Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cosenza Transfer 13 Week 3

Luke 2:11-12,14

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

It’s Christmas! What a great time to be a missionary and what better message to share than the message of the restored Gospel! He lives! If it wasn’t for the events of Easter we wouldn’t celebrate the birth of Christ so in this next week I would encourage you all to think about what Christmas means for you. Why do you celebrate Christmas?

Alright on with the week... once again it flew by! 

Monday night we had some good finding going on! We are still trying to #LightTheWorld or #SiiUnaLuce so we spent some good time on the streets just talking it up about Jesus!

Tuesday morning we had some errands for Zone Conference to do and then we got in the car to head to Taranto! We picked up the Anziani from Catanzaro on the way and had a pretty uneventful almost 3 hour drive to Zone Conference! When we got there we got the Chapel set up and then President and Sister Pickerd got there with the Assistants and we started interviews right away... then we planned our training with the Sister Training Leader Sister Barnes. It was a good day but we didn’t have much time to go finding or talk to people on the street so it was kind of boring. 

Wednesday was the conference and it went super good! Technology was not our friend though... it went well without it though. Anziano Ruiz and Sorella Barnes and I gave a training on leaving people with commitments, inviting people to change and how important it is. I got to share a little bit of my Mom’s conversion story which brought the spirit really well. I’ve been thinking a lot about my Mom’s conversion and where I would be if it wasn’t for some 16 year old Mormon boy that brought my Mom to Church. A lot of things would be very different! After the conference we did a nativity scene as a Zone... I was a sheep... it was hysterical and so much fun. We were also so blessed to have Sister Pickerd with us this round of Zone Conferences for the first time in like 6 months. She’s doing well and I’m so glad to have her back! She keeps President Pickerd on his toes! One of the families in our branch lives like an hour away from Cosenza and so we went to visit them on the way back from Taranto and I thought it was going to be just off the freeway but I was wrong... we ended up getting there at like 8:30 which is when we would have had to leave to get home on time. So we shared a quick thought and were on our way! 

We brought the Taranto Anziani home with us so we could do an exchange with them on Thursday. I got to work with Anziano Tucker which was way cool, the last exchange I did with them was like his fourth day in the mission and he had no idea what was going on back in Napoli. He’s much improved and doing really well, we went to the University and had some really cool conversations! Got some phone numbers and then we went back to Cosenza, grabbed the other Anziani and went to Sorella Spizzirri’s house for lunch! It was pretty good, Italians like to cook with pumpkin so they made this risotto with pumpkin 🎃 and then like a roast with some dang good sauce. We laughed a ton and had a really good time. Then we read the nativity story together. Finished off the day with some finding and a bomb lesson with one of our Investigators Nelson and then panzarrotti (pizza rolls) from this ghetto shack! 

Friday was taking the Anziani to the train station bright and early and then weekly Planning, we went to do some service for a member and carried a new closet thing upstairs. We took some cool pictures while we waited for her. Anziano Ruiz made us a bomb ragù for lunch and then I was dead tired... I haven’t taken a nap in like 4 transfers but I snoozed for 20 minutes before jumping back in to the work. We brought Nelson some clothes so he could come to Church with us yesterday and then we did some more #LightTheWorld finding! 

Saturday we did some finding and made some homemade chocolate chip cookies for the Christmas lunch yesterday at Church. We also went and saw Sister Filipelli who is now in the hospital. We gave her a blessing and she was really happy to see us. We did some more finding and that was the day.

Sunday was ok, we went to get Nelson but he was “sick” and couldn’t come to Church. I was bummed... but the Heymans were visiting in our Branch yesterday because they called Anziano Heyman as a high councilor. It was good to see them, they’re pretty great! We had two of our 4 new Converts come to Church and we had a bomb lesson about the Book of Mormon and they were testifying to the investigator that was there and the spirit was so good! The lunch afterwards went pretty well, not very many people stayed around which was a bummer but little by little we’ll get there! We visited a couple of members in the afternoon and brought the sacrament to Sorella Filipelli in the hospital. 

Today we are doing some Christmas shopping for each other and then we are going over to Sister Spadafora’s house for some cooking lessons! I’m pretty stoked! It should be a lot of fun and she loves having us help! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week before Christmas, remember the reason for the season and share the light that you all have! 


Anziani Jacob Bellucci

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cosenza Transfer 13 Week 2

A little bit of rejection, a lot of Christmas spirit, and a good amount of Christmas Cheer!

It’s been a really good week and we have worked really hard... unfortunately we haven’t been super fruitful but I’m hoping it’s because Heavenly Father is waiting to give us a break through this next week! 

Monday night we had a Family Home Evening with some single members in the Church and we talked about General Conference and we ended up on the topic of unity. “If you are not one you are not mine” and that theme has carried through the rest of the week. 

