I really tried to make the most of my time in Italy, and I was always looking for ways to have fun and see pretty things. One day I really enjoyed was going as a district to see the Medieval Borg during my 2nd transfer in Collegno.
Close to the borg was a fountain called "The Fountain of the 12 Months." Each month had its own goddess.
Here's me next to March.
We had some pretty crazy adventures, even on non preparations days. I remember one day that we got stuck in an elevator. We pressed the wrong floor, pressed the cancel button (which usually allows you to stop the elevator and then press another floor) and ended up being stuck for a good 20 minutes. We had to yell for help. Most of the elevators in Italy are tiny (only 2 can stand in them comfortably), so being stuck in one is even less fun.
Andrea was a surgeon we knew who liked hanging around the missionaries. He was a staunch atheist, but told us that he liked Mormons, what they believed made sense, and he'd be Mormon for sure if he believed in God. So he just hung out with us occasionally. One day he gave us a self defense lesson. It was fun!
Andrea was the most popular male Italian name I heard. I swear it must have been a law that every second male must be named Andrea. I know it seems like a girl's name, but for them it's the equivalent of Andrew.
Both the Milan church and the Rivoli churches I served in were not chapels. They were actually the entire top floor of a building. This is a picture of me on the balcony of the Rivoli church.
We did get to see a lot of other beautiful churches in Torino. Here are just a couple of them - la basilica and la consolata.
As a Collegno missionary, I got to serve in all the suburbs of Collegno going all the way west to France. However, we weren't allowed to go that far just to tract since it would have required a lot of time and money spent on trains. We could go if we had an appointment with someone, but not just to go knock on doors.
The main suburbs I got to see were Collegno (though technically where I lived was called Leumann) and Rivoli, where the church was. But I also got to visit Pinerolo,
Grugliasco (I liked this little house with messages all over it. We knocked on the door, but never got an answer),
Cantalupa is actually where they grow a lot of Cantaloupe melons, and therefore named the fruit after the city. In Italian, they just call it melon.
As part of our hours of service, we taught English class to anyone willing to come to the church and sit through the lessons. These were some of the students.
These were some of the church members we knew and visited often. Above is our friend Mimma with her "heart attack." We'd put up hearts will all kinds of scriptures that expressed God's love for us. People always loved it (except for one lady who thought we were really trying to scare her into a heart attack. Fortunately her home teacher explained the gesture to her).
This is me with Vanna and her daughter.
These were the cute kids in the Furia family.
And Stefano and Stefania's kids. You'd think a couple with names like that were twins. They even looked alike.
And peering behind the couch here is Helen. Her husband owned his own pizza restaurant, and she would bring us fresh, oven baked pizza when we went to her house. Delicious!
This was a great family. Sister Cavalli was hilarious! She told us a story about a time that an Argentine man came to dine at their house. She set the food in the middle of the table, and the man didn't take any. She asked him "aren't you going to eat tonight?" and he replied "in Argentina, the women serve food to the men." She then said "okay, I guess you're not going to eat tonight." Later in the meal she joined in on his conversation with her husband when the Argentine man got upset and said "in Argentina, women stay silent while men are speaking." She replied "Do you want to go to Argentina. Look, there's the door. Feel free."
This cute couple loved to serve us delicious dinners and give us herbal fruit tea. Never having liked tea much myself, I was surprised that I liked this one, but I had to add LOTS of sugar to get it to taste good. And it was yummy! It tasted like hot liquid candy. I later measured it and found out I was adding about 50 grams of sugar to only 6 oz of water, which is more sugar than there is in candy! Seeing how much sugar I used, she started sending us home with a bag of sugar each week. It started piling up. I actually had to ask her to stop.
We had some pretty crazy experiences in those first two transfers. This pic is me and Sister Fitches warming our freezing feet after a night of tracting in the cold.
These were some crazy dogs who loved to frighten us. We couldn't avoid passing this house if we wanted to go anywhere in Collegno. I've never been a big fan of dogs, and these two certainly didn't help raise my opinion of them. They barked at us like crazy! We never even tried to enter the yard or ring the doorbell. They scared us several times and the dogs would throw themselves against the wall trying to get to us. Their owner got really upset with me when I took this pic.
This cute pic comes from a park nearby our grocery store. It had checkerboard stone seats and tables. Our Elders didn't have any pieces, so they used sticks and stones to play a game.
This is one of my favorite mission pics. Our district really wanted to go out for ice cream, but there was not a gelateria or store open anywhere. The grocery stores there often close in the early evening, but we'd all had our hopes set on ice cream. So we wandered around for a while and finally found a bar that had an ice cream cake. We ate it all on a bench outside the bar.