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Friday, August 27, 2010

Augusts almost over :O

Hm. Its the first time in a long time that we actually arent on the run. It feels.....good :) And quite foreign.

Where to start up? Last pday, after we wrote emails, we met up Anziano Hale and Anziano Mickelsen and we went parked the car and took the metro to the colosseum. Anziano Hale had a list of places we could walk to and see, so we followed him and we passed the prison of St. Peter (I seriously need to read up on the history of Rome...when was Peter in Rome? haha, joking!) and we spent some time looking for the ...First Church of Rome (how do I still not remember what its called after I asked a million people for directions to it?!)
Its incredible. Its SO easy to stop someone to talk about religion, but its incredibly hard to stop someone to ask if theyd take a picture of us\ ask directions. We were standing there, dumbfounded at our inability to single someone out and ask them. Anz Hale finally threw up his hands and said "We are missionaries! Stopping people is what we do best!" Slla Riffaldi mentioned that we should stop a Chinese bc they take good pictures, so I did and she is right! Chinese are capable to taking pictures. Remember that next time you need someone to snap a shot.
Of the dozen people we asked for directions to the church, not one of them repeated directions that we heard from someone previous. It was hilarious. We almost forgot we were aiming to arrive somewhere- we started stopping people just to see what directions they would come up with. After walking through Circo Massimo (I told Anz Mickelsen that theyd played the Olympics there, and for the next 5 minutes he had a confused look on his face, and then I asked him what was bothering him, and he asked "What year were the Olympics here?" Ha. I didnt think Id had to mention that the Olympics of old were held there, not anytime recently. Maybe hed be interested in joining me in a Roman history class).
SO. We never found the church, and we ran out of time, so that is what we are doing today. In an hour, we are meeting up with them and, this time, Anz Hale thinks he knows where to go. I dont care if we ever arrive or not, being lost is just as fun.

What can I report about the week? Sorella Riffaldi sat on a passenger.
We had hopped onto a bus and it immediately started going, so Sorella Riffaldi caught herself imbalanced, and I think the following 60 minutes were really just 15 seconds: I put up my hand to press against her back to help her regain her balance and stand straight, but the movement of the bus aided her in taking a turn and plopping into the lap of a middle-aged woman. Turns out, she didnt have a sense of humor. Which made it even more funny for us. We sat beside her and, THANKFULLY, she recieved a phonecall which hopefully drowned out our hysterical giggles. Her lack of humor didnt help the situation.

We ate worms! I cant really call it worm cheese, because the majority of the worms were on the outside of the cheese, but we integrated them both when we took a bite of cheese and licked up a few worms simultaneously. Its actually pretty good cheese; just a little strong, so bread would have been better to have with it. The worms JUMP. If we are made of hinges, they are made up of springs. The Anziani bought a 5 kilo circle of it, and they gave us the rest......we have 4 kilos of worm cheese on our kitchen table. If youre asking yourself "What are they going to do with that much worm cheese?", rest assured that we are asking ourselves the exact same question. Rather, you should be asking yourself "What would I do with that much worm cheese?", and please write me any ideas that come to mind.

Ive thought about sending slices of it around the world...but Im not sure if the worms would survive being in syran (sp?) wrap for that long. Tell me if youre willing to risk it, and Ill be happy to send some your way :)

The other day, we were on our way to a nearby city for some appts, and Slla Riffaldi asked me to pull over when she spotted a pasture with some donkeys. I pulled over and took a picture of her posing with a donkey behind her, and then we leaned in to see how the picture turned out. Apparently, while I was snapping the pic, the donkey had inched forward so that only his rear was visible beside SRs face (she was leaning out of the window, facing me with the camera) and hed started pooping. Thank goodness I was driving. I dont think SR would have managed driving with how hard she was laughing. It WAS pretty funny.

