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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