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Sorella Urban is not longer in Italy...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Taormina preparation day

A few days ago, we were walking from an appointment to another, and we looked ahead of us and saw 8 adorable piglets roaming around on one side of the grassy hill. I whipped out my camera and started videoing "Lenora...we found you in Mistretta! Ooohh, look how cute they are!" and then as I turn to my left, "Ooh! Hi mamma! .....Wait, arent mammas jealous of their babies?" and the second I said this, the huge pig lowered her head, gave a grunt, and pawed the ground- Sorella Olsen made a strange noise and took off in the opposite direction. I think I didn't even have time for my life to flash before my eyes. I was just wondering what we could protect ourselves with- running around a car? Pigs are dangerous! Maybe it was sorella Olsens terrified reaction, but the monster changed her mind about charging us and just returned to her piglets. I am so glad I have it on video. I will use it to blackmail Sorella Olsen one day.

We have heat! It got to the point where we couldn't stand it any longer and we took action ourselves to getting it fixed. We were so grateful for a tecnico to come that we shared some brownies with him. We can now program without hiding our faces underneath a blanket. It snowed yesterday morning as we were headed out to Catania for Zone Conference. When is spring coming? At Zone Conference, we went over the rules of the mission because the merging of the Catania and Rome missions has brought some confusion. We are now no longer able to recieve emails from anyone but family, and we can't write anyone but family- I'm sorry that this will take more effort for some of you (Amber!) but you'll be blessed for it and I really appreciate your sacrifices and efforts in helping me be obedient.
I am being transferred at the beginning of April, so I will get to serve my last 2 in a new city. I do not want to leave Mistretta but I am excited for the chance to meet, learn from, and help new people. I will be able to leave with a peaceful heart knowing that Sorella Olsen will continue to do much good here as she is doing.

Mom, next week we would like to go to PaternĂ² for preparation day- if you are able to, could you send me info of Nonnos birth, parents or relatives, so that we can go to the comune and look someone up and possibly go find them?

We held a ward fast for missionary work- we asked all of the memebers to pray and write down names of their friends and family. Then, we had a break-the-fast at our house after church. We laughed that we managed to get all of them to come, but most of them arrived with store-bought pastries. We are getting them involved in missionary work, but got them all to shop on the sabbath! We might have an idea as to what to teach next sunday................ :)
It was a really good branch activity. We set up the table and when everyone walked in, the first thing they asked was "Where's the tablecloth?!" We told them we didn't have any, and we thought of doing buffet style. They wouldn't have it. They put towels underneath their plates and all sat around the table. Rather than going around the table and dishing up, they all sat down and each person passed their plate and they ate in rounds. It was the strangest and most laborious meal I've ever been a part of. I am proud to be 25% Siciliana. I am also very proud to be American- I'm getting the best of both worlds. I have to agree with the Americans on their eating habits though- my patriotism for America has finally started to bloom. Americans are really smart and use good reason in doing most things.

Neither of us have recieved mail for a few weeks. We feel like the missionaries in the Best 2 Years- we are thinking about going to the post office and just demanding to be given someone's mail, just any mail. Now that we can't recieve emails outside of family, either the letters will stop completely, or they will pick up. We are hoping for the latter :) BUT I am very aware that once a missionary hits a year mark in the mission, they are almost "dead" so the mentality is "oh, it's no use writing, they'll be back soon anyways". Don't let this way of thinking affect yours. Remember, I'm keeping a careful record of who deserves my full and undivided attention when I get back.
I am completely joking about the mail part. As long as you are safe and happy, so am I. Write Sorella Olsen, though.

We went to Taormina this morning- it is such a beautiful drive. Sorella Olsen and I can't get over how lucky we are to serve here. It is heaven on earth. We could see mainland Italy, the tip of the boot, and we went to a Greek amphitheater and took alot of pictures with the sorella from Siracusa, Sorelle Jones and Salyer. Yesterday, Pres. Kelly gave us permission to take one day of the transfer to dedicate to sight seeing- to take trips that are long distance. We definitely want to go to Siracusa and PaternĂ², and Mt. Etna might have to wait for a later life because there is still alot of snow on it.

Angela and Francesca are doing so well. Angela has finally made scripture study a daily habit and, much to my surprise, loves the Isaiah chapters. We see her every few days, and it is one of the best parts of the week. Our last appt, she got excited over something and hugged and kissed us both, but while she was kissing Sorella Olsen, something or someone went wrong and they basically kissed on the lips. It was the funniest thing. I told Sorella Olsen to get used to it- it happens. I am convinced that's why we can't side-kiss men. Too many would "accidentally" miss. Ew.

Well. Time is up because a bunch of rowdy 8 year olds are waiting for us to teach them the song "I like to eat apples and bananas".

Buona settimana!

I realize I didn't end this letter on the best note. Um........ In Alma 29:1, Alma describes the wish of his heart. He was always so powerful in calling people to repentance because he had it happen to him- he gained his testimony through an angel calling him to repentance. I realize how important it is to figure out the strong points in our testimonies and develop a stronger testimony on principles we don't have much of a testimony of. We've been invited to do so as missionaries, and I think it can apply to us all.

Sorella Urban

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