Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas in Sicilia!




Dear Family and Friends,

Here is my Christmas Story. It begins with the story of George and Fernando. Fernando is this guy from Sri Lanka who we always pass by almost every day. He loves to talk with us and one day we talk to him about his friend George who is in the hospital now from a motorcycle accident that hurt his foot. We decided to visit him and it was a really sweet moment to talk to him. Then we decided to be a Light and do a Christmas miracle. So thanks in part to the money from my grandparents, we were able to buy him and his family clothes, a blanket, and some food (pandoro!). We brought it over to him a few days later, surprised him and even got to explain who we are as missionaries. They loved it and want us to come back again. They speak Sinhala(Sri lankan) and a little Italian and English so I got to start learning a little bit of Sinhala too. It was really awesome to feel the true spirit of Christmas also while being a missionary. 




Christmas is Italy is really a blast and that starts from the beginning of the week. It's basically just constantly eating whole playing games and talking so nothing too different from our traditions. We ate at Sorella Reali's on Monday and she cooked the best lasagna I have ever eaten! Also we had our Christmas party on Tuesday which was really great for our investigators and English Group to come to. I got play for the church choir and it was super fun! 

For Christmas Eve, we had a fun pranzo party together with Giuseppe and Vittorio and other members where we ate pasta, lasagna, and for dessert, chocolami and a super good pandoro cake with Nutella stuffed in It! Yum! We even got this huge bread shaped like a fish from this panificio nearby as a Christmas gift that was super good. After, we played ping pong and watched our movies, luckily we still got to watch Zootopia which is hilarious in Italian. Poi, we had Christmas eve dinner at the Conforto house which was a blast. I tried this weird meat gelatin which was very weird tasting. But there was great pizza made from mozzarella di bufala, boar sausage!, pumpkin puree, and this ricotta pie. Super good! (Remember this is just Christmas Eve)



We wake up bright and early still for Christmas. Anziano Anderson  and I bought a gift for each other just to make it feel a bit more like home. We got to the church super early to help set up and clean up from the party yesterday. Actually we found someone even sleeping on the walkway to the church. We offered him the bathroom to fix himself up and gave him some extra pandoro and water we had left. Kinda awkward but it was the best we can do without giving money. We had a great sacrament program all centered on Christ which was perfect. Also the members gave us some nice gifts and food which is super nice of them. We have literally gotten 5 pandoros from them.

We ate at the Caggegis for pranzo, normal lasagna, polpetone (sausage wrapped around prosciutto and egg), arance, and a delicious cherry panetone(fruitcake that actually tastes better). We talked a lot with their family and even got to share a spiritual thought with them. Poi, I got to talk with my family! This was a great gift, I loved it! The time spent talking really flies by but I also realized, time has also really flown by on the mission. It was the best gift to answer their questions and talk to them in person. Sometimes, the email just isn't good enough.

And after we had a great dinner with the Corso family who is awesome. They made another delicious lasagna and another polpetone, definitely one of my favorites. As you can tell the tradition is lasagna and polpetone for Christmas. I was stuffed!

After everything, I realized how much I am thankful for and Christmas is a time of expressing the love we have for others. I love and miss my family. I love the people of Italy and all they do for me.I love Siracusa and Pozzuoli and being here on the mission! I love my companion and district and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Because I know why I am supposed to be here. Because God needs me to be here. Because Christ is our Savior, who made the ultimate sacrifice, and it's my time to make a sacrifice. And really, it's not a sacrifice. It's such a blessing to get to know these people, to partake of their culture and share with them the greatest gift you know (Christ!) Thank you for your love and do support! I couldn't do it without you. Have and do merry Christmas and a happy new year! 

Vi voglio bene!

Anziano Price 









  








Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter has come! And it's awesome!


Dear Family and Friends,

Can you believe it? There's only 6 more days until Christmas! You can definitely feel it down here in Siracusa because the weather is super cold! It got super windy and has been cloudy for most of the week. Luckily, I had the time to buy a new sweater and a scarf which was definitely necessary. mostly, I waiting until the sale season that begins after New Year's Eve. 


One thing that was cool is that Giorgio, one of our investigators, happens to be a barber. And so we got our hair cut in the church. It was definitely interesting but I think he did a great job on my hair. Anziano Anderson was less than happy about it. Also, one of the sister missionaries in our district got really sick so one day we brought them fries to their apartment when they asked for it. 