Speaking of unexpected surprises.....after some inquiry about a GPS, the Assistants and the Senior missionaries told us it wasnt even worth asking President about a GPS because he would say no. In my weekly letter to Pres Kelly, I casually questioned if the mission had ever considered getting a GPS for the car. Guess what? Pres Kelly, a few days later, approached the Assistents and told them to keep an eye out for a good GPS to add to the car. Voila! Sometimes its as simple as asking :)

Nelson. Nelson. He lives in the Roma 1 area, but wed obtained permission to have him baptized into our ward because of how international the ward is; at district meeting on Monday, we decided to pass him off to the Roma 1 Anziani. Its just been something on our minds lately, and we feel good about having him go to where he should be going, even if that means that we would stop teaching him. Yesterday, we met with him at Battistini and walked with him to where the Roma 1 chapel is, and there he met Anziano Busico and Catalano. He always agrees to whatever we say, but I know that he wishes he could continue coming to R2, even thoughs its so much farther for him to travel. Nelson is such a good and sincere man. We will still be able to attend his baptism, and for that Im very grateful. In fact, hes asked SR and I to give the talks in English; I thought SR was about to cancel his baptismal date. Shes freaking out- shes started to pray in English and she thinks shes doomed. Ha. Shes learning quickly that it takes practice and effort to get good at something.

Because we were in the area, I wanted to show the Elders where Zio (my uncle) works. We went to the magazzino and he wasnt here, but as I was picking up a few pinoli (pine nuts), he arrived! Im glad he met the Elders, and invited them to return when they want, so they will take him up on that.

Claires dislike for me seems to mount by the minute ;( Its a little hard to try to serve someone when they make you feel belittled and useless. I sometimes feel like confronting her about it and asking what I may have done to make her feel this way about me, but I have a feeling that itd get us nowhere. I know itll be hard to go visit her when Sorella Riffaldi leaves- she may not even want me to come over with my new companion till I get transferred, but Im forcing myself to put in the effort of serving her, even when my hearts not completely into it.
Theres a shimmer of hope though, that Im not the only person someone has something against: at English class on Thursday, I was starting the class and I covered SRs nametag and asked the group to tell us what her name was. Patrizia, an older woman who wed seen just once before, said "I dont know her name and I havent bothered learning it because I dont like her". She gave a whole shpeel and there I was, waiting for her to start laughing and say "Ha, I got you! Im just joking!" but it never came, ....I stared intently at her face, waiting for it ....waiting for it....any moment now....but it never came. I started laughing and I turned to SR and I said "I have a feeling that Patrizia is simply being very honest right now", and Patrizia amened and vigorously nodded her head. Well. Now Im not the only one finding it hard to love someone.

Im grateful that there is someone who loves me unconditionally, who is always willing to give me chance after chance, even after messing up on the same thing over and over again. Its a little daunting just thinking of how much there is to improve on. All and everything comes from His infinite atonement. I know that while he was bleeding in the garden, he thought of each and every one of us, and at how much we needed him to go through with it. I know that the faith we had in him helped him bear the pain, and today he helps us bear ours. Its comforting the promise that we will never be tried beyond what we are able. How different my attitude would be if I always had this perspective.

Buona settimana,

Sorella Urban

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rome is still standing

Rome is still standing, and the car still runs------I know that question was on all of your minds, so you can now breath, relax, and peacefully read the rest of the email (which wont be long bc we need to book it).

I can drive stick shift! I dont think Brett, Tommy, or Debora would ever believe it, but its true :) Sorella Riffaldi drew a giant "P" and stuck it on our backshield to let others know to have patience bc Im learning. (P means beginners, although it does stand for patience) :)

This week. This week. Has FLOWN BY. I almost feel guilty being on the internet bc it does not feel like its already Wednesday. Wow. Mother- a recipe for cheesecake? (I mean, an EASY recipe for cheesecake? Its something SR wants to try)... I have now resorted to just making yogurt cakes for treats to take people- If I remember correctly...no, I cant remember. Ill send the recipe next week.

Nelsons getting baptized!!!!!!! Hes the man from the Philippines who was at Beths house; we went there to teach her, and he was there fixing a fan and he listened in, so we invited him to hear the lessons and hes the most faithful in attending church and coming to english class. Anziano Hale and Anziano Mickelsen taught him last week because we werent able to make it, and they set a date for Sept 11!! They called to tell us and we immediately called Nelson and asked if he could change it to the 4th; that way itll happen before transfers and SR will be sure to see it. We are so happy! We taught him several commandments yesterday- he just has to give up some wine which isnt a problem for him. Hes SO ready.

