Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Six More in Siena

Ciao-

Transfers always come with a bit of mystery. There are general rules that we all make guesses by, 4 transfers is normally the max in a city and 2 transfers with a companion is normally the max. In spite of these patterns that are generally true, President Wolfgramm is known to be a unpredictable so nothing is sure at transfer time.

I wasn't expecting to get transferred, but I still took my camera with me to church to take a few pictures with members just in case. Sorella Pampaloni refused and said that if I got transferred they would stop coming to church for at least a month to protest.

I found out last night that I will be staying in Siena. I'm so happy about it. I really love this city and crazy little branch. It's strange to say but I've really started to feel at home here in Siena. I'm looking forward to another six weeks in Siena with Anz. Bushman and the Pampaloni family will stay active.

The weather has gotten a little colder the last few days which has been fun. I really like seeing the seasons change as a small reminder that time is still rolling on and life will keep on changing.
Things are good here in Siena and I'm so happy to be here.

I hope you all have a good week.

Love Ben

Mom- I can't believe your face! I hope you're doing better by now. I can't believe how much you look like Harry Potter. I'm really sorry. I really do feel bad, but your HP comparison is making me laugh. On the other hand it sounds like as your physical well being has worsened your mental well being has improved. I'm glad you're feeling better about the whole YW thing. I loved your blog posts too. I'll admit that the pictures of Boston made me very jealous. Could you send me your recipe for banana sauce?

Dad- I really miss being able to talk about business and economics with you. Everyone here thinks its stupid. I still really like it though, and I think I want to do something with that. The mysterious mechanical issues sound like they would lead to a great conversation. Things are great in Siena and I'm really glad I get to stay.

Stefan- Your Youtube video with the superintendent reminds me of the Ministry of Magic trying to get Harry Potter to support them even when they are doing a bad job. I hope they don't try to take credit for your hard work. I'm glad school is going well. I remember liking my senior year a lot because I felt like I was actually learning interesting things in all my classes. Learning is fun. It's too bad that some people are so good at making it not fun.

I hope you all have a great week in America. I feel really lucky to be in Siena right now. Being a missionary really is a lot of fun. It's not always easy, but I'm learning so much and I feel so blessed to be where I am right now.

Have a great week. Love Ben

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oh Canada!

This week was full of really great stuff. I wish you could all have been here to see it.

First of all is Alessandro. Last week Anz. Bushman found him on scambio in a park. They talked for a while and left him with a BofM. The next night we came back to meet him and when we asked him if he had read the chapter we asked him to he laughed and said, "Did I read a chapter? I read 20 chapters" Alessandro read 3 Nephi 11 and then went on to read the first 21 chapters of Nephi. Holy cow. We are super excited about him.

The next cool thing was that someone called us. We leave our cards with our phone number with tons of people just in case they change their minds. But, no one ever calls back, until Saturday when Raffaelle called us and set up an appointment for the next night.

I have to say though that the coolest thing that happened this week was Tina's baptism. We had a crazy week because of some bad luck and a bus strike we weren't able to meet with her the whole week before her baptism. We were getting kind of nervous but finally Saturday night we were able to meet. As we talked to her all my worries went away. She said that she was determined to be baptized in our church, that she knew Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is true and that she expected the day of her baptism to be the happiest day of her life. The baptism was so great. It's hard to describe the happiness that comes from seeing someone you've worked with get baptized.

Sunday night we went to meet with Raffaelle, our miracle man. He came up to us and the first thing he asked us was if we were American. He then told us that he had always dreamed of moving to Canada because he likes the cold, but he didn't want to move without having secure work ahead of time. He had reasoned that our church is worldwide and that we could help him. He wanted us to call the church in Canada and have them get him a job and then he would move. We tried to explain that we can't do that and that's not really our job. But he was insistent. We finally told him we would see what we could do but we couldn't promise anything. Oh well, so much for that miracle.

All in all this has been a great week. Things are going well and I love Siena more than ever.

Mom- The blog you sent me reminded me of a conversation we had with a lady in the park yesterday. She didn't want to talk about religion at all, but when I asked her about being a mamma she talked a lot. She said it's hard, but it's the most important thing for her. I told her about mia mamma and we had a nice conversation. I've said it for a long time, but I'll say it again that I'm proud of all the things you're good at but in the end you're always my mom and that's what matters most to me. As much as you do realize it I still don't think you know how much that means to each of us who are lucky enough to call you mom. Quindi, cara mamma mia, sono molto grato per te e per tutto che tu fai. (So, my dear mother, I am very grateful for you and everything you do.) I also got your package this week and I loved it. I was never much of a hat person before but I love the Red-Sox hat you sent me. I wear it around the apartment all the time. I would really like to go to school in Boston too someday. Maybe Stefan can teach me his secrets to test taking to help me. Anyways. Thank you. You know just what I like- pictures, pens, good stuff to read from Mary, and Boston stuff.

Xander- I think reading the BoM everyday is a great idea. You would be a great investigator. I really like what the bible dictionary says about prayer. I tell people everyday and I really mean it that the BoM can change your life. Something I've been trying lately is trying to read the BoM without the intent of finishing it quickly so much but more of reading it and thinking about everything it teaches me. It's good to read the whole Book of Mormon but it's a shame to rush through it just to finish it. After all once you finish you normally just start right from the beginning again. Why not enjoy the read? sono fiero di te, x-man. Fai bene e contua di crescere nel vangelo. (I am proud of you, x-man. Make good and continue to grow in the gospel.)