Saturday, June 8, 2013

Four Months! Scambi in Sassari

Ciao Ciao!

We have had a really busy week here in Cagliari, well actually not in Cagliari because we were able to do our first SCAMBI this week! (scambiare-exchange).  

Because the train schedules are so limited from Cagliari to Sassari, all three of the Cagliari sisters took the train to Sassari and we spent about two days there.  We left Thursday afternoon and took the three-hour train ride, which was absolutely beautiful. 

The countryside of Sardegna is amazing. They have tons of nuraghi (small stone castles) just scattered all over the green hills. 

The landscape of Sardegna is really diverse: it has beaches, valleys, and then mountains in the middle.  We saw much of it on this trip (except the beaches... which is the best part).  

Actually, we weren't able to see a ton on the way there, because we had two lessons on the train!  Slla. Cojan had one with a French tourist. 

 I tried to give him an English course flyer and he told me he was from France and I told him my companion was from France (all in Italian which he didn't understand, which explains the confused look he had on his face).   

Then Sorella Nef and I taught a woman sitting next to us on the train for about an hour about the Restoration.  She is (from another church) and pulls the whole "Yeah, just like (my) church" and we are all  "Yeah, actually not quite..."  

That's one of the most frustrating things about a lot of people here is that they agree with our message, but they think it's the same message as the their church.  I don't want to offend someone by telling them that they don't even know what their church preaches.  How do you do that politely?

We had a great time in Sassari.  It's a lot smaller than Cagliari, but it's also a lot older.  

Therefore it's much more like the Italy I imagined I would see from watching movies:  small alleyways and moss growing in the cobblestone streets... big piazzas with packs of old men sitting on pizzas boxes... tiny scooters whipping past you and the smell of fresh pizza in every corner with loud laughter echoing down the alley.  

It was magical... but at the end of the trip I was happy to be back in Cagliari. 

Weaknesses Can Become Strengths
I was lucky because I got to go to most of the lessons they had and didn't really have to do any finding.  I learned a lot about both my strengths and my weaknesses.  I have a lot I really want to work on and really no idea how to get there... so that just means a lot of praying to figure it out.  

Transfer Calls
I better learn fast, though, because we get transfer calls on Saturday and everyone thinks that I'll be staying in Cagliari to finish the training of Sorella Nef.  

That would be cool because I love Cagliari, and I really don't want to leave yet... but it's scary to think they will just leave me here to be in charge.  I'm definitely not that responsible yet.  

I just want to call President and say "Umm... are you aware that you are putting ME in charge of people's salvation and the training of a greenie?" (which I still happen to be myself until the next transfer starts.) 

I think that might put things into perspective.  But we will see when Saturday comes.

Comunque (anyway), some more highlights...

Death by Roller Bag
I had to use an old carry-on I found in the apartment which happened to be the WORST.  Imagine me trying to drag this thing down the street.  Everytime I'd cross a road with a bus coming, my suitcase would flip over and almost cause my death--but really funny looking back on it.

We met this old lady at the bus stop and talked to her for a while.  When we got on the bus, the kids in front of her whispered that we were Testimoni di Gehova and she started yelling at them saying that we weren't TGs, because if we were she would have been swearing at us. haha.  

Thanks for the publicity signora.

Awkward and Confused
We went to a Catholic baptism party on Sunday. Wahoo. One of the member's infant grandaughters had her baptism and she invited us over basically for support.  

It was super awkward because we just had Moroni 8:10-15 stuck in our minds and they were confused about why we were there.  But it turned out great because we got two appointments out of it!  

Also, the mom started breastfeeding her daughter at the party and Anziano Walker was seated right in front of her, so I just watched his reaction for a good five minutes as he tried to figure out how to place his body so he wouldn't see anything... soo funny.

Sweet Moment
I bore my testimony on Fast Sunday and one of the members came up to me and told me that he thinks I'll be a really good mom one day and have a really great family.  It was a really sweet moment.  He is really shy and never talks to anyone, so it was sweet of him to come tell me that. I love the members here.

Me and Sabrina.. one of the members that I always hang out with because she likes to practice her English...

Finding Miracles
Yesterday we had two miracles from our afternoon of finding!  We went and passed back that apartment where the kid answered the door in his underwear, and they let us in and we had a lesson with them!  

He was still really embarassed, so he stayed in his room hah but the rest of the family listened and seemed really interested.  Their older son said he wants to come to church on Sunday!  

We can't technically call them investigators because we need a specific return apointment for that and Italians hate making commitments to times, soooo... we'll see. They said we could come back though!  

The other miracle was a lesson with Ritta and Paolo.  We've stopped by their house a number of times and it's always been a bad time.  (We even left brownies in his mailbox when he went to the hospital, and they ended up sitting there for three days... ooops.) 

Anyway, they let us in and they both were there, and we had a lesson with them too!  He kind of made fun of us for the Word of Wisdom (which always comes up because everyone offers us coffee), but other than that he seemed pretty open.

Anyway.. another great week in Cagliari.

Hopefully I'll have another six more weeks at least, but we will see on Saturday!

With love from Cagliari,
Sorella OConnor

(Email Sent - June 6, 2013)

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