Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Worn Out Shoes

Email: August 28, 2013

Well nothing much to tell you this week...

First, all the Italians are on vacation so we teach very few lessons so that is hard.

Second, I ate the most food in my life and gained about 10 lbs in one day! We had a member lunch, then out less active in the evening surprised us with a full dinner, then an investigator bought us each a pizza....too much food! All was amazing and tasty but I felt 100% sick! i weighed 141 lbs! New life rec ord. I am now back to normal at 132ish.

Third, my shoes are falling apart at the heels, like the inside part. Its not my fault as I use my shoe horn everytime. Are my shoes life time warenty or anything. They dont give me blisters but yet they bug me. 

Last, I love you all! On Monday or Tuesday I will get transfer calls to see if anyone is leaving. I think I will stay in Genova with Anziano Gainer as district leader for one more and Anziano Gibbons will stay zone leader, Anziano Hatch will by flying back to America next week! He is not trunky at all so it is really good. We will see!

Ciao tutti

Con l'amore, Anziano Edwards! 
the picture is of the yacht of Steve Jobs. I don't know who owns it now though, but all the youth were all talking about it in church.) It's really ugly.....

Friday, August 23, 2013

Huge Deal in Italy

Email: August 21, 2013

Presidente Dibb is more strciter with the rules but they all make sense so its not hard to not obey them, too many missionaries complain I feel but they will get over it.
The district leader training in Milano yesterday was great! We learned of some new "rules" and just over all how we can better serve and train other missionaries, and our roles in the mission. Presidente Dibb stressed over and over again how he can't just call any missionary to be a capo distretto and also capi zona, these callings are too important. He is going around guns blazing and really helping missionaries and the misison as a whole to grow. He is really working down in Firenze (Florence) and trying to organize a Stake, it is part of his whole grow Itlay idea which is super cool and I am all onboard to grow Itlaly! He also talked about how he has met with many of the quorum of the twelve and first presidency as mission president. The leaders of the church know the potenitial Europe has, and specifically Italy. There is about to be an explosion over on this side of the world in the Lord's kingdom! He told us a bunch of cool ideas and new stuff that is getting changed church wide in Europe. The work of the Lord is truly being hastened and I am more than honored to be a part of this exciting work! The temple in Rome is a HUGE deal, I sure you all know, but it is HUGE!!! and it is in the center of Rome. you cant miss it and everyone knows about it in Italy and across Europe. Excitng stuff!
All the other missionaries on bikes like shoulder bags too, also, there is no way they coul get stuck in the wheels...they just sit on your hip or your back.
Keep the prayers coming, they do more than you can imagine! grazie.
Keep doing the things you are doing and stay on the strait and narrow!
Love you all,
vi voglio un sacco di bene! 

Street performer who looked like he was floating. I know his trick, but still cool. 
Part of Genova from above :)
Castle in Genova
Castle Again
Anziano Edwards at the Castle
A T-Rex made of old tires and trash. Weird art....but yet cool....and pointless and stupid.
Casa di Colombo.
The house of Christopher Columbus, it is literally on the other side of the street from the church. 
Cool picture made of flowers

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Miracles of Missionary Work!

Email: August 14, 2013

Well here in Italy, we will get all the fancy new technology in the middle of 2014.....we will see....Presidente Dibb said it would be before July 2014. So that means I will be able to use the tablets for at least a month of my mission. Cool stuff. 
"How is the new sling backpack working?" What do you mean "sling bag" it is a shoulder bag! And I LOVE it! I wish I had one rather than my backpack. It is really nice. You just have to be carfeul because is you just wear it on one shoulder you start to look like the Testimoni di dont want that to happen as we are already mistaked as them as it is. 

Well last week for P day we went to a big light house. It was fun. (attached is a picture of my comp and I) Not sure what else I can say....haha
I will email a bunch of pictures home this week too.

Miracles of missionary work! 
We had a canceled appointment and so we had one more hour left in the evening and Anziano Gibbons suggested we do a pass-by of a less active member. We decided why not even though we had some strada finding work planned. We passed by and he was home. It was one of the most spiritual lessons on my entire mission. It was his birthday and he felt all alone. he only had a handful of friends and even family members tell him a simple "happy Birthday" We sat down and he said he was super tired, that is true as he works from like 4 am to 7 at night with no breaks. My companion shared a scripture that he studied that morning. The scripture was PERFECT for this him. We left and all he could do is just thank us with tears in his eyes. I sent him a text message that evening thanking him adn said simething like thanks, happy birthday, we love you, keep on going, ect.. The next day, Saturday, he called and expressed he wants to try to come back to church! Sunday came and he wast there :( We passed by again on tuesday as we were in the area and we gave him a super simple hand made birthday card, that Anziano tGainer made. This less active, in the sense of he hasnt been to church in months, said he couldnt come because he was called into work at the last minute but is still thinking of coming sometime. he wont commit to comming, but says he will try sometime soon. He is awesome! MIRACLE!!! 

