Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Crotone! Transfer 5 Week 5!

Hey everybody! This week is going to be a shorter weekly email so I have time to respond to all the other ones! 

This week has been great as usual! We have seen lots of success and are super excited for this week! On Monday night there was a cyclone that blew into Crotone apparently the first since 1992... well we were outside! We were on our way back from Catanzaro and we walk out of their apartment to head to the calabro which is like a little train that goes from their apartment to the actual train station. We almost got washed away, the streets were flooding, the old river that usually has no water in it was flowing like the Mississippi and my shoes were definitely soggy... as usual the train was late but at least there was a roof over top of us! We finally made it to Crotone and I called a member to come and take us home, it was a miracle!

Tuesday we had a great DDM, Anziani Haws has introduced a new assignment to the agenda, DDM snack, I had the snack this week so we brought cookies and milk! It all went well and then we made gnocchi and bacon pasta stuff together, it was way good! We did some "Family Photos" because Anziano Allen is my son and Sister Bonzo is his Mom... and then lots of other pictures too! 

Wednesday the highlight was definitely the worldwide Broadcast from the Missionary Council! It was an incredible experience, they had it set up as a tour of the Church Office Buildings where they brought us in "To sit in on" an "actual" Council! They discussed some really important parts of missionary work and made some really interesting changes to the schedule that we follow everyday. I was hoping wake up time would change to 8:30 but it's definitely still at 6:30... one can hope right! They changed around how we do our studies and our morning schedule so we have more time to exercise and get ready for the day and they moved around our companion study so that we can fit it in where it best fits us. They also changed our Preparation Day so that it begins at 8 AM it gives us more time to get our personal things done and be ready for the week! It was really interesting to see how inspired the church is as they change the different aspects of missionary work!

Thursday was a really good day with our investigator Antonio, he is the one that came to Church two weeks ago to find one of the members, we had a really great lesson to review the Restoration. Last time he kept saying hat he felt the Church seemed really new compared to all the other ones and that he didn't understand. We explained using cups how Jesus Christ established a Perfect church and then that with his death and the death of his apostles the authority to act in his name was taken from the Earth and fell into Apostasy. As we restored the church with the Prophet Joseph Smith it was like a light bulb went on in his eyes and he totally understood! He even said "So if you take out any principles of the Church the whole thing crumbles!" Ding ding ding! It was such a spiritual lesson and we both felt the spirit testifying so strongly to him! He came to Church on Sunday as well! We are hoping and praying that he will receive his answer! 

Friday! We had probably one of the most productive weekly planning sessions I've ever had, we got so much done and made some awesome plans for this next week. It's so true that when you take the time to plan and use that time wisely that Heavenly Father will help things to fall into place! That afternoon we went with Salvatore and his wife to buy some new pillows (we were in desperate need) and since we had a ride home we bought a few cases of water so we wouldn't have to carry them home... definitely worth it! The Sorelle also told us that they haven't had a toilet seat in their apartment for like 6 months... I know weird... so we bought them a new one, they were pretty excited! 

Saturday was pretty good and we got a lot done! Flashback to Wednesday Anziano Allen dropped his tablet and it broke the screen and doesn't turn on... so we were trying to find a repair place. I don't know the words for that so I probably sounded like a moron saying "It's broken, it fell" but we got the point across. Haha then in the afternoon it was pouring like its done all freaking week so we spent some time at home and looked through our Area Book, I made about a million phone calls and set up some appointments for this next week! We're still working on getting Anziano Allen to use the phone, he's getting there! I totally sympathize, it's still hard for me sometimes! 

Sunday, I gave a talk on Sunday and the topic was "Missionary Work" it went really well and I realized that I am tomorrow 8 months of the way through my mission! It's so crazy how fast it's gone but it also feels like I've been a missionary forever! I'm 1/3 done! The rest of Church went really well! I almost forgot, this week we sent Antonio to the temple for the first time! He is a New Convert of less than a year and he got to go to the Switzerland temple this week! It is so neat to see the success stories of these people and know that you've helped them in some way or another! I love Italians! We did a "Gesso" (Another one of those chalk things where you draw in the sheet) last night and it went really well! We talked to some really cool people and also some crazies! Turns out they're everywhere! Before the gesso we made brownies for that family I talked about last week, we did a "Family Home Evening" activity with them and taught them the Plan of Salvation which in Italian is one of the hardest things for me to teach but it went really well and Anziano Allen did a great job too! This family is so prepared for the Gospel and at the end she said "So what are we going to talk about next Sunday when you guys come over?" I could have fallen over... lets go!

