Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One Month in Italy

Email: November 7, 2012

Enjoys baptism is this saturday, but will find out for sure today as she has herinterview this afternoon and then we are setting plan for the service. Lilly, our other investigator with a date, is set for the 24th of nov. we pushed her date back two weeks to help her perpare more. She is making incredible progress now and is doing great! We called her last night and she gave us really great news and she is making the neccessarey changes and progresss she needs to to be babtized. Its so great!
Had the best Italian meal I have ever had the other day with a member! So much good!

Pictures are of my district. My collega anz moore and the district leader Anz Pectol (the tall one) and his collega Anz Hymas the goofy one with glasses. (Pectol and Hymas are in Padova)

Well, I love you all so much,
till next week,
con amore,
Anziano Edwards

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween from Italy!!!

Email: October 31, 2012

It is cold! Simple as that. On sunday a member said it was 6 degrees C outside. Not fun. But my coat is fantastic. Shirt, tie, sweater, double layer coat and then of course a scarf. I love scarfs! So stylish and SO warm! Fantastic. The members and and locals are saying this winter is goging to be cold. It has come early and will be really cold...and so bring it on! It will be a blast! The top half of you is so warm and the bottom is just your pants so it kinda gets a lot cold.
 Anyways, Italy is awesome and so are our members and investigators. We have two investigators, Lilly (Italian, well from Brazil) and Enjoy (American) both with baptismal dates on nov 10th, but we may end up pushing Lilly's back a week or so, we will see. They are both so dang awesome. In fact, Enjoy took us to breakfast today as it was my colllega's birthday today on halloween. Italians celebrate halloween but nothing like america, nothing is even decorated-random fact.
 I have not got any letters yet as they are sent to the mission office in Milano and i will get them when we have zone confrences every transfer(6 weeks) or when a travling assistant or president is in town or around and they give mail to the district leader. So I will get my mail every 6 weeks or maybe sooner sometimes. Letters will always get to the office, its just sending letters around italy it may or may not get there. So dont worry about letters really and packages are fine but often times opened and then there will be random customs charges usually which I guess can be really expensive.
 Today for p day we went to the mall. I bought two ties and a scarf :)
 Bike update: the office approved a new bike so we went and started looking for new bikes and the owner said that he would just fix it for like €40 in stead of a new, used bike for €70-90. So we are going to get it fixed later this week, yippee! The back breaks dont work, the back tire is so super wiggly and the chain skips and just sucks and the front breaks now rub and dont release. It makes it fun to ride....
 My collega is so great, super helpful and just great!
 We have district meetings every monday and a scambio(exchange) usually twice a transfer and so we had our second one this past monday. I was with Anz. Pectol and went to Padova again as I dont really know how to get around this city. I love padova, it is such a great city, its bigger and just different. I always think to myself "wow, this is not america, at all!" Its just so different here, I love it!
 Well best of luck with everything, I always have you in my prayers.
Con amore,
Anziano Edwards!!!
Sorry no pictures this week. Next week!

Valoroso in Vicensa

Email: October 24, 2012

Well dont have much time. 
On monday was our district meeting, so just us in Vecenza and the companionship in Padova. Small distrct but we are awesome. We then did a scambio(exchange) I went to Padova with Anzino Hymas. He is halfway through with is mission. He is the funniest Anziano! We had a blast and learned so much even thought we only had finding work for the entire afternoon and evenig....long but well worth it. We found and taught this super old lady the first lesson sorta and when we were trying to get a return appointment she said friday would work as long as she is not dead. hahhaha, she is a crazy and super funny old lady, she has a good sense of humor for sure!
   Well we are off to catch the 11:00 train to Padova for p-day. Going to have lunch with one of their members and play risk and maybe some basketball. Padova, from what I could tell from my scambio was that it is so nice! Its a bigger city and just full of crazy scooter drivers! It was a fancier and more wealthy city. I loved it there, not to mention their GIGANTIC apartment! It had 5 rooms! and all the rooms were very big! They are so lucky! Their ppartment is on the bigger side and mine in Vicenza is one of the smaller ones in the mission. I hate small areas! I need open space, but yeah


