sometimes i wonder to myself "if the church wants to make the district 3 (the district is this great little missionary tool that is like the real world but all about missionaries. we use it to learn and train and stuff and it is great. they have 2 seasons; one about missionaries in texas and one about missionaries in cali. none out of the country ... yet) then my mission would be perfect for it." this is why: everyone we talk to throughout the day are these perfect little characters from our mini movie. for example there is:
old man that wears a crazy sweater everyday. he yells out our names no matter where he is, what he is doing, or who he is with. the best part is that he never says my name right but always asks if he is right. "CIAO TAYLOR CIAO uhhhh.....WIGHATMAN...
wighatman giusto?!" everyday. without fail.
-fruit man andrea.
he is this short little italian guy, maybe in his late 20s (but guessing the ages of italian people is seriously the hardest thing. an italian 14 looks like an american 25. no joke.) and has a voice that cartoon producers would kill for. he always greets us "ciao raggazze." i wish i record his voice and send it to you because that is the best part.
-the man at the newsstand who always wears canadian clothes (aka sweaters with the maple leaf on it).
but we have come to find out that he knows nothing about canada. maybe he just likes leaves or something.
-our romainian friend that takes care of this really old italian lady.
she loves us but is really anti inter-racial marriage. which she talks about openly with my half asian companion.
really he is the best part of the taranto movie that is my life. crazy this guy is. and we LOVE every second of it. he has recently picked up this habit of calling me mom (hence the subject of the email ... how he closed all of our phone calls this week) and nobody understands why. he just says it then laughs for a minute. today on the phone he even told me to start calling him son. odd. but perfect for the district 3 funny mood lighting section of the episode.
in other news...
halloween is today. so many of you have been wondering about italian halloween. so have i. it is not a big deal at all in italy. it is mostly just for the kids to dress up. trick or treating exists but it isn't really a big thing. i guess it is a really new thing in italy (the idea of halloween) and started when all the kids fell in love with america. also it is not really a big deal because november 1st is the big holiday, all saints day. they have 4 days off of school and everything. also since they celebrate carnivale (which is like halloween but minus all the scary stuff). so halloween is just an american cultural thing that some people like to celebrate and others don't really. nevertheless i miss halloween today. BUT i got my halloween package two days ago and sorella taylor and i had a mini halloween party with ourselves so it is all good now. i shared the spider rings and fangs and stuff with my english course and the kids in the ward. they LOVED it and i have classic pictures to prove it. i will attach them.
me with luca and greta in their halloween party gear. they are SO CUTE!! (ps, luca is the greatest kid i have ever met. he is like a 40 year old grumpy old italian man trapped in the body of a 7 year old. you should meet him someday. you won't regret it.)
i hear that something happened, like natural disaster wise, to america. but all i know is from a handful of italians. hopefully there is some more information in the emails from the fam. my english class said as soon as i saw them "are your parents okay?!" uhhh i think so why? "there was a hurricane in new york!" that is so sad! but my family lives in utah. "the news said that it destroyed all of manhatten and the states around it so you better make sure your family is okay!" utah isn't ... whatever. thanks guys. maybe we will have a geography lesson someday. however, my prayers are with my favorite little island of manhatten ... or whoever was hurt by whatever happened in america. facts are often lost in translation here in italy.
some really tough trials have hit some of our beloved members this week which has lead me to do a lot of studying of the atonement. and whooee that is some good stuff. i read alma 24 in my daily book of mormon reading this week and am really in love with what we can learn from the baptized lamenites, both us that are members of the church and those who are not. i was so touched by the true conversion of these men. they had repented of their sins and truly forsake them. they were so serious about leaving their sins behind them that they chose to die rather than commit their forsaken sins. through their example they changed lives! it made me wonder if i have truly "buried my weapons of war" deep enough into the ground that i won't even be tempted to dig them back up. i am weak. we all are. we are humans living in a really flawed world. BUT heavenly father knew all of this. and so did we before we accepted the challenge to live today. and because we are children of god, because he loves us, and because when we do his work we can be sure that we have HIS help. this is a promise that is made to ALL children of god, not just to the members, americans, white, privileged men but to each and every one of his children. you and me and the italians and the sinners. all of us have the promise that we are never alone. when we work for HIM he is with us. i testify of that with all of my heart as i experience these things far away from anything or anyone familiar. i have felt the love for me personally that my heavenly father has for me every single day that i have been in italy, whether through people on the street, from my companion that is perfection in human form, or through something as simple as crazy valentine lines. god loves me and god loves YOU! always has and always will. but what can we do to love him back?
okay loves. it is time to bundle back up and head out into the long awaited taranto COLD! woo! i love coats! yay! woo! all of my love from italy to you.
sorella "mom" wightman