Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sete mesi nella missione!!!‏

Carissma Familgia, 

Buon giorno tutti! 

Hey guys! How are you all doing? Things are going great here in Olbia! It's been quite the week! 

On Wednesday we went all the way to Cagliari by train- phew... long ride! We got there pretty late and ate some great homemade pizza with the Anziani there. In the morning we piled in the car and went to the church building for zone conference! It was awesome to see Presidente Kelly again and this time we had our interviews with him which was great! He is such a great man and I am so lucky that I have him as a mission president. The trainings we had went great and we went over more approaches we could do to find more people. I also really enjoyed this zone conference because it was the first one of 2012 so we did a lot of preparation and goal setting for improving ourselves as missionaries. Overall it was really great! Thursday night we hopped on the train and took the long ride all the way back to Olbia.

Friday was awesome! My very first week here in the mission we found a lady named Grazia doing house. We taught a lesson to her and it didn't go so well because she was studying with the Jehovah Witnesses and basically wouldn't listen to anything about the Book of Mormon. When we tried to set up a new appointment she was not interested at all but said that we could stop by every once and a while to say hi. Well we only visited her once more after that and she was kind of a lost hope. On Friday we were walking and at the same time my companion and I thought that we should go pay her a little visit. We went over to her house and she was very happy to see us. She had thought that we went back to America because we hadn't been there in so long. She let us in and we sat and talked for awhile and got to know her a lot better than we did the last time. We even learned that her daughter lives in New Orleans! She gave me probably the best compliment on my Italian language speaking abilities that I have ever received in the mission so far-especially because I had met her my first week there so that gave me a great emotional boost! Anyways, after the chat I wanted to teach her a lesson so bad so I asked if I could share a little message from the Bible. She is in love with the Bible, just like a good Italian is! I shared a part of Matthew 6 with the Sermon on the Mount and she loved the spiritual thought so much! That got us talking about the Gospel even more and she became more receptive to the doctrines of our church. In the end she invited us to come back again, and to even eat dinner with her and her son this Sunday! I am really happy and glad to see how the Spirit works in different ways. It takes time! Pray for her so that she will continue to make progress!

With that we have started preparing for Ignazio's baptism! He is doing really great. On Saturday Alessio came down to Olbia to come to lessons with us and we started the first steps for the baptism on the 21st. Ignazio asked a member from Sassari that really inspired him to do the baptismal ordinance, and I'm honored because he asked me to give him the Holy Ghost and to confirm him a member on the Sunday after. I'm a little nervous but excited as this being my first experience to do this! Lots of things do to but he is definitely ready. I'm really excited for him!

Iona is doing great! Well, there were a few tough things she's gone through in the past little bit, but we just heard from her today and it looks like she might have found a good, set job! She is doing all she can to find a place to live by herself so that she can get baptized. It is impossible to describe how bad she wants it and she's willing to do anything. She is getting a lot closer to the members and we are bringing them to lessons with her so that she can get to know them each personally. Things are going great and we might even be planning her baptism here soon too! Who knows!

Okay... Mamma mia... On Sunday I really saw how much I love this branch by how much I saw it hurt. We've been working on activating this less-active family that left because of a fight. The fight happened even before I came, and still this sister would not let it go. It was a victory when she came to church a few times, and then we were beyond happy when she brought the whole family! Well it was testimony meeting on Sunday, and she was there, and she went overboard on her "testimony" as she expressed herself over the pulpit... I learned a lot from this experience that I saw. It is so important to forgive others and to simply let things go. Overall we mustn't let little things get to us so bad! I love this branch so much and all I want for it is to grow so the members can feel the blessings of a ward someday.

Sunday ended in a happier note as we went to Calangianus to do some work and find some referrals. After that we celebrated Claudio Branca'sAnziani from Sassari were coming that morning for district conference and it was a huge mess. I don't like these kind of details but I was running to the bathroom a lot! Well I guess it wasn't food poisoning because I was out the door and doing missionary work by 5 o'clock so I have no idea what it was! Weird!
Corsica (France) from Olbia (Italy)
Golfo Aranci

Tuesday was a lot of fun and we had a little Family Home Evening with the Mazzone family again. After that Ignazio gave us a ride to the train station to pick up the Anziani from Cagliari because they were coming to check up on the cleanliness of our apartment, spend p-day together, and to do splits. Let me tell you, the missionaries, Anziano Errante (native Italian from the north) and Anziano Longhurst (from Springville, Utah) are some of my favorite elders that I've met in the field so far! We had so much fun together! On p-day we all went to the beautiful city of Golfo Aranci and did this beautiful hike to see some beaches and finally go to the top of this mountain where we saw the French Island of Corsica. I think it's where Napoleon was born. Anyways, at the tops of this little peninsula shaped thing was the mountain where there was an abandoned building that was used to make one of the first telegram calls back in the early 1900's! It was a beautiful hike altogether. We were trying to beat the sun so we could see Corsica so me and Anziano Vitali literally ran up the mountain (he is also a French citizen and has never seen France so he was determined to see it)!

Well that was pretty much the week! Things are going so good here! I can't wait until the baptism here soon! I am glad that you are all doing so good. Keep up the hard work in school and work! 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. Take care and have a great week! Vi voglio un mondo di bene!!!

Con Amore, 

Anziano Clay Lacey

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