Monday, August 29, 2016

Cagliari Week 13

Good morning America!

This has been such a great week! I have had some great experiences and
Mom you'll be happy to know that I took a lot of pictures this week!

Good news, all the missionaries in Italy are safe from the earthquake
that happened earlier this week. Unfortunately it was a terrible
earthquake as I. Sure you've heard and over 290 people are dead. So
thank you for your prayers on behalf of the Italian people, i know
they are appreciated. We here in Sardegna didn't even know there was
an earthquake until we got an email from the mission president as well
as all the emails from back home about it.

Big news! We're going to Rome in a couple weeks! President Keuken is
the head of the European area of the church and he is coming to the
mission to give a training and they are flying all 16 missionaries in
Sardegna in for the conference! We're all pretty excited to go to the
mainland and to learn from our inspired leaders!

So Monday after we emailed we had Family Home Evening at the park with
quite a few people, it was super fun and my companion and I were in
charge. So we wanted to make it a little more fun and upbeat than
usual. For those of you that don't know the church has set aside
Monday nights as a night for all members to be with their families.
There are no church meetings and it leaves the evening open to spend
time together as a family doing what we call "Family Home Evening" or
"FHE" so every Monday night we get together in the "parca della
musica" to meet with the single members of the church as well as the
people that we are teaching so they can meet members and see what the
church is all a about... Families! Anyway, we decided that since we
are in the land of Gelato we would try to make some homemade ice cream
with everyone! So with some rocks alt, some ice (which is a giant pain
in the butt because if you can find bags of ice in Italy it's like 4-5
€ which is almost $6 for a tiny bag so with some Tupperware containers
and a hammer we made ice) some milk, sugar, and vanilla we attempted
ice cream! As we shook these bags everyone kept commenting on how cold
their fingers were and how it was almost painful because of how cold
it was. We brought a couple of towels but for sure not enough for
everyone. So we would let everyone use them one by one but only when
they would ask for it. At the end everyone enjoyed their ice cream and
said it was for sure worth it! We shared a scripture about being
patient in your afflictions and enduring to the end to get the
goodness and the sweet fruit of the gospel. We also tied into the
atonement with the towels, the atonement gives us relief from our
afflictions but only when we use it, only when we ask God for help! It
was a cool spiritual thought and a really fun activity!

Tuesday seems like a long time ago... We did a Family Home Evening
with the Cabras family, the one that always has us over for Pranzo
because they're amazing! So we were in charge of it and we decided to
do a little Fear Factor experiment... So we got ten little cups and
put a bunch of random little things in them. We had olive oil,
aranciata(like orange soda but way better), chocolate mousse, baby
food, fish paste, beans, lemon juice, and vinegar. Some good things
and some... Not so good. Everyone took turns, everyone else would look
at what was in each cup and then the person would have to choose a
cup. All the people who knew what was in each cup tried to get them to
choose a different one. Number 3! Number 7! We then likened it to the
Gospel and how Joseph Smith wasn't sure which church to join in 1820,
most of them taught good things and correct principles, some of them
were a little off (lemon juice) but they were all claiming to have the
truth and saying "Choose this church!" "No, choose our church!" But
none of us had the correct authority to tell them which was correct
but Christ does have the authority and so Joseph went straight to the
source and received his answer. Again another really cool lesson that
was simple and easy to understand.

Wednesday we planned an activity with the youth and the Young Single
Adults because they don't have a weekly mutual activity like the youth
in America do. We went bowling! It was a little bit different than in
America, the approach is shorter, the actual lane is shorter too and
no one in Italy really bowls so they aren't very good. Sorella
Hatfield won by a landslide with an 86 and I was second with a 75.
Anyway, we had a couple investigators come and it was really cool to
see the members bring them into their friend group and fellowship
them. We got index cards and drew bowling pins and a bowling ball on
one side and then the sister missionaries wrote a scripture on the
other side.

41 O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One.
Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is
narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper
of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant
there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he
cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.

Creative way to stay on the straight and narrow and tie in a fun activity!

Thursday we got all our IKEA furniture! So we drive a Toyota Yaris...
And we have a lot of faith but we also had a lot of furniture... So we
got there and they brought out these two hugs carts with some big
boxes and I was with Anziano Chugg to pick it up and we both looked at
each other and said "There's no way that's going to fit in our car."
So we called Fratello Sanna who is an absolute Saint and he helped us
get the stuff home in his car and we spent most of the day putting it
together and getting our apartment organized. I'm pretty sure my
companion and I could work for IKEA, we are pros at putting together
closets and dressers. We did a little bit of finding and then English

Friday turned into weekly planning, more furniture putting together
and a trip to the pizzeria down the street which is Heavenly. Side
note about pizza... They have like their individual pizzas bit then
you can go to all these pizzerias and get it by the slice. However,
their sliced pizza is like a sheet pizza that they cut into squares
and fold them in half and hand them to you wrapped in like wax paper.
There is this one right by our house called smile pizzeria and we go
there all the time. It's absolutely amazing and so quick.

