Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter in Italy and Kissing in Cagliari

Week two and I'm still alive, halleluja!

This way to the Beach...

I'm loving it here in Cagliari more and more every day. It actually reminds me a lot of the beach house. Everyone keeps telling me how beautiful the beach is and how I just HAVE to go, and I have to keep telling them that I can't!  It's fine though because just knowing that I am close to a beach makes me feel at ease for some reason. Also they eat a lot of oranges here which also reminds me of home...except the oranges here are better. 
Sorry California.

A New View

 We've had a pretty great week with all the festivities going on. After emailing last week, Sorella Cojan took me to the Basione San Remy which has an incredible view of Cagliari. It's seriously so beautiful from up there. It was fun to look down on the city that I walk through so often. 

From the top you can see how beautiful it looks all together with all the colors. Also everyone here has tons of plants on their balconies and entry ways which is one of my favorite things. Cagliari is seriously the best. President and Sister Kelly came yesterday for Zone conference, and they kept telling us how lucky we are to be here and we just kept shaking our heads like, yeah, we know.

Kissing in Cagliari

Thursday was a funny day. Sorella Cojan laughed at me because some old man in the post office kissed my hand when I introduced myself. 

Kiss Count: 1

We also had a lesson with a woman named L. and it was incredible. She asked us to share our testimonies of when we first felt the love of God, and it brought an incredible spirit into our lesson. 

Can I Have Your Number?
That is, until her son M. kept asking Sorella Cojan for her contact information for after her mission. He is pretty persistant, haha. He is a member and is actually very sweet and somewhat mentally challenged.  He reminds me of the huge body guards that you see in movies that don't really talk and seem really scary but turn out to be nice in the end. Does that make sense? Anyways, he asked us out for pizza and we had to tell him AGAIN that we couldn't haha. He and his mom moved back to Sassari this week though so Sorella Cojan can rest easy.

Primary Activity:  always ends in tears

Friday we had this really cool activity with the Primary where they set up a mini MTC. They had all four of the missionaries in the branch come and teach a mini class that all the kids went to. 

My class was on "casa in casa," which is where we knock on doors and ask for appointments (which has yet to work for us, so I dont know why we do it at all)... 

Anyway, we had all the kids practice and it was so cute to watch. We had fun rejecting kids and letting them try again and rejecting them again... is that bad? They'll never want to go on missions now. 

It was a really cool experience though. They got to bear their testimonies to us and it brought me to tears.  They got their little mission calls on Sunday and one of them started to cry because he thought it was real and said he wasn't ready yet hah.

Call Me Grace

Later that night we had a dinner appointment. We were about to miss the bus, so we all started running and I thought to myself, "Wouldn't that be funny if someone felllllllllllll" and I bet you can guess who hit the ground the very next second. 

I rolled a couple times and looked to see a car full of people stopped in the middle of the street staring at me.  Anziano McIntire, who was behind me, was standing there looking down at me and I thought "There is no way we are catching that bus." But we did!

 I got up and started running again. Once I sat down, I realized I had a pea-sized rock lodged into my left palm and Anziano Heder had to pry it out with his pocket knife on a rickety bus. I am quite the spectacle. 

But we made it on time to our dinner appointment!

Kiss Count: 2

Saturday we went around to some potential investigators. We visited this cute family to tell them about General Conference, and the mom kept giving me cookies (they like to feed us here). When we left the dad gave me a "baci" (which is an italian gesture of a kiss on each cheek, that as sister missionaries we are allowed to do with women but not men) so that brought my kiss count to number two in the mission. oops. 


Then we had a baptism that night for a young adult that the elders in another area are teaching, and so we brought an investigator to that. It was really cool to see a baptism of someone so early in my mission. 

Afterwards I went to congratulate him and he surprised me and gave me the "baci" !AGAIN! 

Kiss Count: 3

Sorella Cojan then made me memorize how to say:

 "I'm sorry, I can't kiss you because I'm a missionary" in Italian. 

So embarrassing.

Buona Pasqua

Sunday was PASQUA! No one does Easter like Italy! Seriously so fun. 

We had a lunch appointment with an older lady in our branch. All her kids were there, none of whom are members, so we had a cool teaching opportunity there. 

They feed us SO MUCH here. Like to the point where I can't breath. 

We start with an appetizer of some sort of meat/cheese, then a large pasta dish, then a large piece of some kind of meat, then salad, then fruit, then a desert. every. time. and if you don't eat it all they get offended. We had prosciutto and cheese, then sard pasta (from sardegna, so good) then Lamb, then salad, then Kinder Eggs! Instead of Easter baskets, everyone gets kinder eggs, which are giant chocolate eggs with a prize in the middle.

On Monday we had an all-day cleaning day because the day after easter is another holiday in Italy where everyone rests from all the food they ate and no one goes outside or answers the door or anything. We had a lunch apointment AND a dinner appointment so it was more food and more food and more food. They love food here.
Really Big Pizzas

Tuesday was Zone Conference and today was pday again! A member took us to a cute little museum about Sardegna and it was a ton of fun. It's cool to learn about the history where you are serving.

Emotional Overdrive

Everything on the mission feels amplified to a million. Every human emotion is somehow strengthened here... when you love someone, you love them with every part of you; when you are happy, you are the happiest you've ever been. You are also more exhausted then ever... 

It's definitely hard, but every day I am thankful to be here and to be in Italy. I didn't know that you could love people so deeply

It really is like a family here. The culture is so beautiful and everyone here is so passionate about the Savior and their families. What a blessing it is to bring them further light and knowledge about those two things that are most important to them. I love this work and I love these people!

With love from Cagliari,
Sorella O'Connor

My favorite whale graffiti all over the city

Tiny Elevator
"There are more sheep than people on the island" is the first thing I heard about Cagliari

(Email sent: April 3, 2013)

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