12.16.2013

that's all folks.


paige is back. we're all happy as clams.

11.25.2013

arrivederci.

sister jackson and sister wightman at the going away party the ward threw for paige. please notice the faint pencil drawing of paige. via sister jackson blog.

ciao cari miei!

well can you believe it? my how time does fly. i have been thinking about what to write (for about 30 seconds ... my life is a lot of madness right now in this very moment) and all that comes to mind is
the gratitude list.
i am just overflowing with it, more so this week then maybe ever before.
so here it is, why i am full of gratitude for today, last week, the last 18 months, and for all eternity ...

today
i am grateful.
because ...
--we just ran into 3 girls from byu that are headed home after a semester abroad in paris. they eyed us from across the piazza in front of the pantheon and i called them over "hey! you guys are mormons! come over here!" (you think i am kidding). so they did. and we giggled together and they told us about how one of them hates country music but is going to tennesee for her mission starting next week. so we gave them a pile of pass along cards and challenged them to give them all out before they go home (they also may have thought i was kidding).
--we get to see baldo in a few hours and bear our testimonies to him. and we will get to teach him truths, and we will feel the spirit together, and in a few days i will miss that there experience that i have got to enjoy for months now.
--we wandered around rome today and i decided that i need to see more cities in the fall. it is better that way.

last week
i was grateful.
because ...
--rita finally accepted a baptismal date. for january 4th. she invited me via skype. haha!
--rita finally came to chruch yesterday. in a dress and with an american flag purse. and she cried as the babies did their primary program. and she must have remembered that she too is a child of god and that her family can be together forever.
--roma 5 threw me a surprise going away party after church, complete with diana marchetti and the perego fam (minus ugo who is off in sardegna helping clean up the aftermath) and polenta, and a poster with a chinese version of me drawn on it, and a calendar of rome 5, and all of the members and so much love. just ... whoa. so so nice.
--we got a good giggle from the emergency phone call from the mission office telling us to get home asap because a huge storm was about to hit. we ran home and were CONVINCED that it was going to get all filipino up in here. didn't rain a drop. haha! but we read the article that sorella jackson's mom sent her about the 10 sorelle in the storm and prepared for the worst. hey, we will get obedience blessings.
--we were invited to a special missionary meeting with anziano ridd (2nd counselor in general ym prez) and presidente osguthrope (general sunday school prez). it was the greatest meeting ever. no exaggerating. they responded to every single doubt, fear, worry, question and thought that i have had for a while. it was really cool. they talked about doing everything with real intent. talked about desires, decisions, and determination. talked about teaching skills, agency, and so many other goodies. and we were just in heaven afterwards. they wanted to get a volunteer for a role play. i never do this kind of stuff but i titled this week "go big or go home or both" so i volunteered, not knowing beforehand that he would also ask the world's most timid girl to assist me (aka my companion). she knocked it outta the park though. what a baller.
--i saw sorella kimball. i heart her so.
--the anziani called an emergency meeting so we scurried off to their city to meet with them. they had some big revelation about how to work better with the members and how to really get the best out of the work of salvation. and we are SO pumped. and i got about 57819 ideas about how to be a better missionary/person when i return. i love seeing that kind of excitement!
--sorella jackson. just everything about her. i am really grateful for her, this week and always. she shared some really great scriptures during study this week. like this and this.
--amède. he is great. we invited him to be baptized, but he didn't accept. instead he promised to come to church every week and pray about the date. fine by us!
--the malara family. their baby, elena, is the cutest thing that ever happened. she gave me the greatest goodbye. oh man. i love that girl.

the last 18 months
i have been grateful.
because ...
--heavenly father has used me as a tool in his hands while i tried my best to serve him.
--i have come to know my savior as i have testified of his birth, life, ministry, authority, death, atonement, and vital role as our advocate.
--i have a greater appriciation for and understanding of the holy ghost. i know how he communicates with me and i know how to be worthy of his constant companionship.
--there is no doubt that joseph smith was all he was prophecied to become, that he was a prophet, that he restored the chruch in its fullness, and led boldly and righteously.
--the book of mormon has become a guide. i know that "no wicked man could write this book and no good man would, unless it were true and he was commanded of god to do so."
--thomas s. monson holds all of the keys of the priesthood, just like adam, and moses, and noah. and we need him. if you don't agree, come see rome.
--i have been through the highest highs, the lowest lows and all of the in between, and today i can say with all of my heart that know that i am a child of god. i know that i can return to him as long as i follow the savior. i believe in change, for i have witnessed it. i know god is near us, for i have felt it.
--you. because i have had more support than i could ever ask for. i hope you know i have tried to be worthy for all of the thoughts, worries, prayers, emails, letters, packages, and love by working, loving, smiling, and serving with my heart and with my strength.

