Friday, January 20, 2012
Ciao from Cagliari!
Hey guys! Well we got some pretty crazy information last week after p-day. Anziano Vitali had to make a quick trip to Lecce on the mainland to pick up this document called a "permesso" for permission to live here in the country. To make this flight plan cheaper the assistants plotted out this crazy journey for him to take and it started out with us leaving Sunday afternoon for Cagliari. Anziano Vitali flew alone to Rome where he took other flights and met up with other Anziani on the mainland on Monday, and I am here doing a three day trio with the Anziani here in Cagliari! It's been so much fun! Anziano Vitali comes back tonight at about seven and we will take the train back to Olbia tomorrow morning. The only thing that stinks a bit is that we haven't been in Olbia for a very important week before Ignazio's baptism!
Ignazio is doing great though! He had his baptismal interview on Saturday with Anziano Harris and he said it was a great spiritual experience. Other than that we have been preparing him for baptism. (Now I'm in Olbia and continuing this email) We saw him last night by surprise and he was very happy to see us. He told us that while we were gone he went to his parents house and announced to his family that he will be baptized. It was funny because his sister thought that him and his wife were going to have another baby. Ignazio said that his family is really happy for him and that they are going to come to the baptism.
We haven't seen anyone else really because of being gone all week but the Tache's are excited to come to the baptism and hopefully it will get them excited and help them get a desire to do the things necessary to go forward with their baptisms.
The split in Cagliari was great! We spoke pretty much only Italian so I feel that my language skills have been improving, and I learned a lot from Anziano Errante. I also created a pretty strong friendship with Anziano Longhurst. To me he is one of the greatest examples of being a good missionary. We were walking to an appointment and he mentioned that he needed to shine his shoes. I looked down at my feet and also expressed how I needed to polish mine too. The next day we were walking somewhere else and I looked down at my shoes and noticed how shiny they were. I supposed that it was just the lighting because it was dark but when we returned home I knew that he had shined my shoes for me. I found an opportunity to thank him and was really impressed by his Christ likeness. He then told me that he had shined a companion's shoes every week and he hadn't noticed. To still be doing that little act of service without a "thank-you" is really impressive.
On Tuesday I had the opportuniy to meet some really amazing people. We taught three lessons to three different men from Nigeria who speak English and no Italian, so I had a great time teaching in English. The first lesson we went to see a man named Progress who is friends with a recent convert here in Cagliari named Jackson who is also from Nigeria. Well after we taught a very spiritual but quick first lesson with Jackson there too we found out from Jackson that this man Progress is a refugee from Libia. On the boat ride to Italy from Libia his boat was hit by a bomb. On this boat full of people was him, his wife, and his small daughter. The boat split in half and threw him and his wife apart. His daughter was in his arms but because of the force of the bomb he lost his daughter from his arms in the water and never saw her again. Eventually him and his wife were reunited again but they lost their only child. There are so many people here in Italy with stories like this and it's amazing to see how strong people become after these trials and hardships.
Later we taught a lesson to another refugee named Ebenezer. This was a way cool experience for me as a missionary. I've never really tried to memorize the first vision in English, and before the lesson I was trying to see if I could translate it (since me and Anziano Vitali made sure we had it down in Italian weeks ago) but I couldn't really do it so I decided that we'd just read it. In the lesson it got time for the first vision and I had the feeling that I should go ahead and try saying it. It came out perfect surprisingly! Anziano Longhurst later commented on the spirit that it brought from reciting it so I'm grateful for the help I received from the Spirit. I know it's a little weird because the gift of tongues worked a little backwards this time!
The third lesson we taught was to a man named Kebe that me and Anziano Vitali found in Olbia and gave him as a referral to the Cagliari Anziani a few months ago. He was very Happy to see me and the lesson went well!
I ate the most interesting thing ever. We went to this member, Jackson's house for Lunch and there we ate a traditional African dish called fu-fu. It's basically a gump of flour and water mixed together, and then you take a piece from it and dip it into some sauce and swallow it without chewing. It was very interesting but a fun experience to try new things.
Well we've got a lot of things to do today so I'm out of time! I can't wait to write you all to let you know how the baptism went! Also, we'll have our transfer calls! I love you all so much! 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! Have a great week! Vi voglio un mondo di bene! A presto!
Anziano Clay Lacey