Monday, September 4, 2017

Napoli Transfer 10 Week 6

Is it really Week six already! Transfer calls are tonight! I think Anziano Jensen and I are going to stay another 6 weeks together! But no one knows! We'll see how it goes! 

This week we had some ups and downs but it was definitely a successful week! Monday night we had... well I don't remember what we did. I'm sure it was good haha 

Tuesday morning we had a skype Meeting with the Mission Leadership Council and it went pretty well. We each collected goals from the different Zones for how many baptisms and new Investigators we want to have in this next. The information we pulled in came out to like 40 baptisms and 425 new investigators... we decided we needed to keep it realistic and so we decided on 20 baptisms and 350 new Investigators for the month of September and I know we can do it! 

We went to Sam's for lunch and correlation after and ate some amazing Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 food which was sooo good as always! Beans and rice and chicken... I know my Mom will be surprised because I hate beans but it has become one of my favorite meals! We had a correlation Meeting and then we went to help Sam... so Sam has a bird named Sunny and he doesn't fly except for when he's scared and he got scared the other day and ended up stuck in a tree... I know, a bird that doesn't fly... it was really sad though because he's like a kid for Sam. We tried to get him to come down forever but to no avail. Sam called later and said they got him to jump.  

We met up with Frank at the train station to bring him to the drum circle and it was so good! Frank is an African contact that we met the other day, turns out he's 16. He's the youngest refugee I've met. He's here with no family and he's had a rough go. He explained that he just wants parents, someone to tell him what to do, where to go... more than anything he's just bored in the camp. He doesn't have much to do so he plays soccer a lot. He had a really good time at the drum circle, he had a smile a mile wide which was really good to see. We offered him a Book of Mormon after Italian class and asked to set up an appointment with him. He pulled out this tattered Bible and said "This is my power" you could tell he reads it all the time and he brings it literally everywhere with him. 

Wednesday morning we got to go see Marco and have a super focused lesson with him. We taught him a really good Restoration lesson and we invited him to baptism on October 8th. He said "Can we make it the 5th? It's my birthday!" So we said of course! The spirit was so strong and I've already seen changes in his countenance. 

In the afternoon we met with an African investigator named Trust, we haven't seen him in almost three weeks because he was out of town and so we were planning on doing a repass over the Restoration. We followed-up on him reading from the Book of Mormon and he said "Well the Book of Mormon is divided into 4 parts..." and continued to explain the difference between the small and large plates regarding spiritual matters and genealogy and then continued to explain who Mormon and Moroni are complete with the burial of the plates and the need for a Restoration and Joseph Smith being led to the plates. Well... he remembered everything! So we taught him the Plan of Salvation and he asked so many good questions! He was listening so well and understanding which is great because a lot of Africans just accept what we say without understanding it. When they ask questions you can tell they are thinking. We invited him to be baptized on the 30th of September! "Why wouldn't I be baptized if I find out it's true!?!?" 

We then went to the Granata's house for a Family Home Evening. They're a part Member couple with a son I think that's coming up on a year old. Francesca is the member and her husband Salvatore is not. Usually he's pretty closed off but we've been working the last couple of weeks to become friends with him and it worked. Francesca went in to the other room and so we had a good chance for him to talk openly about how he felt with the Church and he expressed some of his difficulties. He wants to read the Bible or at least part of it first so we are reading it together with him. This is big progress for him! I hope to one day see him in white! 

Thursday was DDM as usual, we had a great meeting and then got Pellone afterwards... it's been closed for three weeks so it was nice to get a good pellone pizza again! 

Before English Course we were able to meet with Frank. We had Peter come with us and it went really well. He is very attached to the Bible and we helped him to understand that they compliment one another. They work together to testify of Jesus Christ. It went really well and he was supposed to come to Church yesterday but he didn't make it... next time! 

After we went to Sister Mena's house, she had made us Panzeit which are Philippine noodles and they're so good!! She made a huge amount too so we were stuffed. She gave us some to take home and so we ran back to the Church for English Course. Afterwards we got to talk to Nicoletta and we talked about coming to Church, how she didn't want us to think that if she came to Church she was getting baptized. She still wanted to feel free. I explained to her that we wouldn't and couldn't push her to get baptized. It's not out purpose and she said "Well then I think I'll come every week!" 

Friday we had another lesson with Marco, we brought the Hydes with us because we thought Anziano Hyde and Marco would get along really well. Turns out we were right! We had asked Marco about his Mom the last time we were there and he hadn't really told her that he was meeting with us and so when we got there he said his Mom was there and wanted to talk to us. We had a really great lesson on the Plan of Salvation with him. He asked a lot of questions and really got along well with Anziano Hyde. Afterwards Marco's mom came in and told us she didn't feel like Marco was ready for this, that it was too much of a commitment. She at first was pretty firm and we began to testify to her of the difference she would see in her son and how ready he is for the Gospel. She began to soften and she told Marco "Just take it slow, read from the Book of Mormon 10 minutes a day and pray to know if it's true" that's literally our invite! I don't think she understood but she was reinforcing the things we had taught him! We left it at he would call us and we would take things slow but his Mom started to tear up at the end and I think the spirit won her over! 

After lunch I started an exchange with Anziano Ruiz our District Leader here in Napoli. We had no appointments and we had heard about this park on the outskirts of Napoli. So we decided to go find it. It took us more than an hour to get there but Mamma Mia it was beautiful and just overflowing with families and young adults. We taught the Restoration a handful of times and had to catch a bus back. We will definitely be going back. Anziano Ruiz is a stud, he's a Transfer behind me, we actually met in the MTC because we over lapped for a week. He's from Washington State, he's a track star and a super good missionary. He's going to Utah State after the mission so I hope to see him there! 

