Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First Baptism

Samuel's Baptism Day



Hey! This week has been a little slower, maybe because of the heat, but things are still great. It was nice getting the first Zone Conference under my belt and after this week my first transfer! We received our transfer call and I will be in Palermo for another transfer with Anziano Tinoco! So that was good news and they are sending two more Anziani down here to Palermo 2 so we will have 4 Missionaries in our Zone and we are really excited to have 6 of us in the apartment! Our first Baptism was great! Everything went perfect and you can truly see the change in him. He just seems happier! I am so happy for him and I think this has given us a good opening with his family and they are slowly opening up to us and asking questions, so I'm praying that we can teach them more. That is too nice of Grandma and Grandpa to do! They really didn't have too! But that was so nice of them! I have been thinking about buying a few more socks so I don't have to wash socks every week, plus they are very cheap here so I might buy a few! Be sure to tell them thanks for me! I can't wait to write them and thank them! Thanks for the referrals as well! We really will look them up! I'm so glad to hear that you all are going down to St. George be sure to tell everyone Hi for me!  I hope you all have a blast and I will be thinking of you all! Yes down here they are supposed to have Zone leaders  together but I guess they have to have them train because our mission is very young.  Elder Texiera of the 70 told the junior companions of the Zone leaders that we are assistant Zone leaders haha I'm not sure what that means but I think he just wanted us to feel better! I will always be ok with just being a Missionary, Invite everyone to come unto Christ and don't look for anything in return for yourself. I felt a little bit in the MTC some feelings of, Why am I not a leader, but that really is far from important and you will save yourself alot of stress if you put those bad thoughts away. I'm just happy with the great label of Anziano! I will try to send off a flash drive of pictures today so I hope it gets to you soon! DAD! Thanks for writing! I hope you had a great Fathers Day! The work is great here still the only bad thing is that it is getting hotter and hotter but it just makes you feel more like a missionary when things get hard and you just push through them! Wow that is great to hear about Tayler already getting Clients calling for her! Not a huge suprise, she is an amazing hairstylist! I just hope she can always fit her family in for haircuts! And Colt is just a stud worker! I'm glad that he is working hard and saving money! And You and Mom have always been hard workers so it shouldn't be a very big suprise to you that Tay and Colt are crazy little workers haha! Wow That is great to hear about the Jazz! I really hope that these young guys build the Jazz up this year and make a killer team! Thanks for everything you have done for me and I hope that you all have an incredible time in St. George and that you have a fun time hiking and being with the family! Tell everyone that I love them and that they are always in my prayers! Love you tons!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Zone Conference Week




Cefalu

Anziano Tinnoco


Hey thanks for writing! This week has been a really great week! I got to go teach in the city of Gela with another companion because my companion is zone leader so we are always going to different cities! It was really nice in Gela, it isn't as crazy as Palermo, but beautiful! We also had zone conference this week  in Catania and Elder Texiera of the 70 came and gave us really great advice on how to find more people. So that was a great blessing. When we returned we got busy with teaching again and it was nice to be back in Palermo. Two days ago we were walking down the street to go vist a contact we had an appointment with. We knocked on the door and no one answered so we turned around and started heading down the street and we heard someone yell from across the street,"LATTER-DAY SAINTS!!" in english and we looked up and it was an African guy waving his hands in the air. So we hurried across the street to talk to him. We introduced ourselves and started to talk about our message and he told us that he knows all about our Church from Ghana and he wanted a Book of Mormon and to become a member as soon as possible! He explained that he fell and hurt himself and had a lot of time at home to think about his life and how prayer made him think of our Church. It was an incredible experience! So we were happy about that. The African man we are baptizing this Saturday is great and ready. On Monday we did family night with him and his family and we think his 12 year old daughter is ready for baptism so we are preparing our next lesson to try to lead into baptism. His sons didn't want to listen at first, who are 20 and16, but then we started to talk to them and be a friend and they started listening so things are going in a good direction with them as well. Thank you for sending the letters! They are so nice to receive and always make my day! I'm looking forward to getting it in the mail!  Unfortunatly I haven't gained any weight.. I wish I could but we just walk so much that it is hard to put on weight. We haven't played many sports, I have only played soccer once. For the most part our only excercise is walking around and any excercise we do in the morning. My favorite P-Day activity so far was when we went to Cefal├╣. It is really pretty there! WOW a new dog! That would be great! How do you like her? Does Coco get along with her? I'm glad to hear Tayler isn't going to have to wake up that early! Haha She was probably killing lots of Brain cells with how little sleep she got before. She's just a good little worker! It nice to hear everyone got together! I miss them all and hope they are all doing alright! How have the missionaries been? It is good to hear you meet with them! Miguel is playing basketball!? Thats great! Tell him good job for me and wish him the best of luck! Thanks for everything! LOVE YOU TONS!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Two More Baptismal Dates!!!

