Hey Famiglia!

Before I forget, this week I’ll be passing my official year in Italy mark!  I believe I got here last year on the 25th.  This week our investigator Eli got baptized!  [The names of all investigators have been changed.]  He is super awesome.  In fact we’re going to go meet with him again in an hour.  The baptism went really well, and we had lots of members come to the service.  Our member Francesco Sanacuore baptized him because he came with us to lots of lessons.  And in the end, it’s really something cool to have your members baptize the investigators.  It creates a really special friend for them in the Church.

So the pictures this week are us with Alfredo and Clarissa, the two really awesome investigators that we went to the beach with.  They are super nice.  I also made them some root beer this week to try out.  Alfredo liked it a lot, but Clarissa wasn’t a huge fan.  Most of the Italians don’t like root beer at all.  Anziano Morgan left behind in the Trapani house some root beer mix that makes some pretty darn good root beer!

There was the “Fly for Peace” festival this week, and so they had a really cool air show here in Trapani.  All of downtown was closed, and everyone was on the beaches watching the planes and going to the fair.  It was fun!  We actually went to a member’s house and went out on the roof of their building to take a look at the planes.  There should be some pictures of us up there as well.  I believe there is also a picture of Anziano Trejo taking a siesta.  There’s also a picture with me with a granita (an Italian slushee thingy…  Yummy)

There’s also a picture of me with a member, Sister Xilone.  She invited us to dinner and showed me how to make some fresh Italian pasta.  It was super interesting!  They have some nifty little tricks they do!

I’m excited to get the surprise package!  That’s awesome!!  I can’t wait.  Thank the Hills for me!  [Some of our friends are going to Italy later this week, and they offered to take a package for Craig and drop it off at the mission home.  YAY!]

Training has brought lots of different types of challenges that I’ve never had before, but it’s been really fun.  It’s pushed me lots!  The mission never stops rewarding me though, even if the work isn’t going well or things are really hard.  I’ve noticed the rewards a lot this week.  It has been really sad and really happy.  Sad because a lot of our investigators have used their free agency and chosen to take a different path, and yet really happy because another one of God’s children has found his way onto the path!  I want so bad sometimes to just baptize everybody in this city and let them see things the way I do, and share with them the joy and freedom that comes from the truth.  But then most of the time people ignore you, walk straight past, or even insult you and the beliefs that you love and cherish.

I know that the Church is true though, not a doubt in my mind.  One finding experience was particularly strange this week.  As me and Anziano Trejo were at the crosswalk waiting for the green light, I noticed a younger woman behind us with a baby.  I felt like I should probably talk to her.  After introducing us and such I started asking some questions about her beliefs, getting to know her a little bit so that I could talk to her better.  She had been having an absolutely awful week and was starting to doubt her belief in God.  She kept wondering why God wouldn’t send help to her, and why everything was going bad.  I felt the need to be completely straightforward and extremely bold with her.  I basically asked her if she believed it was possible that we were an answer to her prayers.  She said no.  I asked her why not.  She shrugged it off.  I bore my testimony to her of the Plan of Salvation and of our Heavenly Father, and of His endless knowledge, and His love for us.  We invited her to listen to our message, and after all that, she walked away.  She wouldn’t give us her phone number, and wouldn’t accept the return appointment.  I don’t know if we’ll ever see her again.  This is one of the things that kills me.  Everyone has hard times in the world, and all I want to do is to help them realize that their burdens can be eased, but sometimes they do not accept the help or recognize the true path to happiness.

I feel like e-mail time goes a lot faster than it used to.  Maybe I’m getting a lot slower at typing or something…  I feel like I can’t get out as many words as I used to during e-mail time.

Well, we’ll be in Palermo this week for zone conference!  Anziano Trejo’s first one.  It should be exciting!

Ciao for now!
Anziano Jones

These first several pictures were taken at the beach with investigators, Alfredo and Clarissa.

Craig didn’t identify this picture.

Craig’s granita (Italian slushee).

I bet he loved it.

Hey, that’s Anziano Busdicker on the right.  He and Craig became good friends at the MTC last summer.

Craig and Anziano Trejo with Eli before his baptism.

Francesco Sanacuore (left) is Eli’s friend who baptized him.

I bet there’s a really good reason why Anziano Trejo was holding that pistol during his siesta, and I bet it had something to do with Craig!

The root beer mix that Anziano Morgan left behind.

I love this picture.  Doesn’t Craig look cute wearing an apron while holding a melon!  Sister Virgilio is the one who showed Craig how to make the fresh Italian pasta.

Waiting for the “Fly for Peace” air show to start.

The show has begun!



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