Hi Mom and Everyone Else (if This is the Letter that Goes on the Blog),
To start off, I am sorry there are no pics this week. I forgot the USB cable at the apartment before we left the house! SORRY! Next week will be a good week of pictures. I promise;). Now for the letter ya?
It seems a bit surreal at times while I am here. Seeing all of these people speaking their Italian mumbo-jumbo that I need to piece together is insane.;) I will get the language eventually, it's just a bit hard at the moment to keep it cool when you cant understand what everyone is saying at any given time. I get lost in lessons a bit and when we are out and about, my comp always says, "Did you here what they said?" I respond with, "Nope, not a bit of it," with a smile on my face. Oh well it will come in due time I hope;). I'm not totally clueless as to what people are saying here, I just need to do A LOT of piecing together when I listen to people and it takes a bit to register in my mind.
I was happy to hear about your Harry Potter themed weekend. That seems like the best thing that could happen to anyone other than serving a mission in Italy!!! BOOM! ;) I was so happy to hear about his games also! That is so good! I keep telling my comp about his basketball skills and how could see him in the NBA some day!
The Atonement is a beautiful thing isn't it!? I am so grateful for Christ and what he did for me and everyone who has ever lived! I am so grateful to be His younger brother and for Him to actually know me personally! Every time I study about Him, I feel the spirit more and more. I know He is real and he wants us to be the best that we can through his sacrifice for us. Brother Basset always quoted an apostle (can't remember which one at the moment) saying, "Even if you did everything correctly in life you would still fall short of getting into the Celestial Kingdom." We NEED that gift of the Atonement in our lives and if we do not partake of it, we are showing Him of our ungtratitude!
Ok. Here goes everything that you asked for and a bit more:). My companions name is Anziano Davids. He and I get along well, but I am looking forward to the time when I get the language a bit more so I can help him out because as of right now, he is doing the lessons and I just sit there:). He is from Lava Hot Springs in Idaho. About an hour from Pocatello. We passed by it on the way to and from school. Michael's grandparents on the other side have a cabin up by there from what I can remember? He is about 5'10" and he is taller than most Italians, so you can imagine how big I am comparatively to everyone;). He has been out for 8 months I think, so we are pretty new together which is pretty cool! My apartment is pretty nice. We have a bedroom, kitchen, pretty large study room and another room to keep all our extra stuff in which is nice so I don't have to put my giant suitcase under the bed and take up room in the bedroom ya know? The language is coming. Like I said before there is A LOT of piecing together going on and it's a little frustrating to not know exactly what people are saying, but in due time I will know it:D! They have both of them here. We bought our fruit today from a farmers' market thing and we are about to go buy stuff from the grocery store in a bit so ya. Tutte due (Both;)). I will tell you about my first experience with the branch in just a little bit. It will make you angry, happy, and laugh all at the same time;). The weather here is pretty nice nearly the entire time. It has rained twice and we are a walking mission. It isn't too bad at all though. I like seeing all the sights and sounds that are around me. There is no point in having a car here anyway. WAYYYYYYY too crowded! lol
Today is my first P-Day and we haven't done too much. Davids and I went to get his haircut, bought some fruit, we are now writing home (obviously;)), after this, we are going to buy groceries, grab some lunch somewhere, maybe do a little shopping for cool stuff around the town (that's a definite maybe), and then we may possibly have a lesson planned for later with a man named ______. So.......................no. Sadly, it is not filled with soccer:/. The soccer field we play on isn't grass and is about 100 feet long and 60 feet wide. Not too big to be playing soccer on. Oh well though. At least we will play sometime;):
My usual day goes about like this:
6:30-8: Wake up, work out, and eat
8-10: Personal and Companion study
10-1: Tracting/ lessons if we have any planned
1-4: Go back to the apartment, study, and eat because ALL of the Italians go to their home and fix lunch also. From what Davids was telling me, they get exremely upset if you interrupt them during that time!
4-6: Tracting/ lessons
6-8 (if a Tuesday or Thursday): English course
8-10:30: Get home, study some more, and get ready for bed.
Now for the first encounter with the branch. Davids told me last week that there are around twelve people in the entire congregation usually. That was not the case with this last week though. The first thing that happened to me last Sunday was probably the weirdest/funniest thing that I have ever encountered in a church meeting. About half way through Sunday School (because they do it backwards here: Priesthood, S.S., and the Sac.) a man bursts in and yells, "The new king of Zion is here..............................!" My initial thought was, "Wait.......Did I miss something (which was more likely than not true)." But no. This man as I know now used to be the 1st councilor (spelled that wrong) in the branch but decided to go all apostate on everyone and start fighting against everyone. Let's hope he has a "Sons of Mosiah" moment!
Ok. I was just told to get off, so I need to go. I will finish the story next time...SORRY! I know how you love a cliff hanger mom:) I love you all and you are always in my prayers!
Elder Dallin Layton
Via Filippini, 85/C
(89100) Rggio Calabria (RC)