Monday, June 5, 2017

Bari Libertà Transfer 8 Week 5

Year mark, Toe surgery, and Mexican Food!

What a week! Haha are you all tired of me saying that??? Well this week has actually been really long and I don't have much to write about. Some of you know I've had some problems since my third Transfer with in-grown toe nails that just wouldn't give up! So I told President would just cut off my toe and he said "Well we better try to get it fixed first..." so I had to get it fixed!

So Monday and Tuesday were normal, we had P-Day I sent you all pictures of the beautiful beach in Polignano and everything was good and then that night we went to Francesco and Angela's house out in Bitonto! So Francesco is a returned missionary and him and his wife are newly weds of less than a year. They're bravissimi and Francesco loves Mexican food. So we organized a Family Home Evening to kind of show them that even though they don't have kids yet they can still have family night! So I made some picco di gallo and we made tacos Italian style... they were really good and we all are way too much! They were nice and spicy just the way my Mom likes them! We had a great time and then for our spiritual thought we discussed these three verses

9 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.
10 And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.
11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.

I really enjoyed it and I really like the first part verse 9, it's so simple and so straight forward. Believe in God. It all starts with a belief, a hope, and little faith! 

We ran out of time for a game but we really did have a good time with them and I think they did too! That night we started an exchange with the PoggioFranco Elders... we met at our house and then Anziano Osmond and I went to PF for the night to start our scambio. 

So Tuesday morning we got up and did our studies and everything, Anziano Osmond is learning how to cook slowly but surely! He says "What do you want for breakfast?" In response to my indifferent answer he says "Lets make eggs" and he opens the fridge and grabs the eggs and a package of bacon too and says "Lets make both!" So bacon in Italy isn't in strips like in America, it's cut up into chunks like little tiny pieces and we usually make like an omelet thing and then mix the bacon and the eggs together. He mixes the eggs up and puts them in the pan and then you can see the confusion as he tries to decide how to cook the bacon because they only have one pan. I said "Do you think we should have cooked the bacon first and then added the eggs?" His response "On second thought lets just have eggs!" Haha it was a lot funnier in the moment! 

We had District Meeting that morning and we talked actually about the movie "Remember the Titans." Shout out to Zack for making me watch that movie so I actually knew what we were talking about. For those of you who don't know it's a movie about a black football team and a white football team, they get put together to play as one and first they stay very segregated, there is a team captain from each side they don't work together and they aren't very good at Football playing like this. Well the coach is incredible and in the end he integrates both teams and through various means and communication they become an incredible team, they work together and win the championship but more important than that they put aside their differences. We as missionaries are all so very different, we came from different places, different backgrounds and not a one of us is identical to the other. But we have a goal in mind and we have some common ground in Jesus Christ and we have to work together! We have one purpose and it takes communication, love, patience and so many other things to work together and be successful, but we can do it! At the end of the movie one of the black players gets I think hit by a car and taken to the hospital. The players all go to the hospital and the nurse says "I'm sorry, you can't see your friend right now" and the white player says "He's not my friend, we're brothers." And then pushes past the nurse. It was a really cool comparison to missionary relationships and I definitely learned a lot! Just because we're different doesn't mean we can't develop a great relationship!

Back to our scambio... we had a great language study and we're able to learn a lot together. Anziano Osmond is a stud and learning fast. He's in his third Transfer and is doing great! We then planned to go to the park and it was kind of a mess... we walked out of the house and I saw someone and said hi to him and realized I left all the lass-a-long cards at home so we turned around and got them. We were carrying a Football to do some finding with it and we dropped off our bags at the Church and walked to the park. We got to the park and I asked Anziano Osmond where the Football was and he thought I had it and I thought he had it. We both could have sworn we took it from the Church and then I remembered where I left it but Anziano Osmond was sure that we had it when we left. We made a bet that if it was in the Church he had to buy me gelato and if it wasn't I had to buy him gelato and a new Football. Good thing it was in the Church! Haha I bought him gelato anyway, we found a really good place and got "Frutti di bosco" which is like Forrest fruit which are just berries and then I got coconut too, another one of my mom's favorites! 

Then we were off to English Course and it was a lot of fun! That was the end of our day... now I had to write a lot about those two days because the rest not much interesting happened! 

Wednesday was the day of the surgery, so what they decided to do was take out my whole toenail but leave the nail bed so it will regrow. So the surgery was at10:30 and we go and take a number to go through the insurance. It's a little different here because most people don't have insurance because there's universal health care and so they were taking forever and never called us and so I go up and ask and she says that there's problems with the insurance so like an hour later after translating for the mission nurse and everything they get me in there and 10-15 minutes later it's all done! She wrapped it all up and sent me on my way. I didn't feel a thing but in the car ride home the anesthesia wore off and I was ready for some drugs... I got home, all drugged up and made a mountain of blankets to elevate my foot and went to sleep for most of the day. We also got an email on Tuesday that my companion's Visa was ready to be picked up in Taranto on Thursday morning so he took Anziano Wilkey with him to Taranto and I stayed here with Anziano Velardi who played nurse for me... 

Thursday was my year mark in the mission! I can't believe its been a year! So much has happened, I have met so many people and fell in love with a culture that I will never be able to forget. I have learned a beautiful language, studied so much but most importantly I have grown in my love for my Savior Jesus Christ. My testimony in Jesus Christ has doubled, tripled, quadrupled who knows how many times and I will always be grateful for that! The Sisters made me muffins and the Anziani brought me home a pizza. I stayed home all day because I wasn't supposed to put weight on my foot, all day with my foot in the air... if there was ceiling tiles in our apartment I could probably tell you how many there are. I'm not very good at letting people take care of me, I got my desk chair and scooted around the house in that trying to be self-sufficient while Anziano Velardi yelled at me to get back in bed. Oops... 

Friday I was going crazy! I made lunch for everyone, I used Sister Pappagallo's recipe from a few weeks ago to make the baked chicken with the eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers and the breadcrumbs. It was super good, I got a picture before I put it in the oven but afterwards the Anziani ate it too fast to get one of the finished product. It was good though! That's pretty much all I didFriday...

Saturday I had to leave the house, I was going to go crazy if I didn't. We had Italian class at noon and then afterwards we all went downstairs to this Chinese place across the street to get lunch. It wasn't much of an outing but I definitely needed it! I hobbled my way across the street and ate some fried rice and sweet and sour chicken! 

Sunday was great, I got to go to Church in Bitonto, all the members were so nice and wanted to help me. All the Sisters wanted to give me Mom hugs since my Mom wasn't here to give me one ;) Anziano Bates who I flew to Sardegna with when I first got here was here with his family to visit the Bitonto Branch. He's been home for about 6 months and they came to visit. We got invited to Pranzo by Francesco and Angela and it was a great and simple Pranzo! They're great and again we had a lot of fun! After lunch though my foot was pretty swollen and we had to go home so I could put it back up again... 

This week I've had a lot of time to study, I think I've read about half of the Book of Mormon or at least it feels like that! I've watched Meet the Mormons as well as How Rare a possession and I've studied a ton of Italian. But more than anything I've had a lot of time to reflect and think about what has happened in this last year and what is going to happen in the year to come. I'm excited more than anything to change some things, to work harder and to make the most of the time I have left! 

This next week unfortunately will not be the most exciting, I'm still not supposed to walk too much and so I'll be home quite a bit but I have a Post-op appointment Thursday and they will take the bandage off and the stitches and we'll see what the doctor says! 

