Thursday, June 30, 2016

Another week in Paradise!

Hey hey hey! I hope you all had awesome weeks! It seems like this week went by really fast but it also seems like forever since last Preparation day! Lots of cool things have happened here at the MTC! There are 171 new mission presidents that are starting tomorrow and so they have been here all week! They had a "Seminar for new mission Presidents" over the weekend with every member of the quorum of the twelve being here at the MTC at the same time! They blocked off the main building and it was the first time the whole quorum had been here at the same time in over 15 years. The spirit was extra strong! We had one of the mission presidents that's going to Ecuador come and teach us on Thursday and Friday afternoon, President and Sister Murphy! They were really cool and taught us about managing stress in the mission field and about using the atonement and repentance to its fullest.

The coolest thing this week though was meeting our new mission president! President and SIster Pickerd are so amazing! We had an hour on Saturday night to sit with them just the 14  of us that are going to Rome and talk to them about anything and everything! President Pickerd is 6'5" he's so tall but probably one of the nicest men I've ever met! They're from Arizona and they both served in the Italy Rome mission back in the 70's when there wasn't even a church owned building in all of Italy and now there is a temple being built on a 16 acre lot in downtown Rome! Such a crazy change and so apparent that the Lord is hastening His work! 

On Sunday we got to leave the Prison compound to walk down to the BYU Morris Center for lunch! They made a huge steak dinner for all 2000 of us and it was actually pretty good! It was nice to see the outside world too! All the people in my zone that went to BYU were super weirded out though because that's where a lot of them ate when they were at college.

We also watched Meet the Mormons on Sunday night! I've seen it a couple times but I love it so much! Especially the story! If you haven't seen it (Whether you're Mormon or Not!) you should check it out! Last I knew it was on Netflix but if not my parents have it and I'm sure they would love to let you borrow it! It's a really cool movie that shows how we as Mormons are just normal people! At the end we all joined in with David Archuleta singing "Glorious" which is probably my favorite LDS song! Check it out!

We sang "Hurrah For Israel" which was really cool! It was a song written by prisoners in one of the Utah prisons, many of the people were LDS. When I think it was Ezra Taft Benson but that could be completely wrong, came to speak to the prisoners they sang it for him and the arrangement was given only to the MTC. It was a really simple and powerful song based off of some of the best modern day missionaries Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball. It was really cool and really powerful!

We got to do our Teaching Resource Center again this week but this time it was on Skype with a native Italian speaker! His name was Max and we shared a really cool lesson with him about using the sacrament to its fullest as well as our time each Sunday at church. Its amazing how much more we get our of church when we go with a question or a topic that we want to learn something about. I'm going to try and do that this week too! It was really fun to skype with someone who speaks fluently. At the end he spoke to us a little bit in English and told us that it doesn't matter how well we speak Italian, it matters more how we speak the language of the spirit. 

The Italian is actually going pretty well! I actually love it so much! I can't wait to be fluent but I know its going to take some time! I've taken some of my language study time each day to read from the Italian book of Mormon and its actually helped a lot! I don't know all the words obviously but I can figure out the context which is really cool! I think sometimes we get lost in the English and over complicate the message but I can't do that in Italian so I get more out of it! 

Another cool lesson with our fake investigator! We taught Sara the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is kind of a summary of the Gospel and we invited her to be baptized and she told us she was afraid. She didn't know if she had enough faith to be able to live up to the baptismal covenants. She said "You missionaries have so much faith to learn a new language and move across the world and give up two years of your life, I don't think I have that much faith" This was all in Italian and I had no idea what to say, so we sat there for a minute while I thought and a scripture came into my mind Ether 12:27 which says:  "And if men come unto me I wil show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them" My companion and I were able to bare testimony that we are weak, we cannot do this alone but when we go to the Lord in Faith he will make us strong. THe spirit was incredible not because of anything I did but because we were able to listen to the spirit and even in our broken Italian we could convey a message of hope and faith. So my invitation to you all this week is to exercise that faith! I know that your faith will grow when you act on the faith that you already have.