Saturday it rained! It was so nice! It hasn't rained in the almost three months I've been in Napoli! We made about a million phone calls and then went and played in the rain. We came back and made lunch for everyone to finish up the exchange. Anziano Ruiz made a Ragù and I made brownies for the baptism and tried to make the homemade bread I would make with Angela in college but I need to do more language study to find fast rising yeast... I made rocks... haha they tasted good but it was really dense! We then packed everyone up and headed to Pozzuoli to use their baptismal font because there isn't one here in our Church and with the rain we couldn't go to the beach! It was a beautiful baptism! His name is Austin! I got to spend some time with Anziano DeFeo again which was great! 

Sunday was great! People are coming back from vacation! The Chapel was almost filled and the fasting testimony Meeting was great! Nicoletta came to Church! She originally was just going to come for the first hour. She decided to stay for Sunday School and she participated and really enjoyed it and then I asked if she wanted to stay for the third hour and she just walked into the Chapel and sat down and said "I think I'm going to come next week too! I really like this!" The spirit is working in her! 

We came home and I made a roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and corn and we did weekly planning because it's been so busy we just haven't had a chance! Sister Mena called us and said come over I have stuff for you! She gave us some spring rolls and lasagna that were both really good! We met her non-member son as well! 

Today we are staying in Napoli, we are going to the Napoli Underground tours and getting a pizza... should be pretty chill! The work here in Napoli is growing so fast, the people are ready and we're seeing miracles! I have been studying the New Testament and I read this verse the other day in Matthew 4:4 "...Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." And it made me think of the importance of the scriptures and prayer. So I wanted to invite all of you whether you are Catholic, Buddhist, Protestant or Mormon, feast on the Words of God and you will find comfort! I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Monday, August 28, 2017

Napoli Transfer 10 Week 5

Baptismal Interviews, baptisms, and exchanges!

Probably one of the best weeks of my mission even though I say that almost every week! 

Monday night we had Anziano Morlock with us because he was here getting his VISA and so we were in a trip and decided to go out white Boarding. It was a lot of fun and we covered a lot of ground and ran out of pass along Cards! 

Tuesday we had to get up way early to get him ready to go to the airport but thankfully the Senior Couple came and picked him up! I went back to bed... then we had an awesome lesson with Marco. He's the one I talked about last week. He had us over ti his house and we taught him a little about the Restoration and he asked a lot of questions. We ended up talking about forgiveness and we showed him a video about it on Gospel Library. He then said "Can i show you a video about what I think forgiveness is" and he pulled up American Sniper where the sniper just blows the other guys head off from more than a mile away... not quite what I would call forgiveness but we'll get there! When we left he said "God doesn't talk to me when I'm alone but when I'm with you guys I feel like he's talking to me" it was a great thing to hear! We hope to help him feel it on his own soon! 

Wednesday we ended up having District Meeting in the morning which went really well. We met with Nicola and Antonella... they're a less-active Couple and we had a great lesson with them talking about their goals and plans to help them achieve them. Anziano Jensen was in the bathroom when we first got there so I had them wait in the room at the Church and we went in they had written on the white board "We love you Elders, you are angels in God's hands" it was really nice. I would love to see them married in the Italy Rome Temple!

Thursday we had correlation and then I got to go on an exchange with Anziano DeFeo in Pozzuoli! I was excited all week about it! We had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it. He goes home in 7 weeks! We have served a couple times together in the mission and he's a good friend. He is Canadian eh? 

Friday we finished the exchange, grabbed a pizza and hitched a ride back to Napoli with the Senior Couple. I got my companion back and we went and taught a new Convert with the Hyde's. It was a great lesson and I got to share some personal experiences about preparing to go to the temple and I think it really helped her. 

We hopped the next train to Castellammare to do another baptismal interview and it went great! She will be baptized on Saturday!

Saturday night Napoli B had a baptism and it was great! I'll try to send a photo if it will work! 

Sunday of course was wonderful, we had two investigators in Church and a great Sacrament Meeting. Some of my favorite members spoke and it was really nice. I got to go to the African class and their testimonies are so strong so I really enjoyed it! 

Afterwards we went over to our Branch Mission Leader's house, he and his wife are American and so they made us these really good Teriyaki pineapple burgers  and French fries. I was happy :) We were able to share a thought with them and I think it was really good. His wife is not a member but I think she felt the spirit. 

Today we just hung around Napoli, I bought 6 new ties which is big for me, I think I've bought 1 since I've been in Italy... had some pizza (world famous of course) and got some Italian ice which is called "Granita" 

This is probably the shortest email I've written in 6 months, hopefully you made it to the end! I love you and alll and I hope you have a great week! 

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Monday, August 21, 2017

Napoli! Transfer 10 Week 4

Zone Conference, Lessons with President and great Spiritual confirmations. 

This week FLEW. It was a great one but it definitely could have slowed down and I would not have been upset! 

