Monday, July 14, 2014

Another Nail in the Coffin

Editor:  No pictures this week because Kaitlin's new camera fell apart. :(  and her companion's camera doesn't work either.  She is using her film camera for now.  

But in three weeks we can see her pretty face in person, so that's seems like a fair tradeoff. 

 Here's the email:


I feel like I'm ending my mission a lot like I started it... lost, awkward, and by the beach...

 I still get lost in the city a lot and it's hard making relationships with people when they know you leave in three weeks... but other than that things are going well in Ostia.  It's really pretty here and we have some great work going.  

We have a BAPTISM this week for a man named Giuliano.. at least we hope that it happens (PRAY FOR HIM)... He met the sisters about a year ago and he has finally made the choice to get baptized... we are frantically trying to get everything ready, choose talks, find clothes, get his interview, meet with him, and all that jazz in a week. We found out yesterday that we can go through with the baptism for next Sunday so last night Sorella Price and I were trying to get a musical number in.. 

She pulled out "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" - the one that Zoe and Brock and I did in Lanai Ward.

Big City Finding
It's been a hectic week. I'm getting back into the hang of big city finding again.  Finding is so different everywhere you go.  I love that in Rome you meet so many different people from all over the world.

We decided this week that when we had extra time we wanted to do finding for the elders because they don't have any progressing investigators right now, but it didn't go well because that means we targeted single men.... which I forgot is a bad idea.... but we got a lot of free food out of it... jk we turned them down, Mom.  

To All the Nations
But I did meet a cute family from Southern California, and a lady from Tuscany who gave me her business card and said I could stay with her if I want to visit Tuscany, and a cute Polish family, and a man who spray paints metro trains at night for fun, and other cool people that aren't interested in the gospel... yet.

Departing Testimony
I got to go to zone conference this week.. President let me come to the Rome EAST conference because I had missed Rome West by a week and otherwise I wouldn't get to do my departing testimony... It was fun because a lot of my friends are in the Rome East so I got to see Sorella Rossell, Sorella Mikesell, Sorella Bradford, Sorella Foster, and some anziani friends too. 

 It was a good conference, but hard because giving that last testimony at zone conference feels just like another nail in the coffin and in my interview with President he told me to fill up the agendas for the missionaries after me.  

I didn't plan what I wanted to say ahead of time so I ended up just crying and not being able to make any clear, coherent sentences in Italian. but that's okay.  The greenies all talked about how hard the mission is and how they know that God will help them do hard things and I just remembered when that was me... and now I want to go back to the beginning with all this time to still do so much.. but I just have to remember to be grateful for all the time I have had and STILL have to work hard and see miracles.

Speaking of miracles.. we have seen so many here in Ostia.  I think Heavenly Father still feels sorry for moving me so he is blessing us a lot.. Like planning everything for Giuliano this week.  

Also we have this incredible investigator named Valentina.. she is 21 and a dancer.  She found the church through a friend in Terni who gave her a Book of Mormon.. She said she was having a hard time and opened the book and it landed in Alma 32 and answered all these questions she didn't even know she had. 

She is super strong and is so open to everything. She accepted a baptismal date for August 2nd!  - the Saturday before I leave... so we are hoping and praying that everything will go well.  She is really excited about it and all the members love her and WE love her.  

Rain, Rain... Come again
The only thing that was holding her up was that she has to come to church 3 times before baptism... and her summer job makes her work Sundays.  She has come twice but we have been praying together that she would be able to get work off to come to church on Sundays... 

Well this Sunday we had a HUGE rainstorm right before church... and during Relief Society Valentina walked in!!!!  She said that they cancelled work because of the rain!  She works at a kids summer camp and they told her she could leave so she headed straight to church! MIRACLE.

Sweet Sicilian
We also got TWO new investigators this week... we have been working with this sweet Sicilian grandma in helping her come back to church.. she has 12 kids and most of them are no longer active. 

Well one of her kids moved back in with her after a divorce and her children have been coming to church and want to get baptized and asked if we could teach them. So we are really excited about working with them too.

I got to hold a really chubby baby.. another miracle.. Literally I had no choice because he JUMPED from his grandmother's arms and If I didn't catch him he would have fallen!  So I got to hold him.

To All Nations
I got to go to the African refugee camp twice this week. I love the African camps.

I met an orthodox Egyptian who lives in Italy with his Polish wife and owns a flower shop and I offered him a Book of Mormon and he did NOT take it.  He looked at me and the book like it was sent from the devil himself..  I still don't get it.. it says RIGHT on the front cover 


If you love Jesus and the Bible, why WOULDN'T you want to read another book of holy scripture that teaches of him and confirms the testimony written in the Bible? His loss.
So.. that's my week.  Today we are going to Rome to see CAROL :)  I asked one of the Young Single Adults if he knew her and his response was "Oh yes,,, she does not go unnoticed."  All the boys want her.  Sorry if that's embarrassing, Carolina mia... but it's true.

With Love from ROME,
Sorella O'Connor 

(Email Sent - July 14, 2014)

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