what a crazy week it has been ... first and foremost ...
MY BABY IS HERE!!! it's a girl!! and her name is (duh duh duh duh ... that is trumpets ...)
she is sooooo great!! so soo sooooo great! she is from ceder city, went to byu, her birthday is may 19th (turning 20), has 10 siblings and her angel parents are adopting two foster children and will all be sealed together in the ceder city temple with her brother gets home from his mission, has a brother and a sister on a mission (texas and california), is really tall (really really reeeeallly tall compared to italians, and is just good in every way. she finally got here thrusday around 1030 pm. by the time she ate her first italian pizza, got all her luggage home, and ready for bed it was oh 1130 ... i can't remember the last time i was up that late. i am truly a nonna. haha i was so tired!!
the next day we left catania (i was a little sad to leave, because catania is really pretty and fun and i have a major companionship crush (ie i want to be companions with sorella anstead, one of the catania sisters). but who could really be sad when they get to go to home to RAGUSA, the city of hills?
when we got home we went right to work. we hiked up and down the streets, talking to everyone. sorella haynie was pretty overwhelmed, but i remember the feeling. it wasn't that long ago that my favorite little anime taylor was challenging me to talk to some man on a bench about prayer (my first contacting experience ... 9ish months ago). but haynie is a trooper. she has insisted that we only speak italian when we are outside, something i know will help the both of us like mad. i am already learning lots from her. training is goooooood times. super humbling and super good.
so you know how sunday was fast sunday? sorella haynie bore her testimony and sounded SO good. i was beaming with pride and the ward was bawling. they all came up to her after and hugged her and cried and thanked her and told me that she is a miracle. they all bore their testimonies about it afterwards, about the gift of tongues and the existence of miracles. greenie power, friends, greenie power. sunday we went with a member family to meet a family friend of theirs. their niece joined us and they all cried and cried as we explained the plan of salvation, not knowing that they lost a loved one and have been searching for answers about where he is and if they will ever see him again. like elder holland says, all we have to do is love everyone we talk too and the spirit will give us everything they need to hear. missionary life is a good life, i will tell you over and over again.
on monday we started haynie's legalizing process. i have been stressing about that a lot because if she doesn't get this permission stuff then she will be forced back to america and i will get really lonely and miss her a lot in ragusa. so pray that i can understand all of that stuff. haha so far so good, though.
tuesday was a full full day of good old ragusa hiking. let's just say that haynie's hiney is preeeeetty sore these days. haha! the ragusa sisters leave the city with a firm lower half. thank goodness.
TODAY has been SUCH a good day. i love to travel on pdays. it is like a vacation for a day. and it is SO needed. today we went to modica. oh man. i am in love!! look it up and prepare to be amazed. modica is
famous for their CHOCOLATE, which is what initially attracted us to that city. we went to a famous chocolate store where they let us taste-test all kinds of chocolates; vanilla, cinnamon, hot pepper,
orange, difference spices, honey, nutmeg, etc. best pday ever. plus we ran into an american tour group and learned a lot more than we would have had we just explored alone. we visited an ancient church that was
only discovered in 1987 when a little boy was playing soccer and kicked his ball in this hole. now they have restored it and learned the history of it. apparently it was a church in the 1300s with cool paintings and a font to baptize babies by immersion. super interesting. we ate and sorella haynie had her first grantia. then after a quick 20 minute bus ride we are back in ragusa in a new internet point we found close by our house. haynie has learned that pday is actually one of the busiest and most tiring days ... and we still need to shop. oh mission life is a good life. again.
well my friends, do you know that i love you? that i pray for you and that i feel your prayers? do you know that i found a perfect story to explain how YOU have strengthened me on my mission? read it here.
and know that even though these are elder groberg's words that i add a huge amen to them. THANK YOU for your prayers. i feel them and they lift me higher than you will ever know. THANK YOU for your letters and words of encouragement. THANK YOU for being the greatest friends a sorella could ever have. i LOVE you, i PRAY for you, and i THANK my heavenly father for you in every opportunity that he gives me.