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Sorella Urban is not longer in Italy...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Alive in Florence


I don't have very much time, but I hope I can get some things said. First, thank you for the emails. I only had time to skim thru most of them; Mom, I got your 2 letters in the mail today. Thank you. I got to read them while Sorella Hughes was printing off pics in a kodak place- its a good feeling to know someone outside of my companionship knows that I am alive ;)

ok, where do I start? I have so many things on my mind right now. I have 2 weeks to write about. Ok, the last week in the MTC was an emotional wreck for me. I miss my Anziani. Yesterday when I was eating gelato, I was longing to be able to tell Anz Deursch. I miss them. I have lost all my contact info, my scrapbook, so Amber, or Andrea, if you could email me my 4 elders contact info, I would love it. I really really want to know where they are at and I think I can contact them since theyre in a different mission.
So, here i am in Firenze...Florence. ha. I love it. The Elders told me I wouldnt get to serve in Tuscany but theyll be shocked to hear that I am :) they were rubbing it in bc the milan mission will be taking it in July, so all the missionaries here will become Milan missionaries. Who knows if itll happen to me.
so the last Tu devotional...one of the Apostles came! I was happy for my Anziani. Elder Cook is great. Um.... Anz Knuteson and Larsen came and got me on Tu morning since I didnt want the sorella to wake up that early, and we went and saw my Anz off (the day before, monday, was our pday since we were leaving on our real pday, and the elders forgot about me so i had to go ask special permission to be doing laundry and errands alone :( but the anzi made up for it later that night when we had lots of icecream and enjoyed our last few moments together.) they left at 4 and then the tall anziani saw me off at 5. I had had extra weight so i bought lots of reeses cups to bring the missionaries. the flights went well. i went to JFK and then on to rome, and in JFK, i was spotted by a group of missionaries who were on their way home from Spain. it was neat talking to them and they gave me lots of advice and told me stories. I was able to talk to mom and dad for a few minutes but I was really sad not to be able to reach Lenora again. Oh well. I can wait till Natale.
My flight to Rome went quickly- I tried placing my first book of Mormon but the lady next to me refused it bc she feared shed lose integrity. sad.
I arrived at 7:30 and Slla Acerson was there to meet me after I finally got my bags. Our first stop was San Paolo, a cathedral......and I grabbed my camera bc sorella acerson told me to.........for 45 min we toured the cathedral (i just wanted to take a shower under one of the fontanelle) and then we walked back out to the car and i was the first to hop in and i noticed my journal was sprawled on the floor.........and ...thats it. My bag? nowhere. I glance in the back- EMPTY. Uh...sorella acerson....did president move my stuff? She looked back and then yells out the door PRESIDENT ACERSON HER STUFF IS GONE!!! So thats the beginning of quite an adventure. After talking to some police nearby and circling the block a few times and making loads of phone calls to the office, we..........kept circling and stopping and walking the block and sticking our heads into dumpsters. No one had seen anything. To be honest, for a split second after losing my stuff I sort of felt sick. its an interesting feeling looking down at your journal and camera and realizing that those are your only two possessions. But it was ok- Lenora, Im sorry to hear you cried for me :) I still havent shed a tear, haha. Dont feel bad, its really ok. Yes, I was surprised for a sec, but then I realized that if I had needed those things, they wouldnt have been stolen. I still have my feet and a voice and a brain, so I can still proclaim His Gospel which is all I care about right now. Yes, it would be convenient to have those other things, but theyre not necessary.
I witnessed so many miracles that day. My diaper bag was abandoned at a school close to where it was stolen, and theyd opened my walled to find my aunts number and called her, and she called us and gave us the address to the school.. It was qujite a pleasant surprise to hear a familiar voice on the end of the line. Grazie Zia :)
we went and picked it up and lo and behold, whoever had taken my stuff was thoughtful enough to leave behind my change of garments. I got my binder back, which had a few letters that I decided to keep with me for me to read when things got rough. Im so glad to have those back. Just about everything else is gone, but I have my scriptures and my journal. Its a blessing I hadnt brought my other journal and that Id left it for Lenora to pack away. Id have been sad to lose that.
Someone found my passport while walking their dog in a park that evening, and recognized the name of the church in the back of my passport, bc hed taken English classes from us before, so he turned it in to to police and contacted the church. another miracle. I got it back the next day.
Yesterday, the office called me to tell me someone found my international drivers liscense so thats on its way to me. So many miracles. Im so grateful for getting something back; I didnt need it, but Heavenly Father knew it was important to me and although I dont have any of my language books or materials, at least I have my scriptures to use during personal study and for lessons. Over time Ill be able to get an italian preach my gospel and other stuff, but theres time.
The couples who work in the office are so nice- I spent the first night at the mission home and they brought over a pair of pjs and a toothbrush and toothpaste. I met my companion on Thursday afternoon- Sorella Hughes. She is from Seattle and this is her last transfer, she goes home in May. Shes served in sardegna and rome 3 and has been in Firenze for a few transfers. I assumed Id be here for at least 2 transfers bc I thought theyd keep me here bc I have a follow up trainer for my second transfer but Ill be the one who will be more familiar with the city to train the next sister, but they are closing down cities for sisters bc more are leaving than those coming in, so i dont know if ill be here for next transfer.
My first 2 days were different than for most new missionaries- thursday we spent going around to different police stations trying to track down my passport and we finally got it. Mom, I got the money in the mail. Grazie. I tried going to the post office but they said i need a codice fiscale so we went to go get me one but theyàre closed for lunch so ill get it another day and hope my travel kit deodorant and toothpaste last me another week.
Sorella Hughes isnt my Susan, (moms best friend from her mission) but I love her. It is something that takes getting used to, even as a twin. for being such a small short person, she moves fast and I love that alot. She can take steps just as big as mine, and we find that we mainly run to places to make it on time, which is ....... a killer. Thankfully, I chose to wear my most comfy shoes on the plane , my dillards ones, and ...yeah. They are now used as my tennis shoes and my slippers. Lenora, I hope ill get the time to write you a letter with a favor- when you come in may, i could think of a million things i wish you could bring, but all i really need is a pair of shoes. everything else i can do without or find here, even though its cheaper there.Mom, no, I dont have a coat. It was in my bag. Ive been freezing but at home I wrap myself in a blanket I found, and when I go out, I just pray to get numb quickly so that I feel warm. S Hughes has let me borrow a scarf, which saves me. I hope to buy a sweater or a jacket once I get some money. Its a strange feeling not even being able to buy something because you have no money or possessions in your name. its been a good experience :)
All our investigators are immigrants....I wonder who long Ill be in Italy before I get the chance to teach an Italian. Ive already been involved in my first baptism of a 9 year old girl, Ester. On monday we worked on goals and we feel like May 5 someone needs to be baptized, so please pray for us that we will be guided to someone who will be ready for baptism that day.
The Evertsen family is in my ward. There are Anziani Cardiff (who served in moms ward for the entire time i was there, and hes my zone leader so I am in very good hands, no need to worry about me) and his comp Anz Reschke. They are in either Florence 1 or 2, and the other branch has Anziano Neilsen and Coombs. The first three mom should know bc they served in Terni. There were 8 elders but they closed half the day I arrived- its crazy how small the missions becoming!
S Hughes told me that I have been her easiest transfer- I stuck my belongings in a plastic bag and off we went to Termini to catch the train to Firenze. We bumped into Marzia and her Dad, moms neighbors, and I talked to them the entire time. It was so neat to see them! Im glad they came over and talked to you before you left Papa. Hows Kirkuk? YOu are there, right?
my address is sorella urban
via delle medaglie d"oro
50141 Firenze
but thats just for letters. any packages need to go to the mission home address which ill get when the zone leaders go down every 6 weeks. since i dont know how long ill be here, maybe you shouldnt even write to my florence address ........i can survive getting mail just once every 6 weeks....... :)