This morning we have been super productive! We made a meal plan so we can be more organized and then went grocery shopping and then made burgers at home for lunch! We are emailing now and then we've got some plans for tonight after P-day! I hope you all have a great week! I miss you all and I can't wait to hear about your weeks! 



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Crotone! Transfer 5 Week 4!

Crotone Transfer 5 Week 4 

Exhaustion, morning runs, and oh yeah... an exorcism...  

Some interesting things happened this week in this beach side city! As always we'll start at the beginning! 

Monday was a dang good day, we did some shopping and bought some Italian pants (I might have mentioned that last week) so now we don't look so American! After Pday we went to one of my favorite member's house and he decided to fix us dinner. His name is Vincenzo and he has some mental disabilities but he is so loving and so kind! He started off by slicing some Italian bread and slapping on some fish spread stuff. I explained to Anziano Allen that it was fish and he asked me if it was raw or cooked so I asked Vincen and he said "Its not raw perse..." and explained that it was raw but theres so much salt in it that its basically cooked. I wasn't sold but you have to try it! So I took the smallest piece on the plate with the littlest amount of what we are going to call "Not raw, raw fish spread" and left my comp with the bigger one... ya know, always being generous! I made it through that one just in time for him to slap another one down. This time I took the bigger one and had mercy on my Greenie. I made it through mine and Anziano Allen made it through about 3/4 of his before a piece of fish slapped down on his chin... That was it, he was out! Well on to round two... Pasta with his homemade sauce made with sun dried tomatoes and some spicy peppers, it was actually pretty good! I was watching him make it and he cooked like 750 grams of spaghetti for the three of us... which is like a pound and a half. Ugh. Two plates of spaghetti later and I was stuffed! Well there was still some pasta left so that means it was time to make a  frittata... He scrambled about 6 eggs and poured it into the pasta and put it in a frying pan. It was like a spaghetti omlet... so strange. We made it through alright but we were both ready to heave on the way home. I'm sure other missionaries in other countries eat much worse but there is a reason I was called to Italy!

On Tuesday we had an awesome District Meeting! My assignment was the "Get to know you questions" so you just pick a question or two to get to know the other people in your district. So I started out with a pretty spiritual intense question, I asked "What is the strongest part of your testimony AND why?" It was so interesting to see how each one of us said something completely different and shared testified of some of the most basic tenants of the Gospel and where we have found that testimony. The answers spanned from Prayer to the Joseph Smith vision to the Plan of Salvation and all across the board. The second question was a little less heavy, we each had to give the person to our right a car that fit their personality. Just so y'all know Anziano Haws said I am a blacked out Cadillac Escalade. Hint hint everyone if you want to have a car ready for me when I get home ;))) I said Anziano Allen was a Ford Raptor... he was pleased with that! 

We finally got to teach a new investigator! On Sunday this guy came into church and was asking to see one of our members that wasn't there anymore, he had left early. He said "Ok" and was about to leave and I snagged him and asked him what he knew about the church and if he had studied with the missionaries before. He said that he had investigated the church years before but he wasn't in the right place in his life. We set up an appointment and we met with him on Tuesday! The lesson went really well and Anziano Allen invited him to be baptized. At first he said "Vediamo" which means "We'll see" and I asked him what he thought would be holding him back and he said he doesn't know enough yet to commit. Which is fair enough but we really want him to make that goal so it gives him something to work for! We would love some prayers for Antonio if y'all wouldn't mind helping us out! We got "Bidoned" by everyone else that day (My Mom says I put too many Italian words in me emails so if I notice I will try to translate them! A bidone is a dumpster so when we have appointments set and they don't call or show up we say that we got bidoned!) but we had English course so that was great! We teach the advanced course so a lot of the time we just try to talk to them and get them involved in conversation. Since this is the first week that most of them have come since the holidays they asked Anziano Allen to tell them about his life and his family so it was a good lesson and we had a lot of fun telling them about our selves. English Course students love to ask us for our first names and so we always have to say "Okay, but if I tell you, you still have to call me Anziano Bellucci!" They say yes every time and then by the end of the night I have been called Jacob 7 times. Italians really just do what they want... 

