There are fried pototoes all over my keyboard. This little kid (the son of the Nepalese man who owns this place) hopped from computer to computer and I had to rub tissue over my mouse because it was too slippery from his potato-pizza-fingers!
Well, I am in Rome 3!!! It really is not the prettiest part of the city, but it is different and interesting. On Thursday, Sorella Olsen and I passed by many of the members and friends to say goodbye. The young girls who come to english course gave me a painting of Mistretta. I made 50 banana cupcakes to give to the crazy 8 year olds. We stood outside of Francesca's door and she didn't open till I said "I came to say goodbye". She let us in and we had a lesson and then at the end, I told her I was being transferred. She cried and that's what started my day of being an emotional wreck. We went to Angela's work and said goodbye. We had a good dinner with Nino e Sonia and as we rolled and killed our joints walking downhill towards home, I saw that it was probably a blessing that that was my last dinner appointment and my last time walking down that steep hill. Rome 3 will give me time to "rest and recuperate" so that my body's not completely worn down when I leave.
Friday morning was my questura appointment and it all went very smoothly. We returned to Mistretta and had our last meal of apples and provola cheese. As we were descending the giant staircase, I had Sorella Olsen go in front of me because I was going slowly, taking my suitcase from one step to the next. I was about to start telling her the story of when Mom was at the airport and lost grip of her suitcase when my suitcase missed a ledge and, because it was too heavy to hold onto, it tumbled down the stairs as I yelled "Move!". Sorella Olsen was in the doorframe when the suitcase smashed against the door. We would have been headed to the hospital rather than Catania had she been run over by it. It was a miracle. And I am glad Sorella Olsen didn't take offense by my "insensitivity" of the gravity (graveness?) of the situation because I couldn't stop laughing for having just relived mom's experience.
We drove to Catania and picked up the Sorelle there and went to the bus station. Sorella Olsen started sinking in the fact that she'd be training the city and starting with a new companion, and she looked like I felt when I watched my trainer board the train in Florence to leave me behind. It's a scary thing! I know Sorella Olsen will and is doing an incredible job there with Sorella Tutt.
My prayers were answered- there was a bathroom on the bus, and I didn't even need it! For part of the trip, a large man was sitting next to me and the more he fell alseep, the more relaxed he became and his extra weight slowly invaded my space till I was squished against the window in my seat. I wouldn't have disturbed him but I got to the point that I felt that we were having way too much physical contact, especially as a missionary, so I pretended to need something in my bag and he woke up and collected himself into a smaller area. Besides my chubby ankles, the trip didn't seem 14 hours long. I arrived Friday morning and waiting on the curb for the Assistants. They soon showed up with Sorella Hashey and they dropped us off at our apartment and left. We set down our bags and then looked at eachother and said "Now what?".
Our apartment is newish and we have a new shower! It's big and brown tiled and on the 3rd floor. If you send something, please use the Piazza Carnaro address.
We have a microwave, a big living room that we never use, and it is all very nice. Too nice for a missionary, almost.
Our first day, we went out and found a grocery store to buy some water and toilet paper. The Elders had left NOTHING in the house, except for, strangely, a giant bag full of women hygiene products. haha. We met up with our Anziani, Acerson and Larcher, who live a few minutes walk away (in the old sisters apartment). They gave us some towels and sheets. We forgot to ask for blankets so we slept in our hoodies that night.
Sorella Hashey had spent a few days in Rome with the sisters of Rome 2, and they'd bought tickets to see the play "Beauty and the Beast" so we went to go see that later on Friday. It was reallllly good, and it was so fun to see Sorella Pickett. I haven't seen her since the MTC. She caught me up on how the work is in Rome 2. It's crazy that it's only been 4 months but they are working with a completely different group of people. They haven't been able to get a hold of Nelson, and Yolanda doesn't want to leave her companion. They're not teaching Gina anymore. My source of joy is that Sandra just got a calling in Relief Society!
We have spent alot of time working in area book. In fact, after email, we are going to the church to meet with the Anziani to organize records and split the inactives and new converts. It is strange and fun that none of us really know what we are doing. It is like the blind leading the blind. We are amazed at how much work there is here! We have found at least half a dozen people who have had baptismal dates in the past. There's so much potential here! On Friday night, we met Patrizia. She is AWESOME. She was supposed to be baptized on Sunday, but she still smokes, so we reset her baptism for May 7th. (Lenora, would you like to come for it? I will ask President about it and let you know.) She bore her testimony on Sunday, expressing her desire to recieve "revelation" ...which we have understood to mean that she is still waiting to recieve a testimony. We went to her house that night and explained that we know she has a testimony; we explained that we postponed her baptism not because she doesnt, but because she needs to stop smoking. She seemed happier at the fact that we reassured her that she has a testimony of the church. So far, she is one of the two investigators that we have met.
The ward looks fantastic. Everyone is very friendly and excited to have sorelle back in the ward. We were invited for lunch and.... had ciccoria! I thought I'd escaped that when I left Mistretta :)
We go running in the morning down a random street to get to know the area better. There are so many supermarkets here! It is a nice change to not have cows or dogs chasing us.
The other day, we were having language study on our balcony and I accidentally pushed my slipper under the railing and it floated down. We went down the stairs and realized that my slipper was behind a fence, someone else's part of the apartment. We didn't even know where to ring so we were trying to climb over the fence to reach it, but we decided to go upstairs and change into pants. On our way back up, we bumped into someone and I randomly told them my situation and she told which door to knock on. What a good thing it was to have asked her! We knocked and our landlady lived there! She retrieved my shoe...can you imagine if she and her husband had looked out the window and seen us stuck on the daggers of her fence? How embarassing.
Yesterday, ldsmail wasn't working. We went to Villa Borghese because Sorella Kelly had free tickets for all of us in the Rome Zone. We spent a few hours looking at alot of naked statues and then Sorella Hashey and I headed out first. There were a few people on these tandum bike things and we just couldn't resist, even in skirts. We rented one (they're little cart things that you sit next to eachother and peddle, and one has a steering while and a brake handle) and roamed the park. I had to use my left hand to grip my skirt closed between my knees and sorella hashey's peddles weren't working so she was in charge of the brake. We thought "imagine if the others knew what we were doing!" and then A. Larcher called to tell us we'd forgotten S. Hashey's coat in his backpack. It was the funniest thing. Me, bent awkwardly over, trying to peddle and stay modest, and sorella hashey stretched over to reach the brake - as we peddled closer to the museum, all the missionaries heads turned and soon cameras were pulled out. What surprised us was Sorella Kelly's reaction, "Where can I rent one?!".
Sorella Hashey is everything but trunky, and we are having alot of fun together. I helped her discover her love for lentils and prunes. She still eats pears instead of apples but I have a feeling that will change. A. Acerson and Larcher are very nice and always willing to help us, even giving us a map that had all of the pages of this zone ripped out. (We went out and bought one of our own).
It's great being back in Rome- It's so good to ride buses and the tram again- there are so many options of how to talk to!
Vi voglio bene!