the other day we worked on goals as a district (since we are the only sisters in florence, we go to florence 1 on one sunday and to florence 2 the next) and we have standards of excellence which they all seemed very blown away and discouraged by. I piped up that those are inspired numbers, and yes, theyàll make us reach and stretch our limits, but they are inspired numbers and heavenly father wouldnt give them to us if they were unattainable. they all looked at me like im new and dont know what im talking about, and i do know that i am new and dont know what theyve seen or experienced, but we shouldnt lose hope. If Heavenly father needs something done, He will get it done. Either through us or someone else. But why not be that someone?
The whole week ive been here, every appt has been cancelled but 3. Yes, some people have been extremely rude. But it makes it even better when someone does stop for even a moment to hear what I have to say. I placed my first copy of the book of mormon on sunday during zone singing- we go to the duomo (Amber, right next to the gold doors!...and thats actually where we just had pizza for lunch) and we sing hymns for two hours and take turns standing infront and stopping people. S Hughes and I, when we get on the bus or train, we get on on opposite ends and talk to people. No one has given me there number, but a few have taken a pass along card. Its hard! Its really hard, and sometimes it really takes courage to open my mouth and strike up a conversation with them. But I love going to bed at night knowing I did my best.. Our feet hurt, ...this week weve been rained on every day and I dont even have money to buy an umbrella! But its so great. At night theres nothing better than to look back on the day and know that I gave it my all.

