Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Italy =)

Dear Family and Friends,

A long time ago in a country far far away. Their lived two young Jedi, The apprentice and the master. They both were trying to teach the ways of the force to the popollo of Italy. Most of the people did not have time or were interested in the Jedi, but this is their story.

I'm in Italy now in a city called Alessandria. There is no snow here, but its much colder here than Utah. The city is like from a movie. You cant see any of the countries because you are surrounded by buildings. There are these narrow brick roads that we bike on and walk on most of the day. We don't have too many investigators and those we do have are A) Too busy or B) not truly interested. Making it nigh impossible to meet with them at all so we have been looking for new people this last week. Not many people respond to us, and if they do believe in Jesus Christ they aren't open to our message. A lot of people don't believe in Jesus Christ though. 

We went caroling the other day, the four Anziano. Three would sing and one would hand out little hand out things. We then started handing out pamphlets and a few book of Mormon that were gift wrapped. (yes we are very clever haha). But the funny thing is, very few people would take, the presents. If I was back home and someone handed me a present on the street, Id be all over that stuff. Also we ll ask people if they like Christmas, and they basically do a Bah-humbug type of response. Kind of funny, while really sad. Its good to take things with a smile as you can as a missionary though. 

I hardly understand people here, even my trainer. Its like level 10 to level 1 of the MTC. I'm trying and I'm being patient, but I don't have an ear for the language yet. Hence hes done more of the talking. Example I ask people often on the streets. Do you believe in Jesus Christ... and they don't understand what I say even if I say it twice... even though I've gotten lots of practice. Kind of funny. But I hope the language comes eventually.

On a bright side... The food is amazing. Out right amazing. The pizza, bread, etc is so good. They know how to eat here. I would know =). Ive been very hungry often but thats ok. They eat a small breakfast big lunch and a small dinner. So I'm trying to adjust. 

They are very good at driving here... But they are also very crazy drivers. Its a little scary haha. and they are mean yet nice. If you are walking or biking.. you make the cars stay out of your way type of thing. The culture is different that way. Also there is graffiti all over the place. 

My trainers name is Anziano Lewis. He is super nice, patient, cool etc. If you have seen or want to see Fried Green Tomatoes, he looks Like Buddy, and kind of acts like him too. Hes amazing at the language. Hes been out here a year and a half. Hes from Logan Utah. He says cool beans a fair amount. He knows his stuff. 

There are 6 missionaries in Alessandria. Two sisters and four elders. The sisters are nice. The elders live in the same building one floor down so we see them a lot. They are the zone leaders and hence have a car, they drive us around every once in a while so that's very nice. Anziano Taylor sings, and has a very funny sense of humor, hes also very spiritual. Anziano Wilson is super funny, he ll often do funny things that get me cracking up and he similes a lot which I like. 

The Jedi would often pass people on the street. They would do a slight wave as a friendly gesture, but in all honesty they would do it hoping that they would Jedi mind trick them into listening to them. (Kind of funny=))

Its been semi successful though, because we have met two men on the street the last two days and we are meeting with each of them at different times tonight. I'm excited and hoping for the best.

Its easy to see the bad parts of being here etc. a little harder to see the good side of things at times. Which I'm going to work on. 

The other Elders had a baptism on Saturday which was super cool. This younger guy who has super cool hair in Italy. Speaking of, in Italy its really in to have buzzed sides and a long top. Dad has been having us boys use that for years, so maybe it was all meant to be haha. 

In the MTC some things I liked before I left was, We watched the Christmas devotional, there was a story of a two year old boy who had cancer he was going to die soon before his three favorite holidays. Halloween his Birthday in November, and Christmas. So his ward and stake celebrated all these within a week.. he died three days later. I cried quite a bit at this story, haha. It just gives me hope in the human race and goodness of people. I watched the Joseph Smith Restoration and some things I learned, every blessing we receive comes through obedience. Emma asked Joseph Smith Do you ever think he asks too much.. I don't let myself (was his response). All our losses will be made up if we are faithful. Sometimes the greatest acts of kindness are the small things. 

A scripture I loved this week was. Alma 36:37 which basically teaches not to fear, which I really like. 

Sorry I didn't call home more than twice. I couldn't check the email the day before, and I only had a minute to call the two numbers I remembered. We were so busy. No extra time. 

The members in Alessandria are so nice and good. They've fed us a few times already and we love and appreciate them and them us. We mostly make our own food here. So Ill probably come home a master Italian chef as well. 

Funny story to kind of explain things here. A man parked his car in the middle of a small road so no one could pass, with 3 or 4 cars behind him. They all honked at him. He opened his door and grunted very loudly... twenty five seconds later he drove off. 

I've gained even more perspective here which is surprising... I appreciate things more now. 

We also have bikes. Which I really like which is surprising. We get to bike fast and what not. Its basically like having your own poddracer, mi piace. (I like it) 

Italian For The Week... Ganzo, is a cool way to say neat.

I've taken a few trains while I've been here which has been fun. They aren't super nice trains, but they aren't terrible. 

People smoke sooooo much here. I HATE it. I don't like breathing in the second hand smoke, and its utterly unattractive. The young people still think its cool so they get hooked on it. 

Over all I like it here and I'm thankful. Thank you for those who have written me (recently and not). I really do appreciate it and it lifts the spirits of a Jedi. Thank you for your prayers. Maybe remember that I need help with the language over here in your future ones. Enjoy what you have while you have it. Be thankful. We are only on earth for a short amount of time. 

With Love
Anziano Gridley

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