I'll be honest I don't remember exactly what we did most of the day
but we met up with the sisters to do a Gesso in the shopping centro
with a few members that want to serve missions in the near future. One
of them brought their little sister who is 12 and we gave her some
English course pass-along cards and some that have the date and time
of our sacrament meeting and she was going crazy giving them out to
people and no one wants to reject the 12 year old so people would talk
to us! It was really cool! We also taught a lesson to an investigator
who is having a problem with the Commandment to obey the law of
chastity. So Friday morning Anziano Segura and I studied up on
everything we could find on chastity. He had a repertoire of responses
for why he should be the exception and should be able to be baptized
without obeying the word of wisdom. He was slightly defensive and said
"This is what's wrong with all you churches, you find someone who
wants to be baptized and you won't let him because he's not perfect"
which gave me an incredible opportunity to bare my testimony about the
power of the atonement and explain that we have these commandments and
these requirements before baptism because when we enter into the
waters of baptism we covenant or promise to obey them. If we were to
be baptized without any intent to obey the commandments then we would
be so miserable as we didn't hold up our end of the two way promise.
Afterwards he seemed to understand and he asked if he could take a
week or so before he decides if this is still something he wants to
do. It was the first time I had been able to turn a negative
experience with an investigator around. Usually I can't think of the
words or explain it to them but as I shared my testimony it was
amazing to see his perspective change.

There was another American here! So we got to church yesterday and I
saw a blonde... Italy is lacking in the blonde department so I wasn't
sure who it was. So the sisters went and talked to her and turns out
she is from Salt Lake! So she plays violin in the Orchestra on temple
square. She is here to learn from some lady from France how to be a
better violinist so she is here for a week and she looked up the ward
and decided to come! So we decided afterwards that we should take
advantage of those musical talents while we have them. So we got her
number and told her we would text her and see if she was free to do a
Gesso with us. Well our phones wouldn't send her a message probably
because it's not an Italian phone number... But the sisters remembered
the hotel she was staying at. So they went to her hotel and talked to
the guy at the front desk who was a little reluctant to let
missionaries bother his guest but they must have batted their eye
lashes or something because he let them in and they asked her to come
to another family night that we had last night at a park. We sang "I
know that my redeemer lives" with her playing the violin and it was
really cool! I got a video and some pictures that I'll attach but
you'll probably have to get the video from the blog :)

P-Day is here, it always goes by faster and faster but we haven't done
anything too exciting! We did some grocery shopping this morning and
cleaned the house. The other Anziani went and checked out a cross fit
gym to buy a T-shirt since we're not aloud to have gym memberships and
we stayed here to chill, we've had a pretty relaxing day!

Anyway that's about it for my epistle his week! I love you guys and I
love all the photo streams you have started with me! Have a great

Anziano Bellucci

Monday, August 22, 2016

Cagliari Week 12

Caio tutti!

This week has been a really interesting week! As I mentioned last week my companion was off the Island and back on the mainland in Taranto to get his permesso so I was in a trio with the zone leaders from Monday morning until Thursday night. We would have usually both gone together but Monday was like the Italians Thanksgiving so travel was super expensive! So I stayed here and got to see how they do missionary work! It started off on Monday with all the cleaning I was telling you about and then Tuesday we went to do some finding in a nearby park called the parca della musica, any returned missionaries that have ever been in a trio will probably understand how hard it is to try to find with three people. People get really intimidated and it's just awkward. So we kind of split up and One of the Zone leaders would talk to someone sitting on a bench and I would go with the other one and we would talk to someone on the next bench. The first guy we talked to was a man who said he had seen our pamphlet on his table at home, that his wife had encountered the Sister missionaries maybe just a week ago. How perfect is that? So we sat down next to him and taught him the Restoration of the Gospel. I'm getting a lot better at switching off with my companion and being ready to speak and pick up where he leaves off. He kind of had an air of disinterest in his eyes and then I shared the first vision with him we could see his demeanor change and he began to understand as he felt the spirit that comes from sharing such a sacred experience.

We then had our District meeting, we did a role play about inviting people to church to "Come and see" as Christ says to his Apostles. I was paired up with the District Leader's companion Anziano Adepoju. He is probably one of the coolest missionaries ever. He is from Africa which is where he was baptized and then his family came to Italy just a little while ago. When they have people who come to different countries as refugees they have them serve in that country. He speaks very little English and even less Italian. But more importantly he knows this Gospel is true! He shared a really cool experience about how there are so many churches in Africa and they all have their little pieces of truth but when he came to the LDS church for the first time he knew that it was truly the Church of Jesus Christ. The best part is you can tell how hard it is for him to say what he's thinking in Italian but his testimony is so strong and he's going to do whatever it takes to tell you why he knows it's true. It was a testimony to me, as he asked me for help with his words that it is less important what we say than what the spirit makes them feel! After the role play Sorella Hatfield offered our Addestramento on how we can be more consecrated missionaries. It was great! And a real eye opener to how we can do better as we try to align our will with God's. We had a great rest of the afternoon, got cancelled on by everyone of our appointments so we decided to give the sisters a break from teaching English course and so the Zone Leaders taught while the sisters and I strategized some ways to help the ward. We had a pretty cool experience that night, our Mission President gave us a referral from when he served here in Cagliari 30 years ago. Of course we were on top of it, he came to English course that night and was amazed at how much the church has grown in the past years. We gave him a tour of the building and set up an appointment to meet with him!

