Monday, December 26, 2016

Le feste

Merry Christmas!
The great thing about Italy is that the partying barely starts with
Christmas Eve. Yesterday was Christmas and today is Saint Stefano's
day, Saturday's New Year's Eve, then there's New Years and then
January 6 is the Befana. Today we got invited to 2 members homes which
is pretty awesome, kind of stressful because it's pday, but worth it
because the first is lunch with a less active family. I was there at
the hospital when the daughters son was born which is crazy because
now he is almost six months old, haha.  I have a 6 month year old
niece at home I haven't even met yet! But yea, so that will be great
and delicious food, and then tonight we're going to a little get
together and we're all going to sing Christmas carols and there are
going to be nice people to meet! So worth it.

This week was great. One of the highlights I would say would be the
caroling we did. It was hilarious because Christmas caroling is not an
Italian tradition and so people were totally caught off guard, one guy
tried giving us money, but then just let us in and we got to share a
message with his family. Another man let us in and accepted a "how to
quit smoking course". Totally random, but awesome! We also ended up
with a lot of chocolate. It was like we went trick or treating or
something, haha.

Christmas Eve was really special also. Saturday morning we got
together with the whole zone and just blitzed Piazza del Popolo for
like 2 hours. (You can google Piazza del Popolo if you want to see a
good picture of it). A group of people sang, while others of us went
around talking with people, stopping people, and teaching people.  I
actually had a pretty cool experience with this girl on a bench. She
will for sure read the wrapped Book of Mormon we gave her, but she
lives in the Milan mission boundaries.  My companion and I wrapped
some books of Mormons like Christmas presents, so there was also that
to give out. It was totally cool, and nice because it wasn't just
tourists, but actually mostly locals. A lot of people stopped and took
pictures and video taped us, because they were just like, what is
going on??? A bunch of random young people from around the world
singing Christmas hymns and not asking for money.
One of my favorite moments was when this little girl went out in front
and started conducting like she was Beethoven, haha, it was sooo cute.
Afterwards we all went out to lunch at this one members Philippino
food restaurant, and did our secret Santa gift exchange. Haha, one of
the elders got me and gave me a jasmine doll. (Of course the ethnic
looking princess). Hahahah. We gave the elders in our district
cinnamon rolls Christmas morning, a bottle of chocolate soy milk,
because one of them is lactose intolerant and socks to match their
suit pants. Yea, we hit a home run on that. I've mastered making
cinnamon rolls on my mission. You just make the dough at night, let it
rise during the night, then wake up early roll them up and bake them
in the morning!
Also, I refuse Christmas morning without cinnamon rolls! That is just not okay.

On Christmas Day, our bishops family are like some of the most
Christlike people so they have a big pranzo/dinner and they do it at
church every Christmas Day and invite anyone who doesn't have family
to spend Christmas with, or even if you just want a nice Christmas
meal. There was soooo much food! I was kind of sad no one we invited
came but it was still really great. It was super generous.
Also, I skyped with my parents! That was crazy. Then we played
foosball and Tombola, which is like Italian bingo.

That's pretty much all. Also this is the last week of my black out
year. Pretty special year, because I've been a full time missionary
for all of 2016.

 This is the sweet little girl that conducted our choir 😊

 My Christmas Eve lunch

 We turned on Christmas lights and watched the nativity from the bible videos before we went to bed Saturday night

 The zone ❤

 We were waiting on the stairs for a little girls mom to get home and she kept bringing us out toys. And then she told us to close our eyes and she put these things on our heads. 😊

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