Summer, anyone?

Well, here we are, another week, another Preparation Day, another time for wonderful sweet email.
 
It is finally to the point where I am sick of wearing jackets! It is rediculously warm here now, and since we have bikes here in Trapani I end up working up quite the sweat. But since General Conference is this weekend, it signifies the death of the jacket, will be an event of much rejoicing and riotous living (not really, we may order a pizza). After all, The Book of Mormon plainly tells us to "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, For Tomorrow We Die." Am I right, am I right? Haha no, I'm not right. I was just practicing something called taking things out of context, which is a practice I am finding is widely used among most religions here haha. And why not? I am in a tourist town, so I might as well have fun, right? Just kidding! I will be a good boy, no worries.
 
Well, since last saturday, I am very proud to say that we have recieved 7 new investigators. Which is something awesome, especially because 4 of those 7 have very serious potential. And their names are Roberta, Vito, Mellissa, and Federica. The other three are Valentina, Giuseppe, and Giuseppe's wife lol. The special thing about the first 4 though, is that they are a family. They have 2 other kids that we havent met with, but we will eventually. Anyways, this family is golden. The mom, Roberta, has been searching for which church is true, and when we first met her, she basically told us her version of the Joseph Smith story, except minus Joseph Smith and any kind of vision. She just wants to find the truth. The dad, Vito, is awesome, and he wants to quit smoking. None of them believe is Saints, or the Pope, and they absolutely loved the First Vision. We have an appointment with this family tonight, and you cant believe how excited I am for it.  Sunday night, when we had our first lesson with them, things werent going very well according to plan. When we had arrived at their house, they told us that we couldnt do it because something had come up. We were way bummed, but then the Lord decided to toss us a bone and he changed their minds. They let us come up, and we had the most incredible lesson. It was great.
 
Our investigator with a baptisimal date, Enzo, is still doing good. He still loves meeting us and everything. It turns out that what happened last week was that we had a member who he didnt know very well in the lesson with us and he didnt feel very comfortable. Things are back to normal, and going well.
 
I can hardly believe that I have been in Trapani for almost 6 weeks now. We get Transfer calls this Saturday, but I am pretty sure that Anziano Nelson and I are staying together again for another one. This is only his second transfer here, and this is my first, so I dont think we are moving. If one of us does leave, though, I think it will be Anz. Nelson. Missionaries never seem to stay very long in their first city. But ya never know. Transfers always throws curve balls. Ya never know what is gonna happen. Besides, it would be a pity if Anziano Nelson and I split up. I am having a blast with him as a companion.
 
Anways, till next time!
 
Love, Anziano Parry
 



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Long Live America!

Well, I heard a really interesting thing the other day. America has gone to war! And thats all I know. We were at a lunch appointment after church on Sunday when I heard the news, and the members here were all talking about the Second Coming and everything lol. It was a really fun day. But when we got home after the appointment, my companion and I broke into song, singing "The Spangled Banner", and professing how proud we were to be americans. Well, at least I did, my companion just kinda made fun of me the whole time lol.
 
This last week has gone by really fast for me. It feels really weird to me, because the days here seemed to drag on and on and on and on and.... well, you get the picture. This is a classic case of Short Week/Long Day syndrome, and I really do not believe there is a cure. One reason the days seems so long is because we spent ALOT of time doing Finding work. Which really isnt that bad, but it just makes the day drag on because all we do is walk from members house to members house trying to talk to people and knocking the occasion building along the way.
 
An update with our investigator Enzo. A little bad news.... We had a lesson with him saturday night that I thought went really well. He has been really hung up on getting his answer, and he thinks that it needs to come in an incredible way. He said even if he is 100% certain of our church, without that answer he isnt gonna do anything. So we were like, alright. One thing we know helps people to recieve their answer is to set a date to be baptised, just as like a goal, because doing so gives a focus and a direction for people, and lets their needed answers come easier. We set a date with him for April 9th, and we made sure to tell him that if he wasnt ready, then not to worry because he wouldnt be baptised. I thought it had gone well. But then, monday morning, our Branch President gave us a call saying Enzo called him saying that he was feeling pushed, pressured into being baptised. Man... that really hurt. I never wanted anyone to feel like we were trying to pressure them into something. So now, we get to do a little damage control. It will be good lol, I'm not too worried.
 
Monday was day #300 for me. Wild, huh? Not that I'm counting, cause I'm not, but that gives 437 days left, give or take a few days lol. Weird....
 
Anyways, I love you guys! I appreciate anything and everything you do for me! You are all awesome. Punto. Basta. Non c'รจ qualcos'altra. Io veramente sento la forza che ricevo da le vostre preghiere. E vi sono molto, molto grato.
 
Vi voglio bene!
 
