Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Thank you so much for the emails! It was so nice hearing from you all and I'm glad you are all doing good!

This has been quite the week, again! And I have based this whole week on hope (speranza). Wow, I love being a missionary.
Anziano Lacey and Diego
The Tache family is doing great! We meet with them almost everyday, and they are really progressing towards their baptismal date. They participated in FHE with the branch and Thursday night, and then came to church on Sunday! Oh, and I spelled their names wrong- It's Iona and Ionel. My bad! The branch was welcoming, especially this family that was on vacation from Milan. They were talking for awhile and it was a blessing they were with us for a few weeks! Iona even participates and has awesome, heartfelt comments to say during lessons. It's so great to see the change in her!

As a little side note I finished the Book of Mormon on Saturday for the first time as a missionary, and it's definitely true (I checked, haha). 

We have been doing a lot of house to house this week! The people that we find that are a little interested usually just ask us to stop by another time, but I am so sick of stopping by over and over and over again with them not being home, so I don't stop until we get a set return date, or a phone number! My companion hates getting numbers for some reason, but I have found a lot of success in it because we set a few dates to come back and teach! One of these is Ritta, and lady that reminds me a lot of Grandma Rosemary. She is super nice, and I look forward to seeing her on Friday. Italians are so funny at the door. When they find out that you're missionaries, they throw their hands up in the air, and slowly back up into their homes (like you have a gun at them) and say, " No, No, NO, NO!" I think it's hilarious! We have fun, and it makes the nice people you meet seem so much nicer! Nearly everyone thinks we are Jehovah Witnesses, so we have to make it clear that we are totally different, and then they usually listen pretty good. One day we were doing this street, and it turned out that a group of J.W.'s had already got it about an hour before, but we didn't give up and even found two more potentials! We have found a lot this week, and it's all about turning them into investigators now!

Well, I got good news. I can officially say that I speak Italian! I mean, it's not near perfect yet, of course, but this week I have definitely been blessed with the Gift of Tongues. On Sunday we had a huge lunch at the church, and there was a man who is a man named Salvatore who left the church. His wife and family are still super active, and he only goes to the activities with food (imagine that)! Well, for about 30 minutes straight we had a conversation in Italian about movies, actors, and all that other stuff I love, and I didn't even realize it until I said bye to him, It was awesome, and I hope that I am building a trust with him so he can come back to church! 
 Also, at FHE, I really wanted to practice my Italian, so I found the person that was hardest to understand (the man from Milan on vacation) and I talked to him for awhile. They have some crazy accents up north, but surprisingly I understood him well enough to get most of what he was saying. He was born partially paralyzed and he worked hard has a kid to get the strength and ability he needed to serve a mission. He served in Rome about 20 years ago, and he is a great man! 

Well I want to get to my favorite parts of the week. Do you remember that lady we met, Gabriella? We found her the first week I was here, and her dad had died about a month before we came. Well, almost everyday since then we tried to stop by and see her with ZERO luck. She was never home! I had been hoping, with all my heart that we would begin teaching her soon. I felt that she was so prepared, and I thought that everything was going to be perfect, but she seemed to disappear. On Sunday night my companion said that this was going to be the last time we'd stop by. Well guess what, she was there! We taught her the first lesson on a porch in her backyard (she has a huge house and property for living in Italy) and it went great. She asked a great question regarding the Book of Mormon: Is there anything in this book that can help me with the death of my father? It was a beautiful question, and we answered it the best we could on the spot with some verses, and then we said we share more with her on the next lesson. We set a return appointment, and she is officially a new investigator. I have dedicated all my language study and personal study this week for our lesson this Sunday. I am so excited, and I am praying with all my heart, all the time for her! 

Sunday nights we report all our numbers for the week. It had definitely been a great week, and it was cool because even the zone leader called us to commend us for the week. And after that on the next day, even the assistants called us and wanted to know about our success with the baptismal dates and new investigators! It was way cool and got me motivated to continue to work harder and improve. 

Monday morning we had District Meeting, and splits. I was on a split with Anziano Reed, and he is only one transfer older than me, so I think it's safe to say that we were the youngest companionship ever! I was a little nervous, but excited to take the challenge with the lack of knowledge with the language, and the city of Olbia being literally in my hands! The split went great! We even found a new investigator! This man named Roberto who me and Anziano Vitali found weeks before finally let us into his home, and we taught him the first lesson. He has a young family, and they would be a perfect addition to our branch! I am praying for him a ton, and I look forward to seeing him again this week. 
Anziano Lacey and Reed on path to Isola Manna
On the split we found two other people who said they would come to church and check it out, and I even taught a mini lesson to a guy on the street for about 20 minutes. I learned so much this split, and I am grateful for my improvement in the language so that I can be more effective. I can't wait until it gets better! Another funny story, Anziano Reed and I were doing a religious survey in centro (city center) to kind of "break the ice" into street contacting. We were talking to a mother and her teen aged daughter, and they asked where we were from. Every Italian knows about California, and freak out when they know you're from there, but Anziano Reed is from Arizona, and he has to explain where it's at whenever we talk to people. Well, when he said that the teenaged girl knew about Arizona through the Twilight books, and Anziano Reed looked at her really confused so I turned to him and said in Italian that the main character's mother lived there. He looked at me and started busting up laughing that I knew that and the teen aged girl got excited that I was a guy who knew about Twilight. Needless to say, Anziano Reed now likes to rip on me a ton for it! :)
8/31/11 - Path to Isola Manna where the Tache family lives
Well Hope has definitely been my theme for this week. Ever since we met the Tache's I talked to my companion about how cool it would be to baptize a whole Island, and now look where they are at! I hoped from the day I met Gabriella that we would teach her, now we are doing it! I have been praying hard to find a family, and now we have Roberto! The Lord has been blessing us so much. I know that without his help, none of these miracles could happen. Last night we went to the Branca Family home for dinner. Alessio, our ward mission leader and the one who served his mission asked me to teach him a lesson in English. He learned English from his American companions on his mission and said that he missed it. The first week I was here I asked him what his favorite word in English was, and he said Hope. Well, it worked out perfectly, and so I taught him a lesson about hope, and we were both in tears. The Spirit was so strong! I love the Gospel so much, and I feel my testimony growing and growing. I have been promised that I would have a "rock solid testimony" through my experiences on this mission that would support me throughout my life.

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 all your prayers and support. A week and a half and then I'll be done with my first transfer! It's crazy how time flies!!!

Vi Amo!

Anziano Clay Lacey

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