Week Three and I've made it halfway through my first transfer. It seems like I've been here forever and no time at all--at the same time.
Sorry if I'm all over the place today (when am I not?). I'm trying to figure out if it's my allergies or some weird plant that I ate earlier today (joking mom... kinda) so here we go.
Thursday we didn't have a lot planned (like all of our investigators have dropped us... my fault? maybe). So we tried a lot of finding and inviting people to conference.
I saw this lady in the park, and I felt like we needed to talk to her. Her name is Georgina and she was the saddest person I've ever met. She has a ton of regrets and we tried our best to talk with her and offer to help her with anything and of course share the gospel with her, but she wasn't having it. She was just too sad to think about anything else. While we were talking to her I had the thought that God wants us to just try -- try our best to help His children receive the comfort of our gospel.. even if He knows they won't accept it. I was glad to be able to feel His love for her and testify of it.
Thursday night I taught our English course by myself for the first time (usually I make Sorella Cojan take the lead). It was so cute to hear these adults struggle with their English as much as I do with Italian. At the end of English course, we do a spiritual thought and a prayer and invite people to know more. It's a great finding tool and I hope that we can find some new investigators out of it.
Friday was FARRYN'S BIRTHDAY! Happy birthday Farryn.
I was missing you from Italy. In celebration, we went over to a member's house for lunch and ate a giant pig. Like giant. Like 17 kilos. Like they had to cut it right down the middle to fit it in the oven. The member is also a baker and made the most AMAZING bread. Heavenly.
Pig Skin (And we're not talking football)
They feed us way too much here. My serving size of meat is about the same Mom would make to serve our whole family. Crazy. And they want you to eat everything... they made me try the pig skin which still had hair on it. gross gross gross. but hey I did it!
We were there for a long time, but it ended up being a great member teaching opportunity because their family is going through some really, really hard things right now. It also gave us an opportunity to help with a service project for them this week.
Also, we invited one of his friends to come to conference and he did! That night we also had another appointment with the Branch President and his family...which meant more food. The elders laugh at me because I groan when we have two member appointments in a day, ha. In the end, we returned home with two large grocery bags full of bread and a plate of tiramisu for the two of us.
Saturday and Sunday was CONFERENCE! Never have I loved conference so much. We invited a ton of people to come and in the end we had about 7 non-members come to conference which was cool. Mostly from our English course, so we can follow up tonight. (Most left early, but I can't really blame them.)
I got to hear all of the sessions in English which was a great blessing because I got a lot out of this conference. I'm trying to pick a favorite but I can't.. But I mean Sister Dalton was pretty incredible.. Also Elder Bednar gave the best chastity talk I've ever heard....
During weekly planning we got this call from a guy who said he remembered the testimony of the missionaries who had taught him in the past and we got SO excited.. miracle right? Wrong. We told the elders and turns out he is missing part of his brain and he is obsessed with the sister missionaries. Ooops. He came to conference (definitely on drugs) and calls us endlessly. Turns out he has three numbers in our phone and the other two say DON'T ANSWER in the names... Guess they got lazy for the last one haha.
Sunday during the day I met this man on the street and he was telling me all the places he wanted to visit in the United States because of American bands he liked... one thing led to another and I'm using my umbrella as a microphone in the middle of the street and we are singing Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Beatles and Elvis.
Sorella Cojan and I got on the bus after and I can tell you she was quite concerned with my behavior. Ooops. You've got to preach the gospel in any way that you can, right?
not so boring...
Also I ran into my first TJ (Jehovah's Witness) and he told me he doesn't want to live with God because he'd get bored... what? Someone obviously doesn't understand the concept of what heaven will be like haha. He was nice though... just very confused. I've heard there are a lot of really mean ones, so I got lucky.
Monday was a long day because our lessons got canceled and so we had a lot of finding. We ran into this Romanian girl and she said she wanted a BOM in Romanian, so we ran home to get one and when we came back her whole family was there and they were passing it around all sorts of excited! We have an appointment with them on Sunday, which is exciting because I thought they were just going to ask for money (most of them do) but they seemed genuinely interested.
feeling the spirit
We also stopped by Sergio, a man we met in the street and talked to about the Book of Mormon. He owns a car shop and he gave us his card, so we stopped by and taught him a lesson about the restoration. He didn't seemed convinced, but it was a really good teaching opportunity for me. I got to bear my testimony about gaining a testimony through prayer, and I really felt the spirit.
A lot of times I wonder if they feel the same spirit that I do when I testify... like with the TJ when I bore my testimony about being children of God or with the grumpy, old man about the power of the Book of Mormon... but I realize that all I can do is try... and in the end if I feel the Spirit, then I am grateful because it grows my testimony of the principles I'm teaching.
I've learned so much about the gospel and I've felt the love of God so closely here. It's an indescribable feeling. Everyday I am spiritually edified and I can feel myself working hand-in-hand with God to lift his children and teach them true principles, whether or not they choose to accept it. I love the end of the day, when I know that I've done all I can.
Yesterday we did a service project for a member who had to close down one of his bread shops in the city. It was so sad because people kept passing asking if he was reopening and getting all excited because his bread is heaven-sent and we had to tell them it was closed for good.
naming the Apostles
Afterwards, we did more casa in casa and some grumpy man quizzed us on the 12 apostles and told us we weren't prepared to be missionaries (lets be honest, do you know all their names by heart?)
We told him it was because our message isn't centered on them; it is centered on Jesus Christ.
When we started talking about prophets, he asked if we ever talk to the prophet personally. His daughter turned to him and said, "Papa, you've never talked to the Pope. Let them be..." which was nice of her haha. Most people are so nice here and either just say they aren't interested or let us give a lesson. But sometimes we get those stinkers hah.
We also visited an elderly sister in the ward in the hospital and she is seriously the sweetest. We shared a spiritual thought and she cried as she bore her testimony of the atonement in her life. It was very touching and reminded me how important this message is to people and how, like her, it can change lives and bring comfort in difficult times.
There was another couple in the room with her and they were seriously the cutest. We are dreaming about teaching them... like really I would love it haha.
On the way home we missed the bus and so we had to walk the 30 minutes home. But it was cool because we ran into a sheepherder who let me hold a newborn baby lamb and name him! It's Franco in case you were wondering.
Today we went to a nature park with a girl from English course, and she kept making me look at ducks with her binoculars. It's cool because it was fun to see how excited she was about every different kind of bird there was haha.
Things in Cagliari are great! If any of my RM friends want to send me finding ideas PLEASE DO.. I'm down to try anything... what worked for you? I really want to be teaching more and finding less...
joy in the journey
But you find joy in the journey... every day I find myself in a situation where I think... "How did I get here?" Like holding a baby lamb in front of a Chinese shop by the freeway or eating hairy pig skin. It's cool. I love it. It's hard, really really hard, but I love it.
Also shout-out to Connor whose birthday is this week!! I'll be singing Les Mis all the way over here in Cagliari for you.
Happy Birthday to Aimee today!!
Out of time again. I love you all. Thanks for the support and Love.
With love from Cagliari,
(Email Sent: April 10, 2013)