Maria wanted to set a date last week in the presence of her finace, but something with her stomach is wrong so we havent been able to meet with her all week....

All the missionaries were to spend the 14, Ferragosto (a holiday) in their apartments cleaning EVERYTHING. We did it thursday bc we managed to get some appts for the 14- We started cleaning at 6:30 am and finished towards 6:30 pm. I noticed some mold in the shower so I scrubbed it and called Elder Burt, in the office; he gave me permission to buy some chaulk and a gun. We ventured out and looked for a ferraments, where we bought the supplies. Grandpa- thanks for all the times you asked if I wanted to help you do odds and ends in the garden. I remember a few years ago when there was a leak in the wood box out front in the middle of the roses- you just wrapped tephlon tape (is that whats its called?) around it and it did the job....SO, when we saw that our washer machine leaks, I knew what we needed! We bought tephlon tape and it did the job. Sorella Riffaldi is amazed at how I knew these things- I didnt let her in on the fact that Im, in general, quite clueless, but I feed off of the knowledge of others to make myself appear smart. It works!

The assistants have been in Sardegna for the past few days and they are returning tonight, with an item of high importance--- WORM CHEESE! I didnt know it existed till Richard Madsen, who served here, told me about it- we are getting it tonight and having a ceremony of eating live worms. I will definitely take pictures and try to capture the experience next time I write. Last night, at a members home (the Zapatas) they made us rice alla cocacola (rather than putting in water to cook rice, you put in coke to give it a sweeter taste) and they added all sorts of vegetables and meat, including LOTS of mini octopus legs (arms?). They looked like lizard tails- I tried chewing my first- it wasnt pleasant, so I sent the next dozen down whole. I know Im blessed in this aspect. I usually cant swallow pills on the first attempt, and there I was sending down pen-size octopus legs without choking or making a scene.
We know the worms will be bouncing in our mouths, but I think Ill be able to send them down whole too.

This week we went to see Patrizia, a middle-aged woman who lives at a phsychiatric house. Id never met her prior to going, but she calls an average of 3 times a day to ask when we were going to visit her. SR had been once and it took all day to get out there, but seeing that we had the car, we went and it turned out to be better than I imagined. We sat on a bench and read 3 Nefi 17 together, and the chapter became alot more real to me. There we were, surrounded by people with "afflictions" and while we took reading the story, it really made me wonder at how wonderful it must have been to have been there and to witness Christ heal the sick and bless the children. I dont think Ill ever read that story again without thinking back to sitting there with Patrizia. I can just hope and try to be better at treating everyone as who they are- children of God, who have just as much divine potential as I do. We are in this together; lets all try a little harder at extending a hand of relief to those whose "arms hang low". It is in the service of others that we really find what matters most.

Sandras left for Peru for a month; we already miss her. She was a little nervous to go bc her brother was planning on baptizing her....oops. Check that off the list! :) He might be shocked for a minute, but Im sure he will be happy for her.

Well, besides eating octopus, worms, driving past moms exit (Terni...not really moms exit but close enought), and OH! We found someone in the area book, Jackie, who had a bap date last year but cancelled it bc she didnt want to move out from her boyfriends place. Well, we met with her yesterday and wed jokingly planned on convincing her to either break up or get married- she said herself that she could happily head home, pack up her bags, and walk out the door. Apparently, shes been with him for a year but only bc shes lonely- she doesnt care for him in any way and wants to tell him the truth, but shes afraid that hed fall back into depression if she did, so she is going to wait till she has her ticket for Peru, tell him shes gone, and head out the door..........uh....like thats not going to crush him? Oh dear. Well. Not how we expected things, but we have some work to do with her. How important it is to be honest with others- it would save everyone alot of heartbreak and anguish. ayay. times up- SR wants to see some sights in Rome, so we are going to pick up Anz Hale and Mickelsen and go to the colosseum and a few places where Paul and Peter preached.