On Monday night we met Monday! We were supposed to have a Family Home Evening with the Granata Family again but they cancelled on us. We set up an appointment to meet a potential who didn't show up. So we were walking through the train station and I started talking to this man named Monday... Africans have some of the most interesting names ever... Monday is amazing bough, he's so humble and ready for the Gospel. We started to talk to him and asked him if he wanted to come and see our Church. He said "Im a refugee, I live in a camp, the only thing I do is eat and sleep, of course I want to see your Church!" So we brought him to the Church and the look on his face when he walked in you could tell he felt the spirit. We sat down with him and had the Hyde Couple come in with us. We were able to teach him the Restoration and he stopped us and with tears in his eyes he began to tell us that he's been praying and searching for a church like ours. He then continued to tell us that he's crossed from Libya 4 times and each time almost everyone on the boat coming over died but he has made it each time. He understands that God is aware of him and loves him. At the end we had invited him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and he just out of no where said "can we kneel?" And then said "Sister Hyde will you pray for us?" It was like he had been a member his whole life... crazy! Then he asked if he could bring his friends when he comes to church on Sunday... uhhh yeah! 

Tuesday was just as good, it was Ferragosto which is like sacred for the Italians. There is not a store run by an Italian open, if the Africans and Pakistani don't sell it you can't buy it on Ferragosto... so for us missionaries it means we get to clean the apartment all day! We spent most of the morning cleaning and then at 10 we had to go to Sam's house for correlation and lunch. It was great as usual and then came home, cleaned a good amount and then went to the Church. We had a lesson planned that didn't show up but we had some Africans show up for Italian class and two Italians for English class! I was surprised for sure! We were starting to worry because we hadn't seen a pizzeria open all week and we had to order 30 pizzas for Zone Conference... Mario told us he had seen one open so we sent the other Elders to go check it out and we went to go meet President at the hotel and pick up the Assistants. It was so great to see President again, he was gone for almost a month. I missed him for sure! Sister Pickerd had her surgery and her first round of Chemo and will do one more round of chemo before coming back to Rome where she will do the other four rounds. She should be here mid September. 

Wednesday we had interviews set up with President starting at 8:30 every 15 minutes until 2:30 and then two hour long baptismal interviews for refugees so he was a busy man! We had ours first, practiced our training for Thursday and practiced the musical numbers for Zone Conference. We found that pizzeria and ordered the pizza , got some watermelon and everything else for the Conference and then I got to do a little mini exchange with Anziano Draghi  and President. There is a family here, the Mom has been a member since she was 8, they have two kids that are active members and then the Dad is not a member. He kind of reminds me of Brother Stephan... President has met them a few times and really took an interest in their family. So I set up an appointment to meet with them and it went really well. (Except for we got lost getting there... oops). It was about 8:45 and the Mom said "By the way, what time do you have to be home, I made dinner." (We're supposed to be home by 9) President says "Well I'm in charge, we'll eat dinner." It was great and a really good opportunity to get to know President a little better. He's a great teacher and so I enjoy working with him as well as Anziano Draghi. 

Thursday was Zone Conference! Up early and over at the Church to get the last minute details set. We had great musical numbers from the missionaries in the Zone and great trainings from the Assistants and President Pickerd. We talked about cascades and how when we change one thing it can cascade into other things. Kind of like a ripple effect. The Assistants trained on finding, how we can plan our finding and make it a better more effective experience. Giuseppe and Joele that just got their mission calls came and so I got to translate a good part of the morning. #Exhausting Americans speak real fast... and use a lot of words. 

We ate lunch  and the pizzas weren't too bad and watermelon  was a big hit! We sat back down and Anziano Jensen and I along with Sister Crandell shared our training on applying Christlike Attributes with the Baptismal interview questions as we help our Investigators become like Christ. I think it went really well and there was so much participation that we went a few minutes over time...  oops! A quick meeting with trainers and trainees and that was the Conference! Lots of clean up and then straight to English Course! 

Anziano Friedman had ordered some buffalo mozzarella and ricotta cheese and he left it in the fridge at the Church which is like 15€ worth of cheese ... thanks Anziano Friedman! We grabbed some fresh bread on the way home and demolished half of it ;) Side note: Anziano Friedman goes home on Tuesday :( I'll miss him for sure! 

Friday was finally a minute to breathe! I was so excited to have the full time to study in the morning and just enjoy getting into the scriptures. It's really cool how you notice the difference when you haven't been able to study as much as you would like. We had our studies and then did weekly planning and the Hydes came over to fix a few things in our apartment and then we headed to the Church for a lesson with Monday. We had Peter come with us, he's the one who served a mission in Nigeria and now he's a refugee. He's a stud. He had 94 baptisms on his mission so he definitely knows how to teach Africans. He came with us and we had a great lesson with Monday and set him with a baptismal date for September 9th! He asked us again if he could bring friends to church! 

 We went to this park afterwards and we found these three YSA aged kids (20's) and we taught them the whole Restoration and they were super interested! I love when we tell people that there's a living prophet on the Earth today and they're just like "I didn't know that" it makes me so happy to be a missionary, share the good news that we have a Prophet just like Christ's original Church. We have an appointment with them on Tuesday! 

Saturday we got to go down to Castellammare to do a baptismal interview for a man named Alessandro. It was great, he's super prepared! We spent the morning traveling, doing the interview, and eating lunch with them and then coming back. Afterwards we were supposed to have a lesson but we got cancelled on and so we just met with Richard who is a new convert and was going to help us with the lesson. When Monday couldn't come Richard just said "That's ok, I have some questions. Let's pray and you can help me." He's so cool, and he had some great questions about celestial marriage, patriarchal blessings and some scriptural words. I definitely learned as we studied together.  