Not much else happened this week. 

On tuesday I get to travel to Milano for a "specialized training meeting" just for district leaders...sounds super fancy hahaha. This meeting is a new Presidente Dibb thing. Caio!  

Well it is pouring rain so yeah. Well I love you all, Good luck with school you kids. ps, dont fail or I will make fun of you for ever hahaha just kidding! but really... 

Well  from ,l and remember to give a bunch of  to everyone for me!


Anziano Edwards
The Light House
The Tower di Nuovo
A ship anchor!
Companions at the light house
Look who got a new watch!!!
My Casio!!!! Happy am I hahaha, but really!
My collega climbing the tower because the gate was locked and he really wanted to get inside...he made it up about 10 feet...haha.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

One Year Down, One to Go

Email: August 7, 2013

Mariana is from Romania, but has lived in Italy for like ever. She is the FUNNIEST person ever. She knows the doctrine and she knows it. We may have to teach pridefullness sometime...hahah. Her baptism was BEAUTIFUL! Just everything about it was great and just perfect. 
Canoli!!! I love it! So tasty! It sounds like it just might be a little bit authentic Italian food, except for the fettucini alfredo, that is "American Italian food" but still tasty. I will have to go there when I get home and speak some Italian :), I will learn some more southern dialect (saciliano) :) 

The pictures of Cinque Terre are by Portofino yes but Porto fino is closer to Genova. We will be going to Portofino nest week probably. 

Glad to hear the vacation was worth it, but I think a cruse around Italy would be better, just not in is do dang Hot and HUMID. I have never sweated more in my life than this past week. Walking around the street in the wet air that is like upper 30's is not fun. Come home for lunch at 1.30 and my garments are soaked and my white shirt is wet too.....gross! You have to love being a missionary! :)

Anziano Gainer is AMAZING. He really is. He is just that perfect missionary and just does everything well. He is just a bast to next too. Always up beat and ready to work. Great stuff! We are having a bunch of success, but in August is is really hard to have a high lesson count. Its true everyone goes on vacation for two or three weeks, we have hand a bunch of our investigators who told us they are leaving and so we can call them in September! Also all of the potentials we get on the street tell us the same thing. Ugh.. So frusturating! Also, half the stores are closed, with signs that say, "Closed, will retun in September, have a good vacation! " Maybe the best part of Anz. gainer is that he  was trained in Montevarchi and so when he speaks you can hear the Firenze dialect. The dialect spoken in Tuscany, in Firenze is the 'perfect Italain' its the most pure Itlain. It sounds super cool, they dont pronounce their "c"s and it is a really soft smooth sound to everything. It is what Anz Proctor spoke, my second companion, becuase he served in Firenze for 4 trasfers as Capo Zona before trasfering to Vicenza to be with me.  

A really good song is called "dont give up" by Josh Grobin. Check it out. 

August first was one of the hardest days on my mission, sort of like how May 3rd and May 11th were, (you can ask Angie about those two days, I emailed her. I loved and hated them at the same time. I prayed that May 3rd and May 11th and just this past week, Aug 1st would be great memorable days, and sure thing they were) Anyways, Thursday was my half way mark, and I have never heard any missionary call it "Hump-day" (must just be those state side Elders.... hahaha) and I prayed it would be a great memorable day. To keep it short Mario will not get baptized on the 10th of Aug. We will find out this weekend when we can reset his date. Then, the next day we met Mario agian and told him that we have to drop his date. He was SO SAD, it was do hard to tell him that he can not get baptized on that day as he has so happly been expecting to. I felt like I crushed his heart, but he understands and is making progress still and loves meeting with us. Mario is such a special man and so close to my heart. Love my Equadorian brother to death!

"Ecco, io sone un discepolo di Gesù Cristo, il Figlio did Dio. Sono stato chiamato da lui a proclamare la sua parola fra il suo popolo, affinché essi posano aver la vita eterna." That is what I am here to do for the next year, it will be the better of the two. I can see teh success that will be coming and I have that fire to find teach and baptize that indeed they can have eternal life. That is what I chose to do and I am going to do it. That is my call. I am constantly remeinded of who I represend as His name is big bold letters just under my name on my so special black tag. I could not even think about not helping others here in italy to have what I have. It is my duty to share what I have so dearly learned and give to all others the blessings that I have so be blessed with. This is His work. AMEN. 