I love you guys and I hope you know how much I love getting emails and letters from you all! Have a great week! I only have one more week and a few days here at the MTC! I should get my flight plans tomorrow! 

Here is some Italian for ya'll!

 Dio ci ama, e perche Dio ci ama manda suoi figli. Il vangelo e molto simplice! Vi voglio bene!

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Italy Rome Mission​

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tender Mercies of the Lord

Hey everybody!

The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days here at the MTC so all in all I think it balances out! Not too many exciting things happened this week, lots of Italian, lots of studying and lots of work! 

We went to the temple last week and did Initiatories, I got to do them for seven family names including my Grandpa! Temple work is amazing! 

Sunday we heard from Brother Heaton who works at the MTC. He brought up 4 converts out of the audience and had them tell us their stories. Each one of them had some inspiration or an experience that helped them to know that they needed God. Some part of each of their stories had something to do with how the Lord prepares His people to be taught the Gospel and how the Lord works through His Missionaries and guides them to help those who need it the most in their time of need. It was really neat to see the strength of their testimonies because they know what it was like to not have the Gospel. They had lived without it and now know the happiness that comes from following Jesus Christ.

We practice teaching our teachers a lot here at the MTC and we've been teaching Sister Francom as "Alessia" for about two weeks now. Alessia's fiance was just diagnosed with MS and so Alessia decided to ask her ex boyfriend who is LDS for some spiritual support. Sister Francom said to us the other day "Would you like to see a picture of "Alessia?" We said "Certo!" which means of course! Turns out Alessia is really Andrew, Sister Francom's ex-boyfriend and its his fiance who was diagnosed with MS and Andrew is asking her for spiritual support. So some of the things that we are sharing with her she is sharing with him. It's really cool to know that even though we are teaching our teacher there really are real life applications and what we receive through the spirit can help us and ultimately help them to feel God's love and receive the message of the restored Gospel. 

My favorite part of the week this week came yesterday! My district got to host the new missionaries! So we go out and stand by the curb and wait for them to pull up and then in the nicest way possible we pry them away from their families and take them to their rooms and get their new language materials and them take them to class! Yesterday 781 new missionaries came into the MTC! We were down to about 1400 missionaries and now we're back up over 2000! The first guy I took was pretty cool, he's headed to West Virginia, I got him all settled in and headed back to the curb. As I got to the curb I saw this big red 15 passenger van pull up and I thought "That looks like the Geilman's van, I think I've ridden in that van" and then I saw who was driving and I knew it was them! I called off the other Elder that was heading towards the van and out came one of my favorite missionaries John Geilman! His little brother Joseph is headed to Thailand and I totally forgot that he was coming yesterday! It was so cool to see a face that I knew from the outside world and to get a hug from one of my best friends! I only got to see them for a few minutes because they can't stay at the curb for very long but it totally made my day! 

I ended up hosting 6 missionaries yesterday headed all over the world! North Carolina, Thailand, France, West Virginia, California, and Argentina! They all seemed like really nice kids and it was cool to be a part of their first MTC experience!
In the Teaching Resource center we taught a man that served in Milan 45 years ago but he keeps up with his Italian still! He works for doTerra as a graphic designer so we talked as much as I could in Italian about my Mom being a consultant which was pretty cool! We talked about making sure that our testimonies are based in the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ and relying on Moroni's promise in Moroni 10 he say "And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things" My favorite part is that we can receive a witness of all things! We have a prophet and apostles that speak to us and receive revelation for the whole church but we don't have to believe what they say on blind faith. We can and should pray to know the truth of all things as Moroni says in verse 4 I would exhort you that ye would ask God the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. I want to leave the same challenge with you guys this week. When you study, the book of Mormon or the words of our modern day prophets pray to know the truth. Pray to know that what they are saying and what you are feeling as you read are the words of God. 

I hope you all have a really good week! I can't believe I am halfway done with my time at the MTC and I am itching to get to Italy! I just want to be there already! My Italian is coming along pretty well. The other day I taught a lesson for 30 minutes completely in Italian and my companion didn't speak a whole lot but it went really well! We're both understanding so much more which is really nice! I know when we get to Italy it won't sound anything like what we're learning now but that's ok too! It's kind of surreal that we're going to a completely different country in just two and a half short weeks!

