Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thanksgiving in Italy!

I cannot believe that I am already at this point in the transfer! Time is just flying! Well the news is............... I am staying in Trieste and becoming a district leader again while Anziano Poole will be going to serve in Milano 1 (Lumpagnano) He is pretty excited but maybe a little sad too because he hasn't been in Tireste for very long. My new companion will be Anziano Lewis, I don't know anything about him but I will let you all know next week when I do. Also Anziano Hillyard, my last and favorite companion is moving into Gorizia which will be in my district. I am quite excited for that one!
This week has been good. I barely know where it went. Again slow and steady, But we still have stuff that we are doing.

On Thursday, we taught a lesson to an Italian Lady named Simona in English. It was a really Spiritual lesson. She is a very intelligent person who asked amazing questions. She teaches English here and she learned it in South Carolina and London. What a combo! We then taught Daniele and Nicole and then there was institute.
Friday was a pretty smooth day, we taught Daniela and passed out a million flyers for English class. It generated a lot of interest. We have gotten at least 3 phone calls a day since asking about English class.
Saturday, we taught a Chinese man who is working out his PhD in Physics. I get a headache just thinking about dealing with that much flipping physics. It was a good lesson. He accepted a baptismal invite with a date! That is exciting We helped clean the Church with Nicole, Bruno and Luca, taught Nicole another lesson, and then Maurizio. It was a good day.
On Sunday we had church, a lesson with Maria, more english class flyers being passed out and dinner with the Carri family.

On Monday, we cleaned the house and taught Antonio and Adam, and got transfer calls, and went to dinner at a member's house. (We eat so much in Trieste this is probably to give us something to keep us warm through the crazy wind and cold winter that everyone says is on its way)

Yesterday, Vladmir Putin came to Trieste! Piazza Dell'Unità was blockaded by police in riot gear and there was a giant Russian Flag flying. Also people made protest banners and in Russian and hung them around town... We taught some less actives, had English class with new students!!! and the Bishop's wife came and gave Anziano Poole a giant brick of Chocolate tied with a red ribbon as a parting gift. It was a good day.

Today we went to Venezia (Venice for P-day). It was nice! We looked around a few shops, ate at Hard Rock Café and saw the city! Beautiful! I have dreamed of that place my whole life and now, I finally got to walk around it. It was all that I imagined. On the train ride there we had a very nice conversation with a lady who teaches religion at the University there. She was super sweet. She asked a bunch of question that were very intuitive. I liked that a lot. We are going to go see Antonio and Adam and then Anziano Poole is going to pack. I will be in Gorizia all day tomorrow awaiting my new companion!

Love you all! Happy Thanksgiving!

Anziano John Colin Cook

Oh man! You guys wouldn't believe this week. We certainly had a huge adventure. This has been a fantastic week and I have learned a lot and I feel great!
Well, Thursday was Thanksgiving and also transfers. Anziano Lewis and I had a very interesting time  trying to get our transfer all figured out. I will give you the details. So early in the morning, Anziano Poole and I got on a train directed towards Venezia, Mestre at a midway stop, Malfalcone, Anziano Johnson and I were to switch places. Before we pulled into the station at Malfalcone, Anziano Johnson called convinced me to give Anziano Poole Trieste's Phone so that when they got to Milano, they could meet Anziano Lewis and Hillyard, give them the phone and that way, they could have a way to tell us that they got to Gorizia where we would be waiting. The only problem was that Anziano Lewis and Hillyard were coming from Bologna, not Milano. So our phone ended up going across the country in a different direction. It was somehow arranged that missionaries who would be going from Milano to Udine would meet us in Udine that evening and give us the Phone. Anziano Lewis and I explored Gorizia and Nova Gorica that night as we waited to go to Udine. When we got to Udine to meet them, the train that they were supposed to be on was frighteningly missionary-free, so we scrambled to find somebody with a phone so that we could call them and see what was going on. It turned out that the train they tried to get on was so packed that they literally could not get on it. They ended up being on a train that would come 30 minutes later. We used that time to go get a slice of Pizza from a local Pizzeria in Udine. Which was good. The udine missionaries finally got to Udine and gave us our phone and then we went to wait for our train which came at a 20 minute delay. We crashed that night in Gorizia's apartment and left for Trieste first thing in the morning. We arrived in Trieste at about 10:00 am on Friday morning when in a problem free world, we would have been arrived at about 4:00 pm the previous day.
Most people would have been freaking out and stressed and angry that day. Not us. We were just as happy as clams, smiling and laughing about the crazy situation that we found ourselves in. We made the best of it and had a ball the whole time. Our thanksgiving meal consited of rice and curry that afternoon and pizza in Udine at 9:30 at night. I had a totally fun time!
That brings me to talk about Anziano Lewis, my companion. What a guy :) He comes from Logan, Utah. He knew Anziano Gladwin my original MTC companion. He is such a funny, calm positive, Hard working guy!! I love him so much already! These past few days have just been nonstop fun. He is in his 4th transfer and served in Pisa before. He is a great missionary. I am having a ton of fun with him.

Friday mainly consisted of getting situated unpacking, doing shopping, and trying to start weekly planning. We had a lesson with a man named Angelo. He had called earlier in the week saying that he had been a bit distanced from the church and wanted to get back involved in it. We told him we would meet him voluntieri (willingly) assuming that he was an inactive member who wanted to get back in church. Actually he turned out to be someone who was an investigator years and years ago in Calabria. His aunt is a member of the church and while he was spending time with her in Calbria all of those years ago, he took a few lessons from the missionaries. Well, now he finally wants to be a part of it all. He has been spending the last few months as he said improving himself. He has quit a lot of habits that he had that could be damaging to health. He said "It is time for a spiritual rebirth too. I want to be made new." Well we gave him a baptismal date for the 28th of December. He is excited! He came to Church and loved it. He even stayed for Choir practice. The members loved him.
On Saturday We saw Adam and Antonio.
Sunday was Church which was really good. There was a cool experience later in the evening. We had an appointment to meet with a potential investigator. He wanted to talk in a cafè but as he entered the cafè he started up a conversation with 3 women who sat around a table. They asked him why he brought Jehovah’s Witnesses with him. We explained for the trillionth time that we weren't Jehovah's Witnesses and he explained that he intended to convert us. To which that ladies all said "Shame on you! Don't rob these beautiful young men of their faith" So a conversation was born from that. After a whle the original guy that we wanted to talk to got bored and left but we taught a lesson and gave Books of Mormon to the Ladies. That was really fun. They were nice.
On Monday, We had district meeting in Gorizia. After that, we taught Angelo the plan of Salvation. He was amazed! He kept saying "I feel so great knowing this!! This makes so much sense!"
Yesterday we taught Matteo and Jessika and Nicole and Had English class.
That was my week.

I love you all,

Anziano John Colin Cook

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