Saturday, February 17, 2007

Tanti auguri a te!: November 23, 2005

Dear Family and Friends,
To my little sister first:
Tanti auguri a te!
Tanti auguri a te!
Tanti auguri a mia sorellina!
Tanti auguri a te!

(Happy Birthday)
OK, business... For Christmas/Birthday presents... I'm really not sure what I want. I really don't have a lot more space in my luggage to port something around with me, and there is nothing that I can't live without. We have plenty of food, olive oil, medicine, building materials (no need for Honduran food projects), and shipping costs are a bit inhibitive anyway. If whoever has me just writes me letters I would be more than happy. Maybe one thing I would like is a compilation of good recipes (for anything, especially cincinnati chili, dolci - desserts, etc). Maybe you could do a serial mailing... send as many note cards as won't overweigh the envelope with recipes on them each week... whatever you decide, I have learned here on the mission to appreciate everything. Just as a reminder, any packages that wouldn't fit in our letter box should be sent to the mission office in Rome. Letters can be sent to Quartu:

Just as I said that Sardegna still had beautiful weather it got "cold". It really isn't all that cold, but considering that I have lived in Italy most of a year I have begun to assimilate into the Italian society. Not really, but right now it feels really cold and it still is warm enough to rain... I think I will go into weather shock when I return to more extreme climates. Either way, I wore my big overcoat for the first time ever just recently, and it's really nice. The rain just pills up and rolls off, and the three buttoning layers keep all the wind out. It is also made really well, so I can run in it without any problem (only missionaries would know that fact - bus chasing). The only thing it's missing (according to a member) is a pocket that has a normal pocket, but then you go up and down again and there is a hole - you can access your inner coat pocket or your pants pockets. Not that I really would ever use such a thing. It's warm either way. Tomorrow we have a Thanksgiving lunch with the other missionaries here in Cagliari; I don't think I have ever met them. We live only 10 minutes away in the bus but never see each other. Strange, this life...
The Lord has decided recently to answer all my prayers. I wanted a lot of things and I wanted even more to happen, and suddenly it all did. For example: There is a member that really really really wants to help the missionaries (we are blessed with at least two of these - we can do scambi). He is the only member in his family and I wanted to meet them, especially his dad because he was Pasticciere (A baker). I wanted to learn how to make Italian dolci. The member told me it was really hard to get an invitation to his house for some reason, and that his dad would probably never teach someone else how to make cookies, and he didn't want to ask. Suddenly Monday I was at Serata Famigliare with a family and they live really close to this member. It was his birthday and he invited them over. I went with (of course) (by the way, my companion was at another Serata Famigliare with an investigator - we were doing scambi with members), and met all of the family - a feat that has "never" been accomplished before. I also coerced his father into letting us come to his house and learn to make cookies (by simply asking). Our member, when he heard his dad tell him, thought I had done something to him. It was a look of total incredulity. Va bene. The mother in the German family that I was visiting is going to invite us over to make German cookies and bring a friend to talk with us as well... and soon we will all be Pasticcieri. Sounds good to me. Now I only have to go to Carrefour (A big supermarket) and buy an electric mixer.
Sorry, today my head isn't working really well, so I may ramble a bit. Sunday was the Primary Program and I had made a cake the day before (we didn't have time to go give it to someone, so I cut it up and individually wrapped the pieces to take to Church). I also did cards that said "Grazie" in calligraphy (I have used the alphabet dozens of times, and taught others as well...) and we simply gave them out. At first everyone was confused (especially since the Branch President's wife was handing them out - I don't know all the names yet), but then they understood it was for La Festa di Ringraziamento (Thanksgiving), and then they were like, "O, volevamo invitarvi a cena, ma abbiamo dimenticato, e..." (We wanted to invite you to dinner but forgot all about Thanksgiving...) We have a dinner invitation anyway after Branch Council (could you imagine scheduling Ward Council on the 24th of November? Impossible!)
Our one progressing investigator now has a date - December 8th - to be baptized. Her countenance has changed, and she now pays much more attention to everything. It's amazing to see the change that comes upon people when they simply let the Spirit of the Lord make an effect in their lives. I've learned that THAT is the most important decision that people have to make - to let the Spirit affect them, to allow it to guide them. The Lord is always with us, and really always wants to help us, but we often harden our hearts and don't listen to His promptings. We talked about Christlike attributes at DDM, and I talked about humility - I think that humility comes when we realize it is a gift from God - we pray for it and then we simply don't harden our hearts when He pours out the experiences that determine our eternal progression. We had a bit of a hard week - My companion and I talked and I realized di nuovo that the Lord has wisdom in everything. I'm grateful He is in control - I could never sort it out! Have a good week, and do some great missionary work - what better gift than that of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Vi voglio tanto bene!
Anziano Peterson

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