Don't forget that you can send me letters for free online at I love seeing them and hearing all about whats going on in your lives! I forgot my camera in my room so I can't send any pictures this week :( But I love getting pictures from you guys! So keep them coming! 

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Italy Rome Mission

Thursday, June 16, 2016

This is a Journey of Loving the People

Hey everybody! I hope you all had a great week!

Mine started out kind of weird last week after I emailed! My companion and I were sitting in the temple getting ready to do initiatories and a Temple Worker came over and asked my companion to come and out into the hallway with him. One of the sisters said to my companion "We just got a call from the MTC front desk, you need to report there immediately" So we were kind of worried but we went and they sent us to the travel offices. It turns out when they were scanning in his VISA paperwork to send it to the Consulate in San Francisco that it pulled in another piece of paper that had a picture on it. So on top of his VISA paperwork there was a picture of a man staring out into a dessert looking at birds. Long story short the rest of our P-Day consisted of sitting in a car back up to Salt Lake City so we could redo his VISA paperwork! When we were waiting for the driver to pick us back up we were on the street for less than 10 minutes and two different families offered to buy us lunch! I have a feeling that won't happen much in Italy...

Incase you're wondering the food here blows... sometimes. It could be worse but a lot of people in our District are having... issues... so on P-Day we go and eat lunch in the cafeteria at the temple. The food is sooo much better! Sometimes its good though, we had taco bell the other night and Costa Vida last week! I have to say the BYU Creamery Ice Cream has nothing on Aggie Ice Cream! 

So our daily schedule goes something like this: We get up, eat breakfast, go to 3 hours of class, go to lunch, an hour of exercise, 3 more hours of class, we teach an investigator and then we have an hour of personal study, an hour of companion study, and an hour of language study and then back to our rooms for about an hour and then off to bed and do the same thing tomorrow! 

On Sunday's everyone in the zone prepares a 5 minute talk and then its announced from the pulpit who will be speaking. It's so nerve wracking but it really makes it driven by the spirit if you are in tune with it. (I didn't speak:)) I got to teach in Priesthood though! It was an amazing class on repentance. We wear the name of Jesus Christ on our chests every day and without the atonement we aren't able to become as One with Him. We have a few Elders in our zone that graduated just three weeks ago so it was really neat to see them understand the spirit without relying on the testimonies of their parents or their other leaders. 

Sunday night is also movie night, they play all sorts of different movies (Church movies of course) and we watch "Only a Stonecutter" and the Story of John Tanner. Both incredible Pioneers with great faith and incredible love for our Savior Jesus Christ.

Tuesday night we heard from Ulisses Soares, from the presidency of the 70. He spoke on exact obedience to not only the commandments but to the missionary rules. When we are exactly obedient we are more in tune with the spirit and we can receive the promptings from the Holy Ghost that no one in the world has the authority to do without being set apart as missionaries. My companion brought up during the devotional review a quote by Ezra Taft Benson that says "When obedience ceases to become an irritant and becomes a quest, at that moment God will endow us with power." There are a lot of dumb rules in the MTC especially but I've seen so many blessings come from being EXACTLY obedient and I've also seen the downfall of trying to walk the line as I see the other missionaries in our District being less than so. We sang an arrangement of "Praise to The Man" and the Choir director Brother Eggett does an incredible job of telling the stories of how these songs came about. One thing he said that I really liked was that we as missionaries are literally fulfilling prophesy as we sing this song. It says "Millions shall know Brother Joseph again" In the choir alone there was 850 missionaries. Yesterday over 750 missionaries entered the MTC and 42 new mission presidents enter the MTC next week including mine. "Millions shall know Brother Joseph again" 

