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

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