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







Thursday, November 17, 2016

Unique Experiences


Dear Family and Friends,

This week I noticed was especially characterized by unique experiences that I probably will never ever have! These have made me even more grateful for the hard choice I made to come out here and sacrifice two years. Trust me, even in times where I don't feel it, this mission is worth it!

Comunque (Anyway), the fun began on Tuesday right after our district meeting with Rosario. Background info: We met Rosario when walking on the street to the church one day. He was driving an Ape (you'll see it in the pictures) and stopped next to us, saying he wanted us to come over next week for lunch. That never happens so we decided to go. So the day came when Rosario drove up and told, not just us but the other elders, to get into this tiny ape. We literally drove on the main road for about 20 minutes in this thing, with 3 of us, including me, sitting in the back. The guys in this one military vehicle were laughing at us soo much! It was hilarious also because it was struggling a lot to go up hills and caused a little bit of traffic (luckily it mostly made people smile). Then we get to his house, and discover the reason he is always usually in the ape is because he is handicapped (like always in a wheelchair). 



So we helped him cook pranzo and we ate way too much (calimari pasta, sausages, steak, and tons of mozzarella). During this, we wanted to know why he wanted to really meet with us, but he never really told us because he just wanted us to eat, talk with him about girls and the law of chastity (very weird so it was very good thing I still need to learn a lot of Italian) , and even try his homemade wine which he claimed had "no alcohol". Definitely a visit I will remember forever. In all honesty, I think he's an old guy that just really wanted company (he wanted us to stay until 7!) so at least we did him a small service if anything. 


And the return trip was even better because it started raining. So it's me, Anziano Silver and Berger, sitting in the back with an umbrella to cover us! And you know what, we even saw Bro. Hubbard (Member; we have been teaching his family for a couple weeks). On the main road, we see a big car drive by with the window rolled and then I see Bro. Hubbard is driving it. He asked if we needed a ride, but I told him we were all good even though we probably actually did need that ride. We saw the Hubbards later in the week and he said "It's a good thing you didn't take my ride. That's a memory you will have forever."



That's really all I have to say about this week. I have made memories in this beautiful city of Pozzuoli with Italian members, investigators, and even the random people on the street we see and talk with. I took pictures of Vincenzo and Lina which you will see because I am afraid that this might be my last week here (probably not but maybe) and I don't want to forget them. Vincenzo always loves to feed us whenever we visit him, making pizza and napolitano bread which is super good. We had pranzo with Lina and her family on Wednesday. It was super fun, she made this delicious pasta al forno (like ziti), and it was great to talk to her family. Both Vincenzo and Lina are the only members in their family who are Mormon (an actually common situation) so it is difficult for them to come to church and yet their testimonies about this gospel are so strong! I love them!



The hard part is that it always seems really hard to meet our investigators or those who want to learn about the church. But we had a nice miracle this week actually with Francesco. We met Francesco on a bus once and now we teach him English at one of the train stations where he works. We were on a scambio (companion exchanges) and so it was Anziano Silver, the other greenie, and I teaching the lesson today. We did our normal English lesson and then when we were about to share a spiritual thought, he asked about what we do as missionaries which lead into talking about the Restoration. So we taught him right then and there, and even read from the Book of Mormon. Anziano Silver and I, two newly trained missionaries with only 3 months of Italian under our belts. We definitely had the help of God with us because he is exercising his faith to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.


Overall, there's too much to write. All that I can really add with the time I have left is that I have really grown a lot in these past few weeks because of Anziano Draghi. He's the best! I love how different he is, largely in part because he is Italian and even when we disagree because of our culture or don't understand each other, we have worked hard to really bond with each other. Last night, Anziano Draghi prayed and during the prayer, all I could think about is the work we have done together. With him, we have comforted those that needed it, we taught others about our gospel, and most of the time we just experienced together the successes, the failures, the funny moments, and lots and lots of special spiritual moments. It was nice feeling to see that we did our best in Pozzuoli and no matter if we leave or not, we know we did our best, that we are successful missionaries!


