Saturday, July 13, 2013

Meet the President

I feel like it was just p-day and then I was thinking about everything that has happened since last p-day, and it feels like its been a whole month.  We had a REALLY busy week this week.


American as Apple Pie
Wednesday we had a 4th of July party with our English course students.  Sorella Nef and I thought it would be cute to make apple pies... which then took up the WHOLE pday and we didn't have time to go grocery shopping. dang it.  But they loved the pies and it was a lot of fun.  Also they somehow got us to sing the national anthem. rough.

Thursday I got the letters (mom) sent me from Nat and I told Sorella Nef about their goal for 100 OYMs (open your mouth!) every day.  So we made a goal to start talking to WAY more people than our original goals and we found a lot of people who were really interested.. not to meet with us again, unfortunately.  But we planted some really good seeds.  

We also had a lot of time to talk to all these people because ALL of our lessons canceled on us that day (which turned out to be a trend for the rest of the week... which looks like it might be a trend for all of the summer... such is the life on the Island).  But then Sorella Winward and I had our leadership training meeting with President Waddoups that night which was really cool.

First Impressions:
LOVE HIM.  He is SO humble.  I had heard that he was president of the Utah Senate or something (politics are hard).   Being called to be the mission president in Rome right now is a really big responsibility with all these changes and the temple coming soon, so I thought he would be really confident with a strong personality.  

He's definitely not like that (in a really good way).  He is very quiet and very thoughtful and very calm...  but also really funny when he wants to be.  He is so humble.  He was talking about how he got into politics, and the way he told the story made it sound like it was just an accident and he just got lucky.  I really like him a lot; he is simple and kind and really caring.  You can tell he is the kind of person who completely relies on the Lord and gives all credit to Him.

See a video featuring President Waddoups HERE

Friday was ZONE CONFERENCE!  Always so great to have a moment for your own spiritual recharging.  Sorella Winward and I did a destramento with the other two ZLs and it was really great.  

I doubt anyone else learned anything, but I learned a ton about goal setting and planning so at least it was great for me. 

Also we had a big pot luck and we (Sorella Nef and I) were assigned to bring a main dish, so I made some Sard pasta and it was so good (bragging).  We had a quasi food challenge with the anziani who also made pasta and it was agreed that ours was way better.  Even Presidente Caravagna (best cook on the island) said it was "Buonissimo"... highest honors.  So I have perfected sugo.  At least there is that, right?!

The Plan
Saturday we had a really great lesson with Marie Rita and Giuseppina.  We brought Sorella Saffina with us who is the RS president and we talked about the Plan of Salvation.  

It was cool because we were in the park and Francesco just showed up again (EC student who randomly showed up at our last lesson).  He is great, but he likes to interrupt a lot so when we started to talk about eternal marriage, Sorella Saffina was able to keep him busy while we finished the lesson with Marie Rita and Giuseppina. 

Life After
We started talking about the Spirit World and they asked, "Are there lots of people there?" and "Will we be able to see our relatives?" Then they shared a really cool experience about their mom/grandma who right before she died started talking about seeing all these people and how there was so much light and how she could see her mom.  

So we just went with it, haha (not sure how apostate we were) but we were like "Yeah, she is there now learning about the same plan we are teaching you here."  Anyway, we invited them to Church and they said they would come! 

Rush In
Also Sorella Saffina bore a really great testimony about her conversion story which really helped them a lot... BUT we were trying really hard to set a baptismal date for them, and she kind of ruined it by saying "I investigated the Church for nine months and I think it's really dumb when people rush in and get baptized".. so we held off again.

That night we had another mostra at Piazza Yenne!  I talked to about a million people, and no one I talked to was interested.  But Sorella Nef and Anziano Walker found some good potentials.  

Mostras are really fun because you never know what will happen.  Like this old crazy guy came up to the table and kinda yelled at me about not being genuine and how the pope is better than me because I just do this for the money and he doesn't, which I thought was funny.  

Also this guy that looked like Harry Potter came up and asked if he could take a picture and I thought, "Cool, free publicity!"  Sure why not? and then he came up really close to my face and took like 20 headshots. awkward. super awkward because we were all posing for the picture and then he does these weird head shots haha funny though.


Happiest day ever.  

Also there was a German tourist who came and asked me to translate for her. bahaha. I was super nervous because there are three other people who speak perfect Italian and English, and she asked me to do it.  Then I thought, "I can't even make it up, because all these people will know that I don't know what I'm talking about."

