Monday, July 25, 2016

Cagliari week 8!!

Here goes another week in the books! This week has gone by super fast! So it turns out that the VISA that we get in the MTC is only valid for 8 days without a permesso... So on Last Saturday we went to the PostaItaliana which is like the Post Office in Italy and they basically run the Italian government and they're not very nice. So the mission office fills out the application so you don't have to worry about anything. (Except they always spell my name wrong on literally everything, there's two l's people...) So we bring the application up to the counter and this lady just starts going off on my companion about how we have the wrong paperwork and that the cost we have written should only be 30€ and we have written 162€ and she's probably the least helpful person I've ever met. She tells us the machine won't take it like that. It's 1 PM and they're open until 5 but she says change it and come back Monday. So we call the office and They tell us our documentation is right and that this lady just has no idea what she's talking about. We walked forever to get to this place so we thought we would try again so we wouldn't have to come back on Monday. We step up to the counter and this lady goes off again. She yells to this other lady and says in Italian "They don't speak Italian, they're not listening you deal with them" So we go over to this other lady whose English is worse than my Italian and she says "You... Back... Monday" my companions says "We speak Italian" and so she explained that the Questura, which is like an immigration officer that grants the permesso, his office is closed at 1 on Saturdays so they can't do it today. Not a problem, we'll come back Monday, thanks for explaining :) So we come back Monday, we take a number and we sit and pray that the First Lady isn't the one to call out our number. Well God has a sense of humor, she called our number. So we go up and I hand her my documents, passport etc... Well she goes off again "You haven't changed anything, you come back here what do you want us to do? This is all wrong, you're wasting our time!" Im pretty sure she swore but I don't know those words... Yet. But that's what I got out of the conversation. So my companion asks her to just try it. She walks away, mumbling under her breath and still freaking out. She comes back, pushes two buttons on the computer and puts it through and it takes it just fine. With this look on her face like "I'm an idiot" she says "well you guys are still wrong and you won't get any money back" She hands us the papers and walks away. No "Grazie" no nothing. People at the PostaItaliana are pretty miserable. But I have my paperwork, I have an appointment to get fingerprinted, I might have to take an "Italian culture class" but we'll see...

So my companion Anziano Segura is into this "Shred diet" as he calls it. So on P-Day he buys rice and vegetables. Cooks it all together and then eats it 6 times a day everyday with a can of tuna twice a day. So I decided to try it. I made a ton of rice and that's all I've really eaten all week. I'm not a fan. So this week I'm buying normal food. Cagliari isn't known for its pizza or gelato like the rest of Italy. It's one of the cleanest cities if not the cleanest in Italy. They're known for their meats and cheeses, specifically worm cheese which is like cheese that's been digested by worms and its scefo. (Gross) or at least it sounds gross, I'm probably not trying it. There's also this cheese that I can't remember the name of that's from the stomach of baby sheep that die with a stomach full of milk and their stomach acid ferments the cheese. Also sounds absolutely disgusting. Apparently they have other cheeses that are really good but I just keep hearing about these two... But I had Gelato from this little shop and it was really good! On Monday Sorella Hatfield asked if I had Gelato yet and I hadn't and she looked at Anziano Segura and said "He's been in Italy almost a week and you haven't gotten your Greenie Italian Gelato yet??? What kind of trainer are you??? So we went and got some! The first one I sampled had coffee in it... Oops but I learned that word. Haha 

Tuesday we had District meeting which was really good! Our District leader is Anziano Larusa, he's a convert from New Jersey and he's the funniest guy I've met here! He gave us all spirit emojis on the meeting agenda and next to my name was this little baby chick emoji because I was just "born" on my mission. There is a member that makes lunch for all the missionaries after our meeting so after we can all eat together with him. He's super nice and loves all the missionaries! He made us kind of a random meal... Started with pasta with a ragu, which is more than a brand I found out, sauce that was soooo good as with everything here. Then French fries, then sausage... It was random but it was good! And Anziano Larusa brought this Brazilian soda called Guarana that's way good, it's really sweet and I have no idea what the flavor is but it was really good! 

