Thursday, August 16, 2012

Il Palio!!!


Ok, so sorry to say, but we don’t have time to email after the Palio so you will not get any pictures until next week. We don’t live in the contradas unfortunately, the neighborhoods are only divided within the city walls and we live about 5 min outside the city so we don’t belong to a contrada. However, you can be baptized into a contrada for £80 haha but I think I will pass. One of the members in the ward lives in the L'oca Contrada so she has converted us into rooting for them haha. The L'oca Contrada is the most winning neighborhood with 64 wins I think. The Palio happens 2 times a year and it has been going on since the 1600’s.  The contradas are actually like the LDS church. They have young men’s, relief society, and many people take care of the elderly by visiting them each day. The neighbors eat and party together for weeks on end before the Palio and after. Whoever wins eats dinner together however many times they have won. L'oca ate 64 days in a row after they won the last Palio. The sad thing is that L'oca got in a street fight with the rival neighborhood so they got disqualified this year. Oh well. Anyways there are a ton of people here to see it and we are very excited! They live eat and breathe the Palio and it is life and death for them!  Some of them have a blood donation center for each contrada and they do tons of other stuff. I will be sure to let you know how it is! If you want to see Siena go to Google maps and use the street view to give a real life 3D picture of the streets here. Type in my address to see my apartment and we have a palm tree in the back yard haha and a fire pit.

Well it sounds like back to the old grind for all the sisters! I had a good laugh about dad backing into a guy at work; at least it wasn’t mom or Ellis haha. Well I miss you guys and hope you are doing well. I hope Uncle Richard is doing great and tell him Rooster J is out here workin hard! I’ve actually talked to a few Catholic Priests haha-on accident. It was rather awkward and we asked them about the Book of Mormon and then they just said no thanks and left.

Other random news... I get to meet in a personal meeting with Russell M. Nelson. No big deal right? Haha. It’s for the Bishop and Stake President regional training. Like when Elder Anderson came to our stake last year.  Since we are in the Branch Presidency we get to go! We go to Milano again so I’m super excited! And it gets even better. Since we have a car and pday is the day before, we can go to Genova and Chinque Terre on the way to Milano! Score! We are the luckiest missionaries in all of Italy I swear. We also have p-days planned for San Gaminiano, Torrita di Siena, and Firenze again. We visited Castiglione della Pescaia for member visits and we also will see Rocastrada. Look up some of these places on Google images and the satellite maps in the internet and you will see why I’m blabbing about them. I’ve already seen more of Italy than most missionaries see in their entire mission!

Not much to update on the work here. We are losing a few investigators since they are moving to other cities, which is sad but we hope they will talk to the missionaries in the other cities. Anziano Smith gave me a haircut today! I was very nervous but he did a good job! Mom’s was a little better but hey for a free hair cut I give him 10 out of 10, and its companion trust building! I got a letter from Taylor, nd he is doing good- also from Britton and he said he’s training now so I’m happy for him!
Love you guys and I’ll talk to you soon.
Anziano Benson

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