Christmas Week

This week had been absolutely crazy! Crazy I tell you! Crazy! Nothing ever seemed to go right, but at the same time, it went as well as it could have possibly gone ever. Man, I dont know if I have been more tired, and or more well fed in my entire mission. I saw alot of really cool miracles this last week too. It was very good to talk to the family on Christmas day too. I did feel slightly weird afterward, but I think that was just normal, considering I hadnt seen or heard anyone in the last seven months. I couldn't believe how far along Luciana looks! Thats what she gets for being such a small person, of course her belly is gonna start to grow rediculously fast. I am so happy for her, and am way excited to have a niece. ! Morgan still looks like the stud I always knew he was. I bet no one even remembers my name at school now that he is hot stuff. And I am not even jealous either! Lauren.... man.... I bet she is seriously having to beat the boys away with a stick. Maybe her next birthday/random gift should be a paintball or airsoft gun to help her keep them at bay... but that is only if she wants to hold them back haha ;D Joey lol, he still didnt even seem like he missed me that much. He is basically like another me, always playing video games all the time. He is such a cute kid. Everyone here loves to see photos of him. After seeing Gabriel, I am now convinced I will forever be his favorite Uncle lol. I mean, c'mon, him chanting my name and saying he loves me, that is pretty darn good convincing evidence of such a thing lol. Ammon is growing out his beard again, I swear it is starting to be a tradition every year to get a beard and then shave it off. It looks dang good on him though. Very professional, and always there to give me the advice on anything I need.. Mariah, man, it was good to talk to her. She always was good at playing the roll of supportive older sister for me, even when I played the roll of obnoxious younger brother. It was good to talk to Brad has always been a good guy, and talking to him again just kinda reminded me why I look up to him so much. I have said it once, and I will say it again. My older siblings married EXTREMELY well lol. Mom, just talking to her let me feel how much I am loved by her, and how much I am supported being here in Italy, and no matter what I say, I am needed in the family, if only just to make things a little crazy lol. And Dad, I just felt good being able to talk to him again, and just realise how much he really enjoy my presence, and I know that he really is proud of me and my serving a mission. It its really good to know that. I wouldnt give up that skype call for anything. It was great. Thank you all for making my Christmas incredible by getting together to talk to me. Oh, and Jerry, it was nice to meet him, even though I didnt get to see him cause the video stopped working.
 
This last week was full of tons and tons of member apointments. Thursay the 23rd was especially good, because we had a lunch apointment with Luigi, and he fed us a really good Broccoli pasta. Then we went and taught english class, and it was really cool. We talked about italian christmas traditions, and at the end, we finally did a spiritual thought because it was christmas time, and we gave everyone there Book of Mormons's as christmas presents, eight total. And now we have a couple of apointments with some people because they wanted to learn more. They have fallen into our trap! Muahhahaahahaahaha! They are ours now MUAHHAHAHA!!!!  And then, after that, we went and just had a meeting with our Bishop, and that went really well. He is a nice guy.
 
Christmas Eve, all the missionaries in Rome got invited to the Villa to have a christmas lunch, and it was incredible. There was Ham. Spiral cut, brown sugar and honey glazed ham. I dream about that ham. It was so good. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it. And then, that night, we went and had dinner with the Padilla family, a family of south americans. They are way awesome.
 
Christmas morning, we all woke up, and opened presents. My companion and I bought presents for the other two elders we live with, and visa versa, so I got to open a package christmas morning that contained Goalie Gloves! YESS!!!!! Man, I cant wait to play soccer again, with some legit gloves again! It was awesome. Then, we went and watched Toy Story 3 and Invictus in the church. I already told you all about that. Then, we went to a members house for the rest of the night where we called home, ate home made ravioli, and talked with this family. It was one incredible christmas.
 
Sunday, I got to confirm Osvaldo a member of the church, and that was awesome! It was a huge privilage. He is totally awesome now. And then we went out to Nettuno to have another lunch apointment with a family out there. They are way nice, and then they drove us to Ostia! Wow, they sacrificed alot for us. They are an an awesome family, named Elena and Matteo Troncone.
 
Massimo Fresta passed his Baptism Interview! He will be baptised this next sunday! It is awesome!
 
This photo is of Osvaldo and Massimo. I am by Osvaldo, and My companion is by Massimo.
 
Wow.... I dont feel like writing anymore. I love you all, but not that much haha ;D
 
Pace, Anziano Parry



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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all! I hope everything is doing well for everyone. I apologise right now for not writing very big personalised reponses, but I figure I will just be able to talk to you in a couple days so its no big deal.
 
I have had a very good week since last wednesday, and I am very, very excited for Christmas. Things have been really filling up here, so we are busy every day with member apointments for meals and then appointments with our investigators who  are doing the best. I have a couple exciting pieces of news to tell too. First off, Christmas packages have not yet arrived, but hopefully they will before the actual day of Christmas arrives. There are still three days left, so there is hope!! Second, video has been approved to be used for Skype, so I cannot wait to see all of your smiling, extremely tired but yet excited faces Saturday morning.
 
The best thing about this last week though, if I had to choose, was Osvaldo being baptised. He had chosen my companion to baptise him, and I will confirm him this next Sunday. It has been incredible being the missionary that started teaching him from the very beginning, and then being the one to see him change his life, and be baptised. The best part was seeing him go from being someone who  had a very unhappy marriage because alcohol was always inbetween him and his wife and kids, to have him stop drinking in a single day, take his piercing out of his ear for good because he realised the importance even though he thought it made him look good, and dressing in a nice suit on sundays. His relationship with his wife has improved so much. She is the happiest I have ever seen her, and now she has all these plans how in a couple months she will take him to the temple in Switzerland to do Baptisms for the dead, and then in a year to the day she is going to take him back to Switzerland to be sealed together for time and all eternity. Its been incredible. He is SUCH THE MAN! The other night, we had a FHE,  and one of our investigators kinda flipped out, and Osvaldo just kinda took control, explained the gospel priciple to him, and then made everything calm back down. It was so tight.
 
It snowed in Rome! It NEVER snows in Rome! People have no idea how to act in the snow here lol. That was the funniest part. People were walking around with umbrellas, trains had shut down, metros were cancelled, and it was dangerous to even be NEXT to a road lol. Italians just have no idea what to do lol. I heard it snowed once last year, but before that, it hadnt snown for about twenty years! It was so tight! The next day it warmed right back up, so we arent going to have a white christmas here, but hey, at least I got to see it. Nothing like the TONS AND TONS AND TONS AND TONS of SNOW that you get in UTAH. Feet and feet of it. SO cold and wet and everything, just a ton of SNOW. Especially in the area of Altonah lol. But the best way to cure the snow is to make lasagna, so that is what we did. We made a HUGE lasagna, from a sweet Ragu and Besciamella, and it was an incredible 9 layers. My piece was so big that I couldnt finish it, so you know it has to be big if I cant handle it lol.
 
I dont really know what more to say.... Yay snow? haha I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and talk to you in a couple days!



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Cold?

Well, I have really been seeing alot of miracles again. For some reason, I havent really figured it out yet, but I had gone through a little period for the last two weeks or so where the work had really died down. We were struggling to get lessons every day, we had decided to drop several investigators, and things had just decided to drop down in first gear and go slow. I don't think my companion and I were doing anything different than back when the work was on fire with gasoline being poured on it constantly by the Lord, but results we were seeing proved otherwise. But now, at the start of another week, things have really picked back up.

Osvaldo is still being incredible, and by this time next week he will be baptised. He has actually been going through a very rough time in his life again, but the coolest part is that he isnt taking it out on the Lord. He realised that this dificulty is coming from the Adversary, and he wants to see us every day leading up to his baptism on Sunday. He had a piercing in his ear, (piercings now make me think of Mistborn), and he finally took it out for good, and man, he looks so good without it. He is way cool.

In addition to Osvaldo, we are now meeting a man named Massimo, who is the son and brother of a couple members here in Ostia. And he is ON FIRE!!! He is so ready. We met with him, and he told us about alot of spiritual experiences he had, and now he wants to change. He is keeping the commandments, and he gave me his pack of cigarettes and said he wont smoke again. And he said he had to be baptised BEFORE christmas! How cool is that? The spirit is really just whooping this man's trash all the time! But unfortunately, he wouldnt have been able to come to church enough times before then, so we talked to him about it, and now he decided he wants to be baptised on January 1st (Happy birthday Brad) so he can start a new year with a new life. He is so funny. He is so on fire about being baptised that he is calling the inactive members to repentance. He told a inactive member named Armando that he could baptise him if he could get worthy enough by January. Then, last night, we were walking with Massimo, and he looks up at Armando's apartment and says "hmm the lights are off.... I wonder what Armando is doing...." and then he yells "PENTITI ARMANDO! PENTITI! (Repent Armando, Repent!)" Haha it was really REALLY funny.

