Today is such a silly day. I'll go into detail in a minute. Also sorry in advance for the shortness of the weekly saga. It is for a good reason.
Let me just say there is no greater way to start a week than with a private meeting with Anziano Ballard on a rainy roman morning surrounded by missionaries. Guys ... dream life. But lots if other good thing happened before and since so let me get myself in order here.
Sorella Jackson is just killing me with great scripture finds lately. My favorite one this week was Hebrews 12:1-2 which I have officially made the scripture if my final moments of missionhood. Run patiently the race set before us. Ooooo so good!! So when we found that gem we were determined to share it (since you know how things only get better when shared (i.e. the gospel). All day long we listened for the cue to read that baby but it never came. We ended the evening with baldo, taking about truth and the Holy Ghost. After we finished the lesson and dinner they started telling us how President Criscione was having a tough day, dealing with issues from the branch. Jacks and I just looked at each other and nodded ... cue received. As we read the verse to him he just cried and cried. All he said was ... "how did you know??" Aw.
Saturday morning we went to the Relief Society activity. They were doing a "trade market" meaning everyone brought there junk and swapped amongst each other. But that wasn't even the best part, neither was the food, neither was the fact that we met the old mission president and his wife the Acersons who are famous in rome (they were here before the Kelly's) ... although all that was good, the BEST part was that our investigator came and loved every single second if it. The second best part was the rolls that Sorella Acerson made. I forgot how much I really love soft bread soaked in melted butter. That evening we had an appointment in the hardest city to get to. I got us all prepared with plan a, plan b, plan c, and of course none if those plans were sufficient. But God's grace was (haha what a lame missionary sense if humor I have acquired). A member in the branch came and rescued us after our appointment fell through and we missed the last bus home. That night was a night of firsts for both Jackson and I. We saw Rome at night! We caught an 8 o'clock train for Rome because we were invited to come sleep at the mission home!!! It was like a big mission sleepover since all the Rome Napoli and Sardegna zones were packed up tight in the beautiful villa. We even had a little family prayer altogether. Cuties. We were up bright and early at 4am and in our way to meet Anziano Ballard for a private secret missionary meeting. Oh gosh it was so wonderful. That Anziano Ballard he is something else. He talked about being happy and loving where we are even if the work is hard. He said a million great things but I will share one: this is the Lord's time and I'm not going to waste a minute of it because I understand Gethsemane. I loved that because I really have learned that the secret to happiness is diligence and obedience but also that the atonement of Christ fills in for the rest. As long as we do the very best that we know how, we qualify ourselves for divine help. All thanks to what happened in the garden if Gethsemane. He challenged us to talk to at least ten people a day (but emphasized youth) and promised an increase in not only baptisms but more stakes in Rome, led by our converts. Wha??!! Yeah cool. And his talk for the conference was beautiful. You can watch it online, and if you do you might see a familiar face :) He said this great line: when the Lord gives a temple he raises his expectations.
Monday was good Times. Also Tuesday. We met a girl, an Italian one, named Louisiana, and had some good fish and member visits.
Flash forward to right now ... my fingers are so so sleepy from typing this email on an iPhone while sitting outside Villa Borghese waiting for Whitney to finish her tour, then we will go get gelato. Haha! We ran into the couple missionaries that work in the office (the Steurer's, my favorites) and the Acersons. We told them that we were waiting for my cousin but we needed to still write home so they said "use our iPhones to write home!" So here we are. I am learning that my texting muscles are LONG GONE. I just saw Whit for about 5 minutes because she had a scheduled tour. She gave me the best kind of shirts there are ... ROYAL STRONG AND TRUE (white and blue). Which I will gladly wear Saturday night as my boys fight the mighty fight. Go Cougars! Before I go I have to answer mom's questions: My companion is Calli Jackson from Kanab, Utah. She is 19. She studied medical lab science (yike) at BYU for a year. She studied Italian before coming so she was in the MTC for 10 DAYS!!! What?! Speaking of amazing people that I serve with Sorella Wiltbank's mom sent me a twin silky nightgown like Sorella Wiltbank had that I coveted every single day. I can die happy now. Seriously I just frolic around the house in it and feel as light as a feather. Wish I could send pictures but I will double them up next week. MOM I love you. Don't feel sad. I gave Whitney a special hug to bring back with her and some other Roman goodies. Also mom please send the other goods that she is bringing (a letter and a mini colosseum thing) to Dwane and Susan Roberts of Springville, Utah. Maybe buy them a free dinner for a big thank you for all they did for me. I love you. The church is true!!! Forza Roma.