all eternity
i will always be grateful.
because ...
--i was born in this dispensation.
--i served in the best mission in the world.
--i have made and strive to keep promises with my hevenly father.
--i am part of a forever family, the greatest one.
--i know where i come from, why i am here, and where i am going.
--i know that my redeemer lives and loves me.

and i love you.
see you soon.
sorella wightman

11.22.2013

NEXT FFFRRIIDDAAYYY!!!

paige gets home one week from today! it feels so good to type/write/yell those words from the mountain tops.

we have so much to do:
- clean/reorganize/redecorate paige's room
- decide which newly discovered restaurant to take her to first*
- decide which movie we will make her watch first**
- decide what music should be playing in the car ride home
- finish preparing her "welcome back to the real world" package
- make oodles of WELCOME HOME! signs and buy balloons and confetti and all things celebration to take to the airport party!!!
- try to stay calm and keep busy so we don't find ourselves counting the seconds, thus making the next 7 days go by at a glacial pace

*choose one of the following:  jwongs, oh mai, cubby's, santa pasta, pizza limone, habit burger, cucina vanina, la jolla groves, eva's bakery, pig and a jelly jar.
**from our 18 month long must-see list, we've pick one of the following to show first: the amazing spiderman, skyfall, or the way way back.

11.19.2013

#10daysofpaige


guys, paige gets home 10 days from today! to celebrate and to start the final countdown, we've taken to instagram. follow along and join in on the fun using #10daysofpaige.

11.18.2013

another week has scurried on by.

ciao cari miei!

another week has scurried on by and here we are again. it was a gooooooooooood week, minus the fact that sorella jackson has picked up the coughing, sneezing, runny nose with a headache trend that is going around. poor thing. but she is on the mend ... i hope. we've got things to do this very special week!

so monday i got a haircut by sorella garcia. her three daughters had searched the internet all day long looking for the cut and style that would match me best. let's just say i had to just go with a trim. haha! man i love that family. we also taught baldo everything he needs to know. at the end of the lesson his daughter said "if you don't get an answer after really truly doing all of this then i am leaving the church because there is no way you won't!" haha! it is true! we have given him all we have. ALL! and there has been some serious progress, minus the fact that he decided to not come to all of church yesterday. but i called him and told him i missed him and i know it got to him. haha! so only time will tell what baldo's spiritual fate is. here is to hoping he is really doing it all!!

OH some big things happened to me this week:

1) someone is naming their baby after me.
2) someone offered me their son to marry.

details:
remember vincenza? we are teaching her english and the gospel and she loves the life out of us. we came over for our lesson last week and she told us that she had a miscarrage. i have never seen anyone so content and accepting of such a thing. she said she knows that she will have another baby and when she does she is naming it paige. honor times a million, right. haha!

remember emilia? ....uh no. good i was testing you. i am not teaching anyone with the name emilia, but the sorelle in pescara are and i got the privilege to meet her during exchanges this week. she is 19, has a 3 year old daughter, and lives with her member mom and non-member brothers and a dad that is disturbingly similar to baldo, but in an argentinian kind of way. emilia was baptized last transfer and we came to do the after-baptism lesson: the gospel of jesus christ. we chatted and felt the spirit and testified. i concluded with my testimony and in the car ride on the way back to the train station, emilia's mom told me that the spirit testified to her while i was bearing testimony that i am the "one" for her non-member son. what does one say to that sort of thing? especially when her daughter said that she had the same sensation. well i don't know what one would say but i said "oh." sorella mckenna said she'd give them my info just in case. haha!

fun fact: if you want to boggle an italian, tell them to say "33,000 people think that thursday is their 13th birthday" they will never be able to do it. and they will hate it. th...that is a toughie for my mediterranean loves.

man this email is outta control. welcome to my life right now.

anyway.

wednesday we had district meeting. our district leader decided to teach us about the abrahamic covenant and we district meeting-ed all morning and even into our lunch time. that is good stuff.

