(I told them I could play the piano and they assumed the accordian was the same thing....It's not. I made the most awful noise you have ever heard, but it was so fun!)
I hope you all eat so much Mexican food for me today!! I wanted to make something, but it just ends up being so hard to find the time and ingredients here that we are just going to eat salsa and chips (not tortilla chips either just potato chips) oh well we will make do with what we have!
We had a good week this week and although it was strange. It just goes to show that as missionaries we can be finding and inviting and most importantly loving in every moment. We started off the week doing some service for a less active sister and her daughter. We painted her house and helped them clean a bit, they are really struggling financially and it felt amazing to be able to serve them and then talk to them about how much god loves them. We are praying lots for them that they will be able to feel that love and hope.
(Yes I painted a wall! Don't be too horrified.)
We have also been working hard this week to start teaching a family that we found last week. They are a Nigerian family and actually their daughter found us. She started talking to us on the street and then introduced us to her parents and wanted to come to church. We brought her on Wednesday and showed her the church and then she said she wanted to come on Sunday so we invited her and her whole family. She was the only one that came Sunday, but we have an appointment with her family tonight and will hopefully start teaching them. She is amazing and a lot younger than we first thought (she turns 8 in August) which just goes to show me that the Lord works through small and simple means. Who knows what will come of this young girls interest in two American missionaries? No matter how old you are you have an influence on those around you.
(homemade arancini!!!! they were so amazing!)
We have been working a lot this week with members and trying to get them strengthened and prepared for growth and change. I can feel the change in the air, it's time and I hope to be able to convey that spirit to the amazing people we work with. We have organized a course for the branch about teaching the gospel and have invited the teachers especially, but really all the members because we are all teachers. We held it on Saturday but unfortunately no one came. Fortunately we had an investigator and his friend that were in the church and were able to have a lesson with them so it turned out ok but we really hope the members will take advantage of this time that we can learn together how to share the gospel.
I have this quote that I keep with me from Elder Holland about being kind to human frailty because we are all going through problems, but I think sometimes we must find that line and sometimes people need a loving push to realize that they can give more. I know for me sometimes I need a good kick in the head. It's just hard to be giving everything I possibly can and then have people not willing to sacrifice even the smallest things....I just wish they could feel how much this means and how much we must give, but I have great hope and love. They are amazing people with so much love.
(I got to be with this girl again! Love her!)
We also had a scambio with the Taranto sisters and we got to go to Taranto! It was so amazing to be there especially knowing that dad served there and how much he loved it. I just wanted to soak everything in. Sorella Cherrington and I got to work together again and I remembered just how much I love her and what an amazing girl she is. It's so crazy to see how much we've grown and learned and to be able to share that with each other.
We did some miracle finding together and found this wonderful man whose daughter sings opera!! He said he would give me her address and that I could email her and ask her questions about singing and conservatories in Italy (and I will just add in the gospel of course!). Anyway he was amazing and we left him with a Book of Mormon and he said the sisters could come by when they wanted and that he was open to hearing our message.
(Slla Bradford and I bought this enormous ridiculous thing of chips...well It was a scambio party!)
I am always just amazed at what the Lord lets you see when you have faith. For example this morning at the questura when we were getting Sorella Taylor's permesso we were talking to 3 Nigerian men (of course there were only men there) and we talked to them about the gospel and in return they took care of us and made sure that we were protected and that we were the first ones to get through the enormous line. Tender mercies of the Lord!
On a side note, oh man these Italians do a number on your self esteem. One day someone tells you you are fat and then the next day they tell you that you are the most beautiful person they have ever seen. Thankfully I'm losing some of the winter weight gain.
I just really want to be 100 percent obedient and I have my things to work on. I don't know what will happen this next transfer (can you believe calls are this Saturday)... our numbers for this transfer are kind of terrible. We don't have any progressing investigators, we don't have any baptismal dates, we haven't received any referrals, just lots of zeros. I've decided that maybe I just need to increase my faith and obedience. I kept thinking that things would just get better and we are working, but nothing seems to be happening. That has been how the whole transfer has been so I don't know what president will do if he will want to change things up or let us work things out some. It's frustrating to see the elders with all their success....but I have felt strongly this week that our work, even if we don't see "success", will help their work as well. We will get there, Sorella Taylor is a great girl and we are working hard. We are not giving up.
All in all it was a great week and I love you all more than words could possibly describe! I can't wait to talk to you on Sunday and I am crying just thinking about how much I miss all of your beautiful faces!!!! I emailed each of the girls. I have missed them lots this week! Sometimes you just want someone that knows you perfectly and you guys are those people for me.Will you please tell Isaac that I am praying for his friend that he will come to school and that I am so proud of him!!!! He is such an amazing boy and his testimony really has made an impact on me. Tell Ben he is amazing at drawing and tell the babies that I love them so much and give them tons of kisses and hugs!
PS. Funny story from shopping today, I was standing next to a shelf waiting for Sorella Taylor to grab some bread from across the aisle. This lady rounded the corner and then gave me a double take and kind of had a freak out moment and then started to laugh telling me that she thought I was a mannequin and had just been so shocked when I smiled at her that she almost didn't know what to do with herself.