to be with ...
woo wee what a week. let's get right to the madness that has been my final moments in my birth city and love of my life, taranto!
-valentine has been sad lately, which is real odd. because he is a happy happy guy. but i don't blame him. he has been trying to get to london for so long and we just found out that it will take him more time to get there. long story. but it is still in the works but it will take more time than expected. so ... we called thrusday "make valentine the happiest guy in taranto again, so happy in fact that he wants to sing like he did at his baptism" day. we began by making him a big lunch (which was silly because, like he has told us countless times, all he eats is apples and milk). then we did his fave thing ... we watched "christian films" as he so tenderly calls any movie that we watch that is made by the church. we watched how rare a possession have you seen it? see it! plus it is about ITALY! and even better ... SICILY! he was a fan. he left being happy, so we felt accomplished.
-at the relief society anniversary party we met an american family that is here doing some of their family history work. whoa! i loved them. they are so hard core when it comes to genealogy work. like imagine if mine and courtney's bike gang from last summer began doing family history. that is the kind of hard core that i am talking about. anyway i met them and translated it until i realized that the mom (an american and a convert) spoke italian, because she taught herself when she realized after doing so much fhw (family history work) that she had some italian blood in her, so it was only natural that she teach herself italian! wha! cray. also their teenage daughter fell in love with every single italian man that she saw (which was ironically a lot ... even though we were at a relief society activity).
-we got THE CALL on saturday. i am SO excited/nervous/happy/sad/every other feeling under the sun. more on that in a flash. anyway sorella smedley is staying in taranto to "die"; meaning she will spend her last transfer and finish her mission in taranto. sorella buckley (from provo, i "met" her on fb before the mish and we were in the mtc together and i love her a lot a lot a lot and am jealous of her a lot a lot a lot) is taking my spot. then the madness began.
smed an i in all of our facial mask, distress, after planning spa time.
-we had ward conference and it was a gem. italians really get down to business at these things. and i also bore my testimony in front of all the pugliese big shots (aka the stake presidency) and was all kinds of emotional that day.
-anziano visitin, my mission "dad" (district leader) is also getting transferred. we have both been here for a long time, he came a transfer before me and i have been here for 5 transfers. so we went altogether to visit some of our mutual loves in the ward. we set a record of seeing 4 ITALIAN families in one evening. MAN i will miss these people!! and the anziani because they are real real great and also ragusa doesn't have elders in their ward. sister power!
-saying goodbye to my english course was like parting with my first born child. torture. i let one tear sneak from my eye and then i found myself in the middle of an italian circle of love. haha! they love me. and i love them. and miss them already.
my english class in all of their english glory.
-we also went with one of my favorite people of all time to visit her mom at the cemetery i still can't get enough of these classy italian cemeteries they are beauties. we wrote a letter to her mom, this is the tradition, and spent some time talking about how much we love our moms. that's right lisa ... i love you girl. we cried and cried and hugged and realized more and more how much we love our mammas.
-that same day as the mom party at the cemetery was actually festa dei padri (fathers day). question: why is our fathers day not in march like in italy? they celebrate it today because it is saint joseph's day. quick side note did you know that the italian calendar assigns a saint to every day. there is some reason behind why the saint goes to the specific day, but i don't know what that reason is. okay so san giuseppe (aka the mortal father of jesus christ)'s day is march 19 >>> the italian fathers day. they celebrate by eating a delicious treat called zeppole. so obvs, being the festive queen that i am and always will be, we went for some zeppole after the cemetery.
buona festa dei padri dad!! i love you so much ... and i also love these zeppole!!
-and today i am packed up, physically ready to leave taranto and begin my sicilian adventure with my italian companion. but OH how i will miss my taranto. leaving here is like leaving home again, but worse. packing up, leaving familiarity, and saying goodbye to family. same thing. except this time i may never seen some of these people ever again. ugh. it is brutal. BUT it is SUCH a blessing to be heartbroken! because that means that we have made relationships and memories that will impact us forever. it means that i have done what i came to do and was blessed more than i could have ever dreamed with the memories, lessons, and friendships that i have made for my 8 months in taranto. it will always have a place in my heart. but it better make room because i hear i am in for quite the treat down south ... way way way down south, like valentine informed me this morning: "but sista ... sicily is fah! fah! fah! almost africa!", bring it on.
all of my love for the last time in taranto,