Con affetto, and buona settimana
Slla Urban :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Letters and Packages

August 13, 2010

Dear Missionary Families,

We know that missionaries love to receive emails, letters and packages from home. We realize how important it is for missionaries to feel loved and remembered. However, the recent combination of the Rome and Catania missions has made delivering packages to your missionary more difficult and time consuming. The logistics involved are very challenging.

For this reason, we have the following recommendations. (With Christmas shopping season not that far away, we think this information is especially important.)

1. The most efficient way to send letters and packages to your missionary is to send them directly to him or her at the apartment in which your missionary is currently living (see address below) instead of to the mission office. Quite a few parents are already doing this with good results. The reliability of the mail varies from city to city. You might want to start by sending a letter directly to your missionary's current address. If he or she receives it in a timely way, you could then try sending a package.

2. If you mail a package directly to your missionary, it is best to do it early in the transfer cycle. Our next three transfers are scheduled for September 10th, October 15th and December 3rd. You should try to mail packages at least four weeks before the next transfer date.

3. A great alternative is to put money on your missionary's debit card. Many missionaries have commented on how much they enjoy this type of gift. This way, your missionary can choose his or her own gift from you, without any of the expenses and risks associated with mailing.

4. If you decide to send a package, please consider using a large padded envelope rather than a box. They come through the mail as letters. They are more likely to be delivered quickly without additional charges. Also, keep these guidelines in mind: The sender is required to make an honest declaration of the total cost of the items contained. Once your package arrives in Italy, an importing tax is often tagged on if the total declared exceeds $49 and if the description of items says: shoes, medication, vitamins, cosmetics, soap, deodorant, lotion, toothpaste or dental items. This is just a partial list of items that seem to accrue a customs tax. These fees are sometimes quite exorbitant and exceed the value of the items sent.

5. If you feel you need to send a box to the mission office, please remember that smaller boxes are easier for us to deliver.

Thank you for carefully considering these guidelines. Please share these guidelines with any extended family and friends who might be sending packages to your missionary.

We love your missionaries and are grateful for the privilege of working with them.

Best personal regards,
President and Sister Kelly
Italy Rome Mission

Via Incisa in Val d’Arno, 9
00138 Roma, Italia

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pres Kellys reformation

(The net cafe that we are at has figures of naked women on the outside doors holding the things that farmers use for hay...what are they called?! We almost wanted to take off our tags when we stepped in....ah!)

Pitchforks! I remembered.

Besides suffering nasal and brain damage (there is so much cigarette smoke in here! Grandma, no fears. Its only a slot machine place), things are going swell here. The Anziani were at the net cafe that we usually go to, so we took a bus 40 min towards Termini and we bounced off to write emails- in a little bit we are meeting up with the Anzi of R1 and the slle of R3 and Carolina, one of our investigators, at Villa Borghese, which is a huge park and we are going to rent these peddle-bike\carriage things :) THEN we are heading to a mall to help the Crawfords, a senior couple, to get set up with internet, and then we have a dinner appointment to wrap up this lovely Wednesday.

While we were returning home from our shopping trip this morning, I found myself strolling my granny cart behing another granny with her granny cart- it made for a good picture.

We had an appt with Katerina on Thursday, which means that we learned even more about the woes of menopause. At DDM, (district something meeting) we meet with the Elders and the office couples and we talk about our work and ask questions. A few times SR (sorella Riffaldi) and I have come close to turning to Sister Burt and asking her if its really as bad as Katerina makes it out to be. I can just imagine her expression though... so we have managed to refrain so far.
We taught her the Restoration (shes heard all the lessons but awhile back) and then asked her what she thought about the Book of Mormon. She scowled at us and said "Its been 4 years, how do you expect me to remember?!" SR said "We just barely finished talking about it!" Katerina looked at her and said , "Well, how am I supposed to remember what you talk about?" Ah. This time it wasnt me who started laughing, but SR. And then I joined it. And she asked what we were laughing about, and SR turned to me and all I could say was "bc we are happy that we dont have menopause" and she just nodded. Katerina is hilarious. Last week I called her to set up an appt and she was going thru the regular complaints of how hot it is (SR and I are excited to see what shell talk about once winter arrives) and I was trying to be sympathetic and she said that I couldnt understand bc Im not 50.