Nothing really happened this week that was too interesting. We taught the Mallia Family(Vittorio, Silvia, and Giuseppe) all together finally for a lesson and it was great! We are working hard to challenge our investigators to keep their commitments because that's the only way they can really progress. We also have met a lot with Riccardo Conforto who is a more less active member, and his family and now we have become really good friends. We even had an awesome family home evening with them and also had the opportunity to teach the boyfriend of Giulia Conforto. It went super well! 

The members here are really awesome to the missionaries. We were invited to four dinners this week! For one dinner, we had hamburgers and pizza! It's a really good thing that we walk a ton here in Siracusa to balance out the huge dinners we eat. They are also really insistent on inviting the missionaries over for Christmas. I can't wait to see what the parties are going to be like. 

For me, this week was about just doing our best and enduring. The appointments that we make, usually fall through and we couldn't do much about it. So we just kept going, talking to people, passing by houses and members, and we saw miracles. We even reached our goal of 3 new investigators which is amazing!


Really, I want to bear testimony about sacrifice. During the week, I was thinking a little bit about home and being away from friends and family for Christmas. But also I continued to remind myself of all the Savior sacrificed to show us the perfect way, the way back home to our Heavenly Father, a way of happiness and peace. I am here to show people this way. And it's now my turn to sacrifice a little bit in return for the greatest sacrifice Christ has done for me. I love being in Siracusa because I know it's where I need to be right now. Thank you for your support and I hope you all have a Buon Natale!

Vi voglio bene!

Anziano Price






Thursday, December 15, 2016

La Tempesta!


Dear Family and Friends,

This was the week of the storm! Or la tempesta in Italian. On Monday, we went to go play zone calcio in Catania which was really fun! I am really bad at it still but slowly I might improve. But on the way home, we noticed a bunch of clouds in the distance, not thinking much of it. But on Tuesday, it came. Rain was pouring so hard down the streets! It was absolutely crazy! The zone leaders came to our district meeting and got soaked! Luckily we had some towels and the storm eventually paused for them to return back to Catania.

This storm continued on and off for about 2 more days with super strong winds that kinda destroyed our umbrellas as we walked around Siracusa. It's a good thing I had my coat! So for the past few days not a lot has happened because no wants to come out in the rain usually, even though we go out anyway trying our best. We dedicated this week more to service, helping the Conforto family and becoming friends with their less active son, Riccardo. Also, we went and visited Vittorio and Giuseppe after they had a really sad experience come into their life this past Monday and by Wednesday, they were already more happy, and excited to plan for our Christmas Eve party. Vittorio thinks we bring a light into his life.

The most interesting part of the week probably had to be our adventures in Catania when we did a scambio with the Zone Leaders. Luckily by then the storm had just left so we were not rained on. I was with Anziano Chilvers and Anziano Anderson was with Anziano Ponce. Anziano Chilvers and I first tried to go to an appointment which turned into a bidone (canceled appt.) like it normally does. And then we just went out into Catania and looked for people. We actually managed to find a kid named Thomas who was pretty interested so we just taught him in the park that we were in. It was a cool experience. Also I got to see a little bit of what Catania looks like which honestly is super cool! I also ate my first cannolo!! Super good!



By the end of the week, Anziano Anderson and I were beat. I at least felt kinda ready to quit since no one of our investigators could really meet. We are also having trouble encouraging people to come to church, and in general finding new investigators. On Sunday, I poured out my feelings of stress and anxiety in a prayer during the sacrament. And I could feel the Savior's love for me, that I really could be forgiven, that things will be alright. Just keep going! You can do it!


I know I can do it because God is on my side through all things. For one thing, I don't have to worry even though I still will. The work here is great, I have an awesome companion, and I love the ward here in Siracusa! My Italian is coming along better and better and it's Christmas time! What more can I ask for? Thanks for all your support once again and keep the Christmas Spirit alive by serving those around you!

Vi voglio bene!

