Sunday, May 15, 2016

I'm not dead

hey guys! just wanted to make sure you all knew i wasn't dead!! :)
because i'm sure you were all wondering why i haven't sent out emails
in a few weeks (yeah i know you missed them.......lol)

alright so i definitely don't have time to just recount all the things
that have happened in the past couple of weeks, but i will fill you
all in on some #key things.

like a couple weeks ago or something we had met this suuperr cool guy
from english course who actually just had his 47th birthday a little
over a week ago. he's married and has 2 kids. to save you some time
i'm just gonna tell you we ended up teaching him and his family little
over a week ago. it went really well. he is so prepared for this
gospel it's unreal. about 5 days ago he had a lethal heart attack and
went into surgery immediately. safe to say our appointment got
cancelled that day...smh.

meanwhile, there is this african family in our ward that hasn't been
to church in who knows how long because they stopped coming due to not
feeling welcome by the italian members of the ward...unfortunately
it's definitely true, but according to me not a reason to come
attending God's church. anyway, they also drew away other un-welcomed
africans into their somewhat newly formed evangelist church they
started in their basement. so now there's like 20+ Africans going to
their secret underground church so that's interesting. it's funny
though because they don't think that we know but obvi we do haha. so
one night we stop by to see this less active family and try and work
things out, and they weren't home, but instead a guy named Tony
answered the door. basically, after some talk, he let us know that he
was the PASTOR of this underground church they're doing haha. and
since he's legal and has his documents we can teach him...if you catch
my drift. so yeah we got his number and set up a time to go by and
teach the boy Tony!!!

turning back to our investigator who had a heart attack...so we went
to go visit him a couple times in the hospital and talked with him a
bit. he told us a lot of things, but he was recounting to us all these
strange things that have been happening to him ever since he met us up
until his heart attack. and he said that the heart attack was the
final straw telling him all these things happening were signs. he said
that according to him these things are signs that this is the path he
needs to take in life. pretty much God has just been blessing him in
disguise, even with the heart attack, strangely enough. he told us
that if and when he makes it out alive, that he thinks he's gonna
become a mormon. it was a pretty amazing experience to be honest. i
love this guy with all my heart he's such an awesome guy. it's weird
how you can care so much for someone you've known for 2 weeks. pretty
much this guy is going to get baptized, but i just hope i get to be
here for it and not get transferred out before his baptism!

so tony...we taught him twice, and it went pretty well. he's soo
attentive. it's weird though, teaching in english. i've only ever done
it once before. and i'm not gonna pretend like i forgot english, cuz i
obviously havent, but teaching the gospel in english i literally like
never do, so it felt really awkward. especially scriptures i have
memorized in italian i dont have memorized in english so when i was
saying them i was trying to translate in my head and i kinda just
slighly looked in the literature i had with me and read it, lol. but
it's weird, teaching a pastor of another church, and having him ask us
all these questions, even about scriptures, that we are capable of
answering. i mean yeah we're young guys but it's crazy how this
mission grows your gospel knowledge so much.

pretty much these are the real important things i felt like sharing
with you all. hope they didn't bore you :)
fun joke we played on the new sister that came in to Ragusa. her first
english course we made sure everyone in our class only spoke Siciliano
dialect to her and no italian so she would trip out and she totally
did!! and i was cracking up and she was getting mad at me because she
thought that i understood and just purposely wasn't helping her lol it
was hilarious, had to be there.

lately i've been thinking about service, and like it says in Matthew,
"losing [your] life for [His] sake"...it can mean several things. but
during last skype call yesterday with my family, they asked me a
question, they asked, "what is your favorite thing about your
mission?"
sounds like a slightly simple question, but it really got me thinking,
and it's like the past 16 months just flashed before my eyes. and
every memory i have from my mission is somehow related to doing
something for someone. in short, i've realized how many opportunities
i've had to serve people, and how every time i've taken advantage of
said opportunity, i've surprisingly felt myself become happier.
i say it a lot. i'm happier than i've ever been, and i think a great
deal has to do with the fact that the life of a missionary is
completely focused on other people, rather than the missionary
himself. i'm just grateful that i have the opportunity to do this, and
i'm going to make sure that i work harder than ever in these final 7
months of my mission to serve God in every opportunity presented to me
without stopping. after all, when we are "in the service of [our]
fellow beings [we] are only in the service of [our] God."

i love you guys, and trust me when i say that you will never be
happier than when you are serving and helping someone other than
yourselves.

until next week (i hope),

Anziano Carter Blaise

97100 Ragusa, RG
Italia


Soocer on p day "my birthday" with the district
































We were in the same city in Foggia and now we're both in Ragusa!