Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Hiking to the Basilica and..."The Doorman"

Ciao, All!

Well, we have some weird apartments sometimes. I'll start with a couple of experiences using my climbing expertise to solve certain apartment problems.

LOCKED IN. In our current apartment, you can lock and unlock the door from the outside but not from the inside. Which is fine if you are the only companionship. But sometimes, if you're not careful, someone gets locked in. So with Anderson, the other guys left one time, and then a half hour later we try to leave. And find out we're locked in. Hmmm.

The first idea is, "How far away are the other guys?" But they're in a lesson across town. The members with our spare key are at work. So Anderson says cancel our appointment and wait. I say, I've always wanted an excuse to climb down from the balcony. So Anderson refuses to watch, but I go over our third floor balcony, shimmy down the next couple of balconies, and get down to the ground, then come up the stairs and unlock the door from the outside. ('Just call me...The Doorman.')

I THOUGHT YOU HAD THE KEYS. The other story was when we forgot the keys. We got the spares, go back to the apartment, and find out that while the spares include a house key and a stairwell key, they don't include a gate key. No problem; I wait for the passers-by to pass by, and hop the fence, going up to the apartment to get our normal keys.

CONFERENCE ADDRESSES. Other news. General Conference was this weekend. Every six months, we have "General Conference," where we get to hear inspirational messages and counsel from church leaders and our prophet. We watched the Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Priesthood session, and Sunday morning sessions. There were many inspiring talks and humorous comments. President Uchtdorf is a riot, in addition to being an excellent speaker.

A couple of favorites were Merlyn B. Arnold's talk about going to the rescue with haste, not wasting time, and bringing to mind the quote, "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." (General George S. Patton)

I also liked Stephen W. Owens talk about following an example we trust, like his father hunting, or Jesus Christ day-to-day. And Bonnie L. Oscarson's talk about "is your belief in your head, or in your heart?" I look forward to re-reading those talks and those I missed from Sunday afternoon, in the Ensign (church magazine). And speaking of which, I refer you to the article in the April 2016 Ensign, "A Worn, Marked Conference Ensign."

GETTING TO KNOW YOU. Today we went with a bunch of elders in the zone to the Basilica of Superga. We knew that the tram didn't go there, so we planned to hike it. But about a quarter-mile in, and discovering a bus that made trips to the top, half of the group went back to the base to wait for the bus. Four of us kept hiking up the road. It took about an hour, but it was an enjoyable hike. Often when walking around town I don't talk with my companion, just thinking or going on autopilot. But with 4 of us, we kept conversation going the whole way, and switching off talking one-on-one with each member of the group, I got to know them better. We made it to the top and saw the cool Basilica, at about the same time the other guys arrived, they having waited awhile for the bus.

COMING BACK TO GOD. And, a cool house-to-house experience happened. On an exchange, we were knocking doors and a youth opened, maybe 16 years old. He said his family was evangelical, but he had never been baptized. During the past year he had drifted away from those religious roots, but he decided he needed to come back to God. In a few months he wants to be baptized. We showed him A Savior is Born, from Christmas. We'll talk to him again, to see when we can meet.

Have a great week! Happy Birthday Mom--your letter is in the mail.

Love, Anziano Whitesell

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