Sunday was great! All of the talks were given by missionaries, Anziano Andersen and then the Senior Couple all gave talks today. They did a great job and Sister Hyde even had her talk printed in English for me so I didn't have to translate or look up all the scriptures! Monday came to Church and really enjoyed it! We ended up going white Boarding in the evening and had a great time. We stopped this kid named Marco, he was sweet. His Dad is American but his Mom is Italian and he grew up here. He has a pretty big desire for the Gospel and so we are going to start teaching him on Tuesday! It was a great week for sure! 

Today we are going to "La Reggia" which is a palace in Caserta with these gardens that are like 2 miles long. We're going to rent bikes and go through it. It should be fun! I'll try to send pictures if it will work! 

I hope you all have had a great week! I love you and I know that Heavenly Father loves you all as well! 

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Monday, August 14, 2017

Napoli! Transfer 10 Week 3!

Everyone is on vacation but we're still busy!

This week has been great as usual! Literally everyone is on vacation so it's been hard to try and see people but it's given us more time to meet with our African Investigators which has been really good. The month of August is a holiday... pretty much the whole thing. Everyone that we talk to still says "Yeah in September you guys will still be here?" Which is kind of frustrating but I'm hoping that means we'll be super busy come September! 

Monday night we had a great Family Home Evening with the Granata family, we invited them to read "The Family: A proclamation to the World" and we are going to talk about it with them tonight! The proclamation is really cool, it basically explains our beliefs about the family and how it is ordained of God. It talks about our responsibilities as husbands, wives, parents, and children. If I can get a link to it I'll add it in here ;)

Tuesday was interesting, we were getting ready to plan for the day and I got a feeling that we needed to attend the Caserta/Pozzuoli District Meeting. I kind of ignored it because I knew it would take our whole morning and we wouldn't be able to get out and do much finding or talking to people on the streets, however Heavenly Father knows I'm thick some times so I had the same feeling again. I told my companion and I called the District Leader to let him know we would be coming. It was a great District Meeting for two reasons. It was really spiritual, the spirit was so strong and it was great to see everyone in the District become united as they felt it. The second was that we were able to share some great experiences from last August and help their District be excited for the work even though it seems difficult in August. Listen to promptings! You don't always get them twice ;) we ate pizza with them and then in the afternoon we met with Trust! He is such a stud, we taught him the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. Our whole District is out of English BOM so we found this pocket sized one to give to him but he loved it and he's been reading it all week! At the end he said the most sincere prayer to know if the Book of Mormon is true that I've ever heard. It was really great. 

That night one of our contacts came to English Course. He and his wife just adopted two kids from Russia, one is 10 and the other 14 and they don't speak Italian or English so their world is kind of turned upside down. He brought them with him to English Course and the younger kid wouldn't even look at us or anyone else. He sat in the hallway and about halfway through the lesson I went and sat next to him on the floor and got out Google Translate on my iPad and started asking him questions. I tried to pronounce the Russian but that was useless... I found out how old he is, his name and that he thinks pizza is gross... he's a cool kid! 

Wednesday we had correlation and I made Tiramisu to bring with Sam. All went well and we ended up getting pizza... again. 

Wednesday night was a good night of finding, we talked to a lot of people and this guy came up to us and he knew the Elders in the past and so we sat down on a bench and tried to teach him. He then asked us to tell our parents that we invited him to come and live with him and that he would join the Church in America and become a part of our "Community." He was crazy. We left. 

Thursday was our own District Meeting! Anziano Ruiz did a great job, we actually had a presentation from the Senior Couple about how to utilize them in our work and keep them busy. It was really helpful and I learned a lot. Afterwards we decided to go to the world famous pizzeria "Pizzeria da Michele" and for a Thursday at lunch time there was a LOT of people out there, just a swarm. Anziano Jensen took a number and we waited and we waited and we waited the whole time talking to people and then this group of Mormon tourists came up and talked to us and they offered to buy our pizza! They were super nice, eventually I went in and asked and found out he had taken the wrong ticket so we were waiting for a table when we really just wanted to take out pizzas... went to the front of the line and had pizzas pretty quick! They were SO GOOD! I thought Pellone was good but this was Heavenly... and it was free... 

Friday morning we Skyped into Rome for Mission Leadership Conference which was great, it was good to have President Pickerd back! We got an update on Sorella Pickerd as well, she had her surgery and has started chemo therapy. We hope to have her back with us in September if all goes well. 

After that we started our exchange with he Caserta Anziani and I got to head to Caserta and work with Anziano Sacco for the day. He's from Toole county in Utah and he's finishing up being trained by Anziano Daniels who is in Anziano Allen's group. We had a good afternoon, we had to open the Church for a family to come and clean and then they took us to grab a sandwich and gave us a bunch of American food which is always a plus, you can never get enough peanut butter and Doritos and Dr. Pepper!

We did some finding in the morning and then came back to Napoli to meet up with everyone and grab another pizza from da Michele and then planned Zone Conference with the Sister Training Leader Sister Crandell and then we met with our new Investigator Newman. He is super cool and we're hoping to set him with a baptismal date this next week! 

Sunday is always good! There weren't a lot of people that came to Church because everyone is on vacation but by the end of the meeting we were up in the 40's... Ecomano came to Church! I'm not sure if that's his first name or last name but he's from the Ivory Coast so he speaks French and Italian. We obviously teach him in Italian because French might as well be Chinese for me... (It's actually interesting I can understand so much French after learning Italian) but we had Joele come with us and she read the first vision to him in French which will be her mission language in just a few weeks! It was great and we were able to give him a baptismal date for the 9th of September. 

