nun pen pals and the wizard of rome.

la dolce vita!

just when i thought that i couldn't be more content with my life, we had another week of growth, illumination, and full of blessings! that is just the way it goes with the gospel, right?

oooooooookay! so things are weird in 2. we are missin' our third part. and so is the rest of the town. everyone is asking "hey where is the tall blonde with the impossible name?" besides one guy who said "where is mitsvotai ... she is the only one whose name i can remember!" (since i am sending this to you mittens, fyi: it was amed ... who is a new investigator and a dream come true! but he misses you and so do we. :( )

one last trio party at the pantheon.

buuuuut andiamo avanti. sorella wiltbank and i did some reflecting and decided that we still have more to give to the work. we looked at a regular day and talked about what we did well and what we could do better. the week was dedicated to this idea: "all he asks is for our best effort and our whole heart. do it cheerfully and with a prayer of faith." so that is what we did. and boy oh boy did we get blessed!!

for example:
-magged prayed! usually he refuses to pray at the end of our lesson. it was sad. but we had a lesson with him on thursday and, without begging or explaining the importance, he said the greatest prayer ... probably ... it was in arabic BUT i did understand 3 words (gift of tongues really): joseph and smith and mormon. so that was a victory.

-we have been looking for more things to do since the streets are clearing out fast. i feel like i have explained this predicament before but just in case ... italy in august is abandoned, then filled with american tourists (aka missionary nightmare). this has a slow beginning but come august it will only get worse. so we are preparing. we have been looking for service opportunities. and what better place to look than our local catholic church. let's just say that we are BESTIES with the local priests and nuns. it rocks! they told us about this sweet service idea of picking olives, pressing them for oil, filling bottles and giving them to caritas (the catholic version of the welfare program). yes. we want in. and better still ... we do it WITH NUNS! as you can see i have this little obsession with having like a nun pen pal or something.

-there is this less active man in the ward and i am borderline terrified of him a) because the anziani are really good at telling scary stories and b) we have had a few experiences. but the other day we bumped into him and said hello. his response: what is the title of the hymn that goes like this (proceeds to hum his heart out. with his eyes closed and everything). me: nearer my god to thee. then he thanked us, and walked away singing out loud "NEARER MY GOD TO THEE." tender mercy.

-i had a dream that i was at home and telling the hamiltons about my mission and crying and crying and crying. and my dad was too. then tiffany said she was pregnant and she let me name it an italian name. i think we settled on gaida. cute huh! tiffany, is there something you need to share with us?

-sorella wiltbank is turning into an italian. every morning during companion study we read the missionary handbook. we were reading the ones that our mission president has added. it was about preparing a 72 hour kit and what to put inside. sorella wiltbank was reading (in english fyi) and read "7-up" as "sette up (oop)" like an italian. haha! she didn't even skip a beat. i just giggled and loved the fact that she is a little italian, forgetting about american things like "7-up" and how to say it in english. tee hee!!

-a few weeks ago sorella mitsvotai went on a scambio and met a an named manuele. she said he had lots of potential. so we called him and set up an appointment. it was like a blind date because we had no idea what he looked like. we met in a park by the train station. we walked around a bit and saw a few people, wondered if one of them was manuele. the hippie, smoking a pipe, and reading in the shade of the tree turned out to be him. my hippie studies are already being put to good use! and manuele is a GEM! golden to the max. came to church for all three hours and began teaching the gospel principles class about "il popolo di nefi" yayayayayay! feels good to find gold!

-good news: we found a celsius/fahrenheit converter. bad news: now we know how hot it really is. saturday it was 103 with 85% humidity. WHAAA?! but we found 2 new investigators: one a 22 year old mommy and an indian who taught us about yoga and meditation and all about her son's personal life. awkward since now we see him everywhere.

103 degrees and still looking fly! we treated ourselves to mini pizzas ... divine.

-we have this little group of fans. they are all over the age of 90 and sit out on their porches all day. so as we bop around the town we end up seeing them like 10 times a day, always saying hello and asking them how they are. our number one fan is named nicolina. her care taker has so kindly threatened us with the cops if we ever come inside the gate ever again. but every time we see nicolina she begs and begs and begs for us to come inside and sing to her again. it is the worst thing ever to deny an old lady. then there is this other old man that we see a lot. he is a little hard of hearing and i think his life is lived in a 10 second delay. so we will say hello to him and walk away. 15 seconds later we hear him yell after us "SALVE!" (the really proper way of saying hello) ha ha it still makes me giggle!

-last week we got a "hot referral" from the office. really, it was even written "hot referral for rome 5" on the sticky note. it was for this man who lives next door to the hotel that we call church that found a pass along card and called for a copy of the book of mormon. dream life! we visited him only to find out that he is leaving for a month but has promised to read the book of mormon before he comes back. COOOL! 

-emanuele was the star of the branch on sunday. seriously the branch LOVES him! 

-we had a lesson with this guy we always see on the street. amed. he is from the congo and is going to university in rome. we met him a while back and he asked for a book of mormon. he said he would like to read it and would call us if he was interested. confession: i accepted that as defeat. BUT he called! we taught him the restoration and he said he was really touched that HE can know for HIMSELF. that he doesn't have to relay on anyone but his heavenly father. he said it was the first time he ever considered it and wondered why. oooooooooh i love being the bearer of GOOD NEWS! 

-sorella wiltbank and i bought new pens. her's smells like grapes and mine is that really old school pencil that you take out the dull led and push it into the top. it is hello kitty and so asian. all the kids want to be us based only on our writing utensils.

-as we waited for an appointment to show up we watched this little girl on her bike. she was having the time of her life. she even said, and i quote, "yippie yiy yay!!" it was classic. sorella wiltbank has recently added that to her daily vocab. 

-today, in sorella wiltbanks words (i promised her that i would give her credit because she hates when other people steal her jokes) "we are off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of rome aka the pope." we are finally going to the vatican today! yippie yiy yay!!

**warning: wiltbank obsession ahead!**

sorella wiltbank is amazing! i am so proud of the growth that she has had. yesterday we were teaching a less active about the roles of each member of the godhead. she began teaching about the atonement; that it is so much more than a tool for sinners but for all people with weaknesses. she bore testimony of that power saying that she uses the atonement to help her speak the language. as she testified the spirit was SO strong, among the strongest i have felt on my mission, because what she was saying was being manifested before our eyes. the less active asked her to say the closing prayer and i have never heard a more since, powerful, and correct (grammar wise) prayer in my life! it was a beautiful thing! i testify of the enabling power of the atonement. it is real. it is a miracle. and it was restored by a young prophet that needed it as much as we do.
sorella wightman

1 comment:

Ginger said...

I just love her. I have decided she is officially my adopted daughter and part of our family! She is such a sweetheart - so kind and loving. I just appreciate your girl so much for being such a good friend and trainer for my girl. I can tell by both of their letters that they have become good friends and that really helps me not to worry! :)