Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!
Pumpkins at Home in Idaho
Well yes, they do have Halloween here but it’s not quite like in the states. They like to have fun and go to the bar haha, so there is no trick or treating. But they do dress up in costumes at schools and the families do games together. We don’t have anything planned, but I think I’m just going to relax, after I go buy some candy haha. Thanks for sending the pictures of your pumpkins. I do have to say every year we get better at carving pumpkins. I remember when we did the first Adidas pumpkin and now its kind of a tradition. I think my favorite is the Italy one haha. You all did very well and they look great! I got the  letter with the fake mustaches. Thank you so much! It made my day haha. I was so happy when I got them! Especially in Italy. They don’t have little joke stores or cheap stuff made in China. It’s all super fancy and expensive. And of course I’m dirt cheap so I never buy anything here unless it’s on super sale haha.  I wish I could be there for Halloween with all the girls, but you’ll just have to take pictures and send them next week.  I would send some pictures home but apparently at Muhamed's computer cafe you get viruses on your camera or SD card so I think I will just go print a few off and send some in an envelope.

I don’t have a lot to say about the work right now. We are trying to visit some less actives now that we have bikes so that we can see if we can get some part member families baptized and reactivated. I had a cool miracle this week. And we are planning on baptism, but we will see. We have only taught him one time. I wrote more details in a letter I sent you.  The members are really good and they are super nice. It’s hard because after 7:00 the streets are absolutely dead. As for the bike problem we finally found one. The mission only buys used bikes so any bike stores don’t have any good mission bikes just some fancy road bikes for €1000. We finally found a bike though after going to some old grandpas fix it up bike shop where they don’t even sell bikes just fix them. Quite the ridiculous hunt but it’s nice to finally have some transportation since we are working in 3 cities it’s just impossible to get around without bikes. For now the bikes work but they all are junk so we will be doing some fixing up soon.
Anyway, the weather here is getting very cold and I know I’m from Idaho but after being in the heat every day I got used to it and now its super weird to be cold. I wish there was heat again because it’s freezing! Especially on bikes! It’s the super humid weather so even a little bit of cold makes it seem twice as cold. The mountains got plastered with snow with all the rain we got in the valley. I am going to have to buy some new bike riding gloves for winter and a beanie.  But anyways I’m doing good. Work has been tough but whatever that’s life.
Well I’m super happy to hear Ellis got a job! Congrats to her! Now she can make cinnamon rolls for us haha. I’m sorry Ellis but I don’t think the bakery is harder than working with Jerrod all day in the truck, or mowing lawns and weed whacking for 8 hours. But you do have to pay for gas and college so don’t quit haha. Hope you’re taking good care of the old Honda.
Time is going fast. November hits 6 months and I’m already 1/4 of the way there. In May, it will be a year. Crazy how fast time goes. Ok so I did find out that if you send padded envelopes I won’t get charged for it; hopefully. Just make sure that you don’t send anything valuable because they will find a way to charge someone along the way. Maybe you could throw some of that Halloween candy in one for me, I don’t know haha. I cooked some skillet the other day it was not too bad some good sausage potatoes and veggies to go with. Reminded me of home.

I got a nice letter from Grandma B and I enjoyed it. Can I get the address for Grandpa Dance I can’t seem to find it? Thanks for everything I love all you Guys and have fun trick or treating! Tell the girls to eat some candy for me. Happy Halloween!

Love Anziano Benson

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bikes in Busto!

October 24, 2012
Busto, Legnano, and Gallarate are some great little towns! I love them! They are very clean, quaint,  places. There isn’t much hustle and bustle to go here or there. It’s really nice. They are similar to Idaho Falls, but they just need a temple! haha. I work in 3 separate cities and we use unlimited train passes to get to and from Gallarate, Busto, and Legnano. Work is a little slow because my comp has been sick, and we are starting with only a few investigators who we don’t know and they live forever away from the city so we have no way to see them.  We have no information about the area so we are basically working completely blind. We have some people we can work with but they live quite a ways away and we don’t have bikes and it’s just not working. This city apparently is a baptizing machine so I really want to stay here for a while and get some work going. We are trying to find some bikes to do some work since this is a bike or die city.  Bikes are a necessity since the church is an eternity away.  We have to bike/train/bike to get to the church.  I found out why everyone here steals bikes, and it’s because you can’t buy them here. There are absolutely no stores that sell them. Tough luck. Think we are going all the way to Milano to buy a bike so we can start some work. People in Italy don’t have cars. They use trains and bike so it’s a little difficult when you don’t have working bikes.
The ward is super awesome and it feels just like home... well kind of, not really, but the members are some of the best people you will ever meet haha. It’s really cool to have a bishop again, and it’s different to not be in the branch presidency that’s for sure.  Thankfully the people in the ward are super bravi and will help with anything we need. The Vescovo (bishop) helps us with everything so it’s super awesome! The cities are very different than Siena and the accent here is way way different than Toscana so I don’t understand them here haha. There are no mountains here so I never can reference the landscape haha. I’m so lost; luckily the towns are really small. I’m getting used to the subway in Milano as well. Milano is our district so we go there every week now.  This week we spent 2 days at Lake Como! That is where my zone leaders live, so we did comp exchange up there. A really beautiful place and we are going to Switzerland in a few weeks for p-day! It was really cool and I’m glad I got to go!