Tuesday we got up and headed for Catanzaro for District Meeting and we had a really good meeting. Anziano Ruiz and I did the training and we talked about goals. We had each companionship take 5 minutes in another room to set goals for December, specifically how many new Investigators they wanted to find in the month of December. Then we came back and made a District goal and the spirit was so strong and everyone felt super inspired to push ourselves and make it happen. Then we had lunch together before heading our separate ways! I sat next to the Heymans, the senior couple in Crotone and we had a great time! Anziano Ruiz and I came back and hit the streets before heading to English Course and then some more street contacting afterwards! 

Wednesday was basically the same thing except we woke up at 5:45 because we went to the District Meeting in Taranto to give the same training. It was an even bigger success there! President called us in the middle of the training and we stepped out and when we came back they were talking about how they wanted to make companionship goals and a District goal! They were on top of it! We got some pizza afterwards and it was actually pretty good! It was my first pizza since leaving Napoli so I was a little nervous! Napoli pizza is soooooooo good! Hitting the road back home and finding pretty hard in the evening! Then we got to meet with Francesco, he’s really cool. We wanted to help him understand the idea of the Apostasy and the importance of it but he is really content with his faith. He doesn’t see the need for a Restoration because he doesn’t think the Apostasy happened... we haven’t given up though! It was a really good lesson though and it strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon, if the Book of Mormon is true then that means the Apostasy really did happen, that Joseph Smith really was called as a prophet and that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ! 

Thursday was a lot of Christmas! But first we went to the University, we usually try to do English Course publicity there but we decided to do a more direct approach with Gospel finding. It was actually kind of sad... I would say 1 out of every 10 people we talked to said they believed in God, and not a single one of them said they went to Church or actively loved their religion. We had some really good conversations but the younger generation has just seen so many mistakes or errors in their Church that they just don’t believe in God at all. It also makes them not want to learn about anything else. Anyway after a few hours at the University we headed to Sister Spadafora‘s to eat some lunch and then we helped her decorate for Christmas! She is a widow and last year she didn’t even set up the Christmas tree but she really wanted to this year so we went up to the attic and got down a million decorations and we had so much fun decorating and listening to Christmas music! I took quite a few pictures! Then we read Luke Chapter 2:1-20, the story of the Nativity to remember the true reason for Christmas. It was really nice and it made her day!

Friday we did weekly Planning and I was about to throw some chicken in the oven for lunch when the phone rang and the Lopez family invited us over for lunch and the real reason is they aren’t tall enough to hang up their Christmas lights so we got to help with that too! It was good to see them, they have two foster daughters and they invited the daughters brother over for the holidays because he lives in a group home/institution. They all seemed really happy which was great. We grabbed an Orzo (coffee substitute) with Francesco and talked a little bit about the Book of Mormon. And then finding, finding, finding! 

Saturday morning I made brownies to give to the people that live in our building and then Francesco called us and asked if we wanted to go and play tennis with him. 🎾 Well yeah we do! It was a lot of fun, none of us are very good but we all had a good time for sure! It’s a good work out too, I was thinking I might like it when I get home! We went over to his house for lunch and we helped him practice his English. He is 40 years old, not married, he’s a pediatrician, he speaks English and Spanish and obviously Italian... we’re going to try to find him a wife! Haha We went home to study Italian and Sister Spadafora called us to give her a blessing, poor thing the fell backwards and smacked her head. She doesn’t know how to sit on the couch and watch a Hallmark movie though. Instead she was making homemade doughnuts for us when we showed up. She’s a saint! We passed by Emilio on Saturday night and the New Movement Lady was there again, I think she does her shopping on Saturday nights! She was super nice though, she actually started talking to us about the Church and it turns out we have very similar beliefs and she said she was going to come to our Church sometime! Then she said she would have us over for lunch sometime! Super nice... 

Sunday :) Anziano Ruiz gave a talk in Church and he did a good job! There were almost 30 people in Church which makes us the biggest sacrament meeting attendance in Calabria by like 20 people! We had a good lesson with one of the New Converts. He hasn’t been reading the Book of Mormon! He committed so I hope he does it! After Church I made some bomb barbecue chicken with mashed potatoes and carrots and Anziano Ruiz was loving it. It was pretty good if I do say so myself! He likes to cook so he helped me a lot! Then we decided to try out Rende for some finding, it’s the neighboring city and we found this park with Christmas music but it was kind of a ghost town so we headed Back to Cosenza. So there is this huge street called Corso Mazzini and it’s not a street you can drive on it’s all foot traffic and it’s just lined with shops. Literally everyone goes there, there’s no exaggeration thousands of people on that street every night. Which sounds great for missionaries but it’s actually kind of impossible to talk to people so we hit up the side streets last night and it was super good, we had some awesome conversations! 

Overall it was a good week! We got a lot of rejection, met a lot of rude people but it’s not their fault, they’re just not ready for the Gospel yet. In this Christmas season keep your hearts open and share the Gospel. Keep the missionaries in your areas busy by sharing the Gospel with your friends and family. Christmas is a time of miracles and Heavenly Father could use you to make those miracles happen!

