Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Ladispoli is adorable!
I am in love with Ladispoli in every way! Its an adorable little city on the coast, about a 30 min train ride from Rome . Its a lot smaller than the other cities I have served in and a lot more calm and peaceful. All the Italians we talk to tell me that the city is "tranquillo". We live in the ideal place of the city, we can see the ocean from our balcony, it's a 3 minute walk to church, 6 minutes to the city center, 5 minutes to the ocean, 4 minutes to a bunch of parks and piazzas. Its PERFECT. The people are friendly, the weather is great, the beach is beautiful, everything is so much more peaceful than Rome . Its actually strange, sometimes we walk to certain parts of the city and it feels like we are back in the United States . There is an area with a few stores and a large open parking lot (this doesnt exist in Italy ) and some of the apartment buildings are more modern. No worries though, it is still definitely an Italian town and I love it.
The branch is big for a branch, 60 to 70 active members. They want to become a ward soon. Great, solid families, a lot like Rome 2. A lot of the members live within walking distance (what?? unheard of!) and they want to help with the work here. The ward mission leader has started a program for this year where we meet with members and give them a calendar of scriptures to read for a month and several invites along the way with the ultimate goal of bringing one person to church at the end of the month. Families are open to try it.
The apartment is huge and beautiful. We've had two other sorelle with us for the last week, one of them being Sorella Laws who was just transferred out of Ladispoli and has helped us get to know the area and the work here. She has been sick though so she and her companion stay inside all day and we wander around the city discovering where things are on our own. Its sure great to come home to dinner or brownies though and its entertaining having all four of us in one apartment. How do the four anziani apartments get anything done??
Review of the week.
Thursday: Spent time at the train station picking people up and dropping people off. Traveling back and forth from Rome to Ladispoli several times to get things there and worked out. The wheels on my big suitcase are broken so its a pain to lug around. We are only about 12 minutes away from the train station though.
Friday: Weekly planning with Sorella Laws explaining the investigators (we have a handful of them) and the less actives and the members and the city. We met Valentina, a less active member, and tried to go to visit a member but the member cancelled on us while we were on the train. We started talking to a woman and by the time we get off, we were in Tarquinia, near the border of the Milan mission. We expected that a train would come every 20-30 minutes because that is how often they come in Ladispoli but because we were past the main train stops, we had to wait two hours to get home! It was great though because we talked to a woman there and then set some transfer goals together.
Saturday: Met Carmela who has a baptismal date but she felt too pressured by the last missionaries and wants space. Had an appointment with a past investigator named Giovanni. He is great. Our lesson lasted for almost 3 hours because he talked and talked and talked and talked. All we did was get to understand his background and answer his questions. He is young and bright and wants to find the truth although stuck on some small points and we want to help him understand the importance of having a prophet to guide us. He came to church on Sunday.
Sunday: I had lost my voice entirely because I was kind of sick and it was hilarious because I really wanted to talk to everyone and introduce myself but all I could do was whisper and squeak. And then they asked us to stand up and introduce ourselves in sacrament meeting so I whispered and squeaked into the microphone! At least it was memorable! I also help members remember my name and learn how to pronounce it by turning "askew" into a fake sneeze. They think its funny and so do I. There is an American family in the branch that just moved in. The Italian woman I was sitting next to pointed to them and whispered to me "Look, 5 kids!" They arent used to that many children in Italy . We had dinner with them on Sunday. I realized how much easier it is to make friends with someone in english. What a different mission that would be, to serve among english speakers!! I am so glad I am in Italy though.
Monday:District meeting in Rome . Anziano Parry from the MTC is in our district. English course fliers and publicity. Garcia family at night
Tuesday: Finding finding finding. Correlation with the branch mission leader. The ward missionaries are Sorella Urban's cousins, haha.
We have been talking to a lot of people. We are trying to put into practice what Elder Cause taught us as a finding approach. Ice breaker, teach principle, ask question, testify, testify, invite. We use the Book of Mormon as our approach these days. It has been wonderfully fun and entertaining. We met one woman Paola who we have an appointment with next week. She walkes by the ocean every day (yes, we proselyte on the beach and it is pretty much amazing). She was perfect, asking after we talked about prophets, "How can we know that Joseph Smith really was a prophet and that Thomas Monson is a prophet today" Um, the Book of Mormon and prayer!!! She is very curious.
I love being with Sorella Tutt, we have the same background and the same vision and a very similar teaching style. We are on the same page and we are going to rock Ladispoli this transfer. We throw shoes at flies in our room, laugh about the creepy men that we accidently start conversations with, and we eat a lot of yummy pizzas which is healthy for our soul.
LOVE YOU ALL!