I apologize in advance, today has been a crazy day and I don't have a lot of time to write, so I will try to do my best to make sense and tell you everything I can.
First of all, thank you all for your emails! I love reading them, and I miss you all so much. I wish you all could be here with me. it is so incredible here. I love Genova. I went on a scambio with one of the zone leaders this week, and we went to the other side of Genova....this city is huge. I never even knew that whole half existed!!! I loved it though. We taught a Peruvian man, and gave two blessings. Plus, one of the members made us piadinas. They were so good!!! Its funny because everyone has been talking about the food I will eat, but the first time I ate at someone's house was this week. He is less active and after we taught him, he literally gave us an entire plate of freezing cold meat. I don't know from what animal it came from, but it was weird. He also made me eat a radish. Just a straight up radish. That was pretty gross. But I ate it anyway. Now, he is not from Italy, but I just thought it was funny that the first meal I ate at a members house was far from what I thought it would be. haha
Jason, our missions have something very much in common. We both taught Ecuadorians!! Literally everyone here is either Genovese or Ecuadorean. And they are all from Guayaquil, I don't know why, but they are. I just thought that was funny. In fact, a lot of the people we teach here are South Americans. Most of the Italians we teach are less active. Oh well. Also, there are a lot of Africans in Italy, so I speak English a lot more than I ever thought I would. It's weird, and hard to switch sometimes.
Italians are a funny people. Everyone, and I mean everyone, goes on vacation in August. It's super frustrating because no one is home or the people you meet are just tourists, but oh well. The other weird thing, is that whenever we talk to someone, they almost always start talking about every other church but ours, the one we actually want to talk about. They always say, the catholic church this..the Muslims do this....the Testimoni di Geova say this.....but they never really let us talk about our church. Its kinda frustrating, but you hear some pretty funny and crazy things. I really love the people here, they are incredible, and as I understand more and more, they get more and more fun to talk to, because I actually know what they are saying!!! haha
Today for P-day we went to Cinque Terre, which are these 5 cities that are right on the coast and they are incredible. Oh wow...We went to 4 of the 5 and in my opinion, only really 1 or 2 are worth going back too. I took all of these pictures today, and they are not fake. Everything really looks like this, but so much more amazing. It's nuts how pretty this area is.
Now, I want to turn to a little more spiritual side. During our new missionary training a few weeks ago, we discussed that story of the young man in Matthew 19 who asks the Lord how he can receive eternal life, and after the Lord tells him to keep the commandments, the man says that he has since he was young, so then he asks "what lack I yet?". The answer that follows is specific to the young man in the story, so we were all asked to ask the Lord that same question. There is a lot of power in this, and when you do this, be ready to be humbled. The Lord always shows us hour weaknesses so that we can overcome them and become strong. Currently, I am studying the 4 Gospels and focusing specifically on faith. I plan on doing this for all of the Christ-like attributes. I have already learned so much. If we have faith, we can cast our all fear and the Lord with help us. I know sometimes I feel scared to talk to some random person in a language I don't speak that well, but every time I exercise faith and do so, the Lord blesses me so much. The Lord is always with you and will bless you as you "open your mouth, and it will be filled" as the Doctrine and Covenants says.
As always, thanks for the sports updates Dad. I cant believe the Dodgers are still doing so well! They would get good as soon as I leave. I'm so happy to hear that the US team broke top 20 again! We are really moving up in the world and making a name for our self. I hope we can keep it up. I'm really jealous of your camping stories, that sounded like so much fun. I miss camping so much. And Lizzy, I'm so glad you had such a fun time at girls camp. Always remember the spirit that you feel at those kind of events and try to keep that same spirit with you always. It is possible, and when you have the spirit with you, you can do miracle. You can be guided to people and given the specific words to say that will soften their hearts.
Through all the hard times, I always know that this is the Lord's true church and that Joseph Smith really did restore the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it is the proof of all these things. If you don't believe me, read it for yourself and ask heavenly father if it be true. It will change your life.
I love you all and wish you all the best in all of your lives and with whatever you are doing! Also Lizzy, if you think you miss air conditioning, then you should come to Italy. No one has air conditioning. Its just the best. haha
State mi bene!
Vi voglio tantissimo bene!!