Wednesday, July 10, 2013

More Miracles, More Friends, More Love

I have so much I want to tell you all this week, and not nearly enough time to do it all justice. 

My sweet girls from the MTC.
Sorella Hallum, Sorella Holloway, and Sorella Roth (and me)
Last Wednesday we had a huge turnout for English course and Family Home Evening. Tons of our members showed up and brought friends! Yay! They also brought a large supply of food. When I thanked the newly called Relief Society president for her help, she replied that it's her job and she'll always be there for us. Sweetest woman ever!

Thursday morning we went to have lunch with the Torres Family. They live in Vigevano, which is a 30-minute train ride from Milano. Was it worth it? Absolutely. This incredible family is so full of love. Their sweet daughters are incredible. The best part is being able to talk with them. Obviously I'm not fluent in Italian, but I can have conversations! It's so nice to be able to really communicate with these sweet people, because I love them so much. Oh, their nickname for me is Sorella Leona, because I remind the oldest daughter of Leona Lewis. They made me sing for them, which was fun. Also, Sorella Torres made tiramisu, so go ahead and be jealous. Just kidding, don't be jealous, just go find yourself some tiramisu.

Vigevano is gorgeous. I didn't take my camera, but I wish I did. It's definitely one of the prettiest places I've ever been. Also, there is a shoe museum there. Will I be going back someday for p-day? Don't mind if I do...

Sometimes my comp likes to take pictures
during meetings - not sure why
Let me just tell you, promptings are by far the coolest part of being on a mission. After we came back to Milano, we were waiting for the bus to go back home. I thought maybe we should go to the church first and then go finding from there. We started walking towards the church and past a man on a bench. We walked a little ways away, and I got the feeling we needed to go talk to him. So we did! Always awkward when you turn around to talk to someone, but he was really nice. He set up an appointment with us for Saturday and we gave him a Book of Mormon. Jumping ahead, we went to see him Saturday, but we didn't have his citofono . . . whoops. So no lesson. He has our number though, so hopefully we hear from him soon. Regardless, I feel so grateful to receive promptings.

Back to Thursday; I had a short sad moment that night. Even though we had seen a lot of miracles, it was a hard day. On our way home, I asked God for just one more miracle. We had one Book of Mormon left, and I asked him to help me find someone who needed and wanted it. On the bus I smiled at this sweet older man. He beamed back and then asked me what book I was holding. Well, I told him it would change his life. We gave him the book and realized we didn't get his number. Luckily though, God has our back and makes up for our mistakes, because we saw him again Monday night. He told us he's been reading and he loves it. He couldn't remember his number, but he told us he'd call us the next morning at 10. He called at exactly 10 a.m. God answers prayers and he makes up for our falling short. I'm so grateful for this knowledge because it makes life so much easier.

Anziano Garner
We went to Monica's for lunch on Saturday. Oh my goodness, I will never get over how fantastic her children are. At one point, Alex played with my hair for a good 15 minutes. I've never seen the child so tranquil. Also, I've never eaten so much food in my life. It is true; your stomach grows while you serve in Italy. If it didn't I'd never even be able to eat half of what people feed us. 

Anziano Malzone
Anziano Garner and Anziano Malzone had a baptism Saturday night. Miguel is a sweet man who had been a former investigator. He has three beautiful children, and the ward has really gone out of their way to make them feel welcome. It's beautiful to see. When I walked in, Miguel was really excited. Later, I was told he'd been asking all day if Sorella Pavoratti was coming. Oh my goodness, I could not have been more flattered. We also talked about my favorite composer, Verdi. If you don't know the story of Va Pensiero [chorus of the Hebrew Slaves] from his opera Nabucco [Nebuchadnezzar], look it up, it's incredible. Also, Va Pensiero is in the Italian hymnbook, so that's just about the best. I will never get tired of this country. Miguel had actually stayed up until two in the morning reading the hymnbook one night so he could pick two hymns. He picked an Italian hymn that's not in the English book. Anziano Garner and I had to learn it before the baptism, but it's beautiful. 

We went to the Angiulli's this Sunday for lunch. Again, we were fed more food than people can eat if they aren't Italian. Again, somehow we managed it. I kept expecting them to stop bringing in a new course. It happened about an hour after I expected it. Then we had a short lesson with them. Then, Sorella Angiulli brought us brownies and gelato. I don't know how I haven't gained 50lbs. But thank goodness I haven't. They are truly such wonderful people, and I loved getting to know them better. Our ward is truly fantastic. 

Refectory of the Convent of
Santa Maria della Grazie, Milan.
Later, we got a call from Elvira saying she had set up an appointment for us with a man she met in the park. We came and had a beautiful lesson about the restoration. The next day, before our next lesson with him, he asked us when he could get baptized. He's getting baptized July 27th! He is so excited; he kept trying to get us to let him get baptized this week. We finally got him to realize we had to have a little more time than that. He has a little bit more of a process than some people because he's been Muslim his whole life. He has to go through an interview with the Mission President to make sure he'll be safe if he's baptized. It is a testament of the truthfulness of our church that safety is the first priority. I'm so grateful for that because it shows how much God loves us.

We had 16 lessons last week. That's absolutely crazy for us! We actually met or exceeded our goals in all but two categories - also crazy for us. I really saw the Lorrd's hand in my life this last week. This is His work ,and when you rely on Him, it goes so much better.

Did we just see The Last Supper?
Yes, yes we did.
Yesterday my companion and I went to see L'ultima Cena. You know what that is? Yes, THE LAST SUPPER. It was incredible. The spirit in that church is incredible strong. I know God has preserved that painting. It's survived so much, even most of the church being destroyed during a war. He preserved it for a reason, and when I was in that room I truly understood. This painting has touched so many people's lives. How blessed I feel to have been able to see it in person. 

This week was crazy, and hopefully next week is just as insane. I love how busy we were! There's nothing better than having so much to do. Especially when what you're doing means so much. I love you all!
My girls at zone conference.

Train ride to Genova.

This explains pretty much our life. Notice how
Sorella Hallum is serious? Always.

Best awkward family photo ever? Yes.


icicle . . . favorite thing ever

Sometimes when you order pizza in Italy, it shows up
with fries on it - awkward.

Italy is pretty much
the prettiest place in the world

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