Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sono quasi finito con il mio secondo trasferimento!‏


Happy Halloween!!! Yes, they celebrate Halloween here in Italy, but it's a little different and not as big as it is in America. Saturday night we are going to an activity in Sassari so I'm excited for that!

This has been an awesome week! Things have been going very well. To start off we have found two new investigators that have a lot of potential! We are really excited for them! The Tache's are doing well. They are still searching for a better house and Iona is finding work almost every day which is good. They still love coming to church and the members really like them, so all is well! We have finally been having more teaching opportunities, and a bit less of finding work, which is nice. It's hard to not get frustrated when going from house to house!

On Friday night we went to a town called Posada to visit some of our members that have the cutest family! Our main reason for going there first was to see a potential investigator we met in Olbia but lived in a tiny town close to Posada called Siniscola. We had a tough time finding his house, but he directed us there on the phone. When we got to the door his mother answered and shooed us away! We tried calling him back but he never answered. So we went and saw this family. We had so much fun and the nine-year-old girl named Sara had me help her with English homework and then I read a story about Rapunzel to the other little girl named Alice. It was a lot of fun and I love their family! They also made us a very good homemade pizza. We want to go visit a castle today for p-day which is close to their house so we'll see them again tonight. 
Castle on top of rocks

On Saturday, Alessio came to Olbia to help us out with teaching. We went to see Ritta again, but she still just wants to Bible bash. Alessio used to be Catholic, and so she is very interested to know the reasons why he left. We haven't made much progress with her, so we'll see what we'll do. I think the main thing she doesn't like about our church is that our priesthood authorities have families. I say that is something beautiful about our church! We also met with Iona and had a really good lesson with her regarding the First Vision. We wanted to build her testimony the God and Jesus Christ did in fact appear to Joseph Smith, and it was amazing to hear here bear testimony about it after we watched the Restoration video. We also went and visited on of our members who is very poor. His health is not the greatest, and he can't work. His daughter left for Madrid for work, but came home because she is having mental problems where she has little episodes and forgets her memory. It was very sad because when we went to his house she had an episode while we were there. After he calmed her down he began crying and we comforted him and shared with him some encouraging scriptures. It was a really sad and touching moment. 

Sunday was great! We had a lot of non-members in church. We saw a true miracle when one of our members brought her husband to church! Before, he didn't want anything to do with the church and utterly avoided it, but he finally came! We also were invited to their house for family home evening and it was amazing. This sister was so happy to have her husband there and be a part of the activity. We are praying hard that he will one day be baptized so that their family can be sealed in the Rome temple one day! He is a very great man and treats his wife with a lot of respect, which I really admire. Especially because just before we went to their house we were at our landlord's house (we are going to move church locations eventually and he tries to persuade us not to move) and he ordered his wife around like a slave!

After church on Sunday the Alessio invited us over for lunch so we decided to do some finding work in Calangianus. We worked for hours, and I was beginning to get frustrated, not going to lie. We hadn't found any true success at Calangianus before, therefore my 'hope tank' was running real low. Somebody called us and Anziano Vitali was talking to them on the phone. I sat down on the curb and said a little prayer for help. We were getting ready to head back to the Branca's house for dinner as we approached the last house on the street. We knocked on the door, waited for awhile, and then began walking away. As we were walking away a woman answered the door so we ran back up the stairs to greet her. We began talking, and she was a little hesitant at first. As we were "breaking the ice" she realized that we were normal, and invited us in the house. We asked if there was a man in the house (as a rule) and her twenty-year-old son and his friend were there. She was also very impressed and honored that we had that rule. She grabbed the two young men from the bedroom and brought them out to talk to us. We all hit it off right away! One of the guys was really into art and loved the fact that I made movies. The other was into economics like Anziano Vitali. We had a lot of fun talking and getting to know each other. After we all became best friends (the mom absolutely loved us), we taught them the first lesson. It went really well and we gave her a Book of Mormon. She said for us to come back again the next time we were in Calangianus, and she seems really interested in the gospel. We gave her some reading assignments, so we pray that she will feel the Spirit! We look forward to seeing them again soon. That would be amazing if the young men got baptized and served missions! I'll let my imagination go wild. 

I think the highlight of my week happened yesterday. We found this very nice woman named Marissa, but she kept postponing the time in which we would meet, but finally we had a set date for Tuesday. We went in the morning and she was very happy to see us. We sat a table on her front porch and began to get to know her a bit. She said that when she saw us for the first time she felt like she needed to meet with us and that we could bring a light into her life. It was so cool to here that! She then said that her daughter has been extremely ill lately, and has been going to the doctors to have tests to see if she has a problem with allergies to foods (something like that, I'm 100% perfect at understanding Italian yet) and she noted that things have been difficult. We told her how the Gospel blesses families and began to teach her the first lesson. She really enjoyed it and had a lot of questions. The only problem was that she seemed a little displeased with the fact that we don't pray to Mary or to the Saints. We will have to be very careful with what we say and how we teach her, but I feel that she is ready. We have another appointment to see her again and we hope that she comes to church. I don't know if I've talked about it yet, but in Italy they have a greeting they use by kissing each other on the left, then right cheeks. Of course as missionaries we aren't supposed to do it, but if somebody doesn't know we aren't supposed to deny it in order to not be rude. Well, Marissa gave us each the "baci" (pronounced ba-ch-e), which means that she really cares about us! It was hilarious, Anziano Vitali accidentally went for the right cheek while she was going for the left so they almost made lip contact! Hahaha. So far in Italy I've been "baci"-ed four times. Yes, I'm counting. 

Other than that we had English course again. We met a man named Fernando earlier that day wanted to know about English course, but then it got into a discussion about the Gospel. We the turned the conversation into a lesson as we opened up the church and taught him about the Restoration. He was literally blown away and left in awe. I wish you could have seen his face! He was really interested in the Book of Mormon and said he would start to read it. The thing that he was mostly blown away about was how well we spoke Italian. He told us that we were liars and that we couldn't have learned Italian this well, that fast. It was hilarious! He is a funny man who is a lawyer and we hope that he comes to English course often and becomes interested in the church! Giovanni gave me a book as a gift to help my Italian, so I was very grateful for that! The people here are so nice! 

Well that sums up the week! I am literally enjoying every minute of the mission. I love the people of Italy with all my heart. In just over a week I will be finished with my second transfer. I can hardly believe it because it seems like I haven't been her for that long at all. I don't want it to go by as fast as it has been so far! Too quick!!! This Saturday we'll se if I'm getting transfered out or not! I have a feeling I'll be here through Christmas. So we'll see! I'm scared though because I can't predict anything! President does have a reputation for sending elders from Olbia to Lecce on the mainland, so we'll see! 

To finish off, I love you Dad, I love you Mom, I love you Morgan, I love you Brooke, I love you Heather, I love you Greg! I miss you all tons! Have a happy and safe Halloween! No cavaties! Take care! Vi voglio un galassia di bene! Abbracci per tutti! Avete una settimana con miracoli e benedizione! Ricordatevi il Signore ogni giorno! Grazie a Dio possiamo vivere insieme per sempre! Sono molto grato per quello! A lo prossimo! Voi siete bravissimi!   

Con amore,

Anziano Clay Lacey

Sorridete sempre! :)

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