Monday, September 26, 2016

Cagliari Transfer 2, Week 6!

Ciao raggazzi!

Hey ya'll it's your Italian missionary here! It's been another pretty
great week here in Cagliari and I'm a little sad that I will most
likely be losing my companion next week :( Transfer calls are next
week and so we are both super bummed! But I am also super excited to
be getting a new companion! I hope we get along as well as Anziano
Segura and I have!

One of the things that we did this week that I really enjoyed was on
Wednesday night. We set up a movie night with the youth and the young
single adults and some of our investigators to watch the movie "17
Miracles" and we bought popcorn and Aranciata (Fantaish) and the
sisters made banana bread and we had about 20 people come! It was
really cool!

For those of you who do not know the movie is about a handcart company
that traveled to Salt Lake City from Nauvoo in the 1800's. They were
being persecuted in the East and needed to escape and had to do so in
the Winter. They fought many hardships and many many people died, but
they recognized 17 incredible miracles that showed they were doing the
right thing in following the direction of the Prophet. These people
suffered so many hardships, many froze to death, others starved and
others got sick and suffered for weeks before passing away. But it was
their knowledge of the Plan of Salvation that helped them to persevere
and make their way to the Salt Lake Valley. It was also their faith
that helped them to know that their families would be blessed for
doing what the Lord had asked. This was a really good time for
reflection for me on the amount of faith that I have. The decision to
serve a mission was obviously not easy. However, I have plenty of
food, health care, and as I write this email on an iPad I understand
how blessed we are to be missionaries now and not pioneers 150 years
ago. Our faith can be measured by our action. So my invitation to you
all this week whether you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints or not is to reflect on your own faith and see
how much faith you really have! Maybe you will surprise yourself,
maybe you will find some room for improvement! Then take that faith
and put it into action. Ask the missionaries for a copy of the Book of
Mormon and write your testimony in it and prayerfully choose someone
to give it to. If you aren't a member of the church but would like to
learn more talk to my family and get a Book of Mormon from them and
read it! If you haven't read your own copy of the Book of Mormon in a
while pull it out and blow the dust off and search for some answers
and remember the promise in Moroni 10:

3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if
it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember
how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the
creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these
things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, 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.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

God will answer! He always does, not in our own time but in his! So
there's my little plug for missionary work! Just as I'm out here in
Italy there are missionaries in every one of your hometowns looking
for people to invite unto Christ, give them a hand! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

On Thursday morning we went to this park and we saw this cave so we
thought we would check it out. Turns out they had turned it into a
museum. The cave was man made and housed many people during the Second
World War. Like I said it is now a museum and art gallery. It's free
and open to the public and we talked to the lady that was working
there and she was super nice. She said she was atheist which most
people I have noticed here don't really understand. They say atheist
when they mean agnostic... So after she said she was atheist I said
"So you don't believe in God?" And she said "Well of course I believe
in God I just don't believe in any one Church." AKA Agnostic... But
she was really nice and said that she would love to attend our English

Saturday we spent the morning baking... Well I baked and my companion
made phone calls. We have been going through our area book and calling
people who have been interested in the past and so he made a lot of
phone calls while I made banana bread and homemade brownies! They both
turned out really well and we brought them to our investigators and
the families that we home teach! They were all so impressed that we
could cook haha apparently the young kids in Italy aren't interested
in cooling especially the guys (Ragazzi) we had some really nice
visits especially with our less active families that we home teach!

Sunday is always a wonderful day! Sorella Cabras actually called us on
Saturday and said that the Ravioli we had last time was store
bought... I wasn't even mad because they were soooo good anyway! But
they had spent Saturday evening making homemade pasta and homemade
ravioli for us! Some of them with just normal ricotta cheese filling
and others had spinach in them! They were so amazing and they had
lemon in the filling which was really different but definitely a
positive thing! So I was excited for Pranzo all the way through
We had a really good Gospel Principles class on the role of members in
the Family. It was really interesting to liken our parents to our
Heavenly Parents and see how we as both Children of God and Children
of our wonderful parents should act in accordance with the Gospel. It
was also interesting to discuss how one day we will be parents and
should do so in harmony with the Gospel. It was a great day full of
the spirit. None of our investigators came to church after all of them
promised us they would but there's always next week right!

