Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 19, 2012

Dear Family,
Yes, I do agree the weeks just fly on by. This is my 3rd P day now in Alessandria. Feels like I just barely arrived. And then again at the same time. I've done a lot of long days full of finding work. This week we have seen some good success and I will be sure to fill you in on them.
For starters, do you remember me telling you about M*****, She was a lady we found on the street and then had a great lesson with her later that week in the church. Well she sorta fell off the face of the planet. We have been calling and calling. Not trying to be too persistent but we have just been trying to contact her. Almost 2 weeks passed without hearing from her. I didn't understand either. We had an amazing lesson with her. She took the BOM and set up another appointment and then just nothing. I've been praying for the last 2 weeks to just be able to talk with her. Get some closure. If she doesn't want to see us ever again okay I just wanted to know. Well, my prayer was answered this morning. On our bikes on the way to go do our groceries we saw each other on the side of the street. She actually stopped us. We found out she has been busy busy planning her daughter's wedding and hasn't found the time. Then she told us she will be out of town for the next month and that we can call her when she gets back in town. I asked if she was reading and she said she was so i'm happy. It's not the best news but hey, all I asked for was closure and I got it. We will see how things work out at the end of July when she gets back. It will be here in no time.
In other news, we found another investigator last week and had a return appointment with him a few days ago. We found him knocking doors in an area just outside the city. He's an italian man in his 40s named E*********. Really excited about him. We find a lot of people and teach them once set up a return appointment and then nothing. Now we have a 3rd appointment with him and we will start an official teaching process with him. We'll see how it goes.
Thanks for telling me about your week. I really like the story that missionary told and then the Father's day surprise. So... Ashley and Miranda are coming to the missionay mom's lunch huh? That should be interesting... Ashley and Miranda have been my best writers by far! I guess they've been my only consistent writers thoughout the mission. So you will have to let me know how the lunch went okay?
Tell dad Happy Father's day for me and sorry that I didn't say it in advance. Honestly I couldn't remember when Father's day was. And don't really have the means to find out.
The main difference between Alessandria and other cities is just the size of the ward. 130 people in church makes such a difference in our lives as opposed to 15, 20. It's such a different part of Italy too. The culture is a tad bit different, the dialect is impossible to understand. We've had some lessons where the people we are talking to when they speak to us speak Italian and I understand 100% and then when they turn and talk to each other I understand closer to 20% Crazy.
Tell Tiffiny thanks for the gift. That was really nice of her. I love you all so much and have a great week.
Ps. Your supposed to give me an NBA update. It's the finals after all. Luckily there are members here that watch NBA.

June 12, 2012

Hey Family,
So it's been a pretty good week for me. Getting to know the city, the members, and my comp better. I really am liking Alessandria. We've had some good success this last week and to answer the question we've been fed a bunch! I'm hardly eating my own food. Anz. Memmott and I get along great. No problems there. He's a great missionary and I think we'll see great sucess together.
Last week we contacted a lady on the street named M*****, Older lady in her late 50s probably. So she's still kickin it. She was really interested in learning about who we were. We set up an appointment for that Thursday . She came and we taught the restoration. It was an amazing lesson. The spirit so strong. We invited her to baptism that first lesson. She didn't accept but didn't reject it at the same time. She wanted to find out more first. She took the BOM and said she would start reading it. "starting today" she said. So I have great hopes for her.
Doing finding work this last week in the city has been tough. We have been able to talk with people on the streets and in parks but knocking doors inside the city has just rendered nothing. A member suggested that we go just a lil bit outside the city to other suburbs to do casa. So this week we took a 5 min bus ride outside of the city and did a couple hours of casa. And we found a great new investigator. In fact a family. At first, at the door they weren't interested at all. Usually I don't insist too much but this time I felt impressed to keep inviting them and bare testimony of the family and the restoration of the church. We saw a change in the countenance and they accepted a return appointment. We left them with a prayer in the front room. After the woman was almost in tears and told us she felt such a stong spirit when we walked into the house. This was a great sucess that we had this week following the advice of a member in the city and a great learning experience for me knowing when to insist a lil and when to leave it alone.
Thanks for your letters and love. I am so thankful to have an amazing family like you! Talk to you soon! Have a great summer season.
Anz. Mendel 

June 5, 2012

Thanks for the email, it was great reading. Sounds like a full week. So what are the plans for the summer months? Going anywhere? or is the big trip going to be for next year? I'm sure Davis and Justin are happy school is over, Also Dani for that matter. 

