Ice cream can be a good substitute for lunch

Hey Gabe–

How are you? What’s new?

Today I feel like writing you a letter even though I don’t feel like I have a whole lot to say. I mostly just want to tell you I miss you and I’m thinking of you.


Today Anz. Rodriguez went to the doctor in Milano and afterward we wandered around looking at the cool city. Did you know the Duomo in Milano took 400 years to build? It’s in a style called ‘flaming gothic’ because it’s supposed to make you think of flames and fire reaching and pointing up to heaven. It was a big deal at the time because everything was made from stone and making a rock look like a flame isn’t easy.


I went to a gelatteria in Milano called Cioccolatitaliani. They make really good gelato, but they are famous because they pour melted chocolate in the bottom of your cone. Right before that we went to a place called Luini’s where they sell panzerotti. Panzerotti is a little thing of fried dough filled with yummy mozzarella cheese and tomatoes and meat. Luini’s and Cioccolatitaliani are right next to each other which is really convenient.


One of my favorite things about Italy are all the stores that they call “cartoleria.” These are whole stores just for notebooks and pens. Oh I love them so much. Italians totally understand my love of good pens and notebooks. I really like moleskin notebooks which are really popular here because they are Italian. I feel just a little bit cool that I loved moleskin notebooks way before I was called to Italy. I love them so much I have three: one for journal, one for my study journal and one for writing down things I am grateful for every day. You might be surprised how often I write down I’m grateful for a good pen or my journal.


More and more lately I’ve been thinking about how important it is to always learn new things. I’m amazed how much there is to learn in the world.

Well, I love you lots Gabe. You probably think I’m mushy, but I really love you. Brotherly love is another thing I’ve been thinking about lately. God lets us choose our friends and even our wife, but brothers are just given to us. We were meant to love each other from the day we were born!


your brother,



Just for fun– I looked up the Italian ice cream store,
definitely drool-worthy. But even better are all the articles on the web site talking about how ice cream is real food and Ice cream can be a good substitute for lunch

October 15, 2012
October 29, 2012



  1. Claudia

    October 17, 2012

    That is so touching! I miss Italy and look forward to going there again someday. I miss Ben too. So sweet…

  2. ashli

    October 17, 2012

    i wanna go to italy 🙂 looks and sounds like ben belongs there 😉 but only for 6 more months (or is it 5!! yay)

    and i love the two pics of gabe…both with scratches on his face proving he is boy through and through!

    love you and your blog! always have, always will!

  3. Mitchell Family

    October 17, 2012

    Great letter. Were the Italy photos Ben’s or yours?

  4. Tracy

    October 17, 2012

    Such a lovely letter. Also, gelato…yum…

  5. ellen

    October 17, 2012

    What a sweet letter. Never got anything like that from my brothers. 🙂

    Are you going to pick him up when he’s done with his mission?!?

  6. Cath

    October 19, 2012

    Gushing over the sweetness between brothers. And this wonderful glimpse into Ben’s Italian life. You are raising some amazing boys. xo

  7. Chelsea Richards

    October 22, 2012

    For some reason my favorites are in Italy even I never been there. Weird right?! But 126 steps away from my apartment here in Brooklyn there is a small place that has some of Italy finest culinary art that are so tasty!! So this got me thinking that I have to go to the place where this taste originally came from…

  8. Tifani

    October 23, 2012

    Why do Ben’s letters do this to me? I’m in tears again. So much love.

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