Monday, July 8, 2013

Baked Goods and Baby Walking

It's been a really good week here in Cagliari.  The weeks are moving faster and faster and I'm starting to feel like so much of my mission has passed by already... 

Then I remember I still have a year left and I calm down just a little.  We've had a ton of work to do here in Cagliari, which has been great.  That's what makes the time fly.

To Market, To Market
One really fun thing we discovered last week was the local market.  We've been doing all of our shopping at a mini grocery store, but we decided to be adventurous and try this market and it was SO cool... There are just tons and tons of venders all selling their fresh fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, breads, and of course Sard dolcis (sweets/pastries).  
At the Meat Market

We went a little crazy and bought a kilo of every kind of fruit available and then it was all spoiled by Sunday... So now we know not to get so much at once, hah, but we are definitely becoming regulars at the market.

 'ello, 'ello
Thursday we had English Course and I told them all the story of when I opened my mission call, and they all said they want to look up the video on YouTube haha.  

Kaitlin Opening her Mission Call

I love teaching English Course because most Italians have learned their English from Brits, so whenever someone tries to speak with us in English it's always in a British accent... troppo carino. (too cute)

Also the Church is hosting these really beautiful concerts every Thursday for the next four weeks.  The first one was this last week and a ton of people came so that is really cool.  It's great to start getting the members more involved in the work.

Chapel in Cagliari

Rain, Rain... 
Saturday we had planned to meet Marie Ritta and Giuseppina.. pretty sure I told you about them last week.   So the mom, Giuseppina, has a fatty crush on Dallin haha.   I showed her my picture book and everytime there was a picture of Dallin, she had to point him out and tell me that he's "molto bello." -- even in big group pictures, haha.  So if you don't find anyone in America, Dallin....

Anyway, we wanted to meet with them in the park by our house and for some strange reason it RAINED that morning--out of NO WHERE--and JUST in the morning.  So they called and canceled, even when we tried to meet them at the Church or their house. sad.  

Too Good To Be True
But later that day we were at the bus stop and I handed this lady an English Course handout, and she said she wasn't interested and walked away.  But then five minutes later she came back and said, 

"Scusate, credete in Gesu Cristo?"  which means, "Excuse me do you guys believe in Jesus Christ?"  

So we said, "No" and kept walking... 

NOT.   We got all excited and she got on the bus with us, and we talked for ten minutes or so about the Church and our beliefs.  

She is one of the only Catholics I've talked to that doesn't focus on worshiping the Madonna.  I almost fell over. and she gave us her PHONE NUMBER!  

Sorella Nef and I were just all smiles for the rest of the day.  She kept saying things like "I just want a change in my life" 

Yeah, we can help with that.  No one wants to change their lives just like that... too good to be true. 

Really though, it was too good to be true... the number doesn't work, I called the other day... andiamo avanti  (and on we go...)

Displaying Faith
Sunday we did a Mostra in Piazza Yenne!  It was my first mostra.  We brought these big displays of the Rome Temple and just tried stopping people in the street for two hours.  It wasn't really successful, but it was a lot of fun.  I mostly just talked to old people. What else is new?  But old people are really nice, so I don't mind.  

We did meet three young TJs who were asking us a ton of questions (all the typical TJ questions like "What is the name of God?" and "The Book of Revelations says don't add to the Bible")  

But then the discussion turned into questions of real interest.  We gave them each their own copy of the Book of Mormon and then their dad came and they left... 

30 minutes later they came back with the books and we were so sad (we blame the dad), but the girl asked if she could keep a pamphlet about the Restoration. Speriamo Bene. (hoping for the best)
Competing Displays:  "Dio" means "God" and "io" means "I" or "Me".  
This billboard says, "10 million Italians live fine without the "D"-- God."

Goodnight Katerina
I also met this guy named Walter, and he wasn't interested in the Church but we talked about English Course for a little bit.  He ended up calling yesterday and asking me out for coffee.  I had to explain that, 

1. I don't drink coffee.
2. I can't go on dates as a missionary.  

He was like, "Okay, but can I call you later?" ... and I said, "WHY?" and he said "I just want to hear from you"... creepy.  Anyways I said, "No" and so he said that he's coming to English Course... yayy.  

Then yesterday he sent me this text: "Buonanotte Katerina, da Valter"  --Katerina is the Italian version of Kaitlin-- (Also Italians won't rest until you tell them your REAL name.  I've got to tell them it's just Sorella next time.)  Anyway, someone's got to tell Walter that sister missionaries aren't fond of goodnight texts... I'm so embarassed.

Brownies or Bust
As far as work goes, Monday was a bust because we had DDM and then I had to do a FIVE HOUR integration course for my permesso, which is five hours of watching videos where they explain Italian laws about things like not doing drugs. 

But we did get some good advice from the anziani about finding ideas.  They just sat us down, looked at us and said, 

"BROWNIES. We are just going to make brownies every day. That way when someone says they don't want to let us in we'll just say, 'but we made BROWNIES'..."  brilliant. Vediamo (we''ll see).  

They also thought of starting a dog walking service and a baby walking service because Italians LOVE dogs and babies.  

It's a guarantee that someone will stop to pet your dog or talk to your baby if you take them in public.  I didn't get to hear the missionary broadcast, so I have no idea what is in the new program... but I wouldn't be surprised if dog/baby walking or brownies are included.

Let Them Eat Cake 
Which is NO JOKE... just about everyone we talk to who has met with the missionaries in that past ALWAYS mentions what type of baked goods that the missionaries brought them--Elders and Sisters. 

We've met at LEAST five people in the last while who have mentioned, "Oh yeah, I know the missionaries, they brought me a cake!"  They don't remember anything about the lessons, but they remember the cake. 

We went and saw a less-active member yesterday--another miracle.  I've been trying to see her since Day One when I got here, and she was magically at home and let us in yesterday!  

We had a lesson with her and her sister (a non-member who might start meeting with us!).  It was incredible.   She told us her whole story of conversion--which is an amazing story-- she was baptized at like 8 months pregnant. Cool.  Anyway, at the end of the lesson she said, "So I should probably come back to Church, yeah?"  And we were like, "Ummm, yeah."  So she is COMING!  And her sister wants to start coming in July.

(We asked if there was anything we could do for them and they said "Make muffins."  The sister missionary from before made them muffins.)  

THEN we headed to our meeting with Sebastiano!  He is someone that Sorella Cojan and I met doing casa, and Slla. Nef and I had passed by and had another lesson with him.  He's been reading a TON from the Book of Mormon!  

We came in and he said, "So I read this chapter about not baptizing babies" and we were like... "Ummm, what?"  Took us a second to catch up.   

There was a little paper inside of the Book of Mormon we gave him about common questions and answers with scripture references.  He's read a ton of them already.  We had a really great lesson about faith in Jesus Christ.  (We are having to go out of order with him, but it's seriously inspired.)   

He said he'll be baptized when he knows it's true!  He accepted every commitment we gave him (there were like 5... yeah a lot) and we are just amazed.  It was one of the best days of my mission so far.

High on (missionary) Life
I feel like I'm finally hitting my "runners' high" version of the mission marathon. The days are going by like nothing and I am just so happy to be a missionary.  

I really hope that I stay in Cagliari at least one more transfer (Let's be honest; they've probably forgotten I'm on this Island) --just because we have so many cool things happening right now.
With (much) love from Cagliari,
Sorella O'Connor

(Email Sent - June 26, 2013)

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