Chickens and Chinese

This last week has been CRAZY!!! Boy, let me tell ya. We have been dragged all over Sicilia at least once, started a religious war, gone into Mafia territory, and found some one that didnt want to be found.
 
On this monday, we had DDM, and we went to Mistretta. It is a way far way. In fact, it is closer to my last city Messina than it is to Palermo. We had a good meeting there, and we had a good training given by my companion. He read us a story called the Amazing Blondin (I suggest you look it up on the internet, it was quite good) and then we took a district photo together. Afterwards, I was feeling the desire to have chicken that day, so we went and bought some chicken. Then, later that night, we had meeting with our Vescovo. In fact, it was an FHE that we had with him and his family (his wife is chinese) at his house. My companion was telling me that it was the first that that they have had an FHE with the missionaries in a really long time. My companion has been here for 5 transfers, and this was the first time that my companion had an FHE with the Vescovo also. It was alot of fun, and it was very respectable also. We had a dinner, which turned out to be chicken (It must have been the spirit telling me that I wanted chicken because I really got chicken that day) and then he asked us for a spiritual thought, and then he took us home. But it was very productive I feel for Vescovo-Missionari relations because we talked to him and asked him how we could make him sleep easier at night as a Vescovo along with doing our missionary work. He asked us to make 3 things our priorities as far as the ward goes. 1) The youth of the ward. There are several people preparing for missions, and he feels a missionary presence will help alot with that. 2) The Young Single Adults. We have alot of them, an they need some help too. 3) Families with financial/ any other problems. He just wants us to be his eyes and ears because he knows that members tend to open up to missionaries more. And he invited us to come to ward council once a month. I feel that this is a good way to really start working well with my ward here.
 
On Sunday, I was sitting with my elbows on my knees and my face in my hands at the bus stop when, all of a sudden, a giant grasshopper whacks into me and freaked my out alot. I think I yelled in public haha. Later than night, we were doing Mostra again at Piazza Politeama, we were having a fun time, but then the evangelists came up and set up their Mostra on the other side of the street. It was crazy. I could literally hear one of them soapboxing, yelling "You! Have you been saved? And how many of you have been saved?" And then the daughter of the crazy evangelist lady from two weeks ago comes up to us and tries to bash us again. We sent her packing too haha. But now I fear we have started a war.... It might get bloody, who knows haha.
 
We had a cool miracle yesterday. We were trying to go around and find a bunch of less active members, and we ended up knocking into a new convert who hadnt told us where he was living because he didnt want us to come visit him because he didnt know if it would be okay with the people he was living with. It ended up being okay too, so it all worked out. But we were just thinking that in the entire half of the city where we work, we just happened to knock into one of the people we were wanting to find haha.
 
Anyways, I will write more next week! Grazie per tutto! Vi voglio bene,
Anziano Parry



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Potatoes+Pasta=Goodness

Some very cool things happened this week.
 
One of the cool things that we ended up doing this week was helping someone move. On Saturday, we went and helped this less-active member lady named Emanuela Velardi move to an area of the city called Monreale. It took all morning. And let me tell ya, it is really tiring carrying heavy things down 4 flights of stairs. And then, later that night, we had to pull a mini exchange with another Anziano si chiama Knutson. We had a way cool, fun exchange all together. Later that night, we went and had one of the coolest things that happened this week. In fact, I think it maybe the coolest thing. It has to do with my investigator named Gino. I dont know if you remember or not, but he has had a recent conversion. And this week he went from never wanting to come to church with us to wanting to come to church, actually coming to chruch, and loving church. On Saturday, we gave him a tour of the Chapel. He walked around, asked some really good questions about things, and we gave him a pretty comprehensive tour of the entire building. We showed him the baptismal font from actually inside the font itself, and taught about baptism, and explained what we do in church every Sunday. As we were getting ready to leave, he stops us and asks us about a certain painting on the wall. It is the one of Christ visiting the Americas. We explain what was happening in the immage, and he then tells us that when he was living in Mexico along time ago, he remembers a man telling him a legend once about a man all dressed in white with a beard visiting the ancient people. I thought that was really cool that he put 2 and 2 together like that. We invited him to church the next day, and he came. And he said he loved it.
 
I had a way cool lunch with a bunch of africans named Eric and Vida. We ate Fufu. It is like a lump of raw dough that you break off with some soup and swallow whole. And it was actually way good. They had put bits of goat stomach inside the soup, which was actually not too bad.
 
I saw some members from Trapani in Palermo this last week. It was way good to see them again.
 
Anyways, my time has run out. I will talk with you next week!
Vi voglio bene,
Anziano Parry



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Il Giorno di San Valentino

This last week has been one full of incredible things. I almost dont even know where to start. I guess the best place to start is always somewhere.
 