We met at the Church to see the tour bus that was taking all the youth to Switzerland to go to the temple! I love seeing all the youth in the Church. They are the future leaders and missionaries here in Italy and it makes me happy to see them going to the temple. 

We went white Boarding with the Anziani and called it a night! 

Today we went to Mt. Vesuvius! It was so cool! These last few days have been super nice as far as weather, it's been mid to high 80's instead of high 90's to 100's and so the hike was beautiful. I took quite a few pictures and we had a great time! It's good to play tourist every once in a while. I bought some souvenirs as well I think for the first time in my mission. Anyway we had a great time! Hope y'all have a great week!! 

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Napoli! Transfer 10 Week 2

Mormons! Like the Book of! 

Last Monday when we were on the American base we were getting ready to leave and someone asked "Who are you?" Anziano Lamoureux said "We're American" they looked at him kind of funny and said "We're all American, you're on an American Military base! It was kind of funny... then we told them who we are and his response was "Mormons! Like the Book of!" Yeah, like the Book of! Haha anyway...

This week was really good! We had a lot of success, it's been kind of a dry spell for our work here but this week was full of miracles, all in all we ended up setting a baptismal date with one of our investigators, having two of them in Church and 5 new investigators! It was a great week! 

On Monday night someone decided it would be a good idea to walk down the Metro tracks and so they shut down the Metro and we weren't able to make it to our Home Evening with a less-active family so that was a bummer but we still got to do some quality finding and help a New Convert make an LDS account.  

Tuesday we had correlation and I got a quick haircut before we headed to Sam's house. He has a lady that comes like once a week to clean and stuff and she is from the Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 and she is a cook let me tell ya. She made this beans and rice dish that was so good! If you know me you know I hate beans but these were so good! We had a great correlation and then took some pictures outside because it's so beautiful out there. 

Wednesday morning we did some finding and talked to this guy named Genni and invited him to Church. He said "If I'm among the living I'll be there" he didn't come though so im slightly worried... haha 

In the afternoon we helped Sam do his Home Teaching, he's assigned to this Italian couple so we have to translate his lesson. It went well, they're less active and said they would come on Sunday but apparently they weren't able to make it yesterday. 

Then after that we had a lesson with Mario, Nicoletta, and Fabiola... we all got pizza together and then we decided to sit down and have a group lesson. They're all kind of in different spots but they all kind of needed the same thing. Well it turned out not as well as we had hoped but we gave them all a challenge with a promise. We gave them 4 specific chapters to read over the next four days, an invite to pray Morning snd night each day and to fast with us on Saturday-Sunday and come to Church. They all accepted! We promised them that they would receive an answer as to whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. 

Thursday we had District Meeting in the morning and it went really well. Anziano Ruiz is our District Leader now and he's doing a great job, this is his first Transfer as a DL. We got some pizza after and then in the afternoon we saw Mario again. We invited Nicoletta to come to the lesson as well. So the lesson with Mario went well, we talked about the apostasy and explained the break in Authority from Peter onward and he didn't quite understand it but Nicoletta came as well. She sat on the other side of the room and just listened as we testified of the things we know are true. We had English Course afterwards and then after that she came up to me and started speaking in Italian which she never does. She said that she really enjoyed seeing us teach Mario, she said it was really cool to see us teach someone else. Her words "You both have a spiritual power, a certainty and I want to feel that too." She's ready to be taught! She has been taught in the past but always said "I just want to learn for cultural reasons" after this she started asking all sorts of questions and explaining the confusion in her mind and Anziano Jensen and I were stoked! 

Friday was Anziano Lamoureux's birthday, little guy turned 19! So Anziano Andersen took him running and we surprised him with pancakes hot and ready when they got back. After we weekly planned and then for lunch we headed to this Chinese Buffet which was soooo good for lunch. We then started an exchange with the Castellammare Elders and I got to head to heir city with Anziano Drenk! Anziano Drenk is a stud, he is from Upland California and has been in the mission about 9 months I think... we had a lot of fun! We went and played soccer with this kid and taught him some English. He's a cool kid, he asked me if I would be there next time but I had to tell him no :( 

We spent the whole morning in Castellammare doing finding, it was about 100 degrees with literally no exaggeration almost 70% humidity. It was so much fun. Haha we really did have some good conversations and we took a minute to get a gelato and cool off. While I was gone Anziano Jensen who was working with Anziano Haws met with our Investigator Kelly and set him with a baptismal date! He is on track for September 2nd! They also went and met with a guy that called and asked us to come over. He neglected to tell them until they got there that he is under house arrest and can't accept visitors or make/receive phone calls. We won't be going back again... 

Saturday night we had 8 people that told us they were coming to Church and Sunday morning we ended up with two so it's not too bad! Haha We actually had an incredible fasting testimony Meeting. We had two African members bare incredible testimony and I had the opportunity to translate for them but the spirit was so strong. Then we have a member here from Albania and another one who is from Albania and served a mission in London and she speaks Italian so she translated his testimony into Italian. It was a worldwide fasting testimony meeting not to mention the American Missionaries and the three soon to be missionaries that bore their testimonies. The spirit was great and I think our investigators really felt the spirit. 

Afterwards we taught a lesson to the Albanian guy using the returned missionary as a translator. It was interesting, he's just here for work and will be going back but he misses the missionaries and asked if we could meet with him. 

Miracles happened last night, we taught the Restoration twice and ended up with two new investigators! Napoli is exploding and our Zone is taking off, we had 17 new investigators in just our District this week which is really impressive with literally everyone in vacation for the month of August! It's going to be a good week! We're at the big American base today bowling with some of the Americans that go to the Caserta Ward. Hope you all have a great week! 