If you would like to share with me your favorite talks from General Conference I would love to know which ones they are and study them in the coming days. I hope you all have a great week and enjoy the warm weather that is bringing in these summer months! 

Un abbraccio fraterno,

Anziano Bellucci

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Bari Libertà Transfer 8 Week 4

Travels, exchanges, Baptismal interviews and pretty beaches! 

Another great week on the books here in Bari and it's for sure been a good one! We started off with a good P-Day last week and then we went to go teach this awesome part-member family. They have two kids named Pietro and Angela and so we are teaching them now! It went really well and them gave us homemade focaccia afterwards! 

We had an awesome DDM on Tuesday afternoon, we talked about the importance of inspired questions and how we can follow the spirit to change our lessons and make them more effective. It was really good! I made banana bread for DDM and it was definitely a hit... and because we're in Italy we put a bunch of Nutella on it! We left right after that to head down to Brindisi for a little mini exchange and to see their District Meeting. They were asked by their Branch President to move a desk but when they got their they were cleaning out their whole Church and it took all night so we ended up teaching their English Course for them which was way fun! They have a great Course with a bunch of young people that are all super cool! We definitely made popcorn and had Frozen Yogurt for dinner... it was good! I got to work for a few minutes with Anziano Andersen who was Anziano Allen's companion in the MTC! 

District meeting in Brindisi went pretty well, they have some good work down there which is always a good thing! We got sandwiches at this shop afterwards and then we had to stop at the Lidl which is a German grocery store that has a ton of cheap stuff and American stuff too. Then we headed back to Bari and did some Less Active hunting as I like to call it!

Thursday we had a lunch appointment with our Grandma in Bitonto, she's my favorite... she gave us sooooo much food though! I was about to explode! We had pasta al forno which is like a pasta bake (forno means oven...) and she gave us a ton! Then she said "Do you want he rest?" And I thought she meant like the next Course but she meant the rest of the pasta so she loaded us up with a TON more pasta and then we had a big plate of meat, salad, fruit, and dessert! I was wrecked afterwards! And she gave us a whole other pan of pasta al forno to take home. She's going to America in a few weeks to stay with her daughter for a few months so I'm going to miss her for sure! We had English Course and a correlation Meeting afterwards... 

Friday we planned for the week, did lots of less active hunting and that was pretty much it! Saturday was mapping out less actives, finding, and going all over the place! 

Sunday we went to Bitonto and I gave a talk on Missionary Work and the importance of the Book of Mormon! The Book of Mormon has definitely become my favorite thing to talk and testify about. As I learn more and more about it I begun to understand more and more it's importance in our lives. Thomas S. Monson gave a great invite this last Conference and he said "If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so." Simple as that. I promise you it will bring you blessings! 

Today we went to Polignano! Man is it beautiful or what?!?! It's about a 30 minute train ride and it's totally worth it! It's definitely a tourist city, I heard so much English there and so many accents. The ocean is so beautiful and we all had a good time! 

I hope you all had a good week! Happy Memorial Day!

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

The Sisters got lost in the middle of no where and called us to come and pick them up... when we got there they had made flower crowns for us... I think next time we'll leave them there! 

Flower Crown!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bari Libertà Transfer 8 Week 3

Zone Conference, exchanges, and so much fun! 

We had such a good and busy week here again, I've been thinking a lot about my personal relationship with Christ lately. Do I know him as well as I think I do? What can I do to improve that relationship? There's work to be done! 

On Monday night we had a great Family Home Evening at Fabrizia's house, our Italian teacher upstairs and we got to see Sister Francom, our Italian teacher from the MTC who was here visiting! We had a lot of fun and I ordered 14 panzarotti and the delivery guy only looked at me a little funny when we paid in change... oops! 

Tuesday was pretty busy! We were getting ready for Zone Conference in the morning, we went and bought all the stuff for lunch. Finished planning the trainings we had to give and then met President at the Church to start interviews! We decided to start our exchange with the Elders from Foggia a little early and so I worked with Anziano Simonsen who is about 3 weeks from going home! We just taught English Course together but he has so much good experience so I definitely learned a lot from him! 

Wednesday was Zone Conference and so we were up early and at the Church for some last minute interviews and to make sure everything was ready to go. We got breakfast set up and ready for all the missionaries. Zone Conference itself is always such a spiritual high, I always come away reenergized and ready to attack the work! I really enjoyed studying for this conference and I think it was a success! 

Afterwards the actual scambio started, Anziano Simonsen and I went to Trani to teach the post-baptismal lessons with Francesco and when we got there he was feeling really down. We tried to teach him the lesson but it wasn't going very well and so we stopped and asked him if he would like to kneel and say a prayer right then. He said yes and he offered the humblest little 10 year old prayer ever. The rest of the lesson went much better and afterwards we were able to give him a Priesthood Blessing to help him control the winds that are blowing his sails all over the place! 

Thursday we continued to have a good day. We went to do some finding and found this super nice guy named Andrea, he said he's been stopped by missionaries in the past and has always blown them off but this time he felt like it was a good idea to just chat with us and so that's what we did. We got to know him and just kind of became friends! Then afterwards I showed Anziani Simonsen how to do football finding and it was a lot of fun. You can just go up to people and ask them if they know how to throw it, you explain it and then they try and they embarrass themselves but them after that it's super easy to just talk about the Gospel or a principle of the Gospel. I think it went really well and I think Anziano Simonsen really enjoyed it! 

After lunch the Foggia Anziani headed out and we went to Bitonto to teach English Course and spend a little time there. Some members came after and said "Who are you working with and what can we do to help?" They're amazing and we set up some appointments with them so I hope they can help us soon! 

Friday we got cancelled on and so we actually got to do weekly planning which was nice! We made some good plans for this next week so I really hope it goes well! Then in the afternoon we started our exchange with the missionaries here in Bari PoggioFranco, I worked with Anziano Whitaker who is also going home in just a few short weeks. We had a good exchange and talked about some good things! We met this group of 5 college age kids in the park and they were super cool, they asked us so many questions. They're all studying engineering and so it reminded me of Adam, things just have to make sense to them logically and the Gospel does so that's cool! 

On Saturday morning we went to go meet with this guy named Antonio that had called us and set an appointment. We go find his house and this lady lets us in. This house is full of Catholic things, so much stuff, crosses everywhere and I was really confused. I said to Anziano Whitaker "This looks like a Priest's house..." Well it was! So the Priest comes out and says "Anziani" like we've known each other for years! He's retired but he has known the missionaries forever, they used to go and do service in his Catholic Church years ago! They were so close that when one of these missionaries went home Antonio came and stayed with his family for like a week in California. He says he would love to help us with Service opportunities and then he invited all 6 of us Anziani over for Lunch next week! We're pretty stoked! We then had Italian Class, ate lunch, and then went to the Stake Priesthood Session. Got gelato after and called it a night! 

Sunday in Bitonto... everything went really well at Church, we had two youth speakers which I love hearing, they're the future of the Church! We were asked to teach Priesthood and so I opened up the lesson and read the title "Nurturing he eternal partnership of Marriage" how fitting for the two missionaries to teach? Haha it was a lot of fun and we had some good discussion! We were invited to lunch at the Mesto family's house. Brother Mesto is a farmer, rough around the edges, hysterical guy! We laughed a lot and had a great time. Tonight we are actually going over to their house again to begin teaching their two grandchildren Pietro and Angela! 

Today was a great day, we played soccer with the whole Zone for P-Day! It was nice and hot and sunny and we had a lot of fun! None of us are very good but that's not what matters, it was a good time! As for the rest of P-Day I don't have too much planned! I love you all and I hope you have a great week! 