Well some more info and to answer your questions.
I am in Padova now just waiting for the Anziani here to come and pick us up in 30 or so minutes so we jumped back on the internet.
Anywho, the weather is good, not cold but not hot. Last week it was really cold but currently it is decent. With our suits on it is perfect, the nights get cold though so I usually put a sweater on in the evening.
I am still a skinny boy, although I am pushing the 60 kilo mark on our scale and it seems to be accurate, so maybe im not that skinny...haha. I have found that I am not eating as heathly as i should even though I found some delicious 'healthy' cereal my collega calls bird food. Its so great, from germany. But today during speza (shopping) I got a bunch of good food.
  Story: Anes a new member from Africa, like 1 or two years member put his mission papers in two weeks ago and is waiting for his call. Anyways, he got hit by a car on his bike and we went and saw him in the hospital. That was crazy! I told my collega, unless I am diying and blood is everywhere, dont take me there. Anes got there at 11 am and didnt leave until midnight. He was bumps and bruises and really sore but nothing bad. The doctors and nurses dont really care about much it seems, they dont work super hard for the most part. Everyone gets a wrist band-white, yellow, or red or black depending on how much you are dying and even the people bad off, have to wait for ever. Plus the hospital in Vicenza is a good and nice one supposedly and it was just way differnt from the US for sure. Yeah, it was a shock to say the least. Wow is all I was thining the whole time like, 4 hours we were there as branch president(bishop basically as they have branches not wards) wanted us to stay with him for some reason. Yeah it was a long day.

Keep being awesome and know of my love! :) I am loving it here and doing great desipte this last week only getting 9 total lessons. Lets just say in general pushing all the time, africans dont have much of an idea of time. We had days with 4-6 lessons only to have them all canceled or now shows, it was rough but I know is going to be better this week. All about the attitude.

With so dang much love from Italy,
Anziano Edwards

The Mission home the first night with all of us new Milan missionaries

My Collega-Anz. Moore, me and Pres and Sis Wolfgramm

President and Sister Wolfgramm and Me

New Milan Missionaires

a buch of my TINY appartment. we have the small kitchen and desks

then hallway with laundry and bathroom

then our bedroom

It serves its purpose just super super small.

Random Picture of Italy #1

Random Picture of Italy #2

Random Picture of Italy #3

Italy is Bravo! (Address Included)

Email: October 17, 2012

Well here is my address:
Anziano A.J. Edwards
Italy Milan Mission
Via Gramsci 13/2
20090 Opera (MI)
(that is the mission office and is where mail should be sent. I was engouraged to tell family not so send packages but rather put money on my personal credit/debit card and buy myself presents and goods as its super expensive to send my stuff and then I have to pay the customs charges which is 10-30 euro for a packaged. THe customs charges are random and not consistant and sometimes you pay and then they send your package back to the states and you never get it. The mail system is slightly unrelianble but decent. Tell all friends that address and I will write them back if I ever get the letter ;)