Merry Christmas! 

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cosenza Transfer 13 Week 1

Transfers took me by surprise again! I was not expecting anything to change in our companionship this Transfer... Anziano Youngblood and I really got along super well so I was surprised to get the call and find out that he’s going to Rome 1 to be the new Zone Leader there and I get to train a new Zone Leader! So my new companion is Anziano Ruiz! He was actually my District Leader back in Napoli so I know him pretty well! He’s super cool and it’s been really good so far! 

So the week! As you know I ripped my pants on Monday on the way to Catanzaro so that rendered a trip to the Mall when we got there for P-Day! It was  trip and I bought some pants along with a couple other things! Then we came back and emailed for a little bit. We got to do a little mini-exchange with the Catanzaro Anziani and I got to work with Anziano Cooney. He’s in his 4th Transfer (I guess 5th now) and he’s so funny! He is the goofiest kid I’ve ever met and he’s just a lot of fun to be around. Being pretty young in the mission it’s really hard to stop people sometimes and so he has found that he loves to talk to people with dogs. He just goes and asks if he can pet them and then inevitably they ask him why he’s here from America! We talked to this guy and you could tell he was really angry with God. He opened up to us and explained that his daughter passed away and he just can’t believe that God would do something like that. How could taking away someone’s child be a part of God’s plan? We got to testify to him of the Plan of Salvation and God’s love for him. I got to be pretty bold and tell him that there is no other church on the Earth today that has what we have. The power to seal families together for time and all eternity. It was cool, they taught him on Wednesday!  

Then the calls came! President called and told us what’s happening and that was the end of the night! I’m really bummed that Anziano Youngblood is gone but I think Anziano Ruiz and I are going to have a lot of fun! 

Tuesday morning we had our last District Meeting together and it was really good! Anziano Valerdi did a good job of training us on Unity and working together as companionships, Districts, and a Zone. Then we went to King to get some really good hamburgers and fries! It was way good! Then we came home, did some finding and had English Course! 

Wednesday was full of saying goodbye to members and a little bit of finding and Kebab eating! So we went to say goodbye to Sister Spadafora, she’s so sweet. She’s like the Mom/Grandma of this Branch and I just love her! She said that she doesn’t really feel like putting up her Christmas tree but on the other hand she really likes it. So... Anziano Ruiz and I are going to go over and set it up with her and it will be our shared Christmas tree! I’m pretty excited! Then we went and saw some other people before going to Sister Spizzirri’s house for lunch! She is German but married an Italian. She just got back two weeks ago from serving a mission as a temple worker in the Freiberg temple! She’s pretty cool, she made us healthy food that didn’t make me feel like 100000 pounds so that was good! Her testimony was so incredible, that’s one of the things I have grown to love on my mission is asking people about their conversions. Almost everyone here is a Convert and even if they’re not they still have a story and the spirit is so strong when you share those things! Came back and studied, visited the Lopez family and then did some finding until we went to see Emilio. There was this crazy “New Movement” lady that was trying to convert us and I thought she was going to sprinkle me with holy water. Then after she was done preaching she said “Can I offer you something?” And we said no thank you so she bought us this big bag of olives! Then we got to actually talk to Emilio and he was like “Well we have to say a prayer together before you leave!” And for the first time he agreed to say it which was really cool. He said a beautiful prayer. We finished the night off with Anziano Youngblood’s favorite; Kebab! Haha it’s so good! 

Thursday was crazy! I took Anziano Youngblood to the train station in Paola at 10:30 and then I had to wait there in the car by myself for like 2 hours! It was so weird to be alone... I walked up the steps and I didn’t hear anyone else coming behind me and it was really strange. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I come home and someone leaves me by myself for the first time! Anyway I picked up Anziano Ruiz and we headed Back to Cosenza. It was soooo rainy and the fog was crazy thick! I could barely see the trees on the sides of the road as we drove through the mountains! We got back and Anziano Ruiz unpacked, I made lunch and we got right into the work! We did some finding and then went to English Course. There weren’t very many people for some reason, maybe it was the weather but we still had a good time! Then we had to set up the Christmas tree for the Primary, they decorated it yesterday in Church. 

Friday was the longest mission leadership council I’ve ever had but it was super exciting and inspiring! We set a monthly goal for our mission to reach 25 baptisms in December and 410 new Investigators mission wide! It’s going to be hard but we are going to push our Zone to pull our weight and get 3 of those baptisms and 60 of those new Investigators! We went and got some kebab after and I finally took a picture and a video of it so y’all can see what it is. Then we came home and did weekly Planning and studies while some guy came to fix our shower. We’ve been turning it on with pliers since I got here so it’s nice to have it fixed! Finding, finding, finding! We’ve given out so many #LightTheWorld pass along cards and talked to so many people! 