Wednesday was an early day... I told you that we were getting transfer calls on Monday, because President changed almost everything this last transfer he didn't change much with our zone here on the island. So there was only one transfer in the whole zone! Sorella Hills (the really tall one) was transferred back to the Mainland and she had a 7AM flight... The Sisters don't have a car so if they were going to go to the station in time for her flight they would have had to take like two trains and a bus at 4 AM so we woke up at 4:30 and went to the sisters apartment and brought her to the airport. We show up at their apartment at 5 and they meet us in the parking lot with fresh baked banana bread that they had made that morning... We have the best sisters in our area... So we get her to the airport and come home, sometime between 4:30 and 5:45 AM someone stole our parking spot right next to our apartment and so we had to park like a 10 minute walk away AND it decided to rain for the one and only time I have ever seen it rain here. It poured while we walked home at 5:45 in the morning. We got back and Anziano Chugg said "Let's do some Johnson and Johnson workouts!" Anziano Blocker and I glared at him and collapsed on our beds. Basta.

We did some finding and then the Sisters called us and said "We made lunch, come to the church!" So we did, again we have the best sisters! We ate and talked with them for a while and then one of the sisters that served here about a year ago showed up with her whole family visiting from Washington State! So we spent some time visiting with her and she gave us the name of some old contacts that we should try. We sang the Linea di Roma with her (The mission fight song I told you about) and her family and it was so fun!

We are planning to do a ward activity in a few weeks where we put on a little play for the Restoration and do a ward barbecue! So we spent some time talking about it and making plans for how to get he ward involved. We picked up my companion at 6:30 and went back to the house, he was so exhausted and passed out at 8 until the next morning at 6:30 AM... Sometimes I forget how exhausting traveling is...

Not much happened on Thursday, my companion and I taught English course which was pretty fun, we met some new people and invited them to learn more about the church. So we have some appointments this week with new investigators!

Friday we weekly planned, and taught some lessons with our investigators and well we were waiting for one of our investigators a man pulled into the church on his motorcycle and said "I used to meet with the missionaries a long time ago but I wasn't ready to change my life back then, I realize now that it's time to change and I miss the way I used to feel when I was meeting with you and I want those feelings back!" How cool is that?!?! That night we had a dinner appointment with the Sanna family. They are a super strong family, he used to be the assistant to the mission president but President Pickerd released him when he first got here. We shared a spiritual thought about how Satan can counterfeit things. We took a 5€ and then we tried to draw a 5€ and we talked about what are some of the obvious things that are different and how we can tell the difference between things that are of God and things that are not and it really for the most part comes down to being worthy and being in tune with the spirit. It was a really cool spiritual thought! For dolce after dinner they made like a peach cobbler pie and it was soooo good with some amazing Italian Gelato... It was heaven.

Saturday we spent painting again, lots of fun and then they made us Pranzo, we started with Spaghetti, then onto an eggplant bake which was soooo good! Anziano Segura loves eggplant, he said it would have been way better fried which I totally believe but it was good nonetheless... Round three was fish. I couldn't tell you what kind but it was dang good. Lots of these little tiny bones but the fish was really good. I took a picture that I'll send!

We did a Gesso on Saturday night with the sisters to publicize English course because it's getting to be the time when people are returning to their normal schedules and so we want to make the course big again! We did it in the Centro around all these stores. Sometimes I forget that I am in one of the worlds biggest tourist destinations. People come from allover to go to the beaches of Poetta and see the castles of Mussolini here on the Island and it is definitely still tourist season. Especially when you go to the centro. So most of the people I tried to talk to either responded in English or responded in some other language that was for sure not Italian. I'm pretty sure I heard Russian, German, lots of French and Spanish, some Romanian, Meldovan, some English from the UK and I met a couple people from America. Not really what we were going for but we told them where they could find LDS churches where they live. We got Gelato after because that's what Americans do in Italy...

Sunday is always amazing... I didn't understand much of Sacrament which is weird, I usually get most of it. We had a bunch of investigators in church though which to missionaries is like Christmas morning when they walk in. It's amazing the spirit they can feel when come and see the ordinance of the sacrament and see the happiness that the families in the Gospel have!

Today we went to Auchan which is Italy's version of Walmart I guess you could say... It's in a shopping center though almost like a mall. It was so nice to walk around a mall and it almost felt like America! We went to this electronics shop and it was so cool to see how much technology has changed in just the last three months! Maybe I just ever paid attention but it seems like everything is already changing! I bought a new iPad case. One thing that I've noticed here in Italy and apparently it's similar in the rest of Europe is that Apple is not Very common. You hardly ever see people with iPhones or iPads except the missionaries. Everyone here has Android phones and tablets. Just something I thought was interesting. I feel like iPhones are way more common in America than anything else.

That's about it for today/this week we are waiting for all of our new furniture to come into IKEA this Thursday so we're pretty excited!

Congratulations if you made it to the end of this email, I had to make up for last week's! I love you all and I love hearing from you! I hope you have a great week and recognize the Hand of God in every part of it! That's one thing I've for sure seen this week! Keep on keeping on, and my favorite Apostolic quote from the Mother of Joseph B. Wirthlin "Come what may and love it" the Lord provides, we can take anything that comes our way in stride.

The church is true, the book is blue, and I love you!

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Monday, August 15, 2016

Cagliari Week 11!

Ciao Belli!

So, this week has gone by the fastest of all! Transfer calls are
tonight! Any minute now actually! I won't no anywhere because you stay
in the same place for twelve weeks to be trained but it's still
interesting to see what will happen!