Anziano Bellucci  

Our Lunch appointment made us wear booties! Say what?!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Bari Libertà Transfer 8 Week 2

Good Morning America! How is America? Someone send me a picture??? Italy is cool too ;) But sometimes you need a piece of home! 

This week... I'm tired! But that's a good thing! So the "Saint" for the city of Bari is Saint Nicola and so this last week has been a huge festival for Saint Nicola! So on Monday we spent the day eating fair food going around to the street vendors and all that stuff. They had the streets blocked off and it was a lot of fun! Then right at the end of P-Day there was an air show with the Italian jets! They were really cool but they were also kind of sketchy. Doing air stunts over crowds of people... stuff they would never let happen in America... but most of it was out over the ocean. It was really neat and it was cool to see the Italian pride. That evening after P-Day we spent some time doing some finding in Centro since there were so many people out for the festival. I wasn't feeling super good, I don't think the fair food was good for me! But anyway that was pretty much it!

So we have like an on-demand hot water heater, or a tankless hot water heater like most people in Italy and the ones they have here in Italy have SO MANY problems! Our hot water heater has gone out more times than it's worked since I've been here in Bari... And it's not just the water is not hot, it's icicles! Okay I digress, anyway, it was out again so we called the people and they're kind of like the cable people in America "We'll be there between 8-5" so we had to stay home in the morning on Tuesday and wait. He came over and fixed it and Anziano Fitzner came with him to make sure it got fixed and then when they were leaving I jokingly said, "I'll call you tonight when we don't have hot water" well... I wasn't joking. This is provably the 7th time that they've had to come out and fix this thing in the two months that I've been here! But it's been working since Wednesday so I'm hopeful! 

Thursday we had an awesome leadership meeting with all the District Leaders and it went really well! We followed it up with an exchange with the missionaries from Lecce, I got to work with Anziano Smith who is a Greenie and has been here for about a week! He spoke Spanish before the mission and his Italian is incredible! (Except he has a Mexican accent) we had a good exchange and taught a few lessons together. Friday Morning we brought our Branch President with us to Trani to teach our recent converts there and the lesson went really well. 

We put them back on the train to Lecce and then we went and bought a Football to do some finding with like I did back in Cagliari and then traffic was intense on the way home. There was a HUGE conference here in Bari this weekend, it's called the G7 Conference and it has like the 7 biggest economic powers in the world here to discuss something... I don't really know because we don't watch the news but it destroyed the city. They blocked off all public parking and the streets were closed. It was a mess. So it took us like an hour to get home. So we went to the Church for correlation and that was it for the night! 

Saturday we went to Bitonto to meet a girl who is wants to learn English and can't come to English Course. We taught her for a little bit and then we shared the video "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father" (Which if you haven't seen I totally recommend it! Look it up on YouTube) and she asked some great questions so we are hoping to start teaching her and her fiancé about the Gospel soon! 

We came back to Bari, had Italian Class and then had District Meeting, the Fitzners brought Focaccia (the pizza bread stuff) and we had a great meeting! Then afterwards we worked on planning Zone Conference and then went and did some finding in the parks in the afternoon. 

Sunday was super productive! We met the Bishop of the Libertà ward at 8 to discuss his vision and our plan for the missionary work in the ward, it went really well and he has some great ideas so we are super excited for it! Then we went to Church in Bitonto, my companion gave a talk in Church and did a great job! Then during Sunday school we met with the Branch Mission Leader to go over things in the Branch and plan some things and so we've got some good plans ready to go! After Church we went to the Pappagallo family's house for lunch! We had a great lunch and I actually got the recipe! Sister Pappagallo was one of the first members here and so she knows everyone! So we sat down with them and discussed the ward list, she explained to us who everyone is, where they live, who we should work with, who we shouldn't and it was so helpful so we are excited for the work there as well!  

Then as you probably know we got to Skype home yesterday! It was so good to talk to my family, I love them so much and I love all of you guys too! Happy Mothers Day to all of you Moms, or future moms! 

I hope you all had a great week and are ready for another great one! 

Anziano Bellucci

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Bari Libertà Transfer 8 Week 1

Transfer Calls, a trip to Rome, and some beautiful country side! 

Wow what a week! I'm real tired but it's definitely been worth it! On Monday night we got the transfer Calls and Anziano Bowers has been transferred to the Island of Malta! If you don't know where that is it's basically in Africa! It is an English speaking island with a lot of U.K. Influence (I'm pretty sure they drive on the left side of the road) and it's absolutely beautiful so he's pretty excited to be there! My new companion is Anziano Zito from Brigham City Utah! The city I drove through every time I went to Utah State from Ogden. He was my Zone Leader back when I was in Crotone and so I know him pretty well but I'm excited to serve with him! 

On Tuesday morning we had the Bari District tradition and gathered at the Fitzner's house for pancake breakfast before District Meeting! Oh my heck was it a good flash back to America and the things I miss! We had pancakes, strawberries (I cut them up and put sugar in them so they made a nice sauce) bananas, homemade whipped cream, Nutella and basically just happiness on a plate! We cleaned up and had District Meeting around the kitchen table and it went really well, we discussed some of the things we've learned this Transfer and it always amazes me as I look back over the six weeks how much I really have learned and grown even in that short period of time! 

On Wednesday morning Anziano Bowers packed and printed pictures, got some last minute things done and ready to go while I cleaned up our apartment so it would be presentable for the two new missionaries coming in. In the afternoon we went out to Trani to eat with the Musicco family, Francesco and his parents. It was a great dinner, they made us tortellini with a seafood red sauce and then baked fish and potatoes. Seeing their family so happy makes me so happy to be sharing the Gospel, I can't wait to see them go to the temple one day! 

Thursday started way too early and ended way toooo late! The alarm clock went off at 4 AM to drive Anziano Bowers and Anziano Carroll to the airport here in Bari. Everying went off without a hitch for them it was just hecka early! We came back and I couldn't go back to sleep so I just stayed up and did some organizing. The Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders were all invited to come to Rome for the mission leadership conference and so my train left at 1:15 to head up to Rome. Every companionship in our Zone changed this Transfer meaning that we had 9 missionaries leaving and 9 missionaries coming in as well as Sister Bellomo and I leaving for the conference and my companion was gone to Malta already so I spent the morning organizing rides and train times for everyone and getting everything settled and then when my train came Anziano Whitaker our District Leader in Bari took over and everything went pretty well! I got to see Sister Shelton from my MTC District, she went home for 4 transfers but she's back and she's serving in Bari PoggioFranco so it was really good to see her back in the mission! Sorella Bellomo and I took the 4 hour train to Rome and then the metro to the mission home.

I'm not sure if I've told y'all about the mission home but it's absolutely beautiful! It was built in the 1920's by Mussolini and was one of the very first Church owned buildings in Italy. It's a 4 story villa just a 10 minute walk from the Subway station and back when it was first owned it was where the mission office was. Now it is where President and Sister Pickerd live and it's where we stayed when we came into the mission and where we will stay when we leave! So we got to the Villa and chatted while we waited for the other Zone Leaders and STLs to arrive. I got to see Anziano Campbell, my MTC companion and Sister Hatfield who I served with when I first came to Cagliari as well as so many other Elders and Sisters in the mission! We ate dinner all together, the Assistants as well as President and Sister Pickerd served us dinner and it was a great time to catch up and get to know the other leaders in the mission! 