Wednesday started off great with a trip to the fish market down by the beach! Anziano Allen's Dad is a stud cook! He sent him a recipe for a shrimp and chicken pasta with a red pepper white sauce. So we had to hit up the fish market to grab some shrimp! We then had an awesome lesson with a less-active member. She was in the hospital a few weeks ago and was not doing well at all. Since she got out she has stopped smoking (She was a chain smoker) and is feeling so much better! We decided to share something from the Ensign of December 2016, by Henry B. Eyring called "Pace in questa vita" or "Peace in this life" and it talks about how we can remember the savior in everything we do and through partaking of the sacrament we can renew the covenants that we made at baptism. It is such a powerful article! People who are less active in the church know that they should be coming so telling them to come is not going to help but when you can help them to feel that spirit by sharing something so powerful and sacred such as your testimony of the importance of the sacrament it is so much more helpful and effective! Lunch turned out to be soooo good! Shout out to Darrin for the recipe! We got sort of bidoned by another investigator and so we decided to take a bus to the other side of town and visit this less active that just randomly showed up this last week in Church. I have taken a bus in Crotone like maybe twice in the two months that I have been here and so I asked the Autista (Bus Driver) if the bus went to the station and he said yes so I thought we were good! We get on and like 15 minutes later we are out in the boonies, theres no traffic lights and we are the only ones on the bus. I was on the phone with a member so I didn't really notice but then when I hung up I was like "Where the heck are we???" About 30 minutes later we finally made it to the station and it so it was kind of late to pass by this family, we should be heading home but I felt like we should go so we went! They opened the door and let us in and we excused ourselves for it being so late! They said no problem and we just had a nice little chat by the door and I learned so much about this family and their needs and the spirit was testifying so strong to her and her son about the need to come back to church. We talked about the blessings of the temple and how their lives will change as they prepare for the temple in Rome. The spirit is so cool... 

Member Present Lesson! Member present lessons are like Christmas morning for missionaries especially in foreign speaking missions! This was my first member present lesson here in Crotone. Our investigator Roby is such a homie, and we brought Salvatore who used to be a Catholic Priest before joining the church and he was a priest at the church that Roby attends. We were so grateful for Salvatore, we taught a lesson about faith and the principle of action, how faith leads to repentance and baptism and I botched part of it... So I gave Anziano Allen the signal to invite him to be baptized without explaining the importance of asking Heavenly Father for an answer. Salvatore did an incredible job of explaining that we make these goals to be baptized in the sense that we have the faith that we will receive an answer from Heavenly Father whether or not the church is true and then if we receive an answer by the date will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God. We were really grateful for our Member present for sure! At the end he said "So what we are really asking you to do is ask Heavenly Father if what these two scemi (Idiots) are teaching you is true!"

We got bidoned twice that afternoon and so we went to pass by Giovanni at the furniture store he works at, turns out his whole family was there so we got to have a good chat with them! Also we got a pranzo (Lunch) appointment for next week so we are pretty stoked about that! And then English Course was actually pretty big! People are starting to come back after the holidays finally now that its almost February! We both got called fat and that we needed to start running in the mornings so we won't have pasta face. Well its the Italian's fault that we have pasta face so... I told them it was their fault! So we decided that if we just decided to go by ourselves that we would never get up, we would just talk each other out of it every morning. So we talked to the Sisters and decided to meet them at 6:30 and run to the pier. 6:10 the alarm went off and we both fell asleep and I woke back up at 6:22... I knew the Sorelle would judge us so hard if we didn't get up so we got ready super quick! The Sorelle were doing step-ups when we got there... over achievers... but that run was so worth it! As we ran down to the beach the sun was coming up over the sea and it was so beautiful, the sound of the waves breaking on the reef is something I could sit and listen to for hours. Key word sit... We took some cool pictures, I'll send those too! 

We were exhausted all day... we had weekly planning for the morning which usually takes the whole morning and I'll be honest it was pretty rough and we didn't get a whole lot done... it was 12 and we were sooo tired of eating pasta for lunch so we decided go out and do some finding on the way to the grocery store and get stuff to make tacos... definitely worth it! We actually talked to some really cool people on the way! 