Well I’m really glad to hear about all the girls putting papers in and I can tell you that we need more missionaries! There are never enough. They have about 14 in Milan I think but there could be about 30 or more. Well that’s about it for now and I’ll chat later! Love you all.

Anziano Benson

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Busto Arsizio

October 17, 2012 

Transferred! Yes, I’m in a new city and after some long exhausting apartment cleaning and lugging around 3 suitcases all over Milano and the subways and walking and then unpacking, I arrived in Busto Arsizio! This is just a little quaint town suburb of Milano and is about 25 min north on train. We have a ward of about 80 so it’s quite the jump in size from Siena. My comp is Anziano Merrill from Chandler AZ. He’s a really nice kid and seems just like a great guy! I’m pretty exhausted. Well, I literally know nothing about this city and neither does my companion, he’s been here a week and a half and we do have bikes! But already after 2 minutes on the bikes they broke so I’m just beginning my battle with fixing the bikes every day. It’s quite chilly up here compared to Siena and I might have to start bundling up! Snow will come soon.

We had some really sad goodbyes in Siena with some of the members since we left kind of by surprise, leaving them wondering who the Branch President will be, but it’s all taken care of with the senior couple. I look back and tried to figure out why I was in Siena because we didn’t have many investigators but I feel that it was honestly to strengthen the members already there. It was really awesome to serve with President (Anziano) Smith.  What an amazing missionary. It’s a lot different being in a branch presidency than being just a missionary but I loved every second of it! Sad that my time there is up, but it’s time to work in Busto!

I’m really close to Milano, and the Assistants to the President are in our district so it will be a lot of fun! Tomorrow is Zone Conference so we might get to see Anziano Sexton and some of the old friends from the MTC. My zone covers part of Switzerland so we are actually allowed to go there for p-day so we will see what fun things we can come up with. Quite the adventure since I have no idea where we are and neither does my comp! Oh well fun fun fun. Not a fan of bikes already haha, but they are handy to get around. The grocery stores usually consist of pizza, olives, pasta and cheese and that’s about it, but luckily there are a lot of foreigners in Milano so the area has some good variety. Mexican food is nonexistent but I’m sure I can brew up some salsa using some other spicy peppers they use here. I got a waffle iron so I will put it to use! I literally just got here so I don’t know anything else haha so I will talk to you all later.
Sorry to hear about state Ellis. Don’t worry I lost too. Work on getting into college! Thanks for the pictures!

My New Address
Via Madonnina del Grappa 5
20025 Legnano (MI)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Moving Forward

October 10, 2012
Well sorry, but we are at a ridiculous internet café and this computer is terrible and the keyboard buttons are all messed up so it will be a bit short today.
Well no news yet except that I will be in a new city next Wednesday.

Conference was great.  I am honestly glad they changed the age rule to go on a mission. It would have been so much nicer to leave earlier, and I think the high schoolers will take the mission more serious. It will be great to have more sister missionaries as well.  

All I can say it that I’m glad that Dad taught me how to work; although I didn’t always follow his example, haha, it is very important. I’m doing my best and holding up to what President Manwaring asked in being exactly obedient. It’s hard and I’m not perfect but I’ve tried my best.  Even though I worked my hardest every day of the mission, I still leave Siena with the same amount of members they had when I got here. I am happy with the work we accomplished here and I have no regrets.  I have met some wonderful people here and I am amazed at the faith of the members in this branch.  We are still working with several people that are progressing, and hopefully the people we taught will remember us and how they felt when we testified of Christ.  I will always remember them, and know that one person in all of this was definately changed, and that was me. 
So has Ellis applied for college? Who took her to the dance? And tell her good luck at State Soccer! Also, we now have a waffle iron so will you please send me a recipe Mom and also Dad's fresh salsa recipe?
Well I’m sick of typing on this piece of junk so I’m really sorry but I can’t take it anymore

Anziano Benson
PS: tell Grandma B that I enjoyed her email haha, but I can’t email back since there are some new email restrictions. Trying to be obedient! I can receive emails from grandparents, but I can only respond to immediate family as in parents and siblings. Love you all.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Looking Forward to Conference

October 3, 2012

So transfers. Nothing. Same. So happy to still be with Anziano Smith.  We are really looking forward to Conference. We will watch as many sessions as we can at the chapel.  They have a projector and everything and they just record the sessions and then we watch them late that night. 
Holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Honestly not a lot going on here, the weather is beautiful, but there are no orange leaves here, they are all still green! I kind of miss the fall colors but hey at least it’s not snowing...yet. Apparently the winters up north are really bad. Even in Torino and Milano it can get nasty so I might catch some of that sometime in the future. Not looking forward to the snow haha. Fun to ski in but not to walk around in a suit. Food is getting old. All we eat is pizza and pasta. It can get really tiresome especially since Anizano Smith and I are the chefs. Kind of lame, but whatever.
We did a cool little trip this week to Pisa and saw the leaning tower! We had some McDonalds and ate it in front of the tower and I’ll get you some pictures. We also had district conference (stake conference) this week in Firenze and we had an area 70 come, Elder Clifford Herbertson, and it was really good. The translator passed out during the conference causing quite a stir but it was all good.

Work is still progressing here and we are teaching people from all walks of life.  Well, I will talk you you all soon!

Anziano Benson