Walking, meetings, walking, and the Mafia...
Transfer Calls are tonight! I can't believe this Transfer is coming to an end so soon! It's crazy how fast it's gone but I'm excited to see what happens!
The week went by super fast with like I said above a lot of walking and meetings! On Monday night we decided to do a Family Home Evening for all of the African Members and contacts and their friends. It was an absolute blast, we had a spiritual thought on the Book of Mormon and then we played games with them. Most of them have such a rough story that it's just nice for them to take a few minutes and have fun. Not think about their problems just live in the moment. I made banana bread and bought some watermelon and they were all super grateful. I think we're going to do the same thing tonight with some different games!
Tuesday we had a good morning, we did a good finding loop and talked to a bunch of cafes about putting up little English Course posters and we talked to a lot of people. People here are so nice and they talk to us but unfortunately they don't end up coming to our English Course. We've probably given out more than 400 pass along cards this Transfer and we've had like three new people come... we need to find a way to get people interested! I think a lot of it has to do with the time of year, it's so hot and literally everyone goes to the beach when it's this hot... I can't fault them for that!
We started teaching Italian this week to African Refugees... its actually pretty fun! They expressed to us that they hate their Italian classes in the camps they're in because the teachers are Italians that don't speak English so they can't explain anything to them so because we have so many missionaries here we decided we would try it out! First night and we had about 15 people! More than our English Course has been lately! Anziano Perfili and I taught Italian and like I said it was fun! It's also cool to look back and see where I started and how far I've come in the language. There's always room for improvement but I've learned so much!
Wednesday we had correlation at Sam's house. I love when we get to go to his house for correlation. Talking about our investigators and members as we look over the Mediterranean never gets old! And to follow it up we get American food for lunch! We just do sandwiches but it's so good! He really only shops at the American base so everything he has is American. AND he had Dr. Pepper so I was real happy!
In the Afternoon we tried to go and read the Book of Mormon with John but he wasn't home and then after that we had a meeting. President Euvrard and the Assistants came down to visit with us. They want to get to know the missionaries while they are here even if it is just a few weeks and they took the opportunity to meet with us because we're the closest Zone to Rome. Sister Euvrard shared a really cool thought on the talk called "What manner of man ought ye to be?" And she gave us an invite to in the morning instead of making a "To-Do list" to make a "To-Be list" which is kind of interesting, we want to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ and we do that by following his example and really becoming true disciples. Afterwards President Euvrard led a discussion on refugees. We talked about how in the past the principle was that Zion was American, then in specifically Utah, as time progressed the principle changed to build the kingdom around the world and people said "Zion for the Italian people is in Italy, Zion for the French is in France" etc... but now we know that Zion is where God's children are which is everywhere. Wherever people are we can teach them and baptize them. Meaning that it's ok to actively find and teach refugees. We obviously want to build the Italian kingdom but we are all children of God and that's the important thing. It was great to be with them and I learned a lot from the training! We also got to see Anziano Friedman and Anziano Draghi which was cool!
Thursday morning we had District Meeting (Hence the title meetings, meetings, meetings...) it was good we talked about companionship and District Unity and the importance of working as a team. It was really good! Finished it off with pizza from Pellone! Turned out to be a Zone pizza party because President Euvrard had come to the District Meeting of the other two districts and they did it in the Napoli Chapel so we were all there! There are two Sisters in our Zone that finish their missions this week so it was good to see them one last time!
Thursday afternoon we went to pass by a café that we had left an English Course poster at and talked to the girl that worked there. She was delivering coffee up the street so we waited and started to talk to the man working there. Anziano Perfili asked him if he was the owner and without looking up from his phone he says "Si." And then I asked him how long he has had the cafe and he didn't respond for a second and then said "What does it matter if I've had it for 10 years or ten minutes, you have no point to your questions you just want to talk and I'm not interested" We left about an hour later after having explained the Restoration and set up a return appointment. The spirit is so cool how it works to soften the hearts of people as we try to teach them about the Restored Gospel!
