"This morning while we were getting ready for church Dash and Rock were fighting. Brick sat nearby looking at a globe and said, "While you guys are fighting I am gaining more knowledge." School is starting tomorrow, and maybe he wants to feel prepared. In any event he had a great point. It would be great if all the younger children worked on gaining knowledge instead of fighting.
I wrote you about two people and in general the San Severo branch earlier this week. Lucia is a good friend in Messina, but she has stopped writing. She may be dead because she was in her mid fifties when I was there. Antonio is another good friend who was baptized while we served in San Severo. I think he may have moved, maybe even to another country in Europe, but he hasn't written for many years. San Severo was opened previous to our serving there, but it was closed for about five years due to some serious trouble with the local leadership. When we served in San Severo there wasn't a branch there. The few members living there traveled to Foggia, and we lived in Foggia and traveled to San Severo every day. There were also some others baptized at that time, but two of them were afterwards abused by their father and stopped coming to church and communicating with us. If possible I want to look at a member list for San Severo and see if I recognize anyone.
"A few minutes ago Allison told me that Ellie had gone out to the bathroom, so I went out with a shovel. The two little guys were out there, and they asked me what I was doing. I told them, and we discussed the fact that none of us could see any remains. I said, "Well, it's not like it..." And as I paused to find the right words to finish the sentence, Brick piped in and said, "It's not like it just gets up and walks away."
Tank had a football game yesterday against the Mustangs. Tank plays nose guard, which is the guy on the defensive line that is right in the middle, opposite the center (the guy on the offense who snaps the ball to the quarterback). Tank does a great job, considering the fact that he is not at all competitive or aggressive. He is so big that the opposing offense generally dedicates two blockers to him. in that case the three of them just push on each other, not moving more than a foot or two during the whole play. The good thing is that they don't push Tank backwards, and Tank occupies two guys from the other team, thus creating an imbalance and allowing one of his teammates to operate unopposed.
The problem with the Mustangs is that they have tons of young people. I learned that they have about 250 11 year olds playing in that league, which means they have two A, three B, and three C teams (it's so class oriented--poor C team players operating under that kind of stigma). We played one of the two A teams, which means every one of the players on that team is a far above average athlete. We, on the other hand, had difficulty coming up with the seventeen players that a team has to field at a minimum. "I hear you play a fairly competitive game of tiddly winks--not much different from football really--want to play?" Anyway I think you get the picture--a rag tag team versus a machine.
No one I know kept track of the score, but I feel confident that we lost by no more than 56 to 0 and no less than 42 to 0. Anyway, win or lose, I love watching these games. I can't sit down, and I feel quite energized watching the games. Part of it is the "Sandlot" effect. For instance there was this one kid on our team that got sent out at one point because he had some blood on his arm. As he came off the field I heard him yelling something to the effect of, "I don't care about any stinkin blood. I can play. Does anyone have a stinkin bandaid? Get me a bandaid and get me back in the game." I think that kid even has freckles, wavy/curly hair, and is a bit chubby.
Well, life is a wonderful thing. I am very excited about new possibilities for missionary work through social media that we talked about today in church and that Elder Bednar talked about. Life in general is a wonderful thing. On the other hand I don't know that there has been so much evil for a long time--a great battle is accelerating. We will have to have many talks about all these things when you get home. We got a lot of pictures from zone conference, and it looks like you are doing well and you look so good and happy. I am so pleased with all you do and with the love and dedication with which you do it. I know that President Waddoups is pleased with all you do as well. We got a very nice message from him a few weeks ago about how you have had long-term effects on individuals and group cultures through your goodness. You are the best. I love you so much and pray for you always.