We teach an English course here every Tuesday and Thursday nights, it's completely free and it's really fun! The sisters are actually teaching it now because they are completely new to the area and they don't know anyone but it sounds fun and we meet a lot of people. We trick them a little bit by sharing a "spiritual thought" at the end so they get a little Gospel along with learning English. 

On Thursday we went to a section of our area that's way out there, I saw a name on the directory of a less active member while we were planning the night before and we decided we should go. So we took the bus way out there and went up to the 8th floor of this building. We talked to the lady there and she said she had no idea who the person we were talking about was but she had the same last name... So we asked her how she was and she told us that her granddaughter had passed away the day before so she wasn't doing very well. We talked to her for a little bit and asked if we could come back next week and share a message about Christ and the strength of families. She accepted! So we have an appointment next week to go see her. This was kind of a testimony to me that the Lord watches out for his children. He gives us trials and then sends us help when we need it the most and have been humbled enough to accept it. We all have trials in our lives and can't always see the point of them but like it says in 1 Nefi 3:7 "... the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" the Lord also gives no trials to his children without giving them a way to get through them. 

So once we apply for that permesso you have to go back to the Questura and pick it up a few months later. So there's this missionary that applied for his permesso at the Questura here in Sardegna but then was transferred to Foggia and so when his permesso was ready he has to come back to pick it up. So he flew in Wednesday, got his permesso Thursday, took a train back to Cagliari on Friday morning way early because he thought his flight was at 8 AM. So we got up and picked him up at the train station and took him to the airport but the office didn't have his flight information. So we didn't really know when his flight was. So we spent the morning at the church because we had to have WiFi to get his boarding pass information from the senior couple that works in the office. It turns out he didn't fly out until 1. Kind of a boring morning but it all worked out! 

Weekly planning takes hours, we sit down and plan out basically everything that we will do as a companionship to help each individual that we are teaching or working with. It takes forever but it's really helpful! So Friday we spent a lot of time inside getting ready for next week. 

We went over to a Members house just to drop by and he invited us into his music studio. He's a music professor and so he has this little tiny room with tons of different instruments and music. Anziano Segura plays the Saxaphone so he got it out for him and we had a little jam session. It was really cool and he actually transposed a piece of music for Anziano Segura. It's one of the songs from the movie Oblivion and he said if we do a talent show in the ward that he could borrow his sax which was super cool! 

To top the night off we Made zucchini break to bring to some members so we can get to know them better! It turned out really well and we met some really cool members and invited some less actives to come back to church. We shared the short video "Because of Him" with them and talked about the impact that Christ can have on our lives and to reflect on what he's already done for us. 

Saturday afternoon we had an activity with the Young Single Adults! We met at the church and got to wear normal clothes and play with water balloons. Because we're missionaries of course everything has to have a purpose and comply with missionary conduct, so we got permission to participate in the activity but not as a water balloon fight, we had to make games or something out of it so it would be less violent... So we got the GANs (Young Single Adults) to play a game with us. They asked us gospel questions and if we didn't know the answer or got it wrong then they dumped a bucket of water on us. Needless to say we all need to do more personal study or they need to ask easier questions because we all got dunked! We had a great time and then afterwards we all had pizza and here is where the subject of my email comes in. They don't believe in sharing pizza, everyone gets there own. So we all sit down and they bring in like 25 pizzas! I'm attaching a picture... It was pretty good! Like I said, Sardegna isn't known for its pizza so I have more to look forward to but it was pretty good! Really cool news, right before that activity we had a lesson and we set a baptismal date for him for next month! He stayed for the activity and made some friends in the ward too which is awesome! 

