Monday, May 16, 2016

2016-05-11 Italian Observations

Okay, observations about Italian culture because I know youre all gonna ask:
All the older women 60+ dress hecka classy. ALWAYS in slacks or a
skirt with nylons and church shoes. The men dress up too.
Younger generation dress like normal teenagers, but with different (newer) style
Nobody lives in a house. I've been in one house since I've come here,
and that was 6 weeks ago. EVERYONE lives in an apartment. Even if
there's tons of free space, Italians will build apartments instead of
houses. Seeing an apartment in the middle of a field? It's more common
than rare, you guys. It's so weird.
Every apartment has a balcony and many of them have plants growing on them
The cars are way smaller here
People stop their cars in the legit middle of the street, turn on
their hazards, and then walk into the store for ten minutes
All of the storefronts are big glass windows with a display and a
price displayed for everything, and most streets are lined with
stores, apartments above them, so basically window shopping happens
every second of the day
There are huge super stores here, they're just not as common. More
common is supermarkets that sell almost only food and are about as big
as the food section in Walmart, and even more common are little
bakeries and butchers and stuff
Italians do sound like they're arguing almost always, even though
they're not usually
It's very green here
Guys here stare a LOT more than American guys
The pizza and gelato are really good
People here definitely speak with their hands
They do actually say "mama Mia"
Hardly anybody goes to the gym, but it's very rare to see actually obese people
They do eat a lot of pasta here
They make huge meals for you and if you don't eat all of it they could
get offended but they don't let you dish yourself up so sometimes you
eat so much you think you're going to puke or cry
Torino is really old and really beautiful but also pretty dirty. For
example, there's graffiti EVERYWHERE, and everything looks it's age

We had a crazy good week this week! We had a lesson at the end of our
last p-day with a woman who contacted US, said she knew the church 38
years ago, and basically wants to join our church because of a series
of events that had happened recently (it involves the help from
members!) Not only does this mean we have a new investigator, but she
also told us that the next time we have an appointment, she has two
friends who she wants to bring! If this all goes through, we'll have 3
new investigators soon which is INSANE.

We didn't get to have a lesson with Leslie last week :( we should be
seeing her this week. BUT she came to church AND she brought a friend!
Which is also way cool! The only problem is her friend is Muslim which
is totally fine and great, but we're not allowed to teach Muslims if
they EVER plan on going back to their home country because they could
actually be killed. So we're trying to protect their lives. It's
pretty crazy, the stuff people will do over religion.  Anyways, Leslie
probs won't be baptized soon because her mom still but she knows what
she needs to do and we'll help her get there, the more experiences
with the Spirit that she has.

Also we FINALLY met with a less-active member we've been trying to see
for like, a month. She asked us to help her carry her groceries though
so I don't think she just wanted to hear our message. Anyways, she
said she's still been reading the Book of Mormon but she hasn't been
to church because she's been trying to find work/panhandling if I
understood correctly. Pretty much everyone here is in a desperate
situation, it's hard to watch.

Also one of my favorite couples, joy and Edward from Nigeria, are
stressing us out. Because joy totally gets it. We watched the
restoration video and she just totally gets it, and for the last
several lessons we've had some sort of disagreement with Edward
because he doesn't get it. This week it was that Joseph smith had to
translate the Book of Mormon through the bible because everything has
to go through the bible since only that is the word of God. Stuff like
this has been going on for weeks, it's really hard to feel the Spirit.
He hasn't been able to read the Book of Mormon consistently because he
needs large print to read and it's taking forever to order it because
you can only get those from America in English. Anyways, as we were
leaving joy walked us to her door and she said "don't worry, when I
get documents and I am baptized then I will go to church with you
people." Just her saying that made us realize that SHE knows that WE
ALL know that joy gets it and Edward doesn't. I really feel like he
needs to read the Book of Mormon. The office sent us some sort of
cryptic message with our order about the big print book. Okay. I will
email them this week to figure that out.

Also I got to FaceTime my family! This had more meaning and made me
happier than I can put into words so I'll just say I love love love my
family and I miss them so much. But since missionaries bless their
families back home, I'm sure they will dominate in the triathlon
they're doing together in a few weeks. I miss them but I'm grateful
for the love and support and emails they send me, they are seriously
the best.

Monday we had a zone conference and my trainer gave a dying testimony,
it was really good, and it's always fun to see other missionaries. It
reminds you that you and your companion are not just adrift in a sea
of strangers, but that there's other people out there doing the same
thing as you, and a lot of them.

Yesterday we tried to contact a referral who lived a million miles
away but she wasn't there. So we rang the rest of the apartments on
her citofono (I have no idea what the word is in English) and I
accidentally rang the same one twice, it was so embarrassing, I had to
tell the nice old guy that I messed up and goodnight. We also met with
a member yesterday morning and her mom, who is an Italian member
pioneer. They told us a lot of fun stuff about catholic beliefs like
how Mary was born without sin like Jesus Christ and stuff like that,
we love learning more about the stuff these people believe. When we
invited the daughter (who is about 50) to text an invite to everyone
in her phone (a challenge our president has asked us to give) she was
totally willing and had a fire in her eyes. Usually people are kind of
okay with it but I think the spirit was really talking to her and she
really understood that someone could really come to Christ if she
actually invited everyone in her life to do so. President is having us
really focus on member missionary work because other stuff really
isn't as effective out here.

Today we're going to the Villa Della Regina for p-day, I will send
pics. Also this week is my senior week which means I've been having to
set up appointments with everyone which is horrifying and scary. But I
called a lady I talked to on the bus a couple weeks ago and she was
all like "look, look" and I was like *omg she's gonna kill me* and she
was like "I'm very busy with work and I only have two hours free
during the day" and I was like "oh okay yeah we understand" and she
was like "so let's try to set up a time on Friday around 2-4pm" and I
was like "omg is this happening." It was pretty cool. Anyways, until
next week! Ciao!

In Centro

Side street on Via Roma with all the Guccis and Louis Vuittons


Italy's best shot at Cheetos

Mmm, Cheetos

Zone with Pres and wife, and Senior Couple

Beautiful street in a paesino

Beautiful street, more so in real life

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