Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 29, 2012

Cara Famigila

Okay Transfer week... So, Anz. Zanni Is dying. Along with my best Bro Anz. Bona... If you remember Anz. Bolnick and Anz. Rich, Anz. Dunshee. All dying this transfer... The mission is changing dramatically.. Older guys leaving and I'm just getting older and older. It's a weird
feeling... So for this next transfer I will stay in Mantova, not much of a shock there. I will be getting an Anz. Owens. He's actually just one below me in transfers. So I knew him in the MTC... He seems pretty cool. All and all I'm excited to work with him. I'll also be District Leader this transfer. The ZLs are changing too. The District is in 8. Anz. Webb will be training and then there are the ZLs and the Sisters... Bigger district.

So I did some fun things this last week... Anz. Zanni has been a lil Trunky... I can't blame him. I would/will be trunky as well this close to going home. We went and saw the Ferrari Factory last week for P-day... It was really cool to see. Beautiful. It's in a city called Maranello... Just outside of Modena. And then right now, I'm actually in Milano. Spending Zanni's last P-day here... We took a tour of the Stadium of Inter F.C. and AC Milan. That was really cool. I sat in the seat of Robihno in the AC Milan locker room... I've had some ridiculously good Gelato here in Milan and tonight we are going to go to the Duomo...

Awesome to hear about Bronson and his mission... You're right, You're never "really" ready for a mission. The mission is just about taking the curve balls that come and moving forward. Keep learning, keep growing. Bronson will do great.

Our work is going good right now for the most part... We've found some new people who seem interested in talking with us. That's the first step... We've found some new areas that we want to start doing finding work in. We've been asking members to help choose the areas for finding work. I'm expecting to see some great miracles this next transfer...

I'm really glad for this last transfer, It was  a nice charge of batteries.. I learned a ton from Zanni. I learned a ton of Italian, and a ton of really fun and spiritual game/activities that Zanni does
with the members. The transfer was helpful. Like I said, I was learning all the time... But I am ready for another comp... Can only take so much Argentina pride Hah hah.

Well love you Fam, take care, and I'll talk to you soon.

Anz. Mendel

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February 22, 2012

Hello Family,

So.... This week has been good, the cold weather seems to have passed. It's only kinda cold now instead of unbearable. So thats good news... Glad to hear about your week, the climbing gym with the boys sounds really fun. Do you remember my friend Jared? He was a rock climber... He could climb up a rock wall without using his feet. Just his grip. Crazy huh. Tell Davis to work towards that... Hey that's a cool sport to get in to. To be successful you gotta be strong. I'm all for the boys to start doing that.

This week, has been good. We've had a lot of issues to take care of still, like our bikes are still broken and every time we take the time to get them fixed something goes wrong and we're not able to. I had a scambio with an Anziano from my group this week, Anz. R******. He's really bravo. We got in doing knocking doors with the lil time we had to do some finding work. It was an older man, seemed nice... Shortly thereafter we learned that his wife had died 3 months before and he was really having some tough times... He was older though... 75 or so. But still. Tough. He was having a tough time controling his emotions while he was talking to us, but we used the opportunity to bear testimony of the Plan of Salvation. This man was atheist, didn't believe in anything. And no matter what we said he wouldn't take it. We talked about Eternal marriage, and life after death... He just wasn't in a state to listen, he actually ended up kicking us out of his house-it was just too sensitive of a subject for him. And why shouldn't it be? I would be the same way if I didn't believe in anything and my wife died. We are so lucky to have the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, to offer hope and support in moments such as these. I felt truly bad for this man we met who had nothing left in life, and nothing to look forward to. Terrible way to live. I wish he would have been more open to talk with us. Who knows maybe the next time missionaries pass by he will remember and will be in a better emotional state to accept the message...

We also made some good progress with the part member family we have been working with. This monday for family home evening with the family the father, C******, the one not baptized, wasn't home, he was in Rome for work. So we talked to the family about what they and what we can do as missionaries to help him get baptized. We talked to the family mostly about just being a good example for the father. Doing the little things and doing them happily... Reading, Praying as a family and coming to church every week. I think the family is really
the crucial part of C******* getting baptized. He needs to see his family doing these many lil things that the church asks of us and then see them reaping the blessings and he will want to be baptized. Hopefully the message sunk in.

Still tough to find solid investigators, we set up appointments with people, arrive for the appointment and then no one's there. Happens all the time. We call the Bidone, Which means, Dumpster.

I'm doing fine. It has been tough killing my comp. Trunkiness and all that other stuff. But I'll survive. I dont know if I ever told you but this transfer is a short transfer. 5 weeks not 6. So transfers are next week. I'm really just excited for next transfer... This transfer even though it has been a week shorter has felt super long.

Love you all. Have a great week.

Anz. Mendel

Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Thank you for the Valentine's day wishes! It really didn't even hit me that it was valentines day and other then Mother I definately don't have a Valentine this year. Peccato! O well. No Biggie... I would imagine that it's better this way.