Today has been a really great P'Day! We were supposed to go hike this
trail called Devil's saddle but we took the wrong bus and ended up on
the other side of the peninsula. So instead we explored the ruins of a
bunch of old castles and bunkers and had a picnic with all the other
missionaries! It was really fun and the whole time we played the games
like "If Anziano Bellucci was a car what car would he be?" we decided
on the Porsche Cayenne... Which I am totally okay with! Parents if you
want to get me a car when I come home there's my top pick! Now it's
email time and we are chilling at the church and talking to our
families! Hope you all have had a wonderful week!


Anziano Jacob Bellucci

P.S. There's still the blog that Jill is doing and you can always send
me an email or a voice recording and I can look at them throughout the


Monday, September 19, 2016

Cagliari Transfer 2 Week 5

What an incredible and spiritually exhausting week! The week went by
even faster than usual with an amazing trip to Rome from Wednesday to
Thursday! But before we get to that we had a really interesting lesson
on Tuesday!

We have an investigator that is struggling to keep some of the
commandments but he really wants to be baptized! He said "I want to be
baptized in the way that Jesus Christ was baptized" So we have been
working with him and he came to us and said that he had been
thinking... He said "There are other churches that will baptize you
without keeping these commandments so I was thinking maybe I could go
get baptized by them and then continue to study the Book of Mormon
with you and when I am ready to obey the commandments I will be
baptized in this church with the real authority. I would prefer to be
baptized here because I know this is the real church but I really want
to be baptized." It was a really cool experience as my companion and I
testified of 1: the authority that John the Baptist was given to
baptize Jesus Christ and 2: how keeping the commandments before
baptism is for our benefit. If we enter into that promise of baptism
without obeying the commandments we aren't holding up our end of the
deal. The promise is broken before it's even made! It's really
interesting, I have never desired something so much. More than
anything I look at my investigators and all I want while I look at
the, is for them to act in faith. I don't want them to be baptized, I
want them to have the same knowledge that I have of this Gospel and
that will lead them to want to be baptized. Everyone always says "You
will learn to love the people of your mission" I am starting to
understand that more and more everyday. I love the people of Italy!

That being said there is a stigma for European missions... Most
everyone I talked to about where I would be serving my mission said
"Well you'll plant a lot of seeds, but don't expect to baptize much"
or something to that effect. Which basically means no one is going to
accept the Gospel, you'll just be planting seeds for people to harvest
later. I wanted to share with you all that our mission last transfer
which is 6 weeks long had 16 baptisms! We are a European Mission and
we baptize! We are in the heart of Catholicism and we baptize! So I
want you to take two things from this... 1. Don't ever tell someone
that is going on a mission that they will not baptize or that they're
mission will be harder or easier than others. 2. In any given city at
any given time there are at least five people ready to receive the
Gospel and the invitation to be baptized. We just have to go out and
find them!

Public Transportation is useful but it's kind of annoying sometimes...
We took a bus, a train, a plane, another train, a subway and another
bus as well as walked about a kilometer to get to the Rome 6
missionaries apartment on Wednesday night! We left our house at about
3 PM and got to their apartment at about 10:30 PM and we were all
exhausted! Up and out of the house at 7 AM to head to the church where
the conference would be held. There were about 150 missionaries coming
in from allover the Southern half of the country. The day before they
had done a conference with the Sicily missionaries but the rest of the
mission was gathering in Rome! With 150 missionaries using public
transportation to the same place to be spiritual edifices Satan is
bound to try to mess things up! We made it to the conference just fine
but they shut the metro down at about 8:30... Leaving about 30
missionaries stranded in Rome without transportation in the pouring
rain. A few buses and some missionaries being shuttled in the mission
van later and all the missionaries arrived safely, some a little
soggier than others!

