Thursday, April 19, 2012

April 18, 2012

Wow you were right, Josh looks like a midget next to his comp. He must be huge. That is so funny that he ran into Anz. Hardy's mom. Small world indeed. I hope Josh is doing good and that he will be able to make his way to Mexico soon as possible... I'm sure it must be tough to have a reasignment like that. If he ends up having to stay in Las Vegas, when I get home I will definitely be making a lil road trip with Landon down to see him!

So transfer news, as expected I will be staying here doing my 4th in Mantova with Anz. Owens. I'm really excited to stay. I love Mantova and really wasn't up for another change. Having to move all my stuff is just a nightmare. And then getting a new comp is always interesting. It makes time go so slow when you are in those first few weeks and still trying to get to know each other. Other transfer news, my French friend is being transfered to my baby Ferrara. So that is really cool. Oh and remember Anz. P***** from Bologna? He is coming to Verona to be a ZL again. So he will be in my District! I'm super excited about this. Anz. P***** is the best missionary I've ever worked with. Just an amazing guy.

This week has been just really normal. The Branch here is trying to plan an open house in the church to try and encourage people to learn about the church. We will be making posters and flyers to display principles of the church and stuff like that. Just that the branch here
is really small and no one knows what they are doing. So the Branch President pretty much threw the entire thing on my shoulders to plan. We had a 3 hour meeting on sunday with all the leaders of the church to try and plan this thing. Mamma mia some of the suggestions for the activity were just crazy. I would imagine you get this sometime in your calling...  Yeah. So I'm trying to put all this together. We have a youth activity tonight where we will start making some progress on the whole thing. Hopefully the whole thing will work out.

This week with *******, we made some headway... my comp used the excuse of being new and not knowing his whole story to blunty ask him why he isn't baptized. He told us that he agrees with lots of the doctrine of the church and believes it's a great place but doesn't believe in the word of wisdom and for that he doesn't want to get baptized. Not even like he has an addiction to any of it. He just likes to drink wine and then get a coffee with his friends once and awhile. This sort of problem is tricky to get around. Because you can't just teach word of wisdom to get around a word of wisdom problem. It's more a matter of Faith. For me most of it comes down to a testimony in the Book of Mormon which he doesn't have. Mostly because he won't commit himself to read it. Any suggestions?

Z***** is good. Making baby steps towards baptism. He is just really confused and has super weird ideas about things. Every lesson I need to get bolder and bolder with him. He goes off on crazy huge tangents and it's hard to get back on course. It will be a long process for him
to be baptized but doesn't mean it's not possible. We just need to find some new people to teach. The Mantovani (locals) are really hard headed. Every so often we meet an amazing italian who lets us in, listens and interacts with us then at the end says. "Tengo la mia" direct translation mean "I keep mine" just means really that they wont change and will always be a catholic. And why not right? Being Catholic is just too easy for these people. Why change to a "harder" religion.... (sarcasm)

Well Love you All! Good luck with the busy work schedule dad! Thanks for everything you do!

Anz. Mendel

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 9, 2012

Dear Family, 
Well this week has been good, pretty basic, nothing out of the ordinary has happened like last week. Thanks for your emails this week and sorry again about the last minute notice. Remember I told you we have Zone Conference in Verona this P-day. As for transfers they aren't til next week. This last transfer was a 7 week transfer beacuse the previous was only 5 weeks. I'm expecting to stay in Mantova for another. It makes sense. I'm not ready to leave and I definitely don't want another companion. Anz. Owens is way too cool to only do 1 with him. And yes your right, if I stay in Mantova it's for sure I will be able to use skype for Mother's Day. 

For Easter, Church was kind of a disaster. The branch was just super unorganized this week for some reason. There weren't a lot of people there. I saw how unorganized they were so I walked up and told the branch president that if he needed me to give a talk, I'm always available. So of course, he called on me to speak... It's not hard to give talks here. With less than 20 people in the room only 4 of them are even listening at one given time. Plus the fact that we are more like a family. 

After church we spent the whole day with the members. Normal meal. In fact. I thought I would bring a lil American tradition into the meal so I made Deviled eggs. They turned out great for never making them before. It was a fun process making them with the members. My comp also made some Bannana bread. It was a really good day. We watched the movie on on the resurection of Christ. The bible videos. Seen it? 