Friday as usual we weekly planned and we have a good plan for this week! We should be busy which is always a good thing! We had a Family Home Evening planned with this Less-Active family and it takes about an hour to get there so we had left the afternoon pretty empty from 4 PM on and they called us and cancelled and so we decided to walk all of Napoli with the Napoli C Anziani doing White boarding for English Course. My feet were wrecked by the end of it but we talked to so many people. I really hope that some new people come this next week! As we were walking back home after 4 hours of just straight walking we had about 30 minutes left and we decided to walk down the sketchy but still Main Street by the station. We were joking about "Mickey Mouse" which is what we say instead of Mafia because it can be kind of sketch to say that on the street... just talking about how that street seemed pretty mafiosa and then as we turned back for the house this man stopped us. He started asking us all these questions about our English Course, that he has some guys that could use to learn English but they would need to be taught privately and then he starts explaining his business. How he has clients all over the world including Century 21 in America. He then proceeds to explain how he has a warehouse in Napoli with brands from Gucci to Armani, Prada to Loui Vuitton and he says "Let me give you my card, you call me, I'll come pick you up sometime and I'll take you to see everything." He continued on about how if anybody gives us problems here in Napoli we have his number, he'll make the problem "disappear." He then offered us jobs "Bilingual people are really valuable in my line of business" Haha he was pretty Mickey Mouse... we got his card though! He got in his blacked out Mercedes to get it for us too! We're all pretty convinced that we have the coolest mission...
Anyway back to the missionary work! We are teaching a family here in Napoli and the Father was working on the Temple in Rome. Early this year while he was working he had a heart attack and died in the Temple site. The Church reached out to the family and gave us their information. It turns out that Giorgio, the father, was learning quite a bit about the Church and was really interested. They do devotionals for the men that work on the temple every few weeks for any worker that would like to participate and he didn't miss one. He was very curious and learning a lot. Obviously his wife and three children are still grieving the loss of their husband and Dad and it's a really hard time in their life. We had finally gotten in contact with them for the first time since I've been here and we had an appointment on Saturday to see them and we waited for the bus to take us there for more than an hour and it never came we ended up having to move the appointment to another time. I was super bummed! We spent the rest of the morning talking to some really cool people in the outdoor market under our house.
Anziani Haws and Anziano Hansen met us here in Napoli, we ate lunch and then took a train to Salerno to help the Battipaglia Anziani get excited about their work, we decided to blitz their area for the afternoon and see what we could do to help them! We had a really good time! I got to work with Anziano Rogler who is from Endicott New York! Apparently he goes to the ward in Owego but he's in the same mission as we are back home! It was cool to talk about the real Upstate New York with someone that kind of explains where it is! Haha We had a good afternoon and found his Golden Contact! His name is Gerardo and he's 21 and as we were talking to him he said "So do you guys like teach people that want to know more about this stuff?" And then asked if he could come to Church in Sunday! We finished the Gesso with 6 Anziani and 2 Sisters for a Gesso on genealogy... wasn't super successful but it was fun!
Sunday was a little particular... It started out like normal, we had a great Sacrament meeting with lots of American visitors including Anziano Spencer and his family, he finished his mission about 2 months ago. Afterwards we went to Sunday school and there was this African woman visiting from London, she was born and raised there but had come to Italy for vacation with her two young kids. She asked me afterwards for the Relief Society President and she explained to us that she had been robbed the night before of all of her debit and credit cards and was in a pretty tough place with two kids. It was a little sketchy but we talked to the Branch Presidency and tried to help her. We ended up calling her Bishop in England to confirm that she is a member and we were able to find her a hotel for the night and help her out. She finally told us what had happened and it turns out she just lost her son, was going through a rough divorce and decided to get on a plane with her two kids and try to start a new life in Italy. After being robbed and realizing it was going to be a lot harder than she thought, she needed help. It took a lot of translating and work though! We were glad to be able to help her out though! She is going to be going back to London to get her life figured out, I wish her all the best! (P.S. London accents are probably the coolest things ever, I got to talk to her a ton as well as her Bishop in London)
We spent the afternoon finding, talking to people all night long and then going to meet John to read the Book of Mormon together and he runs a Barber shop out of his house and so at the moment he was busy and asked us if we would wait for a minute and so we did. He was done an hour later and it was 9 PM so we didn't have much time to read with him because we had to get home but at least we had a minute!
This week was good, a lot happened! It went really fast, I had a lot of fun and I'm excited to see what happens with transfer Calls tonight! It's always a mystery! I hope I get to stay here in Napoli, I definitely feel at home here so I hope to stay!
I hope you all have a great week! I was reading a cool talk this week from October 2012 from Jeffrey R. Holland and I just loved it. It's called "The First and Great Commandment" if you have a minute give it a look! I love you all!
Anziano Jacob Bellucci