Dearest my favorite family, I made it here in Vegas! Okay jk jk. I am here in Trapani, Italy on the island of.....Sicily!! I am off the "boot" and am one of the closest cities in the mission to Africa. Trapani is right on the coast and as you will see in one of my pictures, we can see the Mediterranean Sea from our window! Before I start talking about the good times in Trapani I need to briefly catch ya'll up on the few days before though.
So we left the MTC at a ridiculously early time in the morning, flew to Atlanta and then Rome. I will not speak much of the flight to Rome. Needless to say, if you get more than two solid hours of sleep on a nine hour overnight flight, consider yourself extraordinarily blessed. Haha anyways, we spent our first two days in Rome. We went sight-seeing, did training, and practiced talking to so many people. My comprehension level was at about 5% when I came, so you can imagine how fun that was. Good thing the AP's stayed close by (sometimes haha) so they could translate for us. Me and another missionary from the MTC were talking to some lady on the metro. She kept asking us this question and we had now idea what she was saying. Then some random Italian guy on the metro a few seats over said in English, "She's asking you how many siblings you have." Who would've thought! Haha
Here in Trapani my companion is Anziano Melling from the great city of Lehi, Utah. He's awesome! We have so much fun! There are so many cool things that happen everday, I don't have time to write them all, but one cool experience was in a lesson with a less-active sister in the branch. During our visit her daughter spoke very angrily to us. I didn't understand all of it right then, but I recognized a phrase meaning basically, "I'll never change! I'll never change!" Anziano Melling went on later to explain that she questioned us because we were just young men and in her church she learns from men who have spent years studying doctrine. At one point, I distinctly remember the Spirit leaving. Anziano Melling handled it so well though. He didn't argue back, but just listened and then asked if we could start with a prayer. After that, we begin to teach about the first vision with an emphasis on personal revelation. I recited the 1st vision and did my best to testify in Italian that we as missionaries cannot help her know everything and so she needs to pray to God because only He is the source of all true knowledge. The Spirit returned so powerfully. It was so cool! Also, the other day we got stopped by a guy asking us if we could give him a copy of the Bible. As the conversation went on we began to talk to him about the Book of Mormon. We were just running a quick errand and we didn't have a lot of our stuff with us so Anziano Melling was about to explain that unfortunately we didn't have a Book of Mormon for him right then, when suddenly I remembered I had a Book of Mormon in my shoulder bag from when we were contacting people on our first day in Rome!! I pulled out the book and held it out. Anziano Melling's expression was priceless. Haha It was the perfect moment. There are so many little miracles like that. I love missionary work!
Well, that is all for this week. Real quick, we had our first meal appointment with an Italian family yesterday afternoon. The food was heavenly. It is all so good! I cannot say it enough. My mouth is literally starting to water as I write this to you. Haha
Vi voglio un sacco di bene! Anziano Stucki.
Grateful for an opportunity to learn and come closer to the Savior, Neal shares his mission experience with us.