Hello, long time no see: about 3 days now --
And on the bright side, all of you were awake and lively; my companion called HIS family at around 6 a.m. Arizona time, so he says his family was pretty tired, and not as responsive as he would have liked. It's all right: for the next time around, I'll use facetime on the iPads that we're getting this Monday.
iPADS TEST GROUP. What? Yes, we are receiving iPads this upcoming Monday at a Zone Training (that time when mail and stuff comes in from the mission office), as well as some instruction on how we will be expected to use them. Keeping in mind we're still a "test group" and Europe has pretty strict laws on data privacy, we won't have full use of the iPads in the early stages of this program. But we will have the physical tablets. One more thing to keep track of! :)
As senior companion, I figure out all of the encounters: lessons, activities, visits, etc. I know there are a lot of ways to go about being a senior comp, but mine so far involves kind of micromanaging. So since I'm used to this area, I guess I've just kept control of everything, but I also take all the stress of making sure everything fits into place. It comes and goes, but with me trying to organize everything, sometimes I envy Anziano Davis, just sitting and thinking. There must be a better way to do things, but I don't feel comfortable delegating yet.
GOOD HEALTH. I didn't realize my health was such a concern (both of you mentioned it in your emails). I feel good, and I was raised by goodly parents who taught me the Food Pyramid. I probably get more second-hand smoke than is healthy, but I have daily activity on bikes and on foot, and I get lots of sun. So I'm doing well.
I like the D. Todd Christofferson quote. I could spend more time studying and less time reading. I've read so many Ensigns in my down time, I really don't get much out of them anymore. So clearly I should change the way I read the scriptures and Missionary Library, and put down the magazines for a bit, other than for language study. To practice, I translate from English to Italian, and then compare to the printed Italian copy.
BALANCING TIME. You sound busy in your church callings. I know from hearing church members here (and at home too, I suppose, though I never figured it out) that it's hard, sometimes, to make time for everything. The family, and the job, and the church calling, and the service projects, etc.
But I also know that Heavenly Father supports those He calls. You're great! Oh, and Dad, I was thinking about the company split: is your position still stable? I was wondering about that.
Concerning dorms at BYU: the guys across the hall had a "lofted bed" ... by which I mean they stacked their beds to make a bunk bed, and took it down whenever the room got checked. Or else they would be told to TAKE it down, since it was dangerous. So I haven't seen any "legal" loft beds. But I'm sure they exist.
PROGRESS. I had a companion exchange last week with Elder Thomas, now in his 3rd transfer. The way it's worked out so far, with me staying in Ferrara, each of the 3 times he has been on exchange in Ferrara, it's been with me. He only goes to other ciites rarely, just Zone trainings and the mission conference. So he enjoys getting out and seeing Ferrara. Hopefully I've been able to give him a good impression of the city -- planning activities for the exchange and such. I've seen him progress some, from a wide-eyed greenie (brand-new missionary), to a slightly-less-wide-eyed, NOT-greenie!
He's fun. He's still working on the language. I am really grateful for the "gift of tongues" in my language progression, seeing how long it takes some people to learn the language, and seeing how confident I feel in the language. Of course I am not perfect, but I am very comfortable.
Have a wonderful week!
Love, Anziano Whitesell