I get to play soccer again today, with the same team I played a couple weeks ago, and I am WAY excited. The only thing I can say in objection is that it is COLD COLD HUMID COLD here, and it sucks sucks sucks. It hasnt even hit freezing yet, but the dumb water in the air causes it to strike like a Ninja, and ya dont even know what hit you. I am quite immune though, so no worries. Apparently growing up in the Uintah Basin was good for something :D



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Italy in December

Well, as far as the work is going, it has slowed down slightly, but the only thing that means is that it will get going twice as fast as it was before. We decided to drop alot of our investigators because either we hadnt been able to get ahold of them in a long time, or they just werent making any progress for awhile either. I still dont know how I feel about dropping people, but hey, all it does is give us the opportunity for God to give us some more people to teach.
 
Since my companion and I have been looking for a house in Ostia, I have been able to really start to understand what it costs to live in Italy. The appartments we have been looking at have been 800 Euros a month, and they are pretty small. My companion and I figure that one missionary companionship could live in them comfortably, and two could live in them, but it would be tight. I think that they are 60ish sqr. meters, and what not, so yeah. I figure, if you were to try and live in Italy, it would probably at minimum about 1000 Euros a month, depending on where you wanted to live.
 
Italians love American Brownies. They adore them, love them, almost worship them like Mary, and eat them whenever they can. Italians may have food in general down to a perfection, but America has the best sweets in the world I think. Definately, we have the best breakfast cereal. We have had a couple dinner appointments with our investigator, Osvaldo, and every time they ask us to make brownies and bring them with, and its hilarious to see them eat it. Osvaldo looks like Uncle Fester from the Adams Family, especially when he eats brownies, wide eyes and everything.
 
Osvaldo is still progressing beyond belief. He is doing incredibly. He stopped drinking over night, hasnt had problem with any of the things we have taught him, and is more excited than ever to be baptised. The Big Day is December 19th, so I cant wait.
 
Last saturday, we played soccer against a city league soccer team here. We met this guy on the metro a couple weeks ago who played soccer, and we have been trying to get a game with him, and it finally happened. We show up, and he has his team there all in matching jerseys and everything, and we were all like, "Oh no they didnt. Theys frontin' on our territory" and we decided right then to mess them up. I havent had so much fun playing Keeper in a long time. Apparently, I still got the touch, because all the Italians were all like "man! This gangsta is riskin' his life" and then their team captain came and told me after the game that I am very good, and ask how come I dont play with gloves, or have cleats or anything. I told him I left it all in america, so I guess I need to maybe buy me some stuff here. Then I was universally elected goalie from now by my team whenever we have a legit game like that again. I guess I still got skill if Italians think I got game lol.
 
Anyways, Till next week, Ciao!
 
 
 
 



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Thanksgiving? What Thanksgiving?

BuonGiorno a Tutti!
 
Well, ya know how in Brasil, they used to have tons and tons of slaves? And ya know how because all the slaves had their hands tied all the time, so they started "dancing" to teach themselves how to fight? What was that fighting style called again? Hmmm.... Oh yeah! Capoeira! I am basically a master (kinda) at it now. At least the flexibility part anyways lol. There was a Brasiliana named Heloiza baptised this last week by the Elders I share an apartment with, and she is literally a Master at Capoeira. And now, we all do Capoeira in the mornings sometimes since she is trying to get her license to teach it here, so she teaches the missionaries in it. It is alot of fun. I pretty much get my trash kicked by her all the time. It kinda sucks getting slaughtered by a girl, but hey, not much I can do about it.
 
Last week, for P-day, my companion went up into the Cupola in the Basilica di St. Pietro. It is the very top of the Basilica in the Vatican, and you can see pretty much all of Rome from it. It was definately worth the five Euros it cost to go up to the top. But seeing the Cupola was not the coolest part of the visit to the Vatican. That medal goes to meeting Julie B. Beck, the General Relief Society President inside the Basilica. She was just passing through, kinda on vacation, so she wanted to see the Vatican, and Lo and Behold, I happened to be there at just the right time. Her husband served as the Branch President of Rome 40 years ago when there were only 5 members in the Rome zone, and now there are thousands. Meeting her, I could tell that she is a VERY strong woman. And what I mean by that is if she said something like, "Elder Parry, you need to eat more food", I would probably go right to Pizzeria and order me a nice big pizza for fear of having her displeasure turned upon me, even if I had just eaten. Hmmm... Maybe that is a bad analogy, because I eat pretty much 24/7 anyways, even if I did just eat. Oh well, you get my drift.
 
Last night, on the way home, I was in Termini waiting for a Metro. There was this really old, short, midget lady walking around, so I said "Buona Sera", and then all of a sudden, she changes directions completely, comes and stands right next to me, stares UP (yeah, she had to look up) at my name tag, and asks in the most adorable old lady voice "chi siete voi?" When people ask us who we are, they might as well just start climbing into the baptismal font right then because, man, my companion and I sure let her have it. The spirit was just doing jab after jab after jab, with the occasion right hook into her tiny little face until finally she was happy to take a Book of Mormon, commit to read it, and awaits our call for a return appointment. Unfortunately, she is not in my area, so she is gonna be a sweet referal for the Rome 3 Anziani.
 
On saturday, Transfer Calls came. It is never certain, but I have only been in Ostia for two transfers, so it would have been very easy for my to stay in Ostia, and also it wouldnt have been strange if I were to be transfered. So... the big verdict is.... I am... staying in Ostia! And my companion, Anziano Christensen, is staying here too, so we have another transfer together. He is my first companion that I will have had for at least two transfers. Lucky for him, I kinda enjoy his company, so at least I dont have to make his life miserable like unto myself lol. Christmas time is in this next transfer, so it will be my first major holiday in the mission. Thanksgiving was lame. I wanted to make a pumpkin pie, but I couldnt find a pumpkin, but I did find a can of pumpkin pie filling. The catch, it was 4.50 Euros. REDICULOUS I TELL YOU! PLAIN REDICULOUS! So I didnt buy it and ended up having an turkey in my imagination. It probably would have tasted better in my mind anyways.



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Just Be Awesome

This last week has been decent. Not the best week ever, (that only happens occasionaly), but not a bad week either. Basically, it was just another week of seeing miracles every day, and working really hard, and learning life lessons. I also am getting slight used to having short hair. Yesterday, I had my fourth haircut in the mission. Again, it was by Aaron, the coolest African guy from Ghana I have ever met. He takes a ton of time, but hey, he gets every single hair into its right place, and right length. It was really cool to visit him and talk about the Gospel with him because Africans are just so open about spiritual stuff. Anyways, while he us cutting me hair, he started using a little piece of straight edge razor to trim me up real nice, and he nicked me a couple times! The African nicked me! I could have died! I was scared for my life! My self defense instincts almost came out! But I managed to control myself (amazing, I know) and the haircut ended. And then, he was all like, "And now let me wash your hair" and I was all like, "Alright!" and I must stay, as strange as it is, it is extremely relaxing having someone massage your scalp while hot water is running through my curly short locks of hair. And then, something very strange started occuring. His fingers started exploring the insides of my ears! He was cleaning my ears! He was cleaning my ears.... It was a little weird! But man, it felt good, let me tell ya. Aaron gives a good haircut haha.

We, my companion and I, kinda failed in our planning this week, and it has really shown so far. We have had times, and days, where we really just didnt have anything to do, so we commenced with a flurry of phone calls trying to find fantastic friends in whom we could finangle and flurrish with. In short, we tried to get appointments with anyone and everyone we could, but to not much avail. I have always loved planning since time I experienced it, but now I truely understand the consequences of not planning well, or not finishing weekly planning. I consider this a Life/Mission Lesson Well Learned.

