Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Finding, Fetishes, and My Own Personal Witchdoctor

Hi Mom. Happy Birthday. 

It's coming up thisss week!  I sent you a little something in the mail--just some things I found at the market by our house.

So last week we did a lot of finding.  Are you surprised? 

He Always Answers
Not going to lie, it's been wearing on me a lot because we still don't have any investigators. It's hard to want to go out on the streets for 8 hours a day to talk to people.  

(I make my companion do casa in sketchy places - candid photo)

But I've found a lot of strength through prayer. Heavenly Father ALWAYS answers my prayers.

...just not always the way I want, and sometimes I think he is poking fun at me. 

Like the other morning we were doing finding... and there is no one on the streets and we are just walking and walking and we see a little market with a bunch of people, so I say to Slla Williams.. 

"Either we can walk AROUND the market where there are no people, or we can stroll THROUGH the market and do finding the Italian just chatting with people." 

finding in the market.. sea urchins that you put in pasta sauce.. mmm 

The Italian Way
So we decide to do things the Italian way and we head towards the market.  I'm just so tired of stopping people, so I say a little prayer in my heart like 

"Heavenly Father.. can someone just PLEASE stop US for a change.

and right as that phrase crosses through my brain I hear someone say, "SORELLE!!"  

So we turn around and see this Middle Eastern shop keeper waving us down.  We start to talk to him and he tells us how he has talked with the sisters before and how he loves talking about religion.  

I'm thinking "THANK YOU, THANK YOU."   

Then he says "You know it's my dream to marry an American girl..." and starts talking about how we are all so beautiful and blah blah blah..  

Real Funny
It's like I can hear God chuckling and I'm like "Yeah, real funny."  But it was still an answered prayer, so I guess I can't complain. 

Then a couple of days later.. same story... morning of finding and I say a little prayer...

"Heavenly Father, please, just help us find someone who WANTS to talk to us.

and right then I hear "Ummm, excuse me.. do you speak Italian?" (in Italian obviously) and I say "Yes

Best Feet Forward
and he says "So this may sounds strange but I have this weird obsession with feet.. may I take a look at your feet?" 

and I'm like umm yeah sure.. so I show him my foot and he is like "Okay, the next time we meet I will bring my camera so I can take a picture of your feet"... 

& I'm wondering why he is so sure we will meet again and then I remember how small Siracusa is and the fact that we are now standing right outside the church.  If he wanted to see us again, it wouldn't be that hard. 

produce from the members (and sandals - only in the apartment from now on)


So moral of the story:  God answers prayers. 

But now I'm being more specific with my prayers. I've been praying so hard for a family to teach, it's not too much to ask right?

Messina with an Accent
Other than finding, we did cool things too.  Sorella Rossell and I did a scambio in Messina!  I fell in love with cute little Messina.  I was with Sorella Arnold for the day.. she is the cutest. 

Kaitlin in Messina with Sorella Arnold

She is from London and she looks like Kiera Knightly and I warned her ahead of time that sometimes when I am around English people, I start speaking with an English accent, but not on purpose. Things I inherited from my mother. 

New Moon Moment
So we had a great scambio and we were doing finding in this cute area of town and she turns to me and says "Sorella, what time is it?!" and I say, "Ummm, almost noon". and she says "Hurry.. we have to go".. 

and I'm like, "Okay, I thought we didn't have any appointments this morning, but yeah why not?

And we start fast walking to I don't know where and we walk up to this big piazza and there are a TON of tourists and a big water fountain and the bell tower is ringing and I had a sudden flashback to the scene in the Twilight movie when Bella goes to save Edward from the Volturi..  

Don't ask me where it came from but it came and I felt the immediate need to find Edward Cullen.. Anyway, it was a good scambio.

Hour of Power
Another miracle.. So one day we were doing finding ALL DAY.. and our one appointment in the afternoon got canceled.. AND we were all fasting for the other sisters' investigator, so we were tired AND hungry... so we decided to go with all the missionaries to Ortigia to do one last "hour of power" -- all of us finding in Ortigia.  

At this point I was just dead tired.. and we had a 45 min walk to get there and as we pulled up we ran into a less-active member we had been trying to contact earlier.  It turns out they moved... so we got her real address and set up an appointment with her!  Miracle Number One

Then we got to the main piazza in Ortigia and I was so exhausted, I asked Sorella Williams if we could just sit down for a minute.  So we find an open bench and I sat down and looked over to the man next to me and he said  "Oh hello there.. I'm sorry I didn't even recognize you." all in English.  

Go With It
I'm thinking, "Just go along with it" (because all the missionaries look the same to people so they think you are the same missionary who served there 5 years ago). 

We started chatting in English and he says "Oh you have to meet my friend here... You need to teach her about the gospel" and right then his friend walks up and he tells her to come sit down next to us and is convincing her that she needs to meet with us.. 

So we got her number and she told us we could come visit her at work (she sells homemade bracelets by the fountain in Ortigia.. so she is always there) Miracle Number 2. new potential. 

THEN after they talked our ear off it was time to meet the other missionaries so we could all walk home because it's sketchy and dark.  

Can I Know You?
So we said our goodbyes and stood up to go when we hear another voice say "Can I know two nice girls like you?" in English.. which is an Italian phrase that doesn't translate well into English..  

Sorella Williams starts talking to him and I introduce myself to the friend who doesn't seem nearly as excited about two American girls as the first guy.  He asks which church we belong to.. so I start teaching him the Restoration and I give him a Book of Mormon and his face just lights up as I start explaining the book.  

So we exchanged numbers and we are going to try and set something up with him and the elders. MIRACLE Number Three. 

Still no new investigators for US, but I'm still praying big time for a family to teach. 

Buona Pasqua
Lastly.. we got to do Easter Italian style -- which is the best way to do Easter.  They have Easter AND Pasquetta, which is a holiday the day AFTER Easter.. 

so TWO days of member appointments and so much food that we wanted to die. But so much fun. It was a good chance for me to start bonding with the ward members. 

At the Villa
Yesterday we went to this member's villa out in the countryside in the middle of a giant vineyard.  

They played bad Italian karaoke songs and one of the sisters in the ward pulled me up to dance with her and it was just a lot of fun.

Then we cleaned all day. DEEP CLEANING DAY. my favorite. I know you don't believe me, Mom, but I love cleaning. it's a weird thing I developed on my mission. Stress reliever. anyway. 

I love you allll. Sorry the email is a day late.  They switched pday with the holidays. Next week I don't know when I'll have time to email because I have to fly up to ROMA for my permesso. yeahhh.  

Also those photos of my Rome friends you sent me made me cry a lot.  

Then Anziano Kasper just called me to organize a scambio with the Palermo sisters and asked for suggestions for housing and I just cried again to him because HE got to go to Rome to see them last week. 

bad timing, poor kid. 

Allora. Vi Voglio Bene. Pray for my Siracusa people. 

Sorella O'Connor 

p.s. SORRY I'm spending so much money.  I have to travel for scambi every week, so it's expensive and I have to SEND my reimbursements to Rome instead of bringing them into the office, which means we have no money for food.  So I've been pulling out of personal funds because all I can afford is pasta (and I'm trying to eat healthy food). 

Also I forgot to explain the "witch doctor" in my title. Sorella Rossell has "doterra oils" and has been using them to fix all my ailments. Whenever I'm in pain, she says "let me get my oils" and they work, they really work.  

It's good because I'm in a lot of pain, haha.  My body is seriously messed up.  When I get home we are going to have to do a lot of doctors appointments haha.  Don't be alarmed though, not that bad. 


(Email Sent - April 22, 2014)

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