Well, Mistretta, Sicily it is. "Hello President!!!" (The saturdays we recieve transfer calls are always the longest. He had called me in the morning and I thought it was because he already knew where he was sending me, but it was just to ask about some other sorelle..... and then he finally called us at 20:00 and S. Askew and I stopped in our tracks (we were on our way home, walking in the rain) and I stuck him on speaker phone for SA)
"Hello Sorella Urban....etc. etc. You are going to Mistretta, Sicilia to be with Sorella Miller. When she dies in two weeks (Catania and Roma are still on different transfer schedules) you will be getting a new companion but I dont know who it will be yet."
I squeal and thank him and then he goes on to tell me that it is the city where every Sorella requests to go- its a beautiful little city near Mt. Etna, and its said to come from the Beauty and the Beast movie. Ahh. Im excited.
Itll only be Sorella Miller and I in that area- we have a car!!! (everyones been telling me "Youre going to gain alot of weight not walking!") and apparently we work alot in other cities as well. We are an hour from Palermo, and I think there are 4 Anziani there. I thought Sicilia would be warm, but Mistretta has snow! So I guess itll be a white Christmas for me after all :) I am so excited. Mistretta has a population of 5,000. Fidene, our neighborhood here in Rome, has more than 11,000. Ill get to know all the old people and know every city dweller by name! Itll be Sipicciano all over again, but smaller!
Sorella Pickett, my MTC companion, is going to come up here and be with Sorella Askew!
Ive finally started wearing the new shoes Dad brought me- breaking in shoes is not my favorite thing, so its a good thing Im going to have a car soon :)
I leave bright and early tomorrow morning. Ive managed to get all my belongings into one suitcase- its not that I have too many clothes, its all the books I dont want to leave behind. Im going to make the trip by train with 2 Anziani and 5 greenies; they arrived about an hour ago and we got to meet them on our way out of the church. It seems like yesterday that I was in their place. Itll be fun having a 10 hr train ride with them and getting to exchange stories and insights. The train pulls in ONTO the ferry where we get off and ferry across to Sicily for 30 min. Ill definitely take pictures. I wonder if I can see Africa from there? :)
Elder Causse is coming next week, so every missionary in Sicilia will be in Catania next Wed for zone conference- Ill get to see Slla Riffaldi and Foote and Anz Larsen from the MTC! Oh, Pres also told me that theres a very good chance Ill get to serve with S Riffaldi again! I feel guilty. I should let others have the wonderful experience of serving with her.
Well. I guess I should stop talking about transfersand talk about some of the things that have happened this week.
Fumi, the Nigerian woman I met on the bus a couple of weeks ago, had a baptismal date and everything was going great....till she called on Sunday and told us she couldnt see us anymore. It felt like Laurent all over again. I could hear her sister in the background making comments against the church, and Fumi was giving excuse after excuse of why she would no longer be able to meet with us. I asked her to stop and think for a moment, and Fumi said that she feels really good meeting with us, but she couldnt....in the end, we got her to agree to talk with us face to face. Our appt was for this afternoon- she didnt come. I seriously underestimate the adversary.
Daniela, the 35 y.o. Italian young woman we met doing house, invited us to come over for breakfast on Tu morning (yesterday). We hurried over and found a bag hanging from her door "To Daniela, From Urban" and took it to mean that it was to me, so I opened it and found ... 2 bags of coffee and a package of pasta, with a note apologizing that she had something come up.
We walked away shocked at how considerate that was of her. Not because she left a gift, but because she even thought to let us know that it was cancelled. Shed lost our number, so that was the only thing she could think of doing. We went back home and I wrote her a letter, and then we slipped it under her door and started ringing door bells, and then Daniela returned! She will be meeting with le sorelle soon. Im so happy. Shes so nice.
Dad, something that you could get me is a copy of General Conference. We still havent recieved them and arent sure if Germany will ever get around to sending them. We have a feeling that we will get them by the time April conference rolls around. Im just yearning to read and hear those talks over again
We saw Nelson yesterday so that I could say goodbye to him. Nelson is my Roman Laurent. I love him. Guess what he brought me? 2 huge mens sweaters and a glittery tshirt that might fit Lillo. I love it! Last month he gave me a mens undershirt that was too big for him- hes bigger than I am, and this undershirt was, no joke, triple XL. He makes me laugh. I wish I could take the sweaters with me, but I have to see what fits in my bag. One of the sweaters Id like to give Andrew, but maybe theres an Anziano who needs it more.
After teaching him about temples, we headed to over to Yolandas. Shed recieved her months wages and gone over to a bank to have the money wired home to Equador. When the account was set up and she pulled out the money, she found that her wallet had been stolen.
700 euro. Her entire months wages gone.
I can see why its a rule that we cant financially help others. My heart goes out to her. I cannot imagine how hard that would be to go through.
And guess what she did as we said the closing prayer and got up to leave? She went to her room and returned with a silver necklace and pendant, and put them into my hand. Thats when I lost it. Yolanda had just lost all her money. She didnt know what she was going to do or how she was going to make it. She could easily pawn that necklace and get something out of it, but she gave it to me. I could only stand there and cry and she cried.
ahh, just writing this is making me cry. It has been incredible serving here in Rome. Last night as I was laying in bed, I thought of all the things that have happened to me here in Rome. First meeting Sorella Riffaldi, walking into the house, meeting Yolanda, meeting Nelson at Beths house, his baptism, Sandra, Gina, ALL these people who have taught me from their incredible faith and example.
I cannot imagine my life without these people a part of it. Im overwhelmed with gratitude for my Heavenly Father who loves me enough to let me be a part of this. To have these people in my life. Its too incredible. Im torn about leaving Rome, but I know that there are many more people out there that Ill learn to love and just have yet to meet.
We spent this morning waiting for a bus that never arrived, so we walked to the mall.......I am looking for things to layer with, and bought some snacks for the trip tomorrow. We went to the church and Fumi didnt come, so we waited around to meet the MTC arrivals. Two new sorelle, and one of them has CRAZY blond hair. Its great. I hope shes the one to go down south- can you imagine being her companion? Finding would be so easy.- just walking down the street and people would stop us to talk!!!
For Thanksgiving we had a scrumptious meal- Before heading up for lunch, we bought bleach and sprayed down moldy parts of the house. Sorella Askew has a raw throat and Ive been lightheaded all week. Thus, she sleeps in the hall on a mattress and Ive been sleeping on the kitchen couch.
On Friday, we went up to Bochignano (a hill city) with all the senior couples and we put on a thanksgiving feast for the english students. It was really fun. I made mashed potatoes, and I have to say so myself...they were delicious. And I made cheesecake. Also delicious.
We talked about Christlike attributes this week in DDM. I think I should concentrate on humility.
Times up. Sorella Askews ready to go. Im not. But thats my life.
haha. WELL. Arrivederci Roma! Next pday will be Tuesday, so please write me on time! AND, seeing that Ill be getting letters every 6 weeks or so,...(I guess I could send my house address, but I feel that its more risky of losing mail that way,...we shall see. Ill check out the mail box and then let you know next week if it passes inspection :) ) maybe you could inform others to write me via email instead of letters :)
p.s. another thing I could use? Taco seasoning! The Urban legend of Mexican Chef salad is spreading across the face of Italia!