Seeing that its alot easier writing in bullet points....:
Last Wed night, we had the primary program at our house. It went well despite it being just the 8 of us, and I think each of them were at some point or other in our kitchen. Meee. (strange sound that Sicilians make that Im getting to like). Pres. Porteras family brought a pandoro (italian christmas cake) and they gave it to me to prepare- under the watchful eye of their youngest daughter, Lucrezia (Im making a list of names I definitely DO NOT want to use for my children, and Lucrezias at the top of the list!) I tore open the plastic bag around the pandoro and out fell a packet of powdered sugar. Ooops. Lucrezia was sweet enough to point out that I shouldnt have tore the bag and now "How will you put the sugar on?" Ah ha. Thats when the dormant part of my brain kicked in (Mom, "I like to use both sides of my brain" :) ) and I managed to avoid breaking the cake as I put it into a cardboard box, poured the sugar into it, and then shook it. It worked! But the best part was proving to Lucrezia that I can redeem at least some of the stupid things I do. I could just tell from her expression, "Oh, Americans arent that stupid."
Friday, Christmas Eve. We drove to the train station and seeing we had a few minutes before the Elders arrived, we walked to the beach and somehow I cut my finger open, so SR told me to wash it off in the water....I carefully approached the water and bent down, waiting for a little wave to roll back towards me, but a giant wave came instead and washed me up to my ankles. I stood there and laughed, and SR apparently got it all on video. Now I have salt marks on my new pair of shoes, so I switched to my old pair because Ive been too lazy to shine them, and ... I have mold marks. haha.
The Anziani from Trapani (one of the three points of Sicily) arrived, went to Angelas and interviewed her, ate Mexican Chef Salad burritos (Liria, Antonios sister (the man who always feeds le sorelle) was there with us and she kept suggesting what I needed to do for the salad. Like adding salt into the meat. I love how blunt I can be with people here. I was able to flat out tell her that Id made it before and knew how to make it and she didnt have to tell me how to make it (of course, in a nice way) and she understood and shut up. I think I was made to live among Sicilians. Theres really nothing I could say that would offend someone, just if I didnt eat what they give me.
When we walked into Angelas house, Liria said "I have to talk with Anz Rolland!" and pulled him into a different room. A few minutes later they emerged, and Anz R asked if he could speak with me. Liria had told him ALL of Angelas problems and said that she wasnt ready for baptism. He went ahead and interviewed her and the baptism is... still on? ... for tomorrow, but Angela needs to live the law of chastity! So maybe its not going to happen tomorrow. We dont know, and we have been trying to meet with her but she went to a different city for Christmas and yesterday when we were supposed to meet, she had to go to the emergency room for ...........drumroll..........her toe. A toenail had fallen off.
SR and I made stockings for eachother; shed always used tights because "they can fit more!" so we did. It was alot of fun carrying our stockings to our bed and taking turns opening them. We just got alot of junk food for eachother. And I bought her a thing of shaving cream so now she has no excuse. Now I just need to lock her into the bathroom or strap her into the tub. She thinks we have bed bugs (which the sister prior to us did :S) bc she feels something biting her legs- I told her to save her lamenting till AFTER the shaves to see if the bed bugs stop biting. I know its just her hairy legs.
We went to bed and I started to not feel so well..........
and Christmas was spent in our bedroom. It was killing me the thought of having just one christmas in the mission and spending it under 10 blankets, but the thought of going out wasnt appealing. We did have a lunch invite with the Purparis to eat pig head pasta, which might have played a role in my decision to not go.......
We talked with our families and then SR dressed up in a Santa outfit and sang hymns for me while tring to keep the moustache on her face.
A couple members stopped by the wish us a merry christmas and they found out I wasnt feeling too well, so on the way to church the next morning, this is how the conversation went;
Antonio (we ride with him and Liria) : "Sorella Urban, if I may be so intrusive to say... you know what you have to do for your diarrhea? Eat white rice or bananas. Actually, I dont think you should be upset over having diarrhea. I consider it a blessing when I have it because I usually have a hard time going" and this whole time is looking in the rearview mirror at me, and Lirias next to him, nodding. Who said I had diarrhea? SR hadnt said anything about why I wasnt feeling well! But that wasnt the best part.
Guess what was said over the pulpit?