ok, im going to quickly mention some things before we have to wrap up.
for the past few years, ive hated bananas PLUS ive been allergic to them, and in the MTC I ate one and...voila! Im not allergic anymore and they reallly arent that bad. I dont know why i wrote this, but I just had to mention it. i couldnt beleive it.
Lenora, thanks for your care package. I ate all your stuff practically all on the way to the airport. It was so weird passing the dollar theater and everything that had so many memories of me and amber. hahha.......
oh! I went to the temple site at the end of a day full of police station stops- its gorgeous and huge! I cant wait for ground breaking. ah ah ah. I am so excited. It overlooks the city and .............. wow. Its wonderful.
Slla Hughes, the entire 4 hours up to florence, was warning me how bad and old and dirty the apartment was. I LOVE IT! Yes, missionaries have been living in it for 30+ years, but its great. As for the dirty part, I didnt know why till today. we cleaned some this morning...and uh.....of course its dirty! it looks like it hasnt been swept in the entire years. I think past missionaries have only been spot sweeping and stuff. slla Hughes didnt even want to mop- the kitchen floor faceva schifo!!! I couldnt make it wait another week.
i bent to sweep under my bed and i almost died with shock at the dust bunnies. And i know they arent there from just this week.... AND slla Hughes complains about the pigeions that come on our balcony and lay eggs- we found 2 new eggs this morning in a nest and the eggs were warm! I desperately yearned to keep them (remember my may egg with the light? oh goodness.) anways....slla hughes frowns upon pigeons so she had me scoop up the nest and transplant it downstairs. I hope theyre found by some mother pigeon. I felt so bad for the mom-- she was talking to me while I was scooping up the nest. I wanted to catch her and take her down to where I stuck it. If the eggs are still there and cold when we get back home I think Ill have my first shed tears in the mission field.
Dad- thank you for the blue inidian earrings you bought me on your way to italy in Jan. Theyre the only pair I have; I wore them on the plane for luck and Im glad theyre the only pair I have. Thanks.
I love how everyone here rides bikes- slla hughes doesnt want to get one bc she leaves soon, but i hope i get to at some point. when the anziani came riding up on theirs on the night i arrived to deliver some chips and salsa theyd bought for me as a welcoming present (apparently my story has spread in the mission like wild fire... i just met 2 sisters who are from prato and they looked close to tears as they expressed their condolences, and i just want to say, really! its not that bad! I have a skirt and 2 tops and ive done just fine for a whole week, I can do it again for another week!) and i wanted to burst out laughing at how rickety their bikes were.......but then i saw the other bikes, and each one looks more broken down than the one before. They have bike paths everywhere! Ii love it!
mom, as for the pasqua egg- my heart melts everytime i see one, but we are doing a chocolate fast for someone who is trying to quit smoking, so....dont but any for me and ill just get one next easter, assuming i dont get myself into another fix with a smoker ;)
whoever can contact anziano Deursch- tell him I think of him everytime I see gelato. I want to know where my anziani are! I want to know about their trainers, about which city theyàre in, about what they think of milan.. so much to say!
Amber, how is cindy doing? did you change wards, and if you did, what do you think of it? mom i did recieve your jeans and the garment bag- grazie. Ironically, i wish the jeans was a skirt instead :)

in a little bit we need to go to an office to get my permesso di sogiorno. This is an extremely imp appt that I cant be late for! what else do I have to say? one thing I could use when you come L is a battery charger for my olympus camera. once my battery dies its dead...so I havent taken any pics in the field yet. tommy bought the camera with me, but if you need to have more info on what kind it is, let me know. oh, and can you send me a pic of you or the family or two?