Saturday we went and visited Sister Spadafora again to introduce Anziano Ruiz! Of course she was cooking something! This time it was some fried dough thing covered in honey. We ate a plate full of them... in case you’re wondering 6 Months to Sexy is going real well for me! I called one of our Investigators and he answered and said “When can we meet and I can introduce my whole family to you?” Well we were super excited! We were supposed to meet them Saturday but his wife got sick with a fever... it’s going around. So we were bummed! 

Sunday was great! I have really come to love Fasting Testimony Meeting! We heard some really great testimonies and then the Branch President did a lesson on the Light the World initiative and we got new Home Teaching assignments! 

We went to Sister Minieri’s for lunch and we ate pretty well followed by some service! She’s having some new cabinets put in so we had to take everything out of the old ones and move them out! We were supposed to go today to bring the new ones upstairs but they aren’t bringing them today. 

We brought the Sacrament to Sister Filipelli and her daughter was visiting from the North with their two kids. We had a really nice Book of Mormon study as a family and then we did the sacrament, it was a wonderful night!

We came back to Cosenza and did some finding in the rain! The clouds have to be about empty! All it’s done is rain here! 

It’s been such a good week, I’m so excited for this Transfer and we’re seeing miracles everyday! I hope you all have a good week!


Anziano Bellucci

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cosenza Transfer 12 Week 6

This was the last week of the Transfer! I can’t believe that’s another one gone! It was a pretty good one but the weird thing is... all of the sisters that I came into the mission with fly home tomorrow morning! Which means I only have 4 transfers left! Where did the time go???

So last week my email game was pretty rough... we went to Taranto for P-Day and to do an exchange and so we were at the Church there and the WiFi there is about as bad as it was in Napoli!

So after P-Day I started my exchange with Anziano Strong, we headed out to Statte to do some finding! Anziano Strong is in his 9th Transfer, one older than Anziano Allen and he’s doing pretty well! He’s from Colorado, he’s a little nerdy but he’s super funny! He’s one of those people that just throw out those one liners out of no where it they’re usually pretty quiet. He’s working on being bold and getting the courage to talk to people so we went to Statte which is this pretty small city but it’s where there Church is and we did some finding, and we talked to everyone! Literally I even felt a little creepy because I was crossing the street to chase down people and we had a lot of success! We even found a family that said we could come over to their house and they accepted a Book of Mormon! It was a good night, we came back to Taranto, got some panzarotti (fried calzones) and headed home for the night!

Tuesday was a really good day as well, one of the members in Statte asked us to do some service moving some things out of their house so we decided to move the day around and go first thing at 8 AM. So we get there and he says “Anziani, I thought you would have come in normal clothes!” And then we learned we were carried everything but the kitchen sink out of their house and it was a bigger job then we anticipated! But the mission teaches you a lot and one thing I’ve learned is you can do almost anything in a shirt and tie! It was good and we were done in about an hour and a half! They gave us some Nutella croissants and we were on our way, we decided to do our studies in the Statte Church because it’s a lot closer than going back to the house in Taranto and then we headed over to Massafra which is another little city in their area but it’s bigger than Statte so we did some finding there and found another family! My goal for that scambio was to talk to every family I saw and it definitely paid off! We had lunch back at the apartment before heading back to Cosenza! Just in time for English Course and that was the day!

Wednesday we finally got to work in Cosenza! We spent the morning at the University and gave out like 500 pass along cards and then we had lunch with Lina on Campus. So she showed us like their dining hall/cafeteria and it was crazy! There was so much food and so many people! Craziness! It was really fun though and we met one of her friends! We saw the crazy big family on Wednesday night, the house was pretty quiet and we were able to hone in on the Mom and the Dad and one of the sons named Nelson which was sweet, we taught them the whole Restoration and made some plans to teach them in the future! Unfortunately after we left they texted us and asked for money which was kind of a bummer because we were worried they were only interested because they saw the Church as a bank account. But when we explained that we couldn’t give them money they understood and said “See You Sunday!” So hopefully we’re good!

Thursday was of Course Thanksgiving and Mamma Mia was it a good day! We woke up at 5:30 and hit the road for Crotone! We went to the Heymans and they sent us on the hunt for a Turkey baster! This turkey was 32 lbs! It barely fit in the oven we had to amputate half the legs to get him in there! We had so much fun cooking and eating and we had District Meeting before we ate. Everyone brought different things from their traditions... here’s the list! We had... Turkey, mashed potatoes, candied carrots, stuffing, jalapeño cornbread stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese with bacon, more than a gallon of homemade gravy, cornbread, homemade apple pie, homemade pumpkin pie, carrot cake, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate pumpkin bread and so on... we had about enough food for 30 people. It was a good day and Sister Heyman went all out with table decorations and everything! I have quite a few pictures! We made it back in time for English Course and we taught them about Thanksgiving of Course!

Friday we weekly planned in the morning and then in the evening... I don’t actually remember what we did but I’m sure it was good!