Afterwards we all sat together in the living room and had a short training... we were two hours behind schedule so it got cut a little short but it was really good. Sister Pickerd shared a quote from President Keuron, the President of the Europe area, from a recent training that I really liked he said "What is most important as we do this work is that we are willing to do it." Heavenly Father takes our willing souls and he qualifies us to do the work!

Friday was up early for the showers and we were all ready and eating breakfast at like 6 AM... too many over achievers in one house. One of the Anziani was playing hymns on the piano at like 5:45 in the morning. We realized we woke up way too early... but better early than late! 

We went to the Rome 2 Church which is where we had our first trainings as a greenie and so there was another flashback! I hit my year mark as a missionary this transfer! Sister Pickerd kept reminding me of it because we came into the mission at the same time as the Pickerds and so they still have two years! 

The Mission Leadership Conference went so well and we really had a good time! The leadership in the mission has a great vision for the mission and its going forward! We talked about so many good things from the changes in the schedule and how we can better use our time to how we can lead the mission forward. I learned so much and I'm excited to share it with the Bari Zone! 

Travel back home was not super fun... it was beautiful but I was exhausted! We took a regional train over to Pescara which took three hours, it was through the mountains which was amazing, all the little cities on the hill and it was so green! Then we took a nicer train from Pescara to Bari and that took another 3 hours and the mission office bought me a first class ticket but not my companion so we got kicked out... I was ready for bed when we got home but we still had to take the Sisters home and I absolutely passed out! 

Saturday we did some service for a member who is opening up a new shop in a little city near Bitonto. I swear by the end of my mission I will have a resume ready for IKEA I've put so much of their furniture together! We built three book shelves and 4 other small shelves and moved a bunch of other stuff for them. I'm noticing in the mission that I really like projects, like a puzzle to be solved or something with a visible end, something I can accomplish and move on to the next task, I know that's really random but it's something I noticed! That took most of the morning and then we came back, got changed and ate lunch and planned the Transfer out to see where we will be when and have everything ready for this transfer to start off on the right foot! We then went to Centro to do some finding as a District. We were going to do a Gesso with the sheet on the ground but there was a parade for a Catholic Saint so we decided to ditch the sheet and turn to English Course to respect their celebration. They had a ton of stands with fair food and the smells were bringing me back to the Saint Mary's fair in Potsdam, so many childhood memories! We were all fasting though so we couldn't partake! It was a good night though! So Anziano Zito (my new companion) trained Anziano Velardi (Anziano Wilkey's new companion) so they're in the same house together again which is kinda cool! I worked for a good amount of the night with Anziano Velardi who is pretty young in the mission so it was a lot of fun! He's a young missionary with SO MUCH ENERGY! He makes me tired but it's a good thing that he's so energized! I just think I need a nap sometimes! 

Sunday was beautiful, the weather was great and then we had a great day at church! The Bitonto Branch is so united, they are so much like a family and it makes me happy, they really have a spirit about them that just radiates their testimonies. I really enjoyed the fasting testimony Meeting and the spirit was really strong! We left right after to come to Libertà and be a part of Samuel receiving the Aaronic Priesthood and being ordained a priest. It was a beautiful experience and I was so grateful to be a part of it! He is already a great missionary so I'm super excited for him. He will be able to help with the sacrament next week! We then went to the Scarola family for lunch and it was real good, she made pasta and then she made like chicken fried steak but she put sesame seeds in the breading and I was definitely a fan! Then they had these sweet baked onions with bread crumbs and vinegar on them. Apparently it's a Barese thing but I really liked them. They are really excited to do missionary work so I hope we can use them! 

Sunday afternoon nothing too exciting happened, we planned the Zone Leadership Conference and then that was pretty much it! There is a big air show this afternoon so we're excited to watch that, other than that we're having a pretty chill P-day and I'm trying not to spend money! Haha I hope you have a great week! I love ya and I want to hear from you all!

Vi voglio bene,

Anziani Bellucci

District Leadership Picture

Anziano Friedman and I

District Picture

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Bari Libertà Transfer 7 Week 6

Transfer call day! Who knows what's going to happen?!?!

Well what a week it's been, I feel like I finally got to catch my breath this last week for the first time this Transfer! (I don't know why my iPad capitalizes Transfer every time, I'm too lazy to change it) 

We were still pretty busy though, Monday night we met with Sam to do his first follow-up lesson after his baptism! He brought us some sad news that he had lost his job :( But on the bright side he can come to Church again so that's super good! The lesson went super well and he was telling us about some of the African traditions that he grew up with. It was super sad hearing some of the tribal bloodshed and things but he is so grateful for the way he grew up and how lucky he is to have found a better way. 

Tuesday was rainy and a Holiday like the Italian 4th of July so literally everything was closed, there was no one on the streets and it was a ghost town. We had a handful of people at English Course which was cool and this new family came! They are super nice and we hope to be able to teach them about the Gospel soon! Afterwards we drove to the other side of Bari and traded companions, I dropped off Anziano Bowers with Anziano Hinckley and picked up Anziano Whitaker for our exchange on Wednesday!

Anziano Whitaker had a great exchange, we started off by going to Trani and teaching a lesson to some recent converts. We talked about the temple with them and the importance of being prepared spiritually through an effective study of the scriptures. It was definitely a lesson of discerning their needs and working through the spirit. Anziano Whitaker is a stud missionary so it went really well and we spent most of the rest of the exchange finding. We walked down the board walk and decided that wasn't very effective now that it's getting warmer and turning into tourist season... I talked to people from about 30 different European countries and not a one of them was Italy! Tourism is in full swing down here for sure! 

Thursday we had District Meeting in the morning which was really good as always and then we went as a District to this sandwich shop which was super good! You can order your own sandwich or you can just say "You make it!" And he makes the whole thing, he chooses what to put on it and it's sooooo good! And they're only 2 dollars so it's super cheap! We had an appointment for our car to change some sensor and they said it was only going to take a few minutes and the Toyota dealership is kind of out there so we just decided to stay there. Well two hours later we finally got out of there! Just in time to head to English Course in Bitonto! We ended a few minutes early and headed back to PoggioFranco to teach a little class to the Young Single Adults on missionary work. We had them do role-plays and everything and it was super successful! Then we had invited all of PoggioFranco's English Course Young Single Adults to stay after and play foosball and ping pong and eat Panzerotti so the members could practice their newly learned skills! It went super well and all the members were talking to the English Course students and it was a huge success! We want to try to do these things more often! 

Friday was an absolutely special day, Francesco was baptized! It was so good to see him ready to enter the waters of baptism and make that covenant. The Baptism was really spiritual and there was a good turn out of non-members. Francesco is 10 years old and his Dad was able to baptize him which was really cool! He's a recent convert of 6 months and so it was super cool to see both of them dressed in white! 

Saturday we had Italian class with the member that lives above us, we played a game where you tell a story by each person tells a part of it and then it goes on to the next person, it was hysterical! Then that afternoon Anziano Bowers and I were out doing some finding and we walked downtown to find that they had blocked off the street and were racing these OLD cars, it was soooo cool! I took some pictures and videos! They were old Porsches and Fiats and Alpha Romeos and BMWs from the mid 1900's and after. So cool. So unsafe though, they would never be able to do something like that in America, someone would get sued. 


Francesco received the gift of the Holy Ghost and his Dad blessed the Sacrament with me for the first time! It brought me back to my first time and being able to explain everything to him. He did a great job! After church we went to the Bellomo family's house for dinner! It was super good and they gave us a referral so we are pretty excited for that! 

That's pretty much the wrap of the week! Transfer Calls are tonight! I'm excited to see what happens, I think our Zone will be getting pretty shaken up so we'll see what happens with Anziano Bowers and I! 

