Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 37 - Trapani, Sicily, Italy - Elder Tew

Well, I lost my planner this last week so this email is all off of memory.  Comunque, on Monday we ate quite a bit of food (nothing abnormal there.)  We began at the Valenti house with them and some parenti.  We had this onion pasta (sounds gross but the onion is cooked so much it becomes a sauce)  with giant meatballs.  It was pretty good.  I had a couple of plates of it.  They also had Spuma to drink in addition to the Coca which is an awesome drink they have here in Sicily.  It almost makes up for the lack of Mtn. Dew... haha I'm just kidding.  Then we had some fruit and dessert.  I can't remember if there was a secondo but the pasta was abbastanza.  Then we went to an investigating family's home to say goodbye.  By the way that's we did the last few days before Anz. Bermudes took off to Pozzuoli.  We had some hot chocolate.  Then we went to the Sanacuore's house for a cena with the grandparents there too.  We had this stew with meat, potatoes, and peas and then some other meat and maybe dessert.  On Tuesday we went to Palermo for district meeting and afterwards we had a mexican fiesta because we miss mexican food.  We had cafe rio style food so pork and stuff.  It was pretty good.  Then we had English course and afterwards went to another investigating family's house to say goodbye.  We ate something good but I can't remember what it was at the moment.  On Wednesday, Bermudes had to pack and we ran a few errands before he left.  We left for Palermo that night and met up with Palermo 2 and some other missionaries.  The next morning we arose early to walk across the city with a bunch of rolly luggage because we didn't see any buses.  It was only a 40 min walk.  cake. They left in trains and buses and by 7 all were gone.  We decided to celebrate by walking to Panini Bomba and eating some giant sandwiches stuffed with beef (hopefully), burgers, and sausage with tomatoes, lettuce, and fry sauce.  One wasn't enough so I got another and was rewarded with one loaded with french fries in addition to the meat.  The Italian customers were impressed I think (or entertained by 4 missionaries in suits chowing down on this food truck on the edge of the highway in the company of blue collar workers and farmers.)  We also got free chinotto which is a drink that tastes like cherry cough syrup.  I like Spuma more.  I was hoping they would have given us some cans of pepsi.  Later that day (after recovering from the panini during the pranzo break), we went to the train station to pick up the new comps.  I met Elder Tew and he is pretty cool.  He is from a town near Payson, Utah, likes soccer, and also did some flying as a pilot trainee.  He just completed 4 transfers (24 weeks)  in L'Aquila up north so we are both kind of young in the mission. Ce la caviamo.  The next morning we went back to Trapani and luckily it was raining.  We had a lesson that night.  The next day we planned and had a lesson in the afternoon.  On Sunday, we went to church and then ate at the Sanacuore's house for lunch.  We had spinach, ham, and mushroom pasta which was super good.  I had two portions of that and then some broccoli cus cus (like rice maybe).  Then we had some pork loin on the bone and some fruit and some dessert.  The dessert was this almond and cream pie with warm chocolate drizzled on top.  I had two pieces and the third piece was with Nutella on top.  I'll have you know I did politely refuse seconds each time but they were having to much fun.  Luckily, I had been fasting so it wasn't too difficult.  That night we had an awesome lesson.  Elder Tew and I taught really well in Italian together and despite forgetting the DVD we were going to watch it turned out well.  We had some pizza with them also.  Also, today, we will receive some free pasta for lunch so life is pretty good and temperatures are cool so I can't complain.  Talk to yall next week.  Ciao

Anziano Blazzard

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 36 - Trapani, Sicily

Transfer calls came from Rome and I am staying in Trapani with Anziano Tew who is coming from L'Aquila.  Anziano Bermudes is going to Pozzuoli and will be training a new missionary there.  So to recap the week on Monday we did the regular grocery shopping, email, nap, and lesson in the evening time.  On Tuesday we went to DDM (duh district meeting) in Palermo taking the bus(which they call a Pullman).  After the meeting we ate these overstuffed sandwiches from a place called Panini Bomba (bomb sandwiches).  It was basically a bunch of mystery meat between two pieces of bakery bread.  It was delicious.

W took the bus back to Trapani to teach our English course and have a lesson afterwards.  On Wednesday, we worked in the morning to prepare for the baptism on Saturday.  Then we had a lesson with some new converts and less actives watching The Testaments  We used one guy's computer and had a good laugh over his desktop picture.  It was him on the beach with a caption "that's black, man?" He's pretty black so it was hilarious.  The next day we went to the streets and tried talking to people/ handing out cards.  Then we taught some English course again (I have been teaching it by myself for 3 months because I'm the only native speaker so it will be nice to have another American when Anz. Tew comes).  The next day we had our weekly Weekly Planning Session  and then we taught a few lessons in the evening.  The second lesson we also were fed and it was pretty interesting.

We had a pasta with mussels still in the shell and then a kind of casserole thing with mushrooms, spinach, and ham. I like seafood so I was happy. Saturday morning we cleaned the church (because it was our turn) and prepared the baptismal font (like a big kiddie pool).  Then we had the baptism.  Ernest showed up a little late because he had to work that day in Marsala but it went smoothly from there besides me dropping my wet white tie on the ground (I gotta dry clean it now argh).  The next day we confirmed him a member and conferred upon him the Holy Ghost.  Then, we had lunch with the Cimino family which consisted of lasagna, potato tomato salad, lemon almond chicken, and some fruit.  After that we taught another lesson to a new convert.