Anziani Jacob Bellucci

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Napoli! Transfer 10 Week 1!

I'm staying in Napoli for at least six more weeks! Im super excited to be staying, and my new companion is Anziano Jensen! 

So on Monday we did Zone Soccer and then emailed and everything, before P-Day ended we came home and showered and went back to the Church for Home Evening with our African friends. We didn't do a very good job of announcing it because just Richard came but it was so fun! We played Minute to win it games and it was a blast. We ate ice cream and then called it a night! 

We got our Transfer calls a little bit after we got home and we found out that Anziano Perfili was transferred to Catania! So he's headed back down to Sicily! So I am staying here in Napoli for at least another six weeks! My new companion is Anziano Jensen! I don't know if you remember him but I was his Zone Leader back in Bari and he was in Lecce. I got to do an exchange with him my firstTransfer there and he's a super hard worker so I'm excited for this Transfer! 

Tuesday morning was mostly packing and laundry for Anziano Perfili while I cleaned the house. We went and visited some people so he could say goodbye and then we met the other missionaries at the Church to say goodbye to some of them and then we were invited to lunch by an English Course Student named Mario! He invited us and the Napoli C Elders, we went over to his house and he hooked us up so well! We ate so much food! He started with classes mozzarella di bufala which is mazzarella made with buffalo milk... so good. And then baked gnocchi in a red sauce... gnocchi are potato pasta and they are so filling and heavy, he bought two and a half kilos and we were all so full! Sausage and roasted veggies for round three, followed by watermelon and then of course gelato. I wanted to die afterwards. Mario is the best, he has known missionaries for the better part of 20 years, the Church used to be underneath his apartment. He knows all of the doctrine, comes to Church almost every week and all the members know him. He explains our doctrine to English Course Students and even in Sunday School he participates and contributes... he's just not willing to be baptized yet... in his own time! Anyway it was a great lunch with him and then we came back, did language study and did some finding before English Course. We had quite a few people come to English Course, being the summer there really aren't a lot of people around so I was happy with the amount that came. Fabiola came too so it was good to see her! 

So Anziano Pesci got transferred to the promised land of Cagliari... so lucky! So he as well as two other Elders were flying to Sardegna from Rome so they left Wednesday to head up to Rome so they could make their flight on Thursday. Anziano Fryer and I made Tiramisu for District Meeting on Wednesday morning and we also made spring rolls which are hecka good! We had a little mini DM and then put them on their train! Wednesday night we set up pizza night with all our of the youth and the young adults, we ended up being just a few of us but it was fun anyway! I got half of a Nutella pizza... they're so good! But they hurt my teeth they're so sugary! It was a good night for sure! 

Thursday Transfer day! We had a morning in the train station, I was there from 8:30-12:30... Anziano Perfili left somewhere in that block, along with Anziano Fryer and a bunch of others coming and going! My companion got in at a few minutes after 12 and we came home helped him get a few things unpacked and grab some lunch and went back to pick up two other missionaries at the train station. So we as Zone Leaders get a travel matrix that shows the arrival and departures for all the trains  and travel plans for the mission. I saw a train with two of our missionaries coming in at 15:25 and I looked at the arrival board and it wasn't there... I looked back at the matrix and saw that it was a flight coming in from Cagliari and we were at the train station and not the airport and we travel without phones... their flight landed in two minutes! Oops! So I grabbed Anziano Jensen and we busted to find the bus to the airport and made it there to see two Anziani sitting on the curb waiting for us! Haha but the point is they made it right!?!? My bad...

We showed all the new missionaries what a real Napoli pizza is like and then did a little street finding until English Course! Had a great time with some great people! I got to teach Advanced Course which was great, we talked about going to the beach seeing as that's where everyone is these days! It's funny the verb for "To make out" in Italian is "Limonare" and the word for lemon is limone and I said I love to bring lemonade to the beach and they all started making fun of me haha it was funny! 

Friday was weekly planning and a little mini grocery shopping trip, we made some great plans for the next week. I really hope we have a great week here! Anziano Jensen likes to cook and he has the metabolism of I don't even know what but he's pretty skinny and he pretty much eats whatever he wants! He offered to make me lunch and he made a homemade besciamella with mozzarella cheese in it and that pasta was so good I could feel myself gaining weight! At least it was good though, right?!?! After lunch we went to visit Ermando the guy we met last week and then over toVincenzo's to visit with him. Vincenzo is so great, he has a testimony of Jesus Christ as big as the day is long and he loves the scriptures and he loves to talk to us. We can go over there and he will just go off about how people don't follow the scriptures, they don't understand the doctrine that Christ gave and he's gained a real respect for us because we share so much in common with him. We have to get him to understand the authority principle but he's such a great guy! And he loves his family so much, we walked in to his shop and he said "Anziano Bellucci, I have to show you, I took more pictures of my kids!" he's a proud Dad of a two year old girl and a two month old baby boy that he loves to show off.

After visiting Vincenzo we went white Boarding with the other two companionships and showed them what Napoli magic is like! How nice the people are here and it went really well. We had to switch where we were going because they shut down one of the Metro stops because they found a backpack and they suspected a bomb so we ran into a little problem there but the night turned out really well. We had some awesome conversations and got a few people's numbers. 

