Monday, August 29, 2016

This Is Missionary Work

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!

Anziano Price


Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Thank you to all who have called or texted today to check on Caleb.  I thought perhaps I should update the blog to ease your concerns.  He is safe and sound.  We received this note from his mission president early this morning:

To the Dear Families of the Great Italy Rome Mission;

Last night a significant earthquake struck an area of central Italy by the town of Norcia. We can report that all our missionaries have been contacted and are safe and accounted for.

Our prayers are with those affected by this tragedy.

With love and gratitude,

President & Sister Pickerd

Monday, August 22, 2016


August 22, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

I can honestly say this has been one of the craziest and one of the best weeks of my life! 

Let me start off by saying that Italy is way different than America. Rome was a huge city with ancient and modern buildings merging  and the sights are great. You cross the street wherever because pedestrians have the right of way always. And you use the metro system a lot. It is actually very great for finding people to talk.

Anyway, we arrived in Rome on Tuesday morning after a 10 hour flight from Atlanta and saw the sights with the assistants to the mission president. The pictures do not capture how beautiful these places are. Especially the statues of the apostles. President Pickerd and Sister Pickerd are wonderful and are encouraging us to really start off the best we can be and  overall while the Tuesdayand Wednesday made missionary work seem overwhelming, it also seemed exciting.

And then we opened our golden envelopes. In our envelopes, we discover the area we start in or how they call it on the mission, your "birth city."  It was a crazy night where we all celebrated and I discovered that I would be born in Pozzuoli with my trainer, Anziano Draghi. It was a great night for all of 14 of us that came, but it was sad to see them go. I hope I get to serve with them eventually on the mission.

Okay, here we go! My first days in Pozzuoli have been amazing! Pozzuoli is a smaller city on the outside of Naples. All of the Elders I am with (Anziano Silver, Anziano Draghi, and Anziano Berger), myself, and 2 of the Sisters in Pozzuoli have all been "blown in" or in normal words, we all come from different areas and don't know the people or the place at all. It is a little crazy because our area book, the way we organize the history of the people we teach, is very very very disorganized and the house we have only has one fan. The first few days have been super hot but I am getting used to it.

I love Anziano Draghi!! Literally, his name is "Elder Dragons."  He is the best companion for me! He loves having fun, teaching the gospel, and I think is really excited to train me. He is an Italian from Remini and luckily has learned English while on the mission so I can understand him. Yay!

Funny stories include all four of us almost getting stuck in our apartment elevator, luckily it made it to the 2nd floor, me and Anziano Draghi running back from the grocery store and our bags broke 100 feet from the apartment, and we ate real Napoli Pizza! It's delicious!
But really for the past few days we have met the Branch President, found some people on the metro, began teaching Di Pama who works at the gas station nearby, worked on my permesso (permit of residency), and we did a gesso!

A gesso is a chalk drawing where the missionaries draw a picutre or a question outside where a lot of people and talk to people. I even got to play my violin a bit which was super fun and I hope it attracted some good attention because it was super fun and we talked to a lot of great people.

Also, it was so cool to see a branch in Italy. There are about 70 members so they are close to becoming big enough for a ward, and there is a really good mix of Americans, Italians, and Africans. It was cool seeing the talks get translated back forth from English to Italian. And the youth focusing on family history work just like they would back home. These people are truly dedicated members. And a member asked us to come over for "pronzo" (italian lunch). It was absolutely amazing. We had pizzetta (mini pizza ball) and pasta marinara. I thought we were done but that was only the first two courses. Then there was chicken and fish, then shrimp that you rip the shell and leg off yourself, and melon for dessert. My first real Italian meal. Amazing!

While parts of the city are dirty and there is a lot of graffiti, I already love the people. I really hope I can learn Italian super well so that I can really communicate with them but I already enjoy teaching and want to search for as many people as I can. All I can say is that I encourage you to do missionary work in the wards you live in because Anziano Draghi and I want to work with the members as much as we can. And if you aren't a member, I really encourage you to ask the missionaries, ask someone you know, what this church is about. Because I know it is true. My testimony is the only thing I have really got in this completely new country. But I can't wait to serve and do missionary work. Ciao Everybody!

