Wow, do I have a lot to say but not the time to say it. First off, one of the guys that had a baptism date dropped us this week, but has still been coming to activities so we will have to see what happens with him. It makes me awfully sad though because I could see the happiness that it was bringing him and it’s so sad to see someone turn away from that. He even recognizes it too, but refuses to do the work necessary to bring about his own personal conversion. As for Silvia, she is actually moving back to Milano as a surprise and wants to be baptized. Can’t complain here. I’ve also watched her brighten up with the gospel and have watched her be filled with so much more happiness. It’s for stuff like that that we are here.
We have been pretty low on investigators though so we are really trying to batten down the hatches and get rolling! We are having good success too, and I must say that English and Italian classes that we teach for free at the church really help as a finding tool. I am so grateful for those. We are also, cioè, tripling our lessons just to try to get everything that we can done! There’s a reason we are here and I am really starting to see it.
Fun bit: while visiting one of our favorite Filipino members I ate what I can honestly say is the oddest and nastiest thing I will ever eat on my mission. Balot. This is essentially a boiled egg that is half developed. There was a half developed chicken, and we ate it. First, you crack open the top, drink the juices, then peel off the rest of the shell and eat the chicken and the veiny mass of egg bed underneath. My gosh it was bruttooooo. But we did it. Mostly, just because a sister did it first in front of us, then we just had to or our dignity would die.
Cultural bit: Everyone smokes. Everyone. Everytime we are at the metro too, and a group of high school kids get out of school, we can just tell that they are coming due to the giant cloud of fog that follows them. It’s nasty. Also, the more facial expressions and grander hand motions you use, the more Italian you are.
Spiritual bit: I don’t have much to add to this other than it brings me hope and I feel the Spirit every time I watch it. Everyone needs to watch this, especially if you are having a hard time in life!! http://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/mountains-to-climb-2
I love each and every one of you and if any of you ever need anything or someone to talk to, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Con Amore e Auguri,
Anziano Tolman, me and Mahesh Rai
Meditating with Mahesh, Anziano Tolman and Sorella Tokarski