The area  is beautiful, its what I expected but not...Italy is just SO different from the US. The biggest thing is the cars! So small!!!! Its werid. No trucks whoatsoever and the biggest car is similar to a ford transit and a range rover. Just weird. Also the houses, or apartments are so small! Like the whole thing is as big as our kitchen and dining room.
Italians think im werid as I have 3 siblings. Here if you have two kids its a big family, 4 is basically unheard of!
My bike sucks. Simple as that. The seat hurts your butt, the gears are bad and my back wheel is going bad, need a new one. It is a simple american bike like Angies bike. We ride everywhere. Our area is decent sized, basically if you can get there in an hour by bus, we go to it. Most of the time were are on bikes close to Vicenza. A few investigators are a bus ride away.
My companion/collega is Anziano Moore. He is super bravo! From Oregon and is farm boy, super hard working, good attitude and very helpful. I love him. And his is blond which he kinda sticks out here in Italy.
The food is great. I love it!!! You eat SOOO much! I cant do it, its actually awful, members and investigators just keep feeding you, the Matiazzi family, members, fed us so dang much I thought I was literally going to die, Great tasting but too much, I will learn quickly hopefully how to eat a lot of food, cuz if not I will die. I dont eat Italian food super often as we have an US Army base here so we get food "donated" to us from members and the elder couple who are leaving this week to go home. I love them-elder and sister Maughn. Super great and loving. They take us to zone meetings and such which is super great so we dont have to take trains and buses. I don't feel like I have actually left America as we eat american food often with members and such. Anyways I love it and Anz. Moore loves the american food as he as suffered for 6  months with no American food and I am lucky to have it now but will suffer for the rest of my mission when I leave. :)

We have a few investigators. Lilly's baptismal date is Nov 3rd and is from south america but speaks fluent Italian. Other italians we have is Gildo who we are trying to get realize the importance of the gosple-he likes it but just isnt progressing as we would hope, his wife is a member so he comes to church and enjoys it. And Dragon, I havnt met yet. Also marco who just became a new investigator from a referral. A member. He is a friend and is now taking lessons, great man, he is from Ghana africa. Lastly is Luca-lives in our apartment building and approached us one day and asked about our church and wanted something to read so we gave him a restoration pamphlet of course and will meet with him later this week as yesterday our appointment was canceled as he was in the hospital.

Lots of english lessons! Enjoy from New York and was a model for years adn travel the world and is now in italy and just loves the Gosple. We say somthing and she just says "well that is what God wants then I will do it" super bravo! SHe is awesome and will set her baptismal date this weekend as she postponed it so a friend can come to it. Then eric from Gahan Africa, suer great and taking lessons well but his church helps him finacially alot so just doesnt want to convert 100% even though he loves our church and has a good testimony, kinda frustrating but good. Then ther are a bunch of others like 6, that are less active or not quite a progressing investigator but we are working hard with all of them. There is Ike, Isac, Nanna, Hiron, Lawrence, and Frances.
We dont have many actual Italians, most are just foreigners from africa or south america areas. All speak Italian as you have to here. The Italian will not put of with people speaking their language so everyone learns quick.

My language is coming along well. I want it to come faster of course but is impoving so much everyday. Its crazy! I love it here and the work is incredible. Hard hard work but so rewarding and good. The members here are incredible! Members in Utah dont even start to compare! These people love the gosple and are so fantastic. Love working with us missionaries and helping in any way. They are so great and fellowship and welcoming new people to chruch and loving them.  The chaple is so small. Its just the other part of a building in town. Small chapel with about 6 small rooms. That is differnent for sure but I like it. The other part of the building is a message place and a fishing equipment store.

Every friday in october and novemeber we are doing mostra. Its a street display thingy. Big folding sign thing with big pictures that sortof attracts people. Basically we do street contacting and have a big visual aid to help. Its fun and we dont have to walk around much which is a plus, but yet we are standing for a few hours, every friday from 5-7.
Casa, knocking doors is tough, no success really except for a crazy man who just let us in, lets just say we started your lesson and then left shortly after, no good feelings and he was just crazy. Not a good place to be, just simple a crazy man. Kinda scary but a good and memorable experience. haha

Glad to hear from you and always pray for you. Best of luck in school, work and life! Just keep going and dont give up! I love you all and will email pictures next week. Today we are on the base again to have american food and email for free :) Elder Maughn brought us, such a treat and super glad for him. The computers here dont let us attach pictures which is weird but will send some as soon as I can. Promise!

I can only email family members and President Wolfgramm so tell friends and others the mission address if they want to send me letters which Im sure would make my day! Also, I am fairly sure you can use but have to pay postage still.

Con amore,
Anziano Edwards :)