Rome Day 5: A day of surprises

We celebrated Sunday in typical Italian fashion: go to church, eat too much, and go home. Nevertheless we ran into a few surprises along the way. 

We got to church early that morning and even ran into another BYU couple that was traveling across Europe. They flew into Constantinople only to spend six weeks backpacking Europe with the goal to somehow catch their flight back to America from Paris. That would be one fun trip. Anyway, the members in Rome treated us very graciously, helping us feel as comfortable as possible.

Things became tricky, however, when a BYU study abroad group showed up for Sunday School. Suddenly our class doubled from about 40 to 80 students with only half understanding Italian. With the missionaries tied up in the gospel principles class, they called on me to do the translating! I stood next to the teacher, and after every few sentences I would interpret. It went very well for the most part, save a few comical mistakes on my part. For example, instead translating the Italian word "pastore" to "shepherd," I simply referred to Christ as a pastor. Even better, the teacher at one point called Christ an "Amico" with a capital "A." Naturally, in my translation, I explained, "Christ is our Friend with a capital 'A.'" It took everyone a little while, but they got the message.

After saying farewell to the LeMaistres and Vanderwerkens (they flew home that evening), we headed back into Rome to meet up with Tobia. Here is where a little background could be useful.

Tobia is from Northern Italy -- Piedmont, to be precise -- and lives in Rome where he studies tourism and works as a waiter. His boss has a sister who works in the Italian department at BYU and generously offered Tobia the opportunity to live in Provo for a few months to polish his English. While in Provo, I met Tobia in several of my classes and invited him over for dinner. We discovered that we would be traveling back to Rome at about the same time and Tobia told us that, if possible, he wanted to treat us in Rome.

The possibility became reality.

So after church on Sunday we met up with Tobia and his parents. He took us all to the restaurant where he worked. It is near the Spanish Steps on a street that is just off Corso. By the way, do I not look like a giant compared to these people?

There, Tobia was treated like a king. If you ever thought while watching the Godfather, "do Italians really treat one of their own so friendly," you were correct. Every single worker, including the boss, approached Tobia every few minutes to greet him. As we sat down several platters of various cheeses and meat were placed on our table, followed later by a sampling of various Italian desserts. Mind you this restaurant has over 200 fresh cheeses everyday and certainly was  not in our budget! Thanks to Tobia's connection, however, the meal was completely gratis!

To accentuate how lucky we were on this trip, the weather, which had been perfect all week long, suddenly took a turn for the worst on Sunday. As we made our way from the Metro to the restaurant it began to rain. As soon as we sat down to eat, it poured. As we walked out to head home, the sun broke through the clouds and all was well.

That night Emily and I did a little laundry, meaning we filled our sink with detergent and tried to wash a few shirts etc. We repacked for Florence and got a good nights rest for the next journey. I know you're thinking, "where is Emily and why is her husband lowering the quality of this blog?" I promise she'll be back soon!!


  1. yes, you shall now be called "Ryan, the Giant" ha.

    and you're doing a bomb job filling in, i must say.

  2. that is a funny picture! and man, that gratis meal sounds uuuuuhmazing!!!

    And you're doing a wonderful job blogging. I'm loving these posts!

    (though I do miss em!) we should hang out!!

  3. Not gonna lie. I'm TOTALLY jealous you're traveling Europe. It's going on my to-do list.
    @Ryan: I only wish I could get chance to even consider blogging once on our blog. but alas that probably won't ever happen so my poor readers are left to the once in a while that I have time to update...


leave a note.