Anziano Price








The Lost Letter

{This was meant to be sent last week but somehow it never came.  Caleb included it in this week's email.}

 
Dear Family and Friends,

Oh man what happened this week? The hardest part is remembering everything we did because the week goes by so fast! One thing is for sure, Siracusa got a whole lot colder. A storm blew in Tuesday that was super crazy! We were planning that night in the kitchen which has a balcony and as I was on the phone with Vittorio, a huge flash of lightning struck nearby or at least it seemed so and I definitely got scared. Anziano Anderson thought it was pretty funny so I thought I would include it here. But the day after, we walk outside and it's freezing! I can't wait to get some more clothes, once saldi(sales) season begins.

As you can probably tell, we have a lot of funny experiences on the mission. Anziano Anderson is a awesome friend and so it seems like that just adds to the fun experiences we have. Like after Zone Conference, he accidentally stepped on what seemed like an empty juice box, only it wasn't empty and the fermented juice goes spraying everywhere, and luckily only hits his pants. It was hilarious.


Other fun things include the fact that I'm addicted to the oranges here in Sicily (sorry Arizona) and also I tried a horse meat sandwich here. It's actually a pretty famous thing here and it was good! We also had Zone Conference which was awesome! President Pickerd brought some great ideas for our improvement of the work and encouragement for reaching our goal of one baptism this transfer. For Christmas, we also did our own nativity which was put together on the spot as you can tell from my cowboy hat (it was all we had in the house to make me a wise man) but also pretty fun.




It was also actually a pretty hard week as well with lots of denials and missed appointments. But we pushed forward, we worked hard still, and probably most importantly kept our cheerful attitude.

And guess what? Blessings came! So on Wednesday we had a lesson with Vittorio who has been struggling to accept the idea of one church being true and we also invited Christian who is a member to also come. And it was such a powerful lesson. Anziano Anderson and I switched back and forth teaching and even Christian was really awesome, bearing testimony about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. Vittorio believes the Book of Mormon is true and wants to get baptized once he's finished with all the lessons. We are going to meet with him again tonight and I can't wait!

We also had a cool experience on Saturday. Our Plan A fell through so we went to Plan B which also didn't work out, and it even started raining so we couldn't do the gesso that was Plan C. We were down, defeated, and really considered going home early for the night. But we thought to say a prayer and try just knocking some doors near the church one last time. After a couple apartments, we see someone locking stuff in a garage and so we decide to introduce ourselves. Turns out, he's a friend of some of the young men here in Siracusa. So we walked with him to his house, talked with him, gave him a Book of Mormon and he says he wants to learn more. That made the day all worth it!

I have a testimony that when you want to give up, just keep on going a little bit more. Because God loves us and will bless us when we give it our all.

Vi voglio bene!

Anziano Price




Monday, November 28, 2016

Sicilian Thanksgiving


video

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, I had a cool week! Since Thanksgiving was this week, there is a lot that I am grateful for. I am super grateful to be here in Siracusa! The food is amazing here and the people are so nice. Like literally, we were knocking doors and we started talking to this one family whom we have never met. Even though they were busy then, they gave us a huge bag of oranges to say thank you. And these oranges are soo good, I probably ate too many! Overall, I have seen the blessings of the Lord in our work and the importance of our work here.

Turns out you can still have Thanksgiving even when you are on the bottom of Sicily in Siracusa where gravy and turkey don't really exist. Since Anziano Anderson comes from Post Falls, Idaho, he knew how to cook some mean fried chicken, as well as some fries and fried zucchini. Add the sister missionaries' green bean casserole and chocolate cake, and you have a feast! It was fun and I would say also super humbling for me because it took a lot of work to cook just that small amount of food so I can't imagine all the food for a real Thanksgiving feast. We also made cute little paper turkeys to put on our ties. 


First, I have to thank Anziano Anderson. He's the best! He's such a great missionary companion who really just wants to work hard! He's a super spiritual guy that also isn't afraid to have fun while doing the missionary work. Our goal is simply to make this area better than we found it so we are looking for ways to improve every day in order to be better missionaries. Just doing small things like waking up at 6 a.m. instead of 6:30 have really helped us to be better and more obedient. 


