Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Monday "Preparation Days!"

Like, who thought of this?  No one writes me on Monday and since I just wrote you guys like 2 days ago, I don't really know what to say.  

Just Stay Home
We had a really bad number week this week because all of our investigators were busy or couldn't see us or whatever so we just stayed home all week... just kidding... We didn't do that, haha.  

I decided that I never write about the funny things that happen to us-- and let me tell you we have a lot of weird things happen-- So I started writing those down in my planner too because I knew I would forget them otherwise. 

Different Ideas of Fun
Last pday was so good. I picked this piazza that I wanted to visit and then we just wandered around the streets of Italy.  I felt kind of bad for Sorella Foster, though, because we have different ideas of fun:  

I want to look in all the weird old shops that have things like busts of dead popes and buy expensive gelato because they have flavors like "rosemary lemon" and "sicilian almond" and "white beach and some other herb I forgot the name of."   

She wants to go to the shops that have bobble heads and mini coliseums and buy the regular chocolate-flavored gelato. But we work it out. I'm very self-sacrificing. ha. 

Pdays in Rome are the best.  I love the city. 

Sorella Foster tells me she has a special talent for matching people with their "doppelganger."

Apparently mine is "the overly attached girlfriend" girl from those memes.

overly attached girlfriend

overly attached missionary?

"One Simply Does Not 'Break Up' with the Missionaries"

We also found Edna from the Incredibles... literally the same haircut/glasses/way of speaking... 

also another less-active who sounds JUST like Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. 

We also went to see this member, Sorella Iakaniani.. (pronounced yak-en-ya-knee) and her kids this week.  Their family is the best.  Her kids names are "Wolfgang" and "Demeter," she has a cool tattoo and her house is full of dragon statues and things.  They are converts of two years.  

She brought one of her friends to General Conference and English Course and gave her a Book of Mormon.. so we went over to encourage her to ask her friend to meet with us. 

Circus Entertainers
It was such a funny appointment because the kids were putting on a circus show for us:   literally jumping through hoops and things.   

Also they were coloring pictures of animals and adding them to their "gallery" because they sell their "paintings."  I'm proud to say that I'm the new owner of Demeter's cow drawing for only 1 euro.  

Later she apologized that her son was so wild and explained that he has ADHD.   I told her that I'm used to it because my brother has it too, so we started talking about the natural remedies that she has been using  (more omega 3s in case you are wondering, Mom) and it totally made me feel at home. 

 She kept apologizing, but I loved it. 

Blowing a Fuse
Also our apartment is SUPER cold in the mornings, so we found these floor heaters.   The other day, Sorella Foster turned them ALL on in the study room so it would be a heat box for us once I got out of the shower--great example of serving your companion.  

The only problem is that they blew the fuse while I was IN the shower with a full head of soapy hair.  

The power also cut off the water heater so the water immediately turned arctic cold... and Sorella Foster didn't know how to turn the fuse on (something I'm glad that I learned growing up with three sisters all trying to do their hair at once).  

But it meant that I had to get out and help her with soap still all in my hair.. and the fuse box is OUT of our apartment in the hallway.  So imagine me in my robe trying to find our fuse in the hall... 
forse (perhaps) TMI, but I thought it was funny. 

Eat Your Vegetables
So I've been trying to make Sorella Foster eat healthier foods with me--which isn't her favorite thing.  (I'm just trying to balance out the fact that the members feed us so much food--that we don't dare refuse or we will never get referrals.)  

So one day I decide to be nice and make gnocchi for Sorella Foster because she has never had it and I make her eat "bird food" with me (as she calls it).  I've made her eat a lot of things this transfer that she has never had:  like tomatoes, peaches, peppers, plums, oranges, etc.  

That's right, my companion has never had an orange.   Okay, maybe she has had an orange, but that's about it for fruit and veggies.  Also she refuses to eat strawberries.  (I'm working on it..) 

Second Helpings
So, like I said, I make gnocchi for lunch and we stuff ourselves and only THEN do I remember that we have a member appointment that night.  So we get there and they are like "Hey sisters, do you like gnocchi?" and we just groan a little and shake our heads "yes."  

#sistermissionaryproblems #ratherhavethistrialthentoeatdogmeatsomewhereelse..  

Bearing Testimony
But it was a great appointment. The family was baptized about two years ago.  The missionaries started working with the daughter when she was 15.  She got baptized and then the whole family followed.  We asked them when it was that they received their testimonies that the church is true.  

It was really sweet because they all had very personal and diverse experiences with the Spirit confirming the truth to them.  The youngest son, who is Scott's age, told his story last and it was touching because his parents said they had never heard his testimony before.  

That's one of the best things about serving in Italy: all the members are converts and they all have such special experiences and stories.  The Lord truly is a god of miracles and I know that his hand is in this work. 

Yesterday was the Primary program. cutest thing ever. I always loved it in our home ward, but it's even cuter with Italian kids.  That "no holding babies" rule is definitely the hardest one for me. 

Sharing Testimony
We also had a great lesson with Georgia this week.  We taught the first lesson again and put a huge emphasis on prayer.  She is really afraid of change in her life, but she has shared so many experiences with us about the Lord confirming that this is right for her. 

There is nothing better then sharing my testimony with our investigators.  There are so many things out of our control as missionaries.  We can't make these choices for our investigators;  They have to do it all themselves.  

But we are here to encourage them, to strengthen them, and to give them the spiritual witness that will bring them to act on the faith they are gaining.  I love being able to do that through my personal experiences and through my testimony of the scriptures. 

Finding Happiness
I often think about how blessed I have been in my life.  Sometimes I wonder why I was so blessed to have this guidance in my life while others have to do so much searching for it.  

I don't know the answer to that,  but I do know that it is through these changes and through TRULY following the Gospel of Jesus Christ and centering our lives on Him that we are able to find true happiness. 

This morning I read Mosiah 2:4

and it really comforted me to know that so many blessings come through obedience.  There really is no other way to find a perfect and complete happiness:  it is only through Jesus Christ that we can have that foundation. The Church is true.  It's all true. 

Anyway... That's really all I have to say for today. and lots of pictures.. if this place loads them fast enough.  Thanks for all the updates, Mom. and thanks for the letters.  I got Carla's letter today and it made me teary-eyed.  It really is such a strength to hear from loved ones back home.  

To all my friends that I never wrote:  Sorry
And to my friends that don't write me:  You know better 

Also shout out to Sister Batchkoff from the Hidden Springs Ward because she has sent me the most letters on my mission!  You are the best Sister B!  

(That does not include my own mother who is kind enough to send all my friends' mission blog updates that I love.) 

Ciao Ciao!  Off to see Rome

With Love,
Sorella O'Connor 

(Email Sent - October 14, 2013)

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