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.