Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Holidays, Belts, and Fingerprints

It's raining pretty hard right now, but fortunately I have waterproof gear.  I mean, this isn't particularly intimidating after Udine right next to the rainiest city in Italy or after the tornado.  But it's still not optimal.

Pistoia duomo piazza

I hit my 16-month mark last week, my birthday this week, Halloween, and Christmas fairly soon!  All sorts of good things this time of year.
another artistic street sign

SEARCHING. We got a new ward (congregation) list, so we've taken the opportunity to do less-active pass-bys.  These are visits to those who have not been to church in awhile, to see how things are going for them, and in some cases, to make sure they still live there.  Not much success has come of it.  We had a woman yell at us and tell us the man we were looking for was dead.  Another man lived in the apartment complex we visited, but only one other person there knew him, and only knew he lived on the 2nd or 3rd floor.  And for a couple of names, there was no trace of them!

BATMAN RETURNS. I feel like the police: two guys with tags show up.
"Do you know this individual?"
"We know she's in the apartment building."
Batman: "Where is it?  Wheeeeeere is it?"

(Side note from Mom: okay for those not familiar with the Batman movies...Bruce Wayne/Batman has some serious anger management issues going on in those scenes.  For the Record: Missionaries do NOT beat people up to get information!?!?!)

WARDROBE ADVICE. I was told my pants were too loose by a member who used to work at Men's Wearhouse.
"Have you lost some weight, Elder?'
No, it hasn't changed in awhile.
"Then you bought your pants too big, they shouldn't bunch up like that with the belt."
"Hmmm," I thought to myself, "If you worked at Men's Wearhouse, when was the last time you saw a pair of 30-waist/34-length pants??"
sushi with me, Liu, Random Guy, Cunningham, Hansen

BATTLE OF THE RED TAPE. Aaaannnd...more shenanigans at the Questura (police headquarters).  We missed the original appointment to start Anziano Liu's Permesso process, so we came back the next day and they said come back on THIS date.  So we did, and took fingerprints, and thought that was it.  Then we get a call from the office saying we missed the culture and integration class, which apparently was scheduled for the day we took fingerprints.  We had no idea.  So we went back to the Questura, waited in line for an hour and a half.  We didn't want to miss district meeting, so we up and left, to try again later.  The Questura is a miserable place.

When our family comes to Firenze on our Italy trip next summer, be sure to plan a Sunday in Firenze.  Half the ward is Peruvian, and I'm sure some of them would enjoy speaking Spanish with you.  Several Peruvians, an Ecuadorian family, a Mexican family, and a Cuban.

Love you,
Anziano Whitesell

P.S. (written after 1st note, after he received his mom's email)  Thanks for the note.  I'm uploading some pics right now.  I got the music, thanks! I'm not supposed to "chat," or back-and-forth email, but I would like to add to your thought of the Celestial Room in the temple being your favorite room of all, because it's so peaceful.

My favorite room of all is that room in the Visitor's Center, Temple Square in Salt Lake City, where you go up the spiral ramp to the statue of Christ in the middle.  There is a backdrop of space: stars and planets.  It's a peaceful, beautiful place.

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