7.08.2013

fish for flowers and miracles for missionaries.

il tempio italiano di ROMA!!!!! beauty beauty beauty.

oh boy oh boy oh boy.
if any of you don't believe that a) miracles still exist, b) god is our loving heavenly father, or c) i have a CRAY story for you, then keep reading.

this week started as normally as any other. hard work, extra sweat, a pizza or two. but heavenly father likes to throw in some flavor here and there. especially today ... but let's begin with where we left off ...

thursday
-we had a full evening and an empty morning so we decided to hit the streets for some good old fashion love-spreading. sadly the others didn't got the memo. haha! we ran into a lady that mittens (did i tell you that i renamed mitsvotai?) met on the train a while back. she is from the phillipeans (... filipine? i can't remember/never learned how to spell that in english) and jehovah's witness. the combination made for a good time. then after a few run-ins with some people that woke up on the wrong side of the bed, we were a teeny bit discouraged. then this couple stoped us and started speaking english! they aren't members but have traveled to as many temples as possible. they LOVE temples!! so we explained what goes on and how we know and how they can know too. anyway we have "bumped into them" (as some would say, but i'd say it's a miracle) a few times since and every time we do they say "hey it's our sisters! hey sisters! we will see you at the temple!!" there aren't sweeter words to be said.
-sorella wiltbank said this thing that i want to get spiritually tattooed on my heart: "we were never supposed to stay the same and we can't if we intend on becoming like christ." what a little c.s. lewis in the making, no? luh dat gurl.

friday
-we visited a member family named the canzachi family. they are the ones in the restoration pamphet and they are one of my fave fams in the branch. mostly because the mom and dad are the most united parents; equally bearing each others burdens while taking every opportunity to teach their children light and truth. their house feels like i am walking into some kind of fairy-tale wonderland -- aka you feel the spirit there -- i'm so used to explaining my feelings in simple terms so everyone can understand and not mistake them for anything other than the spirit ... obviously i am really good at this ... haha!!! anyway we witnessed a beautiful mother daughter teaching moment. and i got chills like a madman.

saturday
-WE MET THE WADDOUPS! the first thing they said to me: "you must be sorella wightman. you look like a little linda mixed with tiffany." nicest thing ever said! poor things a) lost their luggage and b) missed their flight so they were living on 48 hours of no sleep and no clean clothes. but you'd never know it. they were glowing! we met all the rome missionaries at the mission office and surprised them there, singing the greatest mission hymn known to man. i will sing it to all of you when i am home and you will want to give me money because it is so beautiful. they loved it we loved it and there was just too much love to handle.
-THEN we met up with the most golden family in the cutest park in our city. they are from the congo but they have lived in italy for 13 years and both mom and dad are nurses. they have two kids and are christian. we met with the dad and his kids and it went SO well! how do i know this? he asked when we could see him again and if tomorrow was too soon ... music to our ears!
my mtc group ... or those who came in after me and are currently serving in rome. i love that girl next to me (sorella bradford, in all of her glory and grace). we were meant to be best friends ... even if she can't throw up a west side pride without using her mouth ...

sunday
-i spoke in sacrament meeting. i had prepared a talk and felt good about it ... until about 9:29 pm saturday night. so i started from scratch sunday morning and changed my whole topic to unity. i shared some stories about my friends and family and what they have taught me about it, then added what living prophets and scripture has taught me about it. then we listened to not just one more talk but 2 more talks and a combined priesthood relief society lesson about it. cool. inspiration my friends.
-we heard our neighbors tv during planning. my comps were SHOCKED & AMAZED when i could tell them in less than 5 listening seconds which movie they were watching (the incredibles). then i may or may not have acted it out for them for our nightly entertainment.