Anziano Price

Napoli Pizza!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tuesday, August 16 - Arrival in Rome

Rome Temple, under construction

Anziano Price outside Archbasilica of St. John Lateran
Archbasilica of St. John Lateran

Sculpture of St. Peter inside Archbasilica of St. John Lateran

Anziano Price sharing the gospel at the Colosseum

Up close at the Colosseum

Anziano Price in front of the Altare della Patria

Altare della Patria

S P Q R!  Knowing Latin pays off in Rome!

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Trajan's Column

View from the Mission Home

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


A wonderful stranger sent us this picture by text on Monday morning.  Anziano Price and Anziano Bolton are on their way to Rome!

Caleb left for Rome early Monday morning and arrived safely last night around 10, which was actually 7:00 Tuesday morning in Rome.  

We received these emails today, first from his mission president:

Dear Parents,

We wanted to let you know that your missionary arrived safely at the mission home today. We love them already and have been praying for them before they came.

We are including a photo and a short message from them. You may also find some pictures of your missionary on our blog:
We look forward to serving with your missionary!

President and Sister Pickerd
The Italy Rome Mission

Anziano Price with President and Sister Pickerd

And from Caleb:

We made it to Rome safely! And the country is amazing. I love it here and will update you on all the sightseeing that we did. It was amazing amazing amazing! 

Anziano Price

Anziano Price in front of the Rome Temple!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Only 3 More Days in the MTC

Dear Family and Friends,

It is crazy to think how fast time has flown! Honestly, I believe time works differently on the mission because it feels like I only got here a couple of weeks ago and now things are about to change so fast and so dynamically! I have been blessed to meet so many good friends in my district and zone and I know God planned all of this for me. These missionaries have been so fun to work with and it seems like only this week I have truly bonded and been able to have love for them as Christ would, just when it is soon time to say goodbye.

But anyway, some highlights of the week are that apparently, my closest animal look-alike is a happy walrus according to my teacher Sorella Francom, I was able to actually hold my own in basketball and score some points against the basketball players in my zone, getting a flight itinerary which means I am really going to Rome, and we got to sing in an amazing devotional taught by Elder Holland's son about the life of Joseph Smith. It largely centered around how his life was largely centered around trials and afflictions, and building our testimony on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and really bearing that testimony because that's what we have been called to do and God blesses us for it. Also, Fast Sunday was amazing, being able to really feel the presence of the Spirit, and dwell on the importance of the Atonement.

Oh yeah, and Elder Neil L. Anderson came this week. We had an international devotional for all the MTCs around the world. It was amazing to hear from him since his words were the direct words from God giving advice to his missionaries. He said we were fulfilling a prophecy long foretold in Daniel concerning how the kingdom of God would roll out as a flood upon the Earth, and how as missionaries we are fishers and hunters of men. I especially loved that analogy in Jeremiah 16 because in Italy, we are more likely to search and search with great diligence for the one person we need to find, just like 99 sheep and Jesus finding the one. He also spoke how missionary work is not complicated (if you follow the simple formula of be worthy, be obedient, be busy), but it is not easy. He spoke of how what we need most, or at least what I need most, is to grow my flame of faith! That as missionaries we need to believe that miracles will happen on our mission, that all things are possible through the Lord and that after we do all that we can, God will help us fulfill our goals and purpose as missionaries.

These weeks in the MTC have taught me how to teach, recognize the Spirit, and learn in Italian, but most of all they have taught me what it means to be a missionary. That the most important steps are love and charity. That if we do not love those around us, our family, our friends, strangers, and even our enemies, then our work will come to little fruition because it is without the Spirit. Most of all I have seen how the Holy Ghost is necessary for teaching, testimony, and conversion. And that we can easily gain this gift by following Christ, in prayer, in fasting, and even in song. Our choir director is amazing and has testified of some amazing experiences how the song of the heart is truly a prayer unto God.

I know that God lives and loves all of us, His children. I know Jesus Christ lives and suffered for all our sins so that we can live again with our families. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, another testament of Jesus Christ, and along with the Bible, holds answers to our questions of happiness. I know Joseph Smith was called by God to restore the church that Christ had established and this church holds the fullness of the gospel. And I know Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet and leads us as God would lead us. And I know you all can find the truth too, if you so desire it. I love you all, and I pray for you always, like I pray for the people in Italy, that they can find the truth.

I love serving a mission.

Le voglio bene, 

Anziano Price

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Most Spiritual Week!

