Wednesday, December 5, 2012
A Roma di nuovo!
Hey guys! I'm glad everyone is doing good! Thank you for the encouraging words and the prayers throughout the week. I love you all so much!
Anziano Clay Lacey
This has been a bit of a crazy week because of traveling to Rome, zone leader conference, and traveling back. I had one of the craziest travel opportunities taking every form of transportation except bicycle and horseback. We left for Catania on Wednesday and ate lunch there with the other missionaries, then we took the bus again up to Messina where there was a lot of wind and a storm so the small boat we took across the Messina straight was rocked across the sea like crazy! When we finally got across we landed in Villa San Giovanni and then took a train to Reggio Calabria where we ate a pizza with the Anziani there and then finally got some sleep at their place. We woke up early, got a ride from a member to the airport and flew all the way to Rome. It was very, very cold and rainy, but I love flying so much and enjoyed every minute of it.
When in Rome we waited for the other Sicilian Z.L.'s but there was a problem with Anziano Nelson from Sardegna who needed to bring some luggage for a different missionary. The machine that unloads the plane broke apparently so we had to wait an extra hour at the airport. They told us to take the train from the airport to the city center instead of being picked up in the van because the gate to the mission home was broken and couldn't open, so the vehicles inside were impossible to take out except by complete annihilation of the gate (you should see the size of the mission van... it's called a 'furgone' in Italian).
The airport is only about an hour by car from the mission home (Rome is gigantic), and the little train would only be about a fifteen minute ride. Usually, at the end of the month (and we were in the latter days) missionaries are generally out of money. The train tickets would have cost £70 for all of us! It was ridiculous so we called the assistants and we worked it out to get a ride from other missionaries with cars. Because of the weather, everyone was late to the mission home, but although all the problems we faced and the stress of travel, we were all happy to enjoy each others company and we ate a delicious lunch prepared by Sister Kelly.
The conference was great and we had some great discussions regarding the work and things we need to do to improve the zones. President leaves a little bit of time at the end to ask questions about anything we want (it is titled 'trunk talk') that usually involves deep doctrine and marriage, and other after mission subjects. The funniest one I heard was a missionary who asked if there was something different we needed to do for the 21st of this month. President was very confused and asked, "Is that that Mayan calender thing?" The way he said it was hilarious and you have to know Pres and his sense of humor! It was a much needed conference and we found out that there will be a general authority that will visit our mission in January! I can't wait to find out who it will be!
Our zone conference will be next week on Tuesday so we have a lot to do to get prepared.
We returned to Siracusa doing the exact same trip we made before that took up nearly the whole day. The best part about traveling though was meeting and talking to people. I find such great pleasure in talking and meeting new people as we go around. One of the ladies I talked to while going to Catania became a new investigator on Monday! She, Gabriella, was very interested in the Church and she is really searching the truth as she goes and researches other churches. Her faith in Christ has grown exponentially throughout the past couple of years because of the help and comfort she's received while her twelve year old son was found to have a brain tumor. Now everything is well, but hearing her recount her experiences and love of God as she was in tears was very touching. She said she looks forward to coming to church!
I'm out of time but that's basically the sum up of the week! Things are going great and I can't wait to soak up yet another Christmas in Italy. I know it will be a fantastic experience! 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 stay safe and strong! Che Dio vi benedica! Vi voglio tanto bene. Un abbraccio forte!