thursday we taught our most-likely-to-be-in-the-mafia investigator, roberta. we had a really cool experience together with her and the spirit. poor thing has lost all hope in a better world. and she tells us all about why we should be sad like her. we listen, because i think that is usually the secret to helping people feel loved. but after a while i just couldn't let her be so negative. so i waited for a break and took the dive, bearing her my testimony that though i am fully aware of the darkness that our world contains, i know that christ brings light, that we can reflect that light, and with that knowledge we can do more than hope but KNOW that this time is a time of testing, meant for preparing, guarantees trials, but created for us to find a joy that will be completed in the hereafter. sorella jackson second that, adding her sweet testimony of the book of mormon being the center of that hope and light. and roberta just sat there with a smile. and almost, just almost, she had a flicker of the light spark inside of her. and with that we prayed and left. there cannot exist a better feeling than that! my heart aches just thinking about the day when i am no longer authorized to do that as the lord's missionary.

we had to scurry off to pescara, a 3 hour bus ride from the eternal city, and we arrived a little later than planned. so here we are, a dark pescara night, stuck in the middle of what seemed to be a not very secretive drug deal and other nighttime activities that missionaries shouldn't be involved in. good think sorella jackson had to go to the bathroom so we got out of there and found a little corner of heaven, american heaven. it was a bakery called "white bakery". it paid homage to american diners in the 50s, selling waffles, muffins, cheesecake, red velvet cake, betty crocker cake mixes, canned pumpkin, marshmellow fluff, and was playing elvis as loud of ever. haha! we were in literal heaven. jackson hit the john and we caught the bus just in time. 

our train ride view of the ocean out of a dirty window.

white bakery.

this weird transition hit while in pescara. we meet a lot of people in a day. almost all of these people ask 1) where we are from 2) how long we have been in italy 3) why we would ever leave america to come to italy ... which is where the gospel talk begins. it is fabulous. by now, it is a habit. i have had that same conversation about 29 times a day for the last 18 months. but starting in pescara and following me back to rome was the evil change to question 2. now they are asking ... when are you going back to america? evil.

during the scambio we:
- went tracting at italian dorms. quite the experience.
- invited the most prepared man to be baptized in 2 weeks, in the first lesson. he accepted. and he is almost as perfect as his baby puppy that i couldn't help but covet the whole time we were there.
- ate pescara's traditional dish : arrosticini. lamb kebab type thing. delish.
- saw a shirt that looked like an i heart ny shirt but instead it said i heart yn (you not). haha! either maybe i am getting stupider on my misison but i giggled at that all day. those itlalians are so creative with their american t shirts. it has been my number 1 source of entertainment my whole mission. 

arrosticini.

when i returned from pescara, sorella jackson was as sick as a dog. and she has pretty much been sleeping ever since, besides for a half of a planning session (for a fun evening: try planning for your week with a companion hopped up on night time cold medicine) and church and now. poor thing! and also, i have never been so lonely in my life. while she has been sleeping i have been doing every missionary thing i can do from the indoors, studying, and having my own mini-christmas party with the hidden christmas music i discovered on my ipod. for you seinfeld people: imagine the party elaine throws when she is eating that antique cake then gets caught on camera, like dancing around and laughing and having the time of her life alone. that is what it has been like. me, dancing around, making calls, studying the scriptures, singing christmas music, writing in the area book ... all alone. sad sad day miss paige.

and that is all.

un bacione a tutti,
sorella wightman

11.11.2013

pumpkin pie and one sly guy.

zone conference pictures via sister waddoups (THANKS!).

hiiiii! sorry for making everyone think that i was sad last week. i am not not not not! but you know, missions are hard. they are meant to be, but they, just like life, are meant to be enjoyed too, which mine always is!

this week started off great. why? because we made PUMPKIN PIE WITH A REAL PUMPKIN! i have never felt some homemakey. who needs that canned stuff? not i. anyway it wasn't as good as mom's, (what is? ... even though she uses canned pumpkin ...) but it was sufficient. i decided that eating pie for breakfast is one of my favorite things to do. it feels like holiday time. so i did that and got an insta-smile for the rest of the week. PIE!

dad sent me his list of fave hymns last week and it quickly became one of my most prized possessions. fur reelz. i love that guy. so i made one too. i will write the titles, and an explanation my have to come later, like in person, because time is a tickin:

  • come come ye saints
  • lead kindly light
  • more holiness give me
  • mandate voci di gioia all'eterno
  • all creatures of our god and king
  • i know that my redeemer lives
  • i am a child of god
  • nearer my god to thee
  • who's on the lord's side who
  • how great thou art
  • honorable mentions: the lord is my light, the lord is my shepherd, be still my soul
goodies.

baldo fasted. he never has. but he did this week. loved it. in fact he told us that how we told him to fast (for two consecutive meals) isn't good enough. "a real fast is 24 hours." so next time he is fasting for 24 hours. what a guy.

