Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mamma Mia! Fa caldo!


Hey guys! I am so glad that everyone is dong well. Things have been great this week but I'm a little sad because I feel like I'll be heading out of Sassari here soon, and most likely Sardegna. I'll try not to think about it too much though and keep working as if nothing will change! 

Saturday was probably the highlight of the week. We did some good old fruit picking for some members, and then they fattened me up with three pieces of thick lasagna. We had a nice lesson with Adhemar, but unfortunately he really doesn't feel ready for baptism. Now we just have to wait until he feels ready, and until his faith grows. He is definitely nurturing that "seed" that Alma speaks about in chapter 32 of the Book of Mormon, but he hasn't yet recognized the answers to his prayers. He is doing well though!

After that lesson we went to church and helped set up for an activity. We had such a blast with the members, and there was such a good turn out! For our missionary end we had two former investigators, a guy from English course, Adhemar and two of his kids, and Margherita and her brother. It was a miracle that two of the four of Adhemar's kids came! He brought the two youngest, Alessia-4 and Josè-9. The members welcomed them and they had fun playing with all of the other children. We played soccer, had a barbecue, owned in ping-pong, and played some Foosball. Overall a fantastic night!

Alejandro, the twelve year old brother of Margherita also had a great time. He liked it so much that he came to church the next day! He looked like such a stud in a shirt and tie, and I could tell he enjoyed sacrament meeting as he was singing with all his might! I love that kid a lot, and he and his cousin Josè look at me like an older brother they never had. It makes me really miss Greg! Alejandro now has interest in the Gospel which is great because we need another deacon to pass the sacrament! Unfortunately their mother hasn't come to church yet, but we have all the kids there! 

We had a surprise from the Cagliari Anziani and they came to do splits with us. I went out with the new, Anziano Anderson from Salt Lake who is our zone leader. We did a lot of finding work, and then at the end of the day we headed home and I made those cupcakes you guys sent to me. The only thing was I didn't use them for my birthday, but for Margherita's which was that day. All four of us showed up and we did a little missionary style birthday party. She was so thankful and happy. Her mom had to work all day, and Margherita had to take her last exam for finishing off the school year, so the day wasn't extremely special for her at first until we arrived. I ordered her a Bible to go along with her new Book of Mormon, and she loved the gift (even though a Bible probably isn't the number one thing on a fourteen year old girl's list). We left with a spiritual thought, and by that time her mom came home and was also very grateful to us. 

This is the sum up of the week! Things are going great, and we love to see the progress our investigators are making. Like I said it is getting extremely hot here, and the humidity doesn't help at all. This is making it rather difficult to meet with people, because they literally shut down and refuse to go outside when it is too hot, or spend all day at the beach. Nearly every person in Sassari leaves and goes to the beach, has a house close to the beach, or something of that genre. 

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 and continue to stay safe! Vi voglio tanto bene! Abbiate un bell'estate! 

A presto, 

Anziano Clay Lacey

Friday, June 22, 2012

Due nuovi simpatizzanti!

Cara famiglia,

Buongiorno! Thanks so much for the emails and I'm glad everyone is
well! Things are going great as usual here in Italy. Summer is
definitely here and it's hitting us hard with some humidity. I went
ahead and bought a few new white shirts with short sleeves because the
heat is killing me! Probably the only thing that doesn't please me
about our apartment is the fact that there is no cooling system. In
Olbia we had a really nice air-conditioner but here in Sassari we
leave the whole house wide open and mosquitoes (zanzare in
italianio... yes they even sound evil in this language) eat me alive!
My friends who serve missions in third world countries are going to
make fun of me for sure when we share mission stories!

We've been blessed to be led to find two new investigators recently.
One was a man I found with Anziano Ferrero on our split. His name is
Tiziano and he is a stud! He has been through a lot in his life and he
is ready to turn his life back to Christ. We met with him last week
and then we did a lesson with him last night on the Restoration. He
told us that he really wants to know if the Book of Mormon is true so
he will begin reading it from start to finish. I've got a lot of hope
in him!

Yesterday we were searching for people in this beautiful park we found
and there was this father playing with his little daughter. We went
and talked to them and he was really interested in our message. We
even did a whole lesson with him there in the park with a prayer and
everything. His name is Marcello and he is awesome. Things are rough
with him and his family right now because of the economy, but he is
working his hardest for his family. He has a wife and another little
daughter so we have a whole family potential! We actually just saw him
randomly today at the library a few minutes ago!

