Some good personal study material

This week has been a lot of the usual casa a casa finding and street contacting. We finally have some solid investigators though which is nice. We just have to hope they will actually come to church and progress. It’s always a lot nicer to be teaching lessons than doing finding 24/7. Finding is always rough, but we always manage to talk to a few people and get a few numbers as long as we just work hard. For example yesterday we were doing street contacting and we had received the same “non mi interessa” over and over again, until eventually we ran into an extremely Catholic man that was willing and interested to learn a little, so we could at least answer his questions and have a nice conversation. He was actually really cool to talk to because he actually knew what he believes as a Catholic. I actually was able to learn a lot about what Catholics actually believe from this guy. Something you have to understand about Italians is that almost all of them are Catholic, but almost none of them go to church, have read the Bible, or really even know what their church teaches. It was cool to actually talk to one that was informed on his own beliefs.

Something I’ve found is that It’s always good to be informed on what other churches believe because you never know when someone of a different faith will try to start a “discussion” with you. Not that Bible bashing is a supported missionary tactic, but sometimes when a TJ or an Evangelist comes at you with some ignorant “discussion” you have to be prepared with some of their own doctrine on hand. I had a chance this week to get my hands on a TJ Bible this week which if you don’t know what that is, essentially it a “retranslated” version of the original Bible which had been changed to fit the beliefs of the TJ church. They have deleted/changed certain verses of the Bible and changed every mention of God to “Jehovah”. These changes make for a lot of contradiction in their Bible which means if studied, especially when studied closely with the real Bible, it makes for some good bashing material. And for this reason, they are coveted among missionaries around here. You never know when you got to defend your beliefs, so it’s good to be prepared.

This p day we went to Cefalù which was cool especially because this was my first real p day where I actually got to go see something cool here in Italy. We went up a big hike to some old castle ruins, we checked out the beach, and then we checked out a cool catholic church.

Questa settimana è stata lunga. Abbiamo ricevuto un sacco dei bidoni, ma alla stessa volta avevamo visto i miracoli. Uno di questi miracoli è che infatti abbiamo visto un po di successo con casa a casa. Secondo me casa a casa è un spreco di tempo ma quando non ci sono persone fuori non possiamo fare qualcos’altro. Ma una cosa che ho imparato questa settimana è che noi non sappiamo come si fa il lavoro del Signore. Il Signore sa. Quindi, a volte i nostri modi non funzionano. Quando questo succede, dobbiamo essere guidati del Signore perché questo è il Suo lavoro. Non è lavoro nostro.

(Translation)

Sempre con amore,
Anziano Findlay

  1. View from the top of the Cefalù castle
  2. Other view from the castle
  3. The beach
  4. The church
  5. Outside the church

 

This week was a lot better in terms of missionary work. Finding is always rough, but we got three new investigators, so now we’ll actually have some lessons to teach which is always more enjoyable than street finding. We have also started to do a lot of house to house work now that school is in session. I ‘m not a huge fan of it because the way houses work here is hard for missionary work and you usually never even really get a chance to talk to anybody. You start by ringing a little bell on the gate out side of the apartment called a citofono, then someone answers through the little speaker, “chi è? (who is it?)”, and then the instant you tell them you’re missionaries they hang up or tell you they aren’t interested. I usually prefer to just do street finding because you actually get to talk to people face to face and you can’t talk to more in a shorter amount of time. That being said, I was humbled this week when we wen’t house to house finding. We actually found a few potentials in only an hour of finding.

In other news we played zone calcio today which was dope. And also we have Facebook as a tool now for our mission. I don’t exactly know how that’s gonna work, but it will be cool to use it.

That’s about it for the week, we’re kind of low on time today, also no pics this week sorry.

Sempre con amore,
Anziano Findlay

Header Image from http://messina.gds.it/2017/06/28/rete-idrica-fatiscente-a-santagata-di-militello-lallarme-del-sindaco_687611/

“Discussions” with a TJ and DragonBall Z with a DJ

This week has been a bit of a struggle. Changing cities is not quite as simple as I expected. Although the work is still better here than it was in Mistretta, all we’ve received these last few days are fat no’s and bidoni (when someone doesn’t show up to an appointment). I think my least favorite phrase in Italian is, “non mi interessa” which means, “that doesn’t interest me”. I think I’ve heard those three words more times than any other phrase in the Italian or English language. Along with that, this new city is literally crawling with Testimoni di Geova, or as we like to call them TJ’s. Most of you probably know them as Jehovah’s witnesses. They love to stop us and discuss with us (which is code for argue) the Bible and God and other stuff which is annoying (I won’t lie though, also a bit fun), but it will never be as bad as the Evangelisti who will literally yell at you and tell you you’re going to hell which I always like to follow up by handing them a pass along card with a picture of Jesus on it which enrages them even more. Luckily I haven’t ran into to many of them yet here in Sant’Agata. It is rough for now, but I ‘m sure with some good work and some time our numbers will look quite a bit better. At the very least Sant’Agata is a cute little town with a sick beach and incredible sunsets every night, and for the most part the people are quite amicable.

We had transfers this past week. My companion and I will be staying together here in Sant’Agata. I have a feeling that I will be here for a while. During the night of calls we were in Bagheria, a suburb of Palermo. We had a cena appointment with a member up there who has possibly the most interesting house I have ever seen. It is covered in DragonBall Z posters, pillows, dartboards, you name it, and has one of the most incredible sound and light systems I have ever seen. This recently baptized man and his also recently converted son are probably the most interestingly strange members I have met out here in Italy.

A volte lavoro missionario è un po’ deficile. Può essere deficile di avere la forza di girare tutta la città parlando con le gente per ore e poi ricevere niente come frutti del nostro lavoro. Però, dobbiamo sempre ricordare che quando il lavoro è così deficile, stiamo ricevendo le benedizioni per cosa facciamo. Se noi lavorassimo con tutto il cuore, potremmo ricevere le benedizioni come la regola per le nostre lotte. Dio può benedirci con il successo quando vuole, ma noi dobbiamo lavorare di essere degni per le Sue benedizioni.

(Translation)

Sempre con amore,
Anziano Findlay

  1. A shrine to Goku from DragonBall Z in the house of the member in Bagheria
  2. That same members massive sound system
  3. My new favorite Pasta, Pasta tre colore
  4. Some Pasta al forno that i made

Attacking Sant’Agata

This week was spent getting situated in Sant’Agata. We spent hours just walking around and stopping people trying to find investigators. It actually paid off a bit. We’ve got several contacts and as long as we can get some follow up appointments we will have some new investigators. It is amazing how much better the work is in a new city that hasn’t seen missionaries. Most people show at least a little bit of interest once they realize we’re not Jehovah’s Witness.

We did a blitz of the city with the other Anziani in our district. It was crazy to have 6 missionaries running around our new city like chickens with their heads cut off stopping literally everyone in sight. I got to do a split with Anziano Payne, one of my roommates at the MTC. Sadly we did the blitz at a kind of rough part of the week without a lot of people out so it didn’t go as good as we had hoped, but it was fun at least to have the other Anziani in town to check out the place.

Per adesso il Lavoro qua non è tanto, ma io so che con se noi lavorassimo un sacco qua, potremmo vedere i miracoli e le benedizioni. Per i altri missionari nella missione, andate fuori e fate il vostro migliore. C’è l’ho fate.

(Translation)