Fantastic news- Sorella Squarcia struggled to fit into her jeans this morning. I think she no longer wonders why every missionary gains an average of 10 kilos.
For the past week, we had a wretched smell in the car. Every time we got into the car, we would yelp and roll down the window, even if it meant freezing. We checked under the seats, in the trunk, EVERYWHERE and we couldnt find anything that had crawled in and died. Then, suddenly, the smell vanished. Makes me wonder if we had roadkill stuck to a tire or something. Bo. (Or like the story Lenora shared with me, maybe a cat had been clung to the car for so long that it died and finally one of the potholes we went over shook it off.)
I made TONS of choc chip cookies this past week. The first batch turned out great, and then the dozen batches that followed - the cookies were transparent and flat as a sheet of paper. What? Is? wrong? with? our? oven? Or is it just the baker?
We delivered them in little baggies with the Christmas candy Id recieved- we stopped at the bishops house and no one was home. I noticed a window open, so perched the plate of cookies on the windowsill, and the peeked into the room and saw a shower curtain.
What a nice surprise for them to find cookies in their bathroom.
We recieved the new visiting teaching assignments- out of the 7 companionships, we make up four of those. It continues to amaze me that some have the idea what we are here to just have fun and make memories with the members. No! No! No! Sorelle missionaries have the same call and purpose as Elders do- to find, teach, and baptize! We also walk through puddles, cry after meal appointments, freeze, get doors closed in our faces, etc! But, I am happy we can be of help. I know visiting teaching and home teaching are extremely important. Print this email out and tape it to my forehead if I ever miss a month in the future.
For la Befana (Jan 6th, when a witch delivers candy, like santa clause) we had english class and Francesca told me she was going to bring "modern coal". I thought she was joking when she said shed bring a heater. Francesca showed up with a space heater in her arms- about twice her size. I could just see her walking through Mistretta. Everyone knows she just joined the church. They have good reason to think Mormons are strange :)
Speaking of Francesca: she dreams everything. She told us this past week that she was told in a dream that she is to serve a mission, modify her medication, and that leaving her husband was the right thing to do because she is to marry Daniele Purpari one day. It is astonishing how many people dream responses, dream Christ, dream everything. I almost feel a disagio admitting that Ive never been visited by a heavenly host!
I consider it a tender mercy that Angela doesnt invite us over to eat. Her son just killed two boars (everyone tells us horror stories of how they get chased now and then by these giant, wild pigs. And even the cows are blood thirsty! Our car has dents from when cows have attacked it in the past. I love it!!!) and she had a pan of intestines that she was cleaning out to restuff and fry. ugh.
We went to Nino Purparis house for dinner last night- our appt was at 8:00 which is when English finishes, so we booked it there and enjoyed a quick meal of meatballs, pasta, bread, vanilla pudding, and vegetables (steamed weeds). Nino opened a bottle of what he called "grape juice" but "Sorelle, I think it stayed out a day longer than it should have so Im not going to offer you any because the taste is a little strong." Uh...Nino, wouldnt that be considered wine then?
Ninos been known to give wine to the sisters in the past. Sorella Miller, "Nino, isnt this wine?"
"No Sorelle, I made it yesterday- drink up!"
Sorella Miller did so and "Nino, this doesnt taste like juice. Are you sure?"
Nino lowered his head and said "Sorelle, I didnt even make it myself. my friend brought it to me."
So. We didnt taste his grape juice.
During english class, I have Renzo read outloud and I correct his pronounciation. I was fiddling with my turtle neck and sometimes slipping it over my nose to warm it up, and he stopped and said timidly, "Are you doing that because my breath smells?"
Hes the same one that said he would stop coming to class because he didnt like the fact that Carmello looked at his lips while he read.
I love Renzo.
After class, I offered everyone some american hot chocolate. Antonio commented on how runny it was (Italian hot choc is super dense and can be eaten with a spoon) and guess what? The next morning while we were doing personal study, he rang the doorbell and delivered two cups of "this is Italian hot choc, the way it should be, the way its good". So. I think american hot choc just got snubbed.
Angela was talking and said "13 months of the year I spent there...". No other place would I feel the need to interrupt and clarify how many months are in a year. Im relieved to report that Sicilians are aware that there are just 12 months in a year.
We got a tour of a park here in Mistretta by the member whos in charge of it, Vito Purpari, and he gave us some seeds of this one amazing plant. Id forgotten Id put them in my coat pocket and while I was bearing testimony in a lesson with Angela yesterday, I pulled my hand out of my coat pocked and out fell a poop turd on the table. For a split second I thought "What is poop doing in my pocket?!" and then I realized that it was just a seed thing from Vito. Phew.
We spent ALL day on saturday in the countryside with Eleonora Messina and her family. Shes inactive and lives with her boyfriend and she has 3 kids. We ate ALL day and wanted to do some service for her........ they have alot of cows and we cleaned out their water hole with sticks. It had a bunch of weed and moss in it. It was SO much fun.
We had an amazing lesson with an inactive family, the famiglia Naro. We talked about Alma 32 and how we can gain a testimony on any principle of the gospel.
The church might be moved up to Mistretta. I dont know how I feel about that. Itd be good for everyone here, but I feel like theres so much potential moving the church away. oi io oi.
Its time to wrap up and head out. Tomorrow, we will be going to Catania and picking up my greenie. I mean, verdina. Oops, I meant, new missionary.
Then, I think Carla will fly out Friday morning, and then my new sorella and I will drive back on Friday. Im praying that she can handle adventure.
p.s. We have 2 new investigators- Franco and Tina Battista. Francos sister, Maria, is an amazing member. Yay for new investigators! Tina said she felt really good while we were talking, and we helped her by identifying that it was the Holy Ghost. We promised her that if she did everything we taught her and kept the commitments, that she would find happiness. She said shes willing to try it out.
I think Carla and I are headed to Capo d Orlando or Cefalu to have a picnic on the rocky beach or something. Ill try to figure out how to send pics next week.
p.s. Happy Anniversary Mom and DAD!