Update on the Italian! I've been talking on the phone with the members
which has been one of the hardest things for me but I've had a couple
of successful phone calls where I did t have to give the phone to my
companion. Side note, no one in Italy answers their phone or shows up
to set appointments on time/at all.

So the week! Tuesday we had District meeting, we had a great training
on how our attitude effects our success as missionaries. It was
incredible to look back even just on the past few weeks and see how my
attitude has the power to change everything I do. Pranzo (lunch) as a
District made by Fratello Caravagna, one of our favorite members! We
then had some great Lessons with some great progressing investigators!
We taught both of them the third lesson that we usually share which is
"The Gospel of Jesus Christ" and I think it's my favorite, especially
to teach! I like it for one because I can explain it really well in
Italian and two because it is so simple, it brings together the
Restoration and the Plan of Salvation with the Atonement and tells you
why it's important and tells you exactly what you need to do!

Wednesday was a great day as well, we did some video finding with this
really cool video about Jesus Christ. We went to a park and found
people sitting on benches and sat down next to them with the video and
a bunch of them watched it! You never know if anyone will come out of
your efforts but you can always try!

I don't have as much time to email his week so I might leave some stuff out...

I gave a talk on Sunday! I found out Saturday night that I had to give
a talk on Sunday morning at 9, so I did the logical thing and went to
bed and said I would figure it out tomorrow. So at 6:30 I was up,
dictionary in hand writing a talk! They didn't give me a topic so I
chose to speak about how we can all be instruments in the Lord's
hands. I didn't plan to say this but at the end I asked everyone to
take out a piece of paper or their phone and write down the first name
that came to their mind when they thought about sharing the Gospel
with their friends/family and then to talk to the missionaries this
week and make it happen. Who knows if anything will happen but we can
hope right!

Today is Ferragosto which is an Italian holiday and on holidays in
Italy the whole country basically shuts down, there is no one on the
streets, everyone is, actually I have no idea where everyone is... So
we as missionaries get to spend the entire day deep cleaning our
apartment! So for us that meant some serious damage had to be done. On
Tuesday they had a senior couple of missionaries come from Rome to
inspect all the missionaries apartments on the island and ey said we
needed to get rid of a ton of our furniture and replace it all. So we
spent half of Thursday at IKEA ordering new closets and dressers etc,
and today we rearranged our whole apartment and cleaned sooooo much!
Which is why we're emailing so late, our P-Day is extended because of
all the cleaning! I'm excited for all the new furniture to get here,
it should be pretty nice!

Remember my permesso stuff with the PosteItaliano? Well you have to
renew them after a year and my companion renewed his in Taranto which
is on the main land so when it's ready to be picked up you have to go
back and pick it up in Person so at 5 AM this morning we took him to
the airport and because they don't have much notice to buy the flight
it's so expensive! So he's traveling by himself and I am staying here
with the zone leaders!

I'm sorry this email is soooo short! Like I said we spent so much time
cleaning today that we didn't get to do much p-day so next week it
will definitely be longer! I love you all, hope you have a great week
and I can't wait to hear from you!


P.S. If you would like to share photos with me throughout the week I
would love to see them, just add my email to a photo stream!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Cagliari Week 10!

Buon Giorno tutti!

Let's start off talking a little bit about the differences between
Italian culture and American culture.

First things first: where's the carpet at? Carpet is literally
nonexistent here... Everything is hardwood or stone or tile. I miss
walking on big fluffy carpet. The one good thing is it's too dang hot
for the floors to be cold when you wake up in the morning. It's just
so weird to get out of bed and not be touching carpet.

Second thing: No one lives in houses here, they're all apartment flats
or condominiums. Which is so different from America! This week I will
be going up to Oristano for an exchange with my District Leader. If
you want to check it out on the map it's to the NorthWest or Cagliari,
but anyway it's a little more rural so I'm interested to see what the
housing is like out there. One thing I didn't think about until today
is that no one has a backyard. That would be so sad to me... And a lot
of the parks here are kinda ghetto. But on the other hand some of them
are really nice! I just think it would have been weird to not hear my
Mom say "Go outside and play!"

Number 3: They don't have living rooms... For the most part, at least
not American style living rooms. There will be like a random room with
a couch, that room might be the kitchen, it might be the dining
room... It's just so different. In America I feel like we organize the
furniture to face the television and that's the main room in the

Fourth thing: They don't eat things mixed together. You probably got
this from explaining the meals and stuff but everything is separate.
You eat pasta, then your meat, and so forth. AND They use different
plates for everything. AND they don't use dishwashers. So after every
course you change plates (Sometimes you can eat pasta and meat on the
same plate but I'm not sure what the rules are on that sooo yeah) and
then someone has to wash all those plates! That's so weird to me...
Also they don't let you help pick up. We try to sneak dishes to the
kitchen without them noticing but you have no chance of washing a dish
before they yell at you.

Fifth! There are no like big super stores... There is one called
Auchan that's kind of big but it's still really different. Every store
sells pretty much one thing. So where as we would go to Walmart to buy
laundry soap and food, here you have to go to Acqua and Sapone for the
laundry soap and then depending on what you want for food you could
end up at 10 different stores.