So yeah... The cold weather has been very discouraging these last 2 weeks. Don't worry, the windburn on my face is healed now and yes I have learned from my mistakes and I use a scarff to cover my face when I ride.... I don't need anything, honestly I'm fine! I had access to Zone mail yesterday and unfortunatly your package has not yet arrived...Sadly... But that's okay... hopefully it hasn't been lost. That would be a real shame.

This week, or even this transfer has just been full of unexpected obstacles and variables... From the cold, to the going back and forth from hospital to hospital for Anz. Zanni's foot  to my wind burn to the bikes breaking down every other day... It's been difficult to just buckle down and go to work. We've found some cool people these days... It's just been impossible to set up a consistent schedule with anyone. Everyone is so busy, so preoccupied..

I feel like we are making good head-way with a part member family we are working with who are actually new converts. The husband is the one not baptised. We have identified his problems right down to the Book of Mormon. His 12 year old son, P***** has been reading with him this week and I think this is helping both of them strengthen their testimonies in the Book of Mormon and stregthening their relationship as a father and son.

Now, I'm out of time, I will send this now and later today I will finish writing more. Love you!

I'm glad to hear you've been working out and eating good. I'm doing the first part... the 2nd part maybe not as well. I do push ups and pull ups almost every night... 3 months ago, I started doing pull ups. I inherited a portable pull up bar from a missionary. 3 months ago I could do 3 pull ups without stopping... Now, I can do 10! Making good progress... My arms, chest shoulders and back are bigger and stronger than ever... However, my belly is a bit bigger than it was when I left. Dont think I'll lose it either... not in Italy that is. When I get back and start playing sports again it will be gone.

Well... Don't know what else to say... I have no idea what to suggest for the youth conference... The only thing that comes to mind is Eternal Marriage? Ha, ha. I dont know... You'll know whats right... Love you mom!

Anz. Mendel

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hump Day - February 2, 2012

Dear Family,

Thank you all for the happy Hump day wishes. It really is a major milestone in my mission and for that matter my life. I am so happy to be serving a mission right now in my life and can't think of a better way that I could be spending my time. Thanks so much for your weekly emails and your support and prayers. Thanks for everything. I'm so fortunate to have such a supportive family.

This first week with my new companion has been great. I can't even tell you how bravo my new compion is Anz. Z++++++. I don't know if you've already facebook stalked the crap out of him but I'll give you a few details. He is from Argentina, San Juan, near the border of Chile. Born in the church. He's 21, In transfer 16, He started his mission in Genova, Then La Spezia, Rimini, He was zone leader in Venezia/Mestre and then came to die with me in Mantova. It has been an awesome experience to be able to speak 100% Italian with him all the time. He speaks perfect English but prefers to speak Italian, I think, because he wants to help all his companions improve. There is always room to improve. I've learned a lot since I've been with him already and I'm excited to see where my Italian goes by the end of the transfer.

The work in Mantova in terms of our investigators is still on the low side. We are still searching and trying to transform our numerous contacts into investigators but its been hard with the holiday season and the new year commotion. Anz. Z****** has a lot of great ideas and is very experienced so I think we will be able to turn our current situation around. We met a really cool 18 year old kid the other day on the street. He's Italian and seemed really interested in what we had to say. It's not every day here in Italy that you find a kid of his age
who wants to talk to us missionaries or even believes in God for that matter. He reminds me of N**** back in Ferrara. We are also working with the Father of one of our new converts in the branch. C********, he was baptized a month before I got to Mantova, he's Brazilian. His
Father is somewhat open to speaking to us and wants to know what his son is involved in. We just have to find the time to meet him. These days the finiancial Crisis in Italy is growing more and more evident in the lives of our members as well as in the lives of the people we
meet. It's really hard times for a lot of people here.

Thanks for the update on all the kids. Tell the boys I'm proud of them for doing so well in School and that I miss them a ton. Is Justin frustrated that he's not growing yet? Davis towering over him now?

Woke up this morning to a pleasant surprise. Snowing in Mantova! It was fun to see for about 2 seconds... Then I got on my bike and started riding and the excitment of the snow turned to something else.... It's been really cold. And my body is starting to feel it. I've been more tired in these last few days then I think I've ever been. Hopefully soon it will warm up a tad bit. Having a car would be so nice, to answer your question many members live outside the city in fact most of our few members do, So its lots of time on bikes in the cold.

To answer mom's question, The lessons and sacrament talks are somewhat easier in this branch, and also the Ferrara branch. We are more like a family than anything else, the members and the missionaries. We rely on eachother. I Love the last 2 cities for this reason. Ferrara and Mantova are family branches. And it's fortunate that I've gotten to serve in 2 because there are a lot of big wards in Northern Italy. So back to the question. I get up to give a talk and I see about 15 people in the room and about 6 faces looking back at me and I love
these people and know they love me so it makes it very easy. Then I just go. And before you know it I've passed my time and have to sit down. Its been a great experience serving here.

Yes I still hear from a few friends.... I write Landon every week, and I hear from Miranda and Ashley somewhat frequently. People have forgotten about me but that's okay.

You haven't said anything about Josh? He's in the MTC now... Last week I found his blog somehow because it wasn't linked to mine. Are you writing him? Maybe you can send him a lil package before you leave tomorrow? 

Love you all. Safe travels mom.

Anz. Mendel