Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My First Area is Palermo!

The Mission home is a historic home once owned by Mussolinis daughter

Trip down to Sicily

First Italian LDS church the missionaries saw

MY FIRST AREA IS PALERMO!! The first day we were picked up and taken to one of the wards in Rome where they fed us pizza, which was pretty good! Then they took us to the mission home... It is the coolest house! It was built by Mussolini (spelled that wrong) for his daughter and was super cool! Then Sister Kelly made us an Incredible meal followed by where we would serve for our first area. I was so happy to serve in Palermo but didn't know anything about it other that I was about to serve in SICILY! Lindsay guessed right on the dot! Then we went to sleep and Me and a few other Anziani and one Sorella that are all serving in different cities in Sicily had to wake up super early to take a train to Catania which was a ten hour train ride but was awesome because we saw a lot of the country! The train got on a boat and sailed down to Sicily. Then we had a 2 hour bus ride into Palermo. When we finally got there we were pretty dead. I met my companion, Anziano Tinoco, my first trainer! He was born in Peru and moved to Italy when he was 5 so he is pretty much a native to the country. His Italian and Spanish are perfect and speaks a little bit of English which is difficult to understand but I am so Blessed! He is great! I have learned so much Italian from him and he is strong at bringing the Spirit! The first night in Palermo we went to our apartment which is pretty sweet and our trainers decided that we needed to try our first pizza in Palermo. The guy in the pizza shop was as Italian as you can get and very friendly! It was literally the best thing my mouth has ever tasted!  It was great! The next day we got to work and started to prepare for our week. We did some street contacting which was awesome, I was finally putting all the stuff from the MTC to work for real! I struggled but got the points I wanted across. Then we had our first lesson with a man from Ghana who has had two lessons and we were teaching him the third. He speaks a little bit of Italian but mostly English so we taught him in English and the Spirit was so strong! He is such a great man and he is totally one of those people who The Lord has prepared! He Committed to Baptism!!!! It was so awesome!! We came out with the biggest smiles on our faces! Haha Then we went to our second lesson with a husband who was just baptized 2 months ago and his wife hasn't been baptized yet but I'm sure she will be soon! They are incredible and both speak English so we taught them and the lesson and the Spirit was very strong! They are both great and I haven't seen too many people get as excited about this message as the husband has. He has already read like every book the church has published and already knows deep doctrine! He is great! We have been teaching a lot and all of the people from Africa have been interested in hearing about the Church and are extremely humble and will follow the commitments you give them! They are great! The people here are so nice and you can talk to anyone for hours if you wanted to. The city of Palermo is incredible and so beautiful! There are so many amazing statues and buildings! They drive so crazy here! They would put L.A. to shame! Haha its insane! When crossing the street you just have to act like your a car and walk out into the middle of the street with a prayer in your heart that you aren't going to get destroyed by a car! Haha its awesome! The food is to die for! I didn't like pasta before my mission and now It is like my favorite food! We have eaten it every day! Sometimes twice a day! Sunday we went to Church and that was great. The members are so kind and I got to bear my testimony, which was a little scary but I survived. The members cook the best food too! Here in Italy there is no such thing as a portion of food! They give you so much food! The Gelato I tried for the first time last night and also a few canoli! They are incredible!!! I love this city, the building, the craziness, the people and most of all getting to share this great message with them! Every day I know more and more that this country is the perfect mission for me!!   That is so great to hear my friends are doing good! I can't believe how we are all serving in such different places!! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Caleb Arrives in Italy

Caleb with President Thomas Kelly and his wife

Caleb arrives with his district in Rome, Italy

At the airport the missionaries all happened to run into Elder Holland (an apostle in our church).  They said he was really wonderful and took the time to talk with them all.

We finally received a call from Caleb the night before last from the London airport.  It was so great to hear his voice and to also get a sense of his excitement about finally getting to Italy.  He was really cute and even spoke some Italian for us.  Today his mission President emailed us to let us know that he arrived safely there.  They even sent pictures.  His first area he'll be serving in is called Palermo.  All of the pictures we've pulled up look beautiful.  It is the capital of Sicily and an island on the southern tip of Italy.  We know he will love it there.  We are all very happy for him!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Flight Plans are a Go!