tuesday was zone conference. i love zone conference. but i prefer when it isn't the last one and i am sad the whole time. haha! i wasn't sad the whole time. i am happy! remember?! but you know, all good things must come to an end so other good things can have a turn. i gave a training on finding that was pretty silly. i hope it helped everyone be more excited! if only everyone could feel what i feel right now about the necessity of the work. it is kind of the worst that right now i feel like i finally have everything under control--the language, the relationships with companions and members and investigators, teaching, studying, the culture, being away from everything i know and love--and now time is up. but that is the beauty of the mission, and life: the learning process. and like i read this morning in my studies, knowledge of divine and spiritual things is essential for eternal life. anyway i was and still am really grateful for the sweet feelings of gratitude that i felt during the conference. extreme gratitude.

teaching "like a baller".

her departing testimony at zone conference.

is this not one of the saddest pictures? poor poor paigey.

i assume this is singing the mission song together. i also assume this is probably paige's last time participating this tradition. 

she's so cute.

we have been teaching this lady named vincenza. it all started with a private english course but it developed into gospel chats. she told us that she read ether 12 and together we just gushed over how beautiful that chapter is. she just opened the book up to that and it responded to her immediate needs. so cool how the book of mormon is still so relevant. and cooler that she got to learn that all by herself this week.

friday we ate more pumpkin pasta and loved life.

one of our other english course students/investigators called us this week from the hospital. she fell in the gap between the metro and the binario ( i can't for the life of me remember what that is really called in english ... probably because i never had to learn it ...) and snapped her leg. eeeeeeeeeek! yeah i just get the heebie jeebies thinking about it too. so we will visit her tomorrow! i'll send pictures haha!

the anziani found this man boppin' around a city called poggio mirteto a few weeks ago. turns out he is a member that just moved into town and was looking for information about where to find the mormon church. and so, wasn't it just a big fat coincident that the lord had the anziani be in his path that day? so he has just won everyone's hearts. he is a gem. he came to the mostra this week and explained the plan of salvation to everyone who passed by. president criscione, who is a camera man and has the hook-ups, got him a job to do voice overs because this guy has that kind of voice that makes you think that you are living in a movie preview when he talks because it is just so perfect. so marco, who felt alone and lost a few weeks ago, found his family here in rome 5.

i got my halloween package and have been on a candy high for days. but i do it in style with awesome socks and crayon pumpkin rings like a baller.

we had a pretty great little lesson with rita valenti this week. she told us about a huge miracle. if you recall, rita has a son who has been pretty against all this mormon stuff from the get go. she expressed some worry about being baptized against his will. she said she would be more comfortable being baptized if he was behind her for it. she told us how they had a chat and she was able to tell him how she feels about what we have taught her, how she has changed, and what she desires. his response: well then i guess you'd better get baptized. he has seen the change in her like everyone else has. so we hopped on that opportunity and told her that we recognize that as an answer to her prayers and invited her to be baptized. we explained that she needs to come to church 2 more times and that we have a few more things to teach her. i told her how much i would like to be a part of her baptism but that i am leaving really soon. she said she wants that too. so she accepted. so PRAY WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART THAT SHE WILL COME TO CHURCH! because she didn't come yesterday. urg. but i have high hopes. and i have never wanted anything more.

yesterday was stake conference. that sly guy president waddoups was inspired by the stake prez who called people at random to bear testimony and called up a handful of missionaries to come up and bear testimony about certain things. so yep, he called me to bear testimony about enduring to the end. what a guy! haha! it was pretty cray but kind of fun too. i also got to see diani marchetti!!!! she just is ... i don't even have the right word. bright. full of light and goodness. she gave me the biggest hug ever and said she loves me and my city. and i just hugged her back and said the same thing. i also saw the perego fam! they got permission from president to "kidnap me" on my last sunday and have me over to dinner. so that should be fun. i love that jenna. i will miss them!

well that is just about every single detail from my entire week besides the disneyland love talk that jackson and i shared, the party at mamma gigante's home yesterday with this crazy spikey version of zucchini, watching 80s church hits (families are forever) and giggling over a pizza, and the delightful rainstorms. but other than that, you know it all.

do you know that i love you?

oh, read this
and this
and now you have it all.

i didn't take many good photos this week, but this is worth it:

love,
sorella wightman

11.08.2013

3 weeks!!!

can you believe it's been 3 weeks since our last RMTC post? well YOU might believe it but for us (mom, dad, and sister) it's been ddrraaagggiiinngg. what helps pass the time is preparing for our sweet girl's return. this week we did that by making a "welcome back to the real world" package, to be presented to her at 8:35pm, november 29th ... right after she lands.

what does a "welcome back to the real world" package consist of you ask? let me share:

1. first and perhaps most important is an iphone. it's here where most of her re-introduction to the world will happen. remember how she doesn't know what vine or snapchat is? no fear, iphone is here. we've picked out the new iphone 5c in yellow. it just screams paige.