The mission so far has been a blast and I hope it can continue to be that way! I'll tell you what happens next week! I know this church is true and hope you all see the hand of God blessing your lives.

Vi voglio bene!

Anziano Price













Monday, November 7, 2016

Conference Pictures


The Napoli Zone, Zone Conference Oct. 2016
Mission Conference with President Nelson, Oct. 2016
(Caleb is on the left side about three rows back.)

Two Weeks in One


Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry about not writing last week! I had finished the email but when I sent it, it apparently didn't send and when I went to try and send it again, the draft didn't save and it was also 6 p.m., the end of our P-day. So I will do my best to recount what has happened for the past two weeks because like normal missionary life, a lot has happened.

One thing I think I might have forgot to mention is that our apartment is only a ten minute walk from the Napoli San Paolo soccer stadium! Some nights are crazy with fireworks, people blowing horns, and it isn't too hard to hear the crowd even from our house. I mean this is Italy! Work literally will stop for these games, especially when the championships come. Imagine Super Bowl status but for every soccer game. I can't imagine what it will be like for the championships.


General updates: There is only one week left before a possible transfer so Anziano Draghi and I are making the most of the time we have together. He is helping me a lot more with the language and I am actually getting more chances to translate for church classes. There are days when I feel awesome with the language and then they are just some days when nothing makes sense.

The weather has gotten a lot colder and probably is going to just stay that way. Totally different than Arizona around this time of year. Italians are always shocked when I tell them the temperature of where I am from. Also, the American members we have visited with have given us small reminders  of home like Doritos and pancakes and syrup! Like seriously, syrup doesn't exist here!



Luckily, Halloween actually is still a thing in Italy but much smaller because some people are afraid because it looks like a holiday of the devil. It is also harder to do trick or treating when you have apartment buildings so the kids go around to shops on the street in costumes and say "dolcetta o scherzetta" and the people give them candy or dolce.

Really I have two experiences that made my week. For one, our investigator, Patrizia, is doing awesome! We had a FHE (family home evening), which basically was lunch with a small lesson and a game with the Hydes, our senior couple in Pozzuoli. And Patrizia and even Mimmo really opened up about their problems as we finished explaining the Plan of Salvation and we were really able to help. Patrizia really wants to get baptized now, she just wants to decide on the day. Hopefully I can see it happen, but already I can see how the knowledge we had about the gospel of Jesus Christ really is blessing her life!

And second, was pranzo (lunch) with the family of Slle. De Bennardo. Background information: Slle. De Bennardo is a member who had an active family probably 20 years ago but now her sons are less active (one even served a mission in Italy). Slle. De Bennardo invited us over to visit them. We had this huge pranzo! There was the typical sausage, potatoes, mozzarella, salad. The pasta was cooked like pasta al forno but in the shape of like a big cake covered in prociutto (ham) and it was so good! We also literally had roasted chestnuts (it's actually a thing here in Italy, tastes alright), clementines, and an apple torta for dessert. So as you can imagine, I was sooo full by the end.

It was also fun to see the family dynamic during the meal, kind of actually similar to my family reunions. We shared a spiritual thought after it all and they really enjoyed our company. But the main reason we were there was to give Massimo and Lina (one of the sons and his wife) a blessing because they were having a hard time with some trials. We even asked Pippo, the one son who went on a mission, to participate. I had he opportunity to give Lina a blessing, even in my broken Italian. I was scared but all I can say is that I followed the Spirit. We could all feel the Spirit by the end of it, and Lina was crying at the end. It was a really powerful experience. I may not ever see that family again, but I know that that experience was just one reason why I am supposed to be on a mission.








There were some really hard days these past few weeks, but those can never be compared to awesome moments like these and more I have had on the mission. All I can really add is my testimony that I know I am meant to be here on this mission. There are people that need the missionaries, especially because we have knowledge that can change the world. God loves us! Never forget that! I love you all and appreciate the support you have given me! 

Have a great week!

Vi voglio bene!

Anziano Price