Church was awesome! Adhemar came and he brought Margherita so she
came to church for the first time! She loved it and the members were
so welcoming to her. Sunday was a little crazy for me though because I
taught Gospel Principles class to our four investigators that came to
church. We talked about temples and it really made me miss the temple.
That's going to be one of the first things I want to do when I come
home is go to the temple. On Saturday night we got a call and nearly
everyone who was supposed to give talks in sacrament meeting was sick
or wasn't coming to church for some reason, so they asked me to give a
talk for about 5-7 minutes. The only two speakers were a sister who
prepared a 5 minute talk, and me. After the Intermediate song I gave
my talk and I prolonged it for a good half an hour to fill the time.
The members liked it and an older member who snores during meetings
said that he didn't get bored, haha. To top it off at the end we went
down to Olbia and had a district meeting where I was assigned to give
the training. Phew, I was tired! The mission is really helping me to
improve my teaching because it needs a lot of work!

On our splits in Olbia I had the chance to see lots of familiar faces,
including this one less active family that I love so much. They are
making great progress to coming back home, and the best part was when
the little kids noticed I was there. They were outside playing and
they came in with their cute little voices screamed"ANZIANO LACEY!"
and came and hugged me. I felt so loved at that moment! A lot of
missionaries joke around with me and say that I don't know anyone (as
in missionaries) in the mission and that nobody knows me, but I don't
care because that little image I left behind at least for that family
and the Mazzone family is the best legacy I could have left in that
city. I am blessed to have served so close to come back and recognize

We were thinking about ending English course for the summer because
there wasn't very many people coming and then last night it just blew
up! I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to run two
classes, one for beginners learning the verb conjugations, and one for
intermediate going over the past participle of irregular verbs. We
have decided to redo the publicity and run a summer course for those
who want a little extra help before the new school year begins.

Well that's the sum up for the week! Things are going great and
investigators are progressing well. We are working, but there's lots
of room to improve. 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. Grazie per il vostro esempio per me! Siete grandi! Vi
voglio una galassia di bene!

Con affetto,

Anziano Clay Lacey

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Un'altra settimana!

Hey guys!

It feels like it's been awhile since I've written last! I miss you all so much! Thank you for the year mark package! I loved the camel theme and it really got me excited to work hard this next year. I absolutely loved the camel drawing contest! You all did great, and Brooke is quiet the artist! Dad... I must say that yours looked more like a dying dinosaur, but I loved it anyways! (Haha -scherzo!) It's hard to believe I've already been out for a year! Time is definitely flying and I'm not counting time anymore because it's going to make me go crazy!

This has been a great week! Things have been a bit slow with teaching, but we've found a lot of success with finding new potentials that look very promising. We have seen a lot of miracles, especially with the Nachif family. 

It has been so hard trying to get appointments with the mother, Sariah, and it has been weeks and they haven't came to church yet. Adhemar is a stud and went over to their house to pick them up to go to church with him Sunday morning, but they weren't ready. He told the mother that she needs to read the Book of Mormon, and he personally gave her Mormon 9 to read. While doing a split with Anziano Ferrero, the greenie from northern Italy, we stopped by just to say hi and she loved the chapter she read. She was so excited for our upcoming appointment on Tuesday. 

Tuesday came around and we planned well for the lesson. We organized for a member, Sara the daughter of Fratello Murgia who served a mission in Milano, to come with us and we planned to teach the plan of salvation. It was neat to see how the Spirit leads you to do other things. We started by talking a lot about the Book of Mormon, and then it lead to an entire lesson based on the book, and you have no idea how excited Sariah was to begin reading. We also found out that they were about to paint a room because they were rearranging the house because her other daughter's daughter is coming in from Bolivia and they need a switch up. Well we insisted to help so we spent p-day helping them paint one of the rooms. The best part about it was who it was for. Alejandro, the 12 year old son, has been a little hesitant with us around. They are basically converting the kitchen into a new room for him and he is so excited for this, because he has been sleeping in one room with all the girls in the family since he's been in Italy. We were scarred because the paint wasn't turning out very well and we painted over this dark pink with a lighter blue. I was worried he wasn't going to like it but he absolutely loved it. We automatically made a friendship and the few hours of work with them was worth it just to see his reaction. We had an awesome South American lunch with them and now here we are at the Internet point!

