I am tired this week! Phew! And we don't ever seem to have time for naps on Pday because we are busy seeing the beautiful sites of Italy.
Wednesday: Pday, we saw the Cervetori Etruscan Necropolis and saw lots of really old tombs. They were pretty sweet, it was in this little valley/ravine type thing and there were mound hills of dirt with tombs you could walk in. It was in the middle of the countryside so no one was there so we ran around with the Rome 2 sorelle and took pictures. My guidebook describes it as like a background scene from an Indiana Jones action sequence. My favorite part may have been finding a dog and her puppies using one of the tombs as a den, haha.
Thursday: finding and dinner with a less active family. We want to work with the teenagers and help them gain testimonies again! The mom talks a TON
Friday: One year anniversary from when Sorelle Tutt and I received our mission calls! We celebrated our anniversary by "bar hopping";that is, running around from bar to bar (bars are not the same thing here in Italy as in America) trying to find our favorite type of Magnum ice cream bar. We succeeded. We did some finding in Santa Marinella, another city on the coast, and had a family home evening with a member and her nonmember husband, Arcangelo. He has been an investigator of the sorelle for years and loves the missionaries and is always willing to listen but not making much progress. We probably won't be working with him very much then.
Saturday: AWESOME. We decided to plan a party for Carnival for the ward members to invite their friends and for us to invite our English course students! We don't know anything about the holiday, so we aren't quite sure what to do for it, but we've pretty much just delegated out activities and food and music to people in the ward. We asked our branch president what the best way to encourage members to bring friends would be and he answered "with a pistol. Or a baseball bat. It worked for the Crusaders!" Haha, so we are left to our own inspiration on that one!
For our entire time in Ladispoli, I have had this goal to meet Franco Gentili. His name was written on the intercom (citofono) outside a palazzo and we rang it our first week here. He said that he couldn't see us right then but we could try some other time. We get that excuse A LOT when we are doing casa (knocking on doors), but for some reason I made it a goal to get him to let us in. So every week we have gone back faithfully to his intercom and tried again, always with a different excuse. Finally, we brought some panettone (a sweet bread) and told him that we brought him a treat (haha, totally random) and he let us in! Turned out he was this really really sweet old man who has talked to the missionaries before and was really kind but kind of confused on why we were bringing him panettone. Goal accomplished!
We tried to do some finding on a train but got stuck in Civitavecchia and it was almost time to go home. We were exhausted but decided to go out into the city for the 40 minutes we had to wait for a train and talk to people on the streets. The first people we stopped actually stopped and talked to us!! They were an adorable couple named Silvano and Cinzia and we talked for about 20 minutes. He shared some of his beliefs, that he was Christian but not super convinced of the Catholic Church, but at the same time wasn't bitter and didn't want to talk to us only to vent his frustrations. He worshiped Christ but didn't think we should worship saints and the Madonna (that's a rare belief among the Catholics here!) He said he read and believed the evangelists but thought that the post-evangelists were more led by the ideas and mistakes of men and so things kind of fell apart afterward. I was freaking out while he was talking, I was so excited! He was talking about the apostasy, he already had a testimony of it!!! We talked about the restoration and modern day prophets and the book of Mormon and we let him "borrow" one with the promise to read some of it and call us when he was done. It was special to me because a few weeks ago I made a special Book of Mormon with my testimony and highlighted parts with tabs and my thoughts and I have been searching for someone to "lend" this Book of Mormon too. I have been carrying it around and asking lots of people but no one would take it. I found him and he was exactly who I was looking for! Someone open and curious and smart and humble all at the same time! He accepted it with the challenge to read the highlighted parts and call us when he was done, and when we bore our testimonies at the end, he said, "Wow, I would like to have a testimony like that" We are praying hard for him.
Monday: Bracciano. Little town on a lake. Castle in the middle of town, the cutest most Italian town center I have ever seen. Amazing place. We did finding there. Some woman asked us if we wanted to come see her apartment she was reconstructing and she showed us around. It was literally right next to the castle and she told us that it used to be apart of the castle. Hahahaha, so cool. Same castle where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were married, randomly. I am in love with the town. We did finding in the area.
Giovanni is still progressing. We meet with him once a week. We are making progress with some other potential investigators. It comes slowly here but its coming!
I still love Ladispoli!