Saturday we had a great day, we went and did a good amount of finding in the morning, we tried to swing by some less actives while we went from place to place and then when we got home we were making lunch and a guy that we called last week called us back and said "How did you get my number? Let's meet up, I want to know who you are!" So we met up with him and it was a little sketchy at first but we met him in the Church and he was really able to feel the spirit and it was a great lesson. We're hoping to see him this next week. So there is this family in the Branch the Borelli family and Sister Betty the Mom is the Gospel Principles teacher. She has a son serving a mission in London, a daughter that left like two months ago to serve in Brazil and they invited us over to watch her youngest daughter Joele open her mission call! It was great and she invited a group of non-member friends to come and watch and so it was an awesome missionary opportunity for us. She opened her call to the Leon France mission and she will be working in Switzerland as well! We're really excited for her! She leaves in September so they will have all three of their kids on missions at the same time! Crazy! Watching her open her call brought me back so many memories! 

Sunday was interesting... I was exhausted by the time we got home. I began translating Sacrament Meeting into English and then Sam our Ward mission leader was assigned to give a talk but he only speaks Italian so I had to switch my brain and go stand at the pulpit to live translate his talk into Italian and then switch back to translating into English. I'm sure there was smoke coming out of my ears! Everything else went really well in Church, none of our investigators came but there's still hope for next week! 

We went and saw Noemi our Recent Convert in the evening. We usually meet her with another Philippino Sister and she's always been opposed to us come over to her house. But we convinced her! She has a very humble home, it's just one room and a bathroom but we were really happy we got to be there and bring the spirit to her home. It was a great lesson and Anziano Jensen knows like two phrases in Tagalog and so they fell in love with him right away! We made a lunch appointment to eat some food from the Philippines! 

We finished the night off with some white Boarding in Centro and talked to so many good people! Unfortunately as August approaches we hear a lot of "We'll come in September" all of Italy goes on Vacation in August, literally everything shuts down so it could be a rough month but we're still going to work hard! 

Little overview of my companion! He's from Pleasant Grove Utah, he likes Shakespeare and Johnny Cash... he is a theater and debate geek and rocks it. Haha He smiles all the time and he's always super happy! He's a few transfers younger than me so that makes me the oldest in the District... I don't know how that happened, I just got to Italy like last week! 

I love you all, I hope you have a great week! 

Elder Jacob Bellucci 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Napoli! Transfer 9 Week 6!

Walking, meetings, walking, and the Mafia...

Transfer Calls are tonight! I can't believe this Transfer is coming to an end so soon! It's crazy how fast it's gone but I'm excited to see what happens! 

The week went by super fast with like I said above a lot of walking and meetings! On Monday night we decided to do a Family Home Evening for all of the African Members and contacts and their friends. It was an absolute blast, we had a spiritual thought on the Book of Mormon and then we played games with them. Most of them have such a rough story that it's just nice for them to take a few minutes and have fun. Not think about their problems just live in the moment. I made banana bread and bought some watermelon and they were all super grateful. I think we're going to do the same thing tonight with some different games! 

Tuesday we had a good morning, we did a good finding loop and talked to a bunch of cafes about putting up little English Course posters and we talked to a lot of people. People here are so nice and they talk to us but unfortunately they don't end up coming to our English Course. We've probably given out more than 400 pass along cards this Transfer and we've had like three new people come... we need to find a way to get people interested! I think a lot of it has to do with the time of year, it's so hot and literally everyone goes to the beach when it's this hot... I can't fault them for that! 

We started teaching Italian this week to African Refugees... its actually pretty fun! They expressed to us that they hate their Italian classes in the camps they're in because the teachers are Italians that don't speak English so they can't explain anything to them so because we have so many missionaries here we decided we would try it out! First night and we had about 15 people! More than our English Course has been lately! Anziano Perfili and I taught Italian and like I said it was fun! It's also cool to look back and see where I started and how far I've come in the language. There's always room for improvement but I've learned so much! 

Wednesday we had correlation at Sam's house. I love when we get to go to his house for correlation. Talking about our investigators and members as we look over the Mediterranean never gets old! And to follow it up we get American food for lunch! We just do sandwiches but it's so good! He really only shops at the American base so everything he has is American. AND he had Dr. Pepper so I was real happy! 

In the Afternoon we tried to go and read the Book of Mormon with John but he wasn't home and then after that we had a meeting. President Euvrard and the Assistants came down to visit with us. They want to get to know the missionaries while they are here even if it is just a few weeks and they took the opportunity to meet with us because we're the closest Zone to Rome. Sister Euvrard shared a really cool thought on the talk called "What manner of man ought ye to be?" And she gave us an invite to in the morning instead of making a "To-Do list" to make a "To-Be list" which is kind of interesting, we want to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ and we do that by following his example and really becoming true disciples. Afterwards President Euvrard led a discussion on refugees. We talked about how in the past the principle was that Zion was American, then in specifically Utah, as time progressed the principle changed to build the kingdom around the world and people said "Zion for the Italian people is in Italy, Zion for the French is in France" etc... but now we know that Zion is where God's children are which is everywhere. Wherever people are we can teach them and baptize them. Meaning that it's ok to actively find and teach refugees. We obviously want to build the Italian kingdom but we are all children of God and that's the important thing. It was great to be with them and I learned a lot from the training! We also got to see Anziano Friedman and Anziano Draghi which was cool! 

Thursday morning we had District Meeting (Hence the title meetings, meetings, meetings...) it was good we talked about companionship and District Unity and the importance of working as a team. It was really good! Finished it off with pizza from Pellone! Turned out to be a Zone pizza party because President Euvrard had come to the District Meeting of the other two districts and they did it in the Napoli Chapel so we were all there! There are two Sisters in our Zone that finish their missions this week so it was good to see them one last time! 