That afternoon we decided to do a gesso with the Sisters! Gesso just means chalk and so we take a sheet and lay it on the ground and write a question or a principle on it but more than anything someone sitting on the ground in the middle of the city just draws attention and people stop. So while one person draws the rest of us talk it up! We found some great potentials so that was cool! I love doing Gessos because it just makes me feel like a missionary from the District, we talk to so many people and it is such a non threatening thing. My favorite is when kids come up, we ask them if they want to draw on the sheet and so we give them some chalk and then talk to their parents about the Gospel! 


We didn't have any appointments set because on Saturday mornings the outdoor markets are full of people so we try to do some finding, talk to the venders and the people and its usually really fun. Well... when its pouring the outdoor markets aren't a thing so we did some studies and then passed by an English Course referral from the Sisters. He works at a shop that buys gold and he is interested in learning English. So we stopped by and he told us that he loves to travel but its very difficult because he doesn't speak English which is basically the universal language for travel and he would love to go to 🇺🇸 America. The only problem is that he works until 8 every night so he can't come to the actual course. So we are going to teach him after English course, when we left Anziano Allen and I said "I think we might have a new investigator soon!" We are hoping to teach him the Gospel as well as English!" 

We met with another English course student that night too, he told us he wanted to bring us ice cream at the church so we were down! We went and I decided to ask him about the Gospel, what he had studied with the Anziani in the past and what his religious background is. We had a good chat and he said his problem is that he doesn't understand the rules. WE can work with that! He then started asking some questions about the plan of salvation and where we will go after this life and what we can expect. We love those questions! So we are super excited to start teaching him too!

Sunday Bloody Sunday! I just went to write Sunday and that song came into my head so I thought I would throw it in there! Sunday was good, we had some great talks on the temple and the Book of Mormon. We got invited to Pranzo (Lunch) with Sister Zarfino and Anziano Allen was stoked to get his first real Italian Pranzo! Sister Zarfino came in clutch, I don't think he was disappointed. We had homemade pasta with a sauce that was to die for with some homemade Calabrian meatballs. Heaven. She then made this chicken and potatoes for the "Il secondo" the second plate. It was like a pan fried chicken with a creamy sauce and then fried potatoes. She makes homemade mayonnaise and she was super excited to share it with us... I thought it tasted just like Hellman's, it was good! Oranges to finish it off! We brought Antonio with us and had such a good afternoon! 

Antonio is the man, he is a new convert of a year and he wants to go on a mission this fall, he is 17 and loves missionary work! So we took him with us to some appointments. We went and passed by a less active that I have passed by probably a hundred times and she is never home. We rang the citofono with little to no faith that she would let us in and all of a sudden I heard the door buzz and it swung open! We had a rest lesson with her and it was really nice! As we were about to leave her niece and her 9 year old son walked in and we showed him a little demo with the book of Mormon that kids love, you fold a piece of paper to explain the Book of Mormon and then when you unfold it, it makes a cross to show that in the end the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to testify of Jesus Christ. Afterwards his Mom started to ask us questions about what we believe about the afterlife and where we will go, just like our English Course Student! So I told them that we make a dang good American Dessert called brownies and we would love to come and share what we believe next Sunday, two new investigators!

This has been a week of Miracles! Today we are in Catanzaro with the other Anziani and the Sorelle, we are going to the mall with them to see what we can find for some good Saldi sales... Italy goes on sale in January and August so we will see what we can find! 

I want to hear about your missionary experiences, whether you live in Provo Utah or Potsdam New York, there is work to do! I want to invite you to make a goal to have a Gospel discussion with someone this week, have no fear 

D&C 84:85
Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.

Heavenly Father likes to work miracles, he likes to bless his children especially in missionary work! So get out there and get some missionary work done! I hope you guys have a great week and know that I'm praying for you and I love you guys! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Crotone! Transfer 5 Week 3!

Non ti preoccupare, sii felice! 
Don't worry, be happy!