On Wednesdays we do this thing called "Teaching Resource Center" and it has been nicknamed "Torture Resource Center" They bring in returned missionaries that speak Italian and we get to share a message with them. Our purpose is to "Invite Others to come unto Christ" and others doesn't have to mean people who are not members of the church, it can mean members as well so we teach them as themselves. Well instead of returned missionaries we had the opportunity to teach this family from Milan Italy that was baptized about two years ago and they moved from Milan to Salt Lake City about a year and a month ago. Max and his wife have two kids and so each of the four of them went into separate rooms that have little cameras is them so our teachers can listen to us. (It's kind of creepy...) We first taught Max. It turns out they moved here because the economy of Italy was so terrible. My companion shared a short message about the restoration and I shared the First Vision from memory in Italian. The spirit was so strong! I bore testimony that other people can feel the spirit when we share our testimonies and the message of Jesus Christ. I shared with them one of my new favorite scriptures which is 3 Nephi 5: 13 which says "Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare his word among the people, that they might have everlasting life"  We are disciples of Jesus Christ and WE have been called of him to declare his word among his people. We invited them to be member missionaries and to be an example to others as they go through their everyday lives.

My invitation to you all this week is to do the same! We are all disciples of Jesus Christ and we can have an incredible impact on others. 

"If you want to know the Savior, you must serve Him. If you want to know the Savior better; you must serve him better."

I want you all to know more than anything that I have a testimony of this Gospel. Its simple, God loves and we are his children. He wants us to be happy. I have never felt closer to my Heavenly Father and I have never wanted to serve him more. 

I am so out of time but I hope you all have an incredible week! 

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Italy Rome Mission

Thursday, June 9, 2016

One by One

Wow, talk about drinking from a fire hose! This last week has been one of the best and hardest weeks of my life so far and I am loving almost every minute of it! When The Lambs dropped me off at the curb I was really surprised because I felt nothing but excitement, maybe I was all cried out but either way I was ready! NO more tears, no more crying, it's time to go! So off I went, the Elder that picked me up is headed to France and he was super cool!

We dropped off my stuff in the Residence Hall and headed to my classroom where they taught us the most important rules about the MTC, the rules about the gym... kinda weird that was the first thing we learned but I guess it's priority! Then it was all Italian from there, our teacher Sister Francom is so nice, she speaks only in Italian and is so fluent! I've learned so much in the past week that I feel like my 4 years of Spanish are out the window except every time I say something in Spanish she says "Anziano... No espanolo!" and then she laughs so it's all good. 

The next step was to meet my companion, Anziano Gavin Campbell, he's a super cool guy! He's from Layton and went to North Ridge. (New Yorkers have no idea where that is but I'm not writing this email twice haha) He did a year at Spokan State playing golf! We get along super well and I'm really glad that we got to be companions, we don't have a super lot in common but we're finding more and more things to talk about. He's the youngest of 4 kids by 10 years so all of his family is a lot older than him. I'll add in some pictures to the end! 

We then group taught 3 investigators who are really members which is a good thing because some of the things that the other missionaries said were rather interesting... but it was really cool to be in a group of 50 missionaries teaching one person and seeing how we all have the same purpose but we all approach teaching the same person in a different way.

I don't really remember a whole lot from the first day other than meeting our zone leaders who are now gone and in Romania. Our zone consists of missionaries headed to Rome, Milan, and Romania so it was super cool to hear them pray in Romanian that first day and I never thought I would be able to get to that point in Italian but I haven't prayed in English in 4 days so It's not as hard as I thought. 

We met our Branch Presidency on Thursday night, they are all really nice people, the Branch President was a mission President in Arizona, he's a really strict President and gets very upset when we just call each other by our last names instead of Elder Bellucci or Sister Erickson. 

Day three was pretty interesting, we had to be up and ready to go at the Travel Offices by 7 so we could take a bus, train, and TRAX to downtown Salt Lake to get our VISAS from the Italian Consulate extension so we missed all of class in the morning but my companion and I met this man at the Central Station for the Front Runner in Salt Lake his name was Poncho and he was handicapped, a returned  service missionary but had made some bad choices and was homeless and unable to find housing because of some of the things in his record but he had started going back to church and he had an incredible testimony about repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. We offered to say a prayer with him and ask Heavenly Father to help him find a place to live and bless him for his faithfulness and guidance. 

