The Italy Rome Mission requires a lot of travel. This was one of those times when we felt like we were on the road forever. On Tuesday, Dec. 3, we had training in Rome for the East and West Zones. The next morning we drove by car to Bari (approx 6 hours) and did interviews that night. The following day we had training in Bari and then drove to Taranto where we attended English class with the missionaries. The next day we did training in Taranto and then drove to Cozensa for the District Conference being held there that weekend. Michael and I both taught in sessions on Saturday and then spoke in conference the following day. As soon as conference was over, we had the assistants take us to an airport an hour away where dropped off one of the counselors in the mission presidency and picked up a rental car for the rest of the trip. The office couple who had driven Elder Adler to the conference from Rome then took our car back to Rome and the assistants drove the van. That allowed us to get a rental car for the rest of the trip so we could fly back from Palermo at the end of the trip and avoid a 15 hours drive. We spent Sunday night in Reggio di Calabria and then caught a ferry early the next morning for Sicily. Sicily can only be reached by ferry or airplane. Sicily is controlled by the mafia and they obviously make a lot of money because they own the ferry system. There are no bridges from the mainland to the island. Even trains that run between the two pieces of land have to be loaded onto special ferries that transport them to Sicily and then back again. After taking the ferry ride, we landed safely in the town of Messina that is directly across the strait from Reggio di Calabria. From here we drove partway across the island to Catania where we spent the night and then did training the next day. After the training session in Catania we drove to Palermo at the other end of the island where we went to English class with them that evening and then did a training session the next day. That evening we hopped on a plane and flew to Rome where we welcomed a new couple into the mission, had the traditional departing dinner and testimony meeting with two missionaries who had completed their missions and then left that night on a ferry for a 15 hour trip to the island of Sardegna. We spent all night on the ferry and landed in Cagliari early in the morning and drove from the port directly to Oristano for a training session there. After the training session we met with the missionaries and an investigator that evening. The next day we drove to the other side of the island to Olbia where we spent the night and then attended church at their tiny branch the next day. That evening we boarded the ferry for another all night trip back to Rome. Less than 24 hours later we were packed and on our way to a little town north of Rome to spend Christmas and do some bonding time with three other senior couples serving in Italy. There's always something to do--but if you have to do something, this is the best thing to do.
|Port at Reggio di Calabria|
|Messina, Sicily in the background.|