Monday, August 31, 2015

Il cibo e più cibo

Cari Amici e Famiglia,

It was a real good week here in Rome besides the heat which has returned for some reason.  On Monday after the site-seeing stuff we went to the family home evening for the young adults with some investigators and new converts.  We ate some good pasta and played some games and listened to a good spiritual lesson.  Also a guy showed up who wanted help with Italian and also wants to know more about the church.  On Tuesday we went to capi conference which was pretty good except for the technology problems with skype (kept cutting out).  I guess for the next transfer they will be flying all the capi up to Rome.  Afterwards we went and got some real good pizza at Fratelli La Bufala.  I got the diavola which is spicy pepperoni with cheese.  Then we had a lesson and gelato, English course, and then a birthday party for a new member.  My buttons were about to pop off my shirt after that meal of peruvian dishes and fries and chicken and sweets and a liter and a half of coke.  The next day we went to DDM and then ran to an appointment where we got fed again.  Then we had a few lessons and ate some pizza with an investigator.  The next day we decided to visit a part member family in a place called Pomezia.  I ate two plates of pasta and a bunch of fried chicken before we shared our spiritual thought which was perfect for the food we had just eaten.  It was the story about a hungry guy biking home from school not having enough money for a chicken wing who prayed and found a quarter to buy the chicken wing (The Privilege of Prayer October 2011 gen conference).  I wasn't expecting fried chicken that day either when we decided on the spiritual thought.  Then we had a lesson and went to correlation and English course. On Friday we went to do service and afterwards were fed some focaccia, meat and potato and veggie stuff, and some parmesan eggplant stuff.  Afterwards we had a bunch of lessons and went to a meal appointment where we ate some broccoli sausage pasta and salad and ice cream.  On Saturday we planned and then had a few lessons and ate some pizza again with an investigator.  On Sunday bishop came back from America and the stake president was there and a bunch of people showed up from vacations or something so church attendance was super high. The chapel was packed.  Also we had quite a few investigators and less-actives show up which was awesome.  After church we had a few lessons and were offered dinner but it was too late and we still had to make calls and take numbers from the zone so we had to politely decline.  It was a great week.
Anziano Packer Blazzard

Monday, August 24, 2015

Roma3, Roma, Italia

Cari Amici e Famiglia,

It was a pretty busy week in Rome. On Monday we went to Saint Paul's Basilica again because some people haven't gone.  I got to talking with this British guy and his son about church and he was telling me he wasn't impressed with all the graffiti around the churches and how the grounds were badly kept and how some people just go to church once a week and then go back to sinning like nothing had happened.  He recognized us as Mormons and I told him to go to one of our services and check out the London temple and grounds.  He said he would and we parted ways.

Then after pday ended we went to family home evening for the young adults.  One of the senior sister missionaries made  delicious sloppy joes and I had three... I don't know how to say no sometimes.  The next day we had DDM and afterwards Holbrook and I made a pasta with egg plant and sausage and olive oil.  It turned out really good.  Then we had a bunch of lessons and English course.  The
next day we helped clean mold in another missionary apartment where we basically scraped off everything to the concrete wall underneath to remove it.  I scraped off some of my knuckles in the process.  Then we had a few lessons.  Thursday we arose early at 5:30 to make it to Termini (rome's central train station) where we helped coordinate the transfers.  This time everyone got on the right train.  I helped one poor elder on with his baggage. He was sacred because he was in a car by himself and had to get off in a city where nobody else would be getting off.  I assured him there would be a group of missionaries waiting for him at his city.  Then I and some of the elders waiting for trains or companions went on the hunt for some food because I had woken up at the last minute and had not eaten breakfast.  We got some kebab and then after everyone left we had to go to the office to meet
up with some other missionaries flying to sardegna later that day. On the way we found some mtn dew in a shop some other missionaries had told me about.  It was cold and in a can and not from Romania so it was really good.  Then we went home and riposted a bit before going to English course.  On Friday we planned and had a few lessons. Saturday was pretty busy with a bunch of lessons and one meal appointment where I tried to teach the lesson in Spanish.  On Sunday we went to church and afterwards had a little sack lunch lesson with an investigator. It's really crazy how far some people travel to get to church.  It's very impressive and shows strong faith.

