Thursday, November 29, 2012

Una Bella Esperienza

Last Summer Elder Fenn was in the tunnel between the Patrons Housing Building and the Temple and started talking with a fellow named Salvatore Taormina. He asked David about the badge he had on and they started talking about the church and working here at the temple site. Later that day David gave him a "Temples Magazine" and a Book of Mormon. That night Salvatore was reading the magazine and fell asleep in his chair. He started dreaming that he was in one of these beautiful temples and he was dressed in white. His wife was with him and there were many others with them. 
They were patting him on the back and hugging and congratulating him. He said he felt really good. Then he woke up and still had that good feeling.  The next day he saw David at the site and told him about his dream. He said what do you think of that? Why were people congratulating me? 

So this opened the door to he and his wife Giovanna taking the missionary discussions. At first we didn't know where it would go and we took things slowly, but then Salvatore became very interested and got serious about coming to church. 

The first week he came in a pair of jeans with his Book of Mormon in hand. The next week he had on a new suit and tie.

We have had so much fun just about every Wednesday and Friday night sitting in on the discussions while the sister's teach. Just a really great experience. And after 4 months of preparation Salvatore was baptized. He is excited about seeing the temple finished and seeing the Angel Moroni go on top.

Giovanna thinks he is doing a great thing but said it wasn't her time yet. She has been supportive and very welcoming.
Sister Christansen and Sister Smedley... You can't tell, but they were both crying really hard all night long. I can't blame them, they did such a great job teaching this family. Last night they rode the bus to his house which took an hour and a half then about 2 blocks of running in the pouring rain. Big smiles. Sister Johnson has gone home but she was here for the first half of all of this. She was home crying!... and fasting. :)

We picked Olives last Saturday. The first 2 trees were fun. ;) But it was a beautiful day and we enjoyed ourselves. Italy is a gorgeous country.

Sister Perticarole

They have 300 trees! We did 10. :)

Olives from 2 trees

Much love to all. We hope your Thanksgiving was nice! 

Love, David and Carolyn

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Little bit of History/ Art History

San Pietro in Vincoli:

 ... a church here in Rome, very near the Colosseum, is best known for being the home of Michelangelo's statue of Moses. This is a must see if you are visiting Rome.

 If you look closely you can see that Michelangelo put horns on Moses's head depicting light coming from within. If you google this you can see a better picture of him. I love it! Zac says he looks like King Tritan and I have to agree. By the way Lola is going to be a Mermaid for Halloween. :) just thought I'd throw that in.

San Pietro Vincoli is also know as the Basilica Eudoxiana. It was first re-built on older foundations in 432-440 to house the relic of the chains that bound Saint Peter when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem. The Empress Eudoxia ( wife of Emporer Valentinian the 3rd) who received them as a gift from her mother (Aelia Eudocia cosort of Valentinian the 2nd) presented the chains to Pope Leo 1. Aelia Eudocia had received these chains as a gift from Luvenalis, bishop of Jerusalem.
According to legend, when Leo compared them to the chains of Saint Peter's final imprisonment in the Mamertine prison in Rome, the two chains miraculously fused together.

I included this information we found at Wikipedia, because reading the history made me believe it is very possible that these could in fact be the chains they claim them to be. A well preserved relic. Very interesting piece of history.

A view of the Colosseum from just near this church. The day was as pretty as it looks!!

Tomorrow we leave for Carrara where the statues of the 12 apostles and the Christus for the Visitors Center are being sculpted. They are being carved from the same Carrara marble that Migelangelo used. I'm excited beyond belief! I will post pictures. The Christus will stand right in the center of the round wall with the 12 apostles in a semi circle behind it.

Visitors Center

Bishop Causse of the Presiding Bishopric was here a couple of weeks ago. I got an "action" shot for the history.

Elder Nelson was here to do a stake conference and he stopped by the site Sunday afternoon. We didn't meet Elder Nelson but I do have a picture and will ask if I can post it.

I love skype!

My computer "rang" the other day and when I answered this is what I saw: 

She called to show me her bun :)

Did I mention that I love skype?

And this little guy! awww.
Both so handsome! Maddox and Ryan

Lola and Maddox are getting so big!

E un Autunno Bello a Roma!

It has been a beautiful Autumn in Rome. I hear the same can be said for back home :) Enjoy!

Much love, Elder and Sister Fenn

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I know it's been awhile...

I promised Zac I would be more diligent in putting pictures up for you all to see. :) Thanks for the reminder Zac, OK... here we go...

Italy is a very beautiful country. It is very green and from the freeway the hillsides are well kept and you see farms and vineyards. It's hard to get pictures from the road but my favorite view is of the hill top towns that can be seen along the way. We visited this town one Saturday afternoon.

Civita di Bagnoregio

A few pictures from inside the village. 

Italian Pottery... I love it!

And one more...

"Our group": the project managers and our good friends.

Take One:

           Carl and Barbara Champagnie & Ramon and Lorena Lopez

and Take Two...
but Lorena always looks good!
... take one was better!

