118 days of being an illegal Alien

Hey everybody, guess what!!! I am finally legal again haha! I dont think I ever told you, but I was in quite some serious trouble for a little while. 118 days to be precise. I guess now would be the time to get the story off my chest.
Remember when I went to Napoli a couple of weeks ago? I went to recieve my Permesso di Soggiorno, which is my permesso to stay in the country. When I pulled it out, it had been expired since August. Another that had been expired since August was my visa to be in Italia. Which leaves me with a very LARGE gap of time when I technically wasnt supposed to be here haha. But with a little help from my friends here in Italia, and a lot of help from the Lord, we got things all sorted out and now I am legal again. I now offically own the title of "Missionary with the Most Permesso Problems". Haha I decided that it is only a thing that would really happen to me.
 
For Thanksgiving, we really didnt do much. Italians dont know how to enjoy the better the holidays in life. They dont have Thanksgiving, which surprises me. I thought they would have jumped on any holiday that gave them another reason to get the family together and make and eat food. So instead, I ended up making a really good Pasta for Thanksgiving as a celebration because Turkey is actually kinda expensive here. And we had a feast. Even the Italian in the appartment told me that it was incredible, which says something.
 
Mario is doing really well. We had to move his baptism back one week just to make sure on everything for him, and to make sure he is ready. He is Bravo, and is really excited to be baptised. I cant wait to see it. We saw him riding his bike the other day while we were driving, so we got close and said hi. He grabbed onto the open window just long enough to invite us to eat dinner with him tonight, and then he said ciao. It was awesome haha.
 
Simone is doing really well too. He is about as ready for baptism as a 9 year old can be. He has been coming to church for awhile, and knows alot. He is really sharp.
 
Anways, things are doing really well here. I hope the same for things back home! Sorry it is a little short this week, not much has happened since last friday. I will write more next time!
Vi voglio bene!
Anziano Parry



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The French are proud of that?!

Buon Giorno a Tutti!
 
Well, I have had another CRAZY week since last time I emailed! I know, I know, I seem to always be having crazy weeks lately, but its not really my fault! I guess I will just start of by saying that I got to spend a couple days in the place where Paul the Apostle rested for a couple days in Sicilia. I was in Siracusa for as long as Paul was, 3 days. I left Messina last Sunday night, and then I came back Wednesday night. Why I was there you might ask? Well, one of the missionaries in Siracusa had to be admitted into the hospital on Monday morning because he was going to get surgury. So I had to opportunity to go and spend time with both him in the hospital and with his companion to make sure that they could get some work done this week. It was a fun visit. We did some finding work, visited some people, and spent alot of time in the hospital. It was a really cool experience for me. I was able to talk to some people about the Gospel while I was taking my turn in the hospital, so we shall see what comes of it.
 
I have a cool experience about enduring to the end for you. Last Saturday night, we were doing some house in an area before an appointment. It was dark, and no one was wanting to open the door to talk to us, or we would just get the door slammed in our face. Towards the end, we were both a little tired, and we had debated leaving and getting ready for our appointment. We decided to do one more appartment building. We get in, climbed all the way to the top of the 5 story building, and starting knocking all the doors on the way down. It wasnt untill the very last door that we knocked that something happened. A man named Giuseppe answered the door, and we asked him if we could have 5 minutes of his time. He said sure, and let us right in. We talked to him a little about our message, and asked if we could come back another time. He said sure again! So we got his information, and we went on our way after about 8 minutes. It was just a good testimony for me about how the Lord rewards you. You have to put in the hours before you will ever get the paycheck.
 
My mission president decided to issue a challenge for everyone during this transfer. The holidays are coming up, and he noticed that missionary work seems to slow down during the holidays and he correlated that with finding new investigators. So he challenged us to find 6 new investigators in 4 weeks so that we could have a some during the holidays. I loved the idea because I remember last christmas everyone was just telling us to wait untill after the Befana (which is the Good Witch that brings people toys. She is probably more celebrated than Santa Claus here. Her day is 6 January.)  So now the whole mission is striving for this goal, and we are already seeing alot of success with it. I believe it is because everyone is praying for more new investigators alot more, thus allowing God to show us what he's got.
 
It must be a Europe thing, but people love snails here. At first, I thought it was just the French, but the Italians love them too. In fact, they love snails so much that when I mentioned to a member in Siracusa that I had never eaten them before, they went home that night, fried some up, and then brought them to our house. So of course I had to eat them, I couldnt let all of that effort go to waste haha. Where they good? Well, lets just say that being in Italia, I have eated A LOT of better things than snails. I cant believe the french are proud of being snail suckers haha.
 
Anyways, for the photos.
One is of me outside the Duomo at Siracusa. It was one of the first christian churches to be built after Antioch.
The other one is of me inside the Santuary for the Madonna of Tears in Siracusa. It is pretty trippy.
The last one is of me having fun with a snail. Go figure.
 
Grazie mille per tutto!
Vi Voglio bene!
Anziano Parry



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Salve

Buona Sera a Tutti!
 