monday
-good day. we have been trying to visit one of the 3 less actives members in the branch. impossible. but we set out with fire in our eyes to find her. we bought her the prettiest flowers for only five euro, printed off some talks, and went right to her door like the nicest visiting teachers ever. but she wasn't there. bummer. instead heavenly father lead us to another one of his daughters in need who just happened to really love lilies and sunflowers. we gave her flowers and she gave us fish that her husband caught in the river under the freeway. haha!
-we had a fhe with a part member family. they too became my favies. i will have to explain more on them later. but lemme just say that the testimonies of children are powerful. they are close to heaven. maybe they should lower the missionary age again ... to 9.

tuesday
-CONFERENZA di ZONA! that was that day. it was real weird. because i was considered the old group and i got to see people that i haven't seen since the mtc and the kellys were gone and the waddoups were there and it was a good time! president and sorella waddoups talked about who they are and what they have so willingly left behind to come serve. they talked about being our best and gave us each a little gold bee pin to wear and remember who we represent. i really enjoyed the mission leader training. they talked about planning and goal setting. my favorite thing they said is that we need to remember what it means to be a full time missionary. they talked about how we can be missionaries to our companions, our family, our friends, each other, and obviously with all the wonderful people that the lord puts in our path. it was really inspired and so fabulous. just using my knowledge of the missionaries in my mission, i can say with surety that the future of the church is bright.
-we also had interviews with president. he is firm. i like him. they are really really different from my loves, the kellys, but it is going to be really great to see how new personalities and outlook and experience will add their link to the chain. they have big big shoes to fill and they are doing well so far. 

half of the zone with prez.

TODAY
-okay so get this. we had all kinds of plans today that all crumbled. ugh. we were kinda bummed because we have all been so excited to visit the vatican museum and have planned to go for a few weeks and again we weren't able to go due to some silly train confusion. we had our plans worked out perfectly in order to meet maggED in termini (the craziest and busiest train station ever, in the heart of rome) so we could take him to meet a member who lives in a ward a bit outside of the city. so while we were deciding what to do, we went to my favorite place to think ... a bookstore. we decided to visit some places nearby. we arrived and mittens said "i think i lost the phone." NO!!! we kept our cool but i was a mess in my head. we re-traced our steps, worrying all along because we were supposed to be meeting maggED in 15 minutes. we prayed and asked for faith and guidance. after re-tracing our steps we still didn't find it. we decided to call magged (who doesn't speak italian and struggles on the phone in english) to tell him the situation. i thought we are never going to find him. luckily heavenly father led us right to him! even after my doubt. that is miracle number one. we told him what happened and he jumped right in to help. he called our phone and said someone answered so i took the phone from him and explain the situation. here is the conversation:
me: (explaining situation in italian)
other person: sorella wightman?
me: ... uh yeah? who is this?
other person: this is sorella christiansen ... we found your phone!
WHAT?!!! apparently they had tried to call us after we left our phone in the bookstore and someone answered. they "just happened" to be right outside of the bookstore and were able to walk in and pick it up but they had no idea how they would ever find us. we called just as they started to head home ... but their home was where we were headed to do maggeds lesson with another egyptian member in sister christiansen's ward! i feel like none of that made sense. but hopefully the miracle is clear. miracles still exist. coincidences don't. heavenly father is aware of us and doesn't ever want us to worry or be confused or lost. so he helps us out, even when we aren't perfect, even when we deserve to learn a hard lesson, even when you lack perfect faith. he uses others to bless us. this is his work. i am an honored servant. the heavens are no longer closed. joseph smith restored the original church of christ in its fullness and purity, which includes miracles. i witnessed that again today and i know heavenly father will make a way for all of us to witness the same thing as long as we look for it. expect miracles to see miracles.
-we also had a lesson with magged and the egyptian lady named sorella shakir. it was awesome because it was all in arabic and STILL the spirit confirmed the truth. miracle number three.

thank you for all the prayers. i am convinced they assist me everyday ... and i really need them for days like today. know that i am sending them back your way, with added gratitude every time. i love you!

sorella wightman

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