Wednesday, December 21, 2011

è quasi Natale!‏

Carissimo famiglia,

Ciao! Only a few days until I get to speak to you all! I can't wait!!! Anyways, this has been a fantastic week! Besides all the cold. It's been getting very cold and rainy here! When we go to Calangianus for Christmas there might even be snow since the city is in the mountains!

Well let me start of with Ignazio. Wednesday night we had another lesson with him, and we decided to watch Finding Faith in Christ. After we went over a few verses we watched the film and bore testimony of the Savior's role in our lives. He really felt the Spirit and all three of us were crying. After the lesson his wife came in and asked, "What did I miss!" It was really funny. Since we really want to fix a new date for a baptism, we talked about fasting from Saturday lunch to Sunday lunch. He really agreed with that so me and my companion, Ignazio, and his wife all fasted to know. Tonight we have an appointment set where we will talk about the fast and when he thinks he'll be ready for baptism. I'm really excited!!!

We finally had an appointment with the Tache's and they are doing great. Work is going good, and they are looking forward to Christmas. I didn't realize how much they love the Book of Mormon! They read everyday, and they even have study journals that they write in with things they learn! It was awesome! They couldn't come to church this week because he had work and she had to take care of her sick grandchildren, but they look forward to being in church on Christmas!

Other than that it's been near impossible to see other people because everyone is so busy with the holidays and leaving for vacations. We have had a bit of success though as far as finding, but the people we find tell us to come back after the holidays, so things are going a little slow. We did have a cool experience as far as being led by the Spirit though.

We were out doing house contacting and weren't having much luck at all. We finished the whole area and decided to find somewhere else to go. As we were walking down a street we then realized that there was a palazzo that we didn't knock on yet, so we entered the apartment building and began. We decided that this would be the last building we'd do because we had a long way to walk if we couldn't catch a bus. We knocked on a door and a young woman answered. We told her that we had a message of Christ that we were sharing at this Christmas season and she let us in (which rarely happens). Well we forgot to do something that is really important to do, ask if there was a man home before we came in. It's a really important rule! When we realized she was the only one home her dad came home, so we were good! We began teaching her the first lesson. Her name is Valentina and she is 21. Apparently her grandpa talked with missionaries in the past, and she was interested. Halfway through the lesson her mom came home and then both the dad and the mom came in for the lesson. They were all very interested. After we closed, we just sat and talked for awhile! They are so cool! The dad, Marco, collects remote controlled planes and showed us everything they had. They are such an awesome family, and they want us to come back again after the holidays. We left them with the Book of Mormon and they were excited to read it. They are definitely "legit" and we have a lot of hope for them!

That's about it for investigator progress!

As far as details go, things have been great this week. We finished English course for the next few weeks during the holidays, so I'm a little happy about that. It's fun, but it gets in the way of times we could have teaching appointments. The last time I taught the conversational part, and they like to get into political discussions about America with me. Eventually it led to the church's stance on political issues, because they stressed that the Catholic church has a huge role in Italy's government apparently. That led to a huge gospel discussion, and one guy wanted a Book of Mormon! It was kind of nice talking about the gospel in English for a little break! 

Friday night we had our Christmas party. Don't get me wrong, it was fun, but nothing like a Sunset Hills Ward Christmas party. We watched Joy to the World, ate some pizza and other dishes, and then there was a little thing presented by the primary and ended with Santa Clause (Babbo Natale in Italian) giving the kids each presents. It was fun!

On Sunday an ex-missionary who served his mission in Olbia came with his mother and father! It was neat talking to him because he was a greenie in Olbia too and stayed here for seven months. His mother served her mission in Italy and his father is Italian so I didn't have to do any translating for sacrament meeting, thank goodness! They were a really cool family though, and it's always fun to see Americans in Italy. We were printing out pictures and met this technician from Oregon who married an Italian and has been here for 28 years! I'm sure if I serve in Rome I will see people like that a lot. 

After church on Sunday we kind of got kidnapped! We have been working with this less-active family for awhile now, and finally they came to church! They invited us over for lunch, so we were happy about that. They gave us a ride to their house, which is about an hour away, and we supposed that they would give us a ride home too. Well, after we had finished lunch and a little lesson, they asked us if we knew the bus times. Of course we did not for this little random city, so she told us to go wait at the bus stop until something came. It was lovely. It was cold, it was raining, and we didn't even know if there would be a bus on Sunday! After about an hour it came and we got home. At times like that I miss our car! 

It was great, we were walking back home for lunch, and decided to check out a few street vendors. We were walking and there was this hippy guy playing some kind of tropical style drums. He said, "Vive Mormoni!" Which is kind of like, "Long live the Mormons!" We laughed and went go talk to him of course. He is from Argentina, and met with the missionaries there. He talked about how much he loved the Latter-day Saint people, but he never joined the church because he has his own philosophy of living. He was a way cool guy, and he hooked us up with these cool little hippster style heart keychains to give to somebody we love. It was a way funny little experience!

To finish off we had F.H.E. with the Mazzone's last night. Sorella Mazzone taught the lesson, and as part of the lesson she had us share some of our favorite scriptures. When it landed on Ignazio to share his favorite scripture, I was really interested to see what he was going to pic since he is so new to the church. This is what he picked, 2 Nephi 31: 

 And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the agate, by which they should enter, he having set the bexample before them.
 10 And he said unto the children of men: aFollow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we bfollow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?
 11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.
12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father agive the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, bfollow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.

It was powerful as he explained that this is what he is doing now in his life. He also expressed his love for the Savior. How amazing it is to see the change in him! This is why I'm serving a mission.

Well that's about it! It's almost Christmas time! Tomorrow I go to pick up my "permesso" to live in the country, so I won't be an illegal immigrant anymore! Just kidding. Anyways I love you all! I can't wait to say it on the telephone! 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! Send my love to everyone this holiday season! Don't forget why we celebrate Christmas, and think about the importance of Jesus Christ in our life. Have a great and safe week, I'll talk to you very, very soon! Vi voglio tanto bene!

Anziano Clay Lacey

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