me posing with some delicious tart thing after zone conference last week. we were just about to get on a bus. we sat down and starting moving when the driver slammed on his breaks. me and my tart flew forward and smashed into the seat in front of me. so instead of eating that delicious tart, i wore that delicious tart.
i so hope that you are happy and healthy and feeling my love for you all, all the way from ITALIA! another beautiful (and hot) tarantinian week has come and gone and i have gathered some gems to share with you this week. ready?
okay, after a very frazzled and crazy pday last week, we ended up having just about the funnest night ever! a sweet sweet angel is being baptized into the ward this saturday! her name is francesca. she is 17 and the anziani have been teaching her for about a month. she was one of the very first people i met in taranto so she automatically became one of my favorite people. so i am so excited for her to enter the waters of baptism this week and feel the cleansing power of the atonement, the power of the gift if the holy ghost, and the love that her savior has for her! oh what a beautiful thing! anyway it was her birthday last week and the ward threw together a little surprise birthday party for her. they all (seriously i think every member ... young and old ... participated in the party) spent the day decorating the chapel (HA it is funny the differences of the chapel use here than in america. since their building doesn't have a cultural hall they use the chapel for big events like we use the cultural hall) complete with streamers, balloons, a dj booth, dance floor, and a disco ball ... and a huge table for food of course! we spent the night watching everyone dance (honestly one the hardest trails of my mission is this no dancing rule ... when i hear beyonce i cant just sit there! really. it is hard. ha!) and sing and play and hug our lovely francesca. her mom, not a member nor interested in becoming one, came and was overwhelmed with the love that this ward has to give. you would cry to if it happened to you (yep ... that is a song).
the GANZ! at francesas party. francesca is the angel in the pink dress.
thursday i am sure really significant things happened but instead all i remember is that we lost our cell phone and the work became about 300 times harder. seriously how did missionaries do it before the invention of the cell? however, we decided to be grateful for this little hiccup because we got to see how willing people are to help in times of need. we lost it at a bus stop and the bus driver was helping us look and calling the phone and trying to arrange ways for us to get a new one. sweetie. and since we have to call the anziani every night when we get in, we were stressing! so we knocked on our neighbor franco's door to use his phone. he is so great. oh and speaking of franco, he tells us every day to tell our family hello and that he loves you. haha true story. i always forget to tell you and he gets mad every week. so good thing i remembered. side note: franco is a big cheek pincher. i didnt know people actually did that. he does. and it hurts a little bit. clarification, face cheeks ...
we discovered the greatness that is the new mormon messages called patterns of light. if you haven't seen them, stop wasting your time reading this and go to lds.org and watch them. life changing. srsly. while we were watching them, our internet point friend started listening in so we decided to do a little sneaking missionary work by playing a mormon message in italian about temples. worked like a charm and now our friend is all about temples! woo! we visited our friend lydia. she was baptized a while back with her 10 year old crazy son robert, so we are doing the post-baptism lessons with her. she is so great. and her oldest son stefano is receiving the lessons from the anziani so he likes to sit in on our lessons with his mom. this day we were talking about missionary work a little bit and stefano was like "i think i want a tag like yours and the anziani." so watch out world, stefano is prepping for a mission and we are so excited!! best thing anyone could ever do. also the hardest. then we watched pizza be made and ate some as well. guys, i am going to write a book or something about the great shirts that people wear here. they all wear shirts with english on them but something must get lost in translation, much to my entertainment. here are some of my favorites:
"i love boys and shirt"
"no woman no krai"
"a day in the love of"
"bart simpson sez"
but the 'boys and shirt" one is my favorite. lydia wears it all of the time and it is great!
lydia, robert, and i making cookies/talking about the "perfect recipe for true happiness"
me watching my pizza be made.
on monday we ate with a member at his pizzeria, with the anziani. it was so great. you guys should see the meals here. fries, chicken nuggets, delicious pasta, chicken cordon bleu, bread, coke, bananas, grapes. and they never take no for an answer to if you want more. yeah. trouble ahead. after pranzo sister taylor and i had to make our weekly dreaded water run. we can't drink water from the taps so we have to buy bottled water and it is really heavy ... especially when you just ate a typical italian lunch. we decided to fill a shipping cart and bring it back later. bad idea. in all of my water cart pushing fury i ran down little sorella taylor with the cart and her foot started gushing with blood! ugh! i felt so bad and so did everyone else that followed her trail of blood. poor thing! then the cart tipped over and landed on her other foot! yikes. i am a terrible companion.
me on our water adventure. before i tried to cut sister taylor's foot off.
we met some TJs (jehovah's witnesses) this week. and learned a lot from their example of missionary work. interesting religion that is huh?
we started our free english classes last night and i was right in my element! for once! woo! i get to teach the advanced class where you can only speak english! woo!! woo!! yeah! woo!! so that was great and my class is so great. a lot of them have been coming to these classes from the missionaries for years so my class was dying to know who taught me in the mtc (they all know just about all there is to know about missionaries, the church, lds culture ... but aren't members ... yet). two students are fratello pescis' number one fans! so thanks to him i have 2 new best friends based solely on the fact that he taught me in the mtc. woo!
missions are hard guys. really hard. i have never been so aware of my weaknesses and flaws. but, through my studying and efforts to apply these things into my life, i have also never been aware of the infinite power of the atonement. the power that god has to make weak things become strong. i feel inadequate. i am inadequate. we all are. but we must never forget that we are children of a king. THE king. we have seeds of godhood in us. we have come to this earth to struggle. seriously. this earth was created for us to come and be tested. but through these tests, trials, struggles we come to understand the immense love and mercy that god has for his children. we are here to find joy, learn about and experience love, and prepare to meet and become GODS! through the atonement, we all can do just that. i love you all so much! i love this chance that i have been given to share the tiny bit that i know with a people so deserving. good luck with finding miracles, reading the book of mormon before christmas with me, and remembering your god seeds! LOVE YOU!
an example of a cool stairwell and great tile!
a cool building that is just a taste of the unique architecture here. ben this is for your viewing pleasure.