Our investigator who was stabbed, Z****, is doing good. Still recovering though. We are working now really just trying to help him gain a testimony in Jesus Christ. Coming from a muslim background it's the most important thing right now. I don't think I have ever taught someone like him before. Its a new experience. Just teaching someone the basics of Christianity. But he's making progress. I think he will be baptised. 

There was a huge thunder storm in Mantova this last week. Lightning above our heads and everything. So we found refuge in the house of a member in the city to escape the storm. We got to the member's house soaked and cold. About 20 min after we arrived the rain stopped and the sun came out. It was about 7:15. Cold and wet I was content to just stay inside and teach the member family which is actually part non member, the father isn't baptised, we're working with him. But anyways. My comp then suggested we go out while there still was a little sun and do some inviti and parco next to the member's house and then return later. So we did. And we found an amazing new investigator named M***** from Calabria. He almost begged us to see us again and was really interested in Jospeh Smith and the First Vision when we presented it to him. It would have been easy to make the excuse and stay inside warm and dry. My companion being close to the spirit had other ideas and pushed me to go that next step. 

So Dad asked about the Italy/Netherlands trip for next year. I think 3 weeks sounds good. Maybe even a lil less. A month might get a lil long. You asked about where we should we go... where we should fly into and depart. Just depends on where we want to go. You want to go South too I assume? Are we going to have a car or trains? I am somewhat of an expert with trains so either way.... Basically the cities that we have to see are Rome, Napoli(pompeii) Firenze,(Pisa is an hour train from Firenze) Venezia and Milano. But there is so much else to see as well...  Is it going to be just our family or are the Dotys coming? Either way will be awesome. Also I would recommend we do a day at the beach too. To relax. I remember when Dani and I came touring. It is really tiring to tour around all day. I break might be a good Idea to plan. We wont have an temper tantrums with us will we? Haha wow how the family has changed... Let me know what you are thinking. Also Another thing it would be nice to see some members on the return trip... I could set up some really quality italian meals with some members.... It might be worth the hassle... That is pretty much it... Tell me what you  think. I dont want to be selfish and take time from the family seeing Italy. 

Love you all. 

Anz. Mendel 

April 3, 2012

Well It has been a great week, especially with Conference weekend which always is such a great recharge of the batteries... We saw some miracles this week and I'm excited to tell you all that happened.

If you remember my email the previous week, I expressed my
dissapointment for losing an investigator who was really making progress, who came to church and pretty much asked us to be baptised. His name is Z*****, and we found him... And the story is quite interesting why we weren't able to find him for so long... So last week, right after I sent my email to you, I got a call from our ward mission leader. He said, I'm in the hospital, my son had an accident on his scooter, don't worry he's fine but I saw your investigator Z*****. He's in the hospital, you should go see him tomorrow. So the next day we went and found him. He had been in the hospital for the last 8 days. Right after we saw him and gave him a baptisimal date, the next day he was at the hospital visiting a friend. He looked outside the window and saw that someone was trying to steal his bike that was locked up to a pole on the street. So he went out to stop the man from stealing his bike. The man pulled out a knife from his pocket and stabbed him in the chest. In the heart to be more specific. 3 centimeters into his heart. He lost 2 liters of blood. He was right
next to the hospital so he got medical attention rather quickly but yeah. He was stabbed for his bike. Almost died. It's a miracle that he is still alive... He's out of the hospital now. We have seen him almost every day. Crazy huh!

As for conference. It's funny I loved the same talks you did. Elder Hallstroms on the Gospel v. Church was amazing as well as Pres. Uchtdorfs Stop it talk... It was a great conference... Overall I thought most of the messages were really just basic basic basic doctrine. Must be what the world needs right now. I didn't now what I was really looking for this conference but I knew when I heard it I would know exactly what it was. I found it. In Elder Hales talk again.
He talked about Personal conversion and how living our covenants will ensure our personal conversion to the Gospel... Personal conversion has been a topic of study and concern for me lately as I reflect on what really matters in the long run and whether my faith and personal conversion now is strong enough to face the storms and trials that surely lie ahead and for that matter that lie behind me. So I really felt touched by the spirit when he talked about our
covenants, and renewing them often. And then of course Elder Holland blew it out of the water again. His messages are always so profound and well delivered.