So I've been here in Alessandria for about a week now. It's been a different experience, but I'm liking it so far. Alessandria from what I've heard and seen is one of the best wards in Northern Italy. This sunday we had a good 80-100 people in sacrament. This is definitely not something I am used to. Ferrara and Mantova for 11 months of my mission. As predicted with the normal way things go around transfers there is no work in Alessandria. I mean, we have no investigators or even contacts. This however, is no shock to me seeing as I have never been transfered to a city with previous investigators. So this means just more and more finding work. The ward has been known to give good referrals to the missionaries. So hopefully those will come. The city isn't too big. But it's a good size bigger then Mantova or Ferrara but not by much. The Apartment is in a good location in centro and the Church isn't far from it, as with the train station. So it's a good set up. It's been nice weather since I have been here. Warm but not too hot. I've asked some members and they've told me it doesn't get too hot here during the summer months. 30-35 C. Instead of a consistent 40C which we endured in Bologna. Excited about that. The apartment is definitely the smallest apartment I've ever served in but it's still decent size. I've been really lucky in the mission getting nice apartments. 

As for my companion, Anz. Dustin Memmott. He's from Salem, Utah. And he's a really nice guy. He is in his 3rd transfer and he's really progressing fast with the language. He speaks really well, I was shocked. I don't think we need to worry about me being a tough follow up trainee. 

It was tough leaving Mantova, It really hit me when I was putting my stuff away in the new Alessandria apartment. I guess I'm just not the biggest fan of change. It's just hard. I know it's good for me and I'm really excited to be here it's just all new and time has slown down a bit. It's not flying like it did back in Mantova. Time just flew there. With time when I find my rhythm here time will pick up again. 

We went to Torino (Turin) today for P-day. It was fun. We were only there for a few hours. Just kinda walked around with the ZLs. We have Awesome ZLs here. Both friends of mine in the mission. 

Thanks for the updates. I hope you are all well! Love you all so much! 

Anz. Mendel 

May 29, 2012 - Another Earthquake

Yep, so this time I definitely felt the earthquake. How could I not have. It was a crazy experience. I was in the bathroom doing my hair and the house just started rocking back and forth. It wasn't large enough to bring much fear, at least for me that is. Some members here were really shook up. We spent much of the day with the a family who was without their dad and pretty worried. Overall it was a cool thing to experience first hand. Don't worry I'm fine. 

As for transfers, as expected I will be transferred. My next city and companion will be Alessandria, the other side of the mission with Anz. Memmott. He is going into his 3rd transfer so he is pretty new. I will be his 2nd comp. This is the zone of the mission nearest France. And there are a lot of cool cats in the zone these days. Lots of friends. Anz. Free is still in San Remo. Anz. Sciarretta will be going to Torino also. Anz. Owens is staying here and will recieve an dying missionary 15th transfer. Anz. Healey. From what I've heard Alessandria is a very functional Ward and is really good help to the missionaries. I'm excited for this new experience to work in a ward and hope to see some good success. 

I'm sad to leave Mantova, but it really is the time for me to leave. I need a change and I'm happy enough about the draw I pulled. Follow up training at times can be really hard. Hopefully it will be good. 

Some of the new brazilians that we have been working with came to church this week and we were really excited about that. That is a real milestone for them and hopefully they will keep on coming even though I will have no way to know for sure. 

So.... Davis moved downstairs huh?... That's fine. He can keep it safe for me til I return. Tell him he will really have to start doing some pushups and pullups if he hopes to keep it. Not likely though ;) 

Thanks for the emails this week and I hope I have nothing but great things to tell you next week about my new city and companion. Love you all so much and thank you always for your prayers and support. 