Number 6 and then I'll be done for this stuff... The Claxon is real. A
Claxon is a horn, like for your car, ya know "beep beep" well
everyone's horn in Italy works and gets used VERY frequently and it's
never like a "toot toot" it's a "I'm going to hold this button until
you get out of my way" kind of horn. And once one person in a line of
cars starts honking, everyone feels like it's their right to join in.
As if the person in the way will get the point any faster if we all
lay on our horns together. We live across the street from one of the
biggest markets in Cagliari and things start happening real early over
there so the horns start really early too.

Ok... Onto the week!

On Monday we went to a family's house to teach them how to do a Family
Home Evening together. For those of you who don't know, the church has
set aside Monday night as the night for families to be together and do
FHE. So we started with the Liahona which is just the Italian version
of the Ensign and the Mom asked us what things we were self sufficient
in... I hadn't read the article so I just heard the words self
sufficient and I don't know if I just wasn't paying attention but when
she asked me what things I felt I was pretty self sufficient in my
brain went to spiritual things and so I was talking about the
different parts of my testimony that were pretty strong. Anyway, the
article was literally about being self sufficient during times of
crisis such as having enough money, food storage, clean drinking
water... So I made a fool out of myself. It was embarrassing but I
learned how important it is to pay attention to context!

Tuesday we didn't have District Meeting because this week was Zone
Conference! We wouldn't have been able to go to District Meeting
anyway because I had an appointment to get my permesso stuff done. So
my appointment was for 9:57. Pretty specific I know... Anyway I asked
Anziano Segura if we would just head over after Personal study. He
said no we need to be there at least two hours early! I was so
confused... So we head to the Questura which is the Immigration office
and there is a man from India there standing outside and then we show
up, a few minutes later an African nun shows up... (I know this sounds
like the beginning to a bad joke but it's not I promise) Anyway my
companion tells me "We need to kind of stake our claim in the order we
got here or we'll never get through" to which I was thoroughly
confused. I had an appointment, why does it matter? Well it does. So
we got there at about 7:45 and they opened the gaits at about 9:10. By
this time there were about 50 people from just about every country
standing outside this building. Side note, the building was under a
parking garage and was real sketchy. So the man comes out and gives us
a number as we go in. I got number 5, I was pretty close to the front
but the nun definitely got in front of me. We walk in and there's this
big room, it smells like mold, the lights are flickering, the seats
where you're supposed to wait are like metal park benches and as we
waited it started to smell like BO real bad. Turns out that number
they give you doesn't mean anything because if you're not right there
ready at the counter when they call your number then someone else will
just hop right in! And they let you! One thing I've learned this week
is that Italians don't wait in line. So we finally get up there, and
the dude is super nice! Which was a relief because I've heard some
horror stories about the Questura. So he takes my documents and puts
some stuff into the computer and then he brings over this big 2016
book that's for like appointments. (Now remember this is an official
government office and he is making an appointment for me to be
fingerprinted and allowed to stay in the country) He opens it up,
finds an empty spot and says "How about September 1st?" And promptly
writes my name down in this calendar like I'm making an appointment at
the hair salon... It's incredible to me... So that was all morning
Tuesday. Then we had all of our appointments cancel on us so we did
some bus finding until English course. The Sorelle were late so we got
to teach! Finally something I'm good at! I can speak this language! So
the topic was "Going to the Dentist" they were more interested in how
American Insurance worked and why we didn't have to pay 400€ to have a
cavity filled like they do here. Then Sorella Hatfield made a comment
about how in America you can insure just about anything. It was pretty
funny but the Italians didn't get it...

Wednesday! We went to Quartu which I'm not sure if I've told y'all
about but it's the second largest city in Sardegna and it's pretty
much continuous from Cagliari. We have both cities and there are a ton
of less active members out there so we tried to hit them up! We talked
to the guy that gave us the free watermelon last week, and he gave us
3 kili of clams which is like 5 pounds so my companion and I did a big
clam bake for Pranzo! They were soooo good and so fresh! While we were
talking to the guy his neighbor came over and picked up a clam and
took out his pocket knife, slit it open and slurped it up! Not my
thing but apparently it's good! Our less active finding was less than
successful but we were able to update the ward list with some people
who had moved. The zone leaders did an exchange with e Anziani in
Sassari, so Anziano Bellini came down to Cagliari. He's 6'7", he's so
tall! We had a great time and it was cool to meet other missionaries.

Thursday we had to help get ready for Zone Conference, we had 12
Elders staying at our apartment that night so we had along to do to
get our apartment ready! We had to drag out a ton of mattresses, blow
up mattresses and get all the beds made and ready to go! We bought a
bunch of food to make burritos for everyone that came in late Thursday
night and had been traveling all day. We got cancelled on all of our
appointments on Thursday... But with President flying in that night
and Zone Conference the next day we decided we needed to get a hair
cut. So during our lunch hour we went to his salon, it was super nice
and we asked if they had any openings. They did so we sat down. They
don't teach you how to talk about getting a hair cut while you're in
the MTC... So I sat down and had no idea what to tell her. I said "My
faith is in you" and I did t end up bald so all is well! Haircuts in
Italy are so different... They pay so much attention to the details.
She used like 6 different size clippers and was so precise with my
neck and sideburns. AND everyone gets a shampoo when they're done
cutting. So you don't end up with hair everywhere all day! It was so
nice and the chair gives you a massage while they wash your head. I
could have stayed all day. Then you go back and they style it, she had
me stand up and said I was done and so I did and then she started
freaking out and had me sit down again, she put the apron thing back
on me and she trimmed maybe 3 hairs on my side burns and then said it
was perfect. Also you don't tip here... Weird. Thursday night was
good, the Assistants flew in at around 9, all the other Anziani took
trains into Cagliari and we did a big burrito night and off to bed!