Whew! This last week has been crazy! Mamma Mia.... It has been absolutely mind blowing. Yes, I suppose mind-blowing would be the better phrase for it, according to me. I have been well. I had fought a slight cold for a few days this last week, but I won the fight with a resounding knockout on this. I swear, vitamins really do seem to do the trick haha. The cold season is here, finally, and the weather has really decided to make the season change noticable. It seems to have been raining here almost every day now, and if it hasnt rained, it has threatened. And if it hasnt threatened, it has just been chilly. We have to wear our suit coats full time now whenever we are outside of the house, but even then some days it would be comfortable to go without them. I guess this is a Siciliano winter for you. Lucky me:D I get rain, and everyone else gets snow. Sorry Dad :D
 
A HUGE miracle happened to us since last time. My companion and I were talking about how we can better the work here, and all of a sudden, we get a phone call. I answer the phone, and a man named Mario (thats right, Mario. As in Mario and Luigi haha) starts talking to me. Mario is the son of a new convert, and we had had dinner with their family a few days before.  Anways, it turns out that Mario is an ex-investigator, and he decided that he is going through a really difficult time right now, and wants to change his life. So we set up an appointment, and we went to pay him a visit. It went really well, and we set up a return appointment. We had, for some reason, decided to talk to him this time about the Armor of God. So we start teaching him about it, and how in our lives we really need to put on this armor if we are ever going to survive the battle we are fighting. During the entire lesson he was very thoughtful. Towards the end, I had just decided to make the comment that being baptised and getting the Holy Ghost was going to be the best armor he could get, but I didnt invite him to be baptised. He just kinda sat there though, and mulled over what I had said, and then he asks "so what, do you want to set a date or something?" and then he started talking about how he had just read about the joy that comes from being baptised and wanted it. So we set a baptismal date for 4 Dicembre.  He has been coming to church and everything. He wants it really bad. I saw it in his eyes.
 
This last Monday, I got to go to Catania for the night, where I met up with my fellow Zone Leader, Anziano Avesani. We spent the night there with the ZL's from Palermo, and then the next morning we flew up to Roma for Zone Leader Council. It was a ton of fun, especially because I got to see alot of people in my same group. I cant really tell you much, because things are TOP SECRET and I would have to kill you if I told you, but I will just say that things are crazy cool and interesting here in the next couple of weeks. I am going to be pretty busy I feel like. But hey, it seems like I'm always busy these days haha. I just barely got back to Messina this afternoon. I guess I could just say that going to Roma is a pretty good P-day, so I cant really complain about not having one.
 
This last week, we found a sweet new family to teach. So far, it is just a Mom and a daughter, but they want us to start teaching the husband and Dad too. And then, tomorrow, we get to start teaching a little kid named Simone. He is 9 years old, and his mom is a member, and because he is nine he falls under the "jurisdicition" of the missionaries. We are going to have some good work soon.
 
Va bene! Grazie mille veramente per tutto che fate per me! Le vostre preghiere, digiuni, e pensieri sono le cose che me aiutano di andare avanti ogni giorno. Sento l'aiuto che Dio mi da, e ancora prego per voi spesso anche!
Vi voglio tantissimo bene!
Anziano Parry



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Expect a Miracle

Well Well Well.....Aspettati un Miracolo.
 
This last week has been absolutely full of miracles for me. And I am sorry, but I may not get to tell you all about them because the weather here in Messina is very bad right now and the power might cut out again. Lets pray for a miracle haha.
 
So since last week, I got my new companion, Anziano Nelson, who comes from Spanish Fork. He is a way cool kid, and is very enthuesiastic for the work. We get along pretty well. We have also had some crazy days too. So you remember how we recently dropped a bunch of investigators? Yeah, me too. Anyways, Anziano Nelson and I were debating about how we can fix the "famine" that we are heading towards if we keep baptising all of our investigators, and we talked about how we can find more investigators. Then, about 20 minutes later, and EX investigator named Mario gave us a call wanting to start meeting with us again because he wants to change his life. Sweet. That's a miracle. And then he came to church on sunday. So thats another miracle.
 
Then on Sunday, Anziano Nelson and I made a roadtrip from Messina up to good ol' Battipaglia for my Permesso di Soggiorno. It took a good 5 hours traveling. It was so strange being in my first city again. But it literally seemed like everything went perfectly smooth for the viaggio. That's a miracle. And then, the next day, I went to Salerno to get things figured out for my Permesso. They ended up giving it to me with absolutely no problems. And it happened way fast. That's a miracle. Because we finished rather quickly, we decided to catch a train to Napoli to get a pizza and do some shopping. Every single time we needed a train, there was one about 10 minutes after we got the train station so we didnt have to wait at all. That's a miracle. The best miracle for that was the night we were in Napoli. We got a phone call from the Assistents saying that there was going to be a Gas Strike in Italy for the next 3 days, so we needed to go back to Battipaglia right then to buy gas to make it back to Messina. We caught the perfect train that got us back in plenty to time to get everything taken care of. That's a miracle.
 
