I have safely arrived in Italy, and I did receive your letter. I will start with answers to your questions:
The church here in Udine is fairly small, just about 30 people in Sacrament Meeting. I think there are more coming later in the year though: August is called Ferragosto, and most people take the month off and go places. There you have it. So I am expecting 40 people in Sacrament Meeting once August is over.
My apartment-mates are Anziani Gibbons, Kendrick, and Anderson. Anderson is cool because he has been in Udine for awhile, and knows the area really well. Kendrick is the district leader; he is nice and pretty funny. Gibbons plays Magic (did not bring cards with him, it's okay) and cooks very well.
I speak some. When we talk to people, I add in a few sentences, but mostly listen. When we are talking about the gospel, I can pick up most of what is said. Otherwise, I understand general ideas of what is being said, and a small part of the actual language.
|Italy at night|
For dinner I have a croissant, some bread with Nutella or jam, and some juice. We've been fed twice, which was nice. I don't know about being super-hungry. I've eaten well. It just doesn't sound like much. I spent 18 Euro on groceries, which seems pretty cheap. We have basic cooking stuff, so when I go back next week and am more settled-in, I'll look at more complex recipes. The meal I have planned for this week is mac and cheese and sausage. I also bought more fruit, different cereal, some yogurt, basically breakfast foods. I can't explain well, but I'm eating fairly healthy and I'm not hungry so don't worry.
|Suburban areas of Udine|
I was going to transcribe some of my journal, but I forgot it. So sorry about that. Next week. The first day, we got into Milan and found that 9 suitcases were missing among 7 people. Mine was one of them. We still went to the mission home, and all 9 miraculously showed up the next day. President Dibb has never lost a bag, I don't think. We did some orientation, but went straight to Milan central to proselyte a bit, on the first day. It was all right, we found we could talk better than we expected. Like they told you, we stayed in a hotel the first night, then shipped out on trains on Thursday. I was sad to say goodbye to my district and zone from the MTC, but excited to head out.
The next days were more normal. It's a biking mission, so we bike all around. We go to the park and to the river to talk to people, and we talk to some people for awhile, while others just brush us off. We have had a lot of meetings, usually 1 or 2 a day. The rest of the time is traveling by bike or studying. It's pretty cool.
|From a train|
|Welcome treat from Aziano Scott|
Oh, and the picture is of a candy bar attached to a note: "To Anziano _________" from Anziano Scott, the last missionary who was here. It was a nice note, with some tips for the mission and the first few weeks.
Love, Anziano Whitesell