With all the love in the world times 100! 
Con l'amore, il vosto amico, 
Anziano Edwards

attached is a picture of me with my new shoulder side bag! (now I am obedient to the new mission rules

Picture of a rat...enough said
1 Year Mug Shot
My 1 year Mug shot at my 12 month mark with a "Gainer Milkshake." "Happy Birthday" to me the capi zona and Anz. Gainer and was presented with this milkshake. Fun Stuff! Love the anziani in my house!!!

Baptism, New Comp, and Natural History Museum

Email: July 31, 2013

My new companion, Anziano Gainer, is from Panama City Florida and was baptized when he was 11 because his parents were less active, but now his little brother is putting his papers in too and his dad is the Elders Quorum president and his mom is super active. He is awesome. He was trained in a little city just out side of Firenze. He and his trainer re-opened the little city with a branch of 15 members. He speaks super well and knows the gosple very very well. He is fantastic! Love him! 

Mariana, I was able to baptize here last week and she is not the newest member of Genova 1! She is the funniest lady ever! She was the investigator of the sorelle. Mariana also made two cakes, one for here birthday(baptized on her birthday) and the other was for Jesus. She told me she has to celebrate both...she is super funny.She is the newest member of Genova 1. She is from Romania but has lived here for like ever. I had the amazing opportunity to baptize here. She has the strongest testimony too. 
Baptism was perfect, except she opened her mouth and so she kinda choked on some water, but we didnt have to re-do it :) Plus, there were like a billion members of here family there and a bunch of our investigators. it was really spiritual. Us missionaries we sang a song as a special musical number too. It was great! 


(ps I hate being a district leader, you have to do meetings and be in charge and deal with stuff, I like being a simple boring, not mission leader missionary. but hey, you have to do what the Lord wants right? yes.) 
Mariana, I was able to baptize here last week and she is not the newest member of Genova 1! She is the funniest lady ever! She was the investigator of the sorelle.
Anziano Gainer
Mariana's Birthday/Baptism Cake
A baby human vs a baby monkey or chimp or somthing like that...
Mariana's Cake for Jesus
Anziano Gibbons, my zone leader with the Itlaian word of Gibbon, like the monkey...super funny
Me with a Rhino
Extinct Tazmanian Devil

Meaning of BUSY

Email: July 24, 2013

Well I left Udine and the next week, Damaris was able to enter the waters of baptism! She is so amazing and spiritual! She is the one who walked into the church after the baptism of William. 

Also, Udine has two dates for baptism and will set a third. 
Udine just got sent a second companionship, so there is now 4 anziani in Udine.

This week was a lot better, I am super happy.
havent heard that the misison boundries are changing....

I am not getting trasfered. I am staying district leader and Anz. Smith is the only one getting trasfered in my district. He is going to open the second companionship in Udine! And he will be training!!!! He is super lucky to get Udine! He is a little nervous but excited, I have told him everything he needs to know about Udine already, so it wont be new for him! haha
Learned a cool thing in church about the meaning of  "busy!"

I am leaning Napolitano (along with my spanish). It is the dialect from napoli in the south. We have one old member who is from Napoli and I can never understand him, Naoplitano is like speaking in Italian but never finishing your words. It is realy angry sounding too, its really funny because Anziano Hatch learned a few words and uses them when he meats people from Napoli on the streets and then they stary speaking dialect to him and then he doesnt understand anything....hahaha

Well all I want to do is ride a jet ski and go swimming in the ocean, it is SO hot and HUMID here! The work is great though! 

Damaris Baptism
Damaris Baptism 
A little 8 year old girl got baptized, Chiara Kafel, her older brother just got back from the rome mission a few months ago.
For district meeting, we got permission to have lunch with the Sorelle in the church, so we made argentian sandwiches that were super yummy! 
We went bowling with all the Anziani in Genova I took third. It is super cheap here!
The light up balloons I got in my package from my BG friends! That was a fun night!  
Cinque Terre(ps, there were SO many not Italians there, all from Germany and England, we met a couple from Provo too)
Anziano Smith and I, our last full day together :(    (we are at the train station in Cinque Terre)
A new 5.0 GT mustang I saw a few weeks ago, all the Italians were looking at it and were in love with it. I was too! haha A beautiful car!
Anz, Gibbons and I at Cinque Terre today on Pday (zone leader)
The Ocean at Cinque Terre :) BEAUTIFUL!
Cinque Terre! We went to the 5th stop, it is called Riomaggiore
Riomaggiore. it was a blast! 

