Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 40 - Trapani, Sicily, Italy

Famiglia e Amici,

This week in Trapani on Monday night we had a family home evening with a member family.  We challenged them with a little puzzle and then related it to a gospel principle.  The puzzle was to draw 3 lines from blocks A to A, B to B, and C to C without intersecting the lines.  The 2 A blocks were bigger and touching the top and bottom of the card.  One B was touching the edge and the other was opposite it almost touching the edge of the other side.  The first C block was touching the edge and below the B block that was almost touching the edge.  The other C block was opposite the first C block and was not touching the edge and was below the the B block that was touching the edge of the card.  The solution is to draw two parallel lines from B to B and C to C first and then to draw a long line from A to A going around the other blocks and lines.  The lesson that we drew from this puzzle was that in life there are big goals such as marriage, a family, a job, education, and most importantly, eternal exaltation.  These are represented by the larger A blocks.  But, we know that to reach these goals we have to work our way step by step by accomplishing smaller goals, represented by the smaller B and C blocks.  They liked the message but it took them a while to solve the puzzle and we also gave some hints.

The next day we we had some lessons and ate some hamburgers before English course.  At one of the lessons with some African members, we finished and began to pray. When I opened my eyes a new African guy was sitting with our group acting like he had been there the entire time.  He kept saying afterwards, "great preaching" and "you're welcome" (I don't why many Africans tell you that you are welcome but they just do).  I guess I am happy he showed up.

The next day, we had to take a bus to Palermo for interviews with the mission president and zone conference.  We got there at pranzo so we headed to this Chinese buffet that my buddy serving in Palermo, Anziano Holbrook, was raving about.  We met up with some other missionaries and I think we ended up being a group of 8 or 10 when we began to eat.  Surprisingly, it was pretty good because everyone here always talks trash on Chinese food.  I was happy because it had been almost 9 months since I have eaten Chinese food and it is my favorite food followed closely by Mexican.

Then we had our interviews and headed to the street to talk with the people.  I noticed that hardly anybody was stopping to talk with me but people were gladly stopping for and actually coming up to the sister missionaries to talk with them.  One old lady called me tesoro (treasure) as she was denying my efforts to talk about the plan of salvation so I can't complain too much.  We crashed at Palermo 2nd's sweet house (literally nicer than any apartment I've seen in the mission) and the next morning headed to Palermo 1 church on Via Catania for zone conference.  It was a good conference filled with uplifting messages and ways to improve the missionary work but they bought the cardboard pizza again.  It's such a shame that that was the pizza they bought when I've eaten nothing but delicious pizza here in Sicily.  I asked if it was about the money and they said, "No".

The next day we planned in the morning and had a few lessons in the evening time.  The following day we had a few lessons and took a giant survey from the church on Preach My Gospel. It reminded me of the Army.  Yesterday, we went to church and it was branch conference so the stake president (a region of churches and in this case the entire island of Sicily) was there.  He gave some great lessons and afterwards we ate with some members for lunch.  We had lasagna, some meat stuff with cheese and spinach, salad, fruit cocktail, and some ricotta cannoli.  It was amazing as usual and then we took the sacrament to this older lady who broke her femur a few months ago.  Tonight we are heading to Bagheria for another district blitz and tomorrow we will be in Palermo for District meeting.  Alla prossima.

Anziano Blazzard

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