Barbara is from Brazil, Carl is from Preston England , Ramon and Lorena are from Madrid Spain.
Barbara speaks, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and a little English, her husband Carl speaks English only! Ramon speaks Spanish, English, French and a little Italian, Lorena speaks Spanish and her English is getting really good too. So one way or another we all communicate. But it gets pretty funny at times. 

Ramon is the new project manager for the PARIS FRANCE TEMPLE so they we will be leaving us after Christmas... We will miss you but are very happy for you Ramon.
Barbara and Lorena will follow their husbands to whatever city or country is getting a new temple. Which means they will probably never live by a temple!! 

"Carving is easy, you just go down to the skin and stop" michelangelo

Last Saturday David and I took  the bus downtown because we had heard of a statue Michelangelo had done of Christ that was in a church down by the Pantheon. 

We found it and here it is: Il Redentore

The physique  is stronger than most depictions... We really enjoyed seeing this statue. I will be talking a lot about the statues that will be going in the Visitors Center here at the Temple site in Rome. Stay tuned.

On our way to church

Love and miss you all. Take good care! Thank -you to everyone for your prayers and support.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What a difference a day makes...

Remember the old C&R commercials... What a difference a day makes... Where the guy was in dirty work jeans or a post man uniform .... Then the next shot had him all decked out in a new suit from C&R Clothiers? Remember those old commercials?

 Well, that's how I felt when we got invited to Giovani's wedding. I was used to seeing him in a yellow hard hat, dirty work jeans and rubber boots as he worked on the temple site..... But he looked pretty sharp for his wedding! What a difference a day makes!

It was an honor to be invited to the wedding. It was at a church in Napoli which is 2 hours south of Rome. So, once again... Ramon let us borrow his car and off we went. 

The bride and her father

The church 

The musicians

I just had to add this next picture!!  I noticed these 3 ladies standing on their balcony waiting for the bride and groom to come out of the church. It must be fun living there seeing all of the couples and families coming out after they've been married. I loved their example, celebrating with someone they likely didn't even know. To me, this picture says a thousand words.

This balcony is their backyard. Very very typical .

And then we went to the reception... and this is my favorite thing I've seen since we arrived here. 

The Mediterranean Sea. It was beautiful.

I had crossed the Mediterranean on a ferry boat going from Spain to North Africa once with my parents when I was about 10, so maybe it was a little connection to my family, particularly my parents who have both passed away that made seeing it so special to me. But it truly did warm my heart.

And the love of family and friends made it fun to be at the wedding. Seeing family and friends interacting with each other was special.

At first people would kind of side glance at our missionary tags and look away, but Giovani came to our table and introduced us to people and he and David explained to them who we were. Then it became easy to talk about the church and who we were. So, it was a good experience and although I felt a little funny wearing the tag at a Catholic wedding it became easy and people were warm and friendly to us. It taught me to NEVER be ASHAMED of THE GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST. And we appreciated being invited. It meant a lot to us.


Healthy vines!!

Italy is a beautiful country and we appreciate being able to be here.

 The building of a temple takes a long time and I'll admit it sometimes overwhelms me, but...

Our family and ward and friends at home are a huge support to us. We send our love home to all of you. We appreciate your examples of goodness in our lives.

Friday, June 29, 2012

I'm Embarrassed to Say

I've done it!  One of those typical things missionaries do...

Need I say more? 

Sorry we haven't been very talkative lately...  The buildings are just taking time and it has been a long wait for the concrete and rebar to be finished. When the walls get up we will get to some more interesting phases. 

Here's the temple from across the street. Soon they will be working on the towers. There is a place on top of the mall where we can climb the stairs and take pictures. The Patrons Housing building is on the left and behind a bit... peak of the Visitors Center behind the Temple and Stake Center on the right behind the trees.

Here is the entry gate to the site... where I waited 15 minutes to get through  the other day... sitting on the curb... hot very hot. 

... Therefore.... I got this!
My own clicker! 

Power... I now have the power!!

While I was out there... I took a picture of the fence that surrounds the temple property.
We're quite secure around here!

Tour of Vatican Gardens: 

 One of the contractors here took us to the Vatican to tour the gardens.

 Here we are with a very old Mermaid. This was just a pond inside. It seemed very very old. The rock formation was very different!

We were there in early Spring so it was a very green perfect day.

This wall is centuries old and surrounds Vatican City

A statue just inside Vatican City

It was interesting to view this historic site... I didn't take a lot of pictures and we will probably never go there again, so  I should have taken more.... Historic grounds where Popes have walked for centuries, and interesting that this is not Italy... it is it's own country inside a country. I appreciated and respected the history and what this city means to the Catholic religion. It is their headquarters, world famous... but I couldn't help but feel a little empty as I walked the grounds.

Let's see how about a picture of a pizza... 

Typical dinner here in Italy. 
Margherita Pizza 1/8 inch thick... cheese and tomato sauce.

Davids looks a little more tasty... with fungi. Just the fact that they call it fungi is enough for me not to order it!!

And a typical day :)
Elder Fenn walking out to the temple

Love and Good Wishes to all.