I just want to share my testimony about the Atonement, it is something so individual and personal and I know that it is meant for each and every one of us. Jesus Christ suffered so that we don't have to, there is so much turmoil in the world and I am so grateful for the knowledge that I don't have to go through anything in this life alone. I know it to be true! I love you guys and I hope you have a great week!

Anziano Bellucci

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bari Libertà Transfer 7 Week 5

This week has been one of the best weeks of my mission from the beginning! I have felt so much of God's love for me and for all of his children and it has been so good! My testimony of God knowing each one of us is something that has grown so much in the last few months. He knows us individually and personally and he loves us! 

On Monday just shortly after the activity that we had I had the incredible opportunity to see Sam enter the waters of baptism and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was an incredible baptism and I was really glad to be a part of it. Sam is about 40 years old, he came to Italy legally on a VISA that has since expired and so he is technically a refugee but he is very well educated. He studied theology in Nigeria and is very well versed in the Scriptures. He has come to Church every Sunday for the last year as he has been investigating, he wanted to make sure he was ready and that he had received his own personal testimony before taking this step. Life as a refugee here in Italy is rough but the true happiness that was evident in his face was incredible. You could tell that he truly felt the power that comes from a remission of your sins and the constant companionship of tyhe Holy Ghost. This was a success for the Senior Couple Anziano and Sorella Fitzner as they have worked with him from the beginning and are very much like his "parents" in the Gospel and rock of support. After the baptism and the Confirmation of the Holy Ghost Sam gave Anziano Fitzner the biggest hug I've ever seen, I thought he was going to break him in half! But the moment was so tender. 

Tuesday morning I woke up sore from too much volleyball... so worth it. We had to take our car to go get new tires and brakes with the Fitzner's car too. They did the Fitzner's car first and we decided to leave Gina (Our Car) so that we could go to DDM. We've been talking so much about Young Single Adults lately and how we all want to work with them more and get members involved in the work but we've noticed that we talk a lot of talk but nothing is happening so we decided to come up with some measurable goals and keep each other accountable for them! I hope it works! 

Bari is known for its Focaccia which is like pizza bread... I don't know how to explain it. It's like a pizza but it's super thick and then they put like whole tomatoes on top and olives too but those are gross. Anyway the focaccia here is so good! I usually don't like it, it's usually doughy and just not super good but we got some for lunch after DDM and it was dang good! Gina wasn't ready yet by 1:30 when she was supposed to be ready at 11... I love Italians. 

Wednesday was so good! We got up early and left the house early to head to Foggia for an exchange with Anziano Osmond and Anziano Simonsen! These two Anziani are incredible, they're just doing great work up in Foggia and we had a great Scambio. Anziano Osmond is in his second transfer so he's still in training but he seems like a seasoned veteran. He speaks the language really well and he has a good head on his shoulders. Obviously his Dad is Donny Osmond and so we were listening to music on my iPad and a song from Mulan came on and he was like "That's my Dad!" It was funny. He thought it was funny that I knew the song "Puppy Love" apparently only Old people are allowed to know that... Anyway we had a great exchange, and I was bummed to leave Foggia on Thursday morning! 

Saturday we had a pretty good day! We spent the morning around Bari and then we came back for our "Italian Class" with the member that lives upstairs and it was a lot of fun. We've been playing games where you have categories like jobs, animals, food, body parts and then she gives us a letter and we have to come up with a word for each category... it's real hard! But it's good to learn new things! Afterwards we ran downstairs to get lunch going. I made lunch for everyone and then I took Anziano Whitaker in the car to Trani to do the baptismal interview for Francesco. He did a great job and is super ready! We got the baptismal program planned out and ready to go and had a great "mini exchange" for a few hours. So the lady that lives above us that teaches us Italian has a big Golden Receiver named Luka, he's kind of obnoxious and barks a lot but we love him! So we went with her to take Luka for a walk and then did a Family Home Evening together complete with panzarotti (Sergi's pizza Rolls) and a game. We had a great time and I think the message was exactly what she needed! 

Sunday I got to go to Church in Bari Libertà for the first time ever! I went with Anziano Carroll to Libertà and Anziano Wilkey and Anziano Bowers went to Bitonto. Sister Bellomo is Italian and she only has three transfers left, she's been learning English but is a little bit afraid to speak even though she speaks really well. She wants to learn how to live translate before she leaves and so I gave her the translator and she started freaking out! I wouldn't take it back so she kept trying to give it back. After a few minutes I left her in the back to translate and she did a great job! We can do hard things! After Church we went with the Petroni family and it was super good! I also set up 3 appointments with members in the next week, it was nice to finally meet all the members here! I sat next to the Ward mission leader in Priesthood and said "Ok, who is ..." and it worked pretty well. 

Then in the evening there is a Sister from the PoggioFranco Ward that got her mission call so they decided to have an activity centered around missionary work. It was... interesting... and in the end she opened her mission call to the Milan Mission! 

Today we have had an awesome Zone P-Day! We had everyone come in to Bari to play volleyball together and we definitely had a great time! None of us are super good but it was well worth it and I think it was a success. I'm super tired now and I'm ready for bed but we get to go work for a few hours first! 

I love you guys and I hope you are having a good week! 

Love Anziano Bellucci  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Bari Libertà Transfer 7 Week 4

Exchanges, Mexican Food, and falling elevators...

I swear he weeks get busier and busier this Transfer! I can't believe we're already halfway through this one! 

Not much happened on Tuesday after P-Day, we taught English Course and that was pretty much it! 

On Wednesday we went to Trani, we taught a lesson about temples to our Recent Converts and it went super well! I got to share the stories about my family doing baptisms for the first time in California and then about my Mom and Adam being sealed in the temple! It was a great lesson and we're super stoked for them to get ready for the temple! 

When we left there we came home, ate an early lunch and then grabbed our stuff, picked up some mattresses from the Senior Couple and headed to Lecce to visit Anziano Lancaster and Anziano Jensen! It was a good drive down but when you get to Brindisi there are all these signs for Greece and you can take a ferry to Greece and Anziano Bowers and I just looked at each other like... hmmm I wonder... haha not that I would ever do it but the thought crossed my mind! 

I got to work with Anziano Jensen, he is a pretty young missionary but he's very "in gamba" as we say in Italian, he just wants to get out there and work! He speaks the language very well and is a great missionary! We spent the exchange doing a lot of finding and I actually got to learn quite a bit from him and I hope he learned something from me! 

We came back on Thursday after lunch and then went straight to Trani to teach Francesco, we are working on the commandments with him and explaining tithing and the Word of Wisdom. He seemed to understand them pretty well and he taught us the principles that we taught him. Then we taught English Course and they were starting Branch Choir and they asked us to stay... not a good idea. I sing the melody. That's it. They had us singing the tenor part and I was lost and probably sounded like I was dying but I tried! 

Friday we did weekly planning in the morning and then another exchange with the Anziani in Poggio Franco! I got to work with Anziano Hinckley (5th cousin of Gordon B.)  he is in his 2nd Transfer so he's still being trained. We got to do some finding in the biggest park here in Bari. So we talked to a few people and then I said "Anziano Hinckley, who should we talk to next?" And when I turned there was a lady waving to us to come over. I was shocked so I looked to see if there was anyone behind me and there wasn't! So we went over and she said "Hello!" I asked if she spoke Italian and she said no and asked me if I spoke English. Well in fact I do! She was visiting from Denmark and started asking us who we are and what we do. She then said "I'm Orthodox and my husband here is atheist and we were just talking a few minutes ago about whether or not we want to have children and I said that I want my child to be baptized but he doesn't." So we got the opportunity to explain why baptism is important and it was really good. Unfortunately they had to go so we didn't get to help them with much else but I hope they will remember it! That night we had "Mexican night" for the Young Single Adults and we were invited as they had some non-members that were supposed to come. I miss Mexican food so much! We just made really simple tacos and it was so good! The Senior Couple scoured the city looking for Cheddar cheese and they found some for something like 28€ a kilo which is like 15$ a pound but they said it was worth it! Guacamole, salsa, hamburger and sour cream which also wasn't easy to find but it was so good! 