Anz. O***** and I are doing great. He's a good friend and a good missionary.

This week we were in the park talking to people on benches. We sat down with this older man and just started talking to him about life and religion. Basic questions. He wasn't interested during our presentation you could say but during it I saw this lady was staring
at us intently in the bench across the sidewalk almost laughing to herself trying to hear what we were saying and whether or not the man would accept it or not. After our invite with the man we walked over to the edge of the park and got a drink from the fountain. Then talked about who else we wanted to invite in the park. I looked at the woman who was staring at us during the last invite and said. "let's go invite her and see how awkward it will be" We walked up to her she was smiling the whole way and I braced myself for the rejection. She said "oh hello, I'm glad you came to talk to me, I'm curious what you have to say" Wow! She went on to ask us what is the difference from her church (catholic) and ours... We taught her for at least 30 min on the park bench. For me, I think it was the most beautifully given lesson on the restoration I have ever taught. My comp and I worked great together splitting up the principles. We talked about the primitive Church of Jesus Christ, To the restoration, The First Vision everything and she agreed with us on everything! She told us how she sees all these
faults with the catholic church and was just really open. We presented the Book of mormon and told her through this book you can now the truth of the restoration. The spirit was so strong. She knew what we were saying was true and she knows how corrupt the catholic church is but she still wasn't willing to change. She still rejected the message...It's so sad how the apostasy has just taken hold of so may people.

Well thats about it for this week... Love you all so much! have a great week!

Anz. Mendel

Ps. I will run out of deodorant at the beginning of May... Hint....

And of course Buon Pasqua! have a great easter!

March 28, 2012

Hey so this week has been pretty good. For missionaries the upcoming days before General Conference are like the last days before summer break... I'm really excited for Conference this year... I'm a lil disappointed I don't have a solid investigator who can come though...
Maybe we will be able to find someone elect in the next couple of days... We have been spreading the word to pretty much everyone we meet that a prophet of God will speak to the whole world this weekend... Just not too many people are interested... Mantova from what I've seen and experienced is super dooper Catholic, Like more than the rest of Italy..  So back to Conference I am really excited. We actually have predicted all the speakers for all the sessions... The apostle speakers that is. And then come up with nicknames for the apostles.... Here are a few, and the ones we can't think of I'll ask for some help on....

Thomas the Monsoon Monson
Boyd Skull Cracker Packer
L. Tommahawk Perry
Russel the Muscle Nelson
Dallin dont make no jokes Oaks
M. Russell the Hustler Ballard
Richard the O.G. Scott
Jeffrey R. u kidding me Holland
Henry B. Cryring
David A. Bednargly
D. Todd Pissed'offerson

Pretty hilarious huh? My favorite is Henry B Eryings for sure.

Cool to hear that mom will have a General Authority at girls camp this year... I'm sure everything will go so well that when the General Authority sees how smooth everything went and meets mom that she go back to SLC and put in some major brownie points with the guy upstairs for mom to go G.A. I could see it happen. Us missionaries call this A.P. points :)

The District is doing amazing this transfer... Im really lucky to have a district this bravo. Everyone is working super hard and the district as a whole is having a lot of success... The sisters had a baptism the other week even. I don't have to do much. And we are all teaching 20 lessons or more a week.

This week C+++++ came to chuch for the first time after his Leg operation. He came for all 3 hours which was great. However, Z**** wasn't in church... The whole thing has been very Discouraging really... This last week actually... Long story short we cant get a hold of him anymore... His phone is always turned off, he's never home when we pass by him. And he didn't come to church... We have searched and searched for him but we can't find him... we haven't seen him since last Tuesday. Its been really discouraging when you find someone who is able to come to church, able to meet with you, you have great powerful lessons, they say they want to be baptised and the spirit confirms it and then the next week they dissapear. The same thing happened in Ferrara. Remember the story about Z****? Just a never ending reality I guess.

Yes dad I was able to sit in one of the Ferraris. Very Nice, However I am quite large and don't know if it's the car for me.... :)

So Prague for 8 days.... How far is Prague from Verona International Airport? Hah, Just kidding.

Well Love you all.

A presto

Anz. Mendel