Like I said earlier, we have been finding lots of success with street finding. While on my split this week I had fun with Anziano Ferrero because he hasn't been able to do much finding just because Anziano Schwing is so busy with branch president business, so in a way the three hours of street contacting we did helped break him into finding work. He, and I were amazed with how much success we found. Only three hours and we got nine numbers! We already have appointments with three of them tomorrow! I have been working a lot on growing faith, and my journal is being filled with small, but powerful personal stories of being lead by the Spirit. I've realized something lately. I always thought in a way that I should work hard so that I can have a memory full of stories to use throughout my life thanks to my missionary service, but that isn't the right way to think. I am going to really treasure sacred experiences and allow the guidance from the Spirit with how I share them.

Sunday was amazing! For district conference we had a broadcast for the Europe zones of the church, and President Eyring and Elder Nelson spoke! It was amazing, but most of all for Adhemar who came. He really recognized that they were men called of God, and the theme's of their talks were specifically for him: uniting the family and conversion to the gospel. Adhemar listened so intently and took notes (while a member in the back was snoring)!

Well that's about it for the week! Things are so amazing here in Italy! I love you all so much! I love you (Bishop) Dad, haha, I love you Mom, I love you Morgan, I love you Brooke, I love you Heather, and I love you Greg! Thank you for your support and I feel your love and prayers everyday. You're the best! Vi voglio tanto bene!

Cari saluti, 

Anziano Clay Lacey

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ho quasi fatto un anno!

Cara famiglia mia,
English class students celebrating Clay's birthday!

Buongiorno! Thank you all for the birthday wishes and for the love I felt! I am glad you all had a wonderful time finishing off the end of the year and celebrating birthdays! This has seemed like a long, but a very fun week. So much has happened with the switches and I like how things are going! Here is the rundown of the week day by day:

Wednesday I spent the day getting the house nice and clean for Anziano Hopper and during the night Anziano Schwing and I did some work including teaching Salim, which went really well! We taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ and he already wants to be baptized so we need to just get him a date! Real quick just a cool point, from that point on with Anziano Schwing until now I've been speaking only Italian! It's great!

Thursday we went to Alghero and picked up our companions from the airport. Anziano Hopper is a great guy and he was right away in agreement to speak only Italian! We ate a little lunch and the Olbia guys headed out. Anziano Schwing is training an awesome Italian from up north. A little bit about Anziano Hopper, he is the youngest of eight children from Sandy Utah, where Anziano Barker is from! He is hard core into scouting and he is really funny and we basically have a ton of fun together. He is also probably the most organized person I know which is a huge example to me!

Well he got settled in and we headed over to English course. It was weird at first because there wasn't very many people there at all in my class, and I was disappointed because I was excited for the lesson we were going to have with Lorenza. Halfway through the course Lorenza, her husband Sergio, and Maria came in with homemade cakes, drinks, and birthday candles! I didn't even remember telling them that it was going to be my birthday, but they must have remembered from a while ago! You have no idea how loved I felt and how huge of a surprise it was. It's hard to describe, but just from that little act I could tell how much they cared. Throughout language barriers, different cultures, and even religious backgrounds there is a type of hidden connection that binds us as literal children of our loving Heavenly Father. Unfortunately we didn't get to do the lesson with Lorenza because of the party, but we'll plan and hope for next week. 

The birthday went good! It was pretty much just like a normal day, I got up, worked out, had studies, and then we planned for the week like we do on every Friday. For lunch we did something a little special and went to my favorite pizzeria called Panegrosso. I wanted to wait until night to open my gifts, but pranzo time is when we have the most free time so I decided to open them then. Thank you so much for everything! The music, the funny but awesome Chinese shirt, and all of the cards! It really made my day and it was an awesome birthday! That night we went to Adhemar's house for a lesson. The lesson went great and we taught about tithing. He is so ready to become a member and we asked him to fast about baptism. Like I said before he loves to sing, and so we all sang the Italian version of "Nearer my God to Thee". He loved the song so much and wanted to sing it for his family, so he brought them in and we sang. Things are going much better with him and his wife and prayers have been answered. After spending some time with the family Anziano Hopper mentioned something about it being my birthday, and Adhemar was so excited! He wished me happy birthday, but it was a little awkward with his family since they don't celebrate birthdays. Well he gave his daughter some money and she bought some ice cream and we had a ton of fun together during the evening. I love the Gamarra family so much and I pray that they too will know the truthfulness of the course their father is taking.

Church was good and Adhemar really enjoyed it! There was a family from Utah that was visiting and I did the translation for them during sacrament meeting which was a lot of fun! We went to Olbia for district meeting and we have an awesome district! I am so excited for this transfer. 

That's about it for the week! Things are going great and I can't believe I am a few days from my year mark! 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 and stay safe! Thank you all for everything! Vi voglio tanto bene!

Cari saluti, 

Anziano Clay Lacey