Saturday, August 14, 2010


Date: Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 6:30 AM
Subject: Ferie

Dear family,
It is now about halfway through august. This means that in Italy, it's ferie season, or vacation season. Literally, half of the stores around are closed, and a lot of people are out of town. This means that missionary work here is really hard. We do a lot of casa always in this mission, which has been interesting, because my companion is from the rome mission and not used to it. Also, since it's ferie, more than half the doors we knock aren't at home. Therefore, it is REALLY hard to teach. I won't lie. I ate a lot of gelato this week, and one day was just angry. But I'm fine now. Our actual investigators are so good that they make everything better. Especially Candide. Gelato helps too. Ferie also means that a lot of our investigators have skipped town.
This Thursday, we taught a Ivory coast man named Patrizio that we met several weeks ago, and found out his mom died, so he headed to africa the day after we taught him, but still wants to hear more. Since his mom died recently, we taught him the plan of Salvation. That same day, we taught Candide about prophets, and he told us his prayers have been answered. He got a job! but... it's two weeks, full time, at lowish pay, halfway across Italy. So.. this week he's been in a paesino (town/village) outside Bergamo. We've talked to him everyday on the phone for a few minutes though, and he is still super excited to get baptized. Also, I put him in contact with the Anziani in Bergamo. So... we'll see what happens during the next week and a half. He should come back the day he was going to get baptized. We had to postpone his date 2 weeks, but he will get baptized. I'm not worried about him.
On friday, we taught Alessandra, and dropped her, because she is not making progress. Hopefully she'll show up in church some time and we can teach her again. We also taught Sunday the Word of Wisdom, and decided we're going to help him quit smoking quickly in the next week. Pray for his strength. He's tried many times, and needs your prayers. We also got in doing casa for the first time this transfer, and taught a lady named Yosé. I don't know whether we'll ever teach her again, but it made me happy to get in, and convinced my companion it's possible.
Saturday morning, we did service with our elder's quorum, moving a massive pile of wood from a member's yard to his garage. It should last him about a year. That night, we got two bidoni (literally those big trash containers, but in mission slang fallen through appointment), and did a lot of casa. It was a really hard day.
Sunday, Sunday came to church, as well as a member's non-member husband, and an ex-investigator. Sunday is a really solid man. That night, we taught our friend Yusuf, who is muslim and told us he's going on vacation for the next month. We then got 3 bidoni, and did more casa, getting in twice, but no return appointments. I was in a very bad mood that night. Then we called Candide, and everything was better. literally, I was super happy after I talked to him. He told me he's not reading as much as he was, because he's working, and I told him it's not important how much we read, just that we do it every day. he then told me that he's not thinking I have to read 5 chapters today, it's just that the Book of Mormon is so interesting that he'll read and want to keep going. Hearing that made all of the problems of the day just go away.
Monday, we had district meeting, and I went on scambio (exchange) with Anziano Brawdy in Biella. We did some casa, and then taught their baptismal date, Patience, then went to a family for an FHE and dinner appointment, to which patience also came. So... we taught her twice. it was fun. I had a lot of fun getting to know Anziano Brawdy (pronounced bro-dee) and being in Biella. Given that I've now done three scambi there, I almost know the city as well as him and his companion, who got whitewashed in. The next morning, we went to the mensa (cafeteria) for poor people, and did service there. We then riscambioed.
It's now tuesday. We came back to Vercelli, and gave a blessing to the member with a non-member husband, Sorella accardo. That was interesting. Apparently, her husband wants to take the lessons come september, and promised to take her to the Temple. I'm very excited to teach him. After that, we did something we couldn't do under President Dunaway, a member scambio. I went with our ward mission leader, Matteo Simoncini, and did finding work and got 2 bidoni, while Anziano Jones went with Andrea Fontanella, a member about to go on a mission in a little over a month. It was really weird to do two scambi in two days, and see Anziano Jones very little for that long. (maybe he was sick of me? scherzo! (joke)).
This morning, we taught Roberto, our theologist friend, for two hours. It was long... but really good. we read most of 2 Nephi 9 with him, and then it just led into the third lesson, and other things. I explained to him our concept of marriage at one point, and he was super d'accordo (ok with the idea? not sure how to translate that.) He loved the idea of eternal marriage. He got super curious, and I reassured him we'd talk more in the future. our member, Massimo Simoncini, who teaches with us, gave him A Marvelous Work and a Wonder. It should be interesting to see how he responds to it. I really like Roberto. He knows too much, but understood that the concept of baptism by aspersion is false when we read in 2 Nephi 9 where it talks about baptism. I didn't give him a baptismal invite, but thought about it. I think if we approach teaching him right, he will, one day. Possibly within a few months. We'll see. It was a cool lesson.
I love you all, and kindly ask that you pray that our finding work will be a little more successful this week. It was really hard this week. and ferie just started. It doesn't end till school starts in september.
Vi Amo!
Anziano Benjamin Jolley

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