I think im going to say ciao now. I have alot in my inbox that I need to sort thru and see if theres any questions that I need to answer. Thank you everyone for your prayers and support. Its been a long but happy week, Sometimes I dont know how Ill be able to stay awake all day with the way I feel when my alarm goes off, but Im blessed with strength that gets me through to 10:30. I dont know how missionaries gain weight in the field' theres no time to eat!
Ill write again next week. I dont think I will even be able to write any handwritten letters this week, so I apologize for that but know that I am trying to focus my efforts on my purpose. I have never loved reading the scriptures as much as I do now- I dread seeing my personal study hour tick by; I could read it all day. Pasqua is on sunday and so is general conference, so we are going up to Prato, a city about 20 minutes away for that.
Please send this on to those who want it- and please let me know how my Anziani are doing. Love to Tobi and Gma Spalding and Amberini and Lenorachka and Mirandi and Andreas family (I saw them my last sunday in the US- it was so great! despite all the Elders begging Matt to get a pic of him handcuffing them).........Dad, let me know if youre still alive :) I expect to be one of the first to be written when carla and robe get their mission calls
Mom, buon lavoro. I love your letters, they really give me added strength and motivation to keep going.
Vi voglio bene. Grazie for everything you do for me. Pray for good weather or faster numbing process :) amber, thanks for the black tights. theyre my only pair and they are SUPER HARDY. it amazes me. I sort of feel bad that they white handbook keeps stressing how important our appearance is......gulp. its the first thing people see of me...no wonder people arent willing to hear what ihave to say. I look like a hobo! I found a black turtleneck that a missionary left behind. at least my grandma shoes are the envy of everyone. apparently theyre fashionable...so my least favorite item is everyone elses favorite. strange.
OK. devo scapare. Theres a mosquito in the apartment. can you believe it? For some reason I thought missionaries would be spared that one MAJOR nuisance. oi oi.
nu ladno. I dont want to end but I have to. I taught enlgish class last night to just 2 men- we talked about fly fishing the whole time. hahaha. So great. I hope Dad and Gramps that this news will make you happy.

The work goes on.
Sorella Urban
ps. where does Urban come from? everyone guesses and I dont know what to respond!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sorella Urban

sorella Urban hasn't write this week's e-mail because she was traveling to Italy, she is Now serving in Florence (Firenze), and she has a new address.

Sorella Nerina Urban
Via delle Medaglie d'Oro, 19
50141 Firenze, Italy

Dont't forget to write to her...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A week from now I'll be taking off!

