Oh boy, where do I start this week. Well, I'm here now in Prato and this city is gorgeous. Bellissima!! There is this river that runs right through the city and there are olive trees everywhere. They are literally lining the streets. Everyone comes and picks them and then makes their own olive oil. This city is a lot smaller than Genova and so we have bikes here. I really like how small the city is, but I hate bikes. My legs hurt all the time and I'm always sweaty and I've been tired every single day I've been here. I'm glad I'm on bikes though because it forces me to exercise. I'm getting a pasta belly and it really stinks because the food is so good and you just want to keep eating it.
So here's a little more about my comp, Anziano Walker. He grew up in Escondido but he moved to St. George and now lives there. And get this, he was really good friends with Becca (Eric's cousin). He kinda freaked out when he found out that we were cousins. So Becca, if you're reading this, he says hi. Cool thing is that he is a pilot. He really likes to sing...like all the time. Even when we are in the middle of centro. IN fact, we actually do singing finding in centro. We just go and sing while the other two anziani go and talk to people. The first time we did it, this lady tried to give us money! Instead we gave her a pass along card and she's coming to English class probably. We actually have talked to a lot of people doing this. It's just strange enough to work I guess. haha. So the other two anziani in our apartment are Anziano Windley and Anderson, both from Utah. It's really weird because we are basically all at the same level in the language, but we were all in different parts of our missions, so we are all learning together. Our apartment is huge and brand new. This is the 3rd transfer that we've had it, so its really nice. Two bathrooms...yeah, that's pretty nice.
So going back to Prato a bit, the river flooded the other day when it rained and let's just say, it was pretty full of water. I will attach some pictures. We do a lot of finding work on the side of the river. It's a really nice bike path (Dad, you would love this city). We actually met some guys who are mountaineers and they offered to take us up the mountain sometime and so we did this morning. We hiked this mountain that separates Prato and Firenze, so at the top, we had an amazing view of the entire valley. It was so much fun. There is actually a really old house up there Casa Bastone, and we stopped by there because the guys friends work up there and maintain the house and what not. It was a little museum thing. Dad would love it. They were all really nice and they actually grabbed an American flag they had and hung it up on the flagpole with the Italian flag. It was awesome! They were all so nice and really funny. And it was really good practice at just normal conversational Italian. I had a ton of pictures from this hike, so I wont send all of them.
So, we have had some really great miracles with me. Heavenly Father is very patient with me. We had fast Sunday this week because last week was District Conference here in Firenze (they are almost a stake!). So we fasted and the power of fasting really works. We had a day of basically all finding work, which is never very fun, but we managed to set up an appointment with an old investigator. So we met him, his name was Salvatore, and we taught him. Then after we said goodbye, this ragazzo walked past, so we started talking to him and we ended up teaching him a lesson too! He was super interested and his name was Salvatore too! So we got 2 new investigators within about 30 seconds of each other. It was crazy! And then during sing finding that night, this man walked up to us and told us that he really respected us because he never sees us doing anything bad. We are just always so happy. And guess what his name was....that's right. Salvatore!!! So that was a crazy day. Then yesterday we had a lesson fall through so we went to do some casa, and I will be honest, I didn't have the best attitude about it, but I went and did it. We got rejected about 15 times and then we met this girl at the door of her palazzo and she was actually interested! We taught her for 5 minutes and then gave her a restauration opuscolo and she said that she wanted to meet with us again! Heavenly Father really has a funny sense of humor. He gives me these little miracles right as I'm losing faith. I'm so grateful for the Lord's help in this work. It really is his work. I'm so grateful to be here serving the Lord. This work is really hard, but its really rewarding.
Reading your letter this week Dad it reminded me of a really cool experience I had last night. We were teaching this really cool couple about the Plan of Salvation and they had a ton of really confusing and odd questions. We tried our best to answer them, and then at the end of the lesson, I felt prompted to promise them that if they go to the Lord in prayer, that he will answer their questions. The spirit was so strong and it really just affirmed to me that I really am making a difference in these peoples lives. I love being a missionary. Sure its hot and humid and I have to ride a bike everywhere and no one really wants to talk to us and I have to pay almost 5 euro to email you, but I know that I am helping the Lord's work move forward. I'm so grateful. I'm learning so much and it honestly feels like I've been here for a week. I can't believe I've been here for 4 months already. 2 years is going to fly by so fast. It's crazy.
I want to thank you all for your prayers and support. You are all so amazing and I couldn't do this without you all. I love you so much. I love hearing from you and I hope that you can all feel a little piece of the joy I feel when you read these emails.
BYU sports is the best. I'm glad to hear that we are all now in winning ways. Keep me updated. I still have my 2 BYU women's soccer posters up in my room. I'm a dedicated fan, for life.
Really quick, we had a branch activity this past Saturday that I just kinda walked into. It was a western, so we had little gallery games and then a "campfire" together in the chapel. We sang songs and I kinda acted one out for the Italians who had no idea what we were saying. Its super hammy (prosciutto-ey here in Italy), so I'm sure you will all get a kick out of watching it. Any who, now the branch loves me and I think I'm always going to be remembered here as that one Anziano Pacus Bill.
I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!!
Wo ai ni!!!! (I love you in Mandarin. There are a lot of Chinese people here)
|Anzianos Anderson, Windley, Walker and Langlois|
|The river before the storm...|