Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's Officially Transfer #2!‏

Dear Fam,

Questo è trasferimento numero due! It's crazy how fast this has all flown by and I can't believe that it's been over six weeks in Italy. This has been a great week, full of some "highs" and unfortunately a little "lows", but I've learned a lot from these lows and have become a lot closer to my Heavenly Father because of it. 

The Tache family is doing great. They are progressing well, and staying true to the commitments we give them and when Iona prays, you can really feel the Spirit. A few days ago she thanked us for finding her and said that never in all her seven years living in Olbia has she felt a love that we brought as we've been teaching her these last few weeks. It was really touching and my love for them has grown tremendously as I've seen a very apparent change in their lives. Iona has even found people that she felt she has hurt in some way throughout her years and apologized to them for any harm she has caused anyone. It is extraordinary to see how the Spirit works. Ionel loves the Book of Mormon. He reads passages, and accounts to us all he has learned from it with great enthusiasm. They love the gospel so much that they try to invite friends to come to activities. They had a friend come to family home evening with the branch, and they brought their daughter, Roberta, to one of our lessons and now she is also interested in the church and is one of our investigators. 
There is so much more to share about the Tache's, but I'll just say that this is an extremely tough situation, and I'm praying with all my might that the Lord will prepare a way. I know He will; it might not be in the time I would like, but in His own due time. This is the lesson I've learned from this situation. It is easy to get sad and discouraged when things get tough, but I know that this is a test to see how well I keep my hope as high as it was when I first met them. If there is anything going for me as far as being a good missionary I'd say it was having hope, so that's what I'm going to keep doing: have hope, hope, hope. 

This has been an awesome week though! On Sunday I gave my first talk in Italian, so that was fun, and then after church we headed to Sassari because the Madrid, Spain Temple president, President Tenney, and his wife were spending the day with all the members of northern Sardegna, and teaching lessons, giving talks at church, etc. It was such a fun activity, and there was some amazing food! I talked to President Tenney for awhile, and then his wife sat next to me for the lunch. We talked for a long time and had me do a little bit of translating for her since she only spoke English (they are form Utah) and Spanish. After the lunch we cleaned up and the Tenney's taught us an amazing lesson. It was cool to hear them teach in English, and to see the two Italians translate right on the spot. I learned a lot (of spiritual stuff) and was able to pick up some new vocab from the lesson. During it I sat next to a non-member who was invited by a member, and I felt bad for him because he went to church for the three hours, and then another three hours for the activity. I hope it didn't scare him away!

It's fun to talk to Italians about movies. It's sad that I know more vocab for movies than I do for a dinner table! When people ask what I want to get into and I say film making, they think it's the coolest thing ever. Almost every conversation about movies ends in them asking me what my first name is, and then they repeat "Clay Lacey" a few times and say, "That is a perfect name for a director!" I tell you this because it happens almost every other week - It's awesome! I also found out that Stephen Spielberg was just recently in Sardegna about a month or two ago! Dang, I missed him!

I guess I like seafood now. I ate salmon pasta, and loved it, and then the Tache's gave us a ton of shellfish that they caught, and a member showed us how to cook it so therefore we had shellfish pasta, and I loved that. Alessio talks about cooking us octopus the next time we're over, so I'm a little worried about that! 

So I think yesterday was one of, if not, the best day I've had in Italy so far. The Branca's live in a smaller town about 45 minutes away called Calangianus. Since we had ward council meeting there, we decided to go there the whole day and proselyte. I was way pumped, because whenever we go there people just stare at us because they've never seen us before. It was a great day! As we walked around the city, it finally hit me that I was in Italy. When you think of a classic Italian town, Calangianus
Calangianus - 9/27/11
  Calangianus - 9/27/11
This next story is my favorite. We knocked on this one door and the lady living there was atheist. When we asked her if she knew anyone else who would be interested she referred us to her neighbor across the street. We knocked on their door and gave our usually 'speech', and she asked if we could visit her sister who was feeling really sick. We went into the house and this woman was laying on the couch, very sick, but very calm. Her name was Madalaina, and I felt the Spirit so strong as we were with her in that room. It was just... peaceful. She was so happy to see us, and we taught her a mini first lesson, but shared with her scriptures on hope also. She and her sister both wanted copies of the Book of Mormon, and we will return to see how they are doing. It's hard to describe how it was, but all I can really say is that it was peaceful, calm, and quiet. I personally felt Christ's love for her. We ran into a few more neat people, and we looked forward to every week doing one day of work in Calangianus, and then the next city closer, Tempio. We know we will find ready people to grow the church in Sardegna! We also had an amazing lunch and dinner with the Branca family yesterday, but I might explode with how much pasta I've eaten! 
Things are great here, and I think this is a great start for this next transfer! Even if we don't get the baptism on the eighth, that's okay, it's not about the numbers. Nowhere in Preach My Gospel does it say anything about being a successful missionary to the amount of baptisms you get, it all depends on how hard and diligent you work. I do want baptisms with all my heart though ;) 

I love you Dad, I love you Mom, I love you Morgan, I love you Brooke, I love you Heather, I love you Greg. Thank you for everything you do, and have a great week! Vi voglio bene! Vi amo! 

Con amore, 

Anziano Clay Lacey

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