But when Maria Rita and Guiseppina showed up, I got to pass her off to one of them after Relief Society haha.  We were so happy they came. 


It was Fast Sunday and they loved everyone's testimonies (which is a miracle because we all know how those meetings can sometimes go).  

Afterwards, Maria Rita said, "I feel so happy here; everyone just loves each other.  I just love this."  Sorella Nef and I were just staring at each other like, 


and then a ton of the Relief Society sisters came up to chat with them.   Sorella Pistida starts talking to Giuseppina and asks, "How did you hear about the Church" and they said they had met us in the park and  that we've been meeting to learn about it.   

Fist Pumps
Sorella P turns to look at me, points at them and says "ehhhhh!" in a really excited "Way to go!" kind of way.  Then she turns to them and says, 

"Listen to what they say; they will bring you to God." and points to the ceiling. So funny. Then as we were all leaving Marie Rita and Giuseppina were like "Bye, see you next week!" to all the sisters, and Sorella Nef and I were doing internal fist pumps.

Also we got a refferal from! on my 5-month birthday.  It was the best present ever.  We NEVER get those. NEVER!  So we went and saw this girl and she said we could come back to talk about the LDM. (Book of Mormon) YES!

Then Monday and Tuesday the sorelle from Sassari came again for a scambi! (exchange).  We literally had no food and they ate all my Special K bars that I found at the expensive store.  (Then I remembered how when we were little Mom used to say, "No crying about food.")  haha

But we had a good scambi with them.  I had to give up our dinner appointment with the Sanna family, though, which was a huge sacrifice for me because I love them.  I let Sorella Nef go with Sorella Winward.  

Stopped in our Tracks
But, we had two less-active lessons--which we hadn't planned--literal miracle from just walking down the street.  One guy stopped and said, "Hey, I got baptized into your Church." and we talked a long time with him and got all his info so that was cool.  

Then two minutes later this guy stops us again and says "Hey are you Mormon?  My uncle is Mormon and he lives right there.  You should go visit him."  Ummm, okay.  

Perfect timing too because it was actually the son (who is also a member) and he said his dad had just passed away.  So we were able to talk about the Plan of Salvation and read the scriptures with him. really cool.

My Comp
The girls left Yesterday and we were just exhausted from hosting all week. I love the other sisters a ton but I'm also really glad to be with Sorella Nef.  We get along really well and I realized how we are both just really in tune with each other.  Plus she makes me laugh, and she is super smart.  

Every day I learn something new about Mozart or battleships or baking or something.  A fountain of knowledge she is.  I hope we stay one more together in Cagliari.  Crazy that we get transfer calls a week from Saturday.  It's going by so fast!

Work for the Dead
Today we had a nice relaxing pday. We went to the COOLEST cemetery by the Bonaria Church. Sorella Nef's mom sent her pics so we went to check it out and we are obsessed.  

I took my film camera and used a whole roll.  I can't wait to see them. They have the coolest old sculptures and we had the whole place to ourselves.  It reminded me of the scene from Phantom of the Opera when she is in the graveyard... So of course I had to sing the song.  

Then we went shopping because EVERYTHING is on sale.. literally every store has to get rid of ALL of it's merchandise. yayy for us. I wasn't too bad. I have a suitcase to think about.

Another week alive and well.  I read a great talk from Elder Cook (Read it HERE) from the last conference this morning.  It really reminded me about why I am here and strengthened my testimony of the peace that comes from the gospel.  

We ask people to make a lot of changes in their lives.  But ultimately those changes bring a greater peace than the world could ever provide. Then I read Helaman Chapter Five this morning about the Lamanites in the clouds of darkness.   As soon as they repented they were filled with an unspeakable joy and the Holy Ghost as a pillar of fire.  

I've felt that unspeakable joy, and that's what I am here to share.  

I am so grateful to be a missionary.  It's really hot and sweaty and everyone is at the beach and some days everyone cancels on us.  But Marie Rita and Giuseppina came to Church.. and they felt that peace, and they were so happy, and it makes it so worth it. It makes everything worth it.  

We are so blessed to have that in our lives, and I feel so blessed to be able to bear testimony of that joy and to help others make the changes to have that in their lives as well.

With love from Cagliari,
Sorella O'Connor

(Email Sent - July 10, 2013)

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