We had a few other lessons.  Today for pday we went to saint johns church again and this time I realized that all the statues of saints were holding the thing that was used to kill them.  One was holding a carving knife that was used to skin him alive, another was holding a saw that was used to cut him in half and Paul was holding a sword which was used to behead him. Then we ate some fries and gelato... Yeah I'm going to have to get serious about my diet soon.  Well all in all things are good and temperatures are cooling down so I can't complain.

Anziano Packer Blazzard

Monday, August 17, 2015

Visit from a former missionary on Sunday

We received an email note with a photo from a former missionary in the Italy Rome Mission this past Sunday about Elder Blazzard and others serving in the Roma 3 ward.
'Hello! I'm a returned missionary that served in Rome, and I'm here visiting Rome 3. I met your children who're serving here right now as well, they seem like a great group! The attached photo was taken today just after church.'

Roma 3, Rome, Italy

Another transfer has come and gone.  We got the calls on Saturday and Anziano Holbrook from the other Roma 3 elder companionship will be with me next transfer.  I am super pumped to work with him as we have been friends since the first day in the MTC.  Anziano Mercado got bumped over to Roma 6 so he will still be able to enjoy Rome for a while.  They are also bringing another companionship of sisters so we will be 12 missionaries in total (2 senior couples, 2 elder companionships, and 2 sister companionships).  Good thing is there is work to go around for us all. So to recap the week on Monday we did some touristy things.  We looked through this keyhole that gave a great view of a church lined by trees on either side.  Then we looked at this stone face thing where you're supposed to put your hand in its mouth to see if you are a liar or not based on if it smashes your hand or not.  Then we went to a family home evening in church with some investigators and members.   On Tuesday we had a few lessons and English course.  On Wednesday we had district meeting where we also ate delicious cake stuff with peaches and whipped cream.  Then we had Indian food and a lesson later.  On Thursday we planned in the morning and then went to a less-actives for lunch.  Then we went to Termini to pick up Anziano Trejo (my old mtc comp)  for a scambio.  Then we hurried back to church for correlation with the Ward mission leader and then English course.  On Friday we did service and then had a few lessons in the evening time.  On Saturday we cleaned all morning because it was a holiday and then we went to the church to watch a church film and eat together for an activity.  We brought a homemade lasagna, watermelon, and coke.  Some other people brought some Indian food. Surprisingly we eat quite a bit of Indian food here in Rome. Yesterday we went to church and then afterwards had a few more lessons.  Our investigator in the hospital is thankfully doing a lot better and she shared with us a good story that I wanted to pass on to y'all.  So there is this man who is reading the bible in a barbershop instead of the magazines.  When he begins to get his haircut the barber remarks that he doesn't believe in God because there are so many tragedies in the world. The believing man doesn't know how to respond.  When he leaves the shop he sees a beggar with long hair and a big beard.  Then he brings the beggar into the shop.  He tells the barber, "You have been a barber for 40 years and yet there are people outside walking around with long wild hair and unkempt beards.  The barber says, "I can't help them if they don't walk in and ask for a haircut." Then the believing man explains that it is the same with God.  We have to seek his help.  Anyways obviously there are times when bad things happen to good people who pray because there will always be an opposition in all things and people have to ability to choose between right and wrong but the story was pretty cool.  Have a great week.