"Sunday Will Come" is a great quote by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin and it is so true! Sunday's are some of my favorite days! It's amazing how much more confident I've gotten in the last week with talking to people. All the members kept talking to me and asking how I was liking Italy, it was awesome, the members sure love the missionaries here! Sacrament was great, the only problem is that they speak so fast, especially when they speak in sacrament so I don't usually understand much. So when I don't understand much it starts to sound like white noise and the old people turn off the air conditioning in the chapel because it's an Italian myth that you'll die if cold air hits you... Anyway I kept almost falling asleep because it was hot and I wasn't understanding. 

Because we live on an island the beaches are plentiful... Which is great but we aren't supposed to go there because the people at the beach are less than modest so on Sundays we spend quite a bit of time at members houses because finding is less than effective and EVERYONE GOES TO THE BEACH ON SUNDAY. So basically all we did on Sunday was eat. We went to the same place for Pranzo this Sunday as we did last Sunday. So we started out with this hand made pasta that was tiny! They were smaller than peas and it had clams in it and it was heavenly. Course two was homemade lasagna, again heavenly. Made with homemade spinach pasta and fresh Parmesan cheese. Heaven. Round three, meatballs. Need I say more? Round four, salad (I know it's weird but they eat salad at the end) with oil and then they have this sweet balsamic vinegar that is really good! Round 4 is la frutta. Always good and I always eat so much fruit. Round 5 was this torta that was like a marble cake with Nutella inside and then you put Nutella on top of it... I have a picture don't worry. 

Then we went to visit some less active members in the northern part of our area. No one was home and we had a cena (dinner) appointment near there so we invited our new investigator to come with us so we ate again... I wasn't even hungry when we got there. Round 1 rice with vegetables and I think tuna? I'm not really sure... It was good though! Then sausage and potatoes and then this bread stuff with pizza sauce, I don't remember e name of it. Then salad and then fruit and then the dessert was heavenly. Pecorino which is sheep cheese that they slice and then throw in a frying pan for a second, it gets super melty and then they pour citrus honey on top and you eat it while it's nice and warm... So good! 

Now that you all are hungry I'll stop talking about food for a minute. So this morning we took on Cagliari for P-Day. All 8 missionaries met up with our bishop and we went exploring around the castle on the island. We saw an old amphitheater acts being reconstructed, we climbed a huge tower that overlooks the island and the ocean and we just walked around the castle and then went to Bishops house for Pranzo! Here is where I talk about food again. Round one was carbonara pasta which is pretty heavy so all the missionaries are struggling to stay awake while we email. Then we had this beef stuffed with prosciutto that was of course good with mashed potatoes. Round 3 was tomatoes and green beans. Then we had tiramisu which translates to "pick me up" so it's like a little pick me up on a plate. So sweet. Round 5 was gelato. Nuff said. Now we're emailing! I'm going to send some pictures in this email and them I'll send more to my sister to post on the blog! Also I have a video of me getting water dumped on my head so if we can get that to work it will be there too! 

I hope you have a great week! I love you all, I hope you know how much I care about all of you and appreciate your faith and your prayers :) 


Anziano Jake Bellucci

Monday, July 18, 2016

Cagliari Transfer 1!

Ok wow. So I'll start at the beginning... We woke up at 3 AM on Monday morning, a bus, a train, and a shuttle later we made it to the Salt Lake airport! Called the "genetori" (parents) from the airport and talked to them for a while, our flight to Atlanta was delayed because the window in the cockpit was broken or something like that so they replaced it and got us "pronti" and we headed out to Atlanta! Anziano Pesci, another Elder in my District at the MTC his parents were on our flight, they were headed back to Knoxville Tennessee so it was really cool to meet them! Because of the delay In SLC we missed our connecting flight to Rome so thankfully there was another flight just three hours later with a ton of extra seats that they rebooked us on. So the Pesci's skipped their connecting flight to Knoxville, decided to drive home and stayed and bought us all dinner at this fancy Italian Restaurant in the airport! It was so nice of them and our first real meal in six weeks!