Ciao tutti! In exactly a week from now, I'll be at my gate waiting to board. Agh! What excitement mixed with a wide range of emotions. To answer a few questions: Yes, I will be traveling alone. I'm the only one going to Rome, and my 4 Anziani are traveling together to Milan. We leave an hour from eachother, so I recieved permission to head up to the airport with them; at least I'll be able to do a leg of the trip with them. We are all super excited and also there are a few of us who are nervous- we're now looking back to all the time we could have used better in learning the language and the doctrine. This is my new email account- so write to this one if you do write. They just had us all swap; apparently it's better.......but I still don't see how I can make a contact list.... Alright. So I have a question for Mom and Dad- I'll be at the airport from 5 to 9 am on the 23rd- should I just call when I get there? I think I'll be able to call both you and Lenora, so I'll call her..... oi. You'll be in class L! YOU tell me when I can call. I can call you first and then mom and dad,....ok? Just let me know, or if you don't really care about hearing from me....I can wait till Mothers Day (which month is that??) I'm taking Delta all the way, and only stopping in JFK New York, so that'll be nice. I'm excited to walk off that plane and see the Acersons (Mission President) as a missionary this time. I'm arriving in Rome FC at 7:25 am on the 24th, so I'll be looking for Zia with black frames glasses, lurking behind a column ;) Here's the address you can write at: Sorella Urban Italy Rome Mission CP 11/282 Montesacro 00141 Rome RM Italy I won't get to know until the day after I arrive which will be my first city, or my trainer. I'm stoked to have a companion! Not much has happened this week, but Lenora did come to volunteer at the TRC :) That was sure awesome. Our whole district was excited at the possibility of her coming, and it was really fun. Anz Deursch, Stoker, and I got to to teach her and then she sat with us for awhile afterwards while we waited for the rest to finish teaching their lessons. She brought a plate of cookies that we're excited to eat once we end our fast- today will be our last time we get to go through the temple- it's a bitter sweet feeling. I'm really going to miss being so close to the Temple, but how wonderful it will be to teach the Italians that a Temple is coming to them! We heard that groundbreaking will begin this fall, and it's estimated that it'll take 2 years to build. That means that we'll all have a reunion in 2012 in Rome....so mark your calendars! Yesterday, I went to visit the Russians going to Moscow West, and was able to speak with Ben Fisher for a minute- he is their teacher and he was an Elder in Kazakhstan while we were there for the summer we graduated. I have a soft spot for Russian-speaking missionaries, and have made friends with most of them, and the group going to Armenia. I heard Roberto has put his papers in ----- I couldn't be happier! I really have been thinking alot about him my entire time here, and want him to know how grateful I am for his decision. This experience is going to influence the rest of his life. I'm so happy for him. And for Carla. And Giancarlo. !!! I almost want to write messages and stick them in secret hiding places for them to find when they get here Ü How exciting. Seeing that this is the last email I'll be writing from the MTC, I wanted to add in a few points of things I hope I can always remember. (p.s. Don't write me after Friday, otherwise....who knows what happens to the letters that will arrive after I'm gone, so just a heads up) Yesterday, we watched a talk given by Holland 'The Miracle of a Mission' and here are some things I got from it (I'm comparing it to a mission but also to life) Think about the preearth life- we were all anxious to come down to earth. As my district has been counting down the days till our departure and looking forward with excitement, so did we before this life. We counted down the days, and those who returned before us would tell us stories and how amazing their lives were and how much we'll enjoy it. They warned us, 'it's going to be hard, but it's going to be worth it.' So it is with life AND my mission. I know it's going to be hard, I've already had a taste of it. But what I've experienced these past 2 months have helped toughen me up and strengthen my testimony on how important this work is. I dont want to miss a thing. I don't want a 16 month mission. A 12 month mission. There's nothing I want more than to serve a full-time 18 month mission, and give it my all up to the finish line. Don't live with the regret of what might have been. This is the greatest opportunity of my life, and the same with each of us. How short our life is compared to eternity- and yet, everything we do here hangs in the balance of our eternal happiness. I know that this is where I am supposed to be. Yes, I signed up for this, but in reality, I was chosen to be a missionary. The experiences and circumstances I've been in have made this possible for me; nothing will matter more in setting the course of my life. Every good thing that will happen to me will come because of my mission. I'm planning now to look back and talk about my mission with love and devotion. The most important thing that I can share with others is the reality of the Atonement of Christ. Yes, I am going out to baptize, but foremost, I am going out to help others develop faith in Christ. That's where it all starts. Salvation is not a cheap experience. It's meant to be hard. If I'm going to be His missionary, how dare I ask to never get close to what He suffered! Christ has a resurrected body, and yet, He chose to keep the marks of His Crucifixion, to show that suffering is part of working for God's work. I hope I never waste a minute feeling sorry for myself these next 16 months. This is not my time. It really is the simple steps of the Gospel that brings success. All of my blessings have come and will come from either my exercise of faith or others exercise of faith. How grateful I am for the righteous choices of others that have led me to where I am today. Mom, please thank Bill and Kent for me. And, when all is said and done, despite our weakness and things we feel overwhelmed with, think of how much confidence God has in each of us. He has prepared a plan of happiness, a plan of success, NOT FAILURE, for us to return to live with Him again. Again- because we've lived with Him before, and we knew it would be worth it. So here we are now- we have such precious little time. May we all strive to be better each day, and to remember to smile and lift up those whose arms hang low. I can't express the gratitude I have for my Heavenly Father. For the love He has for me, and for caring for me so much that He has entrusted me with this sacred calling. I am humbled at how little I can do on my own. Thank you for your prayers. I love you all. A presto, from Roma!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

me again!