CIA of America

Email: July 17, 2013

LILLY GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That makes me so excited and happy! She was going to get baptized in south america but then moved to Italy a few weeks before her baptism there, lost contact with the missionaries in Italy and then the missionaries found her, and she would make progress but when her date for baptism came, she got scared and wouldne follow through. THis happened a few times when I was teaching here in Vicenza (not Piacenza). She knew it was all true, but she was so frusturating! She gave a a headache all the time. But just goes to show you can never give up on some people! I wish I was there, but, Genova is where I need to be. 

Speaking of Genova, It is begining to grow on me. The ward is super cool and there is a kid named Andrea who is just SO cute, he is one of the main reasons I go to church each sunday....just kidding, but really he is so cool, not to mention we have the same name! This past week, with Sunday being the rock bottom, was the hardest week of my mission. I hated it. It was so hard. I was stress more than I thought was possible! We had so many miracles, but yet I felt like I was unsuccesful. i was just not myself, and basically everyone knew it, even the members who dont really know me. Everyone asked if i was fine, and I told them all "Sì, ma sono stanco. Grazie." They all just were like oh ok, except for the sisters in my district, S.lla Jameson and S.lla Lamos didnt bebeilve that I was just "tired" so I told them, I was stressed too, this was all true but yet I was holding back on how I really felt. I still am not sure why I felt so bad and down, but I noticed I was thinking about my past cities, well mostly just Udine, and the members and investigators there. So that was a bad thing that didnt help. Also, many of my thoughts were about home. Basically, I just wasn't focused on my city and my work here in Genova 1. Good thing for amazing Zone leaders, companion and sister missionaries who are all super suportive and just all around amazing. Well, today I am doing great and I am out of the lows.

Mario isnt ready for baptism for the 20th of July, but we reset his date for the 1th of Aug. He was kinda upset and confused why he couldnt get baptized on the 20th, like we told him in the first lessons, but after explaining the importance of being 100% sure and the importance of the covenant he will make, he understands. Plus, we had a member in the lesson who bore testimony about baptism. Mario expressed his ture desire to follow Christ, (he always stops to look at the pictures in the church, he LOVES the paintings of christ.) so we just need to teach a few more commandments and he will be able to enter into the fold and make that first covenant. Being a missionary is so great!

Well each month, we recive 193 Euros. We have that money to pay for food, travel(but all travel expenses are riembursed), hair cuts (but I cut my own hair at home just like 95% of all missionaries) cleaning supplies, weekly internet, and postage for letters. And we also have to pay a fast offering every month with the mission funds. We are suposed to not spend all of it and at the end of the mission, give all left over money back to the mission. Each week I spend 25-30 on food, maybe 2 on cleaning stuff(it is all split between everyone in the appartment), and 4 on stanps maybe. 

At our weekly service we get to do, there is a man from China who is teching me some chinese and then I help him with his Italian so its a great trade off! His name is Xue Honglin, but he tells everyone his name is Tom Sawyer because it is easier for people to say He is super funny.
We were waiting to cross the street on Monday and this man comes up and stares at my name tag and then says, "Oh! You are from the CIA of America" we told him no, we are missionaries, and he wouldnt beleive us, then he just walked away convinced we were spies. The same thing happened to the capi zona last week. Not sure why, people think we are part of the CIA, becuase how we dress makes us stick out a little bit and we are not very undercover....

Miracle! We made thank-you cards and went and passed by some members who help alot in our work. We Stopped by and gave one to Fratello Dominguez and it was just perfect thing for him at the time, but not the fact that we gave him a card that said thanks for helping us in lessons and being friends with investigators at church ect, but we read a book of mormon story and the card also said "you are not just a drop in the Lords work" This simple little mesage about being important and watched over, with the power of prayer made it one of the most spiritual moments of my mission. The lord really does put people in your path at the perfect times. 

We went bowling with the two Anziani in Genova 2, other side of the city today and ate some gelato! It was super fun, For 6 bucks, we bowled three games and rented shoes, and it was a brand new bowling ally! GO ITALY! 

Forgot my card reader and this internet point cant read SD cards next week maybe? Lets hope! 

MY thumb is nice, healing very well, I dont think it will leave a scar though, wich makes me sad as I wanted a little scar on the thumb to remind me how much I suck at cutting potatoes!

My backpack does not become a sholder bag.  We have to get a sholderbag though, president hasnt told us if we can use mission funds or if it has to be personal funds. But now is a good time to buy because is it is "Saldi" so everything is super cheap, the one main sell in Italy, Middle of July to the middle of August. I can wear light colored pants, but I am not going to waste my money as my clothes are just perfect. 

Ciao tutti! Vi voglio un sacco di bene!
Con l'amore,  Anziano Edwards!