Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New Companion, Training

new companion: fresh perspective!
TRAINING.  Well, I have a new companion: a greenie (new missionary) named Anziano Liu.  He's a gentle giant, very polite and not wanting to disturb or bother people, and a big guy.  He attended a year at Utah Valley University before coming here.
Anziano Whitesell with the Duomo off in the distance

The thing I'm noticing, working with/training a brand-new missionary, is how many things I just take for granted -- having a companion who knows how to cook, what we do on P-days, knowing the systems of the mission for asking for reimbursements for travel, how to do email, even teaching basic Italian Restoration lessons.  It's taught me a lot about how much I've grown, though I'm pretty sure I had a better hang of it when I first came on my mission (one can always hope).

after the tornado went through
In any case, I'm working a bit more than I've had to in the past, explaining this or that, and initiating conversations, teaching lessons, etc.

tornado debris
NEW CHURCH MEMBERS. Henry received the Aaronic Priesthood last Sunday, which was neat.  He actually asked me to do it, which is neat on the one hand since they treat us like family (tears were shed when Anziano Kormylo left).  But it means I'll have to work to get him more integrated with the rest of the ward (congregation), since as much of an honor as it would be for me to do things like baptisms or ordinations, it should be someone from the congregation, who will be here after I leave.  So, I'll work on that too.

LEARNING.  Julia is on track for a baptism the 5th of September.  We are excited about that, and getting the family ready.  The brother has sat in on several lessons, and while we are not yet sitting down with him and giving him the lessons personally, that will come shortly.

FRESH PERSPECTIVE.  I have seen some nice things come from the last week.  When someone is being trained, people may comment that they have "Greenie Fire." That is their idealism, and eagerness to talk to everyone, spread the good word, and be involved in things.  Their energy and excitement has not been dampened by anything!

MEXICO MEMORIES.  So in the rush to 'talk to everybody,' we ran into some neat people.  Cristina is a lady who lived in Mexico 20 years ago.  She is Mexican, but speaks Italian fluently.  She already read the Book of Mormon, because a friend invited her to do that when she was a teenager.  Also, she recognized the ASF (American School Foundation: the school we attended when we lived in Mexico City), when I said I had attended a private American school there.  I guess there aren't that many...

We also met __________, a weird guy (think 'crypto nut') who we ran into, and before we could say anything, he told us to read a verse from the a book that wasn't actually included in the Bible.  Since I was carrying the Bible, I took it out and he couldn't find it.  But he had me write it down and said I needed to read it.  Then he left, muttering about the number 7.  Then we ran into him again in the grocery store.  He was still wearing shades.  As I was looking at detergents, he says behind me, "Si, quello va bene." ("Yes, that is fine.")

Tes and Savio are a Filipino couple who knew a member of the church and had taken lessons from the sisters in the past.

Life goes on.  It's the 25th today!  It's another month-mark of being away.  Time just ticks away so fast.  I finished uploading pictures to Box.  There's one in there of my scrape, from the bicycle wipe-out.
bike mishap eeeewwww

Love you!
Anziano Whitesell
Oh, P.S. Teresa found where I'M ON THE NEWS: google "Firenze lo Pulisco Perche" and it's the first result.  Here's the link.

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