This week feels like one of the fastest in my mission and it just goes to show how fast time flies when you're having fun! The message we're here to share is a message of happiness and joy! So we have to show people how happy we really are! I've been thinking a lot about that this week, we have seen a lot of rejection and doors shut in our face and sometimes I just get so frustrated but my companion said something really cool to me this week! We were knocking doors in a few buildings not far from our house and we had done three buildings with not even a smile or a thank you just some straight up rejection and I was getting bugged... Anziano Allen said "Heavenly Father is testing us to see if we will follow the spirit even when it doesn't seem like it's paying off." We didn't end up sharing our message with anyone that morning but we both knew that we followed the spirit in going where we needed to go and I thought it was interesting to think about how Heavenly Father might just be testing us sometimes to know if he can trust us with something bigger and better. 
We had a really great trip to Taranto this week but before we left the Catanzaro Anziani came to do a scambio with us. It felt so weird to let my Greenie go with someone else! It's like taking your kid to their Aunt and Uncle's house for the first time and leaving him there! Parenting is going to be traumatic... but I got to work with Anziano Gunnell! He is a great kid from Orem UT! He is one transfer behind me and he's a great worker, we put his Finding skills to the test and had a pretty good time! We ended up talking to some Jehova's Witnesses and for the first time it was a positive experience! He actually said at the end of our little chat: "One thing I've really taken from you Mormons is that we shouldn't be arguing or pushy with our message, I've met quite a few missionaries like you and I am always so impressed that you don't try to fight or argue, you just state what you know to be true!" It was really cool and definitely more positive that the usual "TJ encounters" 
Tuesday we headed for the big city and I was so excited for Zone Conference, they always just leave you feeling energized and ready to take on the work! The spirit is super strong and you can tell that everyone in attendance is well prepared. We took an Intercity train  which goes faster than the normal ones and is quite a bit nicer. It was like a Harry Potter train so the six of us had a little room all to ourselves. I was hoping someone would come by and say "Anything off the trolley dears?" Just so I would have the chance to say "We'll take the lot!" But apparently Italy isn't like platform 9 & 3/4. I have to throw Anziano Allen under the bus for this... We were almost to Taranto and the ticket checker guy came by and was checking our tickets and he was writing down the number but apparently he couldn't read the words so he pointed to a letter and said "Questo e un m?" (Is this an m?) to Anziano Allen who looked up at me with the biggest deer in the headlights look and said *in English* "You're gonna have to talk to him!" As he pointed at me... all 5 of us busted up laughing so hard, I couldn't even respond to the train guy. It was hilarious and I don't think we ever told him whether or not it was an M!
We made it safe and sound to the big city and I actually remembered which bus to take to get to the church. We made it a few minutes early and Anziano Allen and I actually had our interviews with President that night because we had to take a train back to Crotone right after the conference so we hung out with Sister Pickerd and waited for President. Interviews went well and I was super ready for the conference! We were the last ones so we got a ride back to the house and picked up some pizzas along the way! 
Wednesday was an early morning as we had a special training for all the trainers and trainees in the zone with President and Sorella Pickerd, the assistants, the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leader before Zone Conference. We talked a lot about the importance of sharing the work load in a 50/50 manner right from the start... which is kind of hard because you don't want to overwhelm your Greenie but they also have to take on new responsibilities every day! So I decided this week that the phone is Anziano Allen's! Starting today he is going to make phone calls! HE is not super stoked... 
Zone conference was so good! We talked about the importance of the spirit and how we can use the spirit in everything we do. The testimony of the spirit is so evident in the scriptures and it is mentioned so many times. Sister Pickerd gave us a great training on this and she shared one quote from Dallin H. Oaks that I really enjoyed. It goes something like this "If you teach something, even if you teach it correctly, if you teach without the spirit it is not of God." I thought that was really interesting from a missionary point of view but also from the point of view of a member whether we are teaching Primary, teaching Sunday School, Relief Society or any number of things. If we do not teach it by the spirit it is not of God. We also talked about exhorting people to commit themselves. We extend commitments to everyone everyday and it takes a lot of effort on their part to commit themselves and if we are gifting them this invitation to act and exhorting them to hold to it they will be much more likely to do it. So we are going to work on it this week and see how it goes! 
We had lunch and then President and Sister Pickerd went through a slide show of all the baptisms from the last transfer with the pictures and their stories. I got to see Ruth in there and explain to the Zone her story and what happened as she progressed to baptism. They also had another baptism in Cagliari, it was the zone leader's investigator Francesco. Its so cool to see how people change and get closer and closer to baptism and finally take the plunge! 
Right after the conference the assistants gave us a ride to the bus station, the Sorelle and the Anziani from Catanzaro were doing a scambio so we were alone for the bus ride home. It was a good trip and we both were feeling super energized to get to work!
My desk was held together by duct tape so after seminary on Saturday we had a member take us to Auchan to find a new one. We brought it home and I put it together. By the end of my mission I should be able to use IKEA as a reference I am getting so good at putting their stuff together! 
Church on Sunday was pretty great! People just kept coming in, there was so many people! We had to break a second piece of bread! It was great! The Gospel Principles teacher is Italian but all the people that go to Gospel Principles are African and don't speak Italian so I translated Gospel Principles which was really fun! I miss those lessons! It is so nice to go back and understand the basic doctrine of the Gospel. Those are the fundamental important parts. We finally got an Italian Pranzo for my boy Anziano Allen! The Corrado's invited us over after church and we had a great time! Anziano Allen said to me "Its so cool when you stop paying attention to the language and you just listen. Thats when you realize you're understanding without really trying. I remember my first appointment when I realized how much I was actually understanding and I was so surprised! He is doing great with the language and has nothing to worry about! 
Today has been a great day, we went and bought our American missionary some Italian pants this morning and he looks more Italian by the minute! Grocery shopping and now emailing at the church! Should be a great P-day!
I hope you know how much I love you all! 
Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Italy Rome Mission