Va bene. Come state? Another week has come and gone...and in 2 days, we are recieving our flight plans. Crazy! I'm really excited- we've been hearing more and more stories from our teachers about the mission field, and we are so pumped up to go out there and have our own experiences. I wish I were flying with my district, but being alone will help give me added courage to start sharing my testimony with fellow fliers Ü
I am still with my original district (Fallon) but the two giant anziani going to Catania have been added to ours, even though they're not in our class. So, Wednesday- 25 missonaries arrived. Can I just tell you how hard it was for us to concentrate when we heard missionaries arriving in the next classroom?! I was sitting near the door, and I looked out and a Sorella turned, saw me, and then squealed and ran up to me. Sorella Chambers! We recognized eachother right off the bat. I barely get to see her; the 4 sisters going to Rome are in a different room, and 5 going to Milan are in my room, but it's ok. They've been bonding as a district and that's how it should be. They are all amazing and a few of them are having anxiety issues, but we're all working together to love and support eachother. It is nice have fellow sisters, but I find myself still wanting to spend the majority of meal times with my district, and my district has been doing the same. It's awesome having 2 whole lunch tables full of Italians, but after a week of integrating in with them, we've found that we are more comfortable with eachother and are back to congregating to one end Ü

One of the highlights of this week was seeing Elder Go recieve a package from Grandma Spalding. We were on our way back from dinner and Elder Go runs up to the Anziani and asks them who Karen Spalding is, and all of them point to me. Gma Spalding is quite well-known and loved in our district- and he thanked me a million times over and his face was glowing. He beams every time I see him. Gma Spalding, Grazie. You've made a difference for a missionary who needed it.
In the new districts, there is one Elder, Anziano Bolnick, who joined the church 13 months ago and is here with zero support from his family. Actually, they're very much against it. So, although I know it's akward writing someone you know nothing about, just share your testimony of missionary work and how much of a difference his choice to serve a mission will make for many people.
A strange thing happened to me a few days ago- I ate a chocolate jelly bean....and I liked it.
You may not believe it, and no one but our district does, but Deron Williams twin brother is one of the new Anziani. Or it is the REAL Deron Williams, but he doesn't play bball too great, so I think it's his twin.
The new mission presidents for Rome and Milan have been announced! Does anyone know if it's been announced what's happening with the Temple and other things in Rome? I want to talk about it but I don't know if it's been announced, so please let me know.
Guess what? Tomorrow, our district gets to host!!! That means that we get to stand out on the curb, and when a sister pops out, I'll get to show her to her room, give her a tour, and etc. I'll be her first impression of the MTC! Unfortunately, most of us didn't have very good hosts. Mine was moaning about how depressed she was about having to serve at the Kirtland Temple. AGH! So I'm excited to try to be the kind of host I wish I had.
After little thought and deliberation, I have found one thing that I would change about the MTC in a heartbeat. Every morning when I go to shower, there is, inevitably, someone blowing their nose in the shower. Excuse me. If that stuff plugs your nose and makes it difficult for you to breathe, what do you think it does to the drainage? Seriously. Keep it in there, or dispose of it using what was made for that- tissue paper!!!
Out of the new sisters in my room, I was blessed enough to be put with Sorelle who sleep walk AND sleeptalk. It's quite an experience waking up to find someone leaning over you or waking up to hear someone grumbling about 'bad habits'.
With Sorella Pickett leaving, the first few days found me abandoned quite often by my Anziani. I guess they forgot they had to escort me and pick me up from my dorm, so I'd often find myself putting on a pitiful face and walking up to the nearest Elders and asking them to climb up 4 flights of stairs to accompany me to my class.... ayayaya.
This past Sunday, seeing it was Fast Sunday, was Mission Conference. EVERY missionary, young or senior, and the Presidency meet together and for 2 hours, we shift ourselves so that we don't get calluses on our rears. One of the Elders scheduled to say the opening prayer recieved his visa to Brazil so he isn't here, and they asked me to say it. I asked Slla Chambers to sit up on the stand with me and we FROZE TO DEATH. I ended up saying the closing prayer, and before the conference started, the MTC President asked me if I knew my prayer language...?! What? Then he said 'thine, thou, etc' and I nodded and then he asked me if he had to tell me what I should include in my prayer. Really? I didn't know where he was getting at... do I look like I can't pray? But reasoning kicked it and I recalled prayers I've heard that weren't.... the best..... (as in, praying for us to get home safely (I guess we need safety climbing down a flight of stairs), etc, but I told him I was ok and he walked off with his eyebrows raised. I said the prayer (I'm so glad I didn't have to talk, I don't know how people stand under that light! No wonder speakers get emotional, they have no choice! The light made my eyes tear up and I had them open just for a split second. I said the prayer and then the MTC President thanked me- ha! I hadn't failed him!
It was also really fun to read the speakers prompts- I knew what they were going to say before they said it. It was like being the Spirit...lots of fun :)
oi oi. Time running out. Real quick- I sent the Book of Mormon to Gloria, and she hasn't been answering her phone...so hope and pray!
I love companionship inventory! Last night, I did it with Anziano Stoker and Deursch, and it really brings us closer to eachother. I'm getting better at confronting people. Especially with the new sisters- the DL asked me to remind them about a few certain rules, and I dreaded it, but counsel given with love and boldness is taken well. (usually).
I've been AGAIN sick this week so I really do look like rudolph........ah haha. I love it. I get stares.
Sorry for adding this in here, but AMBER... I need tights! I've asked L but she's really busy, so I'm wondering if you could send me tights. Actually, I'm not wondering. Would you send me some?! I'm almost wearing shower nets on my legs. seriously.
I got to take trash out again for my service project and floated away in happiness. It's so much fun, one day I'll be able to explain why.
Oh. Time. NOt good. Alright, in closing, I wanted to say how grateful I am for my Savior. He really does know each of us much much better than we imagine. He has faith in each of us- and we, in the preexistence, had faith in Christ to go through with the atonement. I am still working on my letter that Dera will post- I just don't have a lot of time. Thanks for being patient with me; if I don't get around to replying to letters, there's always next week. This is not my time, and I'm trying to be as obedient and as focused as I can be. I don't want to regret having wasted a moment. I love you. You're all in my prayers. Trust in the Lord, and strive to have the Spirit. It's vital!
Enjoy the snow for me too!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

