Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Music, Scarves and Brownies

Torino is fun! I'm noticing some trunkiness (thinking about home), but non troppo (not too much).

I'll tell you about Fast and Testimony Sacrament Meeting.

(Background) The first Sunday of the month, we as a congregation fast for 2 meals, and donate the money that would have covered those 2 meals to the poor. During that Sacrament Meeting at church, the members of the congregation have the chance to walk up and "bear testimony:" express to the rest of us their belief in Jesus Christ or other gospel principles. This whole concept of Fast and Testimony meeting sometimes seems a little vague to people new to the church.

Christmas 2015

Simone, 16-yr-old member
MUSIC IN CHURCH. We start (after taking the bread and water of the Sacrament) with a Nigerian lady being confirmed into the congregation--she was baptized the day before. Then she bears her testimony, and finishes by singing homemade hymns (think God's gonna trouble the wa-a-a-a-ters) and says if anyone has work, she is willing to do it. I don't think the missionaries who taught her explained what "testimony" is to her.

Then, a man who hasn't been to church in awhile gets up and says, in a passive-aggressive way, that if someone doesn't come to church, others ought to call them and visit, and see what's wrong. Still no testimonies.

Then a member gets up and puts the microphone to his phone and plays a recording for 5 minutes...think Christian rapper to no music. Lots of "Jesus Saves" and all that. Meanwhile, since the Bishop is out, the first counselor is visibly agitated, considering whether to ask people to step down, or intervene, or whatever. No action is performed. Worst fast-and-testimony meeting ever. So bad it was funny. Oh, the shenanigans...

OUTGOING PERSONALITY. My current companion is my favorite person ever, just awesome. He's a really outgoing, talkative guy, so as Vinicio said, you guys have such different personalities, they just complement each other. But he's rubbing off on my faster than other people have. I'm seeing me much more joking, talkative, less reserved than before. Maybe Elder Rushforth from ever-so-long-ago in Boston was right: I'll get out of my shell here. I mean, my volume is still way low, but I open up more.

WARM NECK FOR WINTER. I have 3 lovely scarves now. I had one last year, a nice warm red one, but I left it on a train. So I got a silvery gray one this winter, and then asked a friend to pick up a couple from Firenze (I left in the fall. I wasn't thinking about scarves). And since we just had consiglio (council meeting) where we're all together, she got them to me. So now I have a purple/white plaid one, and a luxurious green one. My jacket, unfortunately, is pretty American (even if purchased here, it's just a rain jacket, not at all classy), but I'll get a good Italian coat before I go. Ah, European style.

Also: I found a recipe for brownies that is divine. They don't have Betty Crocker here, so we have to go with scratch. But how good scratch can be!

Love, Anziano Whitesell

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