Saturday morning we continued our scambio, we did some more finding and then went to the member's house that lives above us, she teaches us Italian on Saturdays. We had a good time and then made lunch together at our house to finish off the exchange! 

Easter Sunday! 

We went to Church in Bitonto and had a great time! The talks were so great with so much focus on Jesus Christ and his resurrection, I couldn't help but feel his personal love for me in Church yesterday. We went to lunch with the Scarolla family! They are a great couple, they don't have any kids, they're a little older but they're so nice! They're very musically inclined... (not me) we had so much food but my favorite part was the homemade ravioli... che buona... we watched the Prince of Peace video with them and then I invited them to read and study this week the accounts in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It's really a great study so that's my invite for all of you! 

We had a meeting with the Young Single Adults to plan how to work with the institute to bring more GANS and then we celebrated a birthday with them and headed to the Fitzners for a Nacho night with the rest of the real expensive cheese! It was a lot of fun and a good taste of home! (Even though they're Canadian...:) So here is my elevator story. So they live on he fifth floor of a really nice apartment building. Well the elevator said Maximum 8 people. Well all eight of the missionaries were in the elevator and then Sister Fitzner got in and Anziano Fitzner put one foot in and it started to sink, the emergency doors started to close and Anziano Fitzner had to jump in... we were all freaking out! When it got to the bottom the doors started to open but then closed right away and it started going down further into the parking garage. It got to the bottom and still wouldn't open. Anziano Fitzner was a fireman so he's the calm one in the situation, it finally stopped mid floor and we were able to wedge the doors open. We pulled ourselves down far enough to sneak out the bottom level of he parking garage... it was sketch but we made it out alive! 

Today is an activity at the Church so we are going to be here most of the day, we've got volleyball, basketball, soccer, foosball and ping pong! Today is a Holiday in Italy so everything is closed... it's called Pasquetta which is like "Little Easter" but it's a big thing here! 

I hope you all had great weeks, I hope you got to spend time with family and friends for Easter and I hope you know I love you all! 

Buona Pasqua

Anziani Bellucci

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bari Libertà Transfer 7 Week 3

April 10, 2017

My head is still spinning from this past week but we made it through! I'm learning very quickly that the week before Zone Conference is a very hectic week for the Zone Leaders! We made it through but it went by very quickly and was very busy!
Honestly I don't remember exactly what we did on Monday... I remember I woke up super sore on Tuesday though from playing Volleyball! I was sore from head to toe. We had District Meeting and our District is pretty big. It reminds me of Cagliari! There's 10 missionaries and a Senior Couple so we make a pretty big group. Anziano Whitaker is our District Leader and he is an absolute stud, he only has one transfer left which is a bummer because I'm going to miss him for sure! He just finished applying for Utah State though so hopefully I'll see him after the mission. He gave us a great training on goals and visions and I learned a lot from it. 
Wednesday morning we went to Trani to teach our investigators and our New Converts out there, it was a good lesson and we came back to Bari and in the afternoon we went and played frisbee in the park to try to talk to some people. We talked to this group of people that were pretty cool. Italians are really good at Soccer, everyone grows up playing it, they can juggle a soccer ball and pretty much do anything with their feet. But outside of that, literally any other sport... they can't do. It's actually really funny, they couldn't catch or throw a frisbee and we tried a little volleyball too but it was a lost cause, they kept kicking it! We had a good time with them though. Afterwards the Sisters from PoggioFranco which is the other side of the city called us and said "So everyone is dropping out of the talent show tomorrow, can you guys sing with us?" So we had to practice for that...
Thursday morning one of the investigators of the Anziani that we live with invited us to go to a play, Aladdin, he told them that there would be tons of families there and he's the director so he could get us all free tickets. So we get there and this is the fourth largest theater in Europe, it's absolutely gorgeous! But he got us our own little private box so we were all alone and it turns out it was a showing for all the Elementary kids to come to so it was literally like 500 kids under the age of 10... and none of their parents so it was kind of a bust. Also, Disney did Aladdin a lot better for sure... in this one, Aladdin had a Mom, Jasmine had no pet Tiger and it was just weird. We had a good time though and I took some pictures! 
In the afternoon we went to Trani to teach Francesco, he's a stud and is super stoked to get baptized on the 28th! We taught him the Plan of Salvation and we drew it out on the iPad with pictures and then he took the iPad and said "Ok, I'm going to teach you now!" And he did, he taught us the whole thing almost perfectly! He's so ready! 
We came back to Bari for the talent show, practiced our song once through and then started greeting people! There were a ton of people that came with a lot of talent! There were these two little girls from the ward who were like 9 years old and they had incredible voices! There was a 12 year old magician, some old lady that told a joke in Barese (Bari dialect) that I didn't understand, Anziano Fitzner (Senior Couple) sang a version of Hallelujah with words about Easter, it was great! We sang the Youth song "Come unto Christ" which was a lot of fun! 
Friday we had weekly planning in the morning and had to get ready for Zone Conference, we planned both of the trainings for Zone conference and made the final schedule. In the afternoon we went to Bitonto with the Sisters to do a "Bitonto Blitz" and we stopped by the Church to find half the Branch there practicing for Choir. We got roped into that right away, all I can do is sing the melody and they want us to sing parts so I'm a lost cause but it's fun! We finished the night with picking up our newly tailored suits and then grabbed some Panzarotti which are like the pizza rolls from Sergi's they're sooooo good! We get them baked but they have them fried too and they're so good! 
Saturday we spent running all over the place! We started with hair cuts, then we went to the store to buy a ton of food for Zone Conference, then onto the market for fruit for ZC. To the church to unload everything and then we went to play soccer with the Young Men in Bitonto. We had a blast, I'm so out of shape... so is my companion, we were exhausted and it was 4 on 5 so we were running like crazy! As we were playing we got a call from the PoggioFranco Anziani. So there are two doors to their apartment, you walk through the first one and then there are two apartments inside of that. So they went to leave for an appointment and they went out the door and closed it behind them and then realized they didn't have the keys to unlock the second door and so they were stuck in this little square like five foot by five foot. We were the only one with keys and we were out of Bari so they were stuck in there for over an hour and a half... I thought it was hysterical! So we let them out and then went to the activity at church. There was a benefit concert to donate milk to refugees here in Italy. They had Bands from all over Bari and there was a few hundred people there and more than half were non members which was so cool! They raised 1,365 liters of milk! Double the goal! President came and got to meet some of the missionaries investigators and it was a good success! 
Sunday Church in Bitonto! We did an Exchange with the other Anziani so one of us could go to Church in Libertà and get to know the members there and so I took Anziano Carroll with me to church in Bitonto. President and Sister Pickerd came to Church with us too! It was a great block of meetings, we had a chance to hear from them in Sacrament Meeting and then to go to Gospel Principles with both of them as well. Our new converts were there with their son Francesco (the one getting baptized on the 28th) and he met with them during third hour and hey had a great time! We set up an appointment for President with the Bishop in Libertà and then we met him back at the church for Interviews! Our Investigator Sam got interviewed for Baptism by President and he's ready! Were so stoked for him! We got all the paperwork done and he will be baptized on Monday! It was for sure a good day but I was exhausted! 
Yesterday as you know we had Zone Conference which is why we are having P-Day today. Zone Conference was great! We talked about the principle of "Good, Better, Best and how it applies to missionary work and our own personal improvement in the things we do every day. We also had a really good training about Using the Book of Mormon to answer questions of the soul that people ask us everyday on the streets. I remember I wrote home about this a few weeks ago when I was in Crotone because we did a lesson on it then but it was really good and really cool to see how many questions can be answered by the Book of Mormon. They also let us do a role-play in English which was way fun!  
In the afternoon part of Zone Conference my companion and I along with the SIster Training Leader Sister Hess got to lead a discussion on working with and finding the GANS that we have to find more of them! It was a good discussion and I think it helped! 
We had a training for the new missionaries and their trainers in the Zone right after Zone Conference like the one I went to when I was with Anziano Allen except this time we were leading it! It was a good training on the importance of studying the language and using Companionship study. 
Afterwards the Bishop and his family had invited us over for Family Home Evening at their house which was really nice, they are a great family! They have two kids, one is a foreign exchange student in American Fork Utah and the other is a 12 year old volleyball star named Marco! So when we do FHE here our job i s to bring the game and the family that we visit has to come up with the lesson. We watched Elder Bednar's talk from the Priesthood session and had a great discussion about callings in the Church as well as being prepared for the future! Followed up by a game of UNO in which I lost and then dinner together! It made me feel at home! 
Today we went and played Ultimate Frisbee in the park and had a picnic, nothing too exciting! I'm still exhausted but I don't see a nap anywhere in my future... I love you all and I hope you had a good week!