Up at 6:30 as usual to get the Anziani to the church for their
meetings with the President because they had to hop on a train right
after the conference. Typical Italian breakfast (no joke) of cookies
and milk and then we were at the church all day for conference! It was
an incredible conference and the spirit was so strong. I had been
feeling like we weren't really accomplishing much all week, almost all
of our lessons had cancelled on us and we weren't finding new
investigators and I was stressing. We had a great council on what our
mission should be. President has established a vision for out Mission
and it goes something like this:

"The Great Italy Rome Mission is a consecrated Preach my Gospel
Mission that teaches repentance and baptizes converts"

So the ZC was centered on that, specifically the last part, teaching
repentance and baptizing converts which was the topic from the new
mission presidents conference this past week. President has asked us
for the past few weeks to think about and search for scriptures on
repentance and bring them to ZC. So we did! We spent about an hour
discussing different scriptures that we can use to teach repentance so
it is better understood by investigators. It was incredible, e spirit
was so strong as we talked about the blessings that come from true
repentance and a true change of heart. One thing that I've really been
noticing about repentance is that it should be a positive thing. Yes,
sometimes it stinks and it's not always a pleasant experience. But
True repentance, true change, brings true joy. The joy of eternal
life. Like Elder Holland said "Salvation is not a cheap experience"
that's why this work isn't easy. We have to work, we have to have a

The assistants gave an adestramento (training) called "Come and See"
which was great! It was about inviting people to come to church. Like
Christ said to the early Apostles when they asked him where he was
going, he said "come and see" and hat is exactly what we are to do as
missionaries. We are to be fishers of men like Peter in the book of
Luke. They shared a statistic that people are 120%  more likely to be
baptized if they come to church. How cool is that?!?! All we have to
do is get them to church! So how do we do that? Well one of my
favorite things that I got from conference was making our invitations
personal. Instead of saying "Would you like to come to church with us?
By the way it's three hours long." Share a bit of your testimony with
them. "We'd like to invite you to come to church with us and the
reason is because we know you will feel the spirit. The sacrament is
an ordinance that Christ instituted himself in His earthly ministry
and it's my favorite part of the week because I know how weak and
flawed I am, but with the sacrament, I can become clean again. Would
you like to come and see what it's like for yourself?" Obviously every
scenario is different but when we make our invitations personal,
people have a desire to come and see, to come and find out for
themselves. Soooo as always I have an invitation for you. The first is
to go back and watch those "Patterns of light" videos that you wanted
to watch last week but got distracted and forgot. And the second is to
invite someone to church, whether it be an activity, or for a church
tour or a baptismal service. Think of your friends and your family and

After zone conference our week started to look up! Our investigator
with a baptismal date met us at the church and we had a great lesson,
recommitted him to baptism, and he came to church on Sunday!!!!!

Saturday we started off doing service... Soooo Italians are cheap.
They call it short armed, they will do anything possible to save a
Euro. So we go to this members house and she's trying to remodel her
kitchen. So she gives us this bottle of chemicals that I'm pretty sure
would be out lawed in the states because it's so strong. She tells us
to spray the mold and then paint over it. Ew. Anyway, we do what she
asks. Then we start painting. SHE KEEPS ADDING WATER TO THE PAINT. Do
you have any idea how hard it is to cover a wall that had black mold
on it with white paint that has a ton of water in it? It's real hard.
And I began to be a little bitter about it. The paint was so thin that
it would just run off the roller and never make it so the wall and
what did make it to the wall was straight water. No paint involved. So
I took a break because I was getting annoyed. But I started thinking
about why we do service as missionaries. I mean, she's a super active
member, we could have been out contacting, we could have been
contacting less actives. Why are we here? Then I looked at my name
tag... We are literal representatives of Jesus Christ. All he did was
serve and he served with charity. Which as we know, charity is the
pure love of Christ. Service has less to do with getting the room
painted and more to do with the love that we show when we serve. When
we act as Christ did, people notice, and Heavenly Father notices and
he blesses us. So I got up and I grabbed my roller, sloshed it around
in the paint/water and went to work. She had a neighbor there so that
we could have another male in the house while we were there and so we
got to know him as we painted and we have a return appointment with
him. The Lord blesses your efforts, especially when the intents of
your heart are where they should be!

Saturday night we got invited to a member family's house to mangia la
pizza! It was soooo good! I'll add some pictures as well as the sign
on the door, y'all can google translate it ;)

Sunday! My favorite day...

Sacrament meeting was great, I love Fasting Testimony meeting! It was
great! Hen in Gospel Principles we talked about Honesty and the
importance of being honest in all things. The Italians broke out in an
argument about the difference between types of lying. And stealing and
when it's OK to lie. I can never tell when they're actually arguing
because they all just talk over each other which 1. Makes it really
hard for me to understand 2. Gets us nowhere but off topic. So after a
big giro we turned the conversation back to honesty and it was a
really good class! Priesthood was about Family History! Which turns
out I don't know those words either! So I did t get much out of it so
I just looked at the family history app on my iPad.

