me looking like an italian grandma. because i was cold. too cold to fix my hair and look like a young woman.
i am stronger than any tornado!
...what if i just sent that home this week? that would be funny.
BUT i have too many goodies to share with you to do such a joke.
starting with thursday:
-we ate with some members this day. it was good in two ways: 1) the food was good (even the mystery meat ... a typical addition to the 5 course meals we are fed) and 2) the spiritual lift. work is rrrreeeaaalllyy sssllloooooowwwiiinnnggg dddooowwwnnn here in taranto. so we were faced with a choice: be discouraged or be motivated. before lunch i had made the decision to be discouraged. silly me! but heavenly father knew i had made such a choice and went ahead and inspired this family with ways to motivate us (to turn our frowns upside down if you will). they shared their stories about how they found the church (i am really going to miss these stories someday when i am back in utah with the lifelong members) and their conversions and what not. they said things that there is no way they could have known how badly we needed to hear. so we took all that good stuff and went to work!
-the day continued to be a struggle, BUT when you make a decision heavenly father is aware ... so is satan. so you just have to keep being good and heavenly father always wins!
-we visited a less active family that has some kind of obsessioon with chairs. i only say that because there were literally 20 chairs in their little front room. they were really great chairs though. it was difficult to pick which one i would sit in!!
-i thought i lost my camera and my whole world came tumbling down. after tearing our house apart looking for it, we decided to just check at the internet point in case i left it there. and it was! we have some great friends here at the good old ip. i was so happy for the rest of the --- i am still really happy because of that actually.
-i was sick. so this day is a bit of blur.
-but i wrote this great quote in my planner so imma go ahead and share that:
"the grace of the lord through the atonement can both cleanse us of sins and assist in perfecting ourselves through our trials, sicknesses, and even character flaws. christ can repair our flaws and failings that otherwise are not repairable. that great truth ought to fill us with hope as long as we are quick to remember that the effect of grace in our lives is conditional upon repenting of our sins. to obtain grace one does not have to be perfect, be he does have to be trying to keep the commandments the best he can. then the lord will allow him to receive that power." (gene r cook). if only someone would have shared this with elaine when she was in that job interview to replace jackie o. "you either have grace or you don't.". seinfeld, good stuff.
-all of the members from the statte branch joined us in taranto (because their church is a bit destroyed from the tornado) and it was a wild party. i haven't seen that many members in church since utah! it was really great!
-i met a member from statte that is the italian copy of that actor on scrubs, i can't remember his name but he was also in garden state (the name is zach braff). anyway this man is his italian IDENTICAL twin. srsly.
-we were invited to FINALLY do some service in statte but they called us last minute and cancelled because it is "too dangerous"... obviously they don't know how thug slla taylor and i are. WE ARE FROM MAGNA AND TAYLORSVILLE! but then we learned that the danger has nothing to do with the danger and thugness, instead things were falling and gasses were leaking and what not. so actually our west side-ness might not have come in handy after all.
-valentine has been asking for a family to home teach. begging is actually a better word for it. but he doesn't speak italian and nobody here speaks english. so it has been a disappointment for him UNTIL claudio (that captain moroni italian man in the ward that served in idaho and speaks english) got the idea for valentine to prepare a lesson for his family and we (slla taylor, claudio, and i ) could translate for the family. woo! it was way great!! he prepared a beautiful message about love. the family loved it, loved him. then we ate the most delish eggplant parm and scored an invite for christmas! woo! also, translating is hard! and now my obsession! love me a good challenge.
-we had a lesson with valentine where he expressed his love for the book of mormon (which he now refers to as his girlfriend ... lots of love) and shared this gem. "people will love you if you will just be happy!" so simple. so true. so valentine.
-we started up a corso di spangnolo after corso dinglese. so i am learning spanish ... slowly but surely. don't be surprised when i come home knowing 10 languages and dialects. HA! just kidding. be surprised ... be surprised if i can speak italian when i get home.
all of my love and prayers are with you my loves! i hope you are making christ a bigger part of your lives this season and remembering how much he has done for each of us. i am grateful everyday for the opportunity to be tested and tried because i know that this is how we grow, how we become better, become like god, which is the very purpose of this life. i know that my redeemer lives!!
slla taylor and i in lama!
the sea in lama. what a beaut.