Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Knuckle Cracking and Making Our Mothers Proud

Hello again!

TEACHING GOALS.  Another week has passed, believe it or not.  So in trying to hit our 21-lesson goal for last week, we got up to 14 lessons.  Which was much better than the lesson counts I've gotten over the last several weeks, so I was excited about that!  And that was with 8 lessons being cancelled on us (In Italian, "bidone" means trash can.  Missionaries say we got bidone if we show up but the interested party does not.  8 no-shows.  Boooo!)

But as a missionary, the culmination of your week is Sunday at church, where you see if the people you are working with have come to church, where you set up "encounters" with church members, and make everyone feel welcome.  So in spite of our many lessons, nobody came to church, which was disappointing.  But there is always this week.  I am proud of our work last week.  Now the challenge is to keep it up.

BEHIND THE SCENES. I'm always amazed at how much background work goes on in the church.  Sacrament preparation is one obvious aspect of that, but also missionaries getting people to church, ward council, correlation meeting, and that's just misisonary meetings.  Also, these background preparations are only obvious when they DON'T work right.  On Gospel Library we can download Handbook 2: Administering the Church.  I've skimmed through that just to see some of the guidelines of the church (not quite as intently as I have read the Dungeons & Dragons, or Magic rule books...).  It's pretty in-depth.  Then there's Handbook 1, which is private to Bishops, Stake Presidents, etc., which would cover those issues that the rest of us don't have to worry about.

SPIC AND SPAN.  We had apartment inspections today, which in theory happen once a quarter, checking for cleanliness and to see if we are missing items.  I have been inspected 3 times now, so it's not very regular.  Anyway the senior couple said, "Your mothers would be proud."  So you can be proud of your missionary son's cleanliness!  The only things noted were: 2 beds were missing slats, a couple of broken chairs (cheap plastic ones), and we need to clean off the grease from above the stove.  We're pretty on top of our cleaning once a week.

I bet that's harder at home now, with only Kara around to help clean.  In a few years you can move to your dream house in warm Arizona and not bother with renovations and large houses anymore.  How does that sound! :P  (Side note from Mom: When Frank and I think of a "dream house" in a "dream location," we are at a loss.  Thus far, we have no plans whatsoever for our "empty nest" in 3 years.)

TECHNOLOGY. OR NOT. Congrazzles on having smart phones.  I have a flip phone, with 10-digit texting.  It's inconvenient.
 And, I have never had an Instagram, so I don't know what that's like.  But I'm sure it's nice to keep up with TK and Kara.  Dad has always beat me in technology know-how, but right now I'm especially far behind!  I hear facebook is dying down, but I don't know.  It's very strange.

Pday today is stopping by a couple of Nerd Shops I heard about, to be in a familiar atmosphere.  We went to the Medici Castle last week, which was pretty neat.  I liked it better than the Uffizi, since it wasn't all Madonne and repetitive.  It took about 2 hours at my (slower) museum speed.  Unfortunately on Pdays, we can't leave the zone.  So although Pisa and Cinque Terre and Modena and Siena are close, we don't go there.  We can go to basically Prato, Pistoia, Firenze, and Montevarchi.  And the areas just around them.  We can't even do San Gimignano (beautiful town by Florence) because it's in the next zone.  So if you see something I can do in those cities, let me know.

ANNOYING HABITS.  You'll be pleased to know I don't crack my knuckles anymore.  Or my neck.  Knees sometimes (I'll join Dad's club).  All of those are ongoing projects, but very much improved.

We have a bunch of youth at English class who said they'll come to church, so we'll see how that goes.  I would be stoked to teach them the gospel, but they could also simply want to do English class.  Vediamo (we'll see).

Love you!
Anziano Whitesell

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