Saturday we had to get stuff for the Activity and then we spent the morning calling everyone and trying to get people to come. Then in the afternoon we got set up for the Activity. It was an absolute train wreck... we’ll just leave it at that. There was food so it wasn’t a total fail but it was a missionary activity and like no one came so I was a little frustrated but the people that did come did seem to have fun.

Sunday was a solid day, we left for Church at like 8:30 and didn’t come back home until 9:10 last night! Church was super solid, there was a member of the Stake Presidency from Bari so it was cool to see him and his wife. One of the African New Converts brought a friend named John and he was absolutely crazy but we taught him the Restoration during second hour and it went pretty well! He’s a new investigator now. Then we went to lunch with the Favre Family, they’re way cool! Lina just got home from her mission in July, she served in Colorado and the rest of them are just super great members. We had a lot of fun and told stories from our childhood. Then we went to visit Sister Filipelli and she is looking so much better! She’s not on an IV and she’s not having too much pain. Then we went and visited Sister Minieri. We shared the new #LightTheWorld video with all of them!

This morning I wripped my pants so today we’re going shopping! Haha we are in Catanzaro so it should be a good day!

Have a great week and remember “Jesus is the reason for the season!”


Anziano Bellucci

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Cosenza Transfer 12 Week 5

Walking, bomb lessons, and now I’m sick... but probably one of the most successful weeks in my mission!

Monday evening was still a little slow... we still had our toes wrapped up and a sandal and it was pouring rain but we tried to go and visit this family. Apparently his wife is still in Sicily which is what he’s told us every time we go... but this time she said that she comes back on Saturday so we’re going to go over tonight and try again!

Tuesday was better, we took the huge wrappings off our toes and just put a nice little bandage on so we can be a little more normal! Actually put a shoe on and it wasn’t too bad. We went around to a bunch of the cafes and bars (bars in Italy are like cafes not like bars in America) and asked to out io English Course Posters. It was actually really cool, we had some good conversations with some of the people that were working and this one little miracle. This one guy was just being a jerk and basically telling us to go you know where... and this guy was getting a coffee and he was like “Follow me, you can put a couple up in my restaurant while you tell me who you are!” It was a solid morning! In the afternoon we did a little bit of finding and Anziano Youngblood stopped this couple and they knew the missionaries from when they lived in Gela which is a tiny city in Sicily and there are no missionaries there anymore so they lost contact with them. They have 8 kids... how cool would it be to teach a family of 10! Then we finally got to meet with Francesco before English Course. He’s a super cool guy, he’s 40 years old and a pediatrician and he speaks English pretty well. We taught him the beginning of the Restoration and it went pretty well, he asked a lot of questions. Then at Corso we had a bunch of new people finally so I was pretty stoked!

Wednesday was cool, we had District Meeting over skype this week which actually worked out pretty well, it’s still not like being in person but it’s good because it takes 4 hours in travel round trip for us but this week we were able to go out and do some finding after which was nice. Then lunch and everything and in the afternoon we were supposed to meet up with some of the African New Converts here but they didn’t show up... grrr... then we had dinner with this couple Simone and Roberta... Simone is from the North but he served his mission here and met Roberta. They got married in July so they’re pretty newly weds! We had a really good time, ate dinner and shared a cool thought from Alma 5:26 about repentance and sharing the feelings we’ve felt with others, inviting them to invite others to come to the Activity next Saturday!

Thursday was pretty full as well, we spent the morning doing some service with one of the members to organize the storage room in the Church and then organizing for the Activity. I accidentally wrote October on all the invitations so I had to print them out and cut them up again! Went to this neighboring city called Rende and we found this huge outdoor market and talked to some cool people. Then we talked to this lady that said “I know someone who is Mormon “Simone and Roberta!” What a coincidence! She gave us her number and so hopefully we can meet with all of them together! After lunch we met up with this guy named Massimiliano and he only had a few minutes so we set up an appointment for Friday saying he had read the Introduction of the Book of Mormon but he didn’t understand much. Then we had a bomb lesson with Francesco again and finished the Restoration. He said he would read the Book of Mormon and then he sent us a text that said “I started reading your book today!” We had English Course and for the spiritual Thought I noticed that there were a bunch of new people and so I decided to do a little Church Tour and it was so good! People asked questions and said they would like to come sometime.

(Anziano Anderton says “Ciao”)

Friday was a Mormon of getting stuff done! We started by taking our car to get new tires and everything went well... except the credit card didn’t work! Haha it all worked out though. Then we headed to the city offices to try one more time to get the permission to do street displays... person wasn’t there so we left it with the secretary, we’ll see what happens! Then we went to the University to see if the teacher we had talked to could help us. The head of the English Department emailed us back and basically said it’s a complicated process to get a University club and that she wasn’t willing to work with us. Kind of disappointing but we will still do something! In the afternoon we had such a good lesson with Massimiliano. He understood so well and was explaining our doctrine back to us. He asked us when we could meet again and he said maybe next time we could meet with his family! Then the coolest thing happened... remember that couple with 8 kids? Well we went over to their house and it turns out all 8 kids, the parents, three spouses of the children and 5 grandchildren all live in the same house! You do the math but there was a ton of people there and it was craziness! They are a pretty poor family and they don’t have a lot, kind of stuck in the cycle of poverty but we are going to try to teach the parents and see what we can do to help them! We were able to share a little spiritual, we talked about prayer as a family and set up an appointment to come back.