It was really cool to be in Salt Lake as a missionary because literally everyone talks to you and at least 4 people offered to buy us lunch while we were there. This homeless guy was chilling outside the consulate and we offered him a couple of sandwiches from our sack lunches and he said "No, that won't work I only want soda!" with a few other profanities that I won't mention. SO Elder Campbell went into the Cafe across the street and bought him a 32 oz soda and gave it to him. He was less than grateful but hopefully someday he will remember the Charity of Christ!

When we got back it was time to teach our first lesson in Italian... it was kind of a train wreck of words BUT you could feel the spirit as we testified. (At least I think thats what we were saying)
Elder Campbell and I fell on the floor the second we got outside and both said "We're going home!" but thankfully its gotten a lot easier! 

The days kind of all rush together but the basic run down for everyday is we get up make our beds, shower, eat breakfast and go to class. We then have exercise time for an hour (The best hour of the day) and then we have half an hour to shower again and get ready for lunch and then after lunch its back to the classroom where the companionships in our district take turns teaching Francesca who is really just another teacher for the other Italian Districts. After that we work on TALL which is just online language learning. Then its an hour of Personal Study, an hour of Companionship Study and an hour of Language Study! Daily Planning and then write in your journal and go to bed and do it all over again the next day! With dinner somewhere in there...

One of my favorite quotes by Joseph B. Wirthlin is "Sunday Will Come" and it was so true! All week long it felt like the days were weeks and the hours were days, at 2 PM it felt like midnight, our heads hit the pillow and we were out! Then came Sunday... Temple walks and Priesthood lessons, we head from some returned missionaries from the Arizona mission where out Branch President served and fasting testimony meeting. We heard from almost all the missionaries in our Branch and the testimonies were so heartfelt from all these young men and women and the spirit was so strong. 

Every Sunday night there is a devotional from someone pretty cool. This week it was Sister Sheri Dew (If you don't know who that is you should Google it!) 

She was coming from Heber and anout 30 minutes before it was supposed to start she called and said there was a bad accident in Provo canyon and she was stuck. So the MTC President told her he knew about 1500 missionaries that would be praying for her to make it here. SO WE DID! She made it here only like 2 minutes late and the first thing she said was "If you guys were praying for me to get here it worked, and if you made that happen, theres something else I want you to pray for and its a husband! I could really use one!" Side note, she's 62 and never been married...

Her message was "Engage in the Wrestle" We have to be willing to wrestle our doubts and grow in our faith. Ask inspired questions and earnestly seek to find the answers and you will have a testimony but only if you want one. Sister Dew said "Are you willing to engage in a full-time, ongoing, spiritual wrestle? Do you want a testomony? Champion wrestlers understand leverage. Taking the strength of truth and using it to over power doubt. Spiritual Wrestlers are seekers of truth." One of my favorite parts was "You cannot think your way to conversion, your heart must be involved."

Sunday night is also Movie night. As in We get to watch recorder talks that people have given at the MTC in the past. We were told to watch "Character of Christ" by Elder David A. Bednar (Google him too) IT was an incredible video about simple Christ. The Character of Christ is simply Turning outwards when the natural man wants to turn inwards. He said "This mission is not about you. Who cares about you? This mission is about HIM  and serving HIM" and "When you don't think you can do this, you can't. But with the strength of the Lord; you can."

I wish I could say more about it but you all are probably bored! So I'll move on... 

Monday we taught Francesca again and we invited her to be baptized. She said she wasn't sure because she didn't know how her mother would feel because she is Catholic and raised her Catholic. I was able to testify to her and tell her that my family is also Cattolica and that if she followed the example of Jesus Christ that she would be blessed, that her family would be blessed and would respect and love her for her faith. By the end we were both crying and it was an incredible experience to testify with the spirit. She came up to us later and said that the lesson we had was incredible and that she as a teacher was able to grow in her faith even being a returned missionary. The power of the MTC is incredible and I am so glad to be here. 

The really cool part of the week was the Tuesday night devotional... Remember Elder David A. Bednar from before? Well he came to speak to us! 

