Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Local Customs & Missionary Music


Thanks for the snail mail. The Forever Global stamps are cool, so those are fun to look at, in addition to the letter itself.

LOCAL PEOPLE. We interact with locals during park and street contacting, and a lot of them recognize us from biking around with white shirts and helmets (since nobody here wears helmets).  So they have some vague knowledge that we exist, or maybe we've talked to them before.  Sometimes that happens.

"Yes I know who you are."

"Oh really? Have you talked with missionaries like us before?"

"Yes. Still  not interested."

Otherwise, they think we're Jehovah's Witnesses.  The J-W's are pretty strong here in Italy; we see several pairs here a week.  And since they dress in white shirts and slacks trying to look like us...the Catholics don't like them, so when Catholic people come out and see us and say things to us, we sometimes say, "No, non siamo testimone di Jehovah."
Anziano Andersen by cathedral

cathedral near Centro by the park


parade downtown

The pictures are of a cathedral right in the Centro part of the city, by the park where we tract.  So we see that every day, pretty much.  And the other one is of the actual Centro area -- there's a plaza with statues and a museum, and it was decked out for some historical show or celebration.

LOCAL CUSTOMS. The Friulani (people from Udine, pretty much) have their own dialect, but they all speak Italian as well.  They are heavy drinkers, so while I've thankfully avoided dealing with too many drunk people, there is almost always some party going on in Centro (Centro being the actual downtown part of Udine, or of any town). One time there was a "Party in White" that we didn't know about, so everyone was dressed in white and we had to go elsewhere because people thought we were going to the party.  The people here also like their holidays -- they have holidays for a bunch of saints and random ones here and there, so Centro is quesstionable at night -- we don't know if people will be having an event when we get there in the evening.

IN THE TOWN. This was a re-enactment in Centro one day.  The next day (Stake Conference) we had to cross 2 sections of a marathon on our way to church because the streets were closed to cars for an Udine half-marathon they were having that day.  Also, Stake Conference was broadcast from Pordenone (40 minutes by train), but the connection was really bad so we stopped watching and had Sacrament Meeting.

WEATHER. There was a storm coming one evening as we were heading back to the house.  It was at night, though; we've had a pretty sunny week.
Outside apartments, cool clouds

SWEATER SAGA. One of the sweaters has shown up.  Anziano Andersen said to give it 4-6 weeks, since this isn't America.  So the other should show up within 2-3 weeks.

I have not pulled out the flying disc, unfortunately.  It looks nice in my closet :(

MEALS. I made mac and cheese and sausage last week; I wanted an easy meal.  The week before, I made rice-egg-chicken stirfry.  This week I'm making chicken spaghetti.  I actually made banana bread this week.  Last night, in fact.  As I went to get my camera, this happened to it...
this was whole, just a minute ago...
Just Kidding, but we went through it really fast!

MUSIC. I think the group we listen to is "The Newsboys." They're a Christian-rock band.  Otherwise, Italian EFY songs, and some different versions of hymns.  The other anziani have heard too many hymns already, so we don't listen to them in the apartment.  Maybe later I'll hear them.  I can actually put some music on a MicroSD card and put it in the phone (our phone connects to the speakers), so if you sent some Enya, John Tesh, Joseph-Amazing-Dreamcoat, Yanni, or some Christmas Music (Oh Jesus, Born on this Day or that type of music), I could play that.

Notable moments...we were let into another house, and talked to the people for awhile.  And we set up some appointments with some street contacts.  So that's always a nice feeling.

The best part of the day is when we have appointments.  The only routine, really, is breakfast in the morning, lunch in the middle, dinner-snack in the evening.  The rest changes a lot.

Love, Anziano Whitesell

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