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Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Being a missionary entails a variety of responsiblities, including decorating your companions planner. Sorella Riffaldi stripped me of mine and snuck in the kitchen to work her magic, and Im very happy with what she did with it. Seeing that we are eating a lot of yogurt this tranfer, she glued (theres this fly thats been driving us up the wall, and SR smacked it and it started buzzing around on her keyboard, and I handed her my planner and she finished it off. We horrayed victoriously and the few people in here started laughing. Im glad we are entertaining to some) the lid of a strawberry yogurt onto the front cover, and on the back she taped a section of map of the vatican city, where we got lost last pday.
Because decorating someones planner is not to be taken lightly, I cut pieces of a photocopy of our faces (NOO....we do NOT photocopy our faces at the Mission Office!) and my smashed nose and her swollen mouth fit nicely into a heartshaped front cover. I will have to send a picture.

The best thing about the week is that Nelsons getting baptized on Saturday!!! Sorella Riffaldi is practicing praying in English, and little by little, she adds in a new phrase here and there. We both will be giving talks at his baptism in English- we both hope not to butcher it.

Maria, the 20 who wants to marry Roberto (36) against her parents wishes, disappeared. We called and called and got super nervous- its never a good thing when someone preparing for baptism falls off the edge of the earth. We recieved a text from her late Saturday night, saying that she wasnt responding to our phonecalls because shes going through a rough time. Agh ;( We had never been out to her house because she lives out in the middle of nowhere, but we decided that it was time to go find her since she wasnt coming to us. We left Monday after district meeting, and we had sketchy directions- a train and a few buses later, we were instructed to walk "down down" to get to her apartment complex. Down translates to DOWN. It was the steepest, longest hill Ive ever seen. But, that didnt Sorella Riffaldi from spotting some ripe figs (having long legs comes with a price- I had to be the one to jump the pokey bush to reach up into the sticky brances for some figs) and I was picking some blackberries when SR screamed and raced away. She said "mouse mouse!" so I parted the bush and there was a giant rat. What mouse? Shed have been closer if shed said "cat". Id have sent it home to Lenora but it probably would have put up a struggle; there is a smashed rat on the sidewalk near our house, and every day it gets flatter and less hairy- its almost fossilized. Maybe I can peel that off the sidewalk and use it to patch a hole in our bathroom wall- its definitely stiff enough.

Where was I?

Oh! So, we came up to the apartment complex and before we even started looking at all the house names, I saw someoneo outside on a balcony- it was Maria! She spotted us and started at us, shocked. Then she ran inside and opened the door. She was so happy to see us- Roberto wanted a "break" and a combination of health problems has dampered her spirits, and she didnt want us to see her sad. She offered a beautiful opening prayer, thanking Heavenly Father for answering her request- that morning, shed asked Him to give her a sign that He loved her, and then we showed up- without knowing how to find her, etc. ;) We spent some time visiting with her, and then she took us on a tour of the city, Cappena. Its a beautiful little town- I dont know how I could ever be happy living back in Provo after seeing all the fantastic places others live in- crowded apartment buildings that teeter on the side of a canyon- every day would be an adventure, never knowing if your house would still be there after you returned from shopping.

At the end of Pday last week, we had the car so we went to Prima Porta to see Carolina, whos 16 and ready for baptism but doesnt see the need for it bc she was baptized when she was 5. We jumped over the fence like we usually do, and then at her door we heard lots of noise and laughter coming from inside. We rang and I was tempted to smash my face up close to the peep hole to give someone a pleasant surprise when they looked out, but I managed to control myself. The dog started barking and I saw that someone was looking at us from inside bc the little sunlight dot went dark.....stayed dark....no door opening.....and then it went back to light....but still no noise or answer from within. We rang again and I called Carolinas cell a few times, but she didnt pick up. It made us feel a little rubbed in the dirt, like wed been prese in giro (made fun of). All we could do was head back to the car and leave. We saw her yesterday, and she said that no one was home. Hmmm. Still.

We had guests this week! The Marcuccis are a senior couple from Colorado. They arrived a few weeks ago and theyve been called here as proselyting missionaries- while they learn the langauge, theyll be working in the office and along with us missionaries. They had to come over to check our apartment, so we invited them over for lunch on Friday, and it was funny how stressful it was prepare for guests. Id put away all of the extra utensils and plates bc its just us two- we had to hunt for four chairs and enough nutella cups to serve us. If Sorella Riffaldi is learning one thing from me, its to experience with cooking. Shes never strayed from a recipe before, so Im helping her discover the delights of throwing in randome ingredients and the suspense of how itll turn out. Its never a good idea to experiment when expecting company, so we did ;) And it turned out quite well! (We just made pasta with a sauce that we added random things to it, like sausuage rolls from a Philippino member and sugo from Sorella Salsiccia). They checked the house to make sure it was safe, and installed a carbon monoxide detector. We have a few shelves that are loose on their hinges, but it was easily fixed when I whipped out my Gerber. (Thanks Tommy!)

Oh! We had a sleepover on Sunday night with the Rome 1 Sorelle from Ladispoli. Brother and Sister Allen are here in Rome on vacation; Bro Allen is the head of the Missionary Department, and he spoke at the MTC while I was there. The Rome Zone is super lucky bc we were the only ones that were invited to the Villa (where President lives). It was more like a question\answer thing. It was amazing. I walked out of there wishing I could start the mission over. Theres so much work to be done and so much to improve on! He made us some astounding promises which we are striving to work towards- its all conditional. Sorella Riffaldi and I have a renewed determination to do better. We have about 10 days together- on Sunday, we will find out what changes the next transfer will bring. ay ay ay. I know that whatever happens will be good. I didnt want to leave Firenze or Sorella Nelson, but now I couldnt have asked for it to have been different. Whatever comes will bring its blessings and trials, and something to learn and master.
Sorella Jones and Buckholtz were probably hoping for a fun time together, but we got home with little time to spare, and the next morning, I had to prepare for the training I was giving and we had to write letters to the President, etc, so......I dont think they had too much fun being with us. Maybe theyll ask the Rome 3 sorelle to use their home next time. haha. One good thing was that we werent bothered by mosquitoes that night- they were all in the other room with our company!

We are teaching a new investigator, Yolanda. Shes a contact from the Assistents- we met with her on Friday and she is so nice. Shes from Equador and she is here alone, working to tirare avanti la famiglia...pull the family forward. She went with us to a baptism on Saturday, and she remembers that her parents were baptized into the Mormon church. !!! Its always a wonderful thing when the investigator has a friend or family member whos a member. We are excited about her potential.

The church bells are ringing and the Anziani will be here soon to do email, so we need to free up the computers. Im learning lots and hoping to remember it all, and at least apply a small percentage of it into my life. Journals are priceless. Are you keeping a journal? If not, start today.

Sorella Urban

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