my district (me, sorella wiltbank, anziano wolzl -- austria ((and he hates the sound of music?what a crime!)), and anziano sorrensen -- american fork ((and he doens't hate anything...seriously happiest man on earth)) ).
so this week is infamous amongst the missionaries in italy. this week was ferieagosto. meaning literally every single person leaves the city and heads for the beach. BUT my theory was right, the prepared don't go to the sea during ferieagosto. and the rest, those who do go to the sea, they must've just needed a little more prep and we will be ready when they get back ...
since we last "spoke":
--after email we went to the train station to see that we missed our train. bummer. we tried to find another way to get home instead of waiting for an hour before the next train. didn't happen. i was feeling all guilty of not preparing enough and feeling like we were wasting time (worst feeling ever!) but, because this is the lord's work and he sees that it gets done, even when you do silly things that could have been avoided ... while we waited at the platform we bumped into a lady in our branch who just looked awful (the "all work and no play" kind of way). we were able to administer to her in her tribulations and strengthen her in the lord (alma style). and it was great to be used as a tool in the lord's hands.
--ZONE CONFERENCE! always a good time. i learned a lot about accountability and i loved it. this is the day that my sentimental flu kicked in. seriously i am like a leaking sink! haha! all it took was singing the mission hymn, altogether as a group, entangled in the arms of all my sorelle and i was gone. haha!
zone conference with alessandra (a prospective missionary in our branch and our bff).
--i finally began my renewal process for my permesso (i still haven't figured out the american equivalent, but it is the document that you have to carry around as an immigrant). it is quite the process that includes a lot of inner anger, a lot like feelings at the drivers license division. whoa ... it's bad. and everyone there is feeling the same thing. so i learned something. i learned the italian equivalent to "serenity now" (seinfeld ... for those fools that don't have that written in their hearts like steven, courtney, and i). italians will complain and be angry and be frustrated, even yell, with all of the typical hand gestures of italian-ness, then take a deep breath and just say "pazienza" (meaning patience) and it's all over. ha! if only they had an italian seinfeld ...
--after finishing up the permesso stuff we headed to the mission office to give them all the info they needed and i saw my flight plans on the secretary's desk. evil joke. that just added to the sentimentalness...
--thrusday was cleaning day. that's right ... all day long we cleaned our apartment. that sorella wiltbank she is a trooper. she kept up with all of the ocd cleaning procedures that i have picked up through the mission by living in some of the most disgusting homes of all time.
our clean apartment.
--so i have this really great piece of advice for all those who want to serve a mission. write down all that you can remember from your setting apart blessing and refer to it often. because it is the greatest little guide and motivation and comfort that i have on my mission. sometimes you might be tempted to feel that it is actually a curse because you may realize that there is a lot of great things that you have been called to do and you haven't done any of them yet. anyway i needed a little comfort so i turned to my bestie, my setting apart blessing notes, and realized a great great thing; with the stinging memory of seeing my flight plans which caused the brutal reminder of how precious time is on the mission, i counted the promises made to me in my setting apart. i saw that all but one had been fulfilled. i immediately felt warm loving arms wrap me up as if my heavenly father was telling me that what i have done so far has been accepted by him ... but i am not done. i have this last, rather large calling to fulfill. so you can understand the excitement that filled my heart that later that day just happened to be an appointment that could very well be the fulfillment of that blessing. his name is baldo (not waldo ...) and i hope to be telling you more and more about him as time continues. this was a great conversation that i had with him:
me: so you are saying that you don't think god has ever responded to your prayers?
baldo: that is right.
me: well have you even prayed alone before?
baldo: yeah, when my granddaughters were sick or something.
me: well did they get better?
me: so you have seen answers to your prayers ...
baldo: my prayers didn't cure them modern medicine cured them.
me: so why did you pray in the first place?
baldo: (just a face that implied touche!)
that got me thinking about how natural it is to pray. remember every movie that has a bad guy hitting rock bottom ... even he feels inclined to pray! why?! because he is a son of god! it feels natural because it is natural to want to talk to our parents!
--sunday was good times like always. fratello gessati (you may have seen him and his wife in the law of chastity pamphlet on your mission, well i see them every sunday at church ... seriously the rome 5 branch is just a bunch of celebrities) spoke about honesty and i loved every second of it. read this and you will basically understand why his talk was so great. also while he was speaking, i caught myself watching his family. i love this family. the mom is strong, independent, funny, smart, a good mom and totally and obviously in love with her husband without having to say it. she just is and it is a beautiful thing. their kids ... get out of town! ... they are so great! they have this 7 year old that is the perfect kid for a hippie. i don't really know why i came to that conclusion. but it might have something to do with the first time i saw him and he was wearing an indian halloween costume and i thought "what is this little child from where the wild things are doing here?" and also i love him because when i was helping in primary on sunday he was drawing a picture and i quickly saw that he is an artist. i said "hey andrea you're really good! what are you drawing?" "i'm drawing nephi's temple ..." what a baller.
--then later in the week we ate with that family and i decided that "pasta alla norma" is my favorite pasta and that i am crazy for eggplant. who knew?!
--sorella wiltbank keeps saying "water foddle" for "waterfall" and i lose it every single time.
--we saw the drunkest man on the planet roaming the streets. then witnessed him pee on the building we were inside of and the owner (our favorite potential) handled it like a champ. pazienza.
--a few minutes later we saw a mom teaching her tiny toddler baby to pee in the streets. EUROPE! COME ON!
--today (aka 2 seconds ago) a very special person called me. sorella cagnacci from courtney's mission! she is in town and wants to do lunch. two worlds are about to collide.