Friday, June 7, 2013

Scambi in Sassari

Thursday we got on a train and headed to Sassari.  Sassari is a city on the northern tip of the island, and the only other city on Sardegna with sister missionaries.  So, basically in going to Sassari for scambi (exchanges = temporarily exchanging companionship pairings) we had every sister missionary on the island in one spot.  Powerhouse!  But first, we had our train ride.
Train route from Cagliari (B) to Sassari (below A)
Sardegna Train

Trains are great.  I don't get sick on trains.  I really like trains.  The three-hour ride gave us a lovely tour of Sardegnan country, right up the middle of the island.  Lots of rural land or wilderness with lots of trees.  And then you get the occasional awesome ruin of a nuraghe (a type of ancient castle or something.  Archeologists aren't quite sure what these structures were used for).  They look like turrets from medieval castles.
One of many Nuraghes on Sardegna
The inner island is enriched with rugged mountains and hills covered with olive trees and granite rocks, romantic tiny villages, and lush farm land.  Very cool.  Also, there are lots of sheep.  Apparently there are more sheep on Sardegna than people. 1.7 million people to be exact, and the number of sheep is double the number of humans.
17% of Sardegna's land is used for sheep breeding and agriculture
Sheep waiting to be milked

There is a cheese made from sheep milk called Pecorino - it is really good.  Speaking of unusual cheese: you don't know mozzarella until you try mozzarella di buffala - mozzarella made from buffalo milk.  Amazing.  It's the preferred cheese of Napoli (that just sounded like a commercial).

Traveling Classroom
On the train, there weren't enough seats in one spot for the three of us to ride together, so Sorella Cojan sat a little bit away from Sorella O and I.  Sorella O and I started talking, just about things, and a lady sitting near us was eavesdropping and started to ask what we were talking about, so we invited her to join our conversation, which turned into Lesson 1.  We taught her about the Restoration and bore our testimonies.  It was great, because we did it all in Italian without Sorella Cojan to help - our first time!  Laura (our new friend) wasn't jumping at the chance to hear more, but she listened and was very very nice.  Gave her a pamphlet on the Restoration with our info.  Sorella Cojan, in the meantime, found a fellow Frenchman on the train and taught him the Plan of Salvation.  Oh, the magic of scambi (exchanges).

We had heard from several Italians that Sassari is the ugliest city on the island.  They hate it.  So we weren't sure what to think in going.  Then we arrived and discovered that Sassari is GORGEOUS.
Sassari was once the provincial capital and has medieval origin.  The streets are made of cobblestone.  Everything is so picturesque and beautiful, with plants everywhere, and gardens in every piazza and really cool statues and Roman ruins (there is a legit Roman bath there!).  The Church can be seen in the city's skyline, and you can hear the bells chiming every hour.  Here are some sites.
Sassari Street
Alley in Sassari
picture: new_reads

  Sassari Housing

Residence in Sassari
Saint Nicholas Cathedral
Saint Nicholas Cathedral's facade has a Spanish colonial style with 17th century ornate baroque.  The main cathedral has a gothic shell with baroque embellishments.
Baroque Facade
Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Sassari

Palazzo della Provincia
This magnificent building is the Provincial Palace.  It is filled with staterooms and used to house the King of Sardegna, Vittorio Emanuele II (b: 1820 - d: 1878).
Provincial Palace, Sassari
Statue of Vittorio Emanuele II
Last King of Sardegna
First King of United Italy

King Vittorio Emanuele II

Vittorio Emanuele II was King of Sardegna 1849-1861, then when Italy gained its independence March 17, 1861, he became the first king of United Italy and reined 1861 until his death in 1878.

Well, that's my picture show of beautiful, historic Sassari.  Not much more to report on the Sassari scambi other than it was good.  Did some publicity for English course.  Taught another lesson.  Did some unsuccessful less-active search.

I Want to Be That Type of Missionary
We attended a Church activity where they showed a Church movie, Treasure in Heaven, about John Tanner, the man who paid off a $2,000 loan to save the Kirtland Temple in 1835.  His is a great story.
Kirtland Temple, Ohio 1835, by Walter Rane
John Tanner was a wealthy entrepreneur who had outlived two wives and married a third and ended up having a total of 21 children (14 of which lived to adulthood).  He was so wealthy that he used six wagons to move his family from New York to Kirtland, Ohio, and donated 10 more wagons for other Church members.  He gave $2,000 to pay off mortgage on the temple property, plus another $13,000 for other purposes, and he signed a $30,000 note for merchandise to help the Saints move to Kirtland.  Over $45,000 in the 1800s!
An amazingly generous man.  (There is no known picture of John Tanner and no version of this movie is available to view online).
But the best part of his story was when a miracle happened when the missionaries found him.  John Tanner had cancer in his leg that was spreading infection quickly.  Doctors told him that if he did not amputate the leg, he would die.  Tanner refused, saying that he and his leg came together, and would go out together.  Tanner resolved to do all the good he could before he died.

First on his agenda: expose the Mormon missionaries.  So, he went to a couple of firesides where the missionaries were teaching.  But instead of finding falsehoods, Tanner heard only truths taught, became interested in the gospel, ended up taking lessons, and gaining a testimony of it all.  The elders invited him to be baptized and Tanner wanted to, but he said it would be impossible because of his leg.  He couldn't walk or stand, let alone go into water and be baptized.  Besides, he didn't have long to live.  And then, here is the kicker: The elder who gave the baptismal invite looks at his companion with a face like, "I'm gonna do it!" and he turns to John and says, "John, do you believe that Christ healed the sick and the lame?"
     John thinks about it and says, "Yes."
     The missionary continues to look into his eyes and says, "Do you believe that Christ's Apostles Peter and John did the same on the steps of the temple?"
     More determined now, John again says "Yes."
     "Then if you believe that," says the missionary, "and that the authority to do those same miracles has been restored again to the earth, I say to you John Tanner, in the name of Jesus Christ and by His authority I command you to stand and walk!"
     John Tanner looks at the missionary, grabs the nearby crutches and starts to stand with them.  The missionary looks at him as he struggles with the crutches and says, "Just believe."  John then drops the crutches, and his leg, that was moments before all black and gross with infectious cancer, is now completely healed.  John Tanner was baptized that night.

Now, I love John's faith, but even more impressive to me was the faith of that missionary - that he could command with such authority, and had faith that the Lord would back him up and his promise and blessing would be fulfilled.  AWESOME faith!  I love it!  I want to be that type of missionary.

Underwear Boy Revisited
Tuesday, we went back to the home of underwear boy to see if his mom was home (initial meeting in post: Oh Italy, Never Change!).  She wasn't, but the dad was!  We expected that he would send us away, but he invited us in.  We ended up having a good lesson.  He seemed really open, as did his other son, Andrea (not underwear boy). Underwear boy was in the back room - his name is Massimo.  He said he knew who we were when his dad called back to him in the back room.  He refused to come out.  :)  Didn't get a return appointment, but hope to in the future.

Sorella Ashley Nef

1 comment:

  1. Sorry guys, thanks for saying that Sassari is beautiful - I am from Sassari and I agree, although not so enthusiastically... btw, I just want to point out that two pictures are not from Sassari. The 6th picture (from the top) is not Sassari, but Castelsardo, a small town in Sassari province, around 20 km far away. The 9th picture is not from Sassari either, but it seems to me a traditional house in Tempio, in the Olbia-Tempio province.