More Pictures from Cefalu





Hey! Thanks for writing! I received your letter! Thanks a ton it was really great to hear from you! I loved that story that you attached as well! It makes me want to become a better missionary. And Thank you a ton for your testimony! It is really great to have such a supportive family with strong testimonies! In the MTC one of the speakers at the devotionals called up a few of the converts who have only been members for less than 2 years. One of them was a boy and he bore his testimony about The Book of Mormon and said that he was reading The Book of Mormon to try to find flaws with it and he prayed to God and asked Him to tell him The Book of Mormon wasn't true and he said that he didn't receive the answer that he was looking for and now, a year later, he is serving a mission. Another girl talked about how her family was a very anti mormon family and always preached against The LDS Church reading alot of anti mormon literature. She read The Book of Mormon and prayed and she knew it was true and her family disowned her and said that they would never talk to her again. The last thing she heard from her mom was at the airport going from California to Utah to serve a mission and her Mom was begging her to not  do this and she went anyways because she said she could not deny the power of the Holy Ghost! That would take a lot but I know she will be blessed! So I am very grateful that I have a very supportive family! Thanks! This week has been great! We have been teaching a lot and this week we got two more Baptismal dates! One is another young man from Ghana! He is so great! Two weeks ago we bought a pizza and all four of us missionaries were extremely happy that we would be stuffing our faces with pizza in a matter of minutes, so of course we had smiles on our faces and we walked passed this African guy and I said Hi to him and he smiled and walked by. Then he yelled back to us," Are you from the LDS Church?" and we said yeah and he explained how his uncle and his friend are Stake Presidents in Ghana. We were all excited and got his information and we have been teaching him the past week and he is great! We got a Baptismal date for him on the 9th of next month and he came to Church and said that he wants to bring his friends to Church! He is awesome! Then the next day we went to teach a family of 4 that we have taught for quite awhile now and the son who is 21 accepted the Baptismal invite! He is also very great and I know he is being a great example for his family! The work is moving along down here in Sicily and I love it! The People are so Great!! I'm so happy to hear everyone is doing good! I'm glad you got to look up the prices of hotels and stuff! It is great here! The food is the best! I Love the Canoli, Gelato, Pizza, and Pasta! You will love it too! My favorite pasta has big chunks of salami and bacon in it!!! You will have to try it! Wow I'm so glad to hear the Heat lost! I hate it too how teams think they can just buy a championship DIRK Is a beast! That is so cool for Austin Lee! He is such a stud! He will do good there! I'm really happy for him! I hope that the Jazz pick up Jimmer how cool would that be! GO UTES AND GO JAZZ!  I love to hear about all of the great things happening at home! LOVE YOU ALL TONS!! THANKS!! P.S. I will try to send those pictures again, there are only two and you might have to download them from the email but I can send a flash drive home sometime soon!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Counting Pizzas, Canoli and Gelato!

My first Pizza!
American Pasta
My first Cannolo

My first Briocches- Gelato in a Roll
Hey Dad! Thanks for writing! Everything is still going great here! I'm loving it and this week we taught a lot so that was good! Believe me I'm keeping track of all the best places to eat! It's the best! You will love it!! I heard that some Anziani in the past have made a count of how many pizzas, canoli and gelato they have eaten on their mission so I'm doing that too haha! One Anziano took a belt at the end of his mission and made stamps into it for every pizza he has eaten, like it's a trophy or something! Haha pretty funny! Our Baptism is scheduled for the 25th of this month and things seem to be going good! This week we taught him about obedience and fasting and he just loved it especially fasting he already fasts and did it for three days when he was going through a hard time! He is the man! I'm so excited for him! He is great and I know the gospel will bless his life so much!  The other people we are teaching are great they are all moving in a really good direction! Some faster, some slower but they are all making an effort, so thats what is important!  That is great news! Tell Tayler Congrats for me and that I love her!  Tell the kids Congrats for surviving another year of school and that I love them and Colton that I'm proud of his hard work and that it will help prepare him for a mission and that I love him! And Thanks to You and Mom for being such a Great example to me with all your hard work and that I Love You and Love Mom a ton!!!!

Doing lots of Teaching!




