scambio, apoclypse, and a puppy.

ciao cari miei!!

WHAT A WEEK! we have just been all over the place this week--laquila, pescara, rome, passo corese and we even witnessed what the end of the world might be like. cray.

the 4-11:
- we headed to rome for a sleepover at the rome 2 sister house because we were getting a ride to zone conference in the wee hours of the morning the next day. i had never met these sisters so it was fun getting to know them and to hear their adventures of being "blown in" (they are both new to the area this transfer) ... turns out i am not the only one who gets confused with italian maps and transportation. we shared some stories of the silliness of opening cities and laughed and giggled and all that jazz, plus they had peanut butter so all was well ... besides that i didn't sleep AT ALL for the first time ever in my whole mission i think.

- ZONE CONFERENCE! the assistants took us (sorella jackson, the anziani and i) to laquila for the party of the transfer. this funny thing happened:
anziano sorrensen (a former uvu student, ballroom dancing, disney loving, smiliest elder ever, in my district) was telling a story about driving the new car that we have received (when i say we i mean the anziani ...). he said what i thought was "i threw up on the street" and, you know me, i got SO SAD for him! AW MAN I AM SO SORRY!! THAT IS THE WORST!!! hahaha! eventually we figured out the error and anziano sorrensen said "i said i DROVE up the street, not THREW up in the street ... but i actually did throw up on the street too." poor kid was sick all day. he even got kicked out of zone conference by sorella waddoups! 
- but the conference was great. we talked about obedience, conversion, and what to do if you get separated from your companion (woo!). it is always a treat to be with so many missionaries! we had interviews then left with the pescara sorelle to begin our exchange. PESCARA is SO PRETTY!! go there.

- SCAMBI! in the morning i went with the wonderful sorella knudsen. she is in her thrid transfer. i did a scambio with her a few transfers ago and was really impressed. the greatness continued. she is great. we talked to about 57410983 muslims and one of them gave us this delicious mango drink. in the afternoon i went with sorella mckenna. she is in her fourth transfer, from georgia and is so silly! we taught a lady some english then, because i always get this extra urge to be super bold on scambio (it's like ... why not?! i will never see these people again, might as well!!) i invited her to get baptized and she accepted. haha! it was awesome! then in the evening i went with sorella patterson. she is in her second transfer and i did a scambio with her last transfer and was equally impressed. she is the master of being her true real self in italian. which is incredible. i think that was the hardest thing to figure out for me on my mission. the lord called ME, not a weird, fake, copy of everyone else version of me. sorella patterson has it figured out and it was awesome to see. helps that she has an italian companion (the best one: mistura!!) but i can tell it was something important to her so it became important to the lord and he helped her out with it. a funny thing that happened with us, continuing in the boldness streak, we ran into some bad boys. side note: the mission is really encouraging us to talk to youth and to not judge them, but find a way to relate to them and be an example for them. so we bump into this group of boys smoking, uh ... something ... that wasn't tobacco. i said, with the biggest sister missionary smile "HI! we are the sister missionaries for the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints! who are you? and why are you smoking that?!" sorella patterson got a kick out of it, but she also got three return appointments with three 16 year old young men that each said they admire joseph smith's courage and want to be more like him. bold works. and so does not judging people by their choice of friday night entertainment. 


- we took the nice long bus ride home. but their was an accident on the freeway which doubled our time on the road, but man do we have a beautiful mission! how cool is it that i got to tour it a bit by bus this week?!
-we planned.
-then we had an appointment with our peruvian less active friends, ricardo and anzi. anzi hasn't been showing much progress and we have been pretty bummed by it. she will say things about the church that just aren't true and we try to help her FEEL what is true! we haven't felt super successful with that until saturday. she told us how she was on the train the other day and heard some people talking about the church and different run-ins with the missionaries. let's just say they aren't progressing investigators yet and were pretty angry with the whole church. anzi said that she just started to cry, saying that she knew that everything they were saying was wrong and their words hurt her as if they were hurting a person that she loves. she said that it woke her up a bit and realized that she has done those same things but has known the whole time that the church is true, that it is the only way to find TRUE and LASTING happiness, and she felt bad for people that haven't learned that yet. so we will see what she, with the help of her loving savior, can do together to help her progress!!

- the primary kids gave me a heart that they cut out. cuties!
- the last time i spoke in church in roma 5, they called me and told me to prepared a talk on the topic of my choice. i chose unity. on that sunday i followed fratello guidara, who also chose to talk about unity. this time, they called, told me to pick a topic of my choice. i chose prophets. this sunday i followed fratello guidara (again) who also chose to talk about prophets. we are so on the same wave length. haha!
- VALENTI CAME TO CHURCH!!! she sang all the songs, even though she had never heard them before (and besides one of them ... neither had i ...), took the sacrament after i explained to her that it is primarily for members but that she can take it to show her desires to be baptized, and cried during a talk about keeping covenants. what a gem!

- we went to rieti to finish my permesso renewal stuff and get sorella jacksons process going. she got a two year one! lucky duck!
- we had a lesson with baldo. we got on the bus in passo corese. it was shiny and happy and bright and warm. the ride was great. we talked to a man about the book of mormon and he talked about his love life ... ha! we stepped off the bus, the sun shining. two minutes later we turn onto baldos street and BAM--end of the world type storm. seriously we were SOAKED and everyone on the street started screaming and crying and yelling "the world is ending!!!" and the lightening has never been so close to sorella jackson and i. it was a solid 5 minutes of complete and utter madness. we got to their house and they were waiting at the door and SO WORRIED! when they saw us, baldo's granddaughters started bawling. haha! it must've been an ugly sight. sorella jackson and i though ... we were loving every minute of it! we laughed for like three days straight. they gave (instead of gave i just wrote gabe and i then thought about gabe and said to myself i love that kid. love you gabe!) us dry clothes and we were looking fly for the most memorable lesson ever. it all started with the granddaughters singing i am a child of god. we taught the plan of salvation. it seems like things weren't really going as planned. the internet didn't work when his daughter wanted to show him a video, the girls were fighting, the son in law got stuck in traffic and couldn't make it to teach his part. then, i got this thought. "none of this really means anything if baldo doesn't have the chance to choose baptism." i said back to this voice "but baldo will never accept a baptismal invite!" the voice said "oh yeah? try me." so then my hands got all sweaty and my voice all cracky and my italian all silly and my stomach felt weird but the words fell out of my mouth. "baldo will you take the first step to spending eternity with your family and be baptized on november 9th?" everyone just stared at him for what seemed like 3 days. he said "penso di si" (i think so)." everyone started crying and clapping and it was like a missionary movie moment. later i remembered a few weeks ago, that his daughter told me about a dream she had of us, teaching baldo the plan of salvation and talking about baptism. she said that the door got blown in by the wind and was banging and there was all kinds of madness but the spirit was there, even though there was every possible obstacle in the way of feeling it. yeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.


- we found the unplanned opportunity to serve a struggling family in the branch. and oh was it a sweet experience, and not just because they just bought the most adorable puppy yesterday ... but because charity always wins!


well my friends. you have my love! i pray for you and am working my heart out for you and for my savior. see you soon. tooooo soon.

vi voglio bene!
sorella wightman

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