Monday, January 25, 2010
Warren and Family and Il Prontuario della Missionaria
One of the best things about serving in Milan 3 was getting to hang out with Warren McManus. He's an American who's lived in Italy for many years and is married to an Italian wife. He first met the sister missionaries at the grocery store and wanted to know what two American girls were doing in an Italian grocery store. He's been friends with the sisters ever since and he and his family had us over for dinner often. He even made us up two fliers for us that said "the world would be a better place if there were more Mormons in it" and "you don't have to be a Mormon to be a wonderful person, but it helps." One day he showed us around the heart of Milan and showed us two places most Milanese don't even know about. There's a little street in downtown Milan where celebrities put their hand prints in cement just like they do in Hollywood. It's so cool. It's in this little street and there was virtually no one there. He also showed us this structure where one person can go to one corner and another person can go to a different corner, and you can talk to each other through the walls. It's wacky.
My companion and her companion before me made a hilarious little booklet for Warren explaining the mission rules to him. He made copies of it and gave me one. Unfortunately these pics are a bit blurry since it was difficult to scan. It was tightly stapled, and I didn't want to risk ruining my copy by taking it apart.
Missionary Conduct: As ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must study and observe all the mission rules in order to strengthen our faith and represent the Savior in a worthy way. Thank you for helping us to keep our thoughts, words, and actions in harmony with the message of the gospel.
1)Avoid having us watch TV, unapproved videos, or listen to radio or other unapproved music.
2)In order to make our work more effective, we only listen to church hymns during the week that are sung by the beautiful and famous Tabernacle Choir.
1) We are only allowed to read books, magazines, and other publications authorized by the church and our mission president.
2) We must keep our conduct far from disputes and debates (i.e. we mustn't argue with those we talk to).
3) Our preparation day starts at 9:30 am and ends at 6:00pm.
The book in the picture is "The Lord of the Rings" and Lidl was a German grocery store we went to all the time (and also where the sisters initially met Warren). Below it says "long live shopping" and "long live treats."
On our preparation day (p-day), we can listen to other music as long as it in harmony with our calling.
PS thank you for the CD's. If we can't listen to them here, it will be the first thing we'll listen to when we return home.
Sorella Silva wasn't sure if the picture looked enough like a CD, so she put at the bottom "this is a CD."
Relationships with others.
"Sister, where are you going?!"
With great joy we carry the name of Jesus Christ for this year and a half. For this reason, we invite everyone we talk to to call us by our title. Therefore, we kindly ask you to honor this calling with the title of "Sister."
The picture is supposed to be a missionary tag that says
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
1) We cannot ever be alone.
2) We can't ever be alone with a person of the opposite sex and we can't cultivate relationships with others outside of our district.
3) Obviously, no appointments, letters, or telephone calls with people we knew within the mission until AFTER we finish the mission (she actually put the transfer, but that must have been a mistake).
PS Our mission president is willing to let us continue our relationships with families we knew in our other cities. However, we can only write to each other and see each other if the family is interested in traveling to see us in our new area.
4) No kissing someone of the opposite sex.
5) No hugging someone of the opposite sex.
6) We are obligated in addressing other people above 14 years old with the formal form of "lei."
We can't send email to non family members. In order to do so we must forward the email to our families and then they can forward it to the desired person.
(I'll admit I thought that was a pretty pointless rule and began sending the emails out directly to people. But I made sure every email I sent to friends also got sent to my family, since I'm sure that was the actual purpose of the rule).
The prince says "what were you saying? What is the plan of salvation?" and Sister Cinderella is saying "I'm late and the Elders are going to call me!" I thought this was the funniest page of the whole pamphlet.
1) We leave our houses promptly at 9:30am, after having studied alone and as a companionship for 2 hours (with some exceptions).
2) We must be home by 9:30pm. Don't worry about kicking us out after 9:25. We'll be grateful for it.
3) We are not authorized to leave our zone area during our preparation day. In the case of the Milan 3 sisters, we are allowed only in Milan and certain other suburbs.
We must avoid sports that require a physical contact with other participants, water sports, winter sports, motorcycling, horseback riding, sailing, flying, or using firearms. We can never go swimming.
The guy on horseback is yelling at the motorcycling sisters saying "wait...I want to know about the plan of salvation."
We are immensely grateful for your collaboration in helping us adhere to our rules.
For your patience, willingness, affection, and friendship, we send our love (it's actually we want good for you).
Sister Anderson and Sister Silva
Written by Sister M.R. Silva
Pictures by Sister A. Anderson
Copyright S.N.C. - Milan 2003
I thought this pamphlet was hilarious when I read it, but maybe only other missionaries who served in Italy would find it funny.
Those rules listed above are strictly mission rules for missionaries - not Mormon rules. I had several people I met get confused by that. One of our investigators was wary about joining the church because she thought we weren't allowed to watch television. Another thought we were allowed to drink alcohol after the mission but not during the mission. I guess it's easy to get confused.
And just to clarify for anyone who's curious, basic LDS (Mormon) commandments that differ from other Christian churches include no sex outside of marriage, no alcohol, no tea, no coffee, no tobacco, and no drugs (like cocaine, not like prescription drugs). There are other things we are advised against by our prophet and apostles (such as no swearing, not dating before 16, not seeing rated R movies, not drinking other caffeinated substances, etc.) but none of them are commandments. We are advised against them to keep our minds and bodies pure, but don't be shocked if you see an LDS person drinking Mountain Dew or seeing a rated R movie.