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Italy Rome Mission

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Bari Libertà Transfer 7 Week 2

April 3, 2017

The Hardest Thing I've ever Loved to do...

This has been a pretty trying week for me, Satan has been working on me and he's been having a lot of success getting into my mind. But I think it's because he knew how amazing General Conference would be this week. 

I've been learning a lot about who I am as a missionary this week which has been kind of interesting. As I watch other missionaries in the Zone I see the things they do well and the things I could improve on and I really enjoy that. It makes me want to be better. I also had a scary realization reading an email yesterday from one of my MTC teachers. She was making a reference to the missionaries that have been in the MTC for the past few months and I was like "Oh yeah that was me..." then I remembered I went there almost a year ago. Ahhhh! This last year though has honestly been the hardest thing I've ever loved to do, I only have a year left and it's for sure going to count! 

We had a really good day on Monday, our Family Home Evening that we had set up cancelled on us so we got to hit the streets of Bari and talk to some pretty cool people! The people in this city are pretty open especially when you hit them with a big cheesy smile! Missionary work in a big city is a little different than a small one, there's so many people! This is going to take some getting used to! 

We had mission leadership conference on Tuesday so we all Skyped in to Rome with all the other Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders which was pretty cool! I got to see some of the other missionaries that I've served with which was pretty cool! It was a great conference and we talked a ton about working with Young Single Adults and focusing our finding efforts on youth. President gave us permission to go to the Universities to eat lunch once a week so we can get closer to the College Aged students and try to talk to them in a more chill way. We're excited to try this out! We went out to a Chinese restaurant afterwards and I ate sooooo much sushi! 

So the Senior couple here teaches Institute on Tuesday nights so we teach The Intermediate level English Course here in Bari Libertà and then on Thursdays we teach a course in Bitonto. There wasn't enough people to do a third course so we didn't end up teaching but we met some cool people here! 

So there is a miracle family that was baptized I think two transfers ago, I remember hearing about it in Taranto. They were taught almost 25 years ago and then last year the missionaries found a map in their apartment with a name marked on it. It was behind some furniture and probably looked like trash. Instead of throwing it out they decided to go to this little city and find them. A few short months later they were baptized. So now every week we go out to that city to teach them and their son is going to get baptized on the 28th! We're super stoked for him! 

So one of our investigators, his name is Sam and he is a stud! We got a call from the Senior Couple who are working with him a ton on Thursday and they said he finally got a job which is an answer to prayers for sure! He is Nigerian so he needs work to stay here. Unfortunately he works Sundays now but he hasn't missed a Sunday at church in the past year. So his Baptism is set for the Monday after  Easter! Keep him in your prayers, Satan works hard on people as they get closer and closer to Baptism! 

We went and had lunch at "Grandma's" in Bitonto! She is probably in her 70's and she asked us to call her Grandma! She's hysterical! It was her and another older lady from the Branch. Oh my heck she reminds me of my Mom and Roxy when they get older... we laughed so hard and had such a good time! She made a great "pasta al forno" which is just pasta in the oven like a baked ziti. It was so good with homemade little meatballs. Then she gave us some steaks. Then she had these mozzarella balls and ham and bread and I took one of the mozzarella balls and cut it up on my plate with the steak and apparently that's a no no, you can't eat anything on the same plate in Italy... also I cut the mozzarella ball with my fork instead of my knife and she yelled at me for that too! Italians... haha! We had a great time at lunch and then we shared the new Easter Video with them and the spirit was so strong! If you haven't seen it yet, go check it out! It's called "Prince of Peace" and it's so good! I haven't actually watched it in English but it's the same thing so go check it out! 

We decided we wanted to try and work a little bit more out in Bitonto to grow our English Course and our teaching pool out there so Friday we decided to take the Sisters with us and do a "Bitonto Blitz!" We hit the city hard for about 3 hours and had some good finds with a gelato at the end! 

Saturday we went to the park with a frisbee to do some finding and after a few minutes a couple showed up and said "Hey can we play?' In perfect English with no Accent. I was kind of shocked... turns out she's from Canada and married an Italian and they moved back here about five years ago. We had a great time with them and it was nice to get a little taste of home even though she was Canadian! 


It was the absolute best! I watched a lot of it in Italian so I want to rewatch it in English and see how much more I can get out of it but it was all good! I really enjoyed President Uchtdorfs talk and President Ballard. One of my favorite quotes was from President Eyring he said "If you feel a little overwhelmed, take that as a good sign. It indicates that you can sense the magnitude of the trust God has placed on you." I think sometimes we all feel overwhelmed and that leads to feelings of inadequacy but it shouldn't be that way! Sometimes we're meant to feel overwhelmed! I have some others but I'll be a little more specific next week... I want to hear what you guys liked! I'll be honest I was pretty spiritually drained by the end but it was really good! We obviously spent a lot of time watching Conference this weekend and I got to meet a ton of members from the Bari Libertà Ward! 

We got to watch the last session at a New Convert/their son is our investigator's house. They made us homemade pizza and everything! It was such a good day! 

Today we had so much fun... we went to an indoor beach volleyball place! We're all fat and out of shape but we had a really good time! And I actually took some pictures! I hope you all had a great week! Like I said I want to hear about what you learned from Conference! I love you and I hope you have a good week!

Anziano Bellucci

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bari Libertà Transfer 7 Week 1

March 27, 2017

Transfer Calls take me by Surprise! 