After she left, we decided to take a minute to explore where we were. The bridge we were at is called Ponte Milvio (?) and its where lovers go to lock a locket and throw the key into the river beneath. What did we do? We bought a locket and made a video as we wrote our names on the lock , snapped it onto the rail with its 100.000.000 other lockets, and threw the key into the river. We plan on returning in 2030 to commemorate the moment. We thought it was silly (but fun) and then we found out that some of the Anziani have done the same thing with their companions, so we dont feel so bad. A few people passed while we were doing it and they gave us questioning glances, to which SR would say "even just friends can do this!" and theyd laugh and continue walking. I think we cleared up any questionable thoughts they may have had. To wrap up the romantic afternoon, we had a Chinese lunch. We found ourselves at Termini with an hour for lunch, so SR and I meandered around and walked into a supercheap but really elegant restaurant. It was a good finale- the only thing missing was a candle.

We had interviews on Monday and Zone Conference was yesterday. I translated from 10-5. The longest Zone Conference of my life. Towards the end I would do the strangest things, like translate italian to italian (some Italian elders would make a comment and I would repeat it in different words into the walkie talkie)........ay ay. During interviews, Pres asked me to talk about our work so I was and we were talking about some of our investigators- how they live a distance away and it takes time with the mezzi (public transportation) to get around- and he suggested we use the assistants car. Um, ok :) The assistants dont use the car that often, so its up for our disposal. SR is SUPER excited to drive, and Im .... a little nervous. Shes well known for her love of speeding, and shes never driven a big car (its a mini van). Id ask to be the designated driver, but I dont know how to drive shift, so SR is going to teach me on Friday before our appt, and we will take turns driving once I learn; per forza she has to teach me because, when she leaves, its most likely that my comp wont know how to drive shift. Its going to be good- the best part is that it shows President trusts us.

President also wants us to start doing exchanges with the other sorelle. Its something thats never been done before, but ...he thinks itd be good and it would add a little...variety :) The exchanges are 24 hours- SR dreads them but I think theyll be fun. At least you know theres a time limit if it turns out to be not the best experience :)

One of the wonderful discoveries of the week was a mini shopping cart! We were walking home and we passed a dumpster and there it was- not even reaching my knees. SR and I immediately fell in love with it and we unanimously agreed what had to be done with it, but SR was too self-conscious, so I pushed the cart home (literally doubled over) and its now parked in our hallway. Im thinking of bringing it home next year to Moms place- I can see a plant sitting in it near the shed :)

We got to see Tommy, Dera, and Alex last week! It was fun spending a few hours with them and looking thru pictures and catching up on what theyre up to in life. Alex is big but not as big as Lenora made her out to be. You just wait Lenora. Your babies are going to be skinny and long. Id take Alex any day :) haha

Last week, we called Merli from the area book, an ex investigator, and we met up with her at the mall. We sat on a bench and started talking about the restoration in English (shes from the Philippines) but after a minute, SR turned to her husband, whos from Egypt, and taught him in Italian. The lesson went well and so I continued to the Plan of Salvation and I was using SRs little primary images, and I had them laid out on the pavement infront of our bench. (This is right outside a huge mall and there are people everywhere) and I saw a man stop to look at what we were doing. I invited him over and he is also from Egypt; his names Amin. We set up an appt for the day after, and we asked the Anziani to go with us bc we felt like he had the potential of being a little viscido (creepy) but I mean that in the best sense of the word...like, he insisted we get a cup of coffee and although Im sure he only wanted to be friendly, just how insistent he was bugged me, and THEN when we started to walk home, he stopped in his car and offered a ride. We turned him down not once, not twice, not even three times, but 5 or 6 times! There was a line of cars behind him!
When we met up with him with the Anziani, he said "yesterday you (pointing at me) looked scared. why? why were you scared?" Oops.. I thought I mastered masking my emotions......... I told him I hadnt been scared, but that I didnt appreciate how insistent he was,.....I thanked him for the offer, but told him that when we say no, its no. He said he understood, and then he asked if we could get a drink. We said no, and there he went again and insisted half a dozen times. I need to inform myself on his culture- maybe its normal to be like that? I cant necessarily say the lesson went well because with each principle that we taught about the Plan of Salvation (we decided to start with that bc his wife died last year), he said "I already know this. Just bc Im Muslim doesnt mean I dont know anything. I know this". I saw Anziano Hales eyebrows shoot up when he said this, and afterwards, as we were walking home (it was more like cross country trekking for 40 minutes. They thought they knew a shortcut home- I felt like we were paving a new trial in a prickly desert.....they did manage to get us home, and it was fun.) he said "Did you know he was Muslim?"
"Yeah,....so?". He informed me that we arent supposed to teach Muslims because its too risky for them- if they were to be baptized, they could be killed by their family.
Well, now I know. Who knows if the Elders will keep seeing him.

