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