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Crotone! Transfer 5 Week 2!

Hello World!

This has been a really long and a really fast week all in one and I have
learned so much! Especially from my companion!

On Monday we went to the Africans for Dinner with the sisters and Sister
Condé was there with her family which was really cool!


Tuesday was kind of a weird day, we went in the morning to the
PosteItaliane... nightmare usually... and it actually wasn't too bad. We
had to wait for a little while but then everything went well. It was kind
of stressful to be the Italian speaker in the companionship but everything
got done so hopefully he will be legal in a few months. His appointment
isn't for another almost two months, so I have a little time to find the

After the questura it was off to the Church for DDM, our first as a baby
District, we are all so young in the mission! So here is the run down.
Sorella Bonzo is the new Sister, she is almost at her year mark and the
oldest one in the District. She is companions with Sister Taylor who is one
transfer behind me. Then in Catanzaro there is Anziano Haws as District
leader with Anziano Gunnell as his companion. Haws is one transfer ahead of
me and Gunnell is one behind me with a Sister Taylor. Then there's me in my
fifth transfer and my Greenie! DDM went well, Sorella Condé and her parents
came by to say hello so that was cool and then Haws did a pretty good DDM
on Christlike Attributes, I really liked it. Then it was out to Romana's
and the Panino shop for Kebab.

The rest of the evening wasn't super productive... we practiced the Plan of
Salvation about a million times, its still kind of a struggle but we get
by. Anziano Allen is trying so hard, he works really hard and he wants to
speak so bad. It will come in time, before he knows it be will speak better
than me! Roby cancelled on us so we didn't end up teaching it but it was
good practice. English Course went well except that the old guy that always
comes tried to teach us about menopause in English. I put a stop to that
subito. Some poeple...

That's really it for the day. It's been really interesting to see how the
longer you're with your companion they get more and more comfortable with
you. Allen has just been acting more and more goofy everyday. He's a good
kid and I love him, it's just really funny to see how he comes out of his
shell more and more. I see his sister in him a lot sometimes, you can tell
that they were really close.


Today was a exhausting day for sure... we had great studies this morning
and I didn't forget to do anything with Anziano Allen, we read the white
handbook and everything which I am really good at forgetting... then we
headed out the door to get some things emailed to the office for permesso
paperwork and caught the bus to Cutro. When we got there it was time to
stop in at the Pasticceria and get a little pastry thing filled with creme.
They are called Graffe... apparently it is a Crotone/Cutro thing. Oh my
heck was it good! Anziano Allen liked it as well so I was happy. I want to
make sure he gets the full experience and that he loves Italy still. We
headed to the Tedesco family and we started by playing some Jenga, Riccardo
wanted to play scrabble but I talked him out of it seeing as I can barely
speak Italian and my companion would have struggled tantissimo. So Jenga it
was, I really love that game! It was a lot of fun! Then it was teach
Daniella English time which went pretty well. Anziano Allen was watching
Riccardo play on his tablet and it was probably one of the coolest things
ever. Neither one of them knew what the other one was saying but they sat
on the couch with his arm around him and watched. It was cool... lunch and
then we went to Grandpa's to pick all the oranges off the tree. Dang was
that a good idea! we shared a really cool spiritual thought on fortifying
the family with Alma 50 and then it was off to Crotone.

