Friday, February 16, 2007

A Letter Home: April 13, 2005

First off, I have a story to tell you...
So I was doing scambi (exchanges) a while back with an Anziano (he's getting transferred tomorrow to Rome) and we were doing House. We knocked on a door and heard a buzz as it popped open. We opened it and looked up a flight of stairs to see a woman looking down at us. We introduced ourselves and she quickly told us she was Catholic and not interested. I offered to sing for her, and she invited us up. We sang "I am a Child of God" and she sat down and told us she had time. We taught the first lesson and she expressed the thought that she couldn't find peace in the world with so many awful things happening. I sang "Where can I turn for peace?" and we left a Book of Mormon with them. Because it was in the zone of the other Anziani, I never went back. The daughter and mother each accepted a baptismal date; recently she asked during a discussion why I had never come back - she expressed the thought that perhaps I was a singing missionary and that they brought me along only to sing for contacts. I laughed so hard. My companion right now feels he has a horrible voice (it's not true) and doesn't feel comfortable offering to sing on doorsteps. Oh well...
We finally accomplished the next task in the video game ^^Napoli: The Search for the Suora della Carita^^. For a while we have been searching for service opportunities, and everyone said to go to the Suora della carita. Everyone also had different directions to get there. We spent a long time, saw the Duomo (huge cathedral), talked with a friar and nun, got lost, visited the hospital for the incurable, and finally arrived the one day it was closed. We went back yesterday and helped with the mensa (lunchroom). They serve 400+ people every day with bread, fruit, desserts, pasta, meat + potatoes, and salad! Talk about a big effort - for only 7 nuns! One of the girls that was helping with the mensa kept looking at my nametag; every time she bumped into me or had to pass she called me Fratello (Brother - or longer for Frate - friar). Finally at the end she questioned me what religion I was. She ran to grab a piece of paper to write it down, and we spent a good half hour talking about the Church. She committed to come on Sunday (if she does, she is better than any of our investigators so far...) even though it will take 30 minutes to get there. She had a lot of questions, exactly what I had prayed for that morning - someone who was willing to learn the Gospel and would be filled with questions that we could answer. I'm sorry if I'm missing some spaces in my typing - this keyboard is really not working well...
Today we went to Vesuvius - it is still smoking! I brought back a bunch of rocks so I can give them away when I return...
On account of the Pope's death, in reality it has only hurt us personally... One night while he was dying we were doing house and a woman totally slammed the door in our faces - yelling something about the Pope and TV. We kept going. One of our best contacts, after seeing the death of the Pope, felt a stirring sensation when she sat down to read the Book of Mormon. She interpreted it as a sign from God that she needed to be a devout Catholic - she refuses to pray using her own words. I almost cried - she received an answer of the truth of the Book of Mormon and suddenly turned away...
We have decided to hook all our inactives on the Temple. If they can see that vision, they will understand all the others things they need to do. We went to a Sister's home and spoke with her - her husband was also there, and they realized as we explained it that the Catholic Church has no authority. There seem to be a lot of people here in Napoli that never made the transition from being Catholic to Members of the Church. They still say ours and yours. Finally some are learning the truth. Hopefully they will commit themselves - many people claim to be pigro - lazy - and don't want to do anything.
We should have baptismal dates coming up soon - we are teaching a large family and the parents of a new convert. I have faith that the Lord will help us. The people I want to find are people who are strongly firm in belief and filled with questions, not afraid to confront the differences in religion. Hopefully we will be able to find them and bring them to a knowledge of the truth.

In response to your questions:
Can you receive attachments on your email? Do you just read them or do you print them? Does printing cost extra? Can you print color (pictures, etc.)
I think I can receive attachments on my email; I'm not totally sure. I usually just read them and keep them on the computer - it costs extra by a bunch to print. It would be signficantly cheaper to send pictures - it costs 0,50 € a page in color - over 60 cents a page!

I have been looking at different kinds of calligraphy pens, markers, etc – what kind do you want? We have a set that has a bottle of ink, nibs, bamboo pen, a 64 page book, alphabet lists, etc. Do you want something that large sent, or would a set of scrapbook style calligraphy markers be better, or do you want ones that have the refillable ink in a regular pen with a calligraphy nib?
The pens I had before were simply scrapbook style calligraphy pens - built-in ink supply, a nib at each end. I really don't know what the costs for shipping are, but I've seen that they can be pretty expensive. Simply having a pen to write with is my first priority - I'm certainly not dying for a new technique book at this point in my mission... :)

Did you ever get your CTR ring?
Yes, and the SIG is always on my finger (scegl'il giusto)
Are there any areas where you might have a car, or will you mostly be on foot? Do many areas use bicycles?
The only Anziani that drive are the AP's. There are only a few cities with bikes; all the rest of us are on foot. The drivers here in Italy are horrendous! They don't follow directions, there are literally no lanes, and they simply drive wherever and whenever they want to.
And a question for you - did you ever get a video/dvd from the MTC of my singing performance? They mentioned that they usually send a copy to the parents...

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