Saturday we weekly planned and then in the afternoon had a lesson with a less active and then we got to visit Emilio and read the Book of Mormon and it was really nice, he would stop and explain what he was reading and ask questions and the spirit was definitely there!

Sunday was really good, we had a really nice Church Meeting and then we went and visited a few members who didn’t come to Church today... we had some really good gospel discussions and most of them didn’t come for legit reasons but it was a solid day finished with finding and studies!

This week I really felt the blessings of our members at the temple we saw so many miracles and so many blessings! If you have the possibility to go to the temple, get there as often as possible and as often as you can! I love you all!


Anziano Bellucci

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cosenza! Transfer 12 Week 4

Exchanges, Napoli and hopefully the last toe surgery!

As you can see it’s been an exciting week! We have been all over the place and a lot has happened!

Monday night our appointment cancelled on us and we haven’t been able to get good studies in the mornings because of one thing or another so we decided to drive down to Crotone on Monday night so we could actually get some morning studies in on Tuesday. So we got there at 9 and I gave Anziano Cooney a haircut, it actually doesn’t look too bad! He is so trusting! Haha

Tuesday we all went for a run, the boardwalk is so beautiful in Crotone! We had a lot of fun and it was good to get some solid exercise. Anziano Baker likes to cook so he and I made breakfast together for everyone. We made fried potatoes and bacon and French toast. Whipped up some homemade syrup and found some maple extract in the cupboard! After studies we went out finding for about an hour before DDM. We were starting an exchange with Crotone after DDM so we decided to start it a little early and so I went out with Anziano Baker who is a finder, he just loves to talk to people and so we had a lot of fun. Grabbed the car, picked up the Sisters from the station that were coming in to do an exchange with the Crotone Sorelle. We had DDM at he Heyman’s apartment (my old apartment) and it was really good. Anziano Heyman was just called to the Hugh Council to watch over the Districts in Calabria and so he explained his calling and what we can do to help. Sister Abbate made some pizza for us for lunch that was pretty good!

We did some studies and hit the streets for a few minutes before having a lesson with a man named Antonio. It was a super long lesson and he kept getting distracted but it was good. He told us he knows Joseph Smith was a Prophet and he knows the Book of Mormon is true. Then he said he couldn’t get baptized because his son doesn’t want him to. This man is 50 years old... we were super sad for him, but we told him to pray for a baptismal date and he said he would. I met some of the people I knew from English Course in Crotone, the course has really shrunk! Got some pizza for dinner ;)

Wednesday we found out that it took Anziano Velardi and Anziano Youngblood all day to get back to Cosenza on the bus. Anziano Youngblood’s international drivers license expired so they couldn’t take the car but then like two different buses and a train got cancelled so they made it home at 10 PM instead of 4:30. So we decided to extend our exchange so they would have some time to work together. So Anziano Baker and I went running to the pier and we were taking a break on the end just chatting watching the sun rise and all of a sudden this huge wave va,e over the pier and soaked us. It went up to my hips and almost knocked me over! It was a wet run home... we started to plan the day and this guy called us and said “can you meet downtown in 10 minutes?” Well yeah we can! So we hurried out the door to meet him. He didn’t have much time but we brought him to the Church to show him around and we got to the Family History center and he just lit up. He loved it, we got a new investigator before 10! Got some studies done afterwards and headed back out! We met Sister Heyman downtown, she was coming back from getting her hair done and we decided to take her finding with us. She doesn’t speak a tube of Italian... she tries but she wasn’t a missionary in her younger days and never studied Italian so now she’s learning! We pushed her way outside of her comfort zone and it was so fun, we got a phone number and she thanked us afterwards. We went and saw Giovanni too, he’s doing well, he’s been pretty active lately so that’s good!

Anziano Baker made me lunch, a pasta with a white sauce with tuna and peas... it was really good with a ricotta bread dip... I was happy! Language and Companionship study before heading back out but this time we grabbed the chalkboard from the car and we went around asking people what makes them happy? We then wrote it on the board and took a picture and got their Facebook information so we can post it with them. It was so much fun and we were really able to touch this one family. They actually came back and talked to us like 30 minutes later and the Anziani in Crotone have an appointment to teach them tonight. Miracles! Then we headed black to Cosenza!

Thursday the Crotone Anziani missed the 5:45 bus back and then thought the one at 7:22 was a bus but it was a train... long story short they left at like 9:30. We got to do a little finding and Anziano Youngblood needed a haircut (barber shops are closed on Monday in Italy) and so we did that and then we had to leave for Paola to catch a train to Napoli!

