Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Week 11, General Conference and Pasqua/Pasquetta ..

well...hello everyone,

let me first start off by saying how awesome these past few days have been. so much has happened this last week, I think i only have time to talk about the past couple days.
as you all know, general conference was this weekend, which is basically christmas here in the mission haha, its so sick. we went to the church to watch it since we dont have a tv. and since we're 8 hours ahead of Utah, we had to watch it at odd times kinda. but it was so sweet.
on saturday night, we watched the saturday morning session of conference, and it was sweet. tons of focus on families and marriage and the whole eternal aspect, which truly is amazing to think about. we bought a bunch of snacks to bring to the church to snack on during our GEN CONF MARATHON lol. the next day on sunday, we got to the church around 9am to watch the saturday afternoon session, and our 75 year old romanian friend Gheorge Bob showed up to join us. after that, he had to go home to make food. then, we watched priesthood session, twice. one time in italian and another time in english (long story). then we snacked for a bit before we started the sunday morning session at 6pm our time. and upon starting it, a member named Vincenzo comes in to join. Not sure if i have talked about him previously, but he is quite the character. he's mentally unstable, and talks at very high volume and nonstop. so, during conference, he would often talk, usually to himself, and took a total of 200 selfies at least, with the computer screen in the background. all in all it was an interesting experience.
despite the disturbances, i really took a lot from this conference. it helped me to come to the realization of many things such as the importance of family, and the atonement. the atonement is a broad subject, but one thing i felt was repeated, luckily, was the fact that we must MOVE ON from our mistakes. Heavenly Father cares about who we are, not what we WERE. He sent His only begotten son to this earth, so that the burden of sin may be lightened so much, even completely off our shoulders. through His atonement, we can not only become clean and happy again, but we can forget our mistakes and, like God, remember them no more. it truly is the best gift, along with eternal families of course.
monday was sweet. other than deep cleaning in the apartment, it was Pasquetta, which literally means little Easter, in Italy. and it is a huge holiday. so, we went to this Italian family in our ward the Bruno's house. we had a 6 hour pranzo, then went back. it was so much fun. everyone was just laughing and having a great time the whole 6 hours. we had 6 courses of food followed by some amazing desserts, yes more than one dessert. the Italians are so loving and I love it. as soon as the found out I was american they just always called me "Anziano Americano!" and they thought it was so cool that i spoke english (even though italian is way cooler)
anyway, once we got back from this feast, we had about 30 minutes of proseltying time. i was bummed we had to do it, but it was whatever, so we said our prayers and went out. let me tell you, we saw a total of 3 people the entire time, stopped all of them, and only one was willing to talk with us. i felt prompted to ask if he believed in God, he said no and that he was agnostic. long story short, 10 minutes later, we have each other's phone numbers and an appointment to meet with this 16 year old named Gabrielle this week to explain how to know if God exists and how to enjoy the happiness that this brings into our lives. if anything, it was just a reminder to never give up. even if it seems like nothing will get done and its pointless to go out and proselyte, its not. the Lord works in mysterious ways, and obviously knew we would go out finding, and put this guy in our path for a reason. i look forward to find out what this reason is, and to encounter many more miracles similar to this one throughout my mission. i'm so blessed to be out here in Italy, and I wouldnt trade it for the world. i love you all so much, and think and pray for you every day. God bless

love, 
anziano blaise

here's part of napoli and mt. vesuvius

got some glasses, lol not prescription

so yeah, that thing im eating is gelato..i dont wanna even explain how good it was cuz you will all cry from jealousy ;)

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