A beautiful city called Cefalu




Hey! Thanks for writing! I am glad to here that everything is going good at home! This week has been very busy and we have been doing lots of teaching which is great! The weather here is perfect! I love it but it's starting to get hotter and hotter. How is the weather at home? Is it pretty hot yet? Wow I can't believe the kids are getting out of school this week! Thats Crazy! I hope they won't be to overwhelming! Im glad to here Jansen is doing good! You will have to send me his information so I can write him! I am able to communicate with my companion, it is sometimes hard to understand everything but it's coming along. He really wants to become fluent in English and I need to learn Italian so that is what is happening. He is not a convert to the church he grew up in the Church but his parents were converts when they were younger, so his family is very supportive of him! He is from Northern Italy, a city called Genova... I think. I have not heard of the Catacombs here but I will ask my companion! That sounds like a lot of fun! Today for P Day we went to a city called Cefal├╣. It is an amazing city! You have to see it! I loved it and took lots of pictures. I hope you got my pictures I sent in that email!  There is alot here that I want you guys to see so start saving up! haha  The food gets better and better every day! The people here love to see pictures of Utah and of anything American here haha its pretty funny! This week we met a Priest of this Church and he wants to hear more about our message so we get to teach him this week! I hope everything goes good with that! The members of the Church are really nice and also love to hear about what we have to share. It's great!! Love you tons and hope that everything is going well at home!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Love the City

Our Bus Station in Palermo

A Cool building near our house

You can get everything at the fresh markets on the streets

Seafood Anyone?



Hey Dad! Thanks for writing! It's good to hear from you! I am glad to hear that everything is going good! When we rode the train it was inland at the beginning and at the end it was next to the coast so we got to see a lot of cool stuff! We get around the City mainly by bus, you can get anywhere by bus here and then we just walk the rest of the way. Our apartment is kind of in the hood but it is really nice and big inside and I love it! The more I'm here the more I love the city! We are probably about 6 blocks away from the ocean I think.. We don't go over towards the ocean much so I'm not positive and the buildings are so tall that you can't always see it. Shopping is awesome here! We go all over the place and the food here is to die for good! I love it! You can buy everything fresh off the street! The one thing I don't like is how they don't have good deodorant here so I'm trying to make the good stuff last! haha Our Baptisimal Contact is doing great! He is awesome! Every lesson we teach him he just talks about how true it is! He is awesome! We have alot of progressing investigators that are moving in a great direction! The Africans here are great and humble the other day we contacted one on the street and I was explaining as much as I could to him in the little time we had and he was saying how he loves how the church sounds and he invited himself to Church! Haha it was awesome! He already knows how to act in Faith! I have everything that I need for now but thank you! Right now it is perfect weather but each day it gets hotter and hotter. It has that humid heat here. I'm sorry to hear about the car but glad to hear the great love everyone has for each other at home! It's good to here that Miguel did good in his pinewood derby too! That's awesome and sounds like a good time! Wow I can't believe Ridleys about to go to college! That's awesome! You will have to tell him congrats for me or send me their address so I can write him congrats! I can't believe Jansen and Taft are in the MTC now! It seems like I was in there yesterday! I hope they are doing good and can't wait to write them! Glad to hear that work is going good too! You're awesome and I'm always thinking of you all too! My prayers are always with you! LOVE YOU TONS!!!

Teaching English

Gratteri





 Hey Sorry I'm late to write today! It is our P-Day but we went to a city in our zone that was an hour and a half away and we taught for about two hours and then an hour and a half back so our P-Day is almost over but it was a good experience! I'm glad you got to see Palermo! It is a great city! We kind of live in the Ghetto but there are so many different parts of the city that you really start to love it all! We are still teaching a lot and I feel like our investigators are moving in a good direction! One lady that we were teaching who was ready for baptism is moving back to the U.S. so that was kind of hard but it's best because she can't find a job here and her husbands a member and they said they are contacting the missionaries right when they arrive in the States. Haha funny story! This week we had the opportunity to teach an English class! This week we were teaching numbers. It was funny hearing all of the Italian people try to make out all of the numbers and failing pretty bad! haha I think it was nice to have people see what I go through and how difficult it can be to learn a different language! Haha anyways we wrote up the number 77,777,777 and they started freaking out! Haha I don't even know what they were saying but they weren't very happy! After we taught them how you can say the word dollars to express how much something costs. An old man in the front, asked if he could say the word bucks instead of dollars! Haha it was pretty funny! Other than that it has seemed to be a pretty normal week. I think thats great that you had the missionaries over! Referrals like the Mota's are the best and what missionaires are always looking for!  Just teaching a ton and contacting! It's good to hear that Colton is making money and Taylers dating and the little ones are doing good in school! Im glad that you and dad are doing good with work! I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing good at home! I hope that everything continues to go that way! I love you all tons!   P.S. Im not sure but I might be able to write tomorrow for a little bit really quick cause we didnt have alot of time today! LOVE YOU!!!