A bunch of members invited us to come to Pranzo right after church at
the church with all eight missionaries! It was so good! Then we spent
the evening weekly planning because of Zone Conference! Not too much
exciting going on!

P-Day is here! We spent the morning after studies shopping. It's Saldi
season which is kind of like Black Friday but spread out over like a
month and it happens every August and January. We saw some cool stuff
and I bought an Italian cook book! I'm so excited about it! We also
checked out some sweet Italian suits and shoes. I can't wait to buy
some right before I come home from my mission! We're going to have a
ping pong tournament after emailing which is pretty sweet... I wish
the churches in America had a ping pong table... But they have carpet
which is sooo much better haha

Anyway, I hope you have a great week! I love you all! I can't wait to
hear what you have been up to!

Anziano Jake Bellucci

Monday, August 1, 2016

Cagliari! Week 9!

The weeks and the days seem to go pretty fast so far! I can't believe
that I went into the MTC two months ago today! It seems like just
yesterday I was balling in the temple parking lot across the street
from the MTC... Anyway, it's going crazy fast!

I need some direction for my emails... If you read them let me know! I
want to know what you like hearing about, what you don't really care
about and what you want to hear more about?

Anyway, so this week! Monday night we had a family home evening in a
park with some new converts and some of our English course students.
The Sister Missionaries were in charge and we started with a game. Due
varita e una bugia which is just two truths and a lie. (Which if
you've never played you tell two truths and a lie and everyone has to
try to figure out which one is the lie) Which was really fun when you
factor in the language barrier between the missionaries and everyone
else there! The point of the lesson was how we discern truth and how
we can use the Holy Ghost to help us discern between right and wrong.
It was a great lesson!

Tuesday morning we had District meeting, always fun with Anziano
Larusa and then after we all went to McDonalds next door to the church
to eat lunch! Let's talk about McDonalds for a minute... Its pretty
good... It's also pretty expensive. But it's like a restaurant here,
like people go on dates to McDonalds. It's a little weird but you can
make it pretty cheap if you try so it was fun to all go as a district!
Both of our lessons cancelled on us that night so we went and helped
with English course at the church and did some bus finding. I'm
learning that I kind of like bus finding because they have no where to
go. They're stuck on the bus and they can't get off so they might as
well talk to you. Most of them are more interested in talking about
America but at least they're talking to us! Tuesday night was
interesting... We have a brick cell phone right? No one has purposely
bought one of these things in years. So we ride the bus back to our
house and we're talking to this guy, Anziano Segura goes to grab the
phone to put our number in it and it's not in his pocket. He looks at
me and asks for the phone... I don't have it. His eyes get big and he
has this "oh crap" look on his face... we get this guys digits and
book it to the other side of the piazza where the bus stops again,
it's already stopped and gone. It's now 9:35 and we're late getting
home. So we book it back to the house and tell our Zone Leaders what
happened. We take the car keys, go find the car (which is always
impossible parallel parked every time we go to get in it) and drive
back to the bus stop to wait, hoping that we left it on the bus. If
not we have he car and can run back and check the other bus stop and
the church to see if we left it there. So the bus finally comes and I
ask him if anyone turned in a phone while my companion looks. (I don't
know why we didn't switch that because his Italian is much better than
mine but I got my point across and that's what's important.) Anyway,
he says yes and I can see our brick of a phone sitting next to him. He
says "I already called the station and told them that I had a phone
turned in so now we have to go through all the paperwork." Ugh are you
kidding me... No one else wants that phone. I promise. We have the
number, we can call it and prove that it's ours. He says he can't do
that. He calls the station and explains and they say no. We can wait
until 11:45 PM when his shift gets done and he can turn it in to the
station or we can come back in the morning. It's way past our bedtime
as it is so we went home and got up first thing in the morning, took
the Zone Leaders flip phone so we could call our brick phone and prove
to them that it's ours. Italians... Ridiculous.

Wednesday I got an Email from America from the church referral
headquarters, I guess we get these pretty frequently but they hardly
have any information so we were pretty lucky! This one was for a girl
who was a foreign exchange student from here in Cagliari, she went to
Arizona for a year of High school and just got back last month. Her
host family was LDS and so she's been going to church for the last
year. She took all the missionary discussions with the Sister
missionaries there and is really interested in the Gospel. All they
had was an address, so we went and checked it out and she met us at e
door wearing a "Latter-day Warrior Mesa Arizona Youth Conference"
t-shirt on... My companion and I about died. She is a really nice girl
and we are excited to continue to teach her! We had a Skype lesson
with the Sister missionaries in Arizona to transition over to us and
then we introduced her to some members. The church is very different
in the way of our buildings and the size of our wards and branches but
the Gospel is still the same and thats the important part! :)

Thursday we went and taught the bravissimo family on the outskirts of
our area and I learned about the churches addiction recovery and quit
smoking plans! Turns out they're pretty fantastic! We were talking to
this family and one of their neighbors came in, took one look at us
and said "You're the Mormons right?!?!" Well why yes we are... And she
proceeded to tell us how she doesn't know about our religion or
believe it's true but there was a couple of missionaries about 22
years ago that helped her husband stop smoking and he hasn't had one
since! Thanks for the testimony lady! It's cool how the Lord puts
people in our paths and he plants seeds for us to pick up later on. It
makes me think of all the seeds that my companion and I may be laying
as we go that some other missionaries may get to continue to work on
in a few years! Thursday was the morning of miracles for us. As we
walked out of this families house we heard a man yell "Anziani!" Which
doesn't happen very often... We turn around and he waves us over and
he starts talking to us. He says "I've been a member of the church for
a long time now... I was baptized, got the Aaronic and then the
Melchizedik priesthood. I let myself get offended some years ago and I
haven't been back since." He was super nice, we invited him to come
back, asked if we could stop by later and share a message and he gave
us a free watermelon! We also had some great lessons that night and
helped out with English course for a little bit with the sisters!