But really I need to thank God for what happened this week. For example, here's what Saturday looked like, probably our craziest day. First, we ran to the church to give our new investigator, Concetto, a lesson on English and also touching on how the Plan of Salvation is really important for him right now because he's 88 years old! Things went great and we invited him to pray if this was the right path for him. Then he gave us a sweet ride to Bronzo's house. Bronzo is a member who needed a blessing. Then we walked all the way back to our apartment to see Sorella Zombra. We had pranzo with her and her family which was super great, and she cooked some of the best food I have had here in Italy.(a vegetable pasta with this super good chicken!) After sharing a spirtual thought with her and helping read the Book of Mormon since she has a hard time reading now, we went to the church again to see our investigator, Giuseppe, at a youth activity at the church. Okay here's when it gets crazy. 

We then need to walk all the way to Roberto Nitto's, a new convert, house which is about 4 km away. We walk there and call him and find out he is still at work for another 2 hours. That was frustrating for a bit but we decided to use our time wisely and do a little giro around town passing by some families. No one is really home and then Anz. Anderson thinks to go see Vittorio. Luckily he's home with his wife Silvia, and they were glad to see us. We decided to show them the Christmas video the church recently put out which is amazing! By the end of it, I look up and see tears in both of their eyes. They described how they needed us to pass by right now and we did, acting like angels! The Spirit definitely testified that we were needed that night for them. So then we hurry and walk back to Robertos after that amazing experience, and he still isn't home! 

So now we could return home early and say we did our job. But we decide to give him another chance and knock on some doors while we wait. While knocking, people are really nice but no one invites us in until this grandma opens the door. Turns out she's a Jehovah's Witness but wants us t come inside still. We get to know her and her family, especially her grandson Alex. We showed their family the video too and really just brought the love of Christ into her home even if she wasn't that interested in our religion. And then we walked back home since Roberto never could meet in the end. It was such a great day!

By the end of this week, I was probably the most tired I have ever been from just walking (9 miles just on Saturday) and filling our days full with things to do. And the crazy thing that keeps happening is that I am happy doing it. Strangely enough, it's making me happy to be tired and sacrifice so experiences like with Vittorio and Davide can happen! I just want to invite you to take on the example of Christ and do something really special for someone else or really just anyone! I love this video that the church put out. It shows how Jesus Christ did so much for us and so like him, we can be angels in this Christmas season and be the light of the world! Thank you guys for your blessings and prayers! Wish I could talk more but I gotta run!

Vi voglio bene!

Anziano Price

(You can view the video and learn more about the #lighttheword campaign at www.mormon.org)



Monday, November 21, 2016

SIRACUSA!!!!!


Dear Family and Friends,

Well, I moved! We got our calls on Monday and President Pickerd said I'm going to Siracusa (or Syracuse for those of you who aren't Italian)! It was so sad to say goodbye to Anziano Draghi and all the people I got to meet in Pozzuoli. It was definitely a hard day to leave, especially since I didn't know what to expect.


For those of you who know the game Ticket to Ride, that's basically what I did from Napoli all the way down to the island of Sicily. We stayed on the train the whole way down actually because the train gets on the ferry from Reggio Calabria to Messina which makes things super convenient.




So Siracusa...is awesome!! The change of companions, places, and even members just happened so fast and there's so much that I need to explain.

Okay first, Anziano Anderson is my new companion and he's awesome! He is pretty old in the mission, comes from a small town in Idaho, super funny and loves to work hard. I thought it was going to be hard to switch to another companion but actually we get along super well, which is good because now it is just me and him in the apartment instea of 4 anziani.


Siracusa and even Sicily itself is basically like another country. It has actually rained a ton this weekend but normally th weather is pretty warm this time of year kinda like Arizona (which is good because Napoli was gettign pretty cold) The ward here is pretty big, big enough to have a super cool church building. We even rented a bus to go to stake conference in Catania which was super crazy! Also, I get to play in Natale (Christmas) program which is super cool because we actually have a choir!

The food here is amazing! Arancini, cannoli, pizzolo! Pizzolo is a pizza cooked on top of a pizza! It is possibly better than Napolitano pizza. Probably the coolest experience we had was teaching Davide, a 15 year old kid, the first lesson! I get to participate a lot more now in teaching especially since I don't have my Italian companion, but I am more confident in my teaching. And he accepted our invite for baptism. Sadly, he didn't want to get baptized on Christmas Eve, i don't know why!

Can't wait to see what is going to happen this week! I promise to take more pictures next time! Thanks for you prayers and support. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Vi voglio bene!

Anziano Price