Siamo in Italia! Che bella!
Words cannot describe how incredible this place is. Sure, the city I’m in, Cimiano, is pretty ghetto. HOWEVER, it is wonderful! The food is :0 the sights are *.* and the people are $. The people here are soooo expressive and I must say it is a really awesome thing! Sometimes a not so awesome thing haha because some people really don’t like us. It’s crazy though, because the people here will have a full on conversation with you no issue. In America, people thing you’re creepy. This makes the work easier here.
So, backtrack to last week on the last day. Upon parting the MTC and the friends we made there (as well as giving a whole suitcase of food to the beautiful Elder Hansen) we headed off to the airport and got right to work on the way! The coolest two experiences while traveling was an inactive man that I met who was thinking about re-joining the church, so I gave him a Book of Mormon and challenged him to read some on the plane, and then my personal favorite on the flight to London. The man I sat next to was heading over to London to see a business conference and he was from Dallas. The subject of religion came up, (because missionary), and we began to talk about our beliefs. After speaking for 3 hours, Elder Moser and I taught him all the pre-baptism discussions, gave him a Book of Mormon, and challenged him to read and pray about it. He was earnestly asking questions too, and was already flipping through it by the time we got off the plane. I truly know that the Lord prepares people and puts them in our path. There are no coincidences out here, I have learned very quickly!
The first few days were quite the blur, and although most of our investigators cancelled our lessons we still had a few! I really love teaching lessons outside of the MTC. For one they’re real, and for two you can almost tangibly feel God’s love for the people. The most promising investigators right now are a man by the name of Salvatore who is trying to quit smoking (so pleassssse pray for him) and is honestly one the kindest and most tender-hearted people I have ever met. Another is Dario who on his first time to church stayed the whole three hours, made friends with the elders quorum president all on his own, participated in class, and attended choir afterwards. Imagine a short, chubby italian man that you just just want to hug, is so happy all the time, a gourmet chef (mom I’ll send recipes, maybe for the blog too?), and has the widest range of expression I’ve ever seen. I’m excited to see the happiness that is going to come to him through this gospel!
To describe the ward, I’ll use 2 words:mostly hispanic. In all reality, the other Anziani and Sorelle in the district said I should probably learn some Spanish. These people though are the abosulte best and I love them! They are the definition of inviting and have a great love for life. My companion, Anziano Tolman is….well let’s just say I’m really lucky! This guy really loves helping people, and is soooooo patient with me! It makes me realize there is a lot I can still work on. And for the area, well like I said, most of it is pretty ghetto, but this just means there are more humble people! It would be difficult to preach in an affluent area. We also have the Piazza del Duomo though so that is amazingly beautiful. PLUS, there is a Boggi outlet shop that we went to for anyone that knows what that means. Also, Andrew’s Ties.
As a whole, the people in Cimiano are either just cruising through life or honestly have a fairly bleak outlook on the future. I just want to grab some of the people by the shoulders and just say, look up!!! There is no doubt in my mind that God has made my life better, and they can feel this too! Whenever I tell people this, they just say, how? How can you know this? Herein lies the beauty, James 1:5 states that God will answer any question you have, and in Moroni 10 of the Book of Mormon it states that through prayer and the Holy Spirit you can know the truth of this church. Many people won’t do this though because they don’t believe it will work. It is too easy to believe, just like the Israelites in the wilderness who wouldn’t look at the serpent on the staff and be saved. YOU CAN DO IT. Life is meant to be difficult, so that we can grow, but it is also meant to be doable. Please, look up!
Until next time, and also remember to think about the Lord and His sacrifice during this season! It will give this season so much more meaning I promise!