Friday we went meno-attivo finding... (Less active finding) out in one
of the outskirts of our areas. Turns out EVERYONE AND THEIR DOG GOES
TO THE BEACH ON THIS ISLAND LIKE EVERYDAY! Which makes missionary work
real hard. We had the car that day so we hit up like 10 houses of meno
attivi and it was pretty much all a bust except we found out that
there are some wrong addresses on the directory. Then that afternoon
we had our Skype transition lesson and called it a day!

Saturday. I love Saturdays because so many people are out and it gives
me a chance to talk to everyone and practice my Italian! It's getting
better, slowly but surely but I want it to be even better! So we had
some appointments in the morning, came back to the apartment for
Pranzo, did some bus finding and then the sister missionaries had an
idea. So they had been to this park last week and there was a ton of
families so they asked if we wanted to do a Gesso with them on Sabato
Sera. We said sure! We show up to this park, three companionships of
missionaries ready to do some work. There's literally like six people
in this whole park. We ask the sisters what day they came because we
just assumed it was last Saturday. Nope, it was Wednesday. The closed
to the end of the week you get the more people are at the beach. So we
decided to do some gelato finding. So gelato finding is when you go to
a public place and try to contact people and if you get a return
appointment with someone or you have a really good conversation with
someone even if they say no they you get to go get some Gelato. Sounds
like a win win for me! So gelato is bomb. Even the fruit stuff is
heavenly. I got peach gelato which actually tastes like a peach
instead of some imitation fruit wanna be garbage. It was amazing. And
then I got this Nutella, peanut, swirl gelato which was also amazing.
It's made so fresh in these little gelaterias. There's a gelato place
on almost every corner. I took a picture of one that we ate at
theother day, if I remember to I'll send it.

Sunday we walk up to the church and we see this huge van parked
outside and we both say to each other. "Looks like a Utah family is on
vacation" we walk in and we see all these blonde people that are
speaking fluent English with just a hint of an accent. Not Utah. Not
England. Hmm. And they make all us missionaries guess! Finally they
tell us they're from Norway. All 7 of their kids from the age of 24-5
years old are here in Sardegna for two weeks. But they don't speak a
lick of Italian. So we get out the voice translator microphone things
(I have no idea what they're called) and my companion live translated
the whole Sacrament meeting for them. It was so cool! So in Norway
they start learning English as a second language when they first go
into what we call Kindergarten so they are all fluent. Even the 5 year
old could understand! Craziness. They decided not to stay for the
meetings afterwards but it was really cool to get to know them a
little bit. There is a Stake Conference in Sassari in September so
they spent all of third hour trying to decide how we were going to get
there. I think they decided on renting a bus. I'm not really sure
though... They argued about it for like an hour and so I started
tuning out :/

Pranzo. Are you all tired of hearing about Sunday Pranzo yet? The same
members invited us back so that's the third Sunday in a row that we've
been there! Round 1 was probably some of the best rice I've ever had
in my life. It had mushrooms, artichokes, and cheese and a ton of
spices. I want to get the recipe next time. Round 2 was these meat
things. It was beef with cheese and some other meat stuffed inside.
Not my favorite but they were pretty good. The next part was worm
cheese and bread.

I ATE THE CHEESE! It was disgusting.The member's dad went out of his
way to find Casu Matzu for us to try. It is the strongest cheese I've
ever had in my life. It is so strong and the odor is ridiculous. It
was so pungent and the worms are still alive! Who looks at that and
says "...hmm I think that would taste good..." No one. It was nasty.
And I had already drank my water so all I could do was look at my
companion and point to my cup as I tried to wolf down the rest of the
piece of bread with no cheese on it. Ew. But I did it and it's over
and yay me I guess #BucketList. I have videos and pictures of the
worms and of me eating it. It's nasty.

Anyway, the usual salad, fruit which is always amazing and then onto
dessert. Homemade cookies! But not like American cookies... She made
homemade meringue cookies and a bunch of other ones and they were way
good. Then because we had been sitting there a while (like 20 minutes)
they thought we might have gotten hungry. So they brought out some
gelato. So good. So full.

Our lesson fell through for Sunday night so we went to some meno
attivi houses and did some bus finding and went home for the night!

P-Day has been less than eventful, we spent the whole morning cleaning
our apartment because it was in desperate need of it and we have Zone
Conference on Friday and so the Mission President and the Assistants
are flying in and our apartment will be inspected by someone.

So I've been coming up with spiritual thoughts the last couple days,
and one thing that I love is Mormon messages. So my invitation to you
guys this week is to check out Elder David A. Bednar's Patterns of
Light videos. There's a couple of them and they're only a couple of
minutes long. Check it out and I want to hear your thoughts on them!
You can find them on or they are on the Gospel Library app

I hope you all have a great week! I love hearing from you all!

Anziano Jake Bellucci