Today, we are seeing a bunch of people before Anz. Bermudes takes off.  It starts with a pranzo appointment with the Valenti family so I need to mentally prepare for an insane amount of food.

Anziano Blazzard

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 35 - Trapani, Sicily, Italy

It was a busy week in Trapani.  On Monday, we had the opportunity to spend P-Day with the Mission President and his wife and tour the old city on the hill called Erice.  It was cool to see more of the city and tour the old churches and buildings.  It was also cool as in freezing cold.  Then we tried to get free pizza (well free for me) but they pizza places don't make pizza until 7.  So, we got burgers instead.  This place sells burgers for 2.50 euro and they have two patties.  The next day we went to Palermo for District meeting.  We also went to the mall there for the huge discounts and I got a second pair of shoes.  I only use these ones for Sunday and will see how long the other shoes last. We got back to the station to go home but because it was a holiday of some sort we weren't able to get a bus for two hours.  While waiting, I saw a man buy a beggar some food at McDonald's.  There are some good people in the world.

Wednesday, Anziano Bermudes got a haircut and then we had a lesson and some street finding.  The next day we had a few lessons and then English course.  Afterwards, I attempted to make a cake but the consistency turned out all wrong.  It tasted good though.  Friday we planned in the morning and then the missionaries from Palermo 2 showed up for an exchange.  I went with Anziano Slade from Arizona to teach a lesson and the other companionship went to another appointment.  We finished our lesson and headed for the streets for some finding.  We ran into a few people who knew the missionaries and had some good gospel conversations.  We also got stopped by an English course student who saw us while driving and pulled over to say hi and ask if the class was still going.  Then we ate some more burgers and I showed Anziano Slade the bag of fries for a euro place.

The next morning we held an interview in church for a baptismal candidate and he passed!  Ernest from Ghana should be baptized next Saturday.  Then we went down to centro to see a less-active who we saw a few days before on the street.  He was super down because his back is all messed up and he was out of work.  It's hard to know what to say in situations like this (which are very common here.)  We told him about the people of Alma and when they were in bondage.  They prayed to God and had strong faith and patience so that the burdens were seemingly lightened upon their backs, and then we know they were eventually delivered.  We prayed before leaving and I think he was a little uplifted.  The next day we had church and afterwards we traveled to Enna in a big van with the brethren for the priesthood conference.  It was good to see all the missionaries from around Sicily again as well as my friends from Ragusa.  It was a great meeting about missionary work and the stake president gave a powerful testimony at the end.  We got home late and exhausted but spiritually strengthened with new resolve to work harder.

Okay, that's all for now... alla prossima.

Anziano Blazzard

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 34 - Trapani, Sicily, Italy

Wow, this week flew by.  On Monday, as I said last week we were in Palermo for P-day.  We played soccer at an enclosed field with the district of 8 elders.  Then we headed to Bagheria for a missionary blitz.  We all headed out to talk with people on the streets.  I met a interesting man from Morocco who knew French, Arabic, Italian, German, and English.  Then my companion and I slept at Bagheria's apartment which is pretty cool.  It used to be the church in Bagheria so there is a big room to the left of the entrance foyer for meetings (they do English course there now) and to the right is a long hallway leading to the kitchen with a few bedrooms and bathrooms shooting off of it. It is a nice apartment which overlooks the main street in Bagheria.  The next morning we took a train to Palermo for district meeting.  Afterwards we went to Old Wild West for some burgers.  Then we took a bus back to Trapani.  It snowed along the trip back and when we arrived it was raining in sheets.  Then those sheets turned to size-able balls of hail.  It truly is a miracle that I nor my companion are not sick.  I have to admit we turned in a little early that night so we could defrost a little.  Oh I forgot to mention, when I woke up that morning after playing soccer and running for the first time in half a year I could barely move.  It felt like a day after a football game against Coeur d'alene.  The next day it snowed all day.  When we were at the bank getting some stuff done for my companion it started coming down in big flakes.  Everybody kind of stopped working and got up to stand at the windows and take pictures and videos.  We also had a lesson and talked with some people on the street.  The next day was the first so it was our biannual deep cleaning day.  At lunch we ate with the Valenti family (the same family that fed us on Christmas.)  She called the day before to invite us because she felt a spiritual prompting.  Somebody's watching over us.  It was a delicious meal of pasta al forno, lentil sausage soup, steak and peas, and desert.  The next day was weekly planning and then we had a few lessons in the evening.  We saw a less-active who we had been trying to see for a while.  The next morning we got stood up so while waiting we did some family history for Bermudes.  We looked through an old El Salvadorian civil record and connected one of his great great, etc. grandfathers to his wife and seven children.  It was pretty easy and fun. Then we did some street work later in the day.  The best conversation we had was at the supplement store where my companion was buying some stuff.  It's a new method called protein finding.  Yesterday we went to church, had a continuous stream of testimonies in fast and testimony meeting, and then ate lunch with the Sanacuore and Tobia family.  We had lasagna, horse meat, salad, fruit cocktail, and a delicious cake.  We later had a lesson.  Today we received a call from the president of the mission who had come down from Rome to do some interviews in Palermo.  He wants to see Trapani as he hasn't seen it before.  We should get some free food so I'm excited.
Happy New Year!  I challenge you to study the Book of Mormon.  It really isn't that hard-especially after the Isaiah chapters in 2nd Nephi-and the knowledge you can gain of the Plan of Salvation (where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going) and of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (what we have to do to return to our Father in Heaven) are worth your time.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.

Anziano Packer Blazzard