So 6:40 PM came and we shipped out to Rome! Pretty uneventful flight, we landed in Roma at around 11 and got all of our bags, everyone's bags made it except for one of Sister Bishop's which never left Atlanta but we got it so its all good! As soon as we went through Italian Customs we saw President and Sister Pickerd waiting with smiling faces at the door, with the assistants to the President Anziano Toronto and Anziano Kelly. What a beautiful sight after 9 hours on a plane!

First things first we headed to the temple site of the Rome temple, it's huge! The temple grounds are 1.5 times the size of Temple square in Salt Lake! We took lots of pictures and it is already so beautiful! Then we went to the villa which is what they call the mission home. It's this beautiful four story house just on the outskirts of Junio Roma. It was built by Mussolini and was one of the first church owned buildings in Italy! Drop off our bags, no rest for the weary... We walked to the metro and hopped on with a handful of pass along cards for and we started contacting anyone and everyone on the Metro inviting them to learn more about the Gospel. When we got off the subway we came up to Ground level face to face with the Colosseum! It's huge! It was such an incredible site, we all took pictures in front of it and just took it all in for a few minutes. Then we kept going and did some street contacting. I stopped with Anziano Caliò who is a Native of Milano who went to the Madrid MTC and is VISA waiting In Rome to go to Mesa Arizona, to talk to an Africano man and when we finished talking to him we looked up and the rest of the missionaries including the Assistants were GONE! No where in sight. Anziano Caliò barely speaks English and I barely speak Italian. I looked in my bag and found my travel plans which has the phone number of the mission office. Caliò approached this lady and asked her if we could borrow her phone and she said in English "I don't speak Italian" so I said "Perfect!" We called the office who called the assistants and we met right back up with them. On to the fountain of Trevi! Beautiful! Then back to La Villa for interviews with President and dinner.

Our first night in Italy and we ate Turkish food... Kinda weird but it was good! We went to this little whole in the wall restaurant a few blocks from the villa and we ate Kabobs (Kay-bobs) which is like a tortilla with shaved meat, a mix of pork, sheep, and beef and then cabbage, French fries, and a bunch of other stuff, it was so good! And the soda here is way good too, I had a Fanta and they put real sugar in their soda so it tastes so good. Back to the Villa (with no water because they were having plumbing problems) and off to bed at like 8 to try and get over our jet lag ASAP!

Wednesday was training... All day long in the Rome Chapel we heard from the office senior missionaries, we got our iPads and learned about spending money in Italia. Nothing too exciting until we went back home for dinner. Lasagna! So good, with real mozzarella cheese and then Italian Gelato for dinner... When we finished eating Sister Pickerd said "that Lasagna is the Italian version of Costco pre made lasagna. It was Heavenly so I'm totally not upset. Then we all gathered in the living room to find out where our first assignment in the mission would be and when we leave.

President puts our assignment in a gold envelope with a picture of our trainer. All the sisters went first and I was the first Elder. I opened the envelope and read "Il tuo primo città e Caglieri!" Which is the biggest city on the island of Sardenia! By the way you'll want to look up how to pronounce Cagliari because the G is silent and it's a really pretty word. After everyone opened their envelopes we all stood together in a circle to sing the "Lina del Roma" which is like our mission fight song! If you YouTube "Italy Rome Mission Song" you can find a video, not of us but it's cool to hear it! I found out after that that I would be staying in Rome for another day because they couldn't get a flight to Sardenia until Friday. It never crossed my mind that I would have to fly around my mission! So I went and worked with Anziano Brown in the heart of Rome on Thursday we went contacting in a few parks and picked up some other Elders from Termini the train station in Central Rome.