The conference itself was amazing! As always we were told to prepare
ourselves spiritually and bring questions that we want to be answered
by the spirit. President Keuron is the President of the Europe area,
he presides over the churches affairs in all of Europe and he is an
amazing man. A convert himself he loves missionary work! He was
baptized at the age of 26 and has been an incredible leader in the
church since then. The spirit was so strong in that meeting, all my
questions were answered in a matter of minutes when he began speaking.
He brought up three major points that I would like to share with you
because I think they can apply to all of us. The first is:

"Stop worrying, just work hard!" He said we see more and more
missionaries going home for anxiety and stress than almost anything
else. We don't have to know everything, we just have to work hard and
the Lord will provide. I think it's very similar in life, obviously we
have responsibilities that we have to worry about but most importantly
if we work hard, do what we are supposed to and are obedient, Jesus
Christ makes up the rest!

The second is to "Be the message!" Do people know immediately that you
are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? He
demonstrated this with a role play where he had two sister
missionaries approach him without smiling, without being excited and
it was not obvious that this message had changed heir lives so why
would he want to listen to it??? He then had them do it again with
smiles and excitement and a convincing message that we know this is
the true church! We need to be the message all the time whether we are
missionaries or not. People need to see the light of Christ in our

The third thing was to find strength in the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love each one of us, without a
doubt. When things get hard or difficult that is when we need to reach
out and lean on them.

So the conference was incredible and we're all on a little bit of a
spiritual high! We flew out Thursday night and our flight was delayed
so we didn't end up getting home until about 11... So tired.
Spiritually exhausted and physically exhausted from traveling!

Pretty low key weekend as we got back into the normal groove of things
and prepared for Sunday. We had a great Sacrament meeting and Gospel
Principles class and I even had enough energy to pay attention during
priesthood... I'm understanding more and more everyday and I'm
noticing that I have to think about it less and less as I listen to
people speak.

As always I hope you all have an incredible week! I can't wait to hear
all about it! Also I'm sending the pictures of when I went to the
Colosseum when I first got here! They will be on the photo stream so
Jill should have them up on the blog soon!


Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Monday, September 12, 2016

Cagliari Transfer 2 Week 4

Good morning America!

This week has been a whirlwind of travel and new cities and meeting
lots of people and so many blessings!

We started off the week with Family Home Evening in the park and only
three people came so it was kind of a bust but we had a good time
anyway and we decided to teach them how to throw a football which none
of them have ever seen before. Then we were playing catch and there
was a group of ragazzi (young people) behind me so I "accidentally"
let the football go behind me and into their group of people. I ran
over and they tossed it back to me and I asked them if they had ever
seen a ball like this and they all said no except one. He said C'รจ un
futbol americano! So I tossed it to him and he threw it back with
almost a perfect spiral. So we invited the group to come and play
catch with us, it was a lot of fun! So we've started carrying a
football around with us sometimes when we do finding and seeing who
will play with us! It's worked really well!

Tuesday we had our District meeting as usual with the Elders from
Oristano, we talked about how we were specifically called here for a
reason and that there are people that only we can help. It made me
think of a lot of missionaries that I know and have spent time with
over the years. Many of them have impacted my life so much and I know
that they were called to the New York Utica Mission to help me get to
where I am today. So shoutout to all the missionaries that helped me
from way back to Elder Clark and Elder Scott all the way up to Elder
Lamb and Elder Geilman, I love you guys! I hope to be able to help
people here in Italy have the same change of heart that I have had and
gain a testimony of the truth of this Gospel through the power of the
Holy Ghost!