Then, the next morning, we got everything loaded back up into the car, and we started our trip back to Messina. It took another good 5 hours going back. And, when we made it to the very end of Italia, we were able to get right onto the boat that took us across to Sicilia, no waiting. That's a miracle. And then we finally made it back home at about 4:30 pm yesterday. I started scheduling apointments right away trying to get something for yesterday before our English Course. We managed to get appointments with Enrico and Mario, and things went very well. And then we taught english course. And then I went home, and ordered a pizza. I was exhausted, and it was a well earned pizza haha. I travelled 900 Km in a good 2 days, and I am so glad today was P'day because I feel it is much deserved and needed haha.
 
Anyways, things have been going very well for me, and I will write you next week!
Vi voglio bene!
Anziano Parry



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Questo è Halloween

Halloween + Italia =  Almost lameness haha.
 
It turns out the all-famous holiday that consists of dressing up as various demons, witches, devils, zombies, etc. etc. does not really exist in Italia. People here just tend to use it as an excuse to go out with friends and drink haha. Occasionally you see someone with some kind of holiday spirit, but it really wasnt anything that special. Lame! So, Anziano Botalla and I decided to take the holiday in our own hands, and had a little fun of our own. I ended up losing my head by the end of the night, but I guess I cant complain. A pumpkin is only pumpkin.
 
Guess what!?
Guess what!?
Guess what!?
Guess what!?
 
I went to a professional soccer game on saturday!!!! HAHAHA YESSSS!!! That was another way I celebrated the holidays, kinda. It was a BLAST! And even better,  my favorite italian soccer team was playing, NAPOLI! The game was CATANIA vs. NAPOLI, 29 Ottobre. It was a blast. I ended up working last Pday so that I could go to the game. It was incredible. The fans cheering, players playing, adrenaline pumping..... it was like a slice a heaven haha. As I watched the Pro players, I realised that even in my prime I would never have gotten close to being even considered to play as a Keeper for a professional team haha. I guess it is time to say CIAO to that particular dream haha.  I had to wear a hoodie over my Napoli jersey that I was wearing because all the other missionaries were scared I would get attacked by Catania's fans haha. I didnt believe them, but I wore the hoodie anyways. But I was thinking, if you guys want to try and see if it works, you could go on the Internet, search for the game, and then watch really carefully if it shows the Southern Curve right behind the Goal box. You might be able to see me. I am wearing a Green hoodie. Napoli scored in the first minute of the game right in front of me, so there is a really good chance you could see me I think haha. Try it!
 
Oh, I suppose that you might want to know what happened with Transfers. I had managed to guess exactly what was happening to all the other missionaries in my district and zone, so I had a really good transfer prediction haha. I am................staying in MESSINA!! Yeah! Messina is way tight! I am way excited to be able to stay. But my companion, Anziano Davis, is getting shipped off to Palermo! He will be able to do exchanges in Trapani! I am way excited for him. My new companion is Anziano Nelson (a different Anziano Nelson than the one I had forever ago haha) and I hear he is a pretty cool kid.
 
Yesterday, I did one of the stupidest things in my life. I challanged my new convert, Kushan, who is Sri Lankan, that I could eat something just as spicy as he could. So, you know what he did? He grabbed a TINY little green pepper, and popped it into his mouth. And about 10 seconds later, his face turned red and his eyes started watering. That isnt a good sign if a Sri Lankan cries from spicyness. But I was stuck. So I did the exact same thing. And about 5 seconds later, my face turned red and i literally started to cry haha. Tears were running down my cheeks. And then, all the other missionaries had to do the exact same thing haha. So I am proud to say that I paved the way for a sweet new tradition for the missionaries and this awesome family haha. Kushan's wife, Namalie, just sat there and told me the whole time that she told me not to do it haha. It was worth it.
 
As far as the work goes, it goes well. This last week, we had been looking at our big list of investigators, and we realised that most of them werent progressing, and even couldnt meet us often. So what we did was a gigantic drop for alot of investigators this week haha. And then guess what happened. The majority of the investigators that we had decided to keep decided to give us the boot instead haha. It was kinda like revenge if you look at it in the broad sense of Missionaries vs. Investigators. So now we are going through a slight drought right now of investigators, but that just means that we are gonna work for the "living water" that the Lord is going to give us. It might take a little time, but we will see success. It is like a math equation. And it is like getting paid. Put in the hours, and eventually you will get the paycheck. That is just what I am working for now is the paycheck. We have plenty of new converts to keep us busy teaching, which is good, but not good enough. I need investigators! So, if anyone in America just happens to know someone who lives in MESSINA, ITALIA that they want to give me as a referal so I can go preach the good word to them, just let me know haha.
 
I am going up to Napoli again soon, maybe tonight. "Permission to stay in the Country" problems haha. I'll probably never be rid of them haha.
 
Comunque, grazie mille per tutto ciò che fate!
Vi voglio bene!
Anziano Parry
 



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