August 4, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

I loved this week! At first, I thought it was going to be a really hard week. It has been a whole month since I have been gone and occasionally I will miss home, I mean who doesn't? But really I got out of this week how having the Holy Ghost in our lives can really touch people, even teachers role-playing as our investigators. But anyway, there's a lot to talk about.

I loved receiving letters from my family and that box of cookies from Brother Goodman (thank you so much!), they mean a lot. If you would like to write or send anything, you probably want to do it soon, because I leave for Rome in 11 days! Time really does fly by!

Since we have 11 days until we leave for the Rome Italy Mission, everyone is getting more and more excited! We are doing our best not to eat too much at the MTC (since there is a lot of food!) and working out so we are better in shape. I have consistently for the past three days been able to run a mile without stopping! I call that an accomplishment!

It keeps hitting me how we are actually leaving for a whole new country and I am barely proficient in my language. Actually, the language is coming along more and more lately. I am finding I can actually explain myself and my ideas more in Italian than normal. Although, I really need to start working on some real world phrases besides the gospel language I know,  like "How much is a half kilogram of ham?" (An actual phrase in our language teaching program).

But really my week was defined by two very amazing experiences. On Saturday, we taught our investigator Gabriella. She had been struggling with praying to God because she had the desire to believe in God but she felt she had no reason to, especially when she felt that she had not received an answer from God when she prayed.  So I began by addressing Ether 12:6, where a witness does not come until we have a trial of our faith. In the midst of explaining this, I felt impressed to share my experience with deciding on college and my mission. For about two months, the thought of where to go to college had been dwelling in my mind, specifically because it would also decide when I served a mission. I prayed and prayed and prayed and felt over and over that I had not felt much of an answer. And then one night, after receiving the impression to try again, I prayed. I did not go into much detail since it was personal and I don't know that many words in Italian, but I did say this: I felt the love of God and I felt that he answered my question. I felt a happiness I cannot express and in the midst of explaining this to her, I began to cry. Because I know what happened was true. Gabriella felt it was true by the power of the Holy Ghost and because of it she accepted our challenge to be baptized. It was one of the most spiritual moments I have felt.

This week I really learned how the Holy Ghost or Spirit is the teacher of the lessons and as missionaries we prepare ourselves to be worthy conduits of it so that an investigator can feel that this gospel is true, because I listened to the promptings of the Spirit. Elder Waddell, 2nd Counselor of the Presiding Bishopric spoke on Tuesday about how we are meant to serve a mission, which means we devote our time to looking for those who need service, for those we can express charity or the love of Christ towards. But the only way we can really see how to serve those around us is by listening to the promptings of the Spirit.

Yesterday, as a class, we practiced teaching a less active member. This was a lot more difficult than normal because the reason she fell away from the church was because she saw no blessings from the church in her life, since her husband has had lupus for a very long time and continues to get worse. She did not believe the Atonement of Jesus Christ could help her in her trials and endure. I wanted to reassure her that yes it can but I couldn't think of how. And then I thought of someone in my life. My mom.

For those of you who do not know, my mother had cancer when she was very very young. While she was cured, along came the assumption that she could not have any kids because of the great pain that would return. But she knew that she was meant to have a family. So she did have a family, me and my sisters and my brother. It was probably the most pain she experienced ever, constantly being sick and sacrificing for us. And yet she endured because as I like to think about it she relied on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Through His Atonement, he endured all the pains and sicknesses of the world so that we might be lifted up in our burdens and endure them with hope, and happiness, that we might be strong when we are normally weak. I testified of this experience to her and truly felt the Holy Ghost testify of the power of the Atonement and how it is very real and can help us every day.

I am sorry for both of these long experiences, but they are probably some of the strongest experiences in my life. I love listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, because it not only strengthens those I teach, but it strengthens my own testimony of this gospel that I will teach in 11 days. While this is extremely frightening, I have received assurances that this is right and that I can do all things through the Lord. I testify that this gospel is true and that I truly feel like I will be opening the doors of heaven to those I teach and inviting them to follow Christ and receive eternal life.

I challenge you to all pray to feel the Holy Ghost in your life and receive the faith and reassurance that this is all true. I love you all dearly, especially my sweet family at home. But I also love God and my Savior, and can't wait to serve my two years.

Le voglio bene!

Anziano Price