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      Local man talks about missionary work in Italy

      Kyle Bennett of Holland recently returned from Italy where he spent nearly two years as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Before travelling to Italy Kyle spent two months at the Mormon church's Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah where he learned Italian. While in Italy, Kyle spent several months each in Rome, Naples, Taranto, Gosenza and Reggio-Calabria. "Well, in the big cities there is a lot more hustle and bustle like you would imagine, as there a lot of people in Rome with plenty of public transportation," Kyle said.

      Kyle and his missionary companions would spend ten hours a day walking the streets talking to people and inviting them to hear their message. Once a week the American missionaries would teach free English classes to local Italians. Some weeks there would be up to 80 people in the class.

      Kyle kept his family up to date on his activities with a weekly e-mail. "I looked forward to getting the letters for one, I missed him, and because there was so much going and it was exciting to hear about everything that was going on and we could feel the love that he had for the friends he was making," said Carol Bennett, Kyle's mom.

      Before leaving for Italy, Kyle spent one year at BYU-Hawaii. He is enrolled this fall at the University of Toledo. He wants to become a journalist. Kyle says the experience was one he'll always remember and that he made lifelong friends. "The people are so loving; they kind of embrace you immediately and that's the thing I love the most about Italy," Kyle said.