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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