Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Roommates, Statuettes, and the Case of the Missing Birthday Box

EXCHANGES. This week was all over the place.  Normally transfers are every 6 weeks, but due to the normal transfer day falling on Christmas Day this coming month, they bumped it up 2 weeks this transfer.  So I have to do all the exchanges with other missionaries within about 3 weeks (instead of 6).

Varese...not David's photo. Internet image
I went to Varese with an Italian elder, and I exchanged with the District Leader here in Como -- thank goodness I could still sleep in my own bed!  He's in the same apartment with me and my companion.  And I have another 3 exchanges the next week, and 1 exchange the week after that.

As a Zone Leader, I either go to the other companionships' areas or they come to mine, and see how they do missionary work, or I show them how I do missionary work.  I'm supposed to set an example of missionary work in this zone, and encourage the other elders to be productive and spend their time wisely.

NEW ROOMMATES.  The other people in the apartment are fun.  My companion, Anziano Valencia, is Mexican-Columbian from New York.  He has been out about 22 months.  Anziano Pesci is a talkative guy who loves sports.  His ancestors are Italian.  Also, his sister married Dylan Shearer.  Small world, huh?  That was a weird surprise: "Yeah, Brother Shearer was my home teacher."  He's been out about 14 months.  And Anziano Barragan has Mexican roots and is from Arizona.  He's a convert of about 1.5 years now, so he's learning as much as he's teaching.  This is his 2nd month in Italy.

CHURCH MEETINGS IN COMO.  Here in Como there are 2 congregations, or "wards."  We have a building that used to be a cardinal's villa or something, so we're not allowed to remove the statuette of Maria out front (the Virgin Mary).  But it's a nice building, up on a hill.  I'm in the smaller ward, and there are usually about 70-80 people in church on Sundays.  The members are very willing to help, but we don't have many people to work with right now.  So we'll work with members when we can, and visit them to talk about the Christmas video, and working with their neighbors and friends in the Christmas spirit.

iPAD TRAINING.  We had a conference on Tuesday, where the Zone Leaders presented.  As Zone Leaders, we each led a 70-minute training session on using the iPads for "teaching" (the gospel) and "finding" (people interested in hearing about the gospel).  We focused on especially using the new Christmas video.  It wasn't so bad...just get the audience participating and you don't have to talk solid for 70 minutes, thank goodness!  It is strange being the presenter now.  I remember watching the Zone Leaders present, at each conference, and now I'm the one doing the presenting!  I also remember calling the Zone Leaders, to check in when I got home later than our appointed coming-home time.  Now, people call ME when THEY arrive home late!  It's a lot of fun, though.

NO BDAY PACKAGE.  Also, I did not get a birthday package at this conference.
 I'll ask the office if they happen to have it sitting around, but I don't know what might have happened to it.  Hopefully it was just left at the office in some confusion, because there have been so many conferences lately. (Note from Mom: I sent the box on October 10th. I just checked tracking and it was delivered to the Mission Home back on October 21st.  Really.  I sent it in time!!?!?!)

Have a good week!
Anziano Whitesell

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