1) I realized yesterday that Im a mamma missionaria! Alot of missionaries are into the family tree of a missionary, and ... Anziano Mickelsens my figlio. (I was the senior sorella or his first transfer, which makes me his mom). Im proud of him. He has the most amazing musical talent which makes it a little strange that he is getting transferred down to Sciacca tonight- we all thought hed stick around for the groundbreaking BUT ... missionaries arent invited. Last Thursday night, a member called to ask if we could confirm that the groundbreaking would be the 23rd. We told him we didnt have ANY idea what was going on with the temple, and then on Sunday.. they announced and confirmed! President Monson will be here in 10ish days! As sad as it is not being able to attend, how wonderful it is that its coming!!!! We hear rumors that it should be done June 2013. I think I know where Ill be June of 2013.
2) Sorella Riffaldi is headed to Siracusa, in Sicily. We are taking her to the bus station tonight where shell take off and arrive tomorrow morning at 8:00. Im sure going to miss her. Shell be in the same zone as Anz Larsen (from the MTC) and its KILLING me that I cant send a note with her for him. AHH! Itd be so easy to call up President and say, "Look. I PROMISE Im not romantically interested in him. Can I please just write him?!" but then the words come to mind "read the white handbook". Read the white handbook. Read the white handbook. No use asking President when I already know. Oh well. Therell be plenty of time to catch up later. Its just good to know that I might get to see or Anz Knuteson later on in the mission. President told me to expect staying in the Rome Zone for 5 or 6 transfers, which I would love.
3) I will not miss the humidity. I WILL miss nectarines over the winter. Its weird how things are changing- in this last transfer, Ive been drinking almost half a liter of milk everyday. Who am I? Since when do I drink mik? Mom, youll be proud of me. I make minestre- throw in some verza, peas, carrots and zucchini, etc etc, and then....I dont know how it happens, but it comes out to be a giant pot of hot soup. Sorella Riffaldi believes it to be a sign that Im going to have a huge family.
4) The Sorelle did exchanges from Monday evening to yesterday evening. We met up at Termini and I went with Sorella Bucholtz and Sorella Hansen to Ladispoli. Sorella Bucholtz is from Canada and dies tomorrow. Sorella Hansen is from Utah, shes wonderful, AND she is headed to Sicily tonight as well to be with ....Sorella Pickett!!!!!
Being in Ladispoli was wonderful. I really enjoyed doing scambi, and it was interesing to hear that all the sorelle were sort of dreading it, and they all enjoyed and needed it more than they thought.
We still dont have any baptismal dates or new investigators. We taught a first lesson to Diana, a contact we made on a bus last week,and she was all excited about coming to church the next day with her 8 year old son. We waited in the Piazza for them on Sunday morning to go together, and she nevers showed up and we called a few times but her phone was off. Last that evening, we recieved a text from her that begged us to leave her alone. ??? Oh dear.
Yolanda, a wonderful Equadorian woman we have been meeting with since August, had us come to her house on Sat morning and we felt like we had to teach about keeping the sabbath day holy. She works every Sunday because she is having a house built back home in Ecuador. We invited her to call and cancel work and come to church instead, and it was so touching and such an example to me when she took that step of faith and decided to do what we were asking her to. She called and cancelled work and came to church with us. What great faith in us and in the promises we made to her through the Spirit. I dont know if Id have done the same thing as she did if I were in her shoes. I really am learning so much more than what I am teaching to others.
Its an interesting thing to see missionaries die and the way they behave in their last few weeks as they come to a realization that their mission is about to come to an end. Sorella Bucholtz had 7 months left when I met her, and now......Im in her place. It seems like so long and its so short. Within a moment that day will be upon me, and Ill be looking back on my mission and wondering where the time went. I just hope that I can remember all the things that Ive learned and to apply them. Im trying to do my best to write down everything so that I can remember as I go back and read the things that I reflect on.
With all said and done, I think the thing that has been of greatest comfort and inspiration to me is knowing of the reality of Jesus Christs Atonement. I always underestimate the power and love of it, and the depth of it. He did not only suffer all pain and affliction, but he suffered every doubt, depression, worry, etc. I sometimes feel close to tears thinking of Sorella Riffaldi leaving and how different things will be, and then I am reminded of Heavenly Fathers tender mercy of allowing us to stay together this past transfer. She could have easily been transferred 5 weeks ago, but He knew what I was in need of and let me have it, simply because He loves me.
I am overwhelmed with how many things I am learning and coming to understand at a new and deeper level. Its true that the closer you come to Christ, the more inadequate and stained you feel. I have so far to go. I have so much to improve on, and what great comfort it is that He doesnt expect me to reach perfection in this life. All He wants is diligent effort and impegno. Whats even better is that He has given us things to help us along the way. How many people can say they know they have a Prophet, a Moses, on the earth, who speaks with God. Ah! What amazing blessings. Im amazed at His constant love and patience, and that He continues and always has poured out blessings even when Im ungrateful and unappreciative.
Thank you for your love, your prayers, your letters and emails, and your efforts in serving others and trying to lighten the load of a fellow traveler. We are all searching for happiness- why not help others find some?