Wow what a week it's been! It has flown by and so much has happened! From the beginning it was a shake up! So Monday night we knew one of us would be leaving so we went to visit a few members after P-Day and then we met up with the Catanzaro Anziani to grab a pizza and wait for Transfer calls... The other Anziani got their call first from the assistants and found out they were getting blown out and then the Sisters got their call shortly after from Sister Pickerd saying that they would both be training new missionaries! They're going to do great! Then we waited... and we waited... and the assistants usually call around the District when they do calls but no one was calling us... so we ate went home and ate our pizza! President has his own special ringtone and its that sound that just kind of makes you gasp a little bit! Well his ringtone went off... I've been transferred to Bari Libertà to be the new Zone Leader! I'm super stoked to be here and to be serving other missionaries as a Zone Leader! Our Zone goes from Foggia on the North end all the way to Lecce on the South end and so I'll get to travel quite a bit of it as we do exchanges with the other missionaries! Anyway I'll tell you more about Bari later... I still had a few more days in Crotone! 

So Tuesday we had District Meeting and got kebab for the last time as a District and then I got some packing done. Usually the transfers are on Thursday but I think the Greenies flew in a day later so we did transfers on Friday so I had a little more time to pack! We had English Course and had a party afterwards so Sister Taylor and I could say goodbye to everyone. There was a lot of food! The Sisters made brownies and I made banana bread. It turned out really well and it was good to see everyone. We found out right before English Course that the transfers would be on Friday and that we would still be there for Thursday! Anyway the party went well! 

Wednesday was exhausting... I spent a good minute getting things together around the apartment in the morning after studies and then we took a bus to Cutro at 11 to go see Antonio, we went to his house for lunch and then went and took some pictures with him. It was really hard to say goodbye to him, I'm going to miss him! Then we went and took pictures with the Tedesco kids and came back to Crotone on the 3 o'clock bus. We went and visited Sister Siniscalchi, did some handyman work on her kitchen door knob and said goodbye, she is the cutest little old lady, she's like my little Grandma of Crotone! I'll miss her for sure too! Then we went to the house, grabbed some stuff and brought it to Vincenzo's house to make brownies with him. Usually we just make them at home because it's easier than taking stuff over there but it was a lot of fun! I took a cool video with him! 

Thursday... Thursday was bitter sweet, my last day with Anziano Allen and I was pretty sad, I was excited to come to Bari but having a new companion is scary, he was pretty scared too but he's going to be fine! I packed a little bit in the morning, we went and visited a couple of members so I could say goodbye, we saw Marco one last time and then Anziano Allen wanted to make an "Italian Pranzo" so he made a few courses for lunch while I kept packing... it was really good! We had pesto pasta and then chicken and potatoes for round 2! We had branch Council and finished up the details for the activity on Saturday (I hope it went well!) and then English Course one more time! Salvatore and Eleanor's picked us up from English Course and we went and got pizza with them, it was nice to have a little "Family Night out" I'm for sure going to miss them too! 

Friday morning... I was pretty much all packed just the last few things I had to use and so we ran to the store to get stamps and then send off some "ghetto packages" so there are these little red boxes in Italy and anything you can fit through the little red slot ships! So we use cereal boxes or whatever box you can find, turn it wrong side out and tape it up, put whatever you want in there and then ship it off with a $0.95 stamp! There's no guarantee it makes it there but it's worth a try right? So I sent off a few of those and got dish soap so Anziano Allen's new companion wouldn't come to a new city with dirty dishes... then it was time to head em up and move em out... The Branch President came and picked us up and then picked up the Sisters. Sister Taylor and I were taking the same train so our companions actually did an exchange for a few hours... weird! Anziano Allen was freaking out that he was going to have a Sister as a companion! I thought it was funny... they went to a member's house for lunch so it was all good! We said our goodbyes and took one last picture together! And it was off to Bari for me! The train ride actually went by super fast! Sister Taylor stayed with me about halfway to Taranto so I was only by myself about an hour and a half and then when I got to Taranto Sister Bellomo and I were on the same train from Taranto to Bari so I had company almost the whole way! Speaking of Sister Bellomo, she's embarrassed to speak English so we speak a lot in Italian, she is from the North though so she speaks so clearly! She's in our District here in Bari. The Senior couple (yes that's right, I said senior couple! I'm super excited to have one of those here) and the other missionaries picked us up at the station. I met my new companion Anziano Bowers! 

Anziano Bowers is about 3/4 of the way through his mission and is a great missionary! He is number 4 in a family of 5 and grew up in Seattle Washington, he loves to wrestle, he did it in High School, skateboard and BMX bike... he reminds me a lot of Anziano LaRussa! They even look alike! 

I got unpacked and settled in, we ate some lunch and then got in the car and he showed me a little bit around the area. I'm super stoked to have a car again... it's so nice. Her name is Gina I guess... anyway we were with Anziano Carroll because his companion hadn't arrived from Sicily yet. This is a four man house so we live with Anziani Carroll and Anziano Wilkey! So we went to the correlation meeting at the Bari Libertà ward, the Ward mission leader is a returned missionary who served in the Manchester England mission so we do correlation in English so he can practice. That was pretty much it for Friday, I was definitely ready for bed! 

Saturday morning we went to another city called Trani, it's kind of far away but there was a guy that came from Brescia (a city in the North) to visit his family here and he goes to their English Course. He came to our English Course and said that he wanted us to meet his family because he really loves the missionaries up North! His family is super nice and we are hoping to start teaching them too! We walked around Trani and they took us to their bike shop where they make bikes with completely wood frames, it was really cool! They want to start selling them in America, they're hand made wooden bikes and they sell for 6-7,000 €... I think it's a little out of all of our price ranges. Anziano Bowers took it for a spin though and he said it was really nice! We played soccer in this big park in the afternoon trying to talk to people, it was a lot of fun and then we ended with a Gesso in Centro. 

So Bari is about the size of Salt Lake... it's pretty big! It's divided into two areas and two wards. So we are the Bari Libertà ward and the Anziani we live with are in the same ward and we also have Sisters. Then there is Bari PoggioFranco and there is a set of Elders and Sisters there too. Then there is a Branch of about 30 people in Bitonto and my companion and I cover that too! So we go to Church mostly in Bitonto but we'll do splits in the Libertà ward so our faces get known there too. So anyway we went to Bitonto for Church yesterday, it was a lot of fun and actually reminded me of Potsdam. They are all super close and stay around after church to chat with each other. The Branch President is really cool, he asked me to give a short talk and bare my testimony, it went pretty well! I talked about missionary work, I know weird... I talked about trusting ourselves in the missionaries and trusting them with our friends. It went pretty well! We had to spend the evening doing weekly planning so we could get the transfer planned out and get ready for the week. We have a super busy week planned so I'm pretty stoked! We were supposed to go to lunch at the Libertà Bishop's house but they got invited to his parents house or something so his wife gave us a bag with stuff to make ourselves lunch... it was good. 

So on Sunday nights we call the District Leaders and talk about all the missionaries through out the Zone and how everyone is doing. It takes quite a bit of time and I still have no idea what I'm doing so... we were up pretty late last night! It was rough getting up this morning but we made it. Then we get up and walk to this pizzeria down the street to email in our report. I'm learning a ton but I still feel like I have no idea what's going on... I'll get it eventually! 

Today it's raining... it's been beautiful since we got here but now it's kind of crappy. We went grocery shopping and then we went to Gucci... anyone ever been to Gucci? It's right next to Prada and down the Street from Armani and Luis Vuitton... I didn't even know these places existed. I felt out of place. 

So I'm super excited to be here! We're going to have a good Transfer and I'm stoked! How did your week go?!?! I've been studying a lot about those questions of the soul and I'm curious if you guys have ever had any questions answered from the Book of Mormon? I would love to hear your experiences! Have a great week!

Anziano Bellucci