was zone conference. and woooaaahhh it was good!! president kelly (whom sorella taylor "accidentally" called heavenly father the other day...yeah we think our mish prez is pretty great...) said a line that i think is really great for all of us to hear. he shared a story about the doctor that got the nobel prize or something for inventing and successfully completing the first kidney transplant. the guy (or doctor rather) was a gem. one of his colleagues explained that the root of his greatness come from his love for a good challenge. on his desk was this quote..."obstacles are opportunities" and booooooy of boy did i learn that this week.
began ,my first scambio (exchange...or when you trade companions for 24 hours). sorella taylor stayed in bari with sorella comollo and sorella preston (whom i knew before the mission. she was my roommates visiting teacher and a 100% gem of a girl...and still is actually) came back to taranto with me! she came into the mtc 6 weeks after me so she is still training. two greenies taking over taranto...woo!
i was SO scared! SOOOO scared! because i was in charge...and i still feel like a little baby crawling around taranto. but i decided to take president kelly's advice and chose to LOVE the obstacle that was presented. so i woke up in the happiest most determined mood ever to strike anyone, ready to take on the world! it is a good thing too because the first person we ran into was another missionary...a 80 something year old testimoni di geova....yeah! she was telling us how wrong we are and how bad she feels for us...but we found some common ground and left (me with my copy of the torre and her with a plan of salvation pamphlet) as good friends! then a miracle came...and they just went ahead and kept on coming for the rest of the day! so rewind about three days. sorella taylor and i are passing out some christmas cards and we get to the 5th person on our list and canNOT find the address anywhere. we searched for 2 hours...and found nothing. so friday morning i told heavenly father our plans and said that i really wanted to find that girl on our list today and that we needed his help. before we knew it, there we were...we found the house in about 10 minutes. we climbed the stairs of this palazzo and couldn't find the last name anywhere!! so sorella preston and i decided that we would just do some "house" (knocking on doors...classic missionary activity) until we found this sister, claudia. we knock on a door and it swings right open. the woman on the other side was so happy to see us and told us to come right on in. keep in mind that the usual response to a door approach is a quick no and the door slams shut. i was caught off guard...i tried to explain who we were and why we are here but i also didn't want to ignore this once in a lifetime moment of getting invited in without saying a word. after i did our intro this lady did hers. turns out we found claudia. she said "i knew it was you at the door because i was just praying for you to come and now you're here!" she said a great prayer and we decided to read a scripture that we had chosen that morning just in case we needed one. turns out the one we picked (john 17:3) is her favorite scripture! basically the whole morning was a living ensign story. way cool!
that night we had an appointment with a member at her house. we have never been there and if you know me at all you know that i get lost like it is my hobby. this has not changed in the mission. however...for this one day that heavenly father knew i was on my own (since sorella preston has never been to taranto) and i was scared and easily confused with street names, he decided to help me out and we found her house (that for some reason wasn't on any of our maps and nobody knew where it was) in about 15 minutes. this is HIS work. and when we do it HIS way, we have HIS help and i have never been so sure of anything else in my whole life. scambio...what a cool experience!!
we did some "strada" with a new member/ward missionary, andrea. he was in heaven. missionary fever! we talked to some friends on the street and andrea was a very much needed extra spirit. now we can't get away from this kid! haha he calls us every day to ask if he can do more work with us! yay!!
sorella taylor and i decided to become door to door pros. so we have just been "casa"ing it up like crazy! saturday especially. no luck...in fact i have never met so many angry italians in one night in my whole life. haha but that is just the way things work sometimes...when you want something, heavenly father makes you work for it! but oh how sweet is the reward. (see above for an example).
we have a friend here that is terrified about the end of the world. he has been convinced that the end is the 21st and he doesn't know what to do. so sorella taylor and i planned a little lesson for him and his family about the second coming. (best companionship study ever...the end of the world...that is good stuff). we were able to share a lot of those things with their family and we even got to chat with their 16 year old beautiful daughter about the temple and it was a GRRRRRReat night!
i met my new favorite catholics. it is hard to choose...there are so many around here. but these guys...they are great. we went to visit a family that lives a ways a way but by the time we got there the parents where leaving and dropping the kids off to their grandparents house. we invited ourselves over and BAM we met luigi and anna...the greatest catholics that we have ever met. we shared a message with this awesome visual with paper folding and ripping and magic and they LOVED it. you will too when i show you one day. plus she gave us the best chocolate that i have ever had the pleasure of eating. whoa. i need to eat some more of that when we get home. we talked about some differences between our church and theirs. interesting. alls i have to say is that i know without a doubt that jesus christ's church, the same one that he began when he was on the earth, has been restored in its fullness, with all of the promises, blessings, and goodness, through a living prophet of god. and i am all kinds of grateful for it.
we did some service and we spread the word.
today we are in lecce but now i gots to go. sorry that we don't have picture this week but i did learn the longest italian word for you so maybe that will make up for it...
it means to fall down really fast.
guys BUON NATALE!!!!!
i love you all so much and i hope you have a perfect christmas full of love and gratitude for he that died so that we may live!!
all of my love