Thursday afternoon we went to pass by a café that we had left an English Course poster at and talked to the girl that worked there. She was delivering coffee up the street so we waited and started to talk to the man working there. Anziano Perfili asked him if he was the owner and without looking up from his phone he says "Si." And then I asked him how long he has had the cafe and he didn't respond for a second and then said "What does it matter if I've had it for 10 years or ten minutes, you have no point to your questions you just want to talk and I'm not interested" We left about an hour later after having explained the Restoration and set up a return appointment. The spirit is so cool how it works to soften the hearts of people as we try to teach them about the Restored Gospel!  

Friday as usual we weekly planned and we have a good plan for this week! We should be busy which is always a good thing! We had a Family Home Evening planned with this Less-Active family and it takes about an hour to get there so we had left the afternoon pretty empty from 4 PM on and they called us and cancelled and so we decided to walk all of Napoli with the Napoli C Anziani doing White boarding for English Course. My feet were wrecked by the end of it but we talked to so many people. I really hope that some new people come this next week! As we were walking back home after 4 hours of just straight walking we had about 30 minutes left and we decided to walk down the sketchy but still Main Street by the station. We were joking about "Mickey Mouse" which is what we say instead of Mafia because it can be kind of sketch to say that on the street... just talking about how that street seemed pretty mafiosa and then as we turned back for the house this man stopped us. He started asking us all these questions about our English Course, that he has some guys that could use to learn English but they would need to be taught privately and then he starts explaining his business. How he has clients all over the world including Century 21 in America. He then proceeds to explain how he has a warehouse in Napoli with brands from Gucci to Armani, Prada to Loui Vuitton and he says "Let me give you my card, you call me, I'll come pick you up sometime and I'll take you to see everything." He continued on about how if anybody gives us problems here in Napoli we have his number, he'll make the problem "disappear." He then offered us jobs "Bilingual people are really valuable in my line of business" Haha he was pretty Mickey Mouse... we got his card though! He got in his blacked out Mercedes to get it for us too! We're all pretty convinced that we have the coolest mission...

Anyway back to the missionary work! We are teaching a family here in Napoli and the Father was working on the Temple in Rome. Early this year while he was working he had a heart attack and died in the Temple site. The Church reached out to the family and gave us their information. It turns out that Giorgio, the father, was learning quite a bit about the Church and was really interested. They do devotionals for the men that work on the temple every few weeks for any worker that would like to participate and he didn't miss one. He was very curious and learning a lot. Obviously his wife and three children are still grieving the loss of their husband and Dad and it's a really hard time in their life. We had finally gotten in contact with them for the first time since I've been here and we had an appointment on Saturday to see them and we waited for the bus to take us there for more than an hour and it never came we ended up having to move the appointment to another time. I was super bummed! We spent the rest of the morning talking to some really cool people in the outdoor market under our house. 

Anziani Haws and Anziano Hansen met us here in Napoli, we ate lunch and then took a train to Salerno to help the Battipaglia Anziani get excited about their work, we decided to blitz their area for the afternoon and see what we could do to help them! We had a really good time! I got to work with Anziano Rogler who is from Endicott New York! Apparently he goes to the ward in Owego but he's in the same mission as we are back home! It was cool to talk about the real Upstate New York with someone that kind of explains where it is! Haha  We had a good afternoon and found his Golden Contact! His name is Gerardo and he's 21 and as we were talking to him he said "So do you guys like teach people that want to know more about this stuff?" And then asked if he could come to Church in Sunday! We finished the Gesso with 6 Anziani and 2 Sisters for a Gesso on genealogy... wasn't super successful but it was fun! 

Sunday was a little particular... It started out like normal, we had a great Sacrament meeting with lots of American visitors including Anziano Spencer and his family, he finished his mission about 2 months ago. Afterwards we went to Sunday school and there was this African woman visiting from London, she was born and raised there but had come to Italy for vacation with her two young kids. She asked me afterwards for the Relief Society President and she explained to us that she had been robbed the night before of all of her debit and credit cards and was in a pretty tough place with two kids. It was a little sketchy but we talked to the Branch Presidency and tried to help her. We ended up calling her Bishop in England to confirm that she is a member and we were able to find her a hotel for the night and help her out. She finally told us what had happened and it turns out she just lost her son, was going through a rough divorce and decided to get on a plane with her two kids and try to start a new life in Italy. After being robbed and realizing it was going to be a lot harder than she thought, she needed help. It took a lot of translating and work though! We were glad to be able to help her out though! She is going to be going back to London to get her life figured out, I wish her all the best! (P.S. London accents are probably the coolest things ever, I got to talk to her a ton as well as her Bishop in London)

We spent the afternoon finding, talking to people all night long and then going to meet John to read the Book of Mormon together and he runs a Barber shop out of his house and so at the moment he was busy and asked us if we would wait for a minute and so we did. He was done an hour later and it was 9 PM so we didn't have much time to read with him because we had to get home but at least we had a minute! 

This week was good, a lot happened! It went really fast, I had a lot of fun  and I'm excited to see what happens with transfer Calls tonight! It's always a mystery! I hope I get to stay here in Napoli, I definitely feel at home here so I hope to stay! 

I hope you all have a great week! I was reading a cool talk this week from October 2012 from Jeffrey R. Holland and I just loved it. It's called "The First and Great Commandment" if you have a minute give it a look! I love you all!

Anziano Jacob Bellucci