"Thank you all for coming today. We are happy to see Sorella Urban with us, and hope that she can get over her upset stomach soon and that she can soon eat food without it giving her problems. (then turns and looks at me) You know what you should eat? White rice or bananas. Theyll help you get over the diarrhea. We will now sing hymn number.........."
yes. It really happened.
And I had to then stand up and go play the keyboard.
And then Daniele and Renzo and Nino, (why all men?!) each asked me a dozen times how I was doing.
Guess what Antonio handed me during English class last night? A bag of bananas. Really? Why did everyone jump to that conclusion? Oh well. And everyone has been asking me how Ive been and all I have to say is "SR made me white rice" and they all nod their head approvingly. Its easier just to go along with it. The moral of the story? Be grateful your bowel movements havent been announced from the pulpit during sacrament meeting.
After church, since we unfortunately missed out on eating pig head, we went to the Purparis and ate pig thigh lasanga. Luckily, since everyone knew quite well about my upset stomach, they didnt force me to eat anything. We then drove to their piece of land in the countryside and Vito showed us his plans of what he will do with the land. He and his wife, Lina, and their son Daniele (who brought us a bag of a green plant that looks alot like dandelions but they boil, fry, and then eat them- the last bag he brought, I boiled them and made an omelet. I cant help but feel like a cow most of the time) disappeared for a second and SR and I peed behind a rock. One of the most liberating moments of our lives. I almost felt back at Marvine, except for being in a skirt.
On Sunday night there was a little bit of drama with Francesca- she moved out of Ninos house and is now back with her "husband". Theyre still techinically married but hes under police watch becuase of the things Francesca filed against him. He had a dream that he had to go save her from her current situation, and Francesca believes him and has moved into a different house where he comes each night in the dark and in secret, to deliver some food for her.
Last night, Pres. Portera wanted to see where she lived so we went with him to her place and then she wanted to "confess" and Pres begged us not to leave him alone, so we sat on the stairs and tried to not eavesdrop while they talked. She needs to gain 4 more kilos and then shell not be considered anorexic. Whenever we are with her, we bring cookies or something and make her eat it. I love Francesca- she has the faith and humility of a child.
While we were at the track running (we found a "track" here in Mistretta that we have started going to during our lunch hour, seeing that SR is incapable of functioning at 6:30 am) we met a Mario who has met with Elders in the past and invited us to come over to meet his family. YAY! We found his record in the area book last night, and we are really excited.
Yesterday, we stopped at Lirias and she said that she and Antonio can give us rides, but now refuses to give a ride to Angela because "shes so big and heavy that she broke the motor". ?!
It makes me think---------what are some stupid things I do or say that limits me?
Now we have to find Angela a ride to church. Sonia could, but she doesnt want to come bc of Francesca.
No one else has a car.
.... MIstretta has alot of problems, but I am loving it here.
I am so excited that I have one more week with SR and then, on the 5th, Ill pick up Carla in Catania and get to serve till the end of Feb with her. A whole transfer and more!!! Im excited to spend the coldest winter months with her. hehe. What precious memories we will make here together. If I had a blast in London and that was just 10 days, I cant imagine being companions with her for 7 weeks.
On Monday, we got a delivery. THe postman pulled out a box that I thought was a new fridge- it was a package from the Riffaldis. We now have matching pjs- mines flaming orange. I feel like a mandarino in it.
Last night as I was in bed writing in my journal, I looked down and saw a giant, black spider crawling up me. I wailed and think I tossed it to SRs bed and she came out of the bathroom and we TURNED THE ROOM OVER looking for it. We couldnt find it so we moved our beds. bahaha. It reminded me of sitting on the lawn at Grandpas house with Carla and Lenora and they suddenly looked at my neck, jumped up, started screaming, and pelted off. I do not like spiders on me.
We were speaking with someone and somehow we got on the topic of names and I asked "Nerina, do you like the name Nerina?" and she got this face and shook her head. haha. Then SR said "Do you like the name Noemi?, its better, isnt it?" and they both nodded. Why grazie :)
Ok. We need to run off and go....home. I think we are going to go pack a picnic lunch, come back to santo stefano and eat lunch on the beach, and then go to Sant Agata to look for shoes for SR. Her mom sent her the UGLIST shoes. We both were horrified as we pulled them out of the box. To make her feel better, I put on brown tights with my black skirt and shoes. Thank goodness we dont run the risk of bumping into Pres Kelly here.
Vi voglio bene. Happy new year!