Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Arrivederci Roma!

Hey guys!

Things are doing great here! It feels like things are getting very busy and that I'm doing a lot of traveling, but hopefully things will settle down a bit and I can focus entirely on missionary work. For example, today we leave for Trapani! I have to go back to get my Permesso di Soggiorno which allows me to live in the country. After picking it up I'll be good for the rest of my mission and won't have to worry about it anymore. I'm just bummed that it's going to take up a whole day for travels!
Rome Temple - 10/12/12
Rome was great! Everything went smoothly with getting there and I had a blast. The only thing I saw in Rome besides the mission home was the temple, and it's getting so big! When I was at the very site over a year ago there was just a giant hole, and now it's on it's way to getting finished! 
Luke and Lacey
The zone leader council was a very uplifting experience and it was a day full of learning. I met some amazing missionaries that I didn't know before and we all had so much fun together. I learned a lot from President and he is such an inspired man. Us Sicilian guys were the first to get to the Villa so I got my interview with President and got to help Sorella Kelly cook some delicious food for lunch and dinner. I was on onion cutting duty, and she had fun laughing as I cut the juiciest onions in the world and cried like a baby. We decided that we are going to make a television show called 'Cooking with Sister Kelly' because you 'feel the Spirit' so strong that it brings you to tears. 
Anziano Lacey with President and Sister Kelly
The only part that wasn't fun about the trip was almost missing the plane thanks to insane traffic on the freeway, the aftermath of a man being hit by a bus, which we saw... Not very fun.

Friday night we had a very fun activity with the ward that was a scripture jeopardy game. I was called a few weeks before to be the team captain and everyone made fun of me for the name I chose: 
Mahershalalhashbaz (a Hebrew word that means 'destruction is imminent' that you can find in the Isaiah chapter in 2 Nephi 18:1. My team loved the name however, and we won so we aren't complaining! I am really making some great relationships with members.

Our investigators are doing great and we are really trying to help them progress. We heard from the family that lives far away and who we gave the blessings to and we are collaborating to fix an appointment, but things are tough with all these travels and whatnot. Another miracle happened as we were walking home after a day of finding work in the rain. I've had the feeling to do zone t-shirts for all of the Sicilian missionaries, and there is a little t-shirt printing shop close to our house. We walked past and I thought that I should just go back a different time because I was tired, but then I felt pushed to go back. We stood outside the shop reading the signs of the kinds of prints they do, and the shop owner came out to greet us. I asked him some questions and he invited us inside, even though they were about to close. His wife was there and so was their little five year old daughter. We talked about 'business' a little bit, but then we all just hit it off and became instant friends and they poured out questions about the church to us. It turns out that a couple weeks before I tried stopping the wife, Veronica, on the street but she was busy or something so didn't have a chance to talk. They are very interested in the church and said that we can pass by again to share the message of the Restoration with them! 

We are seeing sparks of interest of the Church in our English course students. We have a few that might become investigators and our course is so big! We teach sometimes four courses now with all four of us missionaries taking a different level, and I love my intermediate students. I have about thirty who show up on a regular basis, sometimes more. We are all great friends! One guy went to Paris and got me a little souvenir of the Eiffel tower! Some of the things I'm most grateful for about the mission are the relationships and friendships I'm making with people in this wonderful country. I really hope I'll be able to afford coming back often in the future! You have no idea how much I love the Italian people.

Things are going great with training and Anziano Smit is such a stud! We have a lot of fun and we get work done. We were walking yesterday and there was a man with his dog in the park, and he had this device that looked like a giant spoon for scooping pasta or something like that. As we wondered as to what the device was, he placed a tennis ball inside it and we finally understood as I yelled, "It's a fetching launcher!" We had a good laugh from that! 

As I approach my year and a half mark I must say that I'm starting to feel this 'tiredness' that missionaries get towards the end of the mission. Me and Anziano Longhurst talked a little bit about it with the Kelly's, and they said that their son that just got back from Argentina just slept for days. They said that that was how they knew he worked hard.

Here it is for the week! I say this in almost every email and I'll keep saying it always: I love my mission! I love and thank you guys for your examples to me, and for your encouraging words and Spiritually energizing prayers! I love you Dad, I love you Mom, I love you Morgan, I love you Brooke, I love you Heather, I love you Greg. And to anyone else who might read this, family, friends: I love you and thank you for your support and prayers! Have a great week! Vi voglio BENONE!

Con amore,

Anziano Clay Lacey

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