Monday, September 17, 2012

September 11, 2012

I felt the same way on Septemeber 11th. I made sure everywhere I went that everyone was aware that is was 9/11. This last week went great. I've never taught as many lessons as I did last week and never had as many investigators in church as last week. We are working with lots of different people these days it's starting to get stressful trying to manage all these different people that we are working with. It's just tough trying to prioritize people and then be able to set up full days of teaching to be able to see everyone. In Short things are going good with the investigators with my comp as well as with the ward. Ha yeah my comps shell has popped off I think. You weren't really worried if I would be able to do that were you? 1 transfer with Anz. Mendel and you've pretty much become whatever he wants you to be. :) Joking of course. But there may be a lil truth in there.
I did 2 different scambi this last week and had a blast with each one of them. Last Friday the traveling assistants came to Alessandria and did a scambio with us. I was with Anz. Osborn. And my comp went with Anz. Sciarretta. Anz. Osborn and I went outside the city to another city where a bunch of members and had a full day of less actives priesthood blessings in the hospital and then our amazing Bishop heard that our last appointment for the day was cancelled he got us an appointment. The Bishop here will do anything for us. We had no Idea what to expect.  We were able to teach an amazing lesson on the love of God and the BoM. 

Just had to add this picture of Trevor and his
"brother" missionaries, Anz. Mendel, Elder Smart
Elder Oliver
Yesterday I did a scambio with an Italian missionary Anz. Squarcia. I just had a blast with him. It was so fun speaking italian 100% with him for a day. He told me that I speak great Italian which is probably the best compliment an italian missionary could give me. It was just fun seeing my progress with the language. I haven't worked with a non American for the longest time. So it was just kind of a mind opener.
****** and her family are doing amazing and are progressing very well. She has been to church 3 weeks in a row now and is really making good friendships with the ward members. ****** is doing well too.
So is Justin moving downstairs now? What is going to be expected of me when I get home. Is Davis planning on clearing out of my room or am I going to be expected to move back upstairs? You talking about doing some painting work reminds me of when we painted the basement and my room together. Such good memories. I'm sure it will turn out great I have no doubts.
I miss you tons too, Every once in awhile It sneaks up on me too. Don't worry time really will fly. I'm working hard and know why I'm here. I still have much to do. Much to become before I get home.
That picture is just too good. I know Bridger. He's a really cool kid.
For this P day I don't think we have anything planned. Just gonna grab a pizza and maybe do some store browsing.
Love you all so much! Thanks Dad for working so hard for me!
Anz. Mendel 

September 3, 2012

Hello Family,
Thanks for your emails this week. It was great to hear from you. This week has been a pretty good week for us. The weather has really changed. It has gone from terribly hot to cool and rainy. I love the rain so It's been a good week.
Last P day was super fun. We drove down to Genova with the ********* family. Ill help you pronounce that when I get back. We drove down with ******** (24) and ******** (18). We had fun on the way down telling jokes. It was fun translating all our american jokes into Italian. We got to Genova and went to the Port and ate lunch. At the Port there is a super old pirate ship they have from hundreds of years back. So we saw that. Then we just kind of took a stroll through the center of the city. We saw the house of Christopher Colombus. And did a lil Window shopping. That's pretty much it. We did get a Gelato at Grom though which was good.
This week ****** and her two kids came to church again! The ward is getting really excited about them. It's been awhile since the missionaries have found a family to teach. She is loving church and especially loves the classes for her kids. We had an amazing lesson with her this last week on the Restoration. Tonight is Ward council and Bishop has already talked to me about how this month and for the rest of the year his focus is on Missionary work and reactivation. So the Bishop will be breathing down our necks like a hungry dog but I'm ready for the challenge. We have a lot of people right now to teach so at least that's not the problem. We just need to move forward, us the missionaries and the ward together and get these people baptized. I'm really excited though for ******.
We also picked up a new investigator this week named ******. She is a member referral and is actualy the mom of a member here in the ward. They are from the Philippines. Here in Alessandria there are about 40 active Phillipinos and they are all related. So this lady just moved here from the Philippines and everyone she knows is mormon. She can't not get baptized. We have taught her twice now. She speaks okay english but understands mostly what we say. We just have to use a translator a lot of times. It is tough teaching to her but she has a great heart, that is easy to see and is always happy when we are there. Her daughter who is the member is so excited that we are teaching her mother that every time we are over there she makes us a bunch of food. Amazing food. I'm afraid by the end of the teaching process I will have gained a few pounds. I might just need to start throwing up to get where I want to be before I get home. Joking.
The other day this old guy stopped us on a park bench and wanted to learn about the church. Of course, anxious for the opportunity to teach him we sat down for what would become one of the angriest moments of my mission. This guy was just ridiculous. Trying to tell me that I'm not Christian and I'm going to hell. He even brought Romney into the conversation. I wanted to rip this old guys head off. He sounded a lot like Boyd K Packer too. To give you a picture of his tone of voice.
On A more positive note, How exciting is it to hear about the Italy trip next year. Yeah I think Verona would be a pretty good area to base from. It's a lil far away from where I am now but I think its a good half way point between the places we want to see. Plus I know that area of Italy well. 

