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Friday, September 10, 2010

Transfer 5

Sorella Riffaldi and I are staying together for this next transfer! We were expecting a call from President last Saturday but it never came...so we called the Assistants and they said that in our case, we had to wait for Pres to tell us. Did that make us anxious! We went over to the Villa to help Slla Kelly organize the death closet (when missionaries leave, they dump basically everything there of the clothes they dont want to take back) and she told us that we would be staying together. We squealed and hugged, and then she said "What do you think about a threesome?"

Sorella Riffaldi didnt have the best experience having 2 American companions while she was at the MTC in Spain, so shes a little nervous about "losing" me to another companion, especially an American.
She wanted to know our thoughts, and we shared with her some pros and cons of being in a threesome, but we were open and willing for whatever President felt was best.
He called us on Monday morning and asked if he could meet with me in the church, so we went and it was a scary moment when Pres closed the door behind me and SRs green face disappeared. The Assistants got her to believe that she was going away, which was very likely.
In short, Sorella Askew from Utah, is joining us tomorrow morning for a 5 week transfer. She has been in Italy for 6 weeks- this will be a good opportunity for SR to work on her English and for S Askew to continue learning Italian. I am:
curious- to see what a threesome will be like.
anxious- bc SR is MOST likely leaving me next transfer
worried- that SR wont take it well if S Askew eats the cheesecake I make. (SR hoards it- she even labels the aluminum foil cover with "Dont touch- private property".
happy- because its definitely going to be different.

We have moved things around to accomodate an extra body- the hours spent in the morning studying will be a little crowded, but that will just help us get to know eachother better ;)

Nelson was baptized and confirmed this past weekend! We only had one member from Rome 2 show up at his baptism. Although we were few in number, there was an incredible spirit there. Sorella Riffaldi did well on reading her written talk in English :) Im so proud of her. I feel like Mushu (from Mulan) seeing his "baby all grown up". Right before his baptism, the missionaries sang Abide with me tis eventide- Nelson had tears streaming down his face. He shared his testimony and could only repeat how happy he was that the missionaries taught him to pray. What an incredible blessing to be a part of seeing the changes for good that the gospel brings in someones life.
He is a member in Rome 1 now, but he called us yesterday, asking when hed see us again. The Anziani from R1 gave us permission to keep seeing him, and we are happy to oblige; I guess it can be considered "sharing" him. Hes just too good for one companionship to enjoy.

Last week I wrote that Bro Allen from the Missionary Department spoke with us at a fireside held at the Villa. One promise he made us was that each companionship had someone in their area book that could be baptized on Saturday, (Sept 4th (Buon Compleanno Papa!). Afterwards, we went through our area book and searched the people who had already been taught all the lessons and been to church at least 3 times. There was Jackie- we called her wanting to set up an appt with her (we call her every night, she is the one who lives with her boyfriend but cant stand him, and has asked us to pester her bc shes too lazy to be good and read\pray on her own free will) and before we could even say anything, she told us that shes going through a rough time right now and that she doesnt want us to contact her anymore, but that she will contact US when she is ready. ;(

We already knew that Maria didnt want to be baptized till after Roberto (her fiance) returns from his trip in a couple of months. Then, on the 2nd, the Zone Leaders called and asked how our work towards the "promised baptism" was coming. We told them that we had tried, but it really boils down to free agency. They encouraged us to keep trying and looking.
When we got off the phone with them, we felt a strong urge to call Maria and read her a verse from Mosiah about baptism. SR called her and shared the verse with her and Maria felt so good and we really felt the spirit strongly. SR asked her to consider getting baptized on Saturday. Maria really wanted to but she wasnt sure, bs shes torn between the love she has for God and the love she has for Roberto. We met with her the next morning, Friday, and she said that she was going to meet with Roberto right after our appt to talk to him about the idea of being baptized earlier. Very long story short, she talked to him and he said that "You can do whatever you want, but Im not happy with it. You should wait for me, but........you can do what you want" so thats exactly what she did. "Ok, I want to get baptized, so thats what Ill do". We were ECSTATIC.
THEN........she bumped into a ward member, and he told her that she shouldnt rush into baptism and that she could do it later this month, so she thought that was better in order to have time to invite people to her baptism. (why do some members get in the middle of things?!) so her baptism was set and announced in church for the 19th, but yesterday we met with her and got it changed to the 18th. We dont like the idea of having her wait a week to be confirmed.
When we met with her yesterday, the assistants lent us the car and we found Cappena (the city) without getting lost. It was incredible, but most incredible was that we finally met and talked with her mom, who adores missionaries and would get baptized if she werent "so old". She finds it hard to cross the barrier of tradition.
Marias family has so much potential. I compare her to Mom- Its my dream to teach and see an Italian family baptized, like Im returning the favor done by the Anziani who, so many years ago, found Mom and her family through door-to-door.

We left at 18:30 to get home in time for our dinner appt- we invited an office couple, the Burts, over for gnocchi alla gorgonzola, but .....SR took a wrong exit, and we got lost. Now, this isnt any normal "lost". We were lost for 2 1\2 hours. (Yes, we had to cancel dinner). It was incredible how incapable we were of finding our way home. It was like we had a shield over our eyes and couldnt use even the most basic sense of direction to orient ourselves.
Finally, we rolled down the window at this one stoplight and we asked a man on a motorino to point us in the direction of either Fidene, Porta di Roma, or Piazza Sempione (3 landmarks where we know where we are). He looked at his watch and then said, "Follow me" and for the next half hour, we followed him to Porta di Roma. We couldnt believe that he, who never having met us, would be willing to take the time and gas to help us find our way. It was incredible. The entire time we were following him we were saying "This man is wonderful. Its no coincidence that we got lost tonight. We were supposed to meet him". He gave us his card and he got our phone number, and we want to go see him tomorrow and take him a joyful message alone with some brownies. Incredible how the Lord puts people in our path.

Well. The Burts are coming over in a few minutes, so we need to sprint down the hill home. Thank you for your letters. Thank you for your prayers and support.
Sempre avanti!

Sorella Urban

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