Hey there Er'body, ;)
So, this past week was REALLY AWESOME!!!....Probably the best week of the mission I have had yet. There are a few reasons for this.
1) I talked with SO many people that now know of the church because of the things that I told them and bore testimony of. They did not know anything about the church before, but because we talked, they will now know who the missionaries are know and at least a little bit of what we believe as a church:)!
2) I was challeneged to a food eating contest................... Outcome will come in a story later:)
3) I had the BEST P-Day EVER yesterday!
The Anziano's Sorella's and ______________ on P-Day in Messina.
Ok to talk about number 1. I talked with so many people this past week. Many of the conversations lasted for an hour and a half- 2 hours, but we never stopped talking!!! There were two specific instances that I will tell you about.
We stopped a guy on Saturday who plays BASEBALL!!!!!!! He started off our conversation with, "What sports do you play?" I told him to guess. So right off the bat he says, "Baseball and Basketball." WOW!!!!! The Basketball one I get a lot, but usually Italians don't even know what baseball is (sto scherzando...mom translation per her handy dandy phone translator..."just kidding")!!!!! We talked for about 10 minutes about baseball, how much he loved it, how his favorite team is the Mets (because he went to New York once and his cousin lived right next to the Mets' ballpark), and how much he wanted to play catch with me!!!! You guys have no idea how excited I am to go throw with this guy! He seems like he is really good, but I'm not sure if Italian Baseball is at the same level as American Baseball:)....we will see;). He did say that he went all the way to Serie B and could have gone to Serie A but he would need to leave Italy and he didn't want to do that, so that is awesome!
For the other half-hour I explained what we believe as a church and placed my copy of Il Libro di Mormon. He was such a cool guy! He asked me to mark some passages in there so that he can read them and we will talk about them later. I am excited:)!
Italian storms are beautiful
This one is a lot more spiritual. On Monday, I stopped a guy sitting on the bench that looked like he was really down in the dumps and come to find out that he really was. This man had an extremely hard life and asked me a lot of questions about what I felt the future would be like for me. I responded with, "I don't know what my future holds, but I know that my future will have trials because life is a test.... BUT, I am confident that the Lord is going to help me in EVERY single aspect of my life and I am going to make the best of every situation by putting myself in the hands of the Lord." He then ponderd on that for a little bit. I could tell that he was thinking because he was staring off at Sicilia (Sicilly) and had a very puzzled look on his face. He then responded with, "I used to have faith like that and then my life has now turned out the way it has and I've lost faith of any kind. I now live in fear every single day. Do you? Do you fear things in life Anziano?" I then answered him with nearly the same thing, "Because I know my Savior and I have faith that he loves me and wants the best for me, I don't have fear the future...except for one thing." "What is that?" he inquired. "Spiders," I said seriously. That made him laugh hysterically and he began to cry because he laughed so hard. We then began talking about other things and got very in depth about his life and what I thought about it. When I tell you guys that his life was hard, I REALLY mean that it is really hard. He has been through so many things I couldn't even imagine. When I hear people's stories, I can understand why they don't have any faith in life. I hope when we talk, it gives them comfort to know that if they build their relationship with our Savior, those burdens can be lifted. I feel priviledged that he trusted me enough to open up to me when I was a stranger. I think he felt my sincere concern for him and he knew I wanted and was ready to just listen. I am hopeful for him. He had faith once upon a time and hopefully he felt my faith enough to where that will spark something for him in the future.
I have come to the realized something about myself. I love talking with people regardless of the age!!!!!!!!!!!!! I truly love the people here. Really getting to know them is one of the very most fun things for me I have come to find out!!!
Ok…this week, I was challenged to a food eating contest by one of my good friends named ___________ that comes to our Corso d'Inglese! He told me that I could not beat a Calabrese in an eating contest.................. I just stared at him and said, "Do you see me right now? I am probably one of the largest American guys you will ever see in person and you are going to challenge me;)?" He said, "Yes sir I am!" So we made plans to go and eat at a restaurant that made pretty good arancini (fried food with rice and other fillings inside). Needless to say that the large American young man did end up beating the Calabrese!!!! BOOM!!!!...I was quite impressed by his capacity though:)
Yesterday was P-Day and boy was it one that will go down in history for me! I jumped on trampolines that were practically on the beach!!!!!!!! How much better does it get??? The place was outdoors and was kind of like Flip-n-Out except they were A LOT bouncier!!! I was in heaven! Siamo andati con le sorelle e gli anziani di Messina di saltare e era molto divertente!!! Mi è piaciuto (mom translation again....We went with the sisters and elders of Messina to jump and was a lot of fun! I liked it!!!!)
So, that is the end of the letter! I hope you enjoyed it:)! The only reason that I was able to e-mail today was because it is a major holiday for Catholics today and we are told to not do missionary work on this specific day out of respect for the people here.
Well, I am done. I hope you like the letter:). I love you all! Ci vediamo presto! Ciao ciao per ora!!!
Anziano Dallin Layton
PS!!!! I need you to do something really quick for me, I need either you or Michael (or both) to try and figure out what Dillon Thompson's e-mail address is. Erik Christiansen wants it and doesn't know how to get it because his family doesn't really know Dillon's.