Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Week 1 - Rimini

Me and Renata - my mom in Milano! 
Last Wednesday was probably one of the hardest days of my entire life. I had to say goodbye to so many people I love so much. After e-mailing home, Sorella Stewart and I went on a walk through downtown Milano. Mostly so I could go shoe shopping, but also so I could say goodbye to the beautiful city. Don't you worry; I did buy my very first pair of Italian shoes. Saldi season is my favorite season! God gave me a wonderful blessing while on this walk. We passed Renata on her bike. She told us she wasn't going to be able to make it to Family Home Evening that night because she had a test. I am so overcome with gratitude that I was able to say goodbye to her. This woman has been like my mother in Milano. She always calls me figlia and gives me a wonderful hug. She reminds me of my mom in so many ways. I can't imagine Milano without her. 

Me & Sorella e Fratello Ramos
So many members came to FHE. The Anziani gave a really sweet spiritual thought about temples, and then we split up into teams and made temples out of dry pasta and marshmallows. I would love to say my team won . . . but this apparently is not our game. Afterwards, we did what any good Italian missionaries do. We ate. The members brought so much food! They really went all out. We also took about a thousand pictures. Oh my goodness, I miss these people so much. There is just something so wonderful about them. Every few seconds, someone else embraced me. I honestly didn't know how to say goodbye. This ward is my family. I love them with every fiber of my being. I ache being away from them just as much as I ache being away from home. They have taught me so much, most importantly about love and member missionary work. The day I am able to see them again will truly be a great day.

Here's the fun part of Wednesday. We got home and I needed to finish packing. It should have taken me about a half hour . . . no, it took me and almost two hours. Why? . . . because we didn't have electricity. I had to pack my whole life into three suitcases, in the dark. I finally managed it, and I went to bed.

Nothing better than seeing my sweet girls at the train station.
Sorella Holloway, Me, Sorella Baer, & Sorella Haslem
We had to be at the train station really early the next morning because my companion had to go to the meeting for trainers and their new trainees. So I just got to spend almost the whole day at the station. I loved it! I saw so many people I love with all of my heart. Sorella Baer, Sorella Holloway, Sorella Haslem, and Anziano Axson were all there, along with tons of other people from our MTC group. I also was able to say goodbye to Anziani Payne, Heaton, Malzone, and Garner. Oh my heart broke saying those goodbyes. After four long hours at the station, it was finally time to head to Rimini. Instead of Sorelle Alley and Burkman coming up to get me, I just travelled down with Anziani - possibly one of the weirdest experiences of my mission. I travelled with our new zone leaders who will be serving in Ravena and with Anziani Miller and Mustafaraj, who are in my district serving in Ancona. The first train ride wasn't too bad. It was about four hours long, but we had seats and air conditioning. Thank goodness. The next train ride was only two hours, but we stood the whole time with no windows and no air conditioning. Thank goodness for the Anziani who kept me sane. When we finally pulled into Rimini, I was astounded.

The city is absolutely beautiful. It's so tiny compared to Milano. It's by no means a small town, but it feels so much different. It's so much farther south as well. It's by the sea, so we get a nice little sea breeze, but it's also a thousand times hotter then Milano. I love it though. My companions are wonderful. Sorella Alley arrived in Italy the same time as me, and Sorella Burkman arrived the transfer after me, so we're all pretty young in the mission. Next transfer, they're going to send another sister as well, so they can open a new copia here. 

Our branch is fantastic. I was really worried about church on Sunday - not because I didn't think I'd like them, but just because I thought it would be so sad not to see the ward I've grown to love so much. Yes, it was sad, but my branch was so welcoming and loving. They're so excited to have three missionaries and even more excited that next transfer there will be another one. I was told over and over again that I speak beautiful Italian. I personally think the heat was getting to them, but I appreciate the compliments anyway. 

Our branch mission leader is amazing. He's absolutely hilarious, and he obviously cares so much about the missionaries. Monday afternoon, Sorella Burkman got really sick. We called Emilio about 8 p.m. to ask him to come give her a blessing because she was really starting to worry us. He called another member to come with him and was over in just a few minutes. He then called doctors for us, drove around for an hour trying to find and open pharmacy, and bought her medicine. The other members have really been amazing as well. One member brought us a box full of vegetables so we could make Sorella Burkman soup. Sometimes it amazes me how much people love the missionaries. Sometimes it's really difficult to do what we do, but members who show you unconditional love make it so much easier.  

The bike situation in Rimini was a wee bit sketch for a few days. Not only am I the clumsiest person in the world, but also I was riding a broken bike. I almost died a few times, but now my bike is fixed and I am only a slight hazard on the road. So thank you for all of your prayers on my behalf; I'm sure that is why I'm still alive. 

I'm excited for this next transfer. In the last week, I've learned an awful lot and I'm so looking forward to learning even more. I was terrified to leave Milano; it was just so comfortable to me. But now, I would be heartbroken to leave Rimini. God knows exactly who and what we need. If we depend on him, everything will turn out okay. I believe that 100%. I can't wait to tell you about this upcoming week. I'm not sure what, but I feel like something incredible will be happening. I love this work; I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

I love you all.
Sorella Ellen Rose Ervin

Last day as companions

Maria Luisa and me

Me, Alex, and Sorella Ramos

Me and Sorella Ramos

I love these missionaries!

Me and Anziano Garner

Me and Anziano Malzone

My first pair of Italian shoes.


  1. Okay, I'm sure you won't read this until after your mission, but I seriously love your blog! I don't remember how I found it, but I'm so glad I did! You have such a great spirit and a love for your investigators! Another reason I love your blog is because I am reporting to the MTC on September 4th, and I will be serving in the Italy, Milan mission as well! I have been loving checking up on your blog and getting little glimpses of life in that wonderful mission! I can't wait to be where you are, and I hope we can meet in the coming months {or so}! Ahh! I'm SO excited! ^_^

    1. Emily, you will love Milano! The people here are incredible and the missionaries you will be serving with are spiritual giants. I don't even know how I became lucky enough to serve with them. I learn so much from them each and every day. If you see Fratelli Pesci, Weller, Dean, or Carington in the MTC, tell them hi from me! I can't wait to meet you in a few months. Oh, you're going to love it! -Sorella [Ellen] Ervin