After District meeting we went to McDonalds and as we were leaving
Anziano Larussa said "I forgot we have an investigator meeting us here
in Cagliari at 6 and we're supposed to be back in Oristano for English
course at 7... Anziano Bellucci are you up for a last minute scambio
(exchange)? How fast can you pack your stuff?" So I packed a change of
clothes and we hopped the next train to Oristano!

Oristano is beautiful, it's one of the smaller cities on the island
and its a little more out in the country so the train ride up was
beautiful for me, I finally got to get out of the city for a little
bit and see some of the country side. Olive trees are way prettier
than the way that olives taste... (which by the way olives don't taste
any better just because they're in Italy, still tastes like rubber, I

We did English course and it was so fun! There was three people there
that were pretty advanced and then about five or six who barely knew
how to say hello... So I stood up after we prayed and said "Anyone who
wants an advanced course, come with me!" Because it's very difficult
to teach basic English in my opinion and when you do the advanced
class you mostly just talk with them! So I left Anziano Larussa with
the basic group and we went to another room. I had a such a good time
talking with them, and just like it's really good for me to hear
native Italians it's really good for them to hear native English
speakers so I spent a lot of time talking and telling stories. We had
a really good time and two of them asked me if I was going to be there
on Thursday... I had to tell them no but it made me feel good to know
that they enjoyed it!

The next day it was interesting to be in a different city with a
different companion, I felt more confident and ready to go to work
than I have felt the last few weeks. Anziano Larussa said that they
want to build their English course back up so we grabbed about 100
English course pass-along cards and we just went crazy and I felt so
confident and ready to talk, I was understanding and actually a couple
times when we were in the park we would split up and I would talk to
other people and I wasn't worried, I was understanding everything. The
gift of tongues is so real! We handed out about 75 of them in two
hours and we had to head back to Cagliari soon so that was the end of
it but I definitely had a lot of fun!

Back in the beautiful city of Cagliari! It's finally starting to cool
down a tiny bit... It's still really hot in the afternoons but it's
cooling down a lot at night and this week it rained quite a bit which
was nice.

One of the first families to be converted in Sicily is the Simoncini
family and they were baptized back in the 60's! They are serving as a
senior couple for the Rome mission and they are in charge of keeping
the missionary apartments maintained. They are super nice and brought
us lots of new stuff and installed some new appliances in our
apartment. Being from Sicily they speak almost zero English and their
accent from Sicily is ridiculous! When I talk to people here in
Sardegna I understand almost everything. When Anziano Simoncini talks
I get maybe every 10th word! Anziano Segura says all the Sicilians are
like that so I'm super glad to not be starting there! It would be like
trying to learn English in Dublin or something... I don't know how to
explain it but they slur their words together and it makes no sense to
me whatsoever!

Friday we had a great lesson with one of our investigators, she is the
referral from America that I wrote about a couple weeks ago. We have
been teaching her quite a bit and we felt like we should invite her
family to learn more about the church. She accepted the invitation to
talk to her family and invite them to learn more! It was a really
interesting lesson to me because I thought about the importance of
families in the gospel. One of the first points in the first lesson we
teach is that the Gospel Blesses families, and it's so true! The
Gospel brings families closer together and blesses our lives as we
strengthen our families!

Saturday we had a Pranzo appointment with this family that we have
been teaching, the wife is from the Philippines and the husband is
Italian. They are the nicest couple and we walk into their house and
there are ten place settings around the table. We both looked at each
other and Ruth came out and said, "we invited some friends, I hope
that's okay!" Which for missionaries is like a Heaven sent gift! We
got to share a spiritual thought with them and set up an appointment
to return and teach them more! Plus we got an awesome
Philippino/Italian meal! It started with Lasagna and then they did
this meat and vegetable stir fry type thing that was so good! Followed
by salad (it's still weird for me that they eat salad last) and then
this mint and coconut cake with gelato that we made with them! So

