Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 19, 2011

Part of the region known as Cinque Terre

Hey Mom thanks for your letter. I really dont have a lotta time today cause I'm on a scambi with A. Bartholemew and we are with some other misisonaries in La Spezia, we are leaving soon to go and visit Cinque Terre. (google it) its gonna be awesome. La Spezia is such a beautiful city! oh my gosh way prettier than Pisa but we still have the tower which is about it. So yeah mission rules changed about 6 weeks ago and I can only email my family. Do you know anything about Landons email rules? Can you find out Brayden's current address in italy? I cant remember my address right now. Sorry and I'm not with Schultz so I have no way to get it. I dont know about his homecoming......... that's kinda wierd dont you think? and like I said I'm not with him now so all that information you wanted about him I dont have access to. I'll write it in a letter to you and send it all home that way you can have my Pisa address. Mother's day is handled kinda like this to MY understanding. I will be calling you prob about 5 or 6 pm local time which is 8 hours ahead so like 9 or 10 your time in Utah, And we can talk then, we use the phone in the church. How many minutes do I have on my card? Is there a way for you to know that? I'll prob call the home phone right? Don't have a car, there is no metro in pisa and our bikes are terrible so we only use those like twice a week, other than that we walk everywhere we go. I went through my letters at the MTC and honestly threw out a lot of them. But I kept a bunch and have those here with me. Next week I'll try to send some pictures home but I'm not totally sure how that works, but i should be in pisa next week so yeah. My comp is district leader so he has to go on scambi with everyone in our district during this transfer which means I go on scambi with everyone in the district also, its cool being with other missionaries and stuff but im already used to pisa, my apartment and the people there. so Its just really different. Last night I slept on a gnarly bed in Livorno, and then being in another comp's apartment where nothing is mine especially the food is kinda lame. I feel like a lil child when I'm doing that. just mooching off stuff.
Sorry I cant respond that much, I'm getting kicked off the computer. love you all so much I will send a letter home today with more.

From Pisa

Pisa, Italy

Hello Family, 

The ride over here was good. Took a long time. 18 hours of actual travel time to get to Pisa not to mention all the layovers we had and waiting for trains. So I've been trying to overcome the jetlag this week. The physical and physcological exhertion of getting here as well as being here is crazy.  I never thought it was possible to be as tired as I am. But the work goes on.
So you heard about my companion. He is awesome just like president said.  I dont know if president told you this but I'm killing my companion. Yep my trainer Anziano Schultz dies at the end of this transfer. He turned 21 yesterday. So he has lots of experience and is amazing at the language. Unlike me of course. I didn't know how bad I truly am at Italian. I thought I knew so much! Yikes. I can't understand anyone. It's awful-so discouraging. So I kinda just sit there. Like last night for example, sitting in branch counsel with 5 Italian priesthood leaders, my comp and me for an hour and half. I try so hard to listen and understand but its not coming, So hard here. But I get along great with A. Schultz. He is a real good missionary especially for being in his 16th transfer. Apparently a lot of misisonaries just give up near the end but not him.  Our branch is pretty good. Despite a lot of difficulties in Pisa missionary work in the past, the members are really strong. We had prob 40 or 50 people at church last Sunday.
My apartment is pretty nice. Really old but very spacious for just the 2 of us. The bathroom is bad but thats okay. But everything else is good. We even have a stereo system  with big speakers. The food here has been really good. Or the pizza we have gotten at restaurants is good and we had lunch at a part member family after church on sunday, the food just kept coming, first a huge plate of pasta, then pork roast, then the salad and bread with oil then cake then fruit. The fresh squeezed blood orange juice is so good. The milk is really wierd. They don't refrigerate it. Just sits out and doesn't go bad somehow.
Missionary work is going good but really discouraging at times, especially when you don't speak the language real well. Casa in Casa especially, door after door closed. no mi interessà! is what I get, We have a couple of investigators who seem to be doing good and interested in progressing, i just dont know what will happen. We taught a guy from Senegal the other day, big guy. Wants to convert to christianity. His name, Fall fallou. cool huh. We also have an investigator, Nicla she is really nice. She doesn't laugh at my italian like everybody else. This first week we've taught a lot of new-converts and less active members. So we work with the members a lot too. Our ward mission leader is awesome, he sets appointments up for us all the time.
Pisa is nice, the tower is the only real beautiful thing about Pisa other than that its kinda ghetto. We went with a member on some referrals out to Lucca, a city just outside Pisa, in the beautiful rolling hills and farmland of Tuscany. O my gosh, Tuscany at its best, just like you would imagine. So gorgious out there. Orchards and old style houses. That's my misison field. We have already been to Firenze (Florence) too. We went for zone interviews on Monday so I've already seen so much here already. The APs were there too. Its nice knowing Creed, the APs are like the law aroud here besides president of course. They're really corny and excited all the time.
Alrighty, I dont know what else to say. I love you all so much and miss you. talk to you later.
Anziano Mendel 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Eagle has Landed

Arriving in Milano, April 6, 2011
Just so everyone knows Elder Mendel made it safely to Italy! His first area will be in Pisa, Italy in the Florence District. We couldn't be more excited for him!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week 8

Hey Mom and Family,

 well i guess ill start by Answering all your questions I hope I get them all.  Yes I will take a lot of pictures as we are leaving and such. And I will try to put them online on MobileMe when I can I just dont know yet. I have some pictures that im gonna send home soon. I havent packed my bag yet, I still and always worried about getting it down to 50lbs, I dont know when I would ever have the time to pack my bag and unpack it again only to pack it up again when I leave. This last week is so busy with things that I have to do before I leave! Im really stressed about it! I hope I know enough of the language. I know every grammer principle and tense and lots of verbs but when I go into give lessons in ITalian I only use like 6 verbs and a couple tenses. Its so frustrating. I can say pretty much whatever I wanna say in Italian now so thats cool but I still really have so much to learn.  

 Well im getting to know a lot of people from the new Anziani, So yeah. Theres some others that ive gotten close to. Really I just miss my samoans. All the new Italians are doing good. italians Are definatly the strongest group of missionaries at the MTC, I am so sick of hearing spanish and portuguese all the time. I thought Portuguese was a pretty language. Oh how wrong I was. Ugliest tthing ive ever heard. way worse than spanish. 

Thats awesome your playing ball! im sure youre a baller. Ball here is really intense, Great players. I dunk it every once and awhile and have elders awe at me. Prob not the best thing i should do. But you know. I just love being big, Ive stayed the same weight here pretty much. like 200-205lbs. So sad to think that i went to the temple 1 hour ago and wont be able to return for 2 years. We are definatly gonna go once a week when i get back, probably more.

Oh I am so excited for Conference! ive been excited for some time now! how awesome is it. I get to hear from all 15 prophets and revelators 1 day before I go to italy, Thats more than coincidence.

Well I cant wait to be in Italy! I love you all and will be able to call you on tuesday at the airport. Cant wait.

I dont think I need anything else.  Thanks for getting me PMG laminated! does it look sicK? I love those pictures.

Did justin Love going to the jazz game. Hearing about those kids drives me crazy. If I woulda been there I woulda gone crazy.

Cant wait to see you agian. love you all

I have to report to the Travel office at the MTC at 4:00am on Tuesday next week! Yep so next Tuesday ill be headed off to Italy and I am so ready to leave. 

Anziano Mendel

Vi Voglio bene