|Sorelle Nef, O'Connor, and Cojan|
for home, leaving Sorella O'Connor and I alone in the city. We are nervous, but excited. However, let me tell you - they are flooding Sardegna with Greenies (Verdini in Italian) = New Missionaries.
With this transfer, 50% of this island is being trained.
Of the 50% non-greenies, over half the missionaries have only served 2 transfers (3 months total). Only one sister and one elder have longer experience in the mission field here. Sorella O has given Sardegna a motto: train or be trained! I just have deemed us Greeny Island. And I think I know why Sardegna has gone green...
The Sardegna District is going to merge with the Rome Stake. Rome is eventually going to split into 2 Stakes - Rome East and Rome West. Apparently, Area Authorities don't want any more districts or branches in Italy. Between you and me, I believe they are anticipating a great movement of conversion. I certainly hope to be instrumental in that. Hey, my new mission president arrives next month!
|We have vining flowers like this in California Bay Area!|
The Power of Everyday Missionaries
Now, the world knows author Clayton M. Christensen for his position as a Harvard Business Professor, his amazing ideas on innovation, and for his New York Times best-selling books. But for me, he holds high regard because he is linked to two people I love: my grandfather and my Stake President back in the California Bay Area.
Connection to the Author
My grandfather, Lamar Nef, was a missionary companion to Christensen's father, Robert Christensen, in Denmark in about 1947-49. The two missionaries were well known in the area for the gospel they taught and for their appearance. Elder Robert Christensen stood a towering 6'8" next to his companion, Elder Lamar Nef, who was 5'9". Locals lovingly referred to the team as "fire tower and bee cart" - a term my grandfather still smiles about today.
My Stake President, Brent Knudsen, who knows and is friends with just about everyone on the planet, rubbed shoulders with Clayton Christensen when they attended the same ward back in Boston (their friendship is the reason our stake received a version of this book before it was published).
Sardegnans are Happy People
I know that people here would be open to the gospel if only we could find a way to get them to listen. Sardegnans are happy people - very friendly and willing to speak with strangers. They smile fast if you smile at them, and they enjoy it when people say hello to them on the street or on the bus.
|Sardegnan men spending time...watching|
So, while we are starting over in finding people to teach, we know we are amongst a people of relaxed hospitality and a city of historic beauty.
Cagliari Municipio: Town Hall
Cagliari Municipio: Town Hall
|Cagliari Town Hall|
built between 1899-1907
|Cagliari City Hall, close-up|
|Back corner of City Hall|
Chiesa della Santa Croce: Holy Cross Church
As you approach "Il Ghetto degli Ebrei" (area that was once the Jewish Ghetto) you almost miss this church, as it lays hidden in the neighborhood surrounded by houses.
|Holy Cross Church|
|Inside Holy Cross Church|
|Pre-medieval Baptismal Font just excavated within the church|
Once inside, you are surprised by the wide, spacious interior. Holy Cross Church was formerly a Jewish Synagogue. In 1492, when the area came under Spanish rule, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabel of Castile expelled all non-Christians (how unfortunate!) from Cagliari and had the synagogue converted into a Catholic church.
|Ceiling of Santa Croce|
Sorella Ashley Nef