‘Twas the pday before transfer calls

Well tonight is transfers calls. There is probably a pretty even chance that I could stay or go to a new city today since I’ve been here in Mistretta/Sant’Agata for 3 transfers. We threw a surprise party for one of the Palermo 1 Anziani. He loved it, so that was super cool. We also made tiramisù and lasagna this week and it was really good. Everything is going well. We have had a bit more contact with some of our investigators. I’ve really got a good idea of what it’s like to get to understand someone’s problems and see how helping them solve these problems with the gospel can really change their lives for the better.

Sorry it’s so short this week.

  1. A lasagna I made with Anziano Fryer (it was really good, whoever said missionaries can’t cook well has obviously never been to the Italy Rome Mission)
  2. Some dolci our branch president made us

Stake Conference and Steak Conference

This week we had stake conference. It was cool to see so many members in one spot. And there was only half the stake in Palermo. The other half was in Siracusa. We had a cool half Palermo half Siracusa conference going via Skype. It was cool to see how many members there are here in Sicilia. I haven’t served in any bigger cities yet, so I am used to only having 20 or so members at max. I felt like I was back in my home ward being able to see so many members again. Especially because I got to meet the Aloisio family of Bagheria that is directly related to the Aloisio family back in my stake in Missouri. If you guys are reading this, vi mandano un abbraccio e baci! A loro voi mancate!

Right after stake conference we had a pranzo with all the Anziani at the Palermo 2 Anziano house. Everyone had bought meat the night before and grilled it all up on coal grill that the Palermo 2 Anziani bought a little bit ago. There were steaks, burgers, hotdogs, sausage, and even chicken heart. It was probably one of the most American things I’ve seen in a long time haha. It was also fun to have some hang out time with the other Anziani for a little bit before heading back to Sant’Agata.

Other than stake conference not much happened out of the ordinary. We taught some lessons, did some finding, got fed some delicious food, nothing too crazy. Something interesting I realized the other day is that I haven’t once had a meal appointment where I was served something that wasn’t good. I remember hearing horror stories of missionaries eating stuff like pig face, tripe, scorpions, or something gross/crazy like that, but so far I’ve been avoided all that. It helps I’m in Italy and not in a third world country, but even Italians eat weird food sometimes.

Le settimane sembrano di passare più velocemente per il più tempo che sono qua in Italia. Già sono quasi sulla missione da 8 mesi! Quello è un terzo del mio tempo! Non so come mai sia stato già così lungo. Il mio pensiero questa settimana è che il nostro tempo sulla missione è molto breve quindi dobbiamo usare il nostro tempo con saggezza. Questa mi sembra più importante ogni volta che io veda il calendario e mi renda conto da quanto tempo sono qua e quanto tempo ancora cel’ho. Non sprecate mai il nostro piccolo tempo qui!

(translation)

Vi voglio un sacco di bene,

Anziano Findlay

Also, photos

  1. The stake conference squad (minus like 3 Anziani)
  2. Some dolce our branch president made, a pistacchio mouse and a cream cake thing
  3. Bella Sicilia
  4. Bella Sicilia
  5. Fratello Aloisio and me at stake conference
  6. Some really good sheep meat with veggies, the carrots with it are seriously the best tasting carrots I have ever had.

 

 

Italian Turkey Day

This week we really saw a lot of miracles with the work. We did some area book finding (looking through our info books and calling people who look like they might be willing to meet again), and it really worked. If you are also on a mission and you have not yet tried to go through your area book or phone I highly suggest trying it. Just put aside 10 or 20 minutes a day to go through some papers and then call the numbers you find.

This week was pretty busy. I did an exchange with the district leader and he got to see the town. He also got to teach some of the new investigators. It’s always interesting to see someone else’s teaching style and take things from it especially from missionaries that have been in the mission for a lot longer.

