Monday, June 19, 2017
I'm Getting Old
Dear Family and Friends,
Holy cow, what a week! So many things happened and it had felt like a roller coaster ride beginning last Monday when we received the calls for our transfers.
News: I'm a father! I must now be getting old in the mission even though I don't feel it. They called saying my new companion would be a brand new missionary straight from the MTC which is quite a big deal. No pressure. Up until the day of transfers, I was stressed with thoughts. What's he going to be like? How am I going to train him? Am I good enough? What will we do in Ragusa? etc. etc. I was definitely anxious but luckily Anziano Albright assured me all would be well and reminding of what's the worst thing that could happen.
Before Anziano Albright left that Thursday to be in a trio in Agrigento, we made appointments to see Sorella Ferraro and eat delicious food, we finally finally finally taught the Restoration to a great potential that we hope to follow up on soon (we made our goal!), and did normal things like teaching investigators and helping with English Course and Theater Course. He's a great humble and obedient missionary that certainly deserves the applause that Vince from English Course gave him the Tuesday before he left. Hopefully, I will see him again.
On Thursday, after getting Anziano Albright onto his bus, I drove the car to Catania train station ALL BY MYSELF! That's how the transfer situation worked out I guess (desperate times call for desperate measures). Nothing bad happened and I made it safely to the zone leaders on the other side. And there was waited for the greenies to come. There was another missionary trainer too at the station so when the train arrived, it was at first awkward to figure out who was training who (because we had no idea, they were the only people that knew) but I finally got Anziano Mars.
First off, he has a sweet name! And the rest: He's a great missionary that comes from Ohio, ready to serve and already has a good understanding of the language. He's organized, super smart, and see's the world in a whole different light than me (which leads to him blowing my mind with random questions or profound thoughts). Right now he's still a little riserved but I imagine so was I as a greenie so I have hope we are going to get along well and make a great companionship together.
So the rest of the week became crash course in training, figuring our permessos, how to teach lessons, how to plan, driving all over Ragusa and other cities. But we are seeing some progress and miracles so that means we are doing the right things. We had a gesso at the Marina where there were lots of people (that's an Italian summer for you) so that was cool. We were asking people how we can have a more united family, and one kid answered, "Take away their phones".
Sadly, this was also our last week going to Gela because the branch is getting moved into the area of Agrigento and will no longer be it's own branch. These members that I have met our amazing and it was sad for them but they are looking forward with faith and having new opportunities in the new branch. One of the member's son in law asked why there aren't mormon churchs in every place. Una buona domanda but I remember Anziano Mars's testimony on how everything is in the Lord's timing, so never doubt that all will work out!
After church in Gela though, we decided to pass by the house of the one of members and deliver her the Liahonas she had ordered since she hadn't been able to come to church since they had arrived. We drove up the small roads to the small town of Niscemi in pouring rain. It was little dangerous at some points but we made it safely. Francesca really appreciated the visit and we were able to give her sick mother a blessing which was also another really powerful moment.
All in all, training is lot more different that I thought it would be. I don't know what to do half the time but in the end, it is like when Nephi followed the Spirit, not knowing beforehand what to do. Oh yah, I also turned 20! That kinda just flew past but don't worry, we celebrated with arancini and plan to do something today. All that I can say is that life is good, it is a really blessing we have to live, bless others, and serve them. That's really what has changed the most this week. Like a switch, once I received that call, my mind is focused on how do I help this son of God become the missionary he is meant to be. I imagine that is what happens in fatherhood as well, and I imagine that is how God thinks about each and everyone of us every single moment of the day.
Vi voglio bene!