A LOT has happened this week. I am writing y'all this week from.......Caglieri, Sardegna!!! I'm just across the sea from Trapani and the island of Sicilia where I was before. Caglieri (more or less pronounced like "Kah-yeh-ree.") is the capital of Sardegna. It's at the very bottom of Sardegna. It is much much bigger than Trapani. There is a good ward here and there are 8 missionaries in this city (4 elders, 4 sisters). We live in a 4-man house and it is so fun! My companion is Anziano Crook from Layton, Utah. I am on a streak of having all comapions from Utah so far. I am his follow-up trainer which pretty much just means I am the companion he has for his third transfer. With me in my fourth transfer, we are a very VERY young companionship. Thank goodness though, because the people here are way easier to understand. Supposedly they speak some of the most pure Italian in Italy. That will help my Italian a lot. Also, one of the other elders in my house is Italian. He is hilarious. In the evenings at the end of the day we seriously just sit around the table in the kitchen and He makes us all laugh. Hana He knows English pretty much perfectly but he still talks in Italian almost always.
Well, backup to Thursday morning the senior couple the Garrets dropped me off at the airport in Palermo, Sicilia for my flight to Roma and then Caglieri. Don't ask me why I flew all the way up to Roma first because I wouldn't be able to tell you!! It is was still fun however to "be" in Roma even though I literally just sat in the airport for my short 1 hour layover. Haha Anyways, back in Palermo I was sitting in the terminal with 40 min before boarding time. So what did I do sitting there alone in the airport not having a companion with me for the first time in months? I went back down the hall where I had seen a nice little concert grand Yamaha piano. I started with River Flows In You and then went to Pirates of the Caribbean. After that, I didn't have any other songs memorized so I pulled out my tablet and started playing from sheet music I had on that. People would clap after each song and then I would just play another one. I played for a good 30 minutes and then headed over to the gate to board. I got to talk to a few Germans after. They didn't speak Italian, but they spoke English pretty alright so thank goodness! Basically I just told them that if they see boys dressed like me in Germany that they should go say hi to them. Haha
Hours later, I arrived in Caglieri. All the missionaries were there at the airport to pick us up. I briefly said hi to my new companion then was informed the zone leaders would be taking my luggage, and me and my companion would be accompanying another elder to Oristano (a city up towards the north of Sardegna) to meet his new companion. The fun part was, the train that this elder's companion would be arriving from at Oristano was the exact train Anziano Crook and I would have to take to return to Caglieri. We couldn't get on the train and go back to Caglieri until we were sure this elder was with his companion though, but thankfully miracles happen, because the exact train car we were waiting at, was the train car this elder's companion got off of. I don't know if that made sense, but pretty much, it was a crazy day. Haha When we got back to the apartment that night, I suddenly realized the only thing I had eaten all day was an apple. I am definitely learning to just go with it and just enjoy the ride. I've seen this week very much that many times that's the only good option.
I am loving it here in Caglieri. It's also close to the sea just like Trapani. The sunsets are gorgeous. The bus system is also amazing too! Haha I feel very blessed to also have the opportunity to be serving as the district leader here in Caglieri. I feel like this calling is very much a blessing. At a time when I'm adjusting to a new city and new people and faces, my first reaction might be to turn inward and focus on myself more, but instead with this I am called to look outward and focus on the needs of others if even in just this small way. I am coming to learn that turning outward is actually a blessing in and of itself because in doing so something inside us changes and we instantly become just a little more like Christ.
I'm so thankful for this opportunity to be on a mission. I know God loves us and that following Him will bless everyone's lives.
Ciao! Anziano Stucki.
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Grateful for an opportunity to learn and come closer to the Savior, Neal shares his mission experience with us.