This weekend was also stake conference! The Stake that we are in is
the Rome West, it covers part of the mainland and then all of
Sardegna. So the Saturday session was broadcast down here to Cagliari
but held in Sassari, the northernmost city in Sardegna. Then yesterday
everyone here met as a ward and they rented a tour bus to drive to
Sassari for the session. They had more people that wanted to go than
the bus would hold so the four of us missionaries drove our car the
three hours to Sassari! It was a really fun drive and made me miss
road trips! The conference was amazing, and President Pickerd and his
wife flew in to be a part of it, so we got to hear them speak as well!
As most of you know the Rome temple has taken way longer than
anticipated to be finished. The area leaders released a statement that
said "The Rome Temple will not be finished this year, but we as the
people need to be ready this year, and right now we aren't. The temple
will not be finished until we are ready" It was a huge call to the
members to get working on some missionary work. There are not enough
members here to keep this temple going once it's open, and missionary
work is the responsibility of members! We as full time missionaries
should be teachers and the members should be doing the finding! So my
invite to you all is to get out there and find someone you can share
the Gospel with! It's going to be a little awkward because you've
never done it before. But we have a promise from Heavenly Father that
if we open our mouths the Lord will fill them with the words we need.
So get out there and do some awesome missionary work!

Also my Mom says I should include some Italian vocab at the end of my
emails... Sooooo today's word is "mozza fiato" which means "breath
taking" hope that's useful! Haha

Until next week!

Anziano Jake Bellucci

Monday, September 5, 2016

I ate Homemade RAVIOLI

Forza Cagliari!

Another great week here in the beautiful land of Sardegna! It has been
sooooo humid though! I thought I knew humidity from the East Coast but
it's a little different when you don't have an air conditioned house
to go home to and dry out! We have been showering 2-3 times a day so
we don't smell and aren't dripping... I know gross. On top of that its
been in the high 90's so it's a real pleasant climate. One good thing
has come out of it though, I've learned how to sleep when it's really
hot and we bought fans for each of us so we can sleep with it pointing
right at us. I have been waking up at 5:30 every morning because we
sleep with our windows open... We live next to a market which I think
I told you all. The city workers don't seem to care what hour it is
they empty the huge glass dumpsters at 5:30 and there's like 10 of
them so it is sooo loud and not what you want to wake up to!

We're going to Sassari this weekend for Stake Conference which is on
the other end of the island so we're driving up Sunday morning and
coming back down that night so it will be a long day but it should be

We had an awesome Home Evening on Monday and we played the human knot
game to demonstrate how prophets guide us out of problems that we may
not fully understand or comprehend... It was a really great lesson
given by our sister missionaries! I added a lot of photos to the
photos treat so hopefully my wonderful sister will add those to the
blog :)

Tuesday in District Meeting I was asked to give the addestramento
which is like the training or spiritual thought and it's usually about
a half an hour long. I wasn't given a topic so I decided to talk about
relationships. Specifically our relationship with Heavenly Father and
Jesus Christ and how when we grow closer to them our relationships
with other people flourish and we all grow together. I outlined it
like a triangle with Christ at the top because he is omniscient and
omnipotent, he never moves or changes. Then we are in one of the
bottom corners and whoever we are talking about is in the other corner
whether it's your companion or your wife or your brother etc. As we
both grow closer to Christ we grow closer to each other and the
triangle gets smaller. We then had a group discussion on walking with
God and how we can grow our relationship with Jesus Christ to also
grow our other relationships! It was a really great discussion and the
spirit was so strong!

Wednesday we tried to do an activity with the youth and it actually
turned out pretty well! We met and played ping pong and fooseball
(which almost all of the churches in Italy have because their chapels
double as a cultural hall so they don't have basketball) and we
ordered pizza and played volleyball. In Italy putting pineapple on a
pizza is like the gravest of sins... You just don't do it, no one even
thinks of it because it's just or something you do. So we bought some
ananas (pineapple) and cut it up into little chunks and we made all of
the youth try it on their pizza and they were all freaking out and
calling us weird and saying "Che strano!" But we got each of them to
try it and they all said it wasn't bad! It would have been way better
if it was actually cooked in their pizza!