The last thing we did on Thursday was teach a lesson to a member couple that live in Bologna, he is the project manager for the temple in Rome so they both speak English! I got to teach my first lesson in English which was actually kind of hard because we only practice in Italian at the MTC. It was a beautiful lesson and the spirit was so strong. We shared the Restoration and invited them to invite someone they know to their home so we could teach the same lesson to them. They accepted the invitation so hopefully Elder Brown and his companion will be able to find a new investigator!

Off to bed and up bright and early (5) to head back to the Rome airport! Anziano Guercio who is part of a senior couple in the office picked me and two other Anziani up at 6, we went to the villa and grabbed Sorella Bishop who will also be serving in Sardenia but in Sassari on the complete other end. Headed to the airport, and took the short flight to The airport in Cagliari where I met my trainer! Anziano Segura!

So... Anziano Segura is the man, he's way cool and we're getting along really well! So he's been out about a year and a half, he's from Houston Texas, he played Football in High School  and is pretty athletic. He's been doing this diet where he eats rice and tuna fish like 7 times a day which sounds kind of gross but I guess he's lost a bunch of weight so that's cool, maybe I'll join him and see what happens. So we took a train and a bus to our apartment where I got to unpack and get settled in for a while before heading to the church. Cagliari is one of the most established wards in Italy, they have about 90 active members so they have a really nice building. The sisters that work in our area were blown in which means that both of the sisters are new to the area, they have never been here so Anziano Segura helped the three of us learn a little bit of the ward and the area before we jump in! Then a recent convert couple showed up and we had a little spiritual thought with them talking about the importance of testimonies and making sure that we acquire our own. This lesson was in Italian and let me tell y'all they speak SO FAST. I was doing pretty well with the understanding but sometimes I would have this deer in the headlights look on my face and they would slow down for a few seconds and then forget and go back to full speed. I'll learn eventually right!?!?

So Saturday we spent the day getting adjusted to the area, making language study plans and doing a lot of "new missionary training" not the most fun day but I learned a lot!

We did a gesso on Sabato sera (Saturday night) which means we took a sheet and drew a temple on it in chalk and a bunch of other stuff on it and we chilled in the street inviting people to learn more about Jesus Christ and handing out pass along cards and information cards for the Rome Temple. We did it with the other Sorelle in the district in the centro here in Cagliari and we were getting packed up and all night I had just been asking people if they were interested in a free English class. I saw this older man on the side of the street and I decided to go talk to him. We talked for probably 7-10 minutes in my less than satisfactory Italian, I grabbed a restoration pamphlet and explained some of our basic beliefs and asked him if we could meet with him sometime to talk about them. Sorella Hatfield helped me to exchange numbers with him and hopefully we'll get to have a lesson with him this week! That experience was just a small testimony to me of a couple things, one is that the gift of tongues is real, I've been in Italy for 5 days and was able to hold a conversation and without some divine help there is no way that could have happened. The second part that I learned was about working until the end and not coasting across the finish line. I'm a greenie, I passed out about 20 English course cards that night, l could have called it a day and my trainer and probably myself would have been satisfied but Heavenly Father knows our potential and knows what we can accomplish so I want to make sure that I consecrate all of this time that I have to the Lord. No regrets and no part-time missionaries.

Sunday was quite a treat... Up and out the door, our ward meets at 9 AM! In true Mormon standard fashion we show up 10 minutes early and not a single person is here! Apparently their ward hasn't started on time in 10 years... So we set up chairs in the chapel, they have one of the nicest and biggest buildings in Italy, it's actually owned by the church which most of them here aren't. Then comes the talking to people part! They all want to say hi to me and the four other missionaries that are new to the area so everyone shakes hands and kisses cheeks and says a bunch of stuff that I don't understand and we sit down for sacrament. The bishop asked all 5 of us new missionaries to come up and bare our testimonies and tell the ward a little bit about ourselves. I was so nervous I could barely think but it went really well and I got lots of compliments after, saying they couldn't believe I had only been here five days! Then naturally they asked if I had any relation to Monica Bellucci. I told a couple of them that she was my Mom but we shut that down real quick! Haha

