I am just going to write really quickly because we have a short p-day today. Wednesday is Ferragosto so pretty everything is closed and it's also that time where the mission wants us to do a deep cleaner of our apartments. So since we will be doing that on Wednesday we have a shorter p-day today so we can get more work done.
Anyways, we did have transfers last week. I am still here in Roma 2, but I got a new companion! He is Anziano Castro from......Milan!!!! I always wanted to have an Italian companion. I figured after so many transfers coming and going without me getting one it was just never going to happen. Well, not only is Anziano Castro my companion, but he is also in my group! We didn't go to the MTC together (Italians go to the one in Madrid and just for like 2 or 3 weeks), but we arrived in Rome at the same time and spent the first few days of training together. Anziano Castro is originally from El Salvador, but since age 3 he has lived in Italy so he is definitely Italian through and through. I stinkin love it!! I feel like I am getting to experience the culture in a deeper way that I never have before. He speaks Italian, Spanish, and English fluently and then Portuguese, Chinese, and French on varying levels. We established kind of right off that we would speak English in the house and Italian out of the house. My Italian is literally sky-rocketing! I feel so so lucky to have this opportunity because there are not very many Italian missionaries in our mission. His Italian is also pretty different though. Northern Italy, but especially Milan, has a different accent. It's a lot more distinct and the pronunciation is more pointed if that makes sense. To make a comparison, Milan could be like a British accent, Rome could be like a Utah accent, Napoli could be like a hillbilly, and Sicily could be like just a Southern accent. Haha
One quick story, this past week we did an finding exercise with some other missionaries in our zone on the metro. So we got into pairs and then basically did a loop. We would get on at a stop called Repubblica ride it three stops down to a stop called Flaminio (it takes about 4 minutes) and then at Flaminio we would walk over to the metro going the opposite direction and ride it back to Repubblica. We did this riding back and forth between the two stops for about 40 minutes. The objective was to get on and then just start a conversation with someone. We would do our best to bring up the gospel and get their number and then get off at Repubblica or Flaminio depending on which direction we were going. We could stay on the metro and ride down farther with them if we felt really impressed to, but then we would return back and keep doing the loop between Repubblica and Flaminio. What we did we actually is we had each companionship take a different train (the trains pass like every 2 minutes) and then the companions were even advised to spread out just a bit from each other (obviously still within sight and sound) on the metro. It was such an amazing practice to just discover how I personally like approaching people and doing finding. I felt more free not having another missionary right beside me so I could just relax and focus on the person I wanted to talk to. After this exercise we all regrouped and then discussed tips or tricks we discovered. I loved it a lot! It made me really examine how I do things. I loved how they just encouraged us to be ourselves as we approached these people. We are all missionaries, but we are different people with different gifts and we each bring things to the table. Anyways, I just wanted to share that with y'all because I thought it was so interesting and I want to add my testimony that there are people who want to hear this message and we are all called to stand as witnesses and share it. I know God helps us.
Alma 32:27 "But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire..., let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can...."
I love you all! Anziano Stucki
Grateful for an opportunity to learn and come closer to the Savior, Neal shares his mission experience with us.