That's about all the exciting stuff that happened during the week but
now you have to hear about Sunday! So Sunday was really great! It was
fasting testimony meeting and the bishop in the ward has been working
on getting people to just bare their testimony instead of just telling
a story. Italians like to talk so it hasn't been easy but it was such
a good meeting. Everyone only spoke for 2-3 minutes so we got to hear
from a ton of the ward and the spirit was so strong! Plus one of the
first things you learn in the MTC is how to bare your testimony so I
understood everything! It was our companionships turn to teach Gospel
Principles so I was pretty excited! It brought me back to teaching in
Potsdam when I was in Hugh School. Next to being a missionary teaching
gospel principles was my favorite calling! Except there's an added
factor teaching here... A slight language barrier... So usually when I
speak in front of a group I give like a little disclaimer for the
language like "Please bare with me, I'm learning, be patient etc..."
But this time I just decided to go for it. The gift of tongues is
real! I for sure was not speaking perfect Italian and I messed up many
things but the spirit was there and all I had to do was try and it
went really well! The lesson was about obedience... It was a really
interesting lesson and I talked a lot about the promised blessings
like in D&C 82:10 "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say but when
he do not what I say ye have no promise"

Pranzo... One of the first things I thought about when I opened my
mission call to the Great Italy Rome Mission was eating homemade
ravioli... Well my dreams have come true ladies and gentlemen.

ROUND 1! HOMEMADE RAVIOLI! It was so good! A little different than the
ones in America but mostly because they are just better! Don't worry I
got pictures!
Round 2! These giant steaks that they grilled on this open flame in
their house... It's what Italians call a barbecue and it's just
basically a fire place. Next time we go there I'll take a picture. We
ate so much meat though! I'll send pictures of that too! With lots of
home,are garlic bread which when they do it they put cloves of garlic
in the oil and let it sit to soak up the flavor then they pour it over
the bread and grill it... Heavenly.

Figs are amazing... They're in season right now so every time we go to
Pranzo at this families house they put a giant plate of them in front
of us. And apparently it's rude to not eat everything so we put them
down no problem. On Friday we were at a members house and they brought
out a plate of figs and we were eating them and Anziano Segura put
half of one in his mouth and his face went white and I looked at the
other half and it was FULL of worms... So gross! He already swallowed
it so it was too late! Worm cheese round two! The member said that the
worms they use to make he worm cheese are the same ones in the fruit,

We also had a really good discussion on a couple things that people
like to find fault with in the church such as seventh day worship and
prophets. There is a really good story in Luke Chapter 16 about a rich
young man and a beggar named Lazarus.

19 ¶There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine
linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his
gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table:
moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the
angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth
Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send
Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my
tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime
receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now
he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf
fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither
can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest
send him to my father’s house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they
also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from
the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

The bible testifies that God will reveal nothing unto his children
save he reveals it through his prophets. Im so grateful to have a
modern day prophet and to be guided by Thomas S. Monson. Just thought
I would share that short little thought and remind you that GENERAL
CONFERENCE IS ONLY FOUR WEEKS AWAY! So make sure to tune in and make
it a priority! We are so blessed to be able to hear from modern day
apostles and prophets so do what it takes to get there and watch it!

Today has been a great P-Day! We got to go to a Cross-Fit gym this
morning to buy some T-shirts and it was really cool! It looked so
American! We then did a picnic with the Sister missionaries at this
new park we found and played some volleyball and ultimate football! It
was so fun! It was so nice to be able to relax with some awesome
people, it reminded me of some picnics and things that we did in
Logan. I love Logan and I miss it! But Italy is cool too... ;)

That's about it for the week! It's been another great one, I hope you
have a great week and remember how much I think about you all! Keep on
keeping on!


Anziano Bellucci