Afterwards I met a bunch more members and we went to the outskirts of Cagliari for a true Italian Style Pronzo... Oh my heck was it solo good or what?!?!
In true Italian fashion we started with pasta in an amazing butter and garlic sauce with basil and artichokes which I would have been ok if that was the whole meal. But no. Definitely not. Then they brought out this whole pig. Head and all, it still had teeth. Coolest thing ever, I didn't eat the head, but the guy put the whole head right on my companions plate. He also got an ear that still had hair in it... He didn't eat it... The actual pork was amazing though, it was so good! Then they brought out a platter of sliced tomatoes and olive oil and onions and some garlic toasted bread. Then a huge platter of watermelon and cantaloupe that was heavenly. All the fruit here is Heavenly to be honest... Then the dolce or dessert, it was a deep fried pastry freshly made with cheese that's made from the Rhine of the lemon. Then you put some honey on it while it's still hot out of the oil. Heaven on a plate let me tell ya.
Then we had a really cool spiritual thought from Alma Chapter 50 about how we need to guard our families and make a fortress and the basic things that can be our safe guards are simple yet powerful. The basics are family prayer and scripture study, going to church and spending time together as a family. There is no substitute for these things in our lives. So my invitation to all of you is to think about your family whether it's just you, or you and your spouse, or you and your spouse and 10 kids it doesn't matter, think about what you can do to make sure you have that fortress built to protect your family and what are some other things you can do to continue to build that strength.

I apologize that this email is soooo long but I wanted to make sure I shared everything! Congratulations if you read the whole thing! I hope you all have a sweet week and I can't wait to hear from you! Remember I can read your emails through out the week so feel free to send them whenever. I love being connected to y'all!

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Friday, July 15, 2016

New Mailing Address for Anziano Bellucci!!

Hey everyone!

There are lots of new and exciting things going on in Italy having to do with the LDS church and one of them is that the Italy Rome Mission Home has MOVED! How exciting?! With this move however, comes a new address! So here it is:

Elder Jacob Bellucci
Italy Rome Mission
Piazza Monte Gemma 9
00141 Rome, Italy

The "Contact Me" portion of the blog has been updated so you can also find the address there. I just wanted to point the change out to everyone so that it won't go unnoticed! 

Jacob always asks for updates on the blog and he's always on me about keeping it updated! He gets so excited when I tell him the number of page views each week. We thank you all so much for helping us support my little brother. 

Thanks again!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Jacob and all Italy Missionaries are Safe!


Dear Families of the Missionaries serving in the Great Italy Rome Mission, 

We are saddened to learn of a serious train accident that occurred a few hours ago in southern Italy between the towns of Corato and Andria.

We can report that no missionaries of the Italy Rome Mission were on the train.  All missionaries are healthy and accounted for.

We unite our prayers with the people of Italy for those impacted by this tragedy.  



Care famiglie dei missionari che servono nella grande missione italiana di Roma.

Siamo rattristati dalla notizia dell’incidente ferroviario occorso alcune ore fa tra Corato e Andria.

Possiamo dire con certezza che nessuno dei nostri missionari viaggiava in quel treno.Tutti quanti i missionari stanno bene.

Ci uniamo in pregharia con il popolo italiano colpito da questa tragedia.



President Michael D. Pickerd

Sister Marian W. Pickerd

Italy Rome Mission / Missione Italiana di Roma

Day 1 in ROMA!!!

We wanted to let you know that your missionary arrived safely at the mission home today. We love them already and have been praying for them before they came.
We are including a photo and short message from them. We look forward to serving with your missionary!
President and Sister Pickerd

From Jacob,

Hey everyone! We can't send a long email but i wanted to let you know that we made it here! It's been a great and exhausting day and I am already loving it! We spent the day in Roma, we went to the Colosseum and the Trevi fountain and the temple and so many other cool things! We'll be at the mission home in Rome until I think Thursday morning! Here is some pictures, I love you all and I will send a real email on Monday! Vi Voglio bene! 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Week 5!!!! We're headed to ITALIA!!!!

