Saturday, February 21, 2009

Will eating gelato!

Preparation Day is not for washing clothes - since our washing machine doesn't work anyway, and it is not for grocery shopping - we did that last night. It is not for cleaning house - although I did sweep through it this morning, and it is not for staying home. Preparation day IS for sightseeing! We have been to downtown Rome again today and walked and walked once again. 

Our day trip took us to Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, more churches, and Piazza Navona where there are 3 fountains in one square. You thought there was an LDS Church on every corner in SLC, there is a church on every street in Rome and every one is tall, many with a dome, extremely high ceilings inside, VERY ornate, and cold. Marble is not a warm, fuzzy medium. However, it was warmer outside - not nice and warm but warmer, with no wind, and avery enjoyable day. Oh, yes, we also ate gelato! So Delicious! Much better than any I have eaten before.

Trevi Fountain was much different than I had imagined. It is a huge fountain that is actually the side of a building. Other buildings crowd around it on every side. That is also typical of the Pantheon and many of the other sights. 

The Pantheon was originally classified as a temple and is dedicated to al the gods of pagan Rome. In the dome is an extremely large hole that is open to the outside. The outside of the Pantheon has numerous columns in the front. 

The Piazza Navona is a large open square, which seemed very different because of the large open space. In the middle of the square are 3 fountains, each with a different theme.

It has been an interesting day!

Love, Sorelle and Anziano Sommerfeldt

Trevi Fountain

Piazza Navona

PS  The Mission President finally got Will his set of wheels. President Acerson even rolled out the red carpet for him. Looks like he will just fit, huh!

Will's Mission Car (Jokes)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Roman Forum

I'm not getting fatter - really! I have about 12 layers of clothing on to keep warm. But the area is so great! 

Sights in Rome

On Our Way to Italy

Rome, Italy

Okay, this is the real Italy. We have been in Rome for 4 days now and have been trying to get our apartment set up so we are not freezing, and the landlord is installing a shower for us this week. But since we do not want to murmur, we will share the fun new cultural things we are learning about. 

Today, Sunday, February 15, 2009, the bishopric member introduced us in church and we were asked to speak briefly. The ward is well attended and the chapel was full. I know the church is true in Italy, since they have Relief Society and Priesthood first just as they do in Cardston, Alberta. Each organization is up and running. We wore ear-phones in the meetings so we could understand a missionary who was translating for some of us. Most of the members speak Italian and almost no English. A wonderful sister who served her mission here and is now working here teaching English to a rich family's kids, was our interpreter. 

This afternoon we ate dinner at another mission couple's apartment and got to know 3 assistants to the president. Outstanding missionaries! It has been a very rewarding day. 

Check out pictures of some of the famous spots in the center of Rome that we saw yesterday on our Preparation day. 

Ciao, Anziano and Sorelle Sommerfeldt
Must stand for Mighty Trainers for Christ

What an awesome week! Let me share some highlights. 

Tuesday, day 2:
Today we prepared to teach a discussion to an investigator. Our investigator was Mr. Wright, a little gray-haired man of 85 years. He told us immediately that he had lost his wife 2 years ago. She had always been a church member and had raised their 5 children in the church. Now that she was gone, he really missed her. Her bishop was encouraging Mr. Wright to come to the MTC and take the lessons so he could learn more about the church so he could be with her again someday. 
Our hearts went out to him and we taught and testified with all our hearts. Mr. Wright was so sincere, so dressed the part of an elderly lonely investigator, right down to the food stains on his green golf shirt, so meek, I bought the entire story. We taught the first lesson about the Restoration and encouraged him to prayerfully consider it. We testified to the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
In the end, "Mr. Wright" asked if he could say the closing prayer. It was all a set-up. He offered a beautiful prayer in our behalf, told us he had been an ordained temple worker for 20 years, and gave us hugs, wishing us well on our mission. 
We returned to our evaluation meeting and told the group that a certain Mr. Wright should receive an academy award for his acting skills. The next day, Mr. Wright showed up at our teaching station to say hi and share another hug. Two days later, after teaching a "recent convert", one of the couples in our group commented that Brother Wright really should receive an academy award for his acting skills. They too had been douped by him. 

Our weekly devotional on Tuesday night was a spiritual high for the week. Just singing "Called to Serve" with 2200 other missionaries was a hugh rush. Elder Clate W. Mask of the 2nd Quorum of Seventy was the speaker. Both his message and his presentation were amazing and so filled with the spirit. 

Brother Ed Pinegar was our guest speaker Thursday afternoon. 
Park of his message was: Number them - Name them - Nurture them!
Having the spirit is the key. The spirit is the 1st teacher, Love is the 1st commandment, and Obedience is the 1st law of heaven. Brother Pinegar used his scriptures like they were his best friend. At one point, he licked his scriptures (at least it looked like he was going to), and then said, "They are so yummy! I just can't get enough of them." The way he used them, we totally believed him. 

Three slogans used by businesses currently that apply to us in missionary work: 
1.  You can do it, we can help. 
2.  Let's build something together. 
3.  If we don't have it, you don't need it!

*and finally, You've made the decision to serve, now get your money's worth!