Dear Family and Friends,
First off, the earthquake was not anywhere near me so I am perfectly fine, thank you for your concerns. But it was in our mission so everyone close to the area is encouraged to help the cause. And also I am still figuring out how to write these emails so it may sound a lot like rambling. Okay, here we go.
Have any of you seen the Amazing Race? The show where teams race each other around the world? Well when I was younger, I thought I could totally do it. But getting from place to place in a foreign country is a whole lot harder than it looks. But I also would say that despite all the times we got lost, this was an awesome week.
Okay here's the story. Currently Anziano Draghi and I do not have a phone yet or at least it hasn't been activated (we hope today that it will be) and so that makes our work a bit harder but luckily we get to occasionally borrow the other Anziani's phone. Also, we are all new to the area so we have been figuring out the bus and train schedules and also where many of the members live. So yeah, it should be a piece of cake to find people.
Our week began with James. James is one of the investigators that the former Anziani suggested we go see. So we tried to find the bus station to go see James for about an hour and could never find that because people kept giving us the wrong directions. So then we went to our next appointment which according to Google maps seemed really close when it was actually a 40 minute walk away from our train stop and then we spent another 30 minutes searching for their house because we couldn't find it or call. So that was Wednesday but once we found them it was great!
Other experiences included climbing up this mountain we had no knowledge of to see a less active member, searching for a member's house for an hour and eventually having to cancel, and my personal favorite, getting lost on the way to the baptism at someone's house, even though we were probably 3 houses from actually finding the place and then going to a completely different place. Basically, we got lost a lot this week. But this week we also had some sweet moments.
We went to that baptism of Sylvester, an investigator of the Zone Leaders, and it was just a special moment to see someone get baptized, and how that's our goal, to invite people to enter into a sacred covenant even when the baptism was in a pool.
And honestly this week was the best because we met the coolest people. Eventually we were able to find James. He's from Madrid but now lives here for school. His dream is to study music like me and is trying to figure out how to get the notes from his head to reality (also like me!). We taught an awesome lesson on the Plan of Salvation because he was curious about why suffering exists and he even accepted our challenge to be baptized! E vai!
We also met Giovanni Di Iorio. This member is pretty old and has been a member since 1976. He saved all his old pamphlets from the missionaries and it was so cool to see how the history has changed. We also went to see Luciano who's this super funny less active who used to be the branch mission leader so he loves the missionaries and has all these old pictures of them.
Overall, I have really grown this past week. I have seen small miracles like when the Zone Leaders happened to drive by right when we stopped to pray for guidance when we were lost one of the times. I am working on sacrificing my all for missionary work and really just talking to people. This week I went up to people by myself and talked to them in Italian. I love the people in Italy and hopefully I can do more for them and invite them to come unto Christ. The food here is still amazing, especially the pizza (my companion wants to make a throne out of the boxes). I even got to cook this week but it was American (hamburgers and fries). It was also Anziano Draghi's birthday this week so we got to celebrate that as well.
I hope you are all doing well and continue to write because I enjoy the updates even if I can't talk that much because we are busy using P-day to see the sights. I hope we get to see Pompeii eventually. Have a great week and I challenge you to continue to share our sweet message of the gospel because I know everyone needs to hear it. Ciao, vi voglio bene tutti!