Hey everyone! This last week has gone by crazy fast at the MTC! It's feeling pretty real now! We got our travel plans on Friday! So here is the itinerary!

We leave the MTC at 3:50 AM (I'm really excited to be up that early...) and head to the Salt Lake City Airport, we take off at 8:36 and fly to Atlanta GA, we're there for 45 minutes and then a straight shot to Rome! We land at 7 AM on Tuesday Local time so it will be 11 in Utah and 1 in NY! (I think)

We had a departing talk with our Branch President on Sunday which made me really excited! There's a lot of Sisters in our Zone who have never flown before so they are kinda freaking out!  

That was probably the most exciting thing that happened this week, its a little scary but I'm so stoked! We also committed both of our investigators to baptism! They both ended up saying yes! It was really cool to hear them commit to it, I can't wait to see someone in real life accept the Gospel. 

Saturday we had kind of an extra special Devotional for the 4th of July! The speaker spoke about how the Lord prepared the United States as a place for religious freedom so that one day the Gospel could be restored here. Starting with some of the earliest parts of American History with Colombus and then the Revolution and the signing of the constitution, the Bill of Rights, Abraham Lincoln and his contributions to make this country a better place and able to receive the message of the restored Gospel. They carried flags for every country where there is missionaries in the MTC going or from. Then they had us stand up by country where we are from and then by country where we are going. After the devo we got to go outside and stay up past bed time to watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks and we could hear a little bit of the Tim McGraw concert in Provo! 

On the language side of things we have memorized so much! I have Doctrine and Covenants section 4 memorized in both English and Italian, The First Vision, 1 Nephi 3:7, 3 Nephi 5:11, Moroni 10:4-6, Baptismal Invitations and the Missionary Purpose! It's been a crazy week for memorization! 

Monday was pretty good! I had a pretty good Birthday with lots of well wishes from the Sister missionaries! No mail on the 4th of July but I got lots of Happy Birthdays on Tuesday! 

We heard from an Emeritus 70 on Tuesday; Elder Marlin Jensen, it was an incredible talk about faith and the steps of faith that we can find through out the scriptures. Starting with a particle, then much faith, then great faith, then exceeding faith, then exceedingly great faith and the different things that come from our different types of faith. That was probably pretty confusing but I don't have much time to explain today!

Yesterday we got 33 new missionaries in our zone heading to Rome and Milan! There usually isn't an overlap but with the new mission president things got a little mixed up so there are a lot of missionaries here and its really cool to see how little they know and how far we have come in just a few short weeks. I'm so excited for them and our teachers are encouraging us to speak to them in Italian! We're trying but they just look at us with that "Deer in the headlights" look and I wonder if that's how we look every time one of our teachers opens their mouths. 

I had a really cool conversation yesterday with some of the sisters in my district and our teacher Sorella (Sister) Russell, we talked about the difference between faith and hope and desires. We can have a hope in something that is not seen or true , its still a hope but it's not faith by Alma's definition (Alma 32:21) Our hopes come from our desires, we can control our hopes by controling our desires and through that we can control our faith. Hope can also be an expectation or what we expect to happen. So the part I really liked was tying in "Faith without works is dead." So we can hope in something like God or Jesus Christ but if we never act on it, or do something to bring you closer to it or prove it then it will never become faith. So my invitation to you all this week is to act. I know I talk about faith in my emails a lot but I want you all to think about your hopes and how you can turn them into faith. Alma 32:27 says "But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." 

Act in faith and let your faith grow! 
Next time you hear from me will be from Rome!
Vi Voglio Bene!

Anziano Jacob Bellucci