Another great week in Italia. I feel like I'm finally starting to get used to missionary life here and it's making things go much easier.
I can usually tell how well I'm doing by my feelings towards the song "We Are All Enlisted"... Sometimes I love it and sometimes I think it's the worst song ever written... If I'm singing along then it's a good day haha.
Here are some of the highlights from last week:
a foreign field
Thursday we went to Carbonia which was really fun because we had to take this old train to get there. I really felt like I was in a movie because the girl next to me was listening to "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay, and as I'm looking out the window of this old train into the Italian country side (rolling green hills with sheep included) I hear the lyrics
"Missionaries in a foreign field"... So surreal.
(there's this version from PS22 too)
Also that morning we got a call from a man we had met on the street and he asked if he could meet with us THAT DAY! We were way excited because we had kind of given up on him and categorized him in the "more interested in seeing us than hearing us" category.. if you know what I mean (which seems to be growing every day).. We met him with the anziani in the church and passed him on to them (It's way easier than having to find a sister in our tiny branch to come with us and it shows that he's really interested in the lessons and not just the sisters) which was really great.
funny/haha? or funny/strange?
Friday was a really funny/strange day for missionary work... I saw this old man on the bus and he kind of kept moving towards me and looking at our tags so I started to talk to him and he asked me for a pamphlet and then the man next to him heard us talking and asked for one too...
THEN at the next stop a man stopped us while walking by to give us a referral! Normally people start running when we try and talk to them (seriously it's happened). So it was funny to have people throwing themselves at us to do missionary work. We also had two lessons doing casa in casa which was seriously the best.
the gospel can help
Saturday we got a new investigator!!!! (our only one right now) and we had a lesson with him yesterday! His name is Marco and he's meeting with us to find out how he can better help his family through the gospel...of course we are so excited to be meeting with him.
He is very sincere and very open so we are hoping it continues to go well. We brought a sister with us from the ward yesterday and she kind of took over the lesson and talked the whole time (ahh Italians), so Sorella Cojan and I were struggling to take it back and it was kind of a mess.
But the cool thing is that since my Italian is so bad, whenever I try to speak everyone stops to listen in order to figure it out. So it definitely helped to take control back in the lesson and bring it back to the things that he really needed.
There is definitely a power and authority in teaching as a missionary and it's been incredible to see the ways the Lord uses me and teaches me. I feel so much closer to the Savior than ever, and I know it's because we are both working so hard to do His will.
Sunday was a hard day for us... no one we wanted to visit was home, and the people with the two lessons we had ended up telling us they weren't interested in having us come back. A lot of times as a missionary the days seem SO long and you have no desire to ring another doorbell, but those are the days I see the most growth.
Growth is always beyond the point of comfort. I learn so much on these hard days and you really do feel the strength of the Lord helping you to do the things that seem to hard in that moment.
Monday was our day of creepy men. We had one guy call Sorella Cojan about English course and ask if he could take us out for a drink after. We met another creepy man on the bus who asked for a pamphlet just so he could get our number.
The funniest of these situations was a 16-year-old boy who stopped me in the street and said that he had seen me on the bus (and then some words I couldn't understand) and then asked for our number.
I remembered him (who can forget a teenage boy with a swastika carved into his arm?) and thought he was talking about the English course information I had been sharing with someone, so I gave him a bigliattini for english course and pointed out our number in case he had questions. Then he said something else I couldn't understand, so I looked at Sorella Cojan and she started explaining how I can't because I'm a missionary and I'm only here to share the gospel.
Come to find out he said that he had seen me on the bus and he thought I was really pretty and "voglio uscire con te" or "I want to go out with you... can I have your number?" Misunderstanding it all, I actually gave him my number when he asked if he could call me and if we could do something together.
Sorella Cojan stepped in and saved me... At least I didn't let anyone "kiss" me this time. So that's improvement, right?
Tuesday we went to go get all my permesso things done so I can be legal. It's been a long process, and I'm glad it will be over soon. The bad part is that we have to leave at 8 to be at the office and we miss study time every time we have to go. That is the worst, because study time is my favorite time of the day (who have I become?)
funny and fun
It was also a funny day because we got 10 messages from that creepy guy Stefano (the "miracle" guy I talked about last week) who is definitely missing part of his brain. He started telling us this story about how he burned this Indian feather spirit and then sent us another text saying the Indian spirit didn't want him to tell us more.. okay cool. I think it's funny but it makes Sorella Cojan mad hah.
Today we went to Barumini and saw this really cool archeology site (We all know how much I love archeology and old things), so it was a blast for me.
I love being here in Italy. Everyday I have a moment where I think, "This is actually my life right now." Italy is seriously the perfect place for me.
The other day I was making gnochetti and fresh sugo and Sorella Cojan turned on an Italian opera, and I just couldn't help but feel so incredibly happy about where I was and what I was doing. It's seriously so hard, but I find so much strength and I'm learning so much.
Scott is definitely right, Heavenly Father asks us to do some hard things, but everything he asks us to do is for our benefit. Everything he has given us -- commandments, promptings, anything -- is all for our growth and for our benefit; they are all giving us opportunities to come closer to our Savior. I am so grateful for this chance to grow and to learn and to feel the love of my Savior stronger than ever.
With love from Cagliari,
(Email Sent: April 17, 2013)