up some pasta (that's pretty much all we eat besides Nutella), and ordered some pizza. Then Anziano Vitali and I drove back and now I'm back here in Olbia! Anziano Reed, who was one of my Zone Leaders in the MTC is serving in Sassari, so it's been cool seeing him here in the field. Another funny thing about Italy: There aren't fast-food restaurants, but there are Pizzarias EVERYWHERE!!! It's so funny! The key is finding the good ones, but we haven't eaten out very much.

Oh, I have been extremely scared to write this, because I think Brooke is going to kill me... Francisco took us out to for pizza (he lives in the summer at Golfo Aranci, a beautiful city by the beach, check it out online), and he bought us pizza at the best pizza place in the city. He gave me a slice of this pizza that had no sauce, only cheese, some lettuce thing, tomatoes, and this strange, dark meat. I tried it and loved it! I then heard him say something about a "cavallo", which means horse. I then looked down to the pizza I was eating, and then I put two and two together... I was eating horse pizza! And it was fantastic! I know Brooke is probably missing me a lot less right now! Good news though, if we ever need to use horses as food storage, they make great pizzas! 

Reading through the Book of Mormon as a missionary is awesome. You learn way more as things begin to apply to you. I am in Alma, and It's fun being able to relate, and learn from Ammon and the sons of Mosiah. One of my new favorite stories is now the account of Alma and Amulek preaching the Gospel. Amulek had such incredible faith and trust in the Lord to leave his riches and serve God. Even when his father was against him, he endured through, and felt the joy from missionary work. And it had to be the hardest mission ever to be at the city of Ammonihah! Wicked, wicked, wicked!

Well, I still am loving my mission, and I love it more and more as I begin to learn how to communicate more and more. "Piano, Piano", is what the Italians say, which is like "step by step"- they say it a lot, especially to me as I struggle to form a sentence! I am so glad for this opportunity to serve such great people! I am truly blessed! I miss you all tons... 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. Thank you so much for your support and prayers. Love, love, love you all!

Con Amore, 

Anziano Clay Lacey 

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