2. although it is technically allowed, you don't see a lot of missionaries wearing bright red lipstick. have you ever seen paige in bright red lipstick? she rocks it:


girl's gotta get back to this look. and with the help of sephora's cream lip stain, she will. this stuff stays just as vibrant as when you first applied it. 


3. if you have found yourself on pinterest in the last 3 months, you know that glitter everything is in. we figure paige could use her own glitter-smacked swag to help the transition. here we've got a sephora collection nail polish, "welcome to my loft". glitter-smack, CHECK!


4. one thing that missionaries don't get a lot of is SLEEP. can you imagine waking up at 6:30am every single day for 18 months and NEVER sleeping in??? i have to say this thought alone deterred me from serving a mission. paige is gonna be real sleepy, what she needs is a sleep mask, this one's from fred flare:


5. if mormon culture teaches us anything, it's that we need to get married as soon as possible. sure you can spend a few years at byu, yeah why not serve a mission, but then YOU NEED TO GET MARRIED. if only the mission didn't take every sexual urge right outta ya ... enters mormon dating books! specifically "fearless dating" by chris and julia deaver and don mccartney:


6. of course we'll need to get her caught up on fashion trends! does she have patterned leggings? how about a striped maxi skirt? does she even know the importance of color blocking??? h&m has got ALL of paige's trendy needs covered. 


7. perhaps a missionary's most prized possession is their planner. it has all of the numbers, their goals, information for investigators, members, less-actives, it is their life-line. now, we do want to make the transition seamless, but we won't be going this route ...


but the cuter, still organized, paper source route:


and that's about it. anything we should add?

11.04.2013

pumpkins and tuna.


right now there is a baby crying so so much behind me, so i am listening to the motab christmas concert with little davie a. what a gem. 

sooooooooo good things must be coming, because there have just been some real silly hoops to jump through and punches in the stomach this week. BUT we chose to be motivated not discouraged. the great thing is that with the low lows there are more high highs. so i will tell you about the highs:

-i got a blessing this week. and the lord, through the mouth of one of his little, weak, humble missionaries, told me to count my blessings. so i have been trying really hard to not a day pass me by without remembering that i really think i have been blessed more than a lot of other people.
-we had homemade pizza with blado and the fam. i have a great picture to show you. it is a sillllllllllllly sight. they made a bunch of different types: 4 cheese, margherita, prosciutto with mozzarella, tuna with onion (whaa??? yeah ... most popular pizza in rome).


