I'm doing great here in Udine.
INVESTIGATOR. We have, as you've heard, one main investigator named Bettina, and we're working with the new convert Sister Sykes who referred her to us. Bettina passed her baptismal interview, and we're looking forward to (in all likelihood) the baptism on Sunday! It's wonderful because she started out being referred to us for a priesthood blessing to get her past some difficulties she had in the past. At that point we explained part of the Restoration and the Priesthood, and she took more lessons from there. Wonderful!
Other than her, we're pretty dry. The ward mission leader is pushing for us to work with "less-actives" (inactive, pretty much -- they are baptized members who don't come to church). Just to encourage them, and see if they need any help we can offer. So we see one young man every other week, and have just made contact with two other inactive people who we hope to see within a week.
I didn't realize there were so many families that don't come to church (right...because they don't come to church). And then we have a few people who we haven't seen for a very long time, that we try to visit but they are always "busy."
LESSONS. But at least we have some lessons going on fairly often, although we have had some 3-lesson weeks fairly recently. I don't know much different than this, but Anziano Fabiano came from Genova, where they had several new convert families who loved them, a decent number of investigators, and pretty much every hour full. Here, there's a lot more "finding" work going on.
THANKSGIVING DINNER. One Italian family has a tradition of having the anziani over for Thanksgiving each year. So we'll have turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and some other stuff. Much of that food came from the American base. Otherwise, we would have never seen the pie mix, the Martinelli's, the cranberry sauce, or the fried onions. I don't think he has any idea what to do with those, so we'll probably take them back and make green bean casserole. That's a pretty American thing. But I am looking forward to that.
Problem: the SD card for the camera has been corrupted. I don't quite know what to do with it -- I can still see the pictures on the camera, and it still takes more pictures. I just can't get to them from the computer. Probably something to do with the terribly-protected Internet point we use for emailing. So I'll look for another SD card and then send this one, so that you can fight with it and maybe get the pictures off of it.
Worst case scenario: when I get back I can hook up the camera to the TV and at least click through the pictures; they just won't get to the blog. :/
THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR:
1. Winter coats, including gloves and rainproof fabric
2. Meal invitations :D
3. P-Day ("Preparation Day," when missionaries do their laundry and buy groceries, etc.)
4. Everyday miracles
5. Book of Mormon, Jesus the Christ, Ensign (church magazines or materials)
Love, Anziano Whitesell
P.S. I get songs off of email by downloading them onto the microSD card. Which only works sometimes, so we'll see. I'll probably make due with what I have so far, and Skousen. TK might have mentioned I'm listening to BYU lectures from a man named W. Cleon Skousen, who talks about the Book of Mormon and the Bible. He is an excellent teacher, and I wish I could have taken his classes.