It is my last pday in the mission and I get to spend it in Roma. The last 2 years have been pretty incredible and it’s weird to think that in a couple days I won’t be able to walk out the door and be submerged in the Italian culture anymore. It doesn’t really feel real yet.
These last few days we have been on a special extension to see the dedication and yesterday there took place the first 3 of 7 sessions of the dedication. Tomorrow will be my last day as a missionary in Italy but I, along with the rest of my group, will get to spend it at a session of the dedication in the temple. It really is a special event for the Italians. The excitement expressed by all the members here is really cool. It reminds me a little bit of how exciting it was when the Kansas City temple was dedicated
It has been really fun spending time in Rome again and these last few days I have been enjoying putting one last week of hard work in. It is sad that it all has to come to an end, but I am doing my best to let it end with a bang!
For pday we went on a walk around Rome Centro and just hung out with some of the other missionaries. It was pretty fun. We looked at photos and stuff while eating kuch and reminisced about the mission. It was cool, but also kind of sad at the same time. It’s been real!
Serving a mission has been such an incredible and insightful experience for me. It has taught me so much about who I am and who I want to be. It has also taught me the importance of the Gospel in my life which has given more meaning and value to life.
As my last words to all of you, I want to testify of the truth of the things I have taught out here. There really is a loving caring Father in heaven and he really did send His son Jesus Christ to atone for each of us, and this because of his great love for each and everyone of us His children. If you ever find yourself caught in trial or affliction you can, by the power of the Christ’s great atoning sacrifice, you can find strength. The burdens put on by life whether from regret or from hardship can be eased because Jesus Christ suffered for those things. An unpayable debt that all of us owed was taken and payed by Him, and all men that come unto him in repentance are forgiven and can find peace in this life and in the life to come, and when we understand that we know how important it is to help others partake of it too. So, do missionary work! Invite your friends and family and all others to take part in the happiness you have found! This, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His kingdom here on earth in this day and it has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I write this not to convince anyone, but to invite them and encourage you. You can know that this is true by reading the Book of Mormon, the proof of the restoration, and praying and asking God to reveal the truth of it unto you.
Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Well this was my last full week as a regularly assigned missionary in the Italy Rome Mission. On Thursday I will be headed to Rome 3 to stay for about 5 days and then I’ll be whisked back to the states on a Boeing 767. It doesn’t feel real yet, and I keep setting up lessons and talking to potentials and people we are teaching and then getting all excited to teach them and then I realize it’ll be for the next guy and I won’t even be in Italy for a lot of it.
We had stake conference this week which was pretty good. 3 of the people we are teaching came and they all enjoyed it! We’ve also been able to meet with a lot of people that have been harder to meet with lately and I feel like we’ve set up the area pretty good for the next couple transfers. The next few days will be spent saluting some members and trying one more time to work with a few people along with the long dreaded packing of the suitcases… oh che bella sfida devo fare ancora…
This Pday we went to Napoli and ate some incredible pizza, but what’s new. Our pizzeria of choice was Sorbillo. Best Margherita in italy, and the world for that matter, but it still doesn’t compare to a good Diav from good’ole Pellone. Also, I got some souvenirs! I am really gonna miss this part of Italy. Along with all of Italy… che angoscia… Honestly though, the hardest thing to leave behind are the people. The cool friends and fun times I have had with them. There is something difficult about knowing that all these people will be a $2000 and 10 hour plane ride away. But I guess you can’t have all your friends around you all the time. I finally get the meaning of the phrase, “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
It’s been an awesome 2 years! I’ll have one email next week, so don’t give up on this blog yet even if it has been kind of sparse of late. For anyone thinking about going on a mission, in the great words of Shea Laboiff, “JUST DO IT!” It is sooo worth it! It really is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever been able to do and it has taught me so much! Anyways before this gets too cheesy I’m going to finish up, but just know Christ lives and you can know it! All you have to do is search and ask!
Buona settimana per l’ultima volta da Battipaglia!
I looked at the calendar earlier this week and my jaw dropped because I realized I only had exactly a month left in the mission. Each day is getting more and more valuable, so I have to spend these last few weeks well.
This week we found some really cool potentials and were even blessed with a cool new person to teach that came as a complete but very welcome surprise. He was invited to church by his friend. So for all you at home wanting to help the missionaries, invite a friend to church and introduce them. I’m sure your local missionaries would be more than happy to talk to them for a bit!
Lately, my companion and I have been watching church media videos at night before we go to bed. This week we watched Johnny Lingo (cult classic), Only a Stone Cutter, and the story of John Tanner. For this coming week, we have both seasons of “The District”. I realized while watching them that I’m pretty sure the reason why the church media library exists is to entertain missionaries and then every once in a while entertain the occasional seminary or youth Sunday school class haha. They are well-done films though. Most of them bring a sincere smile to the face, (…and some of them just make you laugh a bit) if you are in need of a good laugh go watch “The Phone Call”.