week 7...?!

Hola! Hoy! shoot......the Portoguese are getting to us. Now, at the lunch table, we are in the habit of saying 'molto bon!' and we're learning Portoguese more rapidly than we are Italian!
BUT lots and lots are still recieving their visas to Brazil, so the gym and cafeteria are getting less crowded and even more less crowded....I am now the only sister in our gym hour, which is sort of weird and fun. Some Elders have the funniest reactions when they turn and see me- I could be 5 feet away and they'll jump back as if they were electrocuted and apologize profusely in whatever language they're learning. Really...?

Friday night, we have 'spa night' which means we have gym right before we go to bed, and so Slla Pickett and I took advantage of it being her last time, and we joined in on 4 square (the Elders love the game, not sure why because you don't get much activity or strain out of it) and then we played bump and I have come to discover another thing I've been blessed with - making decent shots. Too bad it'll all disappear once I no longer wear this tag ;)
We played volleyball, and then raced upstairs and did a 5 minute fitness test, ran on the track, did 2 sit ups, jumped onto the olypticlas (sp?) and .....yeah. We covered everything the gym had to offer. For reward, on Sunday, we had root beer floats. Not just ANY rb floats, but the kind that comes out of putting 2 and 2 together. They serve icecream on Sunday, and they have root beer as one of the fountain drinks. The portoguese were stunned when they saw how creative the Italians are.