My investigator, Osvaldo, is doing extremely well. He is a G (which is short for Gangsta or Golden, either way you want to look at it haha). Remember how we taught him the Word of Wisdom last week? Well, we had gone back and just kinda passed over it again, and LO AND BEHOLD! The big Roman man hadnt drank in two days! He was just like its a mind over matter deal, and with the help of non-alchoholic beer, which he made me try lol, he has been alchohol free since last wednesday! He just had the Holy Spirit kinda beat him over the head over and over until he finally gave up and said "Ok! I'll stop drinking! Just leave me alone already!" haha he is incredible. He has been to church every week for the last month, and is extremely excited for his own baptism. He cant wait. He even helps teach and participate in church lessons and FHE stuff too now.

I had my first Stake Conference here in Rome, and it was SWEET! Everyone from all over the Rome area came to the Hotel Ergife, where the church had rented out a conference room so that it would be able to hold everyone. It was almost like a Zone Conference in the fact that I got to see all the missionaries in the zone, so that was really cool. At the same time as our conference, there was a Communist Convention going on the the same hotel, so like tons of people were walking around in red and camo and whatnot, it was really funny. It just made me shake my head... Italy! Have you not learned your lesson yet!? Communism is bad! But then, our russian investigator, Aleks, he decided to come to the church thing, so he came to the hotel, and he asked around for us, but since he was russian, and there was this communist thing, he felt really weird so he just went home lol. Which is a bummer, but it kinda made me chuckle haha.

Oh, on a not TRUNKY note, this friday is November 26th, 2010. In other words, its 11/26/10. In other words, it is my official SIX months in the mission. In other words, 1/4 the way done. And believe me, it is not a trunky thing at all for me. I had nightmare the other night. Actually, it was just a normal dream, not scary at all, but it was just a bad dream. I dreamt I had finished my mission, I was home, going to college, and getting ready to get married. And when I tried to remember my mission, I could only remember the first six months. I woke up, and it was a BAD dream. I dont want to mission to end. I am having way too much fun! haha I am glad I still have a year and a half. It gives me that much time to learn and to try to just be awesome.



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Pear Bear, Use Claw Attack!!!

I live in an appartment full of animals, beasts, and Gaston. My companion is a Lemur, Anziano Cardif is a Girafstrich (Giraffe and Ostrich), Anziano Busico is Gaston is every single sense of the word, and I am the Almighty Pear Bear. FEAR ME!!! My appartment is pretty much the best one ever. Seriously. It is just awesome. In fact, our district Motto is to "Just Be Awesome", which we are doing. Last week, just for the Rome zone, we have about ten functioning companionships. So for last week, the zone had 51 lessons in the presence of a member. Just my appartment had 24 lessons in the presense of a member. My district is doing pretty awesome if I do say so my self. Not that its a competition or anything. One thing I have learned is that we are all on the same team.

But my allstar investigators this week are, namely; Osvaldo and Aleks. And My companion. He is about as cool as it gets. He is too cool for school. Literally lol. He was homeschooled, and is like a Lemur/Mogli from the Jungle book. He has these cool little shoes that are like the toe socks but shoe style. But enough about him.

We taught Osvaldo the Word of Wisdom this week, and he was all like "WHAT!! NO WAY!! NOT THIS!!! REALLY!?!? AWW MAN....well, its from God, so I guess I will... I knew I had to stop drinking eventually anyways."
Haha it was awesome.

And then we taught this guy named Aleks, and the whole time we were talking with him, he was like "I didnt want to smoke for an entire hour. I smoke like 4 times and hour, and I didnt even want to." yeah, he is gonna be baptised.

Anyways, Sorry I didnt write more, I dont have much time this week! I love you all. THanks!



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Forever Myself, and No one else.

Buon Giorno a Tutti! Oggi รจ veramente un bellissimo giorno.

This last week has been slightly slow for us. It was a week where, for some reason, alot of my investigators went out of town. Therefore, looking back, I went slightly stir crazy because it seemed like my investigators were scrubbin' out on me! Those punks (not really, they are all incredible)! But in the end, it was ok, because I realise that the Lord was teaching me PATIENCE!! Ugh.... Patience is hard to learn lol, especially since I want patience and I want it NOW. So, since we didnt get alot of appointments with people, we were able to get a couple other "worldly" things taken care of. My companions Permesso di Soggiorno is expiring soon, so we had to go to an appointment at a CNA building here in Rome to get the renewal process started. It went well, and very quickly. It was so much better than my process down in the Napoli zone. I am still waiting for my Permesso stuff to happen, so I am slightly... shhhh *illegal* lol. No worries though.

We have been teaching this man named Osvaldo. He is a big, pure roman man. And he only speaks the dialect of Rome called Romanach. Which means I have a hard time understanding him since I dont even speak italian lol, but somehow I manage to get along. Anyways, back to the story, we had another lesson with Osvaldo about the Plan of Salvation this time, and afterwards it was like a giant party. Ya wanna know why? Ya wanna know?! Its because he wants to be baptised! By December, if not before! And whats more, he asked my companion to baptise him! Haha that will be a sight to see. Osvaldo is twice as big as my companion, size wise lol. My bet is that they both go under the water haha. Anways, back to the story again, after all that, we ate this dinner called Scampi, which is basically what it sounds like. It is a delicious crawdad ish type dish with rice and a good sauce, and it is SOO good. It was a very, very sweet night. I need to get that recipe.

On Sunday, another investigator named Christopher (he is a big, black, Nigerian African man) and afterwards we went to an African party with him. And when I say african, I mean hundreds of black people, and the only white people there were us four missionaries. And when I say party, I mean a big religious party with all those hundreds of africans yelling, singing, and crying out "Praise Jesus!" In fact, I even saw a black Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was about 6' 6 or 7" and he was wearing this redicously cool blue african robe. But his job was to always announce people, and then say, (picture Arnold and his voice/accent) "Praise Jeeesuuuusss" or "Lets put our hands together for Jeeesuuusss". It still cracks me up lol. But us missionaries were invited as special guests, and they even announced us as Men of God, even though this was a big convention thing for a different religion. It was really cool. It was also the loudest thing I have been to since the last rock concert I had gone too.

Two of the photos I attached were of this party, one of us in the party itself, and the other one of me drinking VitaMalt and eating african food. My last companion, Anziano Shaw, is the one in the very back, and my companion now, Anziano Christensen, is the one in the very front. The black man in the photo with me eating is my investigator friend, Mr. Christopher.
One of them is of me at the Fontana di Trevi, and I just want to say that it is very impressive in person. There are just tons of chinese people everywhere by it.
And lastly, it is of me infront of the coolest garage door I have ever seen. I just felt at home when I was infront of it. Sorry mom, Im hooked on my video games.

Anyways, Ciao!!

Anziano Parry



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Week of Miracles

Well, this week started off incredibly, and ended incredibly. I am not sure why I keep seeing so many miracles, it could be from a number of things, but I do know that I dont want it to stop. I bet it is because of the temple. So the temple is underway now! It is incredible. I can feel the spirit that has landed on Rome because of it. Some stats about the temple. It is going to be 40,000 sq. ft, so a medium sized temple. It will be one of four buildings on the temple grounds, with the others being a stake center, visitor center, and residency for people to stay in when they travel to go to the temple. The dedication date is in 2013, so I end up missing it by about a year or so, but thats all good! I am just happy that it started building while I was here. 

I have seen some crazy miracles this week, but perhaps that the day that the most happened on was last Thursday. We woke up, and left the house right away because we had a meeting with Jesus (pronounced like a south american) at 8:00 at the train station. We met him, and he was very happy to see us. He lost his house, so he has been sleeping in charity places and parks. We gave him a new hardback Book of Mormon since he gave his last one away, and he was way happy about it. Next time we see him, we will try and set a baptismal date with him. He is as good as dunked already, if ya know what I mean ;D 

Next, we went home and did a little studies, but we realised that we had lesson with a lady from Siri Lanka later that night, and she spoke a squiggly line language, and we had no Book of Mormons in that particular squiggly line, so we made a quick (it took 3 hours) office run, and the miracle was that they only had two Book of Mormons in the squiggly line language that we needed, and we had exactly two investigators that needed that Book in that particular squiggly line language.

We had to leave right then to head out to Ostia. I never thought I would say it, but I WANT a car right now. I know my driving is scary, but I would fit right in with the rest of the drivers here in Italy. We booked it to an english class that we volunteered to help out with, and I got to teach the Advanced class since I dont speak Italian that well yet haha. The lesson went well, and afterwards I asked everyone if they had any questions for me, and one of them named Nima asked if he could ask about my religion. I was like NO WAY, but he asked his question anyways, which was about Baptisms for the dead, so I ended up teaching about 20 people about temple work. He told me he really likes that about our religion. He better! Its the truth! And then, this Budhist lady came up and was like, "hey, I think our religions are really similar in alot of ways. we have the same beliefs I think. Lets get together and teach each other about our religions" I was all like "SURE!!! We will just go first." as I threw the Little Budha dvd over my shoulder,. I can tell you this right now, she is as good as swimming in white clothes.