Anziano Madsen (from Idaho, going to Milano), Anziano Bradshaw (from Florida, going to Roma), Anziano Cardinet (Caleb's mission companion from Sacramento, California, going to Roma),  Anziano Bunker (from American Fork, Utah,  going to Roma), Me Anziano Larsen and Anziano Proctor (Park City Utah, going to Roma)

Me, Anziano Larsen

My room mates Anziano Shipton (from Idaho, going to Roma) and Anziano Hansen (from Cache Valley, Utah, going to Roma)
Hey! So much has happened this week! It has been kind of crazy! I'm only 6 days away from leaving!! Crazy! We got our travel plans! We are leaving on the 8:10 AM flight from Salt Lake to Dallas/Ft Worth, TX and then we will land there at 11:50 and our next flight doesn't leave till 5:50 PM!!! Longest wait! But at least it will be a lot of time to place some Book of Mormons! From Dallas we are flying to London Heathrow, England and will land there at 8:50AM Which is going to be VERY LONG flight. We will stay there from 8:50 AM till 12:45 PM and we will be landing in Rome, Italy at 4:15 PM! So it is going to be a long trip! We have 20 Missionaries in our group flying to Rome! I cant wait! We had another Apostle this week talk to us! That makes 3! Elder Neil L. Andersen talked to us about the Atonement and it was a really powerful talk! I'm going to send pictures home probably tomorrow. This time I will send it in one of those padded envelops so it should be good. That would be awesome if you sent me Tyler Roberts information! I would really like to write him! And Thanks for telling me where Cortez and Kash are going! That's so cool for them to be going to the same place! I'm sure they will love it! Oh yeah another thing, I have another P-day on Monday (the day before we go) so I can write you then also. I'm not sure if those times are all Utah times so I'm not really sure when I will be calling home... I will call when I land in Texas as soon as I can. So I hope you will be near the phone! Oh I ran into Laura Hudson at the TRC on Monday and it was really good to see her! Ha I kinda feel bad cause I was mad about some stupid thing before that and I was mad and then I saw her and I was surprised so my mind was kind of in another world and I felt bad I didn't talk to her more! So I hope you tell her sorry! But it was really nice to talk to her! I was hoping that we could have taught her but I think she had to go, so its alright. I haven't talked to this Christian yet. I was hoping he would have stopped by but he hasn't. I hope that he does before I leave Tuesday morning!  Oh and about contacts if you haven't picked  them up that's fine cause I wont use them all. So you can get like a year or less supply cause I still have like half a box here and I hardly change them so you don't have to worry about that. I will also be sending another letter later today! But I have to go!  Love you tons! And thanks for writing!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Getting Ready for Italy

Elder Mongelli and me.  He is from Italy so we always talk to him in Italian.  He is such a nice Elder.  His Dad is a Stake President in Southern Italy.  He will be serving a mission in Washington.
Elder Dehlin and I have known each other since we were 5.  He will be serving in the California San Diego Mission

Our District with the Italian missionaries: Elder Mongelli and Sister Lui ( bottom left) she will be serving in the Temple Square Mission.

Me with both of the Italian missionaries
Hey! This week has been different from any other week. A lot of things have happened and I will share some things in the letter I send home later today. This new schedule makes days go by a lot slower but at least we have a lot more time to study. I just saw Connor Dehlin before I came to email and gave him a hug. It was really nice to see someone that I know. I only have one more Wednesday here our travel plans are supposed to come in tomorrow! We are all excited for that!  I started buying English copies of the Book of Mormon to see how many I can place in the the Airport we will be in. I hope someone else in my district will do this with me. I will get to call home on the 17th! Since we can't call on mothers day at the MTC we will get to call then so I will let you know next P-day what time I will most likely call home! So that's good news! This week in the TRC we taught a lady and everything was going really good and then she got sick or something and just ran out of the class, so we only taught like a 15 minute lesson. I feel pretty prepared to teach in Italian now and I'm not to worried about teaching In Italy but I'm sure when I get out there everything will change! We only have to learn the past remote tense and then we will know how to do it all! Our teachers keep saying how far our class is ahead right now and how even though we get stressed about the language we have nothing to worry about because we are already understanding things he didn't understand until he was in Italy for 3 months. I hope that he isn't just making that up and we are doing good. This week we heard news about how the youth in Italy are really going through a hard time right now. I cannot wait to get out there and meet them and try to lift there spirits! We have three Missionaries that are from Italy that have classes downstairs from us and they are the nicest, happiest Missionaries in the whole MTC! It is pretty cool that we can talk to them and they understand us! Umm.. that's about all that has happened that is worth talking about haha. I have more to share in my letter that I will get off today! Oh yeah I was wondering if you got the American Express activated?. Thanks for writing! I love to hear from you! Love you tons! Hope you have an Amazing Mothers day and that I will be thinking about you, and how Incredibly Great you are! LOVE YOU TONS MOM! TI AMO!!