Jake



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Life Is Good

Well everybody, here I am, sitting in a internet point in some obscure city in Sicily, chewing on an Italian candy called a Cherry X-plosion, italian music playing faintly in the background, and two old italian men yelling at each other in dialect, and I just want to say Life Is Good.
 
Wanna know something really cool that happened to me this last week? In fact it happened yesterday. I went to have a quick passby lesson with a member here in Trapani. We passed by this lady named Sorella Di Nicola, and we go in to share our thought. Before we get into it, we were just sitting and talking to her, and she tells me that she had seen me before, back in Provo. I was like, what?! How did that happen? Why dont I remember? So she sits there, and explains it to me, and as she is doing so, the memories come flashing back into my head. Back when I was in the MTC, every monday we would go to the TRC, where we would practice teaching a lesson, the first four weeks in english, the second 4 in italian. Anyways, Sorella Di Nicola was in Provo while I was in the MTC visiting her daughter, and they decided to come volunteer in the TRC every monday for the Italian speakers. It turns out I had seen both her and her daughter ( I remember now) and had probably taught (well, tried to teach) them both in Italian. Man, what a small world it is, huh?
 
I will tell you that I probably will never ever be able to travel again in the conventional way after last week. After flying and taking trains faster than superman (yes, they really do exist) I will readily admit that I have been spoiled. Probably permanently. But hey, what can you do? Nothin' :D
 
I was very shocked to hear about Japan, and what is going on there. First a Tsunami, and then a Nuclear Meltdown. Whats next, a volcano? Maybe getting attacked by a sea monster (who knows, anything could happen by now). I am just very comforted to know that all the Missionaries there are safe and accounted for. It just goes to show that the Lord takes care of you if you are in his service, which is something I have a very strong testimony of.
 
We have been teaching this man named Enzo, and he is really cool. He is pretty dang prepared in the sense that he has always kinda believed everything we are teaching him, but not in the fact that he thinks that he doesnt need to change anything anymore since he is already there. I have alot of fun in the lessons with him lol.
 
As you can tell, I am still enjoying life in Italy immensly. Besides, with the food here, who couldnt enjoy life?



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Dreams of Deportation

I have a wonderful story to tell all of you. A story of my adventures during the last couple of days. It all began Monday Morning....
 
March 7. Monday. 9:13 a.m.
 
I had woken up, just like any other day in the mission. I showered, at some things, and got ready for the day. By the time I was dressed, it was time to start my studies. I sat down, and I had an incredible study. I finished the second to last chapter in Jesus the Christ, and things went very spiritually. Then, 9:00 rolled around, so we started companion study. We started, sang a song, and had started talking about we had studied that day. Halfway through my explaination of what I read, the phone started going off. I looked down, and saw that it was the Mission Office calling. I answer the phone, and wonderful Sister Burt in on the other end of the line. She said "Anziano Parry! I have a question for you! It is very important! Did you ever recieve a letter from the Questura in Napoli?". I said no, and she immediately set me on a quest to call everywhere I had ever served to try and see if this letter was there. I called around, and this letter of mine was no where to be found. I called Sister Burt back, and she tells me that I HAVE to immediately called Sister Noda, in Milano. I was like, Okay. I give Sister Noda a call, and she tells me that "Anziano Parry! It is very important that that letter be found!" I asked her why, and she says "Remember back when you were having Permesso problems back in Napoli? Well, I just read on their website that if you dont respond to this letter that they sent you, they are going to make you leave Italy." . She then tells me that she has to call my mission president to decide what needs to happen, and that she would be in touch. Well, alright then.
 
That night, I had just arrived in Palermo after a two hour busride at about 9:38 because tomorrow we have a Zone Conference in Catania, so we were spending the night in Palermo. As I was walking up the the Palermo Elder's appartment, the Assistents to the President call me and tell me to pack my bags for two to three days, to grab every kind of official document that I have, and to bring it with me because I was flying to Rome the next day after the Zone Conference. I tell them that I had already left Trapani, and I didnt have anything with me. The only thing they told me was to go back and get it. I end up getting the other Anziani of Palermo to come with me because we had to borrow a Senior couples car, and I wasnt approved to drive. ROAD TRIP! NO SLEEP TILL TRAPANI!! The four of us; Me, Anziano Nelson, Roe, and McDaniels all arrive in Trapani at about midnight, and by the time I found everything I needed it was 1:00 a.m. by the time I got to into bed. You can imagine it was a sleepless night.
 