Then we went from there to go teach Angelica, who is the lady from Siri Lanka that we got the Book of Mormon in a squiggly line language for. She was extremely nice, and extremely Catholic, and has an extreme love for Mary the Mother of Jesus. We gave her the Book of Mormon, which she LOVED, and then she told us she wants us to talk to her son about God sometime. She was way nice. Is she going to take a bath with a white dress on? I think yes.

By now it is about 8:00 at night now, and we had a quick meeting with a new convert name Rachele (remember her?) well, she hasnt been coming to church lately, so we went to find out why. Turns our she was offended by members about something, and that she was being a baby, or something like that... I dunno, I dont speak italian. But she went on this way long monologe, and we just sat and listened, and she finally talked herself out, and then promised that she would be in church this week. It was sweet because the spirit just kinda beat the heck outta her. (Fast forward to sunday. She ended up not coming to church again, so something is gonna need to be done to fix this.)

It was really late by the time we finished talking with her, so we went and were waiting for a train. While we were waiting, this couple came up and asked us in english if this train was going to rome. I, being dumb, tried to answer in italian, and then they said thanks and walked off. My companion then said he didnt think that they were Italian. That thought hadnt even crossed my mind, so it instantly sparked my Jake curiosity, and I had to find out where they were from. I went and asked them, and it turns out that they were far from being italian (my bad lol). They were named Jan and Alice, and they were from the Czech Republic. They spoke english really well, and we ended up talking to them for the next hour on our way home. The mother of Jan had actually heard and worked with the "Mormons" before, so he knew alot, and asked us alot of questions. Him and his girlfriend were both nondenominational christians, and because of their questions we taught a whole first lesson. We asked Alice why she was nondenominational, and she said it was because of all the corruption in all the churches. We lept on that like a fat kid on a twinkie, and started talking about Joseph Smith. After we finished that, she turned to Jan and half jokingly said "well, shall we just convert right now or when we get home?" Man she got mauled by the spirit. It messed her up big time lol. It the end, we got off the train, and we were getting ready to exchange info when their train came and they had to book it outta there to get it. We were like, Oh Well, and started walking away. Like 30 seconds later, Jan came running up, and he was like " I missed my train, so here, take my email, look me up if your ever in Prague" and then he was gone. Man, it was a sweet meeting. And then we went home.

That was my Thursday. I wish and pray with all my heart that every day could be like that. It was incredible, and all because the Lord saw fit to bless a couple of his missionaries with a sweet day. Days like this is what makes a mission worth it.



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I have hunger. Io ho fame.

I am still doing really well. But, however, I have realised that I am extremely out of shape, and it is sadly depressing for me. Haha but hey, at least I get to eat a ton of food. Good food too lol. I am trying my best to learn how to cook italian food. Hey, I guess I need to start using the 30min excercise time in the mornings lol.
 
The Italy Rome Temple groundbreaking happened last saturday! Man, it was so exciting. No, I wasnt able to go, which I was really bummed out about, but who cares!? I dont! They filmed it, and then the next day for sunday they did a huge stake thing and showed it to everyone! You might be able to find it on the internet right now if you know where to look and whatnot. I am not really allowed to do a lot of web searching lol. It was way sweet. I have probably never felt the spirit more in my life. It is an incredibly beautiful temple. It instantly became my favorite temple (big surprise there) and it is gonna stay there lol. I will email a photo next week.
 
I have seen a ton of miracles this week. We have gotten home really late some nights, missed alot of busses, and been forced through many different ways to not follow alot of the rules because of situations being out of out hands. Sounds like miracles, right? Because of all that happens, we met alot of people, talked to alot of people, and have tripled the amout of people who want to meet with us. We started out this transfer with four investigators, and through mine and my companions efforts we have gotten it up to at least 11, if not more. But the thing is, we havent hardly done anything, it has all been the Lord doing his work. We have Tania, Alicia and Joel, Christopher, Alessandro, Jesus, Angela, Gaiyan,  Allesandro, Tonino, Bruno, Nunzia, and some other people that I cant remember their names. I have always been bad with names lol.
 
I had a really interesting experience last night. I got on a train with my companion, and this really REALLY hot soccer player italian girl came and sat down across from us. I wasnt gonna talk to her cause I knew I would flirt, you know me haha, but my companion starts talking to her instead, and I get drawn into the conversation haha. Did I say she was hot? We go to get off, and she hands my companion her phone and told him to put his name in it and she will go home and add him on face book. And then, this where the story gets good, she turns to me and in really slow, simple italian she told me to add her from his friends list. I just give off a greenie smell or something lol, and now I am tired of not being able to speak well, so I have now officially given up english outside of the house. There is just something about getting talked down too by a good looking girl that I just dont like haha. But hey, I dont care about girls right now, so dont worry about me. I have locked my heart haha, but Im not dead either lol.
 
This week was a sweet, sweet week. I realise that I am lucky I have been keeping a good journal, because I would never remember anything otherwise. Till next time,
 
Anziano Parry



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First week of Transfer 3

Well, this is my first P-day in my third transfer, and things are going extremely well. I now kinda know what it means to be a senior-ish companion, because I have had to show my new companion, Anziano Christensen the ropes of Ostia. I am really happy with my new companion so far. He is the man! He came from Eden, Utah, and is hilarious.  We get along great, and I dont really thing we will ever have anything to worry about. We have alot in common. He loves to read and ski, and we have read alot of the same books. He lived in Italy for a year before his mission, and he speaks great Italian. I am looking forward to learning how to speak better Italian from him. This is going to be a incredible transfer already.
 
So far, this transfer has been off to a good start. We havent really been getting that many appointments, just about 1 a day, which is really low..... but we are doing all we can to start getting some new investigators and people who want to listen to our message. We broke out the area book, and we called a bunch of people, so now we have alot of old investigators that want us to come by again, and we are trying to get referals from all the members. Work will start picking up soon, it has no choice to but to haha.
 
Well, the first time I was stood up for an appointment happened this week. It really was not that fun. It was with this girl named Deborah, and she said she wanted to meet us at this station nearby where she lived, but when we got there, she never showed up, and hung up on us when we called. Oh well, it was gonna happen to me eventually haha, I made a good run for the money. 2 transfers, thats a good streak I think.
 
We met this man named Jesus, and he absolutely loves Thomas S Monson. He had been taught in the past, and he really loved the idea of a profeta on the earth today. He is from Peru, so its Heysus, haha I thought it would be weird to see someone named Gesu here lol. He wants to meet with us more, so things are picking up. Our investigator Tania is starting to pick up too. We have been meeting her more, and hopefully things get going where she realises the gospel can make her happy since she is aways depressed.
 
This transfer is going to be one of miracles. My districts baptism goal for the month of November is 25. That number happens to be the exact same number as the Rome Italy missions goal, for the whole mission, so if we can pull this off, it would be incredible. The Lord is certainly gonna have to help us this transfer, and I know He will because he wants this to happen more than I do, and I want this alot. Think about it, 25 more souls brought to the Lord in one month by one district. That would be a miracle.
 
Anyways, thank you for everything! The support I get from you is such a blessing for me.
 
Anziano Parry



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The last little while

Hmm.... well, it has been along time since I have talked about my work. Things have just been so busy with my schedule lately that I have enought time to respond slightly to emails and then have to get off the computer.
 
Things have been going really well in Rome, especially here in Ostia. This lady, Rachele, an african lady from Gabon (or something like that) is an investigator of the church that has been an investigating on and off for four years or so. She had been one of those eternal investigators that every missionary goes and sees, but never get anywhere with her so they end up dropping her. Well, we decided to try her again, and now because we didnt drop her when she wasnt progressing, she was baptised two weeks ago. My companion baptised her, and I confirmed her. Man, that was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life is confirming someone. I had never blessed someone or confirmed them in Italian before, and now in one shot I got to do both. I was nervous, so the day before I decided to fast up until the baptism next day, because I needed help. And I recieved that help. I dont remember anything I said, but afterwards everyone told me it was perfect Italian. I look back now, and I was carried through it. My testimony of Fasting grew seven sizes that day.
 