Sorella Pickett left yesteday morning, and all the Elders got up which was really nice of them. She should be in Catania by now. It's not strange to being alone again, but the Elders forgot me a few times. They have to pick me up at my apartment, and I waited after gym for lunch for 20 minutes...and then a teacher who had been in my ward, Garrett, passed and asked what I was doing. He chased down 2 Elders and got them to escort me.......the Elders showed up later and said they'd been eating and realized they'd forgotten me so they raced back to my apt and waited there for me. hehe. I love being forgotten. And then seeing the remorse and shame on their faces when they realize I've slipped their minds......jk. They're awesome.
Anziano Stoker has a gf back home, Chloe, who has been investigating the church and she had a baptismal date for this past saturday. He didn't hear word from her all week and the anxiety grew....until he finally recieved word from her yesterday; she DID get baptized, and he read an email out to us about the event and she really is an incredible example. SO much opposition, and yet, she is walking forward by faith. I love having spiritual experiences with my district- it really bonds us together. AND it came at perfect timing because we'd just had companionship inventory- the time when we sit down our companions and lovingly give them advice and ask them not to do some things that are bothering/distracting. I join Anz Gammel and Anz Stoker for companionship inventory- it's fun seeing how two Elders resolve problems. The teeniest of concerns which I find hilarious, but apparently they cause a little discord and it's wonderful seeing them work it out in a mature manner.
OH! AMBER! So, my plaque scripture took me awhile to get, but I think the heavens opened even wider when I came across this one, so here it is. Romans 1:15-16......I dont have my scriptures with me, so I don't know where to end it, but I know I don't want the very last phrase of verse 16...I think there's a semicolon or something, but I love it. I find it very appropriate for me Ü Btw, which pictures are you using?!
Guess who I saw yesterday?! We have the TRC every Monday at 1:00, (where we teach investigators who are role playing) and I no longer can teach with Slla Pickett, so I was going to switch back to sharing myself with the sets of Elders, but Fllo Auna (who Roberto and Carla do remember from him doing exchanges in Ladispoli!) asked if I'd observe in his place- so much fun. It was even better when I saw that Fife was back- agh! I loved observing, and jotting down notes for me to integrate into my teaching habits. Body language is so important! Can you imagine stopping someone on the street with droopy shoulders and saying in a monotone voice, 'I have a message of happiness about our Savior that will change your life.......Zzzzz'. yeah. Anyways, I rounded the corner and came face to face with Immanuele- from Mom's branch in Terni! We couldn't talk, so afterwards, he came up to my classroom and we got a pic together, and he'd been able to attend a meeting about the Roma Temple....I have more to disclose, but it's not been made public, so I'll just have to keep you all at the edge of your seats :) May I just say that the work is definitely going forward, and the church is definitely true. Missionaries who will be sent out in the next few years are going to be so blessed with the opportunities they'll have in Rome and on the Temple grounds. It's incredible and going to be incredible!
There are 25 missionaries arriving tomorrow- WHOOHEE! 9 of which are sisters, 5 of which are going to Rome....and guess what? Carly is one of them!!! I have lots to do back in my room- have 5 beds to make, and Slla Orteo (French speaking) will move her stuff out but sleep with me again so that I'm not alone. I'm really excited; on Sunday, I was called as coordinating sister (I'm not too sure if I was the right choice...but uh...I'm the only sister in the branch, so ... Ü) tomorrow night and Thurs night, I'll spend with the zone leaders in welcoming the new group and going over rules and regulations about the MTC. I'm happy- I remember my experience and it was good, but we can make this an even better experience for the new group. 16 are going to Milan- that mission is sort of chubby. I mean, it seems to be hogging all the missionaries.... but I'm just grateful for the time I have here to have met them. Anz Larsen and Anz Knuteson and in their own class, but we've been able to bond with them and they are just wonderful. It's so nice to see 2 big guys crammed into small little chairs, and even better when they bear their testimonies. Anz Larsen seriously begins to glow when he opens his mouth.
Sorella Pickett and I have had a few progressing invesigators- one of which is Guido. He wasnt home for one of our appts, so we taugth his roommate and we thought it was going SO well, until the closing prayer, where we asked him to pray and he said he didnt know how, so we taught him and then he jumped up, flushed in the face, and said he didnt appreciate how we were pressuring him and asked us to leave. Slla Pickett and I were speechless, I apologized and said something, and then we walked out and our teacher remained behind to talk to him. Slla P started crying which inevitably made me cry, and so we huddled into a bathroom to pray. It was a hard but good experience- we know our missions are the hardest time of our life, bc our hearts will break piece by piece, but it'll be worth it. That night, Anz Anderson forgot to give me mail, which i got the next morning and it was great bc Amber wrote a really touching letter, but I can see that I wasnt supposed to have recieved it that night, bc it wasnt a very glorious day and it made for a better experience for me to grow from.
Real quick- at the RC i called a lady and she just became a widow and long story short, we both cried on the phone and she wants to know more about having hope of where her husband is, so I bought a book of mormon to write in and send her a pic of us, and will send it to day and call her tomorrow.
time's up-
I love you all. Mom, you can read letters you recieve. That's how you got it- I gave her the address :)
Deboras letter is still in the making.... i hope I have time today to write it. Thank you all for your prayers. Ciao!