Last Wednesday night, I got a call from my fellow Zone Leader saying that he was on his way to Palermo with him and his companion, and that they had gotten a flat tire. They were coming here because Thursday morning we were flying to Rome for Zone Leader Council. The problem was that they had anti-theft lug nuts on the tires so they couldnt get the tire off. In the end, they had to call a tow truck, and they didt arrive in Palermo till 1:00. I stayed up incase they needed to get ahold of someone, so I didnt get to bed till 1:30 and then I woke up at 6:00. Then, running on 4 1/2 hours of sleep, we got on a plane and flew to Rome where we had a way good ZL council, but unfortunately it also went a little late so I got to bet late also. The next morning, I woke up at 5:30, where the other ZL and I flew back to Palermo. I was exhausted for the next couple of days lol. I am really bad at running on low fuel now.
 
On Churchday, the 4 missionaries here in Palermo (myself included) all decided to go do Mostra. I dont know what it is called in english, but it is where you go to a place with a lot of people and set up a table with stuff to give away and posters. A couple of members came to help us out, and we spent the next 2 1/2 hours talking to people. It was incredible. It was probably the most successful night of doing finding work I have had in my mission. We got a bunch of numbers from people, met a cool 14 year old kid who wants to go up to be an exorcist because he wants to, and I quote, "take Satan down". While I was out talking to people, an evangelist lady and come up and was bashing with my companion and another missionary calling us false and our doctrine all false and everything, and she even brought up the temples. At this point, she started talking about stuff she shouldn't of have been talking about (she apparently knows how to use google and do a little digging) so my companion came up and asked me to send her way. I mustered up all the righteous wrath that I could (you guys know me, I'm basically harmeless ;D) and I sent her packing. Take that! We ended up getting about 10 numbers and names for our 2 1/2 hours of effort. Lets you know how Italia is, especially because that is the best I have ever seen.
 
This are going really interesting here in Palermo. We are still working really hard, and we have been seeing alot of really cool miracles here. The latest miracle is probably the most incredible one.
 
We have an investigator named Gino Briseno. He is from the U.S.A, and is here because he is filthy rich and wants to learn Italian and write a book about the Mafia. He didnt really believe in God. When he thought about God, he thought of a Being/Energy in a different reality, and that we are just probes attached to it so it can gather information about this world. I had my first lesson with him a week ago, in which he had basically reached rock bottom in the fact that he told us that he didnt really even know if he believed in God, and that certainly God doesnt love him. I had pin pointed him out as being a scientific man, so I challenged him to an experiment where every day for a week he would read the Book of Mormon and then pray in some way. We left him a model of how to pray, and then we left also.
 
A week later, we get a call from him asking us to come visit him (which has never happened before) so we quickly set up an appointment and went to go visit him. The difference was night to day. We had a member named Salvo with us, and he speaks english, so we decided to bring him along for the ride. As usual, when we arrive, Gino talked a lot. He is very lonely because he doesnt speak italian yet, and he doesnt have really any friends but us and some other people he had met. He talked about everything, and him and Salvo got acquainted. When we got the lesson started in the end, he told us he had been doing the experiment, and that he had been getting some results. At this point he handed us a paper and told us to read it. My companion started reading it outloud. It had a really interesting story written on it. It concludes like this:
 
"I will open the door for you. You can come in if you want."
The breeze flew in.
Now I'm not alone. Thank God!
 
The way he had described it, he praying one night (which is something he had NEVER done before in his life) and all of a sudden all these crazy feelings that he had never felt before came and hit him. Something pushed him to go and write what he did. He then told us that where before he had viewed God as an energy, now he views him a friend.
 
Salvo, the member with us, had gotten slightly emotional, and then said that that experience was almost exactly like the one he had had 30 years ago in the era of his own baptism. It was perfect that he was there with us.
 
It was incredible. I realise that I am probably going to finish my mission here in Palermo, and one of my biggest desires is to go home seeing miracles. I am going to expect them, especially after what happened with Gino.
 
Grazie per tutto! Siete il mio sostegno.
Vi voglio bene,
Anziano Parry



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Palermitano cioè someone from Palermo

Heya Everybody! Anziano Parry here, and I just want to say that things are looking up here in Palermo 2. A couple of interesting things happened this week, especially concerning us and at least one member. I don't know what it was like in the past, but apparently there were maybe some missionaries here a while ago that would just go to the church just to be there, and then leave without doing anything. Anyways, there was this member named Antonio here. He is a GANS (its the italian version of Young Single Adults), and on Sunday morning on our way to church he and Anziano Embree got into a really heated argument. He was just accusing us of not doing anything, being lazy, going to church just to play ping-pong, etc etc, about a bunch of stuff that isnt and wasn't true, and everyones blood started boiling. He ended up shoving Embree, but nothing more than that happened. We got to church, and we talked to the Bishop about it, and apparently this member is a little special in the sense that he feels jealous very easily about the missionaries, and he told us that if he ever punches us, then to punch him back (which we probably wont do haha). It was a crazy situation, but we got it all calmed down.
 