There is this kid, named Allesandro, that is about my age. I think he is 20 or so. He speaks english very well, far better than I speak Italian, and we have been teaching him. He is very intelligent, so he just enjoys talking to us for the chance to have a fun philosophical and spiritual discussion even though he isnt spiritual himself. He is a way cool kid lol, but we just cant seem to get through to him. But hey, at least he is reading the Book of Mormon, so its gonna happen eventually.
 
We have this investigator named Christopher, who is a way cool Nigerian. He had bad eyesight, so we went to the office and printed off a giant Book of Mormon for him that took a good four hours, and when we gave it to him, he looked at it and realised its value. It meant alot to him, and then we went to go chill with him at his hangout with all his friends, and they all called him a "changed man of God" and then he was all talking about how they will all come with him to church someday. Man, the guy is gonna be baptised. He has a baptism date, we just had to push it back because he didnt real ready because he wasnt reading, but now thats all fixed, so its all good.
 
So Transfer calls came and went, and the verdict is I am staying in Ostia! Man, I was happy for that. We have alot of sweet work going on, and it will continue to go on. I do get a new companion though. His name is Anziano Christiansen, and I have actually met him a couple of times. He is way cool, and I am really excited to serve with him. This transfer was short, only 5 weeks, because President Kelly is really busy next week, so he just made this next transfer 7 weeks to make up for it. It will be sweet. Things are on fire right now, and they are gonna stay on fire. In fact, I am gonna throw some secret jake gas on it and it is just gonna explode! Its not ready for me haha!



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Baptism of Giulia

So when I came to Ostia, my companion had been teaching this girl named Giulia for about two weeks. She was a total rock, and just loved everything we told her. So I came in, and we just kept teaching her everything, and she just kept soaking it all up. She accepted everything we told her, and if she had any questions all she would do is ask for a scripture, and then she would accept it. She accepted the invitation to be baptised very readily, and she was really excited. Then came the day when she was baptised, and it was special for me because I had actually taught her, and I had never seen a baptism yet. When she came up out of the water, I felt calm, like the calm that came after the storm ended. There is the calm before the storm, where everything is still calm, but there is nervousness too because you know something is coming, this was the night before the baptism for me. Then there is the storm itself, where everything is exciting and happening, like with how I was having to run around and get everything ready for it the day of. Then, when it actually happened, and finished, it was just a peaceful, no worries type feeling. I am not sure how to explain it, but it somehow changed me. I loved that feeling with all my heart, and I would almost do anything to get it again. Seeing this just kinda helped reaffirm why and what I am doing as a missionary.



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Ostia

I. Love. Ostia. But then again, I have loved pretty much every single place I have been to in Italy so far. This last week has been a really new learning experience for me too, and I have had alot of really neat experience too. I have a feeling that it will be a transfer of miracles.
 
So I arrived it Rome, and my new companion, Anziano Shaw picked me up. I had to say goodbye to Anziano Cooper, who in mission slang is my father because he trained me, and I sent him off to die because he was going home. My transfer with him was incredible. But a saying I love here in Italy is "Sempre Avvante, non mai in dietro" which means "Always forward, Never Behind".
 
I have just been getting to know people for these last couple of days. I am in Rome 4, which is a fully functioning ward, which is really cool to see. It is really different from the branch in Battipaglia. The members here are great, and have done a really good job in welcoming me here. The members here also have a REALLY strong testimony of Priesthood Blessings, and in my first two days here I participated and annointed the oil in two blessings, and helped with comfort blessing. I have a feeling, a slight butterfly in the stomach, rollarcoaster feeling, that sometime in this transfer will be my first time giving a blessing in a foreign language.
 
We have three baptism dates set right now. I have met everyone of them except for a man named Christopher. They are all way cool people, and I cannot wait to do all I can to help them along their way.
 
 The older day we got off a stop in our area called Colloseo, and the second I walked out of the doors of the Metro, right in front of me, like a rising giant of grandness and splendor from olden times, was the Colloseum. It is every bit as cool as the stories. I have seen it several times now, and it hasnt gotten old yet. I was also tempted by Satan there, because as we were walking around, a group of about ten really hot girls came up and wanted me to take a picture with them, and I was tempted. Oh, believe me, I was TEMPTED. But, the thought came to me that Jesus would not take a picture with a bunch of very attractive yet very scantily clad ladies, so I shouldnt either. So I told them no, and went along my way with my companion. That was a growing experience for me, and also a testimony to me of how clever the Devil is lol.
 
The coolest thing that happened this week was that Elder M. Russell Ballard came to Rome for Temple business, and he decided to call a Monday night Fireside for everyone in Rome who wanted to come, and a private devotional for all the missionaries. He spoke to the missionaries about becoming master teachers, and how we must teach to become a master teacher. He was way cool about chastising us, and did it in a really loving way because he basically told us we werent nearly as good as we needed to be, and we had to step it up. Then, for the Fireside, tons of people were coming. And believe it or not, people I know from Utah were there. They were Bert and Cindy Mitchell, and I had met them several times, and were friends of Joe. The funny thing was that we didnt recognise each other at first, and when we realised who each other was, Cindy was like "I want to give you a hug!" and before I could even think about it, or gather an effort to make a responce, she had wrapped her arms around me giving me a hug. Haha I am not sure how many rules I had broken with that one, but I am pretty sure more than one lol. Oh well... cant change things now lol. It was really good to see them though, and it was nice. Elder Ballard ended being my hero becuase he basically told all the members that it was their fault that the missionaries sucked at teaching, and that whenever we had free time they were supposed to fill it by letting us teach their familes or friends. After he got done, we had tons of members come up to us telling us to come over. I have a feeling the next few weeks will be pretty busy lol.
 
My favorite thing Elder Ballard said was " What do ya all think is gonna happen when we die? We are gonna go over to the spirit world and teach others about the gospel, so we might as well get good at teaching people about it now." He is the man.
 
I am going to see miracles here, I know it. The spirit I feel here about the work is amazing, and the work is on fire. I cant wait for this transfer.
 



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First Transfer down, Fifteen to go!

So here I am, typing out this Email in Battipaglia, sweating and smelling like a buffalo, and just pondering the fact that this is the end of my first transfer.
I find it strange to think that I am already done with 1/16th of my mission in italy, but in fact, I am 1/7th done over all.
I want to just kinda to tell what I did in the last six weeks here in a nutshell.
 
Week 1
This was my first real week of missionary work in Italy. I loved every day, every second, and every memory. It was really strange for me after the first sunday. My first Sunday in Italy I got up and gave my testimony because it was Fast Sunday, and I loved speaking in my broken Italian. During this week we went and met with all of the members here, just to get to know them, and to get a feel for the work. We hadnt found alot of people to teach yet, but Anziano Nancollas was nice enough to give us work to do when we first got here. For my first P-day we went to Sorrento, which was absolutely incredible. I bought some hand-made Sorrentian music boxes, and enjoyed the view. Then we finished out the week strong with bringing alot of investigators to church.
 
Week 2
Things went well this week. Because I had to obtain special permission to stay in Italy, I had to travel all over the place to get papers and things stamped and signed for my Permesso di Soggiorno, and for that I had to go to Salerno, and then to Napoli this week. Napoli is incredible. I am in love with that city. It is just so full of life, and exciting, that I cant help but to enjoy myself there, despite the danger of the city of Napoli. I had a pizza from Palone, and then got on the train to go home. I also had my first zone conference this week, and it was really great. I had to travel again, but it was alright. I got to see President and Sister Kelly, and I got some mail from home which was a nice surprise.
 
Week 3
The senior couple here left to go back home, so I got to move into their house. It is way nice, and we even got a car! I am getting spoiled for my first transfer. Because we had the car, we decided to go to Salerno alot to work. The first night we went to Salerno, we knock on this door, and a family of five opens up and invited us to come back later because they felt peaceful when they  saw us and they liked our smiles! But man, family of five... Needless to say I was excited. For P-day, the whole zone got together and played basketball. It was a ton of fun, even though I was totally terrible. We had a local girl playing with us, but she was better than most and I got stuck guarding her, so needless to say I got whooped by a girl.
 
Week 4
We went back and taught the family of five. But by the end of the lesson it turned out to be a family of ten, and every single one loved us. They had to go back home because they were on vacation, so we sent their referal to the elders that worked by them. It was sweet. This week I went to the American Base in Caserta, and it was like a little slice of America. I got to buy a ton ton of american food, and see american vehicles. It felt like I was in a dream. Then, later this week, we went to Salerno, and we met three Brazillians within ten minutes of each other! Wild! But they all loved us, and we got appointments to go back and see them. We went and saw Jaquellina, and when we gave her a Portuguese Book of Mormon, she started crying. It was the coolest thing ever.
 
