Friday, February 16, 2007

This letter is a day late. Sorry: May 19, 2005

Dear Family & Friends,
Our day yesterday was very full... I'll tell you about it in a bit... so it is Thursday and I am writing my email. To begin, I think I forgot to tell you that I met a Sister in our ward's sister in the MTC - she was a companion to the girl that played piano for me when I sang for the whole MTC.
To begin... Transfers are coming!
... and as of yet I don't know if I will be transferred or not, so if you are planning on sending letters to my address and have not as yet, it would probably be best to wait another week. (Always another week of limbo...) At least one transfer has already come. Anziano Thayer, one of the Zone Leaders that we live with, is being transferred Friday. Friday we have a special missionary conference in Rome with Elder Nelson (missionaries only!) before the formation of the stake in Rome on Sunday. Because we're going up on Friday, we don't get to be there Sunday... but I'm not horribly depressed to see an Apostle of the Lord. So, for the next while we will be in 3. For all of downtown Napoli. It's huge. I have been here almost 3 months and I haven't seen all, or even some of it. So, with this conference we have a few problems (faith before the miracle) - I noticed the other day a sign in the Metro that said Sciopero Nazionale - National Strike - and went to investigate. Naturally, my companion didn't notice and left me behind, so I didn't have time to really read it all, but learned that the Metro and the funicolari will be closed after 8:00 in the morning up until 5:30 that night. We spoke with a policeman in the Metro and he told us that it was a union strike and only localized portions of transport would be shut down. I told the Capi's to talk to Rome about it and... a few days ago we got a call from the office and the strike is on in Rome that same day(they schedule strikes here for each of the unions - a week in advance they have to post notices, etc. so that the people can find other sources of transportation). We will have to walk from the train station to the chapel - about an hour and a half walk in the summer with our jackets (because an Apostle is coming - we have to put our jackets back on for a day). Then, a call came yesterday, which may mean that we will get a ride! (I certainly hope so...)
For packages that arrive at the Mission Office... Every so often (4, 5 times every six weeks) we have an activity that brings us to the Office Elders or brings them to us, whether it be interviews, zone conference, trainings, etc... and that is when we get our packages from the office. My companion had a package sent to him here in Napoli and you can not imagine the hassle we went through. Never send a package to anywhere but the mission home - it may never get to me. We had to go to the post office and wait for an hour in line, just to have them tell us we would have to travel miles outside the city that same day to get the package. We had no time... and no way to get there... and so he had them deliver it to a member's home and had to sign stuff and make more calls and so on... so there's your reasoning. I have not gotten a package in the last few weeks, but tomorrow we go to Rome for this conference with Anziano Nelson and we will get all our packages and mail.
I think the flowers by the front door are Telstars (at least that's what I remember). Telstars grow in little bush-like clumps and have bright flowers that have jagged edges - also the flowers seem to be divided into 4? sections - each a jagged petal with a colored center and often a bright white outer edge. They're perennials :) I like perennials. My companion, before today, didn't know what perennials were. Life goes on. They may be something else. I don't know.
Could you send me pictures from the Family pictures we took this summer? (Traintracks...) Also, a picture of our house... I use the pictures you sent all the time (we show them to people often) - so if you ever have more pictures to send me I will be happy to show them to the people in Napoli. (International fame and so on)
The Doctrine and Covenants manual that the Church produces is a good manual and gives a lot of background for the sections that may seem a bit inane (finally - I found a word without having to look for it!). It also makes reading the scriptures more personal when we understand the context (something we learn here in the Mission - people don't read the scriptures unless there is a reason or they understand why the scripture was written - why they are reading.). In fact, we made a sheet of paper that had a bunch of 'questions of the soul' to give out with the Book of Mormon (there is a list in Preach my Gospel, along with chapters in the Book of Mormon that answer them), and we have had great success with higher enthusiasm in reading. I'll send a copy (yes, it's in Italian. You can make one in English) with this email. It also has a model for a prayer (the Catholics do not know how to pray, and are often very afraid of praying in front of others).
It depends. I was not a fan - especially of that specific day. Maybe boycotting will have an effect... but then again I'm not the sacrificial lamb. If you think no tell him so he has the chance to make the decision himself.
Let's guess, "Guide me to Thee"?
And that's my email - except I forgot Preparation Day and everything else...
I lost my planner last Friday and haven't gotten it back. Hence, I have no recollection of my life for the past week. We went to Salerno yesterday, then to Positano on the Amalfi Coast, then on to Sorrento, where they make hand-carved beautiful music boxes. You need to look up Positano online to understand how absolutely gorgeous it is. I don't think I've seen anything like it except in dreams. The coast is huge, and the mountains reach out to touch the sea. Huge lemon orchards sprawl across the mountains and they grow lemons the size of basketballs! There is so much green... I am glad we were able to go, even if it meant a lot of other stuff. The bus ride from Amalfi to Positano is on a tiny road that curves all over - there are even mirrors on the road to help people see traffic around the corner. The bus driver honks at every corner to let people know he's coming. I was going to send you pictures... but of course we didn't do internet yesterday and I forgot my camera today. Life goes on.
We have a baptism scheduled for next Tuesday (right before transfers - I think my companion is going away and that I am staying).
Other than that, we are working hard. The work is the Lord's, and hence it is going well.
Anziano David Peterson

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