Anziano Blazzard

Monday, August 10, 2015

Roma 3, Roma, Italy

Cari Amici e Famiglia, Another week has come and gone very quickly. Last Monday after I sent the email we went to a family's home for pizza and a lesson. We were going over the restoration again and watched the short 19 minute film. It is crazy that you can watch that film over and over again and the spirit will still bear witness of the truthfulness of its message. It has really strengthened my testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith and the restoration of the true Church of Jesus Christ on the earth in these latter days. Afterwards we went to a bus stop to wait for the bus home and were hassled a bit by some women who were working the street (we are kind of in the ghetto of Rome). I told them we weren't interested as we were missionaries and members of the church. Then I explained the restoration quickly. One continued to joke around and make fun of us but the other was touched and said she respected what we did and what we stood for. I am grateful for the mission and how it has helped me be able to respond quickly and boldly to people trying to ridicule a righteous lifestyle. The next day we had district meeting and ate some really good pizza. The guy messed up on mine and ended up giving me a bianca (without sauce) instead of a rossa (with sauce). I told him we would be fine if he gave me 50 cents for the absence of sauce. He then gave us some napkins and told me, "Here is your 50 cents." Once you give money to an Italian he won't give it back for anything. Then we had a few lessons. The next day after that we had a bunch of lessons. On Thursday we did service and then had a few other lessons and English course. On Friday we planned and made brownies for a Colombian family we would see later that night. We ate some delicious spaghetti with mussels (and hot sauce of course) and some other stuff. When we pulled out the brownies they wolfed the whole pan of them down in a matter of minutes. The father said he really liked the chewiness of them. On Saturday we had a few lessons and on Sunday we went to church and afterwards ate with all the members for Anz. Russo's b-day. Then we went to the hospital to see an investigator and give her a blessing. The situation wasn't looking too good but after the blessing and reading a few scriptures together we left the room with a lot more peace in our hearts. And that peace comes from a testimony of the plan of salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Anziano Blazzard

Monday, August 3, 2015

Roma 3 - Rome, Italy

Amici e Famiglia,

It was another really hot and humid week in Rome.  On Monday we went to a Colombian family's home for Family Home Evening.  We also ate dinner there which consisted of a rice dish with homemade spicy salsa, salsas, fruit, and lemonade.  On Tuesday we went to district meeting and afterwards went to get a kebab. Then we took the metro to Termini to do an exchange with Rome 6.  Then we went to a Philippino family's house to teach the plan of salvation.  I was very happy to receive a cup of juice with ice cubes (very rare in Italy because they think that cold drinks ti fanno male) in it when we arrived.  Then we had English course. The day after that we had a few lessons.  We were also given some homegrown habaneros which I have put in everything. I touched my eyes one night 4 hours or so after eating some (and after washing my hands because I wash my hands after eating) and I had to rush to the sink to rinse my eyes out.  On Thursday we did some service in the morning helping out an elderly lady and we were given lunch and a bunch of pears in return.  Also I accidentally touched a hot drill bit after drilling a hole in some stone.  Luckily no blister formed but I lost the fingerprint. Then we had a lesson.  The next day we planned and had a lesson.  The day after that we had a lot of lessons fall through and we also went to the hospital to visit an investigator and give another blessing.  She was very weak but was still doing her best to share the gospel with those around her. Yesterday on Sunday we went to church and then rushed home to eat something to break the fast before heading to an investigators new house to unload a few moving trucks.  I was completely soaked in sweat afterwards but we couldn't go home because we had another appointment. We were dying for some drinks too so we decided to stop at a small shop... It was one of those oxen stuck in the pit moments.  Anyways when we entered the shop a member from Nigeria recognized us as missionaries of the church and got us some cokes for free.  It was a miracle and one of the dozens of times I've followed my stomach and we've had success.  We have an appointment with him for later this week and will try to reactivate him.  Then we had another couple of lessons. Today for pday everyone wanted to go to the Vatican which you have to pay money to go into. When we got there I saw a giant line that gave me flashbacks of Disneyland so Anz. Russo and I dipped to get some food and especially good gelato.  Then we took a long nap at home.  I'm hoping and praying the heat goes away soon.
Anziano Blazzard