Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Italian Sign Language and Motorcades

CHANGE IN ASSIGNMENT. There's a lot to do this week!  So I'm just sending a mass email.  Last week, we were expecting transfer calls, the upcoming Saturday.  Usually the President calls those who will be training new missionaries in the morning, and the Assistants call in the morning for those who will be first-time zone leaders.  I was expecting a morning call, assuming I'd be put in as a zone leader.  Nothing came, so then I expected a call from the zone leaders in the afternoon, simply telling me where my new area would be, and who my new companion would be.

Instead, I got a call from assistant Fabiano (my 2nd companion, so very long ago...he's excellent).  He said I'm going to be a zone leader in Como (by Lake Como), closer to Milano.  My new companion will be Anziano Valencia, who I think is in his last transfer.

LEARNING FROM A DEAF MAN. A service opportunity our district gets to do is learning LIS (Italian sign language) once a week for several weeks, then go "talk" to some deaf people at an activity.  We're learning LIS from a man who is nearly blind (he can sort of make out silhouettes) and completely deaf.  He types words on his computer, then shows us the motions for each word or object or idea.  It's really interesting.

CELEBRITY VISITOR. Also, the Pope came to town yesterday.  Many streets were shut down for his motorcade in the morning.  He held a morning mass at the Duomo.  Apparently it's the first time it's been free of Africans selling selfie sticks, or gypsies begging.  Then he held a 5:00 mass at Campo di Marte, and we had an appointment on the other side of it!  We rerouted past traffic, and on the way back the flood of people was like leaving Fenway Park after a game.  We biked behind a police car, so we made pretty good time.

The saddest part of leaving was saying goodbye to Henry and Julia.  We went to his house and he was there, plus Julia and his brother Anselmo.  It was sad to say goodbye, but I'll see him again when I come back.  The gospel of Jesus Christ has really helped that family.  They have so much more love in their house now.

I was packing up, looking through old letters, and I found an old MTC envelope.  Inside was my temple recommend, which I had misplaced a long time ago!  It is now safely in my wallet.

Vi voglio bene! (I love you!) Off to pick up my last group of ties, see a few more people, and run a couple of errands before leaving tomorrow.

Anziano Whitesell

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