In closing, I just want to share a thought on setting goals. In Zone Conference yesterday, the assistants asked us to close our eyes and imagine that we were on a run-down raft. We had an oar, but we were surrounded by water on all sides and could see no land in sight. How hard would we row, and which direction would we go? They then told us to now imagine some land in sight- now, how hard would we row, and in which direction? With something in mind, with a goal set, it gives us something to work towards. Even if it seems too distant or too hard, it can be done, one stroke (paddle?) at a time.
Pres Kelly gave us each a new copy of the Book of Mormon and told us that we have till the end of November to read it. We were all very excited- IM excited. He told us we had to read it in the language we understand best, so now I dont have to feel guilty when I read something in English.
Set goals!

Sorella Urban

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Send the cherry fairy my way!!!!!

Whoever this cherry fairy is, send her my way! Or apricot fairy, Im not very picky. (Maybe grape?) Im living off of Fiji apples (I think Ive finally decided whats my favorite apple, besides Melinda golden) and peaches here and there. Unfortunately, the watermelon craze died off at 14.... we picked up yogurt though ;)

Well. I cant necessarily say that Im in a bad mood, but Im not in the BEST mood Ive ever been. I need to learn my lesson and stop praying to develop christlike attributes, like patience. Everything that could possibly go wrong has gone wrong, and its only 10:00 am. Oh dear.
When I logged on and saw that I have insurance forms to fill out, etc, I nearly logged back off. ay ay..... :)
Sorella Nelson left for Americaland (as she would say) this week, and I feel like somewhere in Milan, a piece of my heart was chipped off when her flight took off.

What happened this week?
We were on a bus when it stopped to pick up some people, and all of a sudden, the poopiest smell (thats the only word I can think of to describe it, because it was OBVIOUSLY poop) flooded the bus and just as I was feeling a giggle start to bubble, EVERY SINGLE PERSON on the bus jumped up and fled to a window. They all yanked them open and some of them stuck their heads out. Seeing that I have a "slower" companion, it was about this point that she turned to me with a slight crinkle to her nose and asked me if I smelled anything. Uh........maybe she hadnt connected the dots that everyone was, at this point, half stuffed outside of the windows.
With our missionary luck, the "culprit" or source, sat directly infront of us. (mind you, with all the windows open so the air was all in our face) and the bus driver immediately floored it bc he probably thought that the faster he went, the odor would get pushed out of the bus.
Then........to make matters more awkward (I dont think I have to mention that this entire time Im fighting laughter) we spot Pietro behind us, an investigator. We moved to sit with him, chatted about the stink (he brought it up) and then just as the air was clearing and my lungs were no longer burning (some people were starting to struggle getting themselves unwedged from the windows and returning to their seats) the man got up and the stench returned. He got off, and as Slla Riffaldi noticed, his pants "seemed a little heavy". So thats the poop story of the week. (Do I write about poop every week? I dont think so.....)

I saw Sorella Foote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We took a nursing course together, and bc we had sorella Tinoco with us, we had to drop her off at the Villa and we met all the new arrivals. Its so neat having Sorella Foote in the field, even if she went to the heel of Italia.

