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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