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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Turkish music does not help me feel the spirit

How many people can say that they find bird poop on their bed? I can. We have been sleeping outside on the balcony for the past week---it is the best! We even have earplugs to use for tonight because tomorrow is the Italian "July 4th" and we're guessing there's going to be alot of fireworks. Our neighbors must think we are crazy sleeping outside. As we fall asleep, we people watch. It is fascinating, and sometimes, disturbing.

We walked a million miles on Monday. No joke. The ghetto train wasn't running (strike) so we walked to patrizia's and back (90 minutes each way) to teach Guido. He now has his own personal copy of the book of mormon and although he doesn't want to be baptized (yet), he has promised us that he will read, pray, and smoke less everyday. He is great!

What can I say about the talent show? Odile (our friend from Togo) arrived on time with a friend, Mine, and .........we sat for an hour and a half before it started. It was so embarassing. They had to leave after 10 minutes because it was so late. The show finished after 22:00- we left at 21:00 to be home on time. The members insisted we stay to perform our skit, but we laid down that we have rules and "maybe next time if we start on time". What a terrible impression for our investigators. Some of them have never been to church, and we promised them that church did start on time. I hope they believe us and aren't permanently scarred from Friday nights experience.

Emiliano Mora is a man who was baptized last fall. His story is miraculous. He met the church over the internet and was baptized 3 weeks later. He went inactive and then returned, and then went inactive again. When I arrived in Rome 3, i inquired after him and was told that he was once again inactive and had threatened to call the police if we tried to go find him at his house. I tried calling him and he didn├Čt answer. On Thursday, just as we were getting into bed, he called. I knew it was him before he even said anything. He was crying and we talked about the experiences he has had- he knows that he can only be happy being obedient to the commandments. He wanted to let me know that he would be in church on Sunday. It was a 22:35 miracle.

For English class, we made microwaveable (sp?) s'mores. The girls loved it. When we came home, we roasted the rest of the marshmallows over our oven burner and then sat on our mats out on the balcony. I feel like I'm half at Marvine!

Sorella Hicks wanted to eat Chinese, so we went to Termini and stopped some Chinese people to ask them where we could eat. We were directed to a place and it was really interesting- the customers go back into the kitchen and pick out little tin trays of different food. We spent a good 10 minutes trying to identify the food before making our choice. The tins were wrapped in seran ? wrap and I accidentally spilled liquid out of it and an old Chinese woman came up and yelled at me. She took the tin out of my hands and motioned that I shouldn't turn it over- sorry! It made her pretty upset. Wiping it up didn't redeem myself in her eyes.

We nearly got killed last Thursday. We were almost home and were crossing the street (I usually cross anywhere but this time we crossed at the crosswalk) when I heard a truck speeding up and just as I was about to turn to see if he was going to slow down or not, Sorella Hicks grabbed my arm, yelped\screamed\wailed and jumped. I seriously felt my heels touch the tires as the crazy truck driver barreled past us. He leaned out of his window and yelled at us and I turned around and yelled back at him while pointing at the crosswalk. Crazy! We stood there for a second while trying to swallow our hearts, and then just as Sorella Hicks was saying "Well, at least every day's an adventure!" she tripped over an uneven cobblestone and narrowly saved herself from splatting face-first on the street. We were pretty shaken up and giggly the rest of the walk home.

I finally bought stain remover (Angela's dish water left stains all down my one black skirt), soaked it, and washed it. They didn't come out :( But Sorella Hicks had misunderstood me and thought that this was the first time that I was WASHING my skirt since I've been on my mission. Can you imagine? sick. I think my skirt would be a few pounds heavier than it is now.It reminded me of Lenora..........and her only pair of jeans in high school :) Don't worry Lenora, I woudn't think of revealing here that you went our whole sophomore year without washing those jeans.

We made a baptismal "My family can be eternal" ("can" is the key word!) calendar for the Chilut family. Alina is a new convert and LUciano is the one we teach who is very shy and hides the fact that he likes reading the Book of Mormon. We made him a calendar and stuck it on a giant poster with a picture of the Rome Temple, Christ, and glued on a mirror (what else could we do with empty space?). We gathered the family around and asked them to take a look at the calendar, and when Luciano saw that the 25th of June was marked "Luciano's baptism" he literally ran out and closed himself in his bedroom. What did we do? We got up and followed him. He is so confusing. He has had dozens of dreams and visions that he needs to get baptized, and he has said it himself. But there is something that we can't get our finger on.............
He'll even get on his knees when we say the closing prayer, and then he will jump up and lay back down on his bed before the prayer starts. It's like he is half torn about everything he does. It is so strange. But we are praying and trying to figure him out and what we can do that we haven't done yet that will help him.

While we were there, they wanted us to eat some Romanian food. Sausage. Salami. Bacon. Meat. Alot of it.
I even stole a piece off my plate to send Lenora so that she can see just what goes in my mouth. (Heads up- you should be getting a DVD - can you let me know when you get it and if you are able to open it and view the contents? I won't delete anything off my card till I hear from you.p.s. enjoy the fat I sent you.)

Odile always says "No" to our baptismal invites, but she still keeps all our other commitments. We just need to teach her with more simplicity so that she can understand the Restoration and then need there was for it.

We finally were able to meet with Teresa, a woman who had a baptismal date last fall but cancelled it the day of becuase her husband threatened to leave her if she got baptized. She still desperately wants to be baptized but her husband hasn't budged. We are going to do a fast with her this weekend that his heart will be softened. He has even recognized a chance for the good in her- the issue is tradition. They are Catholic and he wants them to both stay catholic.

We've discovered a park near our house that has a turtle pond! We did our district meeting there last week and we forgot to take bread with us to feed them :(

We are going to the Spanish steps and the Trevi Fountain with Anziani Larcher and Schertz. Sorella Hicks needs to buy some skirts and seeing that I have reached, or gone over, my weight limit, I will just be giving my professional fashion suggestions and tips.

Sister exchanges are next week (that is, if I get around to organizing them) and then there's Zone Conference the week after!!
I might ask to be released by Pres. Kelly after all. Sorella Hashey wrote me and suggested that it would mean more to me if he were to do it, and Pres. Ball might like the chance of getting to sleep in on July 4th.

Oh! funny story to end. So, we were on the trenino (the ghetto train) and I was speaking with an African man, and towards the end of our conversation, I asked him:
"Then have you heard of Jospeh Smith?"
Who?
Do you know the story of Joseph Smith?
Yes, I know history.
No, do you know the story of Joseph Smith?
Yes, I know history very well.
(I turned to Sorella Hicks and smiled while fighting laughter)
"No, I want to know if you have heard of the man......"
I told you. I went to University in Nigeria. I know history very well.

I should have just started bearing testimony on the Restoration. He had to get off at that stop so I never got to tell him that I had no doubt that he knew history very well, I was just interested in knowing if he knew the story of Jospeh Smith.

Eeks. Time is almost up and I need to write President Kelly still. I love serving with Sorella Hicks! She says "Criky" for mizzica (like, "shoot") and something that sounds like, "dawgonit". haha. I'm learning "south" from her and hopefully she's learning something from me....... she's having a struggle finding food the likes to eat. I wish I had the creativity and the desire to cook for her, but I just don't. If only she liked lentils!

Sorella Urban

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