Anyway, Italy is just amazing, today for Pday we went to Sorrento again and did a hike to the Bagni della Regina Giovanna, which is this really cool cove that was used as a bath for the royalty in Napoli. It is such a beautiful place. The water was incredibly clear and smooth like glass with a cool blue tint. It is really something.
The next couple of weeks will be exciting. I’ll try and be better about keeping you all updated for the remainder of my time here!
But for now, ’til next week!
Pictures from Pday!
Things are going pretty well for us here in Battipaglia. The Mozzarella is still the best in the world, the best pizza in the world is only an hour train ride away, the most beautiful Italian coast is in our backyard, and we even have a bit of Ancient Greek action down to the south. For pday today we went to some Greek temples in Paestum which is a little town a few kilometers from where we live. It was so cool! Then for lunch we ate sandwiches on top of the outer wall of the city. It was almost as cool as that time I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in an ancient castle. Italy is the coolest haha.
Beyond this week we have been doing great! We are seeing success with member work and it is actually really cool to see the joy it brings them when they get involved along side us! My companion is picking things up fast, and I feel like we are doing some of the most meaningful and fun work I have done in my entire mission!
We will have a special Zone conference in Rome on Sunday so we can see the temple which is going to be so cool! It will be my last zone conference… that is so weird to think about. Time flies way too fast out here. It’s the best though. It’ll be sad to say good by to this place, but I guess for right now I still got time. haha
Today marks the beginning of an end. I received my last transfer call this morning and It’s starting to dawn on me how very little time I actually have left in Italy. I said goodbye to a good mission friend that was only one transfer ahead of me. Later this week Anziano Becker, my ex comp in Cagliari will head up to Rome to finish his mission extension and then I will be one of the oldest missionaries in the mission. Weird.
Well now that I got that out of my system, let’s review what’s been going down lately. We have seen some awesome miracles in the work. We are now teaching 4 people that I think really have potential to be baptized. It still depends on when, but I think that eventually they will whether it be in the near future or down the road.
Anziano Tingey, my greeny, is a rockstar! He is a ton of fun and has a great testimony of the gospel. It is cool to know that my “legacy” so to speak will live on through such an awesome mission “son” as we call it.
For pdays lately we have been going to Napoli a lot. Today we went and saw the veiled Christ which is seriously breathtaking. I would send pics, but they are not allowed. Then we went and checked out a cool castle called Castelnuovo and then saw Anziano Hunsaker off at the train station. Besides that we haven’t done anything too exciting for pday, but we have some good ones planned for the next transfer.
Anyways thought for the week, go online and look up a photo of the veiled Christ and read John Chapter 20 while you look at it and think about what it would be like if you didn’t know he was resurrected and what that would mean. Then imagine the same work of art but as sculpture of only an empty veil on an empty stone table and what that message means instead. It is pretty special that we live in a world and in a country where a knowledge of Christ resurrection is well known. Maybe not always well believes, but at least well known. We all have the calling to make the importance of that knowledge known to the people around us. Because he lives we will live too and because he lives we may over come sin and death and live like him!
Sell I have let 2 Pdays get away from me as far as emails go. I am going to make this one quick.
Transfers happened, Anziano Blanchard has gone to Siracusa and I am staying here in Battipaglia and training, catch is, he isn’t in the country yet, well by now he probably is, but for the last 5 days Anziano Baker (an Anziano I have known since the MTC) and I have been scrambling around from Napoli and Castellammare to Salerno and Agropoli and Battipaglia and finally to Castellammare again to keep the work flowing well in both our areas. All that even included a space of like 10 hours where I was without a full time missionary companion because we did member splits so I could go to church in my own Branch.
Anyways, for the last 2 pdays we went to the Scavi in Pompei and then biked to a super cool hike in Sorrento! It was all super fun, and I will send pictures!
Take care everyone! Merry Christmas! And Don’t drive like my brother!
- Home made pizza, call me Anziano Pizzaiolo
- Cool seaside rocks from hike
Life is good. Being a missionary in the Great Italy Rome mission is the best! We have been on the usual grind of building faith, seeing miracles, and testifying ’till our lungs explode, but what’s new… seriously the mission is such a sick time of life!
Today we went to the Reggia di Caserta for pday. It was actually really cool. They have filmed a bunch of movies there like Mission Impossible 3 and even Star Wars The Phantom Menace. It was seriously beautiful. I can’t believe some family used to live there. Someone even told us it is supposed to be as beautiful, if not more beautiful than, the palace of Versailles. I kind of doubt it because Italians like to say that kind of stuff especially when it makes them sound better than France, but it is very beautiful and a must-see-again location.
Thanks for tunin in this week!
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more next week… or the week after. Idk we are going to Pompei next Monday, so we will see if I have time haha.
- The garden of the Reggia
- Really cool room in the palace
- Room where scene from star wars was filmed