Well I Dont have much more time. I love you all so much!
Anz. Mendel 

August 28, 2012

This week has been pretty good. Last week the summer heat just about put me in the grave but it's better now. On monday this week it started to get a lil cooler, at least at night. So I can finally sleep well. This last week has also been tough as I have been struggling with allergies. Something in the air here that drives me crazy.
We had something really cool happen this sunday in church. Unexpectedly we had someone come to Church for the first time. A 37 year old black lady we had met on the street a few weeks back. She's lived in Italy for 21 years, speaks perfect Italian and has 2 kids born here. She even has a car. She was just so friendly with everyone! The ward loved her. I've never seen anything like it. Her first time in church and she just acted like she had known all the members for a lifetime. She said hi to everyone. Going out of her way to meet people. She loved the two classes after sacrament meeting. She told us that she was searching for a church to raise her children in. We showed her the primary classes and she seems really interested. I hope this miracle will actually end up going somewhere. 
Do you remember me mentioning our investigator, **********? We saw him again yesterday and had a really good Plan of Salvation lesson. Dad, remember that story from your mission that you would always tell me about that lady you met with the cats? How the cats came up to you and jumped on your lap during the lesson and it was a sign to the lady you were teaching that you were good people? Hah well the EXACT same thing happened to me this week with ****** and his cat. During the lesson the cat came up slowly slowly licking our fingers and ****** was just astonished. He told us that when there are strangers in the house you will never see the cat again. Later in the lesson the cat jumped up on the table and layed down right in front of us and let us pet him. You should have seen ******** face when his cat did that. And he, himself told us that we must be good people beacuse his cat can tell. Your story instantly came into my mind when this happened. 
This Monday we did family home evening with the ********* family. We came over and I taught them how to make Chocolate Chip Cookies, ate dinner and had a spiritual thought. They asked us what we usually do on P-days here in Alessandria cause there's not much to do here. (Alessandria really is probably the most unimpressive city I've seen in italy). But I love it still because of all the awesome members we have here. So they wanted to do something with us for P-day. We are going to drive in their car down to Genova together today. Should be an awesome trip.
I'm sorry to hear about the water heater problems you had this week. The timing just sounds awful without Dad there to save the day. I think we take for granted how talented Dad really is. How many Dads are there in the world who know how to do literally everything like Dad does? I'm sorry to hear about the chunk of change it will cost too! That's ridiculous.
Well I hope the boys are having a great first week at school! I pray for them always and my thoughts were especially with them this monday as they both started new schools.
Travis wrote me this week. It was so good to hear from him. He really is just such a good guy.
Well I love you all so much! Thanks for all your support!
Anz. Mendel

August 21, 2012

So Transfer news, Yeah I will be staying here in Alessandria for another transfer. Our companionship is staying the same. There were as uaual lots of changes throughout the mission. None of which would interest you as transfer news doesn't interest me much either anymore. It's just the mission life.
I'm glad to hear you had a great Birthday. Sounded like it was relaxing and just what you needed. Did the boys treat you well?
It is true the mission has asked us to not receive packages. Apparently the import charges on the packages are pricey. I wouldn't want you to send me anything anyways. I don't need anything and I'll be home a month after Christmas anyways.
Yeah ********* was a real miracle last week. Too bad it didn't really last. We haven't been able to see her all week and she never answers her phone. So we will see with her. ********* we haven't heard from and we haven't even tried really.
This last week our Bishop invited us over for dinner at his house with his family and a referral to teach. A friend of his wife. We went and were treated with one of my favorite Italian dishes: Arancini. Which is basically a ball of rice with meat sauce in the center and then fried. About the size of a snowball. They are amazing. I will make them for you when I get home.
We had an amazing spiritual experience with this referral. She is a single mom with 3 kids (16, 21, 7) Her husband passed away young, 2 years ago and it had been really tough for her and her family. We taught her the message of the Restoration using the 10 points to begin and we just had such a strong spirit. She accepted the message so well and was anxious to start reading the BoM. At the end of the lesson she revealed to us that that same night was the anniversary of the death of her husband and how she didn't think it was a coincidence that we were there to teach her this message. She told us at the end that she knew before that night that we the missionaries would be there to share something with her but she didn't expect our message to be so beautiful.
It was a great teaching experience that we had with the Bishop's family and I think we really earned his trust after it all.
We've had some other referrals given to us in the last week too. An elderly man named ****** who seems interested. It's really been tough to find people ourselves so we are trying to work really hard with the members to find.
It has been just ridiculously hot this last week. Over 100 degrees outside. Inside of our apartment it's 87 Degrees and I'm trying to go to sleep. The heat just sucks the energy right out of me. I can't wait for summer to be over.
Well I love you all! Have a great week and good luck with the start of school!
Anz. Mendel