-i think i am allergic to tuna fish. bathroom breaks for dayzzz.
-i got the conference ensign in the MAIL! from my MOM! and rome 5 is in it!! when you have a copy in hand, go to that middle part where there is a picture of the slc temple (most beautiful sight ever), in the middle is the general authority pictures, then on the back side there is a bunch of pictures of members around the world. in the top left hand corner there are two ladies smiling hugging. yep, i know them. yep, i ate upside down plum cake by the lady in the yellow at her house just minutes before this picture was taken. i'm famous.
-we started a private english course with a lady named vincenza and her husband and their puppy and their bunny. all true. at the end, vincenza snuck a little bookmark with a quote by her favorite friar in the front and the sweetest little note on the back in my libro di mormon. what a cutie pie.
.we made chili.
-we met a lady named barabara at a paper shop by our house. she wanted to know if we think families should live together forever. uhhh, yeah! we had a nice little chat and she wants IN.
-so there is this everyday nightmare in rome 5/all of italy, called BUSES that just come and go when they please ... or don't come at all. well that was happening one day. finally our bus came. then broke down half way through the voyage. then another bus picked us up. we realized it wasn't the right one. it was so crowded and we couldn't see where we were. but the doors opened and we just decided to get off. off we get. and we were on our street. haha! it was so delightful.
-we have a new african investigator. yay africa! her name is rita and she is a gem in every way. she even wears this great dress that makes me want to trade her all i have for just this one dress. maybe we can work something out.
-we have a new latin-american investigator. yay colombia! her name is anna. and she is a gem in every way. she is in our english class and she is just full of all the right questions. she is evangelist and in love with the anziani.
-a lady in our branch MADE US PUMPKIN PIE FOR HALLOWEEN! and i have never been more pleased. really. you should've seen me. we shared it with anna. she took a bite then pretended like it was so good that she wanted her husband to have a bite but i don't buy it. italians have this thing to be in love with america but they are just so proud of their food that as soon as they know they are eating american food they act like they are eating poison. sillies.
-baldo isn't getting baptized this week. but he did get a hearing aid. why is that a good thing? well it isn't a good thing that our baptismal date fell through with him because he claims that god hasn't responded to any of his prayers. so that is a little bit sad, especially when we KNOW that heavenly father is aware of him, giving him answers, and showing him miracles, but he is choosing to not listen to it. however, it is funny, because he is doing things that are totally out of the norm for him. for example, baldo is really hard of hearing; we have just gotten used to basically yell all of the lessons to him. haha! in fact we are so used to teaching in yell-tone that sometimes other people have to remind us that they aren't baldo. haha! it is really frustrating to him obviously ... that he can't hear. apparently it has been like this for years. well his wife told us that he told her last week that he isn't going to keep coming to all three hours of church because he cant hear anything anyone is saying. he says it is a waste of time to go, looking for answers, then not hear anything. then, out of the blue, this week he bought a hearing aid, something he always says he will do, but after 20 years hasn't ever done. and this week he came, and HEARD everything in church. so he is making the little steps. his actions are speaking louder than words. so keep him in your prayers. and as much as i would like to be the missionary that finally baptizes baldo, i know that the lord is aware of him, aware of the fact that he is a bit testardo (well i can't really remember the english way of saying it in a nice way ... hard headed) and he has a plan. all i want is to help that plan go forward triumphantly. i just want to be what heavenly father needs me to be. that's all.
-we did a mostra this week with chalk. we drew the plan of salvation and we were a HIT! really! everyone wanted to watch us and ask us about it. all the kids came and helped us which forced their parents to stop and chat and feel the spirit. so needless to say, we will be continuing that fun.
-we met the nicest atheist man with a philippine wife and 11 children. weird but atheists intrigue me.
-a nice bus driver offered to take us where we needed to go even if it wasn't the most convenient thing for him. just another case of italians making our problems their problems. luh dem.
-we ate pasta with pumpkin and my life is changed forever.
-baby elena, just one of the most adorable babies i ever did see, after 6 months of practice, finally said my name yesterday. don't worry i got it on film. my work here is a success.

so really all i want to say is that i remember that this was a tough week ... i can't remember specifically why. but i can remember every single and delightful detail of all the good things. because i want to. and you do too. so try. try to remember the good and forget the not so good. because that is what this life is all about; finding joy so that we can have the fullness of joy in the world to come. i know that the only way to that joy is through our savior, who so willingly took upon him every doubt, discouragement, and despair that would ever, is, and will be felt. we don't have to suffer. we get to sometimes, but no ... we don't have to suffer. ever. i know that we are given hoops to jump through so we can jump higher, not so we can fall on our faces for everyone to laugh at us. i am grateful that heavenly father sent me to a tough mission, at a tough time, because i am better because of it. never have i ever wanted my heart to be sealed for the courts above as i do now. if i never struggled, or doubted, or had been discouraged, i wouldn't really have a desire like that. so i will boast my god forever. and i will stop now before everyone starts asking why i am crying just as much as the baby behind me.

i love you all so much. i love my savior and i love that i get to be his representative, now and forever.

sorella wightman

10.28.2013

halloween juice and regular fish.

this cat does this every single morning on our patio. WHAT IS HE LOOKING AT?! driving me cray.

ciao.

monday
-mamma gigante and alessandra (our posse ... is that right?) took us to this secret outlet mall, hidden between the hills in a far off land so that i could buy some boots. mainly they wanted us to go there with them so they could buy us burger king. you'd just giggle yourselves silly by how much italians love to bring americans to american fast food restaurants. sadly when we got there we learned that the bk turned into "burger day" but was basically the same thing.

1burger day sells fish sandwiches with "regular fish" haha good times huh mom?

-i got a little hung up on the fact that i couldn't remember the name of my favorite youtube shell with shoes on. sorella jackson thought i made the whole thing up. but then it came to me, in the middle of the night. marcel! mission amnesia ...


