Saturday, November 30, 2013

Serving to the very end . . .

November 29, 2013

Three of the five departing missionaries had to leave the villa by 5:15 am.  It was an early morning for everyone.  The remaining two didn't depart until later that afternoon.

It's cold and drizzling rain most of the time in Rome these days.  It's perfect soup weather.  Maybe it's just us, but we haven't seen much zuppa (soup) in Italy.  A couple of weeks ago we were in Palermo and stopped at a restaurant to have a bite to eat on the way back to the hotel.  They had zucca rossa zuppa  (red squash soup) on the menu.  It was delicious.  Consequently, I decided to try to replicate the recipe.  Michael and I found a red zucca rossa at the market by the villa and decided to try it.  Please don't ask for the recipe.  I had a couple of recipes, but the ingredients are all different here.  I did the best I could with what I had on hand.  It turned out nasty.

The senior couples and young missionaries are often invited to member's homes where they learn to cook like the Italians.  We are always on the road doing zone conferences and aren't able to do that.  Just the other day my daughter said she sure hoped I was learning to make some killer lasagna and I told her not to hold her breath.

Anyway, back to the departing missionaries.  The two who were still at the villa that morning helped me cut up the squash and get it ready to cook.  They literally served to the very end!

Thankful Happy Thoughts

Thanksgiving in Rome

November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

It was a busy day at the Mission Home.  Transfer week was right in the middle of when we normally celebrate Thanksgiving.  November 28, 2013 was a scheduled departure date for 5 of our missionaries.  Two of them were from Italy and two of them were from England.  Only one of them was from the United States and understood the significance of Thanksgiving.  We made the decision to have the traditional going home pasta dinner.  We are missionaries serving in a foreign country and it is important for us to follow their customs.

However . . . after everyone else was in bed, we were able to do facetime with our family.  It was short and didn't smell a thing like turkey and pumpkin pie, but the grandchildren offered us some turkey and showed us their new, stylish shoes.  Under the circumstances, it was the best we could do, but we are so grateful to have this form of modern technology that lets us communicate with our children.

Anybody want a piece of turkey?

Oh, hey, we've got turkey, too.

Nana, look at my cool shoes.

Departing Missionaries - November 28, 2013

November 28, 2013

Departure time is a bitter sweet time.  It's so sad to lose the missionaries who have just dedicated 18-24 months of their lives in service to the Lord.  They are dependable, trustworthy missionaries who have trained the newer missionaries and taught them how to be effective in their calling.  Again we hope and pray those missionaries who will step up to fill their shoes will be just as good.

It's a special time because the departing missionaries are returning home to loved ones who have supported and loved them from afar.  They are on the brink of a new way of life.  It's a time for them to choose a career and think about settling down and raising an eternal family.  They have learned lifelong skills that will help them in their studies, in their professions,  as husbands and wives, and as  future leaders of the church.

We have only been in Italy for a small part of their mission, but we have learned to love them.  We wish them well and look forward to communicating with them as they continue on the pathway of life.

Extra Mouths

November 27, 2013

We never know how many extra mouths we will have to feed during transfers.  Trains, planes, and buses are sometimes delayed.  This time we had so much snow in one of the towns that the missionaries had difficulty getting out.  Some of the travel times are long and tedious.  A missionary can be on a train for 10 hours.  This time we had a group of missionaries show up at the villa at 10:30 at night.  They were hungry and cold.  They are used to waking up at 6:30 am and being in bed asleep at 10:30 pm so late arrivals and early departures throw their schedules off.  We do the best we can to help ease the stress of transfers.  Life is always better when your stomach is full.

Friday, November 29, 2013

New Missionaries - November 27, 2013

November 27, 2018

The plane carrying the new missionaries was delayed and we had to wait in the cold airport lobby until it arrived.

We had two missionaries this time--una sorella and uno anziano.  It was a big difference compared to the 20-25 we had during the summer months.  Things ran much smoother and it was more relaxed.  Gratefully, all their luggage arrived with them.  We always consider that a miracle.

After a quick stop at the Rome Temple site, we took the new missionaries to the office to make copies of their driver's license to have on hand in case of emergency and then they had a brief training on finances in the mission field.

After a quick lunch in the mission office, President Waddoups walked with them to the mission home.  Along the way they each gave out a pass-along-card.  That's a pretty good start to a mission.

At the mission home, a warm, cozy bed awaited each of them.  After getting up at 2:00 am the morning before and traveling all day, they were exhausted.  Two hours just didn't seem like a long enough nap, but we wanted them to be able to sleep that night.

The assistants took them to Roma Centro for a drive past the Colosseum and some of the historical sights.  After they returned, we had a pasta dinner with gelato for dessert before we did some additional training.  After the training, each of the new missionaries opened their golden envelope that contained their assigned area and the name of their trainer.  They usually don't know where the area is or who the person is that is soon to be by their side for 24 hours a day, but they are still excited.

Everyone sings the Inno di Roma (Hymn of Rome) for the first time and then it's off to bed.  They are missionaries serving in the Italy Rome Mission now.

The assistants spend the night at the villa with us and they are good at answering questions and giving guidance.  This time we had one assistant who is moving on to become a zone leader and another one who will be the new assistant and both of their new companions join us at the villa.

New missionaries from Provo MTC

Incoming and outgoing assistants with Pres. Waddoups