He wrote a song called "One By One" which is said six times throughout the Book of Mormon. This song had never before been sung publicly. So my companion and I joined the MTC choir and we got to sing this song to him with his Grandchildren for the very first time. It was amazing! 5 of his grandchildren soloed (Sp?) and it is an incredible song. It will be published inthe NEW ERA magazine next month. His talk was about being the one and finding the one. I felt more than ever that our call to be missionaries is of God. The mission we were called to serve in is inspired of God. "You go two by two, to teach one by one just as Heavenly Father go two two to teach one by one" I know now more than ever that we are literal representatives of the Savior Jesus Christ. Often times we feel that we have gone too far off the beaten path to repent and become closer to God but that is not true. Elder Bednar said "The Atonement reaches farther than we could ever possibly go" It's never too late to come closer to Christ.

The MTC is a "Celestial Place with Celestial People" and the power and grace that is felt here is incredible. I am so thankful for all of you who helped me to make the decision to serve a mission and I want you all to know that I know this is Jesus Christ's Gospel. Heavenly Father knows each and everyone of us personally. "By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things" (I have that one memorized in Italian too) I challenge you all this week to be the one. Be the one who is an example to others in your faith. Be the one to prove your love to Heavenly Father by serving others and loving your heart, might, mind and strength and living the Doctrine of Christ. 

I've heard this before but one of the sisters quoted it in our devotional review the other night she said "People aren't going to care how much we know until they know how much we care"

I love you all! Feel free to send me a letter through It will ask for my address which is also on my mission blog but its

Elder Jacob Anthony Bellucci
2005 N 900 E Unit  73
Provo UT 84602

Dear Elder is free to use while im in the MTC and they print it out and give them to us everyday! I would love to hear from you!

Sorry this email is way long, i'll try to be more brief next time! Pictures to come!

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Italy Rome Mission

Friday, June 3, 2016

I'm here!

Hey everyone! Today isn't my P day but we have permission to write a quick email home to our parents and let them know that everthing is going well! Our days have been so busy, yesterday at 2PM I thought it was Midnight! I don't think I've ever fallen asleep so fast!

Being at the MTC has a great spirit! My companion Anziano Campbell and I have had a great time! Working hard and feeling the spirit! We just finished teaching our first lesson completely in Italian! I was kind of a train wreck but it could have been worse!

I love the Gospel and I know its true!

Our P-day is Thursday so you won't see another email from me until then but I'm excited to tell you all about it!

Anziano Jacob Bellucci
Italy Rome Mission

Thursday, June 2, 2016

June 1, 2016

Yesterday, at 12:45 Mountain time, Elder Jacob Bellucci walked into the MTC. Unfortunately, his parents were unable to go with him as the MTC is located in Provo, Utah. Don't worry though, he didn't go alone! 

The Lambs are a family that have, for lack of a better term, adopted Jacob since he moved to Utah 2 years ago. Jacob's family here in New York, are so grateful to the Lamb's for all they have done for him and us. At a time when we could not be there with him, they have helped to fill our hearts with peace. 

The most magical part about this experience for us, is that two of the people that took Elder Bellucci to the MTC, happen to have served in our little hometown of Potsdam, New York, while on their missions.

Zack, Elder Bellucci and John.
These two have sat on our couch and taught us the word of God. They have sat at our kitchen table and enjoyed many meals with us. They have completed service projects with and for us. Finally, they helped take my little brother to the MTC. It is amazing how people you've met several years ago, while they were serving a mission, having come to our little town from somewhere we had never been before, can continue to touch our lives so many years later. 

To those whom were able to take Elder Bellucci to the MTC, We send our most sincere Thank You.
From the Schneider/Bellucci family.

See these photo's and more on the Pictures page, located above. 

-Jill Bellucci

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Final Countdown is CountDONE!

It's finally here, today brings what is sure to be the best two years of my life. Trading in my phone for a name tag, my tablet for my scriptures, and all the worries in the world for the peace that comes from serving as a disciple of Jesus Christ. I'm so excited to see what the Lord has in store and I can't wait to experience all that the Italy-Rome Mission has to offer.

Peace out America, its been real! I'll see ya in