Saturday, February 17, 2007

...And it's that time of the transfer again...: September 21, 2005

Dear Family,
To begin, transfers are coming again this coming week, so my address is no longer stable. I don't think I will leave, but I love Ladispoli so much that I really can't be sure. Also, have you looked into the MTC Backpack thing? My most recent bag just absolutely broke into pieces and is tied together. (The metal pieces broke - not the cloth, of course) Also, have you gotten my letter with stuff for a replacement driver's license? I don't have the documentation here (and wouldn't send it in the mail anyway) and a license may be needed in the future.
Also, a recipe for you - pesto with ingredients available in America. 1 and a half cups of firmly packed spinach (without stems), a third cup of peanuts, one clove garlic - quartered, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup grated cheese (we use hard cheese - Romano or Parmeggiano, but those really don't exist in America. You can use Parmesan or any grateable cheese). Stick it all in the blender and blend it up (this is complicated, but you can do it) until it makes a sort of paste. Then pour in about a 1/4 - 1/2 cup of olive oil - it should be very green and smooth and look oily. Finally, a heaping teaspoon of dried Basil. Blend it up, and use it as pasta sauce. Normally, this would work for about a pound of pasta, but it depends on taste... We normally use Basil for the spinach and Pinoli for the peanuts - if you can find them, they work as well... or cashews, or almonds... whatever. It's really good, either way. You'll probably have to add a bit more salt so it tastes ok. This is one of my favorite sauces for pasta - it's called Pesto alla Genovese. And there you've learned a quasi-italian recipe!
One of our contacts is preparing for her baptism on the 8th... I read our Mexican missionary's letter and I realize how true it is that I am in a different world. Comunque, (Anyway,) we have had a great week filled with pouring rain during the nights... and our hugomongous member-missionary activity turned out great! We prayed for a break in the gushing rain and it stopped, just between 4:30 and 6:40. We were supposed to start at 6:30 - the Lord was nice to those who got out the door a bit late. We had only a few investigators, but our Stake President came as well. During the Q&A he asked the obvious investigator questions - "If I'm a good person and don't do bad to anyone, why do I have need of your religion?" and the such. Sometimes I wonder - he's great even if he is a bit strange. He liked the program so much that he asked for a member packet with DVD's and talked about maybe doing it in other units around the Stake. As part of the activity we showed clips of the Introduction to the Church DVD - Summary and Core Beliefs, I sang "How Great Thou Art", we had a Q&A for members and investigators, and then refreshments to keep everyone there to mingle, talk, and fellowship. I think it worked really well, especially as a prototype for other activities. We're a small branch, but I think the future will show that our other activities will have even greater success. This week on Saturday we are doing our Helping Hands project, next week is General Conference, the next week we will have a baptism, the next week we are doing a huge Emergency Preparedness fireside - we'll have an ambulance from the Red Cross and a presentation, then on food storage and 72-hour-kits, etc... and the next Sunday... We are doing well. I hope the branch is rolling and we can set up a chain of events that will stretch on forever.
Little brother - on dating someone outside the faith... I am learning here on the mission the absolute importance, essential nature, I will plead with you until you are safely married in the Temple kind of way that you do not marry outside the covenant. I have seen women cry uncontrollably because their husbands do not hold the same faith they do, even if they did "change" to make them happy once. You date to find someone to marry. You marry the people you date. It is certainly your decision, but I would not go out with someone who refused to pray for the Spirit to accompany us beforehand. Be careful. In your shoes, I would take the time to do much more than simply give a Book of Mormon. Bear testimony of the truth. Talk about your feelings. Then, be truthful - you will never date someone seriously who does not hold the same standards you do, and who cannot go with you to the House of the Lord. If she learns and grows to want this for herself, you can certainly help her through the journey, but people must be converted to the Gospel by themselves first. Then, we can and must reach out to be sealed to others.
I got a big envelope in the mail covered with stickers.
Mom - you should get a letter from one of our contacts, with the question on how you are able to raise 9 children. Maybe Grandma could help respond. :) She has two and will probably explain the rest.
There is a sister here, and she is totally on fire. Of course, she is right outside our zone. (Though that makes no sense, but that's another story) We are organizing a morning English Class for the Mothers that have children in school and would normally be at home watching soap operas. It would be a good thing to organize activities maybe in other areas as well - it is a certain in to families (Mothers means families), and with school in session anything you do will help out. Maybe the new activity director in our Ward could set up some recurring activities for mornings when children are at school... if she has time. This Sorella (sister) expects over a hundred women to come to English Class, and we live in a really small community. Something of the caliber may make a huge impact in larger zones. I will certainly try to help future units to set up things of the sort. It sounds great! She is full of ideas, and everything she does is huge and towards missionary work.
Well, I've spent much of my time. I really love all of you, and I miss you a bunch. Arrividerci until the next week from Ladispoli!
Con Amore,
Anziano David Peterson

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