Baking Brownies and eating blood oranges, what a delight. Definitely one of
the highlights. Then we went to the family that Redaelli and I found and we
brought them brownies and a plan of Salvation pamphlet. It went pretty well
and the spirit was so strong but it was almost like she wouldn't let
herself feel it. It was just Teresa and we could see how much she needs the
Gospel but it's going to be tough! Anziano Allen did a great job with his
testimony and shared a lot!

Off to the D'oppido's house, Giovanni was there and so we had a good chat
with him (He served a mission in England so he speaks English really well
which I think Anziano Allen was grateful for) and then with Caterina and
Maria as well.


Today we went to see the Africans, turns out Endurance was the only one
there which was better than usual, there usually isn't anyone there. We had
a good lesson with him and then we came to the church and made lunch with
Antonio Corabi. I just love that kid so much, I want him to serve a mission
and stay active and one day be the Branch President of this whole place!
Anziano Redaelli left a bunch of clothes so I brought them for him and we
had a lesson. We had planned to share something but he asked if we could
watch a video from mormon channel. It was actually really good, it was
about this girl who had the idea of a perfect life and eventually she began
running herself into the ground because she wasn't using Jesus Christ in
her quest to be perfect. It is interesting how Heavenly Father showed us
the things we need to see to help us. He is such a dang good kid. I
mentioned that we might be able to do a mini mission with him but that I
needed to ask President but he is super excited about it. We'll see what
President says!


This was kind of a blow day, its a holiday so there is literally no one
outside. We went and got a hair cut and spent the morning doing weekly
planning. It was Anziano Allen's first hair cut in Italy and they cut it
soooo short! It looks like a military hair cut! Poor kid... He says he
looks like John Cena but not as ripped.

We are helping this guy named Samuel Gruppo with English, he wants to go to
Canada for work so he can get out of the poverty that they have here in
Italy.. he speaks pretty well but needs to practice a lot! So because it
was a holiday and there was no one outside we decided to help him for like
two hours. It went pretty well and I learned some dialect which was
interesting! Then we went over to Sorella Zarfino's house to share a
scripture with her and try to milk out a pranzo appointment but she wasn't
feeling very well and her daughter is still sick so she didn't want to give
in.Poor Anziano Allen hasn't had a real Italian Pranzo appointment yet... I
hope this week!


Sorella Bonzo's Birthday! She is 20 now, I am so old... We spent most of
the morning doing 12 weeks and we sent out the papers for Anziano Allen's
permesso. Then it was off to do 12 weeks and watch my favorite TV show THE
DISTRICT! And I made some roasted chickens for Sorella Bonzo's birthday and
we made mashed potatoes and gravy and veggies. It was nice to have some
American food... we both noticed that American food keeps you fuller. Pasta
makes you full but it goes away really fast.

Branch Council forever with like no organization and a mess of people
talking but we actually got a lot done. It was a first for this branch...


We were almost late for church but Franco picked us up about halfway so
that was good, we made it on time. Sacrament was good, sometimes I am
amazed by how much I understand. I understand almost everything and it was
so nice to not have to teach for once, just to be able to listen and
comment. Everything went well and we had a great Sunday.

We went home and we knew that we had like no food.... so we stole some
panna from the Sorella I made gnocchi with ham and onions and garlic and
panna and it was really good. We did some language study and I decided I
want to make a better effort to study the language.  I got the language
book from the sisters so I can spend some time on actually studying. I want
to be amazing with the language, I want other missionaries and Italians to
look at me and know that I put in the effort to take on the culture and
speak the language! Here's to New Year's Goals!

