right now there is a baby crying so so much behind me, so i am listening to the motab christmas concert with little davie a. what a gem.
sooooooooo good things must be coming, because there have just been some real silly hoops to jump through and punches in the stomach this week. BUT we chose to be motivated not discouraged. the great thing is that with the low lows there are more high highs. so i will tell you about the highs:
-i got a blessing this week. and the lord, through the mouth of one of his little, weak, humble missionaries, told me to count my blessings. so i have been trying really hard to not a day pass me by without remembering that i really think i have been blessed more than a lot of other people.
-we had homemade pizza with blado and the fam. i have a great picture to show you. it is a sillllllllllllly sight. they made a bunch of different types: 4 cheese, margherita, prosciutto with mozzarella, tuna with onion (whaa??? yeah ... most popular pizza in rome).
-i think i am allergic to tuna fish. bathroom breaks for dayzzz.
-i got the conference ensign in the MAIL! from my MOM! and rome 5 is in it!! when you have a copy in hand, go to that middle part where there is a picture of the slc temple (most beautiful sight ever), in the middle is the general authority pictures, then on the back side there is a bunch of pictures of members around the world. in the top left hand corner there are two ladies smiling hugging. yep, i know them. yep, i ate upside down plum cake by the lady in the yellow at her house just minutes before this picture was taken. i'm famous.
-we started a private english course with a lady named vincenza and her husband and their puppy and their bunny. all true. at the end, vincenza snuck a little bookmark with a quote by her favorite friar in the front and the sweetest little note on the back in my libro di mormon. what a cutie pie.
.we made chili.
-we met a lady named barabara at a paper shop by our house. she wanted to know if we think families should live together forever. uhhh, yeah! we had a nice little chat and she wants IN.
-so there is this everyday nightmare in rome 5/all of italy, called BUSES that just come and go when they please ... or don't come at all. well that was happening one day. finally our bus came. then broke down half way through the voyage. then another bus picked us up. we realized it wasn't the right one. it was so crowded and we couldn't see where we were. but the doors opened and we just decided to get off. off we get. and we were on our street. haha! it was so delightful.
-we have a new african investigator. yay africa! her name is rita and she is a gem in every way. she even wears this great dress that makes me want to trade her all i have for just this one dress. maybe we can work something out.
-we have a new latin-american investigator. yay colombia! her name is anna. and she is a gem in every way. she is in our english class and she is just full of all the right questions. she is evangelist and in love with the anziani.
-a lady in our branch MADE US PUMPKIN PIE FOR HALLOWEEN! and i have never been more pleased. really. you should've seen me. we shared it with anna. she took a bite then pretended like it was so good that she wanted her husband to have a bite but i don't buy it. italians have this thing to be in love with america but they are just so proud of their food that as soon as they know they are eating american food they act like they are eating poison. sillies.
-baldo isn't getting baptized this week. but he did get a hearing aid. why is that a good thing? well it isn't a good thing that our baptismal date fell through with him because he claims that god hasn't responded to any of his prayers. so that is a little bit sad, especially when we KNOW that heavenly father is aware of him, giving him answers, and showing him miracles, but he is choosing to not listen to it. however, it is funny, because he is doing things that are totally out of the norm for him. for example, baldo is really hard of hearing; we have just gotten used to basically yell all of the lessons to him. haha! in fact we are so used to teaching in yell-tone that sometimes other people have to remind us that they aren't baldo. haha! it is really frustrating to him obviously ... that he can't hear. apparently it has been like this for years. well his wife told us that he told her last week that he isn't going to keep coming to all three hours of church because he cant hear anything anyone is saying. he says it is a waste of time to go, looking for answers, then not hear anything. then, out of the blue, this week he bought a hearing aid, something he always says he will do, but after 20 years hasn't ever done. and this week he came, and HEARD everything in church. so he is making the little steps. his actions are speaking louder than words. so keep him in your prayers. and as much as i would like to be the missionary that finally baptizes baldo, i know that the lord is aware of him, aware of the fact that he is a bit testardo (well i can't really remember the english way of saying it in a nice way ... hard headed) and he has a plan. all i want is to help that plan go forward triumphantly. i just want to be what heavenly father needs me to be. that's all.
-we did a mostra this week with chalk. we drew the plan of salvation and we were a HIT! really! everyone wanted to watch us and ask us about it. all the kids came and helped us which forced their parents to stop and chat and feel the spirit. so needless to say, we will be continuing that fun.
-we met the nicest atheist man with a philippine wife and 11 children. weird but atheists intrigue me.
-a nice bus driver offered to take us where we needed to go even if it wasn't the most convenient thing for him. just another case of italians making our problems their problems. luh dem.
-we ate pasta with pumpkin and my life is changed forever.
-baby elena, just one of the most adorable babies i ever did see, after 6 months of practice, finally said my name yesterday. don't worry i got it on film. my work here is a success.
so really all i want to say is that i remember that this was a tough week ... i can't remember specifically why. but i can remember every single and delightful detail of all the good things. because i want to. and you do too. so try. try to remember the good and forget the not so good. because that is what this life is all about; finding joy so that we can have the fullness of joy in the world to come. i know that the only way to that joy is through our savior, who so willingly took upon him every doubt, discouragement, and despair that would ever, is, and will be felt. we don't have to suffer. we get to sometimes, but no ... we don't have to suffer. ever. i know that we are given hoops to jump through so we can jump higher, not so we can fall on our faces for everyone to laugh at us. i am grateful that heavenly father sent me to a tough mission, at a tough time, because i am better because of it. never have i ever wanted my heart to be sealed for the courts above as i do now. if i never struggled, or doubted, or had been discouraged, i wouldn't really have a desire like that. so i will boast my god forever. and i will stop now before everyone starts asking why i am crying just as much as the baby behind me.
i love you all so much. i love my savior and i love that i get to be his representative, now and forever.