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 dearelder.com but have to pay postage still.
Anziano Edwards :)