Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Puzzles, Chains and Finding Your Inner Baker

POWER PRESENTATIONS. We had an interesting activity for our district (6 missionaries in the same area).  We "blitzed" the Ward Council Meeting!  Ward Council is when leaders of the congregation meet to discuss the needs and concerns of the congregation.  All 6 of us missionaries (with the Bishop's permission of course) showed up to the Ward Council meeting and presented a few possible ways to help the church members...

1) Getting "Meet the Mormons" (an American-made documentary) shown in Italian.  Our mission got the go-ahead to do that.

2) Getting more ward (congregation) unity by having activities together.  Right now there is a divide between the Peruvians and the Italians.  This is in the interest of fellowshipping new converts better.  And

3) Dedicating some time for the church members to learn from the Preach My Gospel manual (that's the manual we, the missionaries, use primarily in our teaching: "PMG").  We could do that either by teaching some from it during our monthly Fast and Testimony day, or we could have an ongoing PMG class.  We could ask 5-6 families to attend for 6 weeks at a time, and explain how the lessons work, during the Sunday School block of time.

view from Pitti Palace
These were some of our good ideas, well presented, that hopefully will get implemented after the Bishop confers with his counselors about them.  We're getting a fire started in Firenze!

TEACHING TOOLS.  One thing we are encouraged to do is to make "scripture chains:" a series of scriptures on a certain topic. One scripture chain I have is about light. I have used it for member visits, to help them think about the scriptures and how they apply to us individually.  I have probably over-used this one, so it's time to put another one together, but here it is for you.

Genesis 1:3-4
John 12:35
Matthew 5:14-16
Proverbs 20:27
Doctrine & Covenants 50:24 That book is additional scripture that we use, with the Bible and Book of Mormon.  If you don't have one, here's a link to the scripture from for this scripture chain.  And, I'll just include it:

"That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day."

I like the progression from light, to us, to our spirits, to a perfect light.

P-DAY PUZZLES. My activity today for P-Day was called Fox in a Box.  It was a puzzle escape-room challenge.  It was a lot of fun, but more people would have helped.  I had in mind that all 6 of us missionaries would do it together, but they fizzled with the broke-college-student mentality.  So just my companion and I did the puzzles.  There were some good puzzles.  We didn't finish in the allotted hour, but with all 6 of us we totally would have finished. (When you come to Firenze, keep that one in mind as a fun activity that our family could do.)

Next p-day, I'm planning the trip to Pistoia (just 25 miles away, still in our zone). Mom you mentioned the zoo, and the underground tunnels near the hospital.

HIDDEN TALENTS.  I keep finding out more about my Inner Baker!  I'm collecting a lot of recipes now, and experimenting a bit.  I tried Rice Krispee treats, but they only had chocolate Rice Krispees, and marshmallows are really hard to find.

I also picked up a wonderful tiramisu recipe, and one for apple turnovers.  Only problem is ingredients, although I have been tipped off about a place to buy vanilla...#winning!

I think the box you sent should get to me in early November...maybe it would be better to get it after I've moved to the next city, so I don't have to try to fit the contents into a suitcase! Ha.

Also, when I do end up getting transferred, please update my address when I leave.  For the past 4 months, we've been getting the mail from one missionary's mother...and he hasn't lived in this apartment for 1.4 years.  Let's avoid that.

CLOTHES. You asked if my shoes were holding out.  I bought some Italian shoes in July, since the ones I brought with me wore through.  Not so much in the heels or soles so much, but the tops were nasty and shredded.  My other clothes are fine.  Maybe I can get another pair of  pants or 2, but that can wait until Saldi (a sale) :)

IMPROVING ITALIAN.  For Language Study, I read the Book of Mormon out loud in Italian, translate English articles into Italian, use the verb book and the dictionary to find new words, or read conference talks in Italian.

WHAT MAKES A STELLAR MISSIONARY?  There's a file being passed around between missionaries about a really admirable missionary named Elder Ricciardi, from 21 years ago.  It's called the "Ricciardi Letter."  His admirable quality is lack of fear, and his willingness to bear testimony to everyone he encounters.  This elder 21 years ago set an inspiring example of letting our faith outshine our fears.

Love you!
Anziano Whitesell

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