Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas letter home from Elder Line

Well this year was probably one of my favorite Christmas's that i have had. Despite being away from home and missing that good old Christmas feeling with family, my companion and I managed to make this Christmas a memorable one.
At the beginning of my mission, Aunt Kimi gave me $50 to help someone out in Italy. I didnt really know what I was going to use it for, so I just kept my eye out for the opportunity to use it.
Well the opportunity came during Christmas! So let me first introduce you to the two amazing guys that we helped out.
First there is Daniel. Daniel is an African that came from Ghana, and came to Italy during the Libya crisis. He is 20 years old and really good at soccer. He played on a team up in Rome, but because he didnt have all his documents he was kicked out and sent to Bari. He was found by missionaries just a couple of months ago and was converted. He is Living in a Carita's and is trying to find work. He wants to be able to join a soccer club, but because he is African they wont give him the time of day. We have been teaching him the after baptism and have really grown a good friendship with him!
Second there is Nickolas. Nickolas is an African that came to Italy during the Libya crisis. He is originally from Ghana and went to Libya to get a job so that he could afford money for his daughter to go to school. During the Libya crisis, his wife was killed. He was able to get his Daughter back to Ghana and he came to Italy so that he could continue to look for a job. He was living in a Carita's, which is a sort of camp that the Catholic Church has for all the Africans that are here. While in Italy, some missionaries found him and taught him the gospel and he was baptized. He doesn't have a job and sends whatever little money he has back to Ghana to his daughter. We have been teaching him the after baptism discussions the whole time i have been here, so we have become pretty good Friends.. not to mention he speaks English, and so do we, so it makes it a little easier. Just recently his time at the Carita's expired and he didnt have a place to stay so he was living on the streets.
As you can probably guess, these arent the ideal conditions for Christmas. We knew that they didnt have any Family and that they probably wouldnt get much of a Christmas. So we went to the Bishop and asked if the ward could help with food and maybe a place to sleep at night. The ward was a huge help in donating clothes and giving them lunches and food!
My companion and I wanted to give them a little more though, since after all it was Christmas and everyone deserves a good Christmas. So with the money that Kimi gave me, we went out and got them presents! We got Nickolace a watch and gave him a little extra cash that we had to send home to Ghana to his daughter. For Daniel we got him a soccer ball and a pump and needle. He didnt even have a soccer ball to practice with, and if I know anything about sports, it is hard to practice without the ball.
On Christmas Eve, we invited them to the church to eat dinner with us! We cooked some pasta and potatoes and had a Pandoro Cake (an Italian cake that is really good!!) Sadly Nickolace wasnt able to stay the whole time and so it ended up just being Daniel and us! It was fun, and we played some Foosball and I played some soccer with him on our basketball court/ soccer court, with his new ball! It kinda ended up becoming basketball cause i was sick of getting killed in soccer so i just started dribbling it and killed him in basketball! :) Anyways, it ended up being a great night, and one that I will forever remember.
Its times like these where I realize how truly blessed we are. I was very greatful for the opportunity i had to help make someone elses Christmas! Thank you all for your support and letters that I have received! It is a really good feeling when you get letters from people, so thank you all! I Hope you all had a great Christmas and I hope you have a great New Years! Dont party too hard!! :) Love you all,
Anziano Line

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