Fried Pockets of Mozzarella and Pomodoro Sauce

Ciao once again to those of you that actually read these,

It has been yet another week in Cosenza and the Calab (province of Calabria) and I’m still alive, so that’s good. Not much happened this week — we did a lot of walking around trying to get investigators. We hear the phrase “sono in fretta” I don’t know how many times. Which by the way if you don’t want to talk to someone there are so many better excuses than, “I’m in a hurry” especially when you’re an Italian who definitely doesn’t have work because everyone knows you’re not actually in a hurry. OK got that out out of my system. What’s actually tough right now is that during the day pretty much everyone in Cosenza goes to the sea and doesn’t return until 8:00 in the evening which makes finding real tough.

Besides that we have been doing a lot of new convert work with our Ghanan converts and they have a fourth friend we are still working with to get baptized so we still have lessons with them all the time. Besides that though we don’t have much. We have pretty much been dropped by all our investigators besides the Africans, so now all we have to do every day is go out and finding or hope for a service opportunity. Today is also the start of the next transfer and my companion Anziano Hansen will probably be leaving the city, so it will be all up to me to find some new investigators for the next transfer.

Also this week we helped one of our members out a ton with moving furniture into one of his 3 houses. He is super cool and had us come over to dedicate the house yesterday. He had me play the violin for them. I played “If You Could High to Kolob” for them and made all of them cry a bit. I also played in church yesterday as well. The members just love that I play violin. They asked me to play all sorts of tunes for them after church. However, apparently since I play the violin that also means to them that I play the piano, so I also had to try and play piano for sacrament meeting. That wasn’t so fun. In fact it was very rough. Maybe if I play enough though I’ll actually figure it out haha.

Comunque, una di mie cose preferite qua in sud Italia sono i panzerotti. Fondamentalmente loro sono pizze che sono piegate a metà e poi sono fritte. Come “pizza rolls” in America ma piu grande. Perché il mio collega andrà via abbiamo comprato queste 5 per i scorsi 7 gorni. Loro sono troppo buono. Dovreste provarli, specialmente tutti di voi che siete in Italia adesso.

Siete forti! Continuate a mantenere la conservazione!


Con Amore,
Anziano Findlay

PS for those of you who do read this and don’t just skip to the pics everything: thanks! Feel free to email me back if you ever want to.

  1. A Panzerotto, a fried pocket of mozzarella and pomodoro Sauce
  2. Tiramisu we had at a branch pranzo (lunch)
  3. Cheesecake we had there also
  4. A bad pic of the nicest park in Calabria, it’s in Catanzaro though not Cosenza

Swimming Pools

This week was incredible to say the least. We were pretty busy all week planning the baptism, making sure to stay in contact with our three investigators, and setting up our swimming pool of baptismal font. We also picked up a couple new investigators that were both referrals from members which was pretty cool and pretty rare. However the highlight of the week was getting to see our three African friends get in the water. I got to baptize George, the oldest of the three. It was so cool to see how happy they were to make this covenant. When they rolled into to church the next day they all had huge smiles and were dressed in brand new white shirts and ties. When we confirmed them Bismark, the most ready of them, started crying because he was so happy. They each bore incredible testimonies about how they felt after baptism and how they came to know the church was true. They really are a blessing for the branch out here in Cosenza which hasn’t seen a baptism in almost 3 years, and what is even cooler is that we are still working with one of their friends and we are hoping that Bismark will be able to get the priesthood and baptize him him in about a month.

Besides the baptisms we didn’t do too much. We visited some members and did our best to try and get everyone to the baptism. Luckily our whole district was able to come and do stuff for the baptism. One crazy thing that happened was that the Catanzaro Anziani’s train broke down, so they missed their connecting train back to their city. They had to catch a bus back to Cosenza and spend the night with us. It ended up all working out though. They got back to Catanzaro in time for church the next day without any problems.

Comunque, Io so che le vite dei questi Africani, Kingsford, George, e Bismark, sono meglio perché del vangelo. Ho visto un cambio in loro. Adesso hanno il vangelo nelle loro vite. Erano molto felici quando ricevono lo Spirito Santo e la rimissione dei peccati. Se loro potessero sorriso piu grande, sicuramente avrebbero impostato un record. Io sono molto emozionanto per il loro futuro nella chiesa come membri!

(English Translation)

Un sacco di amore,
Anziano Findlay

  1. A dank red sauce pasta I made.
  2. My birthday Briosco, gelato down here in Calabria is amazing by the way
  3. Our baptism squad pic


Interviewin’ some Africans

Ciao carissimi

This past week has been super full of just nitty-gritty missionary work, but also has been really exciting. We started the week out by pretty much just chilling for P-day on Monday. On Tuesday we had District meeting as usual, but we made sure to do some good old American celebrations for the 4th of July. We made some dank cheeseburgers and hotdogs for lunch and then had some apple pie that the sister missionaries made for the district. It was probably the most American thing I’ve done in a long time. There are tons of missionaries that have been out way longer though, so it’s not so bad. On Wednesday we taught a lesson to our African investigators to prepare them for their baptismal interviews for Saturday. After that we did 5 straight hours of finding which actually isn’t uncommon out here. It’s also not uncommon to do that and get the corns thrown at you more than once throughout the day (which if you don’t know what that is it’s like the middle finger out here). Then Thursday we did service, finding, and English course as usual. Friday we did our last lesson in preparation for their interviews.

Saturday was lit, so it gets its own paragraph. Our three African investigators, Kingsford, George, and Bismarck, had their interviews on Saturday. To make sure they are ready to be baptized they have to be interviewed by our mission president. They each went in one by one and came out with huge smiles on their faces. If everything goes well, next week we will be having a baptism for three Africans on the 15th, only two days after my birthday! I couldn’t ask for a better birthday present! I’m so excited to see them get baptized next Saturday.

