you say ciao and i say ciao

woo! hello!

another crazy week has come and gone and by this time next week, i will be living the dream in ITALIA! i have the strangest feelings about it. i thought getting ready to enter the mtc was weird and surreal. nope. this is weirder. i have never been so happy and nervous and scared and anxious and excited all mixed up into one emotion that makes me want to cry and laugh and scream all at the same time. it is really rather odd. the best way i can describe this feeling is wrapped up in one story that happened this week. sister mancuso is made of steel, meaning she never cries. i'm not really sure how i made that connection...maybe because if steel gets wet then it gets rusty. i don't know. the point is she never cries. we were in class this week with fratello peschi. he is very tender (sorry courtney, i know that word makes you squirm) with us since our district is 3 relatively emotional girls, one steel woman, and 2 boys that are just happy to be here. so he treats us very fragilely (new word?). we decided to start class on a more spiritual tone than usual so we read a scripture, share a thought, and read from the missionary handbook. sister mancuso forgets her white handbook every day. no fail. it is always in her residence. fratello peschi noticed that she forgot it again and jokingly told her to not come back to class until she is ready to be obedient and good. we all chuckled, including sister mancuso. about two seconds later she starts BAWLING. what the?! fratello peschi freaked out. he was apologizing all over himself and giving her all the tissues he could find. poor kid...guy...fratello. the elders did what they always do when one of us starts to cry...they pretended nothing was happening and started looking through their pmg or something to get them away from the situation. sister mancuso was just as confused as everyone else. she was like "i'm not sad. i don't know what is happening!" but that is exactly what we all feel like right now. on the verge of an extreme laugh attack or bawling. it's kind of exciting and really funny to witness.


we had a lovely devotional this week...no it wasn't elder bednar like i guaranteed to everyone (it only made sense...it was so crowded...teachers were hinting that an apostle was on campus...and it was education week at byu) but i was wrong. however, we had a great devotional anyway by the director of the missionary department, elder evans, and his wife...um...sister evans. she talked about a little boy in their ward that bore his testimony about his big brother on a mission. he said that he knew that his brother needed to tell people about heavenly father but he still really missed him. he also said that when he misses his brother he goes in his room, finds a sweatshirt, and wears it to pretend that they are together. i can really relate to this little brother because i was that little sister not long ago. alls i gotta say is that i am so happy that i am on this end of the work right now. waiting is tough. but i am lucky to have such a wonderful example in my life that set such a high bar for the daughters of mark and lisa wightman. i love you courtney. elder evans talked about our purpose as missionaries but my favorite part was just one line. he said "our purpose isn't to preach. everyone here already knows all of this stuff...we are just reminding them." it is so true. we are all children of a king. all of this beautiful gospel was once common knowledge. and now that we are on earth, out of God's presence, we forget sometimes. and i am dying to get to italy to remind them of their royalty. yay!

in other news...
-the best phrase of the week came from anziano anderson. he is super smart and never wants anyone to think otherwise. we have gotten him to lighten up a bit and have some fun. but maybe we took it too far...we learned the word for "itch" this week (very important) and when we learn a new word we try to use it as often as possible. anziano anderson went ahead and said "io ho una purdere nella mia gonna" which means "i have an itch in my skirt." i think he meant throat (golla) but who knows.
-we hosted again this week. it was fun! i hosted a sister from here (side note: she said she did all of her mission shopping at DI so needless to say i was obsessed with her and everything about her) she is going to halifax, canada (another reason to love her...so anne of green gables! my first true love). She had this giant red duffle bag that seriously could've fit a human adult body. since we were hosting and hosts are supposed to carry all of their stuff, i was in charge of carrying this thing. it was so heavy but i didn't want anyone to catch me being a weakling so i just chucked that baby over my shoulder and got a standing ovation from the elders around us. i'm so strong. and i was also a sweaty disgusting mess afterwards. worth it.
-i love sister beus. seriously. she is a gem. i don't even have the vocabulary necessary to describe her grace and beauty and charm. oh milan is so dang lucky to have her...and all of the other sisters that have gone ahead and stolen my heart. i am dreading the time in the london airport that i have to say goodbye to all of them, but especially sister beus. beus family...don't let her forget me and don't you forget to praise her for everything she was and everything she has become here in the mtc. she is so special. i love her.
-OH we got our travel plans after pday on thrusday. we leave here on tuesday. fly to chicago (ben remember when we made a pact to go to chicago this summer...congrats
...we both will have been in chicago this summer.) then to london then to ROME! crazy day. word on the street is the first stop in rome is the temple grounds then pizza! rough life right? yay!
-i miss the mtc already. i love it here and hope others consider coming here soon (cassie bingham...this means you. think about it girl and let me know.)

c'e la faccio!!!
i love you all so much!
write me soon if you want an italian goodie in 16 months. ha!
love you and thank you for everything!

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