how are you my little american loves? i hear it is quite the winter wonderland on your side of the planet. here instead, it is warming up a bit and starting to turn to spring already ... yeah italy rocks. but it is still cold out of control.
this has been a goooooood week. a week full of seinfeld moments. for example:
-we were shopping for new shoes for smed because her toes are hurting (i can't help but giggle every time she says that ... i don't understand why) and we were in a store selling gortex boots.
-sorella kelly (the angel/mission presidents wife) told us at zone conference to eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables everyday. so i am stuffing myself full of healthy goodness lately. and the other day i got orange juice in my eye and was winking at everyone all day (side note for the seinfeld smarties: i am aware that is was grapefruit in the episode but you understand).
-i was trying to help the sorelle in bari make mashed potatoes. instead i burnt my hand and was handicapped all day because of it ... until i put some magic burn ointment on it and the burn literally disappeared.
-smed is a popper. she pops her knuckles, back, neck, erythang. she was complaining about sore hips and wished she could pop them. luckily i had the hip popping master as a freshman roommate so i showed her how it is done. now she is popping her hips all around town. she says she looks silly doing it and i look graceful. me? grace? like jackie o?
last mercolidì we hustled off to bari to have a pday with them and begin our scambio. when we arrived i thought i was at home. they picked us up and took all kinds of care of us like our mothers. it was so great! sorella rosato (an italian baker with a fine taste in movies and musicals) made us pesto lasagna and i almost died from happiness. then i almost died from happiness again when we hit up the sales in bari. it was too good.
then scambi began. i stayed in bari with sorella rosato. whoa was i scared. she is this feisty little italian woman and i was terrified. plus i heard that she doesn't like americans, so i pretended to be as italian as possible (by not drinking anything with my meals, asking for specific details on every single thing that everyone ate that day and what they planned to eat in the future, and by dressing so so warm and yelling at everyone else who wasn't dressed like an eskimo in 60 degree weather). turns out sorella rosato likes americans. haha! we taught a few lessons but also had a fair share of bidone so it was good to see how she adapts to the euorpean curse of bidone. we met some gems and they have some real good potential work to follow up with, like the woman that we spent 30 minutes with, explaining that we aren't amish. she was convinced otherwise though.
giovedì night sorella and president kelly come to bari to start interviews. i heart interviews with them so so much. president and sorella kelly both had interviews with everyone. i had mine with sorella kelly (angel) that night. most of the interview was actually matchmaking ... courtney, expect a call from their son. they are perfect for each other, besides the fact that he doesn't have glasses, YET! you are welcome.
venderdì was zone conference. it was another gem of the finest gems. really. whoa. my mission president is fantastic! i can't wait for you all to meet him at general conference when he is called as an apostle. he talked about a lot of things but he focused mainly on agency. he spoke about the difference between anger and sadness. anger is a sign of pride and sadness is a sign of love. and he applied that to our work with the very catholic, very traditional, extremely loving and lovable italians. sorella kelly spoke about the power of example and shared a way cool story about a mission in brazil and how the example of 2 missionaries made it possible for all current missionaries to be able to get their visas and serve there. so cool. both of them talked a lot about the new group of missionaries coming in march. 4 sorelle are leaving , 9 are coming. then in may 3 leaving and 11 coming so basically all of the sisters will be training either in march or may. yike. but they got us prepped and ready for that missionary explosion! after zc we helped the anziani in statte with a missionary activity. they had us share our story about deciding to go on a mission, then be in a skit, then sing a song. it was a really successful and really powerful activity. good thing too because they had 40 contacts there! it was great!! we also found some really potential work there too so it was a big fat blessing.
sabato mustve been a secret "everyone avoid the missionaries" day because it was a day full of bidone. but that is a okay. because we got to give out lots of pamphlets and talk to a lot of really fabulous people.
domenica is always my favorite day. church was really good. an old investigator that valentine brought when he started investigating (just one of the 30 or 40 people that he shared the gospel with) showed up randomly in church. his name is "bright courage". so yeah ... good guy. val is back from vaca and i was SO happy to see him. i miss that guy when he isn't around. i told him the good news about his ward in london being the same ward as one of my moms miracles. he has only been as happy as he was 3 other times in him life (1 - when he was baptized. 2 - when he learned about temples. 3 - when he got the priesthood). all he said for about the next 15 minutes was "i am so happy. i am so so happy. i am just so happy. i am happy." we also visited this sweet sweet old lady named sorella parabita that night. she shared some stories with us that really touched me. she told us that she just doesn't understand why people don't believe in god. she said that if they want to know all they should do is pray and find out and then they will know that he is there. she did just that was she began investigating at 16. her mom died when she was really young and never learned how to read. missionaries found her and gave her a book of mormon . she told them that she couldn't read and they promised her that if she would try to read it and pray for help that heavenly father would help her learn and come to know that the book is true. she did it. and it happened. she learned how to read by reading the book of mormon. then they built the church forever far away from her. there wasn't a road that led to it and she had to walk miles in deep mud to get there. she prayed that they would build a road and within a month they did. then she wanted to go to the temple but because of some health reasons she cant go on the 24 hour bus ride to the switzerland temple. she went once anyway then has prayed and prayed they'd build a temple in italy. and behold ... temple in rome. bam! love that girl.
lunedì we had a fhe about the tree of life with carmen and one of my fav fams in the whole world. it was really great to hear carmen's son andrea, with his friends from the ward who wanted to come, bear their awesome testimonies about the gospel. i love the youth in italy. so strong!!
ieri (yesterday) was good too. we invented a new finding activity and so far it is going well.
saturday are transfer calls and for the first time i think i might leave. so you might be getting an email from an entire different part of italy next week. eeeek! i am so scared to leave my second home. i've loved this area and these people since the minute i arrive, new and terrified, and will continue to love them for the rest of my life. i love my mission SO much!! this gospel is true. and i feel honored and very humbled with the opportunity to share it with my besties in italy!!
all of my love to my loves in america,
for your picture explanation i will do it in italiano for your italian lesson of the week ...
1. sorella rosato and io a bari, facendo un pò di strada.
2. le sorelle di puglia alla conferenza di zona (dalla sinistra: sorella preston, sorella fuller-lei andrà a casa con me, sorella rosato, sorella kelly, sorella wagoner, sorella smed, sorella wightman).
3. sorella parabita e io. vedi che dolce??!!
4. i ragazzi e io (manuel, andrea, francesa).
tante belle cose, cari miei!!