Week 5
I had my first exchange this week with Elder Bahr, and it was cool to see how another Elder works. I bought a Venus Fly Trap this week for fun, and we have been feeding it bugs almost on a daily basis. We have also been doing a ton of publicity for our English class, so we have been taping up tons of flyers everywhere. Our work has been growing slowly, and we are actually teaching people we found on our own this week. My companion is dying, so he is getting trunkier by the day, but he is still working like a champ. He is the man. I cant believe I lose my trainer at the end of this transfer.
 
Week 6
This week is happening as I type. Transfer calls were this week. Needless to say, I am not staying in Battipaglia. I am being transfered to Ostia, which is on the outskirts of Roma! That is where I will be doing my work, but I will be living in the Rome 1 apartment with the elders there. The cool thing is that that apartment is only about a mile from the Vatican! I live in Rome! My new companion will be Anziano Shaw, and from what I hear he is a great missionary. Leaving here after one transfer is hard, but not my will, but the Lords be done. Then today for P-day, I went to go see how Buffalo cheese is made, and it is sweet. And then I went to Paestum to see some greek temples. No big deal lol.
 
So that is how my transfer has gone. I have loved being here so far, and I cant wait to keep going. It feels like I will never be as old as my trainer, and I tell him that, but he assures me that it will come sooner or later. Little does he know that I have super powers and I never get older if I dont want to. Child at heart for forever!
 
Anziano Parry
 



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Prima Settimana in Italia!

Wow wow wow..... I certainly feel that I have been made for Italy.
 
I will start off with a group email since this is my first week, and I want to tell everyone about it, but I have alot more time to resond to personal emails now if you so chose to email me. Ok, well, I suppose my story starts a long, long time ago in a land that is now far, far away, in a state named Utah. Ahh, good ol Utah. The scent of the pine trees and the sage brush, the sight of the majestic mountains, the feel of the dryness of the air, the taste of a artificially prepared food unit in the MTC..... Home sweet home. So at four in the morning, I wake up last Tuesday will the intent to leave the MTC behind! And that is exactly what I do. I got everything all packed up, stored safely, and with weight to spare (20+ pounds to be exact) and I get on a bus with 4 other missionaries in my zone to go to the airport. When we get to the airport, lo and behold there is a family that takes over 30 minutes in the Check Baggage line so we all start worrying about catching out flight. We make it through that alright, but when I hit security, I send my carryon through but a red flag gets brought up because I had all my books in it so on the Xray machine it came up too dense, and thus it was searched. No big deal, right? Right. I caught my plane no problem, and find my self flying over the states on my way to Dallas Texas.
 
When I arrived in Dallas, I promply called Mom, Dad, and I tried to call Mariah because hers was the only cellphone number that I could remember, but I ran out of time on my phone cards to actually get a call through with her. I  talked to both Mom and Dad for 33 minutes each, because the phonecards I had were only worth that many minutes for 10 bucks. Man, they are expensive in the airport. I then take my luggage and go wait at my gate for my plane. I had a 4 hour layover in Dallas, so I wasnt really worryied to missing my flight. I decided to go look for the Sorelle ( or Sisters) I was flying with, and when I found them I waited by them for a minute. I look over and I see this black lady and this other lady talking. They had on uniforms so I knew they worked at the airport. The black lady looked over at me, and I smiled at her (not because she was cute, cuz she was way old, but because I like smiling) and then I looked away. Next thing I know, I look back and there she is right next to me! I found out her name was Norma, and the second I heard her friend talk I knew she was from Brasil because of the accent (Man Im glad I went to Brasil). Her name was Cida, and I started talking to both of them. I found out that Norma was really worried bout her salvation of her and her family, and that she really wanted to know what was true, and how to recieve forgiveness and all that stuff, so in my mind I was praising God for dropping a Golden person in my lap. Then, Cida started talking about  all this anti mormon stuff, but I whipped out that I had been to Brasil, and I loved it, and I talked to her about it, and she totally changed her mind about everything! (Thats score number 2 for  Brasil!) We became good friends and everything, and I ended up giving out Books of Mormons to both of them, and they both promised to read it. That was pretty much awesome.
 
I then catch my flight to London, and I sat next to a BIG texan oil tycoon on his way to Saudia Arabia to sink a deal, and a Philipeeno ( I dont know how to spell it) evangelical christial lady on her way to Zambia in africa for a orphanage mission. Both people were really cool, and I became good friends with them all by the time the plane landed in London 9 hours later. I said goodbye, but there werent interested in taking a Book of Mormon, but that was ok. I was just glad I got to know both of them. I got off the plane in London, and got ready to bunker in because I had another 4 hour layover before my flight to Rome left. It is now at 8 am the morning of Wednesday, July 28th, and I decided to buy some postcards of London. Those postcards are going to my friends. I doubt family will get any of those. I now have some brittish money, Pounds, in coins, and they are pretty cool. I think I will keep them instead of changing them in for Euros. I then boarded a flight to Rome at 12, and there I sat next to a Italian man named Michael who was going home to Sicily. He spoke english, and he helped me with my Italian some. I became good friends with him, showed him some pictures ( which I want my family to send me more pictures of my doing cool stuff with the family and friends) said goodbye, and then decended off the airplane at 4 pm in Rome.
 
I was then in Italia! Imagine my excitement! It was totally insane. The background noise of totally foreign  because it was all in italian now, and I felt really lost at first. I worked my way through security and everything, and made it to the exit of the airport where President and Sister Kelly, and the the A.Ps Anziano Herrick and Anziano Cooper were waiting for us. We all kinda celebrated, hugs all around, handshakes with Sorella Kelly, and then got loaded up in  the car where we made our way to the Mission Home in Rome. The driving in Rome is uber crazy, but the most insane driving in the world still goes to Rio de Janeiro in Brasil. We got everything unloaded from the car, and then I had my first Italian meal of Lasagna! Mmmmm delicious! After that, we basically all went to bed.
 
The next morning everyone all woke up and got ready, and then we went to the temple site where we pondered for about ten minutes, I went off and prayed, and then we loaded up and went back to the Mission Home for Golden Transfers. I opened my golden envelope, and read that I was going to Battipaglia! It is a realy small city, and it is about an hour from Naples. It is the home of Buffalo Mozerella which is really good, and the branch here only has about 14 members on a good day. I then read my Trainers name, who is Anziano Cooper! He has been a District Leader, Zone Leader, and he was the A.P. that picked me up from the airport. They pulled him out of commission to be my trainer, which is really cool. He is in his last Transfer, so I kill him off. I am his last companion.
 
We took the train to Battipaglia later that day. We have been blown in, which means we have absolutely NO work, so we have tons and tons of finding work to do. It is good, because it will be one of my hardest transfers. I have been pranked already, and it was the best prank ever in the world! I fully appreciate it, and I still laugh about it. I will never for get it. I am also slightly embarrased about it, so if you ask me to tell you I will consider telling you in a seperate email, but not in this main one to everyone lol. The members here are incredible, and I see the Barratta family almost every day because they help us so much.
 
I have  been working on getting my Residence in Italy, so I had to go to Naples the other day, and it was way fun. There is so much to see in Naples! They also have the worlds best Pizza shop there called Palones, and I ate lunch there, and it is definately deserving of the title. The pizza here is different. It is made with tons of cheese, and the only toppings they usually put on are Basil leaves, but it is incredible how good it is. I absolutely love the food in Italy. I knew I would, but how good it actually is beyond description. It is just another confirmation that I know I was meant to go to Italy. I dont go hungy.
 
Just being here a week has helped me to realise that I really am doing the Lords work. Its hard to explain. Now that I am here, missionary work is completely different than I thought it was going to be, but its stil the exact same at the same time. It really is just like normal life, but instead of everyday things with the Lord thrown in occasionally, its everyday with the Lord with everyday things thrown in occasionally. Its hard to escape the things that I am supposed to be leaving behind, like music, movies, food, sports, friends, and stuff like that because it is everywhere I look, but I find its easy not focus on it because I have the Gospel and Jesus Christ and other more important things to think of instead. I am definately still the Jake that left two months ago. I will be the first to say that. I dont notice me changing that much, but I cannot deny the power of the Lord in the calling of a missionary. Before a mission, it was kinda awkward for me to talk about religious things outside of church, but now thats all I do all day long, and it isnt awkward at all for me. That is one change I have noticed the Lord help me make.
 
