You know those weeks that you are completely exhausted from and then you look back not really remembering what you did but knowing it had to be something, otherwise why are you so tired? Yeah that was this week. We did so much and it was such a whirl but I hope I will make sense of some of it to tell you guys.
Cockroaches are the worst!!!! I hate them so much and I see them everywhere now. Apparently it's a thing all over Crotone, we were telling people about it and they said "yeah didn't you see that on the news? They are all over the city" of course we didn't we don't watch TV! Oh well thankfully we live in a place where we don't have them and it will only be for a very small time and hopefully they will be gone this week. We are finally getting our cockroach problem resolved this coming week and someone will be coming to spray while we are at zone conference in Taranto. I am so grateful because even if this is helping my bravery with bugs (I have almost no spider issues anymore!) I really would prefer to not share my house with all these little creatures. (I may still scream when I see them running around...)
My eyes are still bothering me, but I am just being really careful and wearing my glasses all the time, could you set up an eye appointment for when I get home...oh man all these appointments make me feel like an old lady... I got some drops from the pharmacy but I don't think it's pink eye. We think it's irritation from the raid we sprayed for the cockroaches...another reason it will be good for us to be away from our house for awhile...Sorella Rost is having nasty side affects from it as well and I am a bit worried about her..We are talking to Sorella Waddoups and the mission nurse however and hopefully we will resolve everything this week. I am a bit old and my body is feeling it. I worry too much and that's not good for aging.
I am excited for zone conference. I always need it when it comes around. It will only be my first in this zone even though this is my third transfer...the mission is crazy like that sometimes.
We spent this week really focusing on our branch. We are doing that calendar with them with little scriptures and tasks to do everyday and we have already seen so many miracles! We have been following up with the tasks everyday either in person or through messages or phone calls. So many members are doing it! We also had some great success with 3 less active lessons and inviting them to participate as well. We are even having our investigators do it with us and it is an amazing way to keep daily contact and help them know the importance of the small actions required daily to keep us strong in the faith.
We also had an amazingly successful lesson with Denise and her brother and Raffaella. We are starting the Faith in God program with all the children between 8 and 12 and we are hoping that it really helps them understand the baptismal covenants they have made or will make. Our lesson was really great and ended up with an activity/game that had us all laughing and really just enjoying being together. It's amazing what happens when you just love kids and how much more easily they respond to the gospel and to the spirit.
We are also helping a less active sister in our branch prepare to be the new Young Women's president. She was called and was extremely unsure that she could do it (she rarely comes to church and when she does it is only to sacrament) but she has accepted and we are going to help her get reactivated and learn how to work with the young women in our branch (non of which of active) It was really cool yesterday because a priesthood leader was talking to her, encouraging her and telling her that even if no one ever came to her class, even if non of the girls got reactivated, this calling was hers and she would be blessed for accepting it. I know this is true. I know that even if we don't see direct results from our service the biggest result is that we are changed by it.
Our cute family is doing really well and they came to church again. We love them sooo much but I completely appreciate the pain my mother felt trying to teach us the gospel! They do not sit still one second and with 6 little whirlwinds always blowing all around us it is going a lot slower than we thought teaching them the gospel, but really 3 weeks in a row in church, they are saying prayers, and reading the Book of Mormon. They love the restoration film we gave them and when they invited us over for dinner they had it playing in the background the whole evening. So although maybe it's not our timing that we want, the Lord knows what they need and we will continue to do our best with what we know we need to do.
Saturday all the missionaries in our district went to Catanzaro to do a missionary finding blitz. It was great and we talked to soooo many people! I really hope that the people there felt something with all those missionaries there and that the Elders there will see success in their work from Saturday.
Everyone's birthday is in July!!! It's crazy! We celebrated Anz. Palazzo's birthday last week and Sorella Rost's birthday is this week. I've been doing little surprises for her every day (21 days til 21) and then Friday evening I want to go with her and some investigators out to dinner because that's what her family always does as a tradition. They choose their favorite restaurant and go together. In fact maybe you could mention that to President D'oppido on facebook and tell him that's what I want to do...It's hard to plan surprises for a person who is with you 24/7. I don't know really any restaurants here...maybe just tell him on that's reasonably priced and yummy. I don't think it needs to be a huge thing especially because so many people here are so poor and can't afford much I just wanted him there, Valeria one of our friends from english course, and maybe a couple of others, well and the elders!
I would love to do a study aboard in Germany with Samantha! It would be so fun to get back into school and especially to take the class with her! I hope it's possible! Do you know the name of the German teacher? Remember my accompanist Ben, he taught German at the U. I didn't realize
how much I missed school and I really want to just dive back into 18 credit hours but I also know that I will just want to sit with the kids and love on them too for a really long time so it's probably better to just do a couple and to go slow. I honestly don't think you all would ever drive me batty...I have dealt with a lot of crazy people in the last year and a half and if the kids want to be driven batty I will introduce them to some new friends. I think that family home evening on kindness will be good for everyone, because we all do need to be more careful how we treat each other and talk about each other.
I can't wait to hear what happens with school! I really never thought I would miss it this much...what will happen when I graduate! I miss college a lot and am really excited to learn and grow more. I am really ready to put into practice the principles of learning and work that I have learned here on the mission and see what I can do education wise. I am a little bit ashamed of the type of learner and worker I was before and I hope I will be a lot better.
I actually was thinking about going to the temple last night, about just the peace a beauty of it and of how I want to live there when I get home! I love the temple. It's the most amazing feeling to wear that beautiful white dress and to know you are in the most sacred place on earth doing the most important
this possible. Our beautiful family that we are teaching (and they have come to church 3 weeks in a row) they are crazy wonderful and I can just see them all in white at the temple!
Buying the village near Torino doesn't sound bad at all! Plus a village would fit our whole family+ more...I'll mention it to dad in my email. Well I love you all lots and I hope that you are all so happy and that summer is going great for you! I have amazingly avoided getting completely sunburned so far and I think the Lord is blessing me with another mild summer (as the Italians are all telling me, I don't want to feel a not mild summer) so that I can survive and continue to love these amazing people.
Just know how much I love you and how much I'm praying for you always. You are the best mother ever and I would never be the woman I am today without your influence and guidance. I am blessed with amazing parents who always think about their children before themselves! Thanks for all you do! I'm just trying to work hard and stay focused until the end....hard when I miss you guys so much. It's seems like more and more everyday that missionary work is almost exactly like motherhood...that's exactly how I feel. I am really tired and sometimes feel like giving up but it's in those moments that we remember we are called of God. Our callings are sacred and we are fitted to them.
I feel like sometimes I live in such a bubble and just can't believe that there is so much evil but I want to continue to be shocked by it so it's not a normal thing ever. I don't know why I thought it would get easier at the end...I just figured that time would keep going faster and things would just be better...no worries though I wasn't raised by people that give up when the going gets tough. You've never given up being a mother or living the gospel and I won't either.
One of my favorite verses Joshua 3:5 "Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will work wonders among you." How amazing is that promise? We have to be prepared everyday for the wonders and miracles God will use us to perform tomorrow.
Love you all!
PS. So on the train up to Taranto I think I am going to casually ask Anz. Passantino if he wants to be my brother in law and then give him Samantha's email address...what do you think? good plan? he's adorable inside and out! I didn't think I had changed much in my male interaction but actually I think I have. If I can talk to a bunch of random men on the street I think I can definitely talk to nice worthy priesthood holders that may have interest in my beautiful amazing sister! Talking to my own men is the next step but I might have to get rid of some of the mission scarring of creeps first;)
SORELLA ROST'S LETTER: