I feel like there's so much to write, so I'll just dive in and hope it makes sense:
Ancona is a port city, and the port is its coolest feature in my opinion. It's so massively huge, and when viewed from up high--like by the duomo--it's pretty awe inspiring. I can hardly believe we've built such gigantic boats and cranes and platforms for how amazing small we are in comparison. Makes me think of how much a little guy like me can affect the world, for good or for bad. What you do matters.
Our apartment is terrible, the worst I've had in the mission. Missionaries have been there for a long time, but it worked because there were only 2 elders, one companionship. Now there are two companionships here and 4 guys in the one tiny apartment. We're all pretty cramped and the bathroom is horrible, really really small and almost everything is broken. The water has two options: arctic splash from the northern glaciers or boiling lava from the seventh layer of hell. It's hilarious to watch one of us turn on the sink to wash a dish and immediately go "AAAAHH!!" as their fingers melt away.
Anyway, I'm a really bad cook, and Anziano T is practically professional. So when it's our companionship's turn to make lunch, I just buy whatever ingredients he needs and he whips up something amazing. It's great, probably my favorite thing about him. He really is a super talented chef, and I haven't eaten this good among the missionaries my whole mission.
Our church is up one of the many many hills that surround the valley of Ancona. The city is built among and along and on top of these crazy hills that line the seashore, which is pretty cool, but also very exhausting. The chapel is the ground floor of a normal apartment building that has been rented out and completely remodeled into a nice little church with a small chapel, two bathrooms, an office, a Primary Room, and a Relief Society room. I'll get pictures to you next week of all this fun stuff--this PDay is too busy, there's lots to do!
We don't have an English class yet, unfortunately, but we've been working on it, printing out advertisements and making a solid course to teach. English Class has been one of my favorite parts of each city, so I look forward to building it here. The students always love me, ha!
We're teaching a lot, which is good because we're all children of God, but I really want to see some Italians join the church here. The Africans can't build the kingdom where they stand because of language barriers, and they're always moving to new cities to look for work. I want to grow this little branch, and to do that we need Italians. It's hard and it's scary, but we're gonna do it with God's help. He'll guide us if we remove distractions and let Him.
That said, I love the African investigators we have, especially P and C. P speaks Italian pretty well, he's a 40ish year old man from Ghana with a job here, and he's making amazing progress. He's stopped drinking and turned his life to Christ, studying the Book of Mormon and comparing it with the Bible. He has gained a testimony of it's truthfulness and will be baptized with his friend this Saturday. I'll have the honor of giving him the Gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday. P found the church when he was invited by a friend to another man's baptism here a few months ago. That very day he told the missionaries he wanted to be baptized, too. God has really touched his heart.
C is an 18 year old orphan, also from Ghana, who didn't know anything about God or Jesus Christ. We've been teaching him and we've seen an amazing change in his brightness and understanding. He's a very good-hearted, intelligent young man with a great desire to do the right thing, and he believes that is baptism in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He's been writing down his questions about the Book of Mormon as he reads it daily and asks us often to explain principles. He gets so excited about the Plan of Salvation, and I can't wait to see his baptism on the 22nd.
So things are going well here, even if I don't really love the city yet. I just miss Verona so much. But I believe that things will continue to go well here, and I will continue to change and improve. Lots of good things are happening and God is giving me a lot of good ideas. I hope you'll listen to the good ideas He gives you for your life, too.