Saturday, May 10, 2014

People Underestimate Me


& Happy soon to be birthday SCOTT. 


I love you all and I'm sending lots of love your way. <3 
(It took me so long to figure out just how to do that heart again.. haven't done that since middle school) 

Long week this week, but it was a LOT of fun. I literally was on scambio the entire week. 

Last Monday Sorella Williams and I headed up to Catania so I could catch my plane to ROME!!! 

Roman Return
It was so crazy because I had to be by myself for a long time. The sisters had an appointment to go to so they left me at the check-in line... which turned out to be a huge mess. 

They had two flights trying to check in at the same time and all the people for Rome were about to miss their flight so they took down the lines to get the Rome people through which just ended up being a HUGE fight.. 

I may have done some pretty unchristian-like things.. but mostly I just followed all the other people yelling and it got me to the front and God answers prayers. I made it. 

But then I found out the assistants were on flight after me and the office elders coming to pick me up wanted me to wait the 2 hours until their flight came in... so I kind of just wandered around the airport trying to find people on my own for a while.. super awkward. but really liberating. 

Then they took me to my old home and I almost cried a little and I got to stay with Sorella Wiltbank and Kippen. 

Missing You
Tuesday I got all my permesso stuff worked out and I got to stop by the Ferrari family and then we met up with all my Rome friends for lunch before I had to head back to the airport. 

I was SO SO happy to see them again.  I miss them a lot a lot, so it was nice to be with them for a little before President took me to the airport.  

Although when he volunteered to take me,  I'm not sure President realized that I was going to take the 30 min car ride as an opportunity to tell him all of my thoughts. 


And then he was worried that I wasn't going to get on the plane, because I smuggled 15 copies of the Book of Mormon into my bag/backpack... People underestimate me. 

Exchanging Things Up
From Wednesday to Friday we had all the sisters from Palermo come to Siracusa for a scambio! They are the only sisters in their zone so Anz. Kasper organized it through President to send them to us :)

So that was really fun because we were housing 8 sister missionaries for 3 days.  

Plus with the fact that we have only one investigator meant we had to do a LOT of finding... we got a couple of contacts.. but not much... just goes to show that even with 8 sisters doing JUST finding for three days still doesn't get you very far.. 

BUT we are staying POSITIVE and HOPEFUL. or at least trying to. I got to see Sorella Neff again and Sorella Mikesell, so that was realllly fun. 

Friday we headed up to Catania for a specialized training for the zone.  Then Sorella Rossell and I stayed in Catania Saturday for a scambio with the sorelle there. 

The specialized training went really well.  It was actually a huge answer to my prayers. 

Hard Times
I've been really really discouraged lately. I try not to write home about it because I don't want you guys worrying unnecessarily or anything.. but I've been having a really hard time lately.  

I've been really discouraged, and as a result I was losing a lot of faith and desire to keep working.. But as Sorella Rossell and I were praying about what we should talk about for our addestramento, I felt impressed to talk about discouragement. 

We read together the story of the Jaredites crossing over in their boats from Ether Chapter 6 and pulled from their example and tied it into missionary work along with some quotes from being a successful missionary in PMG. 

The Healing
It was really healing for both Sorella Rossell and me; we both really really needed it.  Then we got to the conference and saw that everyone else really needed it too. 

So even though we STILL have no new investigators.. it was great to feel so guided by the Lord to prepare our addestramento for the missionaries. 

Works Every Time
Also, cool little story.. so I told you how Anziano Gardenhire gave us that idea to do finding:   We are supposed to pray before we go to bed and when we wake up and try to imagine the person we are supposed to find that day. It works every time. 

So on Sunday I had this image of a pregnant lady wearing a hot pink shirt with her husband who was wearing a shoulder bag.. super specific.. and I was thinking "Wow that is REALLY specific, I don't know if I'll find them."  

Then that night we were walking down the street and Sorella Williams and I stop at the same time and look at each other and we said "IT'S THEM!" because walking down the other side of the street was the couple.. exactly how I imagined them.. 

We Always Find Them
So we tactfully turned around to cross the street and walk up the other side.. because running across the street to chase them seemed like a bad idea... 

& I was SO excited because I just KNEW they were going to be our family to teach.  I walked up and I said, "Excuse me.. Are you from..

and the lady gives me the MEANEST look yells "NO!" and walks around me as if I had a contagious disease. 

I just stood there for a good 30 seconds thinking 

"Should I run after her? GOD TOLD ME TO TALK TO YOU!".. 

So we always find them... they just don't always want to talk to us. 

Make Up For It

Anyway.. all of the hard things are usually made up for on Pday... because Siracusa is one of the most beautiful places ever.  

Today we went on a boat tour of Ortigia and got to go inside some cool caves. 

I was really tempted to jump into the water.. like really really tempted. 

Hope all is well on your side of the world. I'm excited to talk to you guys.. My companion wants to skype her family on Saturday but I can do it whenever.. Just have Paige decide and then I'll call to make sure its all set up.. Just DON'T pick Monday, okay Paige? 

Thanks for all the pictures of my cute babies. The other day in church a member threw her baby at me and I almost dropped her because I'm not supposed to hold babies and it scared me that she was throwing a baby at me. So I'm excited to hold THOSE babies pretty soon. 

Building Character
All in all, things are going pretty well.  I really can't complain.  It's probably the hardest area I've served in, just because it is so small and we have so many missionaries here, but it's good for me.. builds character right? 

I've learned a lot about the enabling power of the atonement during this transfer.  

I've been really overwhelmed and I've been so grateful for the power of prayer and healing through the atonement. 

I'm grateful to know that Im here for the right reasons.  

I'm grateful that I get to be a representative of Jesus Christ and to bear his name and to heal the broken hearted. 

Vi voglio tanto bene. See you sooon. 

With Love from Siracusa,
Sorella O'Connor 

(Email Sent - May 5, 2014)

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