Sorella Riffaldi made pane penelle- a paste made with flour from cecci, and then you fry it and stick it in bread like a sandwich- and on day two, our kitchen smelled like Nair. (hair removal cream). It made me think of when Mom and Dad were in Austria and Marianna came to babysit us and she didnt realize the purpose of Nair and had slathered Nair all over her body, INCLUDING her face. HAAAA!

Yesterday on a bus, a man asked us if we were Jehovahs witnesses. No. He listed off a few other groups, to which we said no, and then he said "well, youre the prettiest Satanists Ive ever seen" and then he got off. Why, thankyou.

I got a letter from Max- hes been home from his mission for 3 months, and hes applying to BYU Hawaii. Sabina is in Moscow doing a mini mission :)! Im afraid that I still havent been wiped completely out of his future :S

The Sommerfeldts (senior couple from Draper) left this week. They live about a spit away, so we went over and helped make a few phonecalls about their internet contract, and washed windows and cleaned fridges. The Crawfords moved up from Catania and have moved into their place- theyre so nice! I am going to miss Anz Sommerfeldt throwing water down on us from the balcony, but Im sure Anz Crawford will come up with something to carry on.

At dinner at an investigators house last week I was asked "Do you like prosciutto with melon?" I made a little face and said, uh...well, I tried it once and its not my favorite....no. No, I dont really like it. And just then, the mom was pulling out of the fridge..... guess what! A tray of melon with prosciutto. I wouldnt have started laughing emarrassedly (is that a ward?) if it hadnt been for sorella Riffaldi who started laughing. Ah. The rare moments when I think I can control myself from making a situation more awkward, there she goes and destorys the possibility.

The night we cleaned the sommberfeldts house, they took us out for kebabs at a turkish face next door- we were eating and I told them that I remember baklava (a turkish dessert) being really good and that they had to try some at some point. Right then, the owner came out with a plate of baklava to gift us (what is with me and free food?) and bc of what Id said, they dug in and .....hated it. Anz Sommerfeldt acted like Id told him that a squashed rat is a favorite of mine. so again, that was embarassing. Highly reccomending something that turned out to be nasty. Since i cant have sugar till the 19th, I couldnt try it, but hey, it was made by a turk. It has to be good!

The scoop of this week------------- we are on a time crunch now bc we are meeting with Maria (the 20) in church soon.... today we are going to talk about being honest , and I imagine that it will go something like this: "Maria, you have been engaged to Roberto for almost a year. Youve been dating him for 2. Your mom knows you have a friend who is 15 years older than you, but your dad suspects that there may be something between you. The age thing is of no importance, BUT, you have to tell your parents! AND, we would like to teach you about the law of chastity. You need to move out ASAP."
ay ay ay. She wants to tell her mom about Roberto AFTER the wedding.... that she wants to have in church. Im not sure I can help organize a wedding with a clear conscience. I cant imagine raising a daughter and dreaming of the day shell get married, and then have her come up to me and tell me she got married behind my back bc she was afraid Id not accept the groom. ?!!?!?!?

We also went to a Leukemia Hostel (hotel place where people stay if they have to stick around for awhile) to meet up with a few people that Slla Riffaldi met up in Milano while they were getting treated there. They invited us down to the sala, a game room, and they gathered up the others who live in the house, and we all sat around a table and they bombarded us with questions. We miraculously were able to teach about the restoration and the plan of salvation, and that was the most touching part. All the moms cried and it really makes me so grateful for my health and the knowledge the gospel provides. We looked them in the eye and told them that they can be with their loved ones for eternity; the kids are so brave. Most of them were nothing but skin and bones, and yet, their eyes shined while we spoke. We are going back this week bc they each want a copy of the book of mormon. I usually dont appreciate my health till Im sick, but meeting with them made me realize also how important living the word of wisdow is. Its not just not smoking, drinking, etc. It goes beyond that- I hope we all will find ways that we can improve out eating and exercise habits to show how grateful we are for our bodies.

I need to wrap this up. Maria awaits :) Theres so much I want to write and share- maybe therell be time in the eternity .....

Sorella Urban