Friday, November 28, 2014

Life in the Slow Lane and Giving a Talk


(Side Note: David surprised us with an email a day early--actually it threw off his mom, who always sends an email HIM on Tuesday.  This time I opened the email account and already had a note from him--meaning, of course, that he did not get a note from ME that week. :(  )

EARLY PDAY. So I forgot to mention that in addition to having a tour by Elder Fingerle, it's on Wednesday.  And travel makes it take all day, so we're taking our P-Day today.  Hence the Tuesday letter.

We went tracting near a shopping center, Terminal Nord, which has a nice covered 1/3 kilometer walk with all the shops off of it.  Its nice for finding work on Friday-Saturday afternoon-evenings, especially if it's raining.

GO BACK! Anyway, in talking to people, I got my first "Go back to your country!"  It was an older guy, who called it out at us after waving us away.  No harm done, it was at least funnier (even though he meant it) than "No me interesa" or "Sono credente...en modo mio."  Or better yet, if we tell someone we're from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they say, "I'm not part of that church," and walk away.  Oh, really?  Well, I guess I didn't mean to talk to you then.  But we also have interesting conversations with people who are fairly nice.  So, it's not all bad.

LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE. I don't remember if any families back home were Italian, but one thing you figure out is that the Italian pace of life is pretty slow.  For the older generation, they're used to taking their time about everything.  For example, biking.  When we go biking as missionaries, we are trying to get somewhere.  When you're stuck behind someone who's biking just a bit faster than I walk, it's annoying.  Also when they interrupt the conversation for a 5-minute phone call.

But a nice thing about Italian culture is that they're friendly.  Not necessarily everyone here in Udine, but they are willing to talk for awhile.  Once you break the ice or get them to like you, they will talk for the whole afternoon.  So we have a few "friends" who we run into occasionally, older people who will stop and talk to us if we run into them.

SWEATER UPDATE. 'Package update:' the distribution company says that the package with sweaters in it was sent back to wherever it came from.  This confused me because it didn't come from America and I don't know if it had a return address.  But maybe you could call/email the company you bought it from and they could try to send it again, preferably to the mission home.  Sorry and thank you.

Lots of Love,
Anziano Whitesell

P.S. Oh, and also I gave a talk last Sunday, on the Plan of Salvation.  I didn't memorize it, or even prepare a talk.  Not in the sense of "I prepared it during the Sacrament," but I just looked up a few scriptures that went nicely and gave the talk from my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation.  It went really well, even in Italian.  I could use a bit of work on public speaking, but it went well nonetheless.

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