We had an early Thanksgiving dinner this past weekend which was super cool. The food was an interestingly Italian spin on the classic American dishes, also I guess a lot of Italians don’t like turkey, so we ate chicken instead. It was really good though. It was also nice to see so many of our member’s together having a good time. Our members are split up into a branch up in Mistretta and a group down in Sant’Agata, so they don’t get to really see much of each other all the time. It was really nice to see them all talking an laughing together. That plus we got an inactive member who hadn’t come to a church run event for years to come and it looks like she had a great time. Hopefully that’ll help her be excited to come to church again.

Today for pday we had zone calcio (soccer) which was a blast. It was raining which believe it or not made it more fun. And I have to say, I have come a long way with my soccer skills. If any of you saw me before the mission… well let’s just say, a mission changes a person and that includes how good he is at soccer.

Non ho tanto da dire oggi ma al meno voglio lasciarvi la mia testimonianza. Io so che questa chiesa è vera e che il nostro Padre Celeste ci ama. E perché Lui ci ama ha mandato il suo figlio Gesù Cristo di essere il nostro salvatore affinché io possa, voi possiate, e tutti noi possiamo tornare a vivere con Lui e le nostre famiglie per la eternità. Non dovreste dimenticarlo mai.

(translation)

Con amore,
Anziano Findlay

  1. Zone calcio squad
  2. My new favorite pasta (with shrimp and prezzemolo)
  3. Thanksgiving dinner with the branch
  4. Another picture with the branch

Mission Tour, Siciliano, and Tennis

This week we had our mission tour. We had the chance to hear from a newly called area seventy who talked to us about the importance of going back to the basics. He is from Denmark. I would give you his name, but it was really weird, so I don’t really remember it let alone how one would spell it. It was really cool to be back together with a lot of my MTC friends. I also got to see some familiar faces from other places around the mission. It was an incredible experience over all.

I made a really funny realization this week. I’m starting to understand Siciliano. Not all of it, but sometimes I can get the idea of what is said. Besides that, the language is really coming along. I’m obviously no where close to a native, but I do find it is becoming a lot more natural which is always a comfort. As a word of advice for those of you studying languages, maybe for those of you who are just starting a mission in a foreign country as well, something that I wish I knew is that becoming as comfortable in a language as a native speaker takes constant studying and work and is NOT as easy as it would seem or as it is made to seem when talking to return missionaries who claim to speak perfectly in the language. Now I don’t mean to say that as a discouragement, in fact, just the opposite. Don’t feel bad if you don’t always feel 100% comfortable in the language. That uncomfortableness helps you learn so that it feels less uncomfortable to speak. I would say if you ever start feeling comfortable than you’re in need of a bigger challenge. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t speak like a native because most natives will always speak better than you (at least when you have only been speaking the language for a month or two to even 2 years) the reason for that being because, well, they are a native. I can attest that it takes time, study, and practice to truly get good. Not to mention the gift of tounges helps quite a bit.

Anyways, that’s my opinion. Maybe some people do feel as fluent as a native after a few months, but it doesn’t feel that way for me. However, some people truly are just gifted with languages, so you never know.

This week the work has been a lot better. We are starting to have trouble getting in contact with our best investigator, but we were also able to do some good finding this week and have a few lessons lined up for this next week. For pday we played tennis and went bowling. I really missed playing tennis. It was nice to get in some courts again. They weren’t clay courts, but I’m sure I’ll have a chance for that later on.

Questa settimana è stata meglio. A volte non so tanto del piano del signore tranne del fatto che lui ha un piano e questo piano è il modo migliore per fare il suo lavoro. Se noi ci fidassimo il lui è la sua volontà, potremmo fare il migliore perché lui sa le vie che ci daranno il successo e questo è vero per tutta la vita. Continuate a fare il giusto e Dio vi darà le vie migliori.

(translation)

Vi voglio tanto bene,
Anziano Findlay

  1. Tennis
  2. Tennis
  3. Me, my comp, Sorella Wood from my MTC group, and Sorella Zapata who served in the same district as me when I first got here
  4. Anziani Sellers, Payne, Smith, myself, and Sanchez in that order an MTC reunion