This will be super quick, the Elders from Pistoia just called and need Sorella Hughes to sing and record a song in church in an hour, so we are leaving in a few short minutes.
First, Ciao! I find myself writing in another Jody dress, but this one doesnt have puffed sleeves. Slla Hughes was sick at the beginning of last week, and I am now, but seem to have it much worse than she did, but I am pulling through. I just wish I had some cranberries.....
The zanzare are faithfully keeping me company and the pigeons have laid another 2 eggs but I think Sorella Hughes is too busy to care. Yay!
Mom, I get to call on May 9th I think, so what time should I call? Missionaries with divorced parents get to call both, so I wrote President and asked him if I could call you, and Im waiting to hear back. Im pretty sure he will let me, so can you please send me your phone number and what time I can call?
Amber, I got your package- we spent all day Thursday going to retrieve it and it seriously was in the middle of nowhere in a storage unit, but after much sweat and blisters (sort of not true...but true) we got the package and wrapped our arms joyfully around it. Awesome. THANK Gma Spalding for the clothes- they are great and very cute. AND for the choc bunnies- I ate mine almost immediately. Very good.
This week has been full of different things- its finally nice outside, and .....we fasted with Laurent over the weekend about his baptismal date, May 29, and we kneeled in prayer together at the close of it and his first words were "May 29th is the day!" So its the day!!! Margarita and Marina are being baptized a week from today!!!! Giving up smoking is something incredible hard, but it can be done, and apparently grapefruit helps. Interesting!
Mom, thanks for the letters. I actually can recieve letters at my Firenze address, so I give you permission to write me there, but Id rather the majority be sent to Rome. I was very happy to hear from Tommy and Dera, and that things are going fwd with their move to Udine. Please dont tell them that they told me too late to not spread the news. AGHHH!!! (Dera and TOmmy, dont kill me! But Im not going to mention who I may have said it to, bc ......then you really will fly over and kill me. PERDONAMI!!!)
Sorella Hughes and I have alot to do this week. She wants to say goodbye to alot of families and investigators, and next Wed we want to go see some sights. I saw Ponte Vecchio from a bus window the other day; while we walk around, especially around the Duomo, tourists will stop us and introduce themselves as members and ask where we are serving. Their response is always "Youre the Florence missionaries?! Do you know how lucky you are to be here?! " We really are lucky. This is a beautiful city and the people are wonderful.
We were able to help a Croatian refugee return home. She has been in the Rifredi train station for more than a month, with 10 suitcases containing all of her belongings. She didnt speak Italian very well so we are really not sure what her story is, but she reminded me alot of the police escapee in Kaz who took refuge under our bush for a few days. All I could think of was what you had done Mom, so I made her some tuna fish sandwiches and got some stuff together and gave it to her. Her name is Snezhna, and this morning we poked our heads into the train station, and she and her stuff was gone, so we are very happy that she made it out of here.
How is Nonna, is she still in the hospital? I am so happy that she is tranquilla and scherzando. I find myself missing the time I spent with her- it was actually pretty fun at times. (like taking one way streets in the opposite direction) :)
Sorella Hughes had her first Russian meal at Lyudas house on Thursday. It wasnt the best tasting meal Ive had here, but its been definitely my favorite. We had borsch with smetana (sour cream) and the flying saucer cookies that Dad used to always get, and KBAC! I gripped Slla Hughes knee under the table as I drank my first cup of it, and I thought back to when Mark refused to even take a sip of it. I feel remorse for ever giving him a hard time for not drinking it- it seriously is the nastiest stuff ever created. Lyuda sent us home with a bottle so we gave it to our district Elders as their mystery gift, and they told us that they hadnt even sipped it. Just opening the bottle and smelling it was enough for them. ha!
Marmota, can you give me the pizza recipe? And whats the purpose of baking soda? I find myself often in the mood to bake, but since we dont have much time, I limit myself to one experiment a week, and last week I made peach cobbler. Slla Hughes and I will try to make popcorn balls with the weird easter marshamallows that you sent.
For next week, I will not be writing. Slla Hughes has to pack and wrap stuff up, so just a heads up. Mom, if you could hear from Dad about his phone number, and then send it to me (yes, to my Firenze address ..Im sorry I keep contradicting myself) then that would be great.
I am slowly improving my Italian.... its a terrible TERRIBLE thing when someone will ask how long weve been here and then point and ask why I speak better if Ive only been here for a month. I want to sink thru the earth. I almost consciously have to purposefully make mistakes so that it doesnt happen. Oh mamma mia. What else? Im printing off the emails I recieved, (time) and if there are any pressing questions, then I will find time to write a note before pday ends. (oh! Amber, whats the pin to my new card?)
Thank you for all that you do for me. For your prayers, support, letters, and packages. I am so so so grateful to be here. And to think that there was ever a time that I was debating about to come or not! AGH! There is so much for me to work and improve on, its almost overwhelming, but I am so thankful for the patience and love that Heavenly Father has for me. Its great to stand at the feet of the Statue of David and see the awe that the crowd has at Michelangelos creations, and to see the same thing in the faces of those we speak to. Laurent has changed in his countenance- he has loosened up and become easier on himself, and its a humbling and inspiring thing to see. The knowledge the Gospel gives us changes us and motivates us to become better. I am so sorry for Andreas loss, and for those who are going through tough times now. During sacrament meeting last week, I was sitting next to Snezhna, the Croatian refugee, and the speakers were talking about eternal families and she started sobbing. I wrapped my arm around her and I found myself becoming emotional- she thinks it would be a beautiful concept but that it cant be true, and Im not sure if I was sad about her not believing it or sad for the things she has been through. I have so many blessing that I never appreciate fully or show my gratitude as I should. Being here is making me feel even more indebted to the Lord and for His tender mercies. I know He is protecting and watching over me, and gives me the strength to lift us those whose arms are hanging low. I hope that I can always be someones angel; to better the life of everyone I come in contact with.
Grazie mille. Vi voglio bene. Buona settimana, and keep your heads held high.