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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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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