So the side they fixed on my toe last time is good but the other side on the same toe is having the same problem. My companion has the same problem but on the left foot. He had surgery in Calabria last time and it didn’t do anything and they did the whole surgery without anesthesia and I wasn’t about that. So they shipped us off to Napoli, we got in saw all the people at English Course and grabbed a pizza! Anziano Youngblood started his mission there so he knew a lot of people there too!

Friday was the appointment, Sam picked us up and took us and we went in and saw the doctor and he said “Yup, surgery for both of you!” So we asked if they could to it that day and they said 1 PM. So we moved our train and went and found something to eat before the surgery. Back to back toe surgeries and everything went well for both me and my companion. Sam took us back to the Anziani’s apartment and we ate and cleaned their apartment because it was gross and we couldn’t feel our toes anyway.

Saturday morning was the train back to Paola. The guy across from me hit my toe twice and I almost clocked him but we made it to Paola and drove home. No parking near our house so we hobbled home from the Church and made some lunch. Couldn’t really do much so we tried to go visit a member but she wasn’t home. We came home and sorted through our area Book and called a million people and I made an apple cinnamon cake thing. Turned out really good but I was impatient and tried to flip it out before it was cooled and it turned into an Apple crumble. Still good though!

Sunday we hobbled to Church and everything went really well, both of the youth members gave talks and they did a really good job. After Church a bunch of the members were going to the temple, so it’s a stake trip and the bus picked them up by the Church and went to Bari before making the 20 hour trip to Switzerland! I love watching the members go to the Temple, it gives me so much hope and it shows how much faith they have! Unfortunately we spent the rest of the day with our feet in the air studying and making calls and being at home. I did finish reading the Book of Mormon though which was sweet! I love the end of the Book of Mormon so much! And I’m super excited to start it all over again! I invite you to read it everyday! I know you will feel the difference in your life if you do!

Sorry for the Book again, I hope you have a great week and put God to the test. Trust in him and his promises and I know he will deliver.


Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Cosenza Transfer 12 Week 3

Trains, Rome, and lots of errands...

This week was a good week of reflecting for me, I thought a lot about the future, what I’ve done in my mission thus far, what I would still like to accomplish, and how I’ve changed. It’s been really good, and I’ve felt Heavenly Father’s presence a lot as I’ve been thinking.

I’ve also been thinking about all the things that will be weird to me when I come home because I’m so used to Italy. I was thinking about taking a train from Logan to Ogden the other day and that made absolutely no sense!

Monday was pretty chill, after P-Day we did some finding and then drafted a letter to the English Department at the University.

Tuesday (Happy Halloween!!!) we had Mission Leadership Conference over skype at 9 AM but they had told us that it was going to be at 8 so we were up and ready to walk out the door at 7:15 when they called and said it wasn’t until 9! It was really good, this last month our mission had 17 baptisms and 329 new Investigators so we are almost to our goal of 20 baptisms and 350 new Investigators. As a council we decided to leave the same goals and push ourselves to hit it! So we made cookies for Lina one of the members here and she brought us our container back with homemade chocolate chip cookies! You could tell she lived in America for a while, they were so good!

We went and met with the Lopez Family, Sister Lopez had to go get one of their friends daughters from school and so she came back and we were talking about Alma 5:26 and talking about receiving their testimonies and if they still feel now the same way that they did 30 years ago when they were baptized. Their friends daughter Maria Francesca was listening, she’s 15 years old. She asked us what s Temple was and we started talking about Eternal Families and the spirit was so strong! She kept asking questions about what you have to do to go to the temple and she just kept saying “Che bello!” (How beautiful!) I really hope to start teaching her and her family! We tried to get a permit to do street show like the sheet and chalk thing and they sent us all over the place. We talked to 7 different people in 4 different buildings... we have to try again on Thursday because they’re closed. After lunch and studies we went tire shopping... one of our tires is pretty much straight bald... they’re getting changed this week! Snow tires so we can legally drive through the mountains to get to District Meeting. We taught about Halloween at English Course, Halloween exists here but it’s very small... pretty much just the night of the 31st, there’s no real parties, only the kids dress up... we had fun though!

Wednesday was a bunch of errands in the morning, ran home and I made 🌮 tacos for lunch that were pretty good! We got all of our stuff together and then drove about 40 minutes to Paola and jumped on the train to Rome for the mission tour! We pulled into Rome at about 6:30 and headed to the mission home. They had some sandwiches for us and then we hit the streets to do some finding! There’s a missionary in Cagliari in the same companionship that I was trained in that’s in his 2nd Transfer and his name is Elder Empey. He has a super similar story to the Elder Empey that served in NY! He’s a Convert, has almost graduated college with his accounting degree and now he’s on a mission! We got along really well, he’s a cool guy.