-we taught baldo the lesson about how the gospel blesses families and i was feeling some serious wightman pride and gratitude that whole day. holler!
-i bought some great boots. shopping with italian women is a task, i will tell you that. pray that you will have the chance someday ... or don't because it is a process.

me in my new boots by a great gate.

tuesday
-we decided to visit all of the investigators in our city, passo corese; and have a quick message at the door. that way they could feel the spirit in the morning and have it with them, to reflect and enjoy, all day long. it was really a great way to start the morning. man we have some gems in this city.
-remember in elementary school when we would do "kwl" before starting to read something? you would write what you already knew, what you wanted to learn, and then what you did learn. well i have been applying this baby all week in my studies and all i can say is that elementary school just knows where it's at. little did they know that the skills learned in elementary school would be some great mission prep. try it.
-we did some splits with some young women in the branch. we just gave them a nice evening full of knocking on doors and being yelled at. haha! poor things. tough crowd. but it turned out really great because they were able to see first hand that missionary work is ideal when done with members and with their friends and loved ones. i discussed with my 2 hour companion how the missionaries will be led to the prepared in one way or another, but when they can be led to these people through people that love them and can support them, the work goes better and is easier for everyone. the prepared will be found either way ... but it is best done without us having to find them alone. so that was a cool learning experience for us all. and they are STILL wanting to go out with us again, this time to visit friends and neighbors. victory!

wednseday
-there is this sweet family in our branch that is trying to go to the temple and be sealed. we have been working with them for a while and they have just had their fair share of obstacles thrown in their path. illness, problems with their kids, word of wisdom issues, the dad lost his job. most recently, the dad got hired! but for a job in london. so he left the family in italy for a year to get some work in england. so it has been pretty difficult for the wife. we are going over to support the wife and prepare their youngest for his baptism. with them, i am learning more and more that the lord knows us all so well. he knows what we can handle and he knows how we can best become like him. the lord is aware of this family. so he must be aware of mine too!

thursday
-we had a scambio with the sisters in the rome 2 ward because i needed to attend a leadership meeting in rome with one of the sisters. oh man was it good times. i got to see some sisters that i never thought i would see before i left so that was a huge tender mercy. not to mention that we reunited over homemade cafe rio italian style salads at the mission home! i had mentioned a while back to sorella waddoups that i have never seen the upstairs in the villa (the mission home) since the anziani always sleep up there. so they announced that, thanks to the request of a "dying" sister, the sorelle got to sleep upstairs. it is a palace up there. man. you guys should see this place. did i ever tell you that the villa used to be mussolini's home? WHA? way cool.

mission leaders (via sister waddoups).

friday
-we had the conference. they had the mission doctor come and basically qualify us all as doctors. haha! he shared common missionary health problems and simple solutions so that we can help the missionaries in our zone feel great. it was one of the coolest things ever. i could like open a practice now. watch out world.
-after the conference and lots of pictures and lots of goodbyes to some of the greatest people i have ever met and also had the opportunity to serve with ... we returned to our cities. sorella jackson is such a baller. she just handled it all so well. she looked like a new person when i returned. just full of confidence and light! she did so good that while we were out and about doing some street contacting and bumped into a traveling cotton candy booth. i bought her some zucchero filato, then we bumped into the anziani with their silliest investigator of all time.

this is sorella ansted. i love her. and not just because she is serving in taranto right now and gives me the updates and says things like everyone in taranto still remember me and love me. what a sweetie pie.

saturday
-we had district meeting and weekly planning. boring. for you. bundles of fun for me.

sunday
-church was great. especially when they mixed up which anziano was speaking so one of them had to make something up on the spot and the other, with a totally great and prepared talk just sat in the crowd and laughed.
-the branch is just in love with us missionares lately. they really click with all of us. it is a good time to be us.
-we had correlation with our newly called branch mission leader. they prepared the most delicious lasagna of all time and presented us with "succo di halloween" (halloween juice) .... thinking that is was a big american festive treat like eggnog or peeps or something. it was pumpkin juice, i think.

today we are going to make chili because i miss it and i can't handle reading about it my emails any longer. the problem is that i am without the recipe. so imma make it up. pray i don't poison my companion.

love to you all from the happiest place on earth.

xoxo
sorella wightman

10.23.2013

mini wolves and sorry cake.

hey guys hey.

how's it?

true story: it has been a tough week. like anti-sorelle week. we have gotten bidoni like nobody's biz and errone on the street was unusually grumpy. BUT there were still some goodies that you deserve to know about ...