We all woke up, loaded into the car, and had left Trapani by 5:00 a.m. We all drove back to Palermo, where then, I took another bus for another 2 hours to get me to Catania. We had this great Zone conference, and then, at the end, at about 4:30 p.m., me and my companion loaded up into a car with President and Sister Kelly and the Assistents, and we all flew to Rome together. I was informed that the next day, I would be traveling to Napoli with the Assistent Anziano Sapio, a native Italian from Napoli, and we would be getting everything all sorted out. I then spent the night in the assistents appartment. I again didnt sleep well at all Tuesday night, because still I was thinking that I was going to get kicked out of Italy.
 
Wednesday morning, after a long night, I wake up, and get ready to catch a Train down to Napoli. Anziano Sapio and I get dropped off at Termini in Rome, and we buy tickets for the fastest, yet most expensive train to Napoli because time was not on our side. After an hour and ten minutes, we arrived in Napoli at about 10:10 a.m., which would have normally taken us 3 hours to arrive. We walked immediately to the Questura there, and we were told that we had to go to Salerno because it was closer to my first city, and that Napoli had washed their hands of the situation, and that they would no longer do anything for us. We had to then go to Salerno,
 
In Salerno, we went directly (almost. It had closed for lunch.) to the Questura in Salerno. At 2:00 pm, we get into the office and we start showing people my papers, and trying to get this whole situation resolved. We were told to wait while all of the officials took my papers and then went into a room to debate my case. They came back out, and called me in, and then they started taking my fingerprints. And then, finally, they led my into another room, where they took my finger prints again, and then my description. And then, finally, they said I was done. That everything was taken care of, and that in about two months I could come back to pick up my Permesso di Soggiorno. I could stay in Italy. I WASNT BEING DEPORTED!! I then, as we were walking next to the ocean in Salerno, called everyone to let them know how it turned out. Everyone was very happy, and in about 5 minutes all of the leadership found out and then President Kelly gave me a call to congratulate me. As we tried to make it back to Rome, we realised that we were completely out of money. We managed to buy tickets to Rome, and we literally only had pocket change left. Everything worked out completely perfectly, down to the very last cent.
 
After I arrived to Rome, I found out how big of a situation I really was in because President Kelly told me that Milan had to send a missionary home because of the exact same Permesso problems, and that Sorella Noda, the lady in charge of helping missionaries get their permesso's to stay in Italy, thought that they were going to lose me, and that President and Sister Kelly were very worried that I would be gone. Man, I dont think I have ever seen the Lord's hand more in my mission that in these last few days. Because between all of the help that everyone gave me, and God, I got to stay in Italy. The Lord must have a reason for me to be here.
 
 
 
 



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Trapani

Well hello there everyone!
 
I have to admit, it feels like it has been an eternity since last wednesday. For some reason, I guess traveling is gonna do that to ya lol.
 
Well, last thursday night I caught a Bus from Rome at 9:30 pm, and I didnt get to my new area in Trapani till about 6:00 pm the next day. I practically had a good solid day of bus rides, waiting, more bus rides, and then even more waiting before I finally caught the last final bus ride to Trapani. I went from Rome to Catania, from Catania to Palermo, and then from Palermo to Trapani. And let me tell ya, I was tired, and I was travel ugly. (Man, I scared myself in the mirror).
 
Trapani is incredible so far. It is much cleaner than I thought it was going to be, especially having heard alot of stories from the mainland italians. And the food here is... well, lets just say you all know me, and lets just  say I might be gaining weight here in Sicily. The cannoli.... Buono... I have had two member appointments now where they have fed me, and every time it is incredible. But after every time Anziano Nelson says that it wasnt NEARLY the best meal he has had yet. It blows my mind haha.
 
My new companion, Anziano Nelson, is the man! He is from Bountiful, UT, and has a huge family of 9 kids! Man, and I thought my family was large. He has so much desire, it is really cool to see. It makes me wonder if that is how I was in my 2nd transfer. Probably not, but man, it is fun to watch. And thanks to him being in his 2nd, I think I have probably spoken more Italian since I got here 5 days ago than I did in whole transfers in the past. Seriously, no wonder people who are old in the mission or who have trained speak well. They have to lol. It is either sink or swim haha.
 
The people here in Trapani, especially the members, are hilarious. In church, sunday, when they sang, everyone just kinda sings at the top of their lungs, and it cracks me up haha. And they argue by yelling at each other, without getting mad. Its just how they are haha. And we have a Ex- (I hope) Mafia member in the ward named Domenico Valenti haha. And man, does he look it too haha. Its awesome.

I arrived here to find that they already had a couple of investigators with a baptismal invitation standing. And I have met with both of them, and they are both very nice people. I hope to be able to help them along the path toward baptism. One is a man named Enzo, and the other is a woman named Lucia.
 
Anyways, things are going very well for me, as I am sure you can tell.
 
Love ya,
 
Anziano Parry
 
P.S. So close to africa, and there are absolutely no africans here. Weird...




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