Anz. Mendel 

Earthquake May 2012

Well the big news.... The earthquake. The main quake was at 4:00am Sunday. So naturally I would be asleep at that time. And if you know me... I sleep like a rock so I didn't feel a thing. It didn't even wake me up. I'm kinda bummed about that too because everyone here was making such a big deal about it that I wanted to be invloved in the action as well. But nope, didn't even feel it. And it was rather powerful here in Mantova, The Dos Santos family told me they evacuated their house at 4 in the Morning with the rest of the apartment complex. So Mantova felt it pretty good. As for us missionaries, normal procedure. ZLs called me, I called the district we are all fine. The sisters were a lil freaked out but all in all it wasn't that big of a deal and I honestly haven't heard much of it in the last few days. I think maybe you got a story a lil exaggerated because things are back to normal here now. 400,000 parmesan cheese roles destroyed? That was a joke right? haha

This week has been pretty good. We are finding some new investigators steadily and it looks like I will be able to accomplish my goal of leaving this city much better then how I found it. This week we had a great finish off to the week, strong miracle. Sunday night we passed by a new convert who has been a little less active these last months and we haven't seen him much because he works so often. We passed by to find him at home along with a house full of Brazilian family friends, (he's brazilian). We went into the other room where I asked him if he thinks maybe the others in the house would be interested in watching a lil 20 min film in Portuguese. He left the room to ask and quickly returned with everyone. 6 in total. His non member parents and then their friends. We watched the Restoration film and everyone loved it. The spirit was definitely there. After we bore testimony and invited them to church for the
next week. They all said they would come with the new convert and all wanted a copy of the BOM.

That cool family that we found last week are out of town this week so we look forward to good things from them when they return. So next week is transfer week... I'm excited to find out about my next city. I think its close to impossible that I will stay here for another. Guess
you never know but most likely I will be transfered. My dream next city would be San Remo...

Well Love you all tons! Don't ever worry about me here I'm fine! Happy Birthday again to Justin. And I will talk to you all next week!

Anz. Mendel

May 15, 2012

Well, It's only been a few days since we talked, but a good amount has happened. Monday was a pretty successful day. We did a lot of strada and invited tons of people. I'm at that point with my invites that I have no fear to approach different types of people and the usual rejection isn't really that life shattering, hah. We were doing Street contacts along the boardwalk around the lake and we passed this super attractive girl in her 20's reading a book on a bench alone. We didn't walk up and talk to her right then and then on the way back she was still there and still reading. Dang she was good looking and not just because I have missionary goggles. We're talking almost goddess. We see her from afar, I reach into my backpack pull out the BOM and walk up to her. I asked simply "do you like to read?" "yes" she replies and then I presented the BOM for about half hour really we talked on the bench, she was really nice and really wanted to read the book. Her name was J****** from Suzzara, 20 Min south of Mantova. I gave her the BOM and hopefully she will call us after she reads it. If not It was a really good seed planted. 

Yesterday, did a scambio with Anz. Neff here in Mantova. We had some good success too. We stopped this Brazilian man in the park at a bench and were talking to him about the BOM when one of his friends walked up from Bangladesh. He spoke Italian, but better English. So we kinda did a double teach. I talked to the guy from Bangladesh in English and Neff was teaching the Brazilian. The whole time I was trying to focus on the Italian conversation because that guy seemed more interested than the guy I was talking to, meanwhile teaching and listening in English. It was too weird. Thinking and speaking and listening changing languages every second. We ended up getting return appointments with both of them. 

Well I loved our call this Sunday, Please forgive my bad english at times and my repetitive words I used. I think I used the word "obviously" too much out of context. I feel like people use that word in Italian too much and In english it kind of has a negative effect. So if you noticed... sorry. 

One thing that I really wanted to say but never ended up and I'm really angry at myself for not was to express my immense love and appreciation for your support, financial and spiritual. Your prayers and more or less everything you do for me. I am the luckiest missionary in the world to have such a loving family who keeps great contact with me and makes so many sacrifices on my behalf. I love my family. 

Thats about all. Be safe and I will talk to you next week. 

Ps. Dang the boys are growing up fast. Even though it seems they still have their temper tantrums. :)

Anz. Mendel