Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Halfway... What?

The Hardest Rule
First of all, I can't tell you how excited I am about TWO new baby Bergquist GIRLS.  Marleigh is SO beautiful and I'm so sad I can't hold her. so sad.  So keep sending me LOTS of fotos.  so many babies.  

Welcome Marleigh Jane!

I agree with Paige, it's been SO hard to follow that mission rule... especially because our ward has the CUTEST babies. seriously. and they speak Italian. and I want to hold them. 

Mid-Mission Crisis
So this week it finally happened.  I hit the halfway mark. SO weird.  I was having a sort of "mid-life" crisis.. but it has passed.  I just can't believe how fast it's going.  Probably because we are SO busy.  A really good kind of busy. 

Dreams Come True
MONDAY I SAW LA CAPELLA SISTINA! (Sistine Chapel) dreams come true. they do, they do.  
It was SO beautiful. I can't even describe it.  

Sorella Foster and I decided to take a tour so that we could have someone show us around.. Because the Vatican is SO huge,  I knew I would miss something important on my own.. and it was so good.  Also we talked to our tour guide about the gospel in Italian and that was cool.  But seriously I never wanted to leave the Sistine Chapel.  

Outside the Vatican

From my point of view

(fortunate placement of the tour guide's head)

Hey Sisters!
Also we got "hey sistered" in the chapel. 

(That is when we see Mormon tourists and they yell "Hey sisters!"... usually accompanied by a joke or asking how many baptisms we have had.. today's "hey sister" was "Do they let you come over here?" referring to the Vatican.) 

School of Athens... an art history student's dream coming true 

Tuesday I found out that my companion has NEVER HAD RANCH DRESSING. never. ever. or sour cream. & I can't even make her eat it because we don't have it here.  Isn't that so crazy?  

I just kept saying "CHIPS AND DIP SORELLA, YOUVE NEVER HAD CHIPS AND DIP?" that's like a staple football party food.  Speaking of which, I can't tell you how much I love the BYU football updates.  It's been cold football weather here and I've been slightly homesick for BYU football. Next year. 

We met with our cute RS president and she has this new baby (again with the babies) and I couldn't hold her.  But it was still a good meeting because we are doing a lot of less-active work right now. 

Because they split the two wards and the member lists are smaller, they can put more attention on less-active finding.  So we are going to be doing a lot of that.  Also we had a good lesson with our new investigator Giuseppina at the church before English Course. 

Get the Rust Off
Thursday we did finding at Villa Ada.  Because we have been so busy, we haven't had a lot of time specifically set aside for finding.  We have been getting kind of rusty, so we decided to spend the whole morning getting out of our bubble again to do finding. 

So I made Sorella Foster talk to these two ladies playing with their dogs and it was such a good experience.  Neither of them were interested in knowing more, but at the end they just praised us for all the work we are doing and told us how wonderful we are and how wonderful it is that people our age are making these sacrifices to help people find happiness.  

What Makes You Happy?
We have been doing a new sondaggio (survey) about happiness.  We ask people how many times they have smiled.  Then we ask what makes them happy.  

Then we go on to explain that we are here with a message of finding eternal happiness through the gospel of Jesus Christ. cheezy but we love it.  Anyway at the end, they gave us big hugs and wished us well. so cute. 

That night we went over to our OTHER ward mission leader's house. (Since we work with both wards, we also have two ward mission leaders.) They are American.  It was so weird because we walked into their apartment and it just felt like a classic Utah home.  

We had corn bread and chili (which Sorella Foster also had never eaten) and FRESH SALAD. heaven sent. seriously. The salads we have had here are basically lettuce, oil, and salt.. sometimes tomatoes.. and sometimes olives.  

We're Not Nuns
ALSO when we were going there, I started talking to this girl who was Italian but speaks English because her boyfriend is British.  Then I hear Sorella Foster explaining to this man that we aren't nuns (which we get a lot).  

Afterwards he gets off at our stop and we explain more and offer him a Book of Mormon.   He says, "I don't know if I'll read it because it is black and it looks depressing."   I answer,  "Well its actually blue on the outside and it's white on the inside and it will fill your life with light."  So we will see if that works. 

Parli Inglese
Friday we were doing some English Course publicity in the park and this guy was like "Why are you teaching people English and not teaching people what the Bible says?" and we were like, "Ummm, yeah, we do that too."   I've never had anyone be mad that we offer English.  But he didn't want us to teach him about the Bible either so...  

We have started this English Course for kids once a week for service.  The last time we taught it (which was also the first time we taught it), the parents who came sat in the back read through ALL of the pamphlets we left them.  So that was cool. 

Saturday we traveled a lot.  We went to a member's home because she has a friend who needed some help with English for an exam.   So we went to help her out and at the end we had pranzo together (The Peruvians are good to us). 

We talked a ton about the temple and gave her a Book of Mormon, so we are hoping that all goes well. She seems really excited about the temple and about eternal families because there are a lot of marital problems right now.  Also she is dating a less-active member, so that would be so cool if we could get them ready for the temple.

Yesterday we had stake conference! so fun. I got to see Martina Sana (from Cagliari) because she moved to Rome and is in my stake and I got to see Flavia our investigator that we passed to the Ladispoli sisters. so much fun. 

Sunday Ride
Then Sunday night we had no appointments, so we decided to travel all the way to Prima Porta to find Giorgia.  She has been avoiding our phone calls because (we think) her BF is not too happy with the idea of her getting baptized.  

On the way I started talking to this lady on the bus from ORISTANO (Sardegna.. smallest branch where we have missionaries) and now she is living in Prima Porta. 

Anyway, we started talking and we had a lesson with her on the bus and then we exchanged numbers and got a return appointment for next Sunday!  NEW INVESTIGATOR!  and we have great members over there in Prima Porta to help out.  

We got to reach Giorgia at home and her boyfriend was there, so we got to meet him and tried to show him we are not so scary (I hope.. it's been raining a lot so we looked pretty scary) and we have an appointment tomorrow. 

Don't Think About It
miracles miracles miracles. I love being a missionary. so much. I got sad last week thinking that by the end of next summer I won't be wearing the name tag anymore.  So I just stopped thinking about it. 

I love being here in Rome. It's the best.  We have so much to do and I'm learning so much.  But I love all the updates from home, so keep them coming.  Something that sucks about having a greenie at your halfway point:  everyone has forgotten about you, but she is still getting 10 letters a week.  So I wouldn't be mad if I got more letters ;) 

Anyway. love you. I can't believe Thanksgiving is coming so fast.  We have two offers for an American Thanksgiving, so we are pretty excited about that. There are pluses of having Americans in your ward. 

Send me more baby pictures. Hold them tight for me. I sent Brit a letter this week.  Tell Di that I'm SO excited for her :) okay bye.

With Love from Rome,

Sorella O'Connor

Anziani stealing oranges from the church for DDM

The Harry Potter train by our house. 
The train station is right by our house and we hear it ALL the time... 
It also makes our house shake and sometimes glasses fall from the counter in the middle of the night. 
But it's cute


(Email Sent - November 11, 2013)

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