Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Transfers, Hedgehogs and Snail Mail

Hi Mom! And Dad!

To answer your questions first, Mom... (about any miracles I have seen): I have seen miracles of the sort where it's not super-obvious, but nice things happened to make the work move forward.  Since Anziano Andersen is leaving, he arranged lessons with a few investigators (vocab: investigators are people who are taking lessons from the missionaries, and are interested in the church) who we haven't seen for awhile to say goodbye to them.  So in a sense, I can re-activate them with my new companion.  That's definitely a plus.

TRANSFERS. Apartment-mates (before this week's transfer) are Anziano Gibbons and Anziano Kendrick.  Of course, my companion has been Anziano Andersen for the first 3 months of my mission.  Gibbons and Andersen are leaving: Gibbons to Padova and Andersen to Muggio, by Milan.  I get a new companion named Anziano Fabiano (American).

The ones leaving have been packing for awhile now.  Anziano Andersen tells me he's always surprised at how much stuff he picks up in each area.  Fortunately for the suitcases, some things started to get holes in them, so he threw them away and had some extra space.  I hope to be pleasantly surprised when I leave that I still have plenty of space for all of my things.

In the picture, the senior couple, the Keefers, are on the sides.  Then Anziano Kendrick above Andersen, Johnson above Gibbons, me above Andersen, and Sorella Kras above Curtis.  The people leaving our district are sitting down.

HEDGEHOGS. This is a hedgehog I found hiding in the grass.  It hid a bit better before I could get a decent picture, but it was just sitting there.

SNAIL MAIL. Letters have started to arrive for my birthday, which is nice.  There are some from all over the U.S.; I'll lay them out and take a picture before I open them.

A note about mail: while it's nice to receive letters at the apartment, when I get transferred on the six-week schedule or if I get "space-transferred" -- moved without prior notice in the middle of a transfer -- letters will get lost.  So if you could tell people to send them to the mission office, that would be wonderful.  And if you send packages, please also send them to the mission office.  It's much more convenient.  I'm willing to wait a couple of weeks for letters and packages with them being sent to the office first.

Anziano David Whitesell
Missione Italiana di Milano
Via Antonio Gramsci 13/2
20090 Opera (MI)

Other news: it's been about 3 months since I got a haircut.  And I was starting to have to comb it (actually HAVE to, not just it's-convenient-so-I-should-but-I-never-get-around-to-it). So I cut it.  Here's before...
...and after.
The razor wasn't working well, so this was done with scissors that worked about 70% of the time, in the mirror.  I think it turned otu fairly well for those restrictions.

I made coffee cake, which was pretty good.  I know it sounds like I'm here on a Baking Study-Abroad, but I get real work done too.  I just like making treats! :D

PUZZLE PIECES. And another thing...we have some lessons that we do with visual aids, "object lessons." There are some puzzle patterns I could use in a journal back home.  In the cupboard under the mirror, pretty close to the right side, are some journals.  In a big red spiral notebook, if you flip through a bit of it, there are patterns for a sort of puzzle.  Could you take a picture and send it to me?  The dimensions aren't important, just the shape.  Thanks!

EMERGENCY SUPPLIES. One last thing: I know I haven't asked for anything, which is probably driving you crazy, but I really don't need more "stuff."  So if you must send something, peanut butter and frosting are pretty cool.  American candy (you could even wait until after Halloween and send the cheap after-Halloween candy), and office supplies.  Yes, really: they don't have Sharpies, colored or otherwise, Post-It Notes...also maybe a few pens and notebooks and scotch tape.  Small things like that.  If you already sent a package, don't worry about it.

Also, right after the last message, about the storm, it got super-cold for the next few days, and after dark it's cold.  Fortunately, I have sweaters and a trench coat.  I'm going to buy myself some gloves, though.  Real Italian gloves!  Cool!

Thanks for listening to me ramble a bit.

Love, Anziano Whitesell

P.S.  In that hypothetical box, could you put a few Ensigns (a monthly church magazine with inspirational messages), older or more recent?  They make for great reading material, along with Jesus the Christ.

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