Mi porta così tanta gioia che queste persone stanno venendo più vicino a Cristo. Io so che loro sono pronti per i loro battesimi. Anche io so che il battesimo è la cosa più importante che loro possano fare in questo momento nelle loro vite. Io amo di vedere quando il vangelo cambia le vite delle persone per il meglio. Se io potessi capire la gioia che hanno il nostro Padre e Gesù quando le persone si battezzano, sono sicuro che sarei la persona più felice nel universo. Sono molto grato per quest’opportunità che io ho di portare le persone in Italia a Gesù.

Buona fortuna a tutti di voi che siete missionari! Spero che voi possiate trovare le persone pronte per il vangelo. Io so che a volte può essere un po’ deficile, ma non poi smettere mai!

(Click here for English translation)

Vi voglio bene,

Anziano Findlay

  1. Apple pie for 4th of July
  2. Homemade Puccie, a Puccia is a kind of sandwich from the south of Italy, it is essentially a grilled sandwich with sliced prosciutto, mozzarella, and mayo.
    3-4. I made some panzerotti for P-day lunch today. They weren’t incredible, but it was fun to try

Taranto Zone Fire Department

Ciao tutti!

Sorry this is a week late. I wasn’t able to get it out on the WiFi in time. Ma vabe. Non fa niente. (i say that all the time because my companion says it, and for those of you Italian muggles that pretty much means “whatever, doesn’t change anything”)

This week went by really quick. I started off on a scambio (exchange) with our district leader. I spent a few days in Crotone and did some finding there with Anziano Pineau, an Anziano about 6 months from the end of his mission. He is actually training my MTC companion Anziano Lamoureux. Crotone has a pretty sick beach and also a Seria A calcio team so they have this huge soccer stadium for that. We actually found a couple of people for them to teach right after we got off the bus, so that’s pretty cool.

We a are making progress with one of our investigators. We have now taught him all the lessons, but all that he needs to do now to get baptized is stop smoking. He is down from 8 cigarettes a day to 4, so hopefully he will keep following our plan for him to stop. Also yesterday in church we had 7 investigators. Six of them were Africans again because they love coming every week. Two of them are looking really ready for baptism. I am so excited for them! In the following weeks we could see some baptisms here in Cosenza!

In other news a crazy fire started in the middle of Cosenza. There was smoke and ash everywhere. Luckily it was in a pretty well enclosed lot filled with bamboo, so nothing important got burned. However, this lot also happens to be in the middle of the city right off of the biggest city street, so it was pretty whack to see all the smoke in and ash in the middle of our city.

Finally, this week for P-day we did some zone volleyball in Taranto because we have Zone conference this week. It was pretty fun. I’m excited for Zone conference as well. We’ve got a pretty dope zone.

Anyways, sorry this was so late.

OK, now for this week. We started off with Zone Conference which was pretty dank. We talked about the importance of using “Preach My Gospel” as a guide for our missionary work as well as other small things we can do to better ourselves as missionaries, but the cool part is what came after. A field fire started right outside our church. It burned close enough that we had to run outside and fight it with buckets of water to keep it from catching the church grounds on fire. We did a pretty good job of it until the firefighters finally got there to put it out, but then after they left the fire started up again in a spot that wasn’t completely out. We actually put that one out ourselves, but then another spot lit up from further away that came in and literally burned right up to the fence before we noticed, so we had to rush out and stop it from burning onto the super dry church field. Eventually the firefighters returned and finished that fire off, but then about an hour later after we had all been inside cooling down the fire started again on the other side of the church. Luckily it was all taken care of and the church grounds were barely touched by the fire. We definitely were blessed to be able to keep the fire from burning any of the church grounds.

The rest of that day was spent on a 4 hour bus ride from Taranto to Cosenza. The following day we had some lessons. One with our 3 African investigators on date and the other with our Philippino investigator. The lesson with the Africans went really well, but our other lesson wasn’t so great. We have been working really hard to get our Philippino investigator to stop smoking, but he doesn’t really have a real desire to. We decided to go bold and call him out for not stopping and not following our smoking plan for him. We also asked him if he would be willing to stop if Jesus was asking him instead of us and he still wasn’t sure. Sadly, the next night he dropped us, so he will not be getting baptized. Also our Italian investigator’s father is struggling with cancer, so she had to miss church, so she is off date too, but hopefully we can get her back on for a few weeks out.

The works been a bit tougher of late, but it is still amazing. I’m learning so much and I love being able to share the gospel and see the happiness and purpose it brings to people’s lives even if they don’t get baptized.

La mia testimonianza è che Dio è il nostro Padre in cielo. Lui ci ama, e Lui ci ha dato il Suo figlio, Gesù Cristo, per salvarci e mostrarci come mai possiamo tornare a vivere nel Regno di Dio. Con Dio possiamo diventare qualsiasi cosa che Lui vuole che diventiamo. L’altro giorno la mia zona, noi eravamo vigili del fuoco. Era un po’ pazzo! Però per questi due anni Lui vuole che Io sia un missionario. Io so che Dio prepara le persone che chiama. Dobbiamo essere pronti per la chiamata.

1 Nefi 3:7, “E avvenne che io, Nefi, dissi a mio padre: Andrò e farò le cose che il Signore ha comandato, poiché so che il Signore non dà alcun comandamento ai figlioli degli uomini senza preparare loro una via affinché possano compiere quello che egli comanda loro.”

Vi voglio bene,
Anziano Findlay

  1. The longest word in the Italian dictionary
  2. The Great Cosenza Fire
  3. Zone volleyball
  4. The Great Taranto Fire (I don’t have the cool firefighting action pics, so I’ll send those next week)
  5. The TZFD