Dear Family and Friends,
Transfers have come and gone like always in the missionary world and right now I think I am one of the luckiest Anziani in the world! I'm in Ragusa! This is a whole lot less exciting if you don't know anything about Italy. Ragusa is only an hour away from Siracusa, even closer to the bottom of Sicily. The city itself sits on this mountain (large hill compared to American mountains) and a lot of the streets are slanted so walking is mostly uphill or downhill, never really flat. While I am not close to the ocean, the cooler air and higher altitude will be nicer when summer comes.
The great things about this transfer are that I am still in Sicily (for me, it's the best place in the mission!), and I am even still in the same zone as Siracusa! I also have the opportunity to follow-up train Anziano Albright who is this amazing missionary that actually was a convert to the church just two years ago! We even have a car here because part of our duty here in Ragusa is to also help the branch in Gela close by on Sundays since there aren't any missionaries there now. After going to church in Ragusa and eating pranzo with one of the member families, we drive to Gela, and then prepare, bless, and pass the sacrament for this branch of 6 dedicated members since the only priesthood holder is the branch president. It was a very cool and humbling experience and I can't wait to continue to serve them. The last missionary there played the piano for them so I might need to practice some hymns so we don't have to listen to a recording all the time. I have only heard good things about Ragusa aside from the fact that the work is difficult as it is for all of Italy :)
The change from Siracusa to Ragusa was difficult. Saying goodbye to all those amazing members was really hard. Honestly, the amount of love and charity that the members in Siracusa show and in general that the Italian people show is shocking! For example, my violin was stolen from inside of the church by someone. We don't really know what could have happened and honestly I was a little disappointed even though I knew an event like this could happen. On Monday, after transfer calls, Fratello D'auria and Ciccio, counselors to the bishop, give us a ride home from our appointments that night. Fratello Ciccio explains how they found my violin damaged somewhere in the church and wanted me to take a look at it. So we got out of the car and the violin case they hand me isn't mine. They hand me a note which says something along the lines of "Thank you for blessing our ward with your musical talents. It would be sad if you couldn't continue to spread your talent for the violin everywhere else you go.", signed by members from the ward. They had all pitched in a little and bought a well used, slightly small, beautiful violin just for me. I was speechless and honestly, still can't explain it. But they did it just for me.
Oh how I will miss them all so dearly as well as the investigators and friends I had made from Siracusa. I know they are in great hands with Anziano Moscon and his new companion. But I hope one day I can really see them again and maybe show my love for them again. They have changed my life and have given me greater love for all the people of Italy, which is why I think I already love Ragusa so much! I know this kind of love only comes about because of the Savior and his great and redeeming sacrifice for all of us. He did what none of us could ever do as a gift, as a remembrance of his love for each and everyone of us. I am forever grateful for his love. I truly desire to show that love to the people of Ragusa and hopefully change someone else's life just like mine was changed. Thank you for your love and support. Hopefully, you can also strive to change someone else's life through the power of our Redeemer too.
Vi voglio bene!
|Church in Gela|