Then we watched a broadcast from Puglia with a member of the first 70, it
has been completely on the self-sufficiency which is totally inapplicable
but I guess its fine. The Anziani from Catanzaro were here last night, we
are doing an exchange with them and then headed to Taranto for Zone
Conference! It should be a good week with lots of miracles!

Today we spent some time shopping this morning and thats about it for
P-day! I hope you all have a great week and always remember that Heavenly
Father and Jesus Christ are in the details. He knows you personally and
wants to help you in every righteous endeavour that you have. Have a great

Anziano Jacob Bellucci

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Crotone! Transfer 5 Week1!

Train stations, castles and oh yeah... TRAINING!

Hey everyone and happy 2017!!! This week has been an absolute
whirlwind! Monday night we were waiting for our transfer calls outside
of a pizzeria. The phone rang and President called and said that
Anziano Redaelli would be headed to Napoli! He handed the phone to me
and told me that I would have he opportunity to train a new
missionary! Ahhhh! Talk about stressful! So President decides after he
interviews the "Verdini" or Greenies who will be their trainer. So all
week long I had no idea who my greenie would be!

So we kept going with the week and saying goodbye to people with
Anziano Redaelli, we did some last minute stuff for him and the week
went by really fast! Until Friday. With transfers we had to leave the
house for the train station at 8 and head to Catanzaro to pick up the
other Anziani and then keep going to Lamezia where lots of transfers
would happen. Anziano De Feo and Redaelli left, the new Sister, Sister
Bonzo came in and then 4 hours later my greenie! Except his train was
70 minutes late. This whole time we are sitting in the train station
from 12:30-9 PM and I'm having a little bit of a heart attack...

Finally the train pulls up and I head out to find the kid with a name
tag! Finally I find him, Anziano Allen is my trainee! His name is
Austin and he's awesome! He is from South Jordan, UT and for those of
you who might know some of my friends from college he is the little
Brother of my friend Jess Allen! What a small world!!!! So he doesn't
think he has a Facebook so sorry Mom I know you wanted to stalk him...
he loves to hike, sports and outdoorsy stuff so we get along super

That night we stayed in Catanzaro because it was too late to get a
train back to Crotone. Then the next morning we got up bright and
early to take the first train to Crotone and get settled in for New
Years Eve! New Years Eve can be pretty dangerous in Italy so we were
supposed to be home all day cleaning. We went out in the morning for a
few minutes to buy a few things and then spent the day cleaning,
weekly planning, and studying Italian.

Sundays are always the best! I think it was a little bit of a culture
shock for Anziano Allen to go from South Jordan to Crotone
Sacrament... we had four members in church. I honk everyone partied a
little too hard on Saturday! He gave his testimony and did a great
job! Afterwards I introduced him to pesto pasta and real Italian
bread... I think he likes it! He says he doesn't know how to cook so
we're going to see if we can change that in the next few weeks!

We had a really cool experience last night, we went to the hospital to
visit a less active member. She has been there a few days and was
pretty sick. I asked Anziano Allen what one of his favorite scriptures
is and he said Moroni 7:33 and it talks about how Jesus Christ can
help us through any trial or struggle if we will just act in faith. So
he read that scripture and gave some incredible testimony. The
testimony of a Greenie is so powerful, you can feel how badly they
want to share it and they work so hard for it. It's almost a tangible
thing. Her friend just happened to be there listening and we asked if
we could say a prayer with them, and they asked me to do it. After the
prayer her friend said. "I think you guys coming is God giving me a
sign. I've been so distrustful of God and not following him but I have
been feeling lately that I need to return to him. I think you guys are
my sign!" As we talked afterwards we were talking about how some of
these people that we talk to are feeling the spirit for the very first
time. They've never felt this way before and it really is so powerful.

As for the Italian it's getting a lot better! I went from not really
speaking a lot because my companion spoke a lot to really being the
Italian speaker in the companionship. Anziano Allen is doing a great
job though and he's going to get it really fast. We are both super
excited to see where this transfer goes and the people we get to meet!
Today we went to the castle and took some bomb pictures, ate some
calzones and after we email we are going to go to the lungo mare to
see the sea.

I hope you guys all had a great New Years and that you are ready to
attack this year with some great goals and a great outlook! I love you
and I hope you have a great week!

Anziano Bellucci