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! Anziano Findlay
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!
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!
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.
This week was a little slower, but we still managed to make it a great one. We did plenty of finding and a good amount of teaching. We are working on growing that pool of serious people to teach and hopefully some of them will really start showing potential. We have a few people that are really taking in the lessons we are teaching them, it is just a matter of meeting them and helping them make time to come to church, read the Book of Mormon, pray, and so on.
This week for pday we went to Napoli again and got some ties and checked out the famous “Christmas street” as it has been dubbed by missionaries. It’s basically this street where they have these cool hand made nativity sets and all these Christmas things. But the crowning moment of the day was the Sorbillo Margherita con Mozzarella di bufala that we had for lunch. Well worth the hour wait we put in outside just waiting for the table. Pizza just does not get better than the Sorbillo Margherita and the Pellone Diavola.
This week the Christmas season has really started to pick up here. People are putting up lights, Christmas trees are appearing in people’s windows, ciobar hot chocolate, panetone, and pandoro are all back on the shelves in stores, and people are even starting to listen to Christmas music! You know it’s kind of cool that at such a festive time of year our country takes time to give thanks to our veterans, who made our way of life possible through their sacrifices, and to God for all that we have been given. It is cool that we start our festivities off by humbling ourselves a little and showing gratitude for what we have however big or small. Something that has been on my name lately is the idea of Sacrifice and what it means. Sacrifice is something that nobody desires to do at least not without a worthy purposed to do it, but that is so common in our daily lives it is stunning. Making sacrifices can be one the greatest ways to show love for something or someone. It can be a sign of great humility when someone chooses to give up something of their own for the betterment of those around them. It is this love and humility that we celebrate during Veterans day and Thanksgiving. We show our gratitude for the sacrifices of men and women who gave themselves up for the betterment of the world around them. We celebrate also the abundance we have and the happiness it brings us to share it, so this holiday season keep those feelings of gratitude with you as you take part in festivities and honor the greatest sacrifice of all, that of the atonement of our savior Jesus Christ whose birth we glorify at this time of year!
This week the Lord’s hand has been very evident in the work. We had a lessons last night with 5 people present 3 of which were friends of the original couple we had found a couple of weeks before. We answered their questions, bore witness of the Restoration of the Gospel and invited them each to read the Book of Mormon. We even mentioned to them that one day it they feel ready they can be baptized and they would be totally down if they were to receive that important witness!
Also we taught this man and his 91 year old Mom that were super interested in the restored church and the idea that there are living prophets that speak with God in these days. They were super funny and the Mom didn’t have any teeth, so she was super hard to understand, but we had some good laughs and read some great things in the scriptures together!
Then today for pday we went to Amalfi and then did a hike and what is called the Trail of the Gods that stretches from a small city North west of Amalfi to a Town right near by Positano. The whole sea front stretching from Salerno to Sorrento is a beautiful cascade of cliffs, mountains, and forest called the Amalfi Coast. It is credited as one of the most beautiful places on the planet. We took photos along the various cliffs, overhangs, and outlooks and even stopped to eat Pranzo at a particularly beautiful cliff on the upper part of the trail. It was breathtaking to say the least and it is definitely on my list of places to go back to some day.
The mission is literally so cool… and not just because ours is so beautiful. The things I’ve learned here and the friendships I’ve made are irreplaceable! This is the coolest service ever.
I had to say goodbye this week to the Great Sardegna zone and hello to a fat Margherita pizza brought to you by Pellone, one of the greatest pizzerie in the world. This week I got transferred to Battipaglia, a small city near Salerno, which is about an hour train ride from Napoli. It is a cute little city that is known for the best Mozzarella in the world.
We hit the ground running and we are already starting to see some awesome miracles in the work we are doing! We found some new people to teach and a handful of really promising potentials that we are excited for for next week. Battipaglia is a bit of a smaller city, but it is lit! Especially with Salerno so close by. The church will be moving to Salerno in a month or two so that means it is just gonna get cooler!
This week I had some Mozarella di Buffala, Napolitano pizza, and this new thing that I’ve never heard of, sfogliatella, which is a weird, extremely flaky, cream-filled pastry that is actually pretty good. I enjoyed every bit of it, but now I’ve gotta attack the day extra hard in the morning to get rid of all of it.
For pday today we went up to Napoli and romped around the Centro for a bit and took some of the cheesy pictures that half the missionaries in the mission use as profile pic. It was super windy so we decided to go down to the sea and take some cool pictures of the waves and Mt. Vesuvius as well. It’s all just another testimony to me that this is the coolest mission ever. We can just hop on a train or a bus and be in one of the most famous or most beautiful places in the world, and then we can still be back in time to eat some of the best food in the world, and then after it all go out and speak one of the prettiest languages in the world to accomplish the most important work… in the world. Punto. Basta.