As far as the work goes, it is pretty slow right now. We are going to be focusing our efforts alot on doing finding and trying to get new investigators because as of right now our investingators are a bunch of scrubs. If they dont start making progress then they probably wont be on our list to visit for very much longer. We have been also going through the member book, and we are going to start doing a less-active push too. It is time to get the work going again here.
 
I have been studying in the bible, and the Book of Mormon. In the bible, I am in the part of the new testament that you can finish basically a book a day. In fact, today I read 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. And in the Book of Mormon, and I reading in Alma. Yesterday, I read Alma 40.
 
We had a huge miracle this week. On last monday, we had lesson with a member family, and  we asked them to pray about an area in the city where we could go to do finding work. Then, on this Saturday, we gave the Dad of the family a call saying that we were going to the area to do finding and we wanted to know where to go. He said that he would pick us up and take us there. So he picked us up, and he started telling us about how his family had recieved very specific answers to their prayers. The wife felt that we needed to go to this Piazza, find the Pretura (a government building), and go behind it. The dad dreamt a street lined with trees, and the #69 with the name Bologna. So we go to this area, and we start doing street and house till we arrive at this house with the #69 named Bologna. We were amazed. No one was home, so we decided to say a prayer. Afterwards, the Dad said he felt we needed to stop a woman. I felt we should talk about the plan of salvation, and Anziano Embree felt it was going to be on that road. Two seconds later a lady walked by, and we stopped her and talked to her about the Plan of Salvation, right infront of #69. It was crazy. Later, we go to this member's house, and we start talking with the daughter. She tells us that she had dreamt a lady with blonde, long, straight hair. It matched perfectly the lady we stopped and contacted. It was a miracle.
 
I just want to let you know that last night I ate my 107th pizza since being coming to Italia. That is definately one thing that I am going to miss in 4 months. Pizza.... it is hands down my favorite food in Italia. And Lasagna.
 
Anyways, Vi voglio bene, and to be continued next week on missionary email channel.
Anziano Parry



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Spleen anyone?

Heya Tutti! Come state? Bene? Spero che stiate bene, ma a volte è difficile stare bene, quindi capisco se non lo siete. Ma, in questo momento, sto bene:D
 
So guess what? Here in Palermo, which is a città fantastica, there is a food here that is famous. Everyone here talks about a sandwich called Pane ca'meusa, which is dialect for Panino con Milza. Which is, in english, a spleen sandwich. So, of course, I had to try to it. My first day here, I got one, and it was pretty good. And then today we went and got another one from a place called Nino Ballerino, which is supposedly the best place in the city to get one. A member took us there (us meaning all four missionaries here in Palermo), and we ate together. It was pretty darn incredible. By the way, the one making the face is my companion haha. He is a stud. We have alot of fun together. The one on the right of my companion is Anziano Davis, one of my ex-companions, and the other one is Anziano Knutson. The member on the far left is named Salvo Minà. He is way cool.
 
Since being here, I have felt alot better about alot of things. I think I was just really ready for a change. So I have been getting myself back into a good groove, and it is amazing how much better you feel in a good groove.
 
The work here in Palermo is doing pretty good. We have alot of potential for alot of good growth, so we are going to be pushing really hard in that direction. I hope to be really able to make a change in this city. We had one lady show up like she fell out of the sky on Sunday. She is the wife of an investigator that we have had here for the last little while, at least thats what my companion was telling me. And, on Sunday, she just showed up in church, unexpectedly. That was really cool.
 
On Monday, we went to Mistretta (a nearby city) to do DDM (District Development Meeting). And while I was there, I realised that the other 3 members of the district, if we add all their trasfers together, have only 1 more transfer than I do. I guess you know you are old in the mission when things like that start happening. I am in my 14th transfer now, out of 16.
 
And I had an epiphany about my future. But it just ended up confusing me even more. But I guess that shouldnt bother me. All I need to do now is worry about getting people to feel the spirit and to decide to investigate, come to church, and in the end be baptised. Which isnt nearly as easy as you think it would be. But man can it be alot of fun. I love it with all my heart.
 
Anyways, grazie for everything that you guys do for me! You are the best!
Vi voglio bene!
Anziano Parry



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