Week 2 in Firenze. President drove up on Monday morning to interview us, and mine was seriously less than 60 seconds long. He asked me if I had any questions or concerncs, I said no, and then we closed with a prayer and as an afterthought he added "oh, and you should work on learning how to get your way around for when Slla Hughes leaves" .......which basically translates to that I will be here next transfer and will get a new companion here, so .... yeah. WHICH basically translates to that that will put me in the Milan mission boundaries on July 1st when the mission changes...which puts me in the MILAN MISSION! Weird. I sort of wish I could serve in Sardegna and see Slla Pickett and Anzi Larsen and Knuteson...but serving in Milan where you all served and Zia and Franca...thats cool. To serve in both the Roma and Milan missions is cool!!!
Ive been doing well. If I had a coat, I wouldnt have worn it yesterday or today because the weather is finally becoming springlike. Im still in shock that I feel warm, so I still keep my sweater and a scarf on :) I feel like Ruslan - hoarding in the warmth while I have it.
General Conference was Sat night and Sun night- we took a bus to Prato, about 30 min away, and I was the only missionary to sit in the Italian room. Im surprised there werent other missionaries- how often will they get to hear it in Italian?! It was neat hearing Alessandro translating the conference....and I wonder what happened during Pres Monsons opening address bc Alessandro went quite for what felt like an eternity. I didnt get much out of Conference, becuase for 2 of the sessions, a girl from Moldova sat next to me and would turn and ask me random questions all throughout conference "Do you live in a big apartment or a small one?" "Whats your shoe size?" (That last one, I cant blame her for asking---my shoes, despite being grandmaish, make me feet look like shovels).
Oh Papa, Lenora knows about the shoes- dont worry about ordering me any. Doesnt L come in May? L, I have no idea what your plans are for where youll go in Italy, but maybe the best thing would be to take my valigia to the mission home in Rome so that I can get it at the next Zone conference? I really dont have a problem if you dropped it off in person, bc that wouldnt distract me or anything, but maybe the President would rather have you drop it off at the office. We shall see.
Speaking about zone conference----our DL, Anziano Reschke, called us on April Fools and told us that Slla Hughes and I will be teaching the training for ZC on the 16th. We laughed. And told him it was a good joke. It was april first! No reason to believe him- ESPECIALLY since its never been taught by sisters before, ESPECIALLY by a greenie. SOOO. the next day he called and repeated that we would be teaching and that he wasnt joking. We laughed. And told him it was a good joke but it was getting a little old and it was no longer april fools day.
On Mon we asked Pres just for peace of mind, and he told us that we ARE teaching training at ZC!!! AUGGHHH!!! We have no clue why sisters have been chosen, much less why WE have been chosen. I will let you know how it goes.
Lenora: can you send me a copy of my patriarchal blessing? Theres one in each of my journals in the attic, in a blue tub. Can I get a Gerber? Of all of the things Ive lost, I think thats something Id like to have.....Tommy, thanks for suggesting it. It is something that I would use daily. A russian hymnbook! There are so many Russians here! I got my first contact yesterday on the bus. Slla Hughes and I get on the bus and we walk to opposite ends and talk to people, and I saw her talking to one lady and she was very closed off and so Slla H moved on- and I walked up to her and found out that shes Russian so we started talking in Russian and she was so nice and warm! Right before she jumped off the bus I asked her if I could have her number and she said "Sure!". Slla Hughes doesnt like Russians bc theyve been mean to her (or generally cold towards her) and I jokingly told her its bc they sense her dislike for them even before she approaches them. bahaha.
I recieved letters from Gma Spalding, Tobi, (thank you! I think Ill have time today to possible write a letter or two, and thanks Mom!) and a postcard from a Cristina in France. Any idea who she could be?
Mom or Zia, do you know the Bocca family from when you served in Milan? Sotilli (?) is her name and Bocca is her cognome. Anyways, she remembers a Sorella Panebianco that taught her family when she was 9. About packages- we noticed two package slips on the apt door last night, so we took them to a post office bc they have no address or tel number, and they said to return tomorrow bc they need to track them down. Thank you for whoever sent them (I think ones from Bestie and Gma Spalding) and a reminder to send them to the mission home, as well as letters. It is nice getting them thruout the week, but its even nicer when Pres comes and hands us Christmas :)
Grazie Mamma for the garment bag. Its very cute; I like the button idea ;) Speaking of garments (I apologize for everyone else reading this- I would write things in different letters but I just have time to write a general email, so abbi pazzienza) Lenora: XSA-T for ...bottoms? and tops are 3 XST. I have 5 sets bc Presidents parents brought some when they came, but I would like a few more, so if you could bring that in May, much apprezzato.
Yesterday we were at Gioselias house, a teenage girl who needs help with her English homework and we teach her at the same time. Well, we were there crowded into the kitchen and her 3 younger siblings were running around the house and they came into the kitchen and started making themselves sandwiches : a piece of bread with GOBS GOBS AND GOBS of maionnese and ketchup, and then to top it off, theyd stick their fingers, WHOLE HAND, into the gob and spread it all around. THEN theyd put their hand in their mouth and lick off the excess. For me, I could have dealt with it ok bc I concentrated on a fruitfly. Slla Hughes on the other hand, doesnt like either of them and she was heaving and trying to look away but they were trying to climb onto her lap and by the time we walked out of there, she had ketchup on her scarf, shirt, arm, and a decorated easter egg that we assumed was boiled but wasnt, was dropped next to her foot. Ha. I love moments like those. This is what I will remember from the mission. Oh. And every other day someone will approach us and announce that theyre looking for a girlfriend and want a number. What good examples of boldness! I hope Slla Hughes and I can learn from their examples when we ask people for their numbers. We just leave out the part about being single and wanting to change that.
