First things first, as expected, I wasn't transferred! I get the opportunity to stay in Catania for at least another transfer, which I couldn't be more pumped about! Anziano Rodriguez and I will work together for these next 5 weeks, and then likely one of us will split, but until then, Catania, watch out! The dream team is about to hit the streets harder than ever!
A few highlights from the week:
1. Anziano Albright, a new missionary just 1 transfer ahead of me, joined Anziano Rodriguez and I this week in a tri-companionship! His trainer, Anziano Cox, is headed home Monday morning, having completed his two years, so Anziano Albright was without a companion until transfers on Friday. Anziano Albright brought a powerful spirit, testimony, and blessedly, a car! We were able to do so much thanks to this last point in just a few days, which really came in handy as Friday and Saturday were dedicated entirely to "The Move"...
2. Thursday night we received a call from Anziano Simoncini, (missionary housing supervisor), letting us know the church was no longer paying for the house we were living in, and that we had less than a week to get out. He then proceeded to ask that we drop everything, pack up, clean up, and be moved into our new apartment before Sunday. This request was magnified in difficulty because Friday was transfers! We were basically chauffeurs for all missionaries coming through Catania on their way to other destinations, and this left us with less than a day and a half to do it all. Trusting in Nephi's promise, that "The Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, (through Anziano Simoncini), save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them," the Catania trio, (without Anziano Chilvers, who was sent to train in Cagliari), spent Friday making preparations, and then on Saturday, the Catania Quartet, (completed by Anziano Bertoldo late Friday night), moved an apartment. Crucial to the process was Fratello Roy Di Mauro's van, and the supervision of our Ward Mission Leader, Angelo Longo... By Saturday night, everyone was exhausted, but no rest was given to the weary, as alarms blared, not at 6:30, but 5:30 Sunday Morning, thanks to the blessing that is daylight savings time.
3. One investigator named Angelo, we had wanted to visit, but couldn't, because he lives just about a lifetime away, in Bronte, on the other side of Etna. Because of Anziano Albright we had a car, and the opportunity to voyage out to Bronte. We met him, discussed the restoration, and talked about how far he is in the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 15!) He is a rockstar, and as we left he said, "aspetta un attimo". He comes back with 3 little backs filled with pistachios. Apparently he is a pistachio farmer, and boy let me tell you, those pistachios were the best I ever had! Etnas soil gives them incredible flavor, to the point where a kilo of Bronte pistachios can go for 40-50 Euro! He gave us each almost half a kilo for free! He is he coolest ever...
Impressed upon my mind this week were the words of the song, I'll go where you want me to go. I believe this has as much to do with following the spirit as anything. Will we go, where he wants us to go, and say what he wants us to say, do what he wants us to do, and be what he wants us to be? I pray the answer to that question is a resounding YES!
Con un abbraccio e un bacio!