Thursday was the mission tour! We woke up at like 4;30 to get showered and leave by 6:30 to make it to the Church on the other side of Rome! All went well and the conference started on time! #ModernMiracle

The conference was great, Elder Engbjerg (I think that’s how you spell that but it’s pronounced Ingbeow) was the visiting General Authority. He was the only new Area 70 called in this last General Conference so this was his first mission tour! He and his wife are both from Copenhagen Denmark and they speak English very well! They shared so many faith promoting stories and it was super uplifting. One of my favorite things that we talked about was the idea of ministering to the one. He shared Elder Bednar’s song “One by One” which we sang for Elder Bednar about a year and a half ago in the MTC! This time it was a rendition done by Paul Cordell and sung by Nathan Pacheco, it’s sooo good! You should all check it out, you should be able to find it on YouTube.

It was great to see President and Sister Pickerd as well. Sister Pickerd is doing well, she’s so strong and is still doing so much for us even though she is going through chemotherapy. After the conference we had a few minutes to socialize and then everyone but he Zone Leaders and Sister training leaders headed out to go back to their areas. We were staying another night in Rome for a missionary leadership council with the area 70. So they had us go out and do a gesso in Rome. We had a pretty big group so we split into two but we were still pretty big! We had some really good success and I talked to this family that were so open to learning more and we all had a lot of good contacts come out of it. We packed up and headed back to the mission home for dinner. We had salad, lasagna, and gelato! Classic mission home dinner! Then it was off to bed!

Friday was the MLC and it was different than anything I’ve ever done. He gave us three questions to respond to

What did you learn from this conference?
What are you going to do differently as a leader because of this conference?
What have you learned from President and Sister Pickerd that you are going to take with you for the rest of your life?

He put the song one by one on repeat for about 10 minutes and he told us to just listen the first time through and listen to the promptings of the spirit to help us answer these questions, then the rest of the time to write them down and answer them.

Then for the next hour and a half or so we went around and each took a few minutes to share our responses. The spirit was so strong and I think the last question was really meant to help President and Sister Pickerd. They were both pretty emotional but I think it was a good experience. I know I’ve learned so much from both of them, it was hard to choose what to share!

They closed the council sharing some final stories that really showed the power of ministering to the One, just as Christ did.

Afterwards we grabbed a sack lunch and headed for the train station for our train at 2:30... it’s a long train ride. We pulled into Paola at 8:15. Then the drive home put is at 9 and we grabbed a kebab on the way home,  to sure if we were more tired or hungry...

Saturday! We had to do our weekly Planning in the morning and it took a little longer than we anticipated but it was good. I made lunch and Anziano Youngblood rearranged things in our apartment. Haha it looks better now though, I like it.

We did some finding in the evening, I saw this really cool Fiat 500 from who knows what year but it was old and tiny. I asked if it was one of the guys standing around it and he told me I could take a picture and then we ended up teaching one of them named Rinaldo. We taught a good amount of the Restoration and he said he didn’t want to give us his number but that we could meet again in the same spot. :/ We said a prayer with him on the street and there were tears in his eyes. He said he was going to go home and tell his wife he had met some of the Lord’s servants and he felt so much better. #OneByOne

Sunday was beautifully hysterical. So not much happened before Church, we were getting the translator hints ready and Anziano Youngblood was wearing a suit from the dead closet (A closet in missionary apartments where people leave stuff they don’t want) well the missionary he got it from had some much smaller legs... he went to put the translators on the floor in the Chapel and he bent down and wrrrrrriiiiippppp! He split his pants from knee to knee crotch and everything... 2 minutes before Sacrament started! We stayed long enough to take the sacrament and then we booked it home (through downtown Cosenza) to change. Many people saw a lot more of my companion than they wanted to... so funny.

The Lopez family invited us to lunch along with the two high councilmen that were visiting from Taranto and Bari. It was great, so they have two foster daughters and they’re super nice. They grew up in a convent so they talk to us like we’re nuns. In Italian there are two ways to say “you” depending on if you are talking to one person or more than one. It’s like in English we say “You Guys” or “y’all” well instead of saying “Come stai?” For “How are you?” Or even “Come sta?” Which is the respectful form they say “Come State?” Which is like “How are you guys?” When they’re just talking to one of us... it’s funny. They’re 12 and 14 so I picked on them for it... haha

We got to go see Prince and Comfort and their two kids Desmond and Marvelous... (Yes they are African...) and we read the story of Enos from the Book of Mormon. 8 gave Desmond (3) my iPad with the drawing app open and he drew on it for like 2 seconds and then found the music app and started playing The Nashville Tribute while we were trying to read. I got him to give it back to me and I pulled the “Look at that!” And then stuck it behind my back... he looked back at me and his eyes got real big and you would have thought I just kicked a puppy... he looked at me like I had crushed his world and then he cried. It was sad. My children are going to live like the Amish, no technology! Haha

Ok I’m going to stop writing because this email is way too long and I’m real sorry about that! Today has been chill, third week in a row that it was poured on P-day so not really much to do :( Next week we are going to do something fun though!

Have a great week, I love you all!

Anziano Bellucci