my goodies:
i learned that john, christ's apostle, is still alive like the 3 nephites. is it silly that i didn't know that? probs. is it even sillier that an investigator taught that to me? baldo ... what a smartie pants. speaking of baldo, he is doing well. he came to church for all three hours for the second week in a row. he is participating in the lessons, being more reverent, and seems just happier. our ward mission leader is besties with baldo and talked to us about how we can help baldo even more yesterday. he said how baldo says that he does have a great desire to be baptized yet but that he will continue to do what we ask him to. bruno (the ward mission leader...yeah baldo and bruno...) said to him "well it seems like your desires are growing a lot lately with the sorelle. actions speak louder than words." so yeah. time will tell. but as for now, all things go for the 2nd of november.

mamma gigante invited us and the anziani over for the traditional going away party at the end of the tranfer. she made some deliciousness. and introduced me to this odd bean type nut thing that is called lupino, or mini wolf. haha! there is this technique to eating it that everyone seemed to master in the drop of a hat minus me. so i dedicated a solid hour to it. after 3000 tries and 1 inhaled lupino, i did it! then they all dared me to eat a hot dog ( i have become 100% anti hot dog on the mission...even more so than before. fun fact: italians LOVE hot dogs more than anyone and it is almost always included in meals where americans are eating. sad day miss paige) and i did because they said that if i did i would get a baptism before i leave. even if it isn't true, i did it to show heavenly father that i will even eat a gross hot dog for him and his work!

one day (wednesday) was the pits. really. it was the world vs sorella jackson and sorella wightman day. HOWEVER we were seriously LED to these two guys. one was this journalist that met mormons at an even that he reported on 10 years ago. he said he will never forget how he felt when he talked with them. he said he has always been looking for more mormons to see if we are all like that. he said we were. good thing! then he introduced us to the man who is in charge of all the cultural events of the biggest city in our area and he offered a free room in their brand new high tech adorable library for english course. fyi we have been searching for a place to do english course in this city for MONTHS. then it just fell into our laps.

the new anziano came. anziano wortham. he is a hoot. tall, skinny, ginger from georgia that has a rap group and taught words like "to trickle down" and "handle bars" and the phrase"you gotta whip dawg" to our English course. fyi nobody knew (not even the americans) that whip means car in gangster. so everyone learned that i am a true g.

baldo came to english course. and now knows how to say "you gotta whip dawg" and does so frequently.

rita is also doing well. she didn't make it to church this week but she is still reading and praying and progressing beautifully. she read a talk from elder holland called i believe. remember that gem? and she loved the life outta that thing. she is a new holland fan. she expressed some concern about not being "good enough" to be a mormon. she was comparing herself to the people that she has met in church with us and thinks she will never be able to be like them. then this really cool think happened ... heavenly father taught me and rita at the same time. these words were coming out of my mouth that responded to my needs of the day just as much if not more than they responded to hers. and i know that i didn't just think this stuff up ... if i had that information in my head then i wouldn't have been struggling with this principle. so it had to come from god. it is a cool moment when you realize that the spirit is working through you. so it was quite the goodie!

there is this city in the area, fiano romano. we have to go there often but it is a nightmare to get there and back. i have only successfully gotten to and from this city, without assistance of others 2 times. and we go there like three times a week. well we prayed for help then we took the plunge and went thereon saturday (aka the worst day for public transportation in italy). we got some work done and then went to wait for the bus. surprisingly it passed on time and picked us up, without one tear or problem. i was so pleased. then i heard this guy talking to the driver. the convo went like this:

guy: sorry i rang the bell (to get off) too early. i really need to get off at the next stop.
driver: don't worry. happens all of the time.
guy: it has never happened to me. i have lived here my whole life and never made that mistake.
driver: well if you hadn't rung the bell i don't think i would have seen those two girls and i wouldn't have stopped.

so basically this goodie comes in the form of a romanian man that didn't even know that he was used as a tool in the lords hand to answer the prayers of these two random american missionaries. cool right?

sunday was branch conference. president waddoups came. and this great thing happened. right after president walked in, he stopped and talked to us, then this family that i love love love but gave us 1 of the 3091872435 bidoni of the week followed behind him with this giant cake of apology. she came in and hugged and kissed us and told us how much she loves us and gave us the cake and president waddoups saw the whole thing. good timing.

amède is also doing well. he just started university. he just started his last year of university for his second masters in architecture. say what? so he is understandably busy. but he said that he still feels a great desire to read and know and pray more, and he said he doesn't really understand why. i know why. because it is true!!

and with that,
i salute you my loves and dears.

vi voglio un mare di bene,
sorella wightman