First and foremost, big shout out to my little sister Audrey headed to the MTC a week from today! Woohoo! She'll be headed to Mexico to serve for 18 months as a sister missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I feel like I'm in the movie Legacy or something. "This is my brother Johnny, my dear, dear brother Johnny!" (That will be funny to such a small group of readers.)
Audrey, the MTC was still one of the best parts of my mission. Enjoy every moment you have there, because by the time you're a few months into the field, it'll feel like it was only a dream. If you start well at the MTC, your whole mission will benefit. Be obedient! And don't worry about the language AT ALL!
Things are still going really well here in Reggio. I'm headed back to Ancona this week to pick up my Permesso di Soggiorno which'll keep me legal for the rest of my time in Italy. Took WAY less time that my Permesso in Padova, eh? That'll be fun.
Our apartment is right next to the station, fifth floor up (or sixth, I guess, by American standards) in a palazzo full of mostly Asian immigrants. I love Asians, so it's nice. Lots of sketchy people hang out all day in front of our house, but they've known the missionaries forever and treat us well. I bet my mom would be scared, though. Ha!
The four of us in the apartment are Anziano Edwards, Anziano Espinosa, Anziano Carter, and me. It's the most hilarious apartment I've lived in for my whole mission. Each of us has a unique and complementary sense of humor. I don't mean that we compliment each other--quite the opposite. There's lots of sarcasm that flies around, but by the end of it we're all laughing our heads off on our kick-it couch. Yeah, we have a couch in the hall. Be jealous. (Oh, wait, it's normal to have a couch if you're not a missionary? Whoops.)
We all cook different days of the week. I don't like cooking, but I'm not horrible at it. Anziano Carter is the best cook among us. He worked a restaurant before his mission. He's made us pizzas and is working on a really great cake of some sort. We're all excited. We have lots of funny apartment traditions, and one of them is "weekly dolce". Every week, someone buys treats for the whole apartment. Lots of fun.
We're meeting tons of good people, and that's always fun. Loads of neat little experiences on trains and things that I'll love to share with friends and family when I get home. The mission is an amazing experience, two years full of beautiful, unique moments. I'm excited for Audrey to see that for herself.