Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dear Family!

Dear Family,

Ciao!!! Come state? Tutto bene qua! It's so nice to finally write back again! This has been another great week!

I guess I'll start with chronological order. We have been doing a bunch of finding work this week. Besides the Tache's and Ritta we have not been able to make contact with our other investigators. We see the Tache's almost everyday, and Ritta can only meet once a week, therefore, we need to do a lot of finding to get more investigators! So far we haven't found much luck, but it'll come! Every person who is not interested in the Gospel is closer to another who is interested. On Thursday we met somebody who is quite the character! We came to a gate and rung the bell. This older lady came out and she was so happy to see us! Her name was Anna and she let us into her home. Her husband was there but he didn't feel like coming out to greet us. She kind of freaked me and Anziano Vitali out! She was extremely nice, almost freakishly nice, and her eyes were opened wide like a bush baby (the world's smallest monkey I think), and she would never blink. She loved us and as she gave us this weird tasting pastry with eggplant inside she told us that she met with the missionaries with the past - but it didn't go anywhere. She was also very blatantly Catholic because she had statues of a bunch of the saints and the virgin Mary decorated in her home. She was super nice, but she kept insisting that we come and stay at their house whenever we felt lonely and told us to come over for every holiday and offered us money and stuff. It was all way nice, especially since she pulled out a little prayer book and had us write down our names and a little paragraph of our troubles so she can pray for us whenever she goes to church. She calls us ALL the time to update us on what she prays for. Funny stuff so we'll see her here and there and hopefully she doesn't kidnap us!

Conference was an interesting experience. We drove all the way to Sassari to see it. Sassari has a nice chapel, and we were expecting to watch it on the overhead projector, but no one could figure out how to work it so we gathered around a laptop to watch it. Saturday night we watched the Saturday morning session, and wow was it hard to understand! The translators were speaking fast in order to keep up with the talks, and some of the grammar was difficult since the Brethren speak very profoundly in English, and the translators were trying to do the same in Italian. I did manage to get a lot out of it and I loved Presidente Uchtdorf's talk on the worth of souls in the site of God. I came into General Conference with a personal question, and his talk sure answered it. I'm not sure if this is what the talk said in English, but in Italian I got a phrase out of it that I liked a lot. He said that man is nothing (since there are several scriptures that point out to that) but souls are everything to our Heavenly Father. I think it's important to remember that God is literally our Father in Heaven and there are no words and no earthly examples that can compare to his love for us. At times it is hard for our minds to encompass the fact that we, every person on the earth, every person who has lived on the earth, and all that will live, are, in reality, his children and he knows us with a very deep personal relationship that we don't have with anyone else. All we need to do is trust him and have a testimony that he did the ultimate sacrifice of love for us by giving his Only Begotten Son. Ya this is all stuff I already knew of course, but it was nice to have a strong reconfirmation to fortify my testimony. I love how the Gospel works.

We then went on a little giro (walk around) around Sassari with the Anziani and went to a pizzeria. It was a fun night and I really enjoy the stares you get from others being a 19 year old in a suit, tie, and name tag! 

It was awesome, the Tache's came for one of the sessions on Sunday! They were so excited to see the Prophet talk, and they were there for the Sunday morning session (which was at 6 p.m. our time). I was so happy to see them there, and they sacrificed a lot in order to be there. It is one of the most tender and sweetest things in the world to watch, over time, people gain a testimony. I saw the testimony of a living prophet grow in Iona as she listened to the Prophet speak about temples, and she cried when he bore his testimony. It was a beautiful thing. Ionel loved it also, and got a kick of President Monson's story about the money he lost. All the members of Sassari were extremely nice to them and very welcoming. To say the least, it was an amazing step for the Tache family! They are continuing to make great progress, staying true to commitments, and they are looking forward to baptism. It looks like they are doing all they can for the divorce and remarry situation. He thinks he can get the divorce in a week or two! Lets pray it happens!      

Going home from Sassari to OlbiaSassari. Well, there was a little mistake and the Tache's missed their train, which was the last one that night until 7 o'clock the next morning. So, we had to call President to get permission to drive them home since there was no other way for them to get home. It was a long night, and driving around a large city, in Italy, at night, was crazy when you don't know where you're going. We didn't get to Olbia until about 11 that night and it was a miserable night but we had a nice talk with the Tache's in the car. 

Remember that seventeen year old from Brazil that we found who was a member? He's been tough to contact lately, and he works a bunch so he hasn't come to church. Well we stopped by two nights ago and we finally got to talk to his mom! She is also Brazilian and married an Italian so that's why she's here now. She was way cool and she told Igu to invite us to play soccer with him and his friends, so I look forward to that soon! Hopefully we can get him and her to church!

Last night we started a free English course at church! We had about 15 people show up, and it looks like they had a blast! We are praying to find an investigator through this program. One man, Giovanni, lived in England for about 4 years, and came to do some conversation since he hasn't spoken English for awhile. We talked for about an hour, and I feel confident that he could be ready to hear the message, so I'll work my way to fit something in with our conversation the next week!

The Italian is coming along, and I think I'm going to try to do a whole week in all Italian so that I can force myself to start thinking in Italian. I want to have the language down this transfer so that I can keep building up from there. Alessio is helping me a lot with the language. Whenever we go to his house for ward council I will read a page of the Book of Mormon out loud so that he can help me with the word and my accent. I want so bad to have somewhat of an Italian accent when I speak! Some people say it's impossible, but I think if I immerse myself in it I can pick something up!

Well that's the week. Things are going great! The mission is awesome, and it's the best thing in the world! 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. Thanks for all of your support! I love you all so much! Vi voglio un saco di bene! 

Anziano Clay Lacey

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