Maybe writing this email will send me back into shock, but I will do my best at keeping it from making my palms sweat and my legs shake.
Yesterday, while we were at an appt with Lyuda, the Russian woman who did indeed send us off with another bottle of Kvas (Russian rootbeer), our phone kept vibrating with incoming calls. When we stepped out, we had 7 missed calls - from the Mission President, the Zone leaders, and the District Leaders. Sorella Nelson called Pres Acerson back, and her face fell progressively till their were tears in her eyes, and then she thanked him and passed me the phone. I knew from her reaction that we were being split up, so Im holding back tears as President greets me and asks "So, youre liking Florence, arent you? Thats great- now youre heading to Rome 2 to train Sorella Riffaldi and youll be senior companion. Ciao".
Thats that. Have a nice week,
ba. Kidding. Not really. What a shocker. Im not going to the Milan Mission, and he had even hinted at it so many times! Im sorry that I wont be seeing my Anziani, or that I wont be serving where everyone in the familys served......... At least Sara is the other black sheep :) I am going to Rome 2, where the Mission Office is and the new Mission President and his wife will be, the assistants, Sorella Riffaldi, and now ......me. WOW. Sorella Riffaldi is from up North, and she went to the Madrid MTC for 3 weeks.
I can see this as an answer to my prayers- she doesnt speak a lick of English so this will be awesome to speak Italian 24/7, I know my way around Rome a little, and itll be neat being the ones working with the Mission President and the office the closest. Im not really sure what the Lord has in mind for me, but how good it is to rest assured that he knows better than I do, and that all these experiences will be for my good, as hard or incredible as they may seem. There are so many Sorelle who are much more qualified than I am and have been out so much longer than I have, but this is what He needs right now, and Im happy to do it (with a little bit of freaking out calmly behind the scene). We came home to start packing after Lyudas, and for a good half hour, we sat on the floor and mumbled incoherently to ourselves till we could function somewhat. Me....training?! Ay ay ay.
Sorella Nelson will be getting Sorella Naslund, the one I was in the MTC with for a few weeks (from Sweden)...and they will be moving into the Elders apartment because their companionship is being closed. Anz Nielsen is going home, and Anz Coombs is headed to Siena....so thats leaving Slla Nelson to be district leader :)
Im GOING TO ROME. AHHH! It really still hasnt sunk in. I was SO sure that I was going to Milan! (That I would remain in Florence for at least another 3 months and then make my way up, but now.... I might get to serve on the Island, and even in Sicily or Malta!)
You know you hear those stories of people finding "their person" as a missionary? I feel like the person I came to Firenze for was Laurent. During district conference last Sunday, we were watching a broadcast live from SLC, and he kept shifting and huffing. It was like watching a suspense/horror movie- not knowing what was about to happen or what the actions means. At the conclusion of the talks, I turned to him and said "Can you be at church tonight at 5:30?" He said "Why, for my baptism? I see youve made up my mind for me, Ok, Ill be there" And he WAS!!! We raced back to Florence and got the font going and called some people to invite them to the baptism. It was beautiful. Several companionships of missionaries came with invesitagtors, and Slla Nelson and I both gave brief talks and then Anz Nielsen baptized Laurent. Now, he just needs to be confirmed, which he said has to wait a few weeks till he can get his family to come see it. Agh! I wont be able to rest happily in my grave till Laurent completes his baptism by being confirmed! Its wonderful reading the scriptures and being able to relate so well to the experiences of Alma and of the sons of Mosiah; how great the joy is of bringing but one soul to Christ, but how much even greater to bring more souls, etc. Its so true. Theres so much to get done, so many people who are waiting to hear the message of the gospel. So Laurent is no longer an eternal investigator = )
I am going to miss Slla Nelson- I have enjoyed my transfer with her immensely and thats probably why we are being split- Ive become to comfortable. There are many areas where I could stretch myself more and work harder, and Im grateful that He is giving me this chance to prove myself and to help me reach my potential. I know its going to be hard. I know I dont have much experience and I still ask reduntant questions about the techniqalities (sp?!) of how to keep an area book, etc, BUT itll all be good. If anything, President will just be a few feet away to ask whatever my heart desires!
Itll help thinking of Sorella Riffaldi as mom on her mission, and Im playing the part of one of her American companions. I trust that this will be a great experience for us both, and there is much to learn from eachother.
I do have more to say about the week, but this is where its going to end. I appreciate all your prayers (turn them up a notch!) and hope you all know that I love my Savior and know fuori dubbio that He lives and HE knows whats going on, and the thing to do is to trust Him. It makes things a whole lot easier when we let Him take charge of things.
(Seeing the whole of Rome will be in my Zone, Ill get to go to Ottaviano and help Slla Riffaldi discover the delights of cornetti ripieni with white nutella!...and maybe...we might pass at Cornelia to see Zio! Haha...just kidding ...... :) Mom- dont camp out at Termini around noon tomorrow :)
OH, THE BEST PART!!! Presidente De Feo will be my stake president- AGHHHHAH!! Maybe I can offer to take his briefcase again?