I thank you so much for writing me, and supporting me and everythign! I love hearing from you, and it is an encouragement for me.
 
Pace, Anziano Parry



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First Day In Italy

Italy exists STOP My doubts and fears have been desolved STOP It is a land of wonder and excitement STOP I arrived without serious injury STOP I am finding out where I go tomorrow morning STOP Will Let you know where next week STOP My P-day is on wednesdays STOP Love you STOP



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Last P-Day of the MTC

Hmm where to start.... That is always my huge dilemma each week is that I just do not know what to write you about. As always, things are going really well for me, and am enjoying life. I guess its really hard for me to get down, but when I get down I go down hard:D so I will try to not let that happen. The language is always coming a little more for me each day, even though it never seems to feel like I am growing at all. I just have to trust my teachers and my district members I suppose.
 
Well, here are a list of cool things that have happened this last week:
 
1) I got my FLIGHT PLANS!!!!!!! Awww man, it scared me to death haha. On friday, they sent all the flightplans to our mailbox, and our district leader picked them up, and took them to the class room to distribute them. After handing out all of them, I still didnt have mine. They didnt come with the rest of my districts plans. On the inside, I think I might have been dying a little every nano second, but on the outside all I was was smiles and "They'll come, no big deal." Haha oh it was miserable lol. And then I headed down to Travel Services to find out what was going wrong, and it turns out that the P-file didnt download, so mine and Sorella Pearson's, who is a Sorella from another District, didnt get sent out. Needless to say, eventually all things worked out well and I have them in my hands now. I leave:
 
         Tuesday, July 27th, at 8:00 am. I have to wake up at 4:00 and be at the Travel Services by 5:00. I then fly from Salt Lake to Housten Texas, where I am laid over from 12:30 to about 4:10, so any phone calls I am going to make is going to be in that time. Then I fly to London, where I have another 4 hour layover, and from there I go to Rome, where I arrive about 4:00 in the afternoon on Wednesday the 28th.
 
2) In the gym there is a situp record of 1380 situps in a row, non stop, in fifty minutes. I broke that records, setting a record of 1401 situps in a row and it was one of the most intense physical things I have ever done in my life. Unfortunately, when I was at about 900, my legs started cramping up terribly, I had about 4 cramps in each calf and 2 in each quad. Because of that, I had to abbandon the good situp form I had to something that was pretty terrible because that was the only way I was able to keep going. I kept going though because I had made a goal that I would get 1400 situps or die. I kept going, and I was in terrible pain. Then, my world kinda shattered when I was at 1300 I learned that my record was not going to be valid since my situp form wasnt good anymore. I have hardly ever wanted to quit more in my life than when I learned that. It was going through my head that I should just quit since my effort wasnt worth anything anyways. I almost did. But then I thought, if there was one person that wanted me to quit when things didnt seem worth it, it was the Adversary, and that he wants me to learn to quit. It was then I decided that I would keep going if it was gonna kill me, even if it didnt count. And because of that, I now know that I can do that many, and I can say that the pain and struggle was extremely worth it.
 
3) My teacher, Sister Lewis, got married today. She is now Sorella Swensen.
 
4) My teacher, Fratello Auna, had his aunt make us candy lays since he is hawaian, and it was the coolest thing!
 
5) I had my last TRC visit yesterday. It was slighty depressing, but good at the same time.
 
This my new address in rome
 
Elder Jacob Allen Parry
Italy Rome Mission
CP 11/282 Montesacro
00141 Rome RM
ITALY
 
Thanks everyone! I love you all. Vi Voglio Bene



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Less than two weeks left till Italy!

BuonGuorno Tutti!
 
I am writing this letter in a really hot and stuffy office in some cramped part of the 3rd floor of my language building. It is hot, but I figure it is just getting me used to what all of Italy will be like! Things have been going really well for me here. I havent had the most interesting week ever, but I will tell you some of my favorites that happened.
 
But very first, I have some apologies that I want to say:D I have been gettting everyone's letters every week, so I am sorry for those of you that felt "put out" by my saying otherwise (haha that one is for you Dad;D ) I have always been afflicted with the condition of writing, typing, and saying things long before I think about what they actually mean. ( Lol and that lol is for you Gramps ;D ) I also apologise for bugging everyone about their home address' (this is for ammon) I just wanted to make sure I could send them a tie or something for their birthdays.
 
Now, onto my week.
 
1) I was playing soccer, and I was running around doing whatever it is I do ( most of the time I dont know what im doing on a soccer field) when I got pinged in the head by a bird! I felt something hit me in the side of the head, and it freaked me out cause I could hear flapping, and amidst my flailing arms I look over and see the most adorable little bird I have ever seen about a foot from my face. It definately made my day.
 
2) I have now had my first experience saying something inappropriate in Italian when I thought I was saying something totally else haha. I will spare you all the terrible details, but rest assurred it was by accident and totally hilarious. I still laugh about it haha. At least my teacher corrected me so know I really know how to say what I was trying to.
 
3) For the sunday night fireside, I was in the way back of the auditorium, when all of a sudden everyone started standing up. I knew someone important had to have walked in because that was the protocol for such things, but I couldnt tell who it was. Our speaker was Jenny Oaks Baker, who is a world famous, internationaly renowned, highly sought after violin player, and she is the daughter of Elder Dallin H. Oaks, so that was who walked in. She played the Violin for us, and it was the most beautiful violin music I have ever heard in my life.
 
4) My companion and I got to teach Matteo yesterday! He is a real, true blue Italian investigator from northern Italy! It was really interesting. He helped us with our italian, and responded back. His story is that he was baptised a year ago, but because of family problems he never got confirmed, but he talked to a mission president a couple days ago and found out that his actual baptism is still valid, he just needs to be confirmed. He wants to by the end of this month.
 
5) About my times I can call home, rumor is that we will be leaving the MTC on July 27th at 3:30 a.m. so I am not sure exactly when I will be able to call you, or if you want to stay up that late so I can call. When I get my flight plans I will know for sure what is going on and I will be sure to write my parents and let them know what the plan is.
 
Anyways, that is pretty much all the fun facts of the week. I am now totally converted to SYL, Speak Your Language, because since I have been doing it 100 % my language skills have grown amazingly. I love you all, and are all in my prayers!



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3 weeks left in the MTC!

Buon Giorno! I am still having an amazing time in the MTC (surprise surprise) and havent gotten depressed yet ( I doubt that will ever happen). I dont miss family too much either, so I supposed that is a good thing too ;D well.... let me rephrase that. I miss you all a total bunch! But I am not missing you at all.... if that makes sense lol.
So far, I think that this last week has been my fastest one so far in the MTC.  It really does seem that yesterday was P-day.
 
Well, Here are some things that you might find interesting:
 
1) I am now sleeping basically all the way through the night lol. I still wake up a bunch, but its not affecting me nearly as much as it used to!
 
2) This last week was my absolute worst for mail. I got 2 letters the whole week, and one of them was from a friend. So... Family, (except for brad and mariah) I am telling you that you are failing :D haha its actually not to bad lol. I find that letters is nice, but its totally not the end of the world when I dont get some.
 
3) My district gets to teach a real investigator from Italy! His name is Matteo, and he is really close to being baptised. I get to teach him next monday, so I just hope that the the Spirit tells me what to say to help him take care of the things he needs to.
 
I am sorry this email isnt much longer! My computer was being dumb so I ended up getting 10 minutes less than I usually do!
 
Io so che la questa chieza e la solo vera chieza nella terra. Io sono MOLTO grato per Gesu Cristo, e Io so che lui e il mio redentore e salvatore.



