President and Sister Acerson treated Anziano and Sorella Pearson and us to a delightful get-away at Nemi, about 45 minutes from Rome, on Tuesday evening. At a slightly higher elevation in the mountains, there are two ancient volcanoes, filled with water. These lakes are in such a beautiful setting, as is the small village of Nemi. Small curving cobblestone streets wind down to an overlook of the lake. There are tiny, charming shops along the way. The town has a strawberry festival earlier in the year. The strawberries are tiny, sweet berries used on tarts, in jam, wine, candle fragrances, lotions, etc. We wandered and explored until our reservation time at a quaint little restaurant arrived. Then we tried authentic Italian food, with the proprietor bringing us out a appetizer for us to try, because he knew the president and wanted to do something kind for us. It was all very delicious, of course. There was a refreshingly cool breeze as we walked back to our vehicle. After days of stifling heat in Rome, we enjoyed it tremendously. The next morning, Will and I were up early to take President and Sister Acerson to the Leonardo Da Vinci Airport to catch their plane to England for a mission president conference. They were also greeting their two youngest daughters who were just arriving from a summer vacation in Utah. We went on a walk-about so the family could have some personal time together before the Acerson’s flew out and we took the girls back to the Mission Villa. During the rest of the week, we had the girls over for some meals and were available if they needed us.
Anziano and Sorella Burt, a new mission couple from Washington arrived on Saturday. They will replace Anziano and Sorella Pearson in two weeks at the office. We tried to keep Elder Burt awake for several hours so he would sleep the night and get over his jet-lag. It was quite hilarious, as he would practically fall asleep in mid-sentence.
The work of the Lord moves steadily on even with many natives on vacation in August. The streets are bare and the parking places abundant. It will be a shock all over again to return to normal by the end of August.