Monday, July 8, 2013

Cinque Mesi - Five Months!

Oh hey there time...where have you gone?

I just realized I'll be hitting my five-month mark this week, and I'm still slightly freaking out about not being adjusted to missionary life.  I have a pressing feeling (that you aren't supposed to get used to); one that you have to work on the whole 18 months.  Oh wait... that's what everyone told me would happen, huh?

Anyway, it was kind of a slow week here in Cagliari.  Some pretty cool things, but for the most part it felt like "giriamo in tondo"--we were going in circles.

The cool things that happened this week:
Sorella Nef and I have been running every day (a whole mile through the Italian suburbs) and my pasta pouch is slowly disappearing--which makes me the happiest girl on the Island.  (Simple pleasures right?  Plus I know you ALL want to hear sister missionary weight-gain stories... really though, a couple people have asked me about it.. haha)  So I seem to have survived the "first transfer curse".

One of our English course students came up to me and Sorella Nef on Thursday and gave us each a little gift.. melted my heart.  My present was a cute necklace. Have I mentioned how much I love English course?  

Today we are throwing a 4th of July party.  Yay America!

Friday we spent the day in Carbonia!  I introduced Sorella Nef to the tuna can-sized train through the countryside.  

We planned to visit a couple people who ended up living all the way across town, so we spent a good 45 minutes just walking there (with no one on the streets to really stop and talk to). 

But when we were almost there, we said "Hi" to these cute ladies gardening.  About a minute later I thought to go back and talk to them, but I talked myself out of it because I thought it would be totally weird to go back and introduce myself (bad missionary moment).  

Since the less active we wanted to visit had moved, we started walking back and luckily one of the ladies was still out I thought "Okay this is my chance."  I asked her directions (my favorite street stopping approach.  Everyone is so willing to help here that they'll stop at least to help out and then you can move into the fact that you're a missionary.. tutto quanto...) and we got to talking and her friend came out to help too, and we ended up having a lesson with them outside of their house!  Really sweet ladies. 

They were really interested to know why two Americans were in their small town to talk to people about Jesus and a living prophet on the earth.  Also they gave us a bag of plums from their garden as we left! (talk about "fruits of our labors"...)  

Strong Testimonies
Then we met up with the anziani for a dinner appointment with some members.  I am always so impressed with the members and the sacrifices they make and the hardships that they go through being the only members in their city.  The 12-year-old daughter told me that she isn't allowed over at some of her friends' houses because she is a Mormon.  Their 14-year-old son was telling us some of the mean things people say to them at school.  

I am just so impressed with their strong testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel and their endurance through those trials and even more difficult ones with their extended family.

Internet Search
Saturday we met Maria Rita and Giuseppina in the park for a lesson.  We got really nervous when Marie Rita started out by saying, "I did some research about your Church on the internet." (because we all know people have lovely things to say about the Mormons on the internet.)  

But then she started asking about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity, and she told us right off that she has no problems with them and she keeps them anyways... it was really cool.  

Then she said "Yeah, some people were saying some pretty bad things about your church; I just don't get why everyone has to bash other people's faiths."  which was a great introduction to the First Vision and why Joseph Smith had been searching for the truth... way perfect.

Also we have been doing a lot of finding in the park, and the other day we met this man who spent a good 30 minutes talking to us in English about all of his health problems.  He was really excited to find someone to speak English with, hah.  At the end, when his wife and friends were begging him to leave, I said this Italian phrase "magari" which kind of means "I wish" and he was so happy that he gave me a couple pats on the forehead. Yeah...I don't really know why either.

Sad Day
Sunday was happy and sad. Sad because we invited five people to come to Church (three of which promised they would come) none of which actually came.  I basically sat staring at our phone all of church because a less-active asked us to escort her in when she got there so she wouldn't be alone.  

Happy Day
But it was also happy because we were able to see the Missionary Broadcast!  Presidente Sanna (one of my favorite families on the planet) brought us the broadcast in English!!!!  It was SO good. so so good.  It got us really excited to go out and keep working.   

Unfortunately, it also made me realize how useless casa en casa and street contacting have been, so I don't have much motivation to do that anymore, hah, oops.  But it's always great to have a reminder about why the work is so important. I definitely needed a little bit of a boost of that kind. 

Presents and a Party
Afterwards we went to check on the less active who didn't come to church!  (Just a nice friendly reminder, hah.)  So we had a little lesson about faith with her and then she gave us a bag of potatoes to take home. (more presents -- & people say missionary work is hard.)

Yesterday we had a mini birthday party with Maria Rita and Giuseppina!  We didn't want to plan a specific lesson because we really wanted to show her that care about her personally -- not just as a number to be met or a goal to be completed.  It was really great, and it made her very happy because she had no other plans for her birthday.  

Then we had another appointment with Sebastiano last night (our other investigator), BUT he stood us up. So sad.  We actually brought the anziani with us because Sorella Nef and I had a feeling that we should pass him over to them.  His wife seems a little uncomfortable having us over, so we thought maybe it was the American girl issue.  

Right before the lesson while we were driving up there, neither of us were feeling very good about the lesson we had planned.  Then it turned out that he was busy and his wife asked us to come another day. 

Going in Circles
So we had extra time to do finding.  There was an ex-investigator we wanted to try, but we got really lost and ended up in the middle of nowhere joking about how Heavenly Father knew we weren't prepared so he was just getting us out of the way for a while.  

Then after some good chastisement on my part during my studies this morning, I realized He was right.   I haven't been dedicating myself to the work as fully as I could be and that we really do just go in circles without the guidance of the Spirit.  The guidance of the Spirit comes from that diligence and that desire and that sacrifice to really do your best and work your hardest every moment of every day.  

I have realized that here on the mission Heavenly Father is never subtle: He's either with us or He's not.   And when He's not, you aren't doing anything.  You end up walking in circles through deserted neighborhoods and almost off the edge of a that's what I'll be working on this week..

Lots to do and a long way to go.

With love from Cagliari,
Sorella OConnor

(Kaitlin - 2012)

(Email Sent July 3, 2013)

No comments:

Post a Comment