I have a couple of questions before I start;
1) Does anyone else think I am the most blessed person alive?
2) Its almost too good to be true, but I know its true- life can always be this great, not just as a missionary!
3....... Why isnt Miranda writing me?
About transfers.......Sorella Riffaldi and I are staying together!!! The assistants told us- apparently, we were divided and reput together a million times, but finally it is final. We are staying together ;) I didnt realize the signifcance of it until I saw the tranfer board at the Mission Office yesterday- just in Rome 3, a sister thats been out for just 2 transfers is being joined by another sister that has been out for just a little longer than I have; she doesnt speak Italian very well, and neither does the greenie.....?!?!? We were shocked to see the companionships that this transfer will bring- we almost feel like its sinful for us to stay together, seeing the need for us to be divided.
We went to the mission home yesterday to pick up Sorella Tinoco- she just arrived from the MTC in Madrid and the rest of the group from the Provo MTC arrives tonight- and President pulled us aside and told us he hopes he never has to struggle again like he did over our compaionship. He had me assigned to train someone arriving tonight, and then at the last moment, he prayed again and stuck us back together. Ah! Wow. This means that there are definitely reasons why we are remaining together, and its added wood to our burning fire- we have so much to do!!!!!!!
(So this means Ill be in Rome 2 for not only the next transfer but the next one after that too, so keep the letters coming ;)... at least till Halloween ;)
Guess what happened Sunday night as we were sitting at our kitchen table planning for the coming week? This transfer, we have been working from the area book to pick up investigators who have lost interest, and we managed to contact and meet with maria, a wonderful 20 yo. who had been meeting missionaries for 5 years and even had a baptismal date last year. A really long story short, she quit investigating the church bc in order to be baptized, she had to live an honest life, and she lives a double life. She lives with her boyfriend at his families house, and her parents have no clue. They think shes attending University, when she actually watches and cares for Robertos mom (her bf). Her life is so double that she even has two phones- one to use as the "maria" her parents think she is, and the other as "Maria" Roberto knows. CRAZY.
Well, we met with them on Thursday, and they said they only had 15 min before they had to run off. We asked them if there was something specific they wanted to know, and Maria asked if we could talk about temple marriages, and he asked us if we could tell him what about our church set us apart from the others. Slla Riffladi offered an opening prayer, and as we were just about to start, he asked if he could interrupt us for a moment. He said "Theres something about you two thats different- you emanate a really good and positive feeling! What is it?" Ah!!! WE LOVE IT WHEN THIS HAPPENS!!!! Its a really good intro to who the Spirito Santo is ;)
Ill just say that those 15 min were great, and while we were programming on Sunday night, Slla Riffaldi decided to call her to set up an appt- Maria answered " Ciao Sorelle! I was just thinking about you yesterday, and I want to be baptized........."
She had already told her parents and they arent against it, and she knows that she needs to be honest and tell her parents what shes been up to the past 2 years. Its scary and she is nervous, but she knows its the right thing and shes wanting to do it.
PLUS she wants to get married to Roberto in church and then get sealed in the Temple. How wonderful!!!!!! So. We were SOOO blown over with this news We have been praying to have 4 baptisms this transfer, and we have made it to 3, but I know Heavenly Father hears our prayers and provides if we put our efforts in harmony with His will.
We called up the Anziani and told them we had something to celebrate, and turned out that they did too, so they came to our door (they live 10 min up the street) and we ate muffins and brownies (Mom, Amber, and Lennie, thanks for the treats you send. All I ask is that you strap me to a treadmill when I get back bc I owe the extra pounds to you three) One thing Im learning as a missionary is that being creative can be fun but also not always have good results. I didnt have frosting, so I made something with ricotta, green food coloring, and to make it sweet, I added honey. Dont try it. But, the Anziani ate them. So, if you have Elders around, you can experiment. Otherwise, makedo without the frosting.
Sorella Nelson, my favorite blond companion, is headed home tomorrow. I think a little piece of my heart is leaving too, just knowing that she will not be in the same country as me. BUT, I have her promise that I will help organize her boat wedding, so I know that at some point, she will have to contact me ;) OH, and we also promised eachother to spend the rest of our lives together................so I guess that means including husbands...? or maybe just cats.
Last night, (seeing that we had Slla Tinoco with us and we wanted her to have a really good first missionary experience) we went to Carolina and Alessandras house (the ones we invited to baptism last month and they got freaked out and were too busy to see us for an entire month).......and I made mexican chef salad burritos. I know Im straying off the Urban path of tradition, but I suggest that we try it out sometime as a united Urban clan, and maybe we could adopt it.
Slla Riffaldi and I were at a park last week waiting for an appt, and we were staying into this huge lake that has tons of turltes and HUGE fish, and all of a sudden, something brown and big was surfacing. We had just enough time to gasp when it headed back down into the water. I cant describe it. It was part seal, snail, and turtle. We turned to eachother and asked "DID YOU SEE THAT?!?!?!" We had. And we have no proof. We have discovered a living, extinct dinosaur in the waters of Villa Ada. Im not sure if we are breaking a law by not reporting it.
Last Pday, we jumped on trampolines ;) It was only for 15 min, but boy, did we make some great videos!
The only sad thing about the week is the discovery that a few of our investigators (PROGRESSING investigators) dont live in our zone!!!!!!!! WHAT?! We have to give them to the Rome 1 zone.........sniffle. I dont want to give Nelson away. He is the sweetest Philippino man. I will call him to just ask how his day is going and to remind him to pray\read, and he will giggle (I know men dont "giggle" but Nelson does) and its like a song to my heart, so Ill start giggling, and then HE will giggle and that makes me laugh even harder, and it just goes on and on and he will ask me why Im laughing, and all I can tell him is that God loves him. Ha. Its hard to keep myself from saying that its actually me that loves him, but Im sure God does too, and as a Sorella, I guess its more appropriate to plug God in instead.
Unfortunately, Piedro, the miracle man from Piazza Sempione, hasnt been seen or heard since that miracle day.........
The Sommerfeldts are a senior couple who are returning home this week- they took us out for gelato to meet the girl who works at the gelateria. We managed to exchange numbers, AND get a tour of how gelato is made. Ive decided where I want to spend the rest of my life - in the gelato churner with the pistachio flavor.
Well. If thats where I want to be, I guess I have to end here and get going ;)
Grazie sempre for your prayers and support. I know, especially with having Slla Riffaldi as a companion (she is very accident prone) that there are angels watching over us ;) Im so grateful for the choice we have to look for the silver lining in every cloud- its a conscious, individual choice to be happy and see the bright and good side.