What is Deras address? I would send this to her but I have the worst memory and cant even remember Tommys...or grandmas :( Thank you for those of you who send this on. Carla- whats the status on your papers and Robes?! Im so excited for when you arrive in the Milan Mission!!! :) Agh. Milan Mission!!! Its a weird idea to me, but Im excited for what the future will bring. The work has been slow this week. Our numbers are dismal, but we are trying hard. We are praying for a baptism for May 5th, because that is the day Slla Hughes leaves, and the closest candidate we have for baptism is Laurent. He is from Cameroon and has a beautiful family. We met with him in a park yesterday (Thank goodness- it is amazing how quiet the absence of little children is)- and we taught him the order of prayer bc he prays to "Signore Gesu" and after a great lesson, we asked him to say the closing prayer....and........drumroll...he ended in nothing other than "Signor Gesu"!! So. We are stumped and dont know how else to tell him, but we will find a way. Maybe just to flat out tell him that he is praying wrong?! ha. jk. maybe not actually.
Lets see what else......... Lenora, really ...the only things I cant get here are mod bod shirts, a pair of shoes, and a gerber. Other than that, Im happy. Ill find stuff so dont worry about me.
Good luck with finals, Miranda, good luck with end of school and I hope I get a senior picture of yours :) Amber- congrats on landing a job! I am SO SO SO relieved and happy for you. How big is Alex now? It sounds like Ls package to Papa really did make it to Iraq- yay! Mom, the reeses pieces you sent for cookies...well.....cough cough...... I have no idea what happened but yesterday they disappeared and it cant possible have all gone into my mouth. They either jipped me and only put half the right amound in the bag, or.... I really was concentrated on my scripture study and they just slipped down my throat faster than I thought they were. But thanks for those. Too bad that future cookies will have to do without them. I dont know when I would even have time to cook. Its crazy insane how little time we have at home. We have made a goal to eat lunch out- like pack a lunch, so that we spend more time out of the apartment, and I love it. We talk to more people on the bus and on the streets. There are so many immigrants! After day one, I could almost finish the conversations I had with each one.
me: Where are you from?
(in my head Im already thinking "Peru")
me: Peru, really? Thats so cool! How do you like it here?
(in my head, Its ok....)
me: and how long have you been here?
(in my head, 8 years)
me: wow! 8 years........
and so on. No joke, it goes EXACTLY LIKE THAT.
Every Peruvian has been here for 8 years. Every Russian has been here for 6 years, and every African has been here for 7. It really is an amazing thing.
This morning we went to go get my codice fiscale (sort of like a social security number) and it was the easiest thing Ive ever done. Besides the fact that my ticket number had EC 137 on it and EC, after searching the ticket board full of AC, BC, CB, DC, etc, and questioning why I didnt see my EC on it....ha! its because it didnt exist! Theyd typed up the numbers wrong that morning...but besides that, I got it and it was quite painless. So now I have one, and most missionaries dont, so I feel special. I got one so that I could retrieve the money mom sent me last week. Grazie. Its already been put to some good use, like buying deodorant and floss (I think I still have mango stuck in my teeth from 2 mondays ago).
I have only had gelato twice here :( But the work goes on.....
Last night, we taught English class again, and this time the Elders made it so Slla Hughes and I both taught advanced which consists of only Tiberio and Francesco, and once again, the conversation was mainly about fly fishing. Dad, whats Temolo translate to? Its a kind of fish that he loves.....
Pasquetta was on Monday, which is the holiday for Easter, and the strange this is that everything was open on Easter Sunday, but EVERYTHING was closed for Pasquetta. Luckily we didnt perish from hunger (well, maybe Slla Hughes came close to it, but my life was perserved from peanut butter chips) :)
Yesterday morning, Tuesday, we have service for a couple of hours at an old home. I mean, a rest home. And one of the old ladies had her 100th birthday, so the Governor was there with an Italian flag tied around his waist, and lots of champagne. Old people are already slow, I dont know what theyre thinking giving them alcohol.
Lots to still say but I should end.
Im so happy I got to hear General conference, and Im even happier that Ill get a hard copy of it to read up on all the things I missed out while I was answering what size of shoe I wear. What great leaders we have today. I finished reading the Book of Mormon this week and have started on the DC- There is never enough time in personal study it seems! I dread the hour ticking by as there is so much to read and learn from the scriptures. Ive never really used the footnotes but theres lots of material in them! The letter I was writing about the preexistence is no longer in my possession, so Ill either start over or wait till next fall when I can do it. I just dont have the time- everything we do, besides emailing, is focused on our purpose. Even eating gelato helps us focus, so dont try telling me otherwise. We are still doing the chocolate fast for another couple of weeks.......and I admire myself for the self control Ive displayed by not letting out a scream of joy and a mad rush to the Kinder eggs whenever we enter a store. So be proud of me
I have no clue what happened but I touched a button and my icon disappeared so here is part two.
I really just have to wrap up and maybe Ill have a minute to write a few more personal needs :)
Im so grateful for the time I have to be here. Florence is beautiful- we went to a nearby city for an appt and I just wanted to stare and gawk. Tuscany is the Garden of Eden. And I still havent taken any pictures. Slla Hughes isnt that big into it so Im postponing everything for my next companion. I will laugh if shes even MORE not into things that I am.
I pray that youre all well and that General Conference helped answer some of your personal concerns/ questions.
We really are led by a living prophet who communicates directly to our Father. We are the luckiest and most blessed people to have the knowledge we do!
The work goes on. We have the widest variety of investigators and things are coming to mind that Id like to share, but alas. Time. My word of advice for this week: stay away from mayonnaise and ketchup.