The best thing about being a missionary in the summer is that we get to drink water when we fast! Ok, jk. That's not the BEST thing, but one of them :)
The second best thing is that I always get the best of the best, and I got Sorella Hicks!!! She does have an accent, and I am trying desperately to secretly study how she says certain words so that, when Pres. Ball is interviewing me for my release, I can throw in some Oklahomian and make him think it's an awful Italian accent :)
I should save the best stories for last but I can't help it. Today was a blast!!!!! We went to the colosseum and met up with the Anziani in our district, Anz. Larcher and Schertz (from Idaho). We rented a little tandum-bike-cart-thing and the first mistake was letting A. Larcher drive. The second mistake was not abandoning the bike once I figured out that he couldn't drive. (He doesn't even have a drivers license!). Picture this: in the middle of Rome traffic (right at the colosseum) we started peddling, merged with traffic, and bumped our way down the hill towards Vittorio Emanuele. At the roundabout, A. Larcher didn't even think to use his arms as signals, and we somehow made if through the roundabout (with motorini, taxis, and double-decker tour buses zooming all around us) and randomly choose streets to go down. When I wasn't screaming (93% of the time) I was trying to not wet my pants. It was the most fun I've ever had on a preparation day. It also reinforced my testimony that missionaries are protected, even when they do stupid things. The Anziani were wearing normal clothes and we were in our skirts, so we were using one hand to keep ourselves modest and the other hand was used to keep us on our seats. That experience really bonded us because I have never been so open and blunt with A. Larcher. Now he knows exactly what I think of him! haha....After an hour of dodging death, we realized that A. Larchers bag was no longer in our basket. He lost his camera ;(
The 3rd best thing: On Sorella Hicks first day (I dropped off Sorella Hashey at the mission office and "accidentally" bumped into Sorella Hicks. We weren't supposed to meet for another couple of hours, but I said "I'm Sorella Urban!!!" and quickly took claim over her and we went to the CNA office to start her documents and home to drop off her bags). we were riding on the ghetto train and it was so full that she was standing right up against the door. What she didn't realize was how forcefully the doors open at stops, and she got pinned behind the door against the wall and for a full 3 minutes she was stuck there, saying, "Ow, this hurts. Ow, this hurts" and the only thing I could do was stand in front of her (everyone else was watching and looking like "Boy, you look stupid, but there's nothing you can do") giggle. It was so funny. When we fell out onto our platform, we had to stop and laugh and rub her arms for a minute. Poverina. Welcome to Italy!
Talking about "wecome to Italy"- guess how her first meal appointment went? We were invited over to a single mother member's house and she has a daughter who is 3, Greta. Maria Teresa made us pasta with creamcheese that was salmon flavored. Sorella Hicks doesn't like fish. I ate my plate in a minute, she took an hour. An HOUR. At one point, I looked at her and asked, "are you ok?" because I knew that face too well - one of struggle and pain- but she reassured me that she was ok and continued eating painfully slow. At her last bite, when I was silently thanking Heavenly Father that she FINALLY finished, she clasped her hand to her mouth and asked if she could use the restroom. I just knew she had thrown up so I started talking super loud about the lesson we were going to share with them, Poor Sorella Hicks. On our way home, she confessed that she hadn't been feeling well even before the meal. I instructed her that she does not have to eat everything on her plate. Worst case scenario is to ask if we can take the food with us. I think she'll always remember her first meal appt. I told her that my first meal appt in Florence was with a Peruvian family and there was a long, black hair in my tamale. haaaahha.
Oh!!! Seeing that the Hashey's are back home and the miracle has been shared with the rest of the family, I can spill the beans. A couple of weeks ago, Sorella Hashey and I taught her Dad and he accepted to be baptized on July 2nd. I will be joining them there in Florida for his baptism and confirmation, and then heading to Utah. I strongly feel that he is the reason why we served together here in Rome 3. It continues to astound me how perfect and detailed God's plan is for each of us.
Please don't write and handwritten letters after June 6th. I'll pick up any last mail at conference on the 14th (the sardegna and naples zones are joining us and I will be able to see Sorella Riffaldi one last time!!! She is happy that she will be able to provide me with tissues for when I give my departing testimony.)
Patrizia was confirmed this past Sunday and her brother, Guido, told us that he likes to come to church because, "I am intelligent. I like being with intelligent people. And intelligent people go to your church". AND, although he doesn't want to recieve the lessons, he did ask for his own personal copy of the Book of Mormon :)
Sorella Hicks deemed it necessary for us to have a celebration for everyday of my last and her first transfer. Tonight, we are having a campout on our balcony and roasting smores over the oven. Sorella Hicks is wonderful. She is getting Italian down quickly and it's so good to walk out of appointments and have her express how much she loves the person and how happy she is to be here and be an instrument in the Lord's hands. It is so energizing to be with her and see her enthusiasm for all the miracles we can be a part of this transfer. We have set goals that will make us reach, if not, die, this transfer :) I am happy :)
Something that I need to fill out and turn into the mission is a list of 30 blessings\lessons learned\talents discovered that I have recieved from the mission. As I start narrowing it down (who can pick just 30?!) I will share them in the next few emails. I am so happy to be here. I am so blessed to have Sorella Hicks- we are expecting to see many miracles, including the baptism of Luciano and Mira. YAY!!!!!!
Have a good last week of May! Enjoy the last few nights of mosquito-free sleep!