Friday, February 16, 2007

From the sizzling city of Napoli: May 4, 2005

Dear friends and family,
To preface, for some reason this computer has strange punctuation. I will try to not use contractions and to limit the unnecessary punctuation, but I apologize for any strange symbols that seem to appear on your computer screens.
I have learned a key lesson in missionary work this past week (it's really more than that - I've learned it before - hey - I just realized what the problem with the keyboard was - it's set up to be American! I'll just have to type without looking at the keys and set my mind to American keyboard setting :). Back to my thought... ) - and that is that missionary work is designed to be a rollercoaster. You are supposed to be emotionally involved with everyone you come into contact. You are supposed to love them so deeply that you would do anything for them. I guess I looked at the companion - companion relationship a bit differently before - now I realize that my job in a companionship is to simply love my companion unconditionally and do everything but break the rules to show him. I think this works the same way in all relationships - we really can't force people to change.
This week has been a bit strange (they always are for me, at least). We did scambi (companionship exchanges) with the Capi's (zone leaders - we live in the same apartment) and I continue to carry my strange sense of fortune with me. To preface, the last time I did scambi many of the appointments cancelled on us or simply weren't there. This is what is called a bidone (translated dumpster) in missionary terms. However, we found a bunch of great people to teach and actually went over our goals. The same thing happened this time. I was with one elder and all but one of appointments gave us bidoni (no-shows). The worst one was le donne - a group of women who have never given bidoni before... We knocked first, no one answered. We continued knocking for 10 minutes and finally one came to the door and said to come back in an hour because the others were sleeping. We went and did casa (knocking doors) and found a great family. We came back and there was music blaring - we knocked and pounded on the door whenever the sound turned down, but no one came. They were so impertinent to change the station while we were pounding on the door! And this was an appointment! Then, we were outside, and we saw someone on the balcony... But we found an even better simpatizzante (investigator) when we went to do casa again. We had fun and the people we found are really bravi - I think that some will get baptized - even if I didn't get to sing at any appointments... it was a good experience.
We are on the lookout for good examples to teach the lessons.
For example : reading the Book of Mormon every day is like a diet - if you want results, you need to do it every day without fail. Five days with and 2 days without doesn't cut it.
If any of you can think of good examples to teach Gospel principles found in Preach My Gospel (chapter 3 or commitments) I can try them out in real life! Isn't that cool - to have someone that can actually try out new ideas for the mission field in the field?
It is amazing to think that we have a temple so close in Chicago. It is also amazing that it can play such a large role in reactivation when it is so close. The temple here is far enough away that you can not do anything else - most people go for a full weekend or more. We are working with all our inactives to try to get them to prepare to go to the temple. Many of them have never gone, but at least when we talk with them over and over about it they feel the importance of it.
The stake in Rome comes in just a couple weeks! I just want my branch to be strong... I think we are going to work really hard with all the members and inactives to try to bring peace and unity to the ward. There are cliques and people who go out of their way to offend others and so on... AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! That's better. Sometimes I wish I could change who was active and inactive. A few slight changes would eliminate all the problems...
I saw Predicare il Mio Vangelo the other day! We should get it soon - we were traveling with a member of the District Presidency and it was in the back seat of his car. They sent 4 copies to the district - one for each member of the presidency and the archivist. WOW! Finally!
Love you!
Anziano David Peterson

p.s. - you can send emails or letters - I'm a fan of both... but if you're family I'll probably email you back.

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