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A Week to Remember

Well well well, here we are again, and seven days later than the last one.. The days are really starting to fly right by, and it literally feels like yesterday that I had my last P-day.. The computers here are still buggin' out, so the Enter key isnt working and the period key puts two dots instead of one..  I still love it here at the MTC, and only hate it on the occasion.. :D  This last week had been a total crazy one, and I have so much to say!    1) I met my new mission president! He and his wife were so amazing! The minute they walked into the room I could just feel love for eminating from them.. It was like I was look at my new Mom and Dad for the next two years.. I just have this overwhelming feeling that I will be taken care of when serving under them..    2) My roommate got sent a care package with a squirt gun in it and everything.. I thought that was soo cool! So even though I had no intention of using it on anyone, I took the squirt gun into the bathroom to fill it up and spray it in the sinks, and then throw it away.. I finished filling it up, and turned around to find the head honcho guy incharge of my building, and boy was I in trouble lol He said " thats not gonna fly" and took the gun from me, threw it away, and then took me back to my room where he chewed everyone out, but me especially lol.. I guess I havent changed that much haha..  3) Over the space of 4 days, every single member of the Twelve and the First Presidency were walking around the main building because they were training the new mission presidents.. It was soo cool! Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave a talk at the "secret devotional" we had just because they were there, and it was really cool. 8 of the Twelve came. It was Bednar, Oaks, Holland, Christopherson, Anderson, and 3 others that I dont remember. It was really cool because I got to go earlier, and so I got a really good seat about 10 feet from President Holland and the stand. President Oaks winked at me, and President Holland gave an Elder a "good Job butt tap" as he walked by lol :D it totally cracks me up, and makes me love them even more..    Well, I think that is everything so far, so I just want to end with my testamony in Italian: Io so che Gesu Cristo e i nostri redentore e salvatore. Io so che solo mediante Gesu Cristo e la sua espiazione, possiamo ritornare e vivere con Dio e Gesu Cristo. Io amo mia famiglia piu come Io penso possibile.. Io SO che la questa chieza e di solo vera chieza nell Terra..



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Half way done in the MTC!

Things are going really well! I am now pretty much adapted to everything here. My life has been all the same, but I am rarely, if ever, bored because I always have so much to do. Here are some interesting things that have happened since last time. 1) All the italian districts have started playing pranks of each other. I promise that I have not been the main cause for this new "friendly feud", but I have supported it lol. Its all good fun, and everyone has enjoyed it. Mostly we just steal the really nice chairs, and the Italian flags, and the fans out of each others rooms.     2) This next week and a half is really cool because it is going to be Mission President Week. They are bringing in 130+ some odd presidents, because of that the entire first presidency, and at least 6 of the Twelve will be walking around for it. They will be giving special devotionals for the missionaries too, so that will be way cool.       3) The Pope came and visited the Italians going to the Milan Mission.. haha jk...... actually it was just a really high ranking catholic priest, and he flew from Italy to come visit us and tell about his relationship with the missionaries. He didnt speak english, but we could understand that he was really good friends with the missionaries in italy, and that his relationship with them consisted of him trying to convert them, and them trying to convert him. It was a really cool experience. Too bad I didnt get to meet him because I am going to the Rome mission, and he only wanted to see the missionaries going to Milan.       4)  We were eating dinner one day, and all the Anziani sitting at our table forgot the stand up for the sisters as they came to sit down. This elder going to denmark, who was new because he still had his orange dork dot on his tag, got all mad at us for it, and told us that Jesus would have backhanded us in the face for showing such disrespect, and that if he wasn't wearing the nametag that he would backhand us for him.... It was all totally rediculous, especially since he hadnt been standing up for them either. We still laugh about it lol.  5) I lost my pocket nametag two weeks ago, so I went and ordered a new one. Then, yesterday, I pull a shirt out of my closet and see my old name tag still on the pocket. I felt like total idiot lol, but the good thing is that i now have TWO! name tags! Its the best lol.      6) I now totally love my companion! He is a way cool kid. He used to annoy me, and I didnt see eye to eye with him on some things, but now we get along great! He is turning into a way good friend. A thing that really helped us is that we went and taught this guy in the TRC, whose name was clayton. It turned out the be the most spiritual lesson we have taught so far, and we both realised that we were being stupid about each other. We just realised we are there to be friends, not people who are just forced to hang out together 24-7.     Anyways, I love you all! thanks for everything! Anziano Parry..  P..S.. the computer im using is broken, and wont let me use the enter button..



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The end of the third week in the mtc!

First off, I would just like to say thanks to everyone that has written me a letter! I really appreciate it.  But for those of you who haven't written me a letter, shame be on you. *cough cough.... MORGAN AND LAUREN.....cough cough* :D Its ok though. It has been really nice, and I am actually running out of stamps! I am gonna have to buy some more today.
So the things that have been interesting in my life are:
1) Last week we had Elder Robert D Hales come and give a speach to us at a devotional. It was so good! It was about how we all have to have the light of christ within us if we are going to try and get other people to feel their light of christ and be converted to the gospel. It was a big Light vs. Darkness talk, and it reminded me a ton of LOST.
2) My companion, Anziano Mickelsen, is a really good singer. They announced here that the MTC was putting together a special singing group (I cant spell quior) so my comp signed up. They sent him a tryout time in the mail, but since we dont get our mail till 9:30 p.m., he was 3 hours too late for his tryout because he didnt know he even had the tryout date and he didnt get to audition. 
3) Every sunday I get to go on a Temple walk around the temple, and I love it.  The temple is exceediong beautiful, and on sunday it was rainy and cloudy so it was the perfect weather for photos. I even got a bunch of flower photos, just because i know Mariah would be disappointed in me if I didnt do something really artistic.
4) Today we got to send off some sister missionaries to Italy. They are going to the Milano mission, and they were here 6 weeks before I was. It was really cool, but sad at the same time because I grew to be good friends with them and now I probably wont ever see them again since they are in a different mission than me. It also just made me EXTREMELY jealous, and I want nothing more to be shipped off to Italy as soon as possible.
5) I had an appointement at the TRC yesterday where we got to teach a pretend investigator about the Plan of Salvation. First we had to pick them up and "take them to church" all speaking italian. I am usually very bad at the language, and fumble for things to say, but this time things came relatively easily. I still stammered and fumbled a little, but not NEARLY as bad as usual.
6) My companion keeps telling me that if I use dryer sheets with my dri-lux garments it will ruin them. I dont know if that is true or not, so im gonna keep using them anyways. If anyone has some info about it though, it would be nice to have!
So here are somethings that I have learned:
  • The Gift of Tongues is VERY real.
  • I need to work on patience and charity. ALOT.
  • I still have a TON to learn, and that I was not really prepared for this at all.
  • I LOVE it here. It is totally incredible. Its extremely hard, but it is so worth it.
  • I am definately not the coolest cat on the fence, but im ok with that.
Also, this is an assignment for my family. Find the color code thing online, and send it to me! print it off and send me the test.
Love you all!


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Two weeks in the MTC!

So far, I cant really complain about too much. I have decided to do a the good, bad, and the ugly letter just like my buddy Justin because of time restraints.
 
The Good- Last week on thursday, my teacher Fratello Auna had all the missionaries in the district teach each other according to what we thought the needs of the person we were teaching are. We kinda just asked questions and got to know the people we were teaching a little better, and then we prepared a lesson according to what we thought they needed. I thought we did a really good job teaching, and then it was the other peoples turn to teach us. Anziano Maughan, the DL of my district, was somehow able to adress a concern that I have had but had never talked about. He didnt even say anything about the concern I did voice. It was really cool. Then, later that day my other teacher, Sorella Lewis, came in and told us that she was really having a hard time in her life right then because she was about to get married and could really feel the devil working at her. The whole district just bore our testamonies to her and she said it completely turned around how she was feeling. It was very cool..
 
The Bad- I have not been able to get more than probably 6 hours of sleep a night since I got here. I adjusted to the "early to bed, early to rise" deal, but my roommate snores up a storm, and tosses and turns so much that it wakes me us all the time during the night. I swear he sounds like an evil beast from the abyss, but I shall deal. I can only hope that i will soon become tired enough to sleep right through everything. I also became sick, and have been fighting a cough and nasty nose stuff for almost a week now. Its miserable, but I am almost through it.
 
The Ugly- We had a soccer game against the missionaries going to mexico. They had been talking up a storm about how Italy sucks, and that they hate italy, so we just couldnt let that slide. We ended up winning the soccer game, 3-0, with me in the goal, and it was amazing! But then, Elder Fotu, a Tongan elder going to mexico, got way freakin pissed and started swearing and cussing up a storm. I think I heard worse language from him than i did anytime during High school. He then started tackling people, and he hit this one skinny kid and the kid went flying. Elder Fotu is a really scary guy even when he isnt playing sports. Like gang scary.  It was really embarrasing to be a missionary, and have someone else who bears that same title act in such a way.
 
Anyways, my testamony in Italian Io voglio portare la mia testamonianza. I so che Gesu cristo e il nostro redentore e salvatore.
 
Thats all I have for today! My timer is running out. PEACE!!



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