Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Weirdest Week of My Life

This without a doubt has been the weirdest week of my life. I don't even know how to explain some of the things that have happened. Really, it was ridiculous, but I loved every minute of it. Well, almost every minute.

Last P-day was really hard for me. Lets just say something really weird happened and that I was having a hard time letting go of it. So, I got a blessing! The Priesthood is great - true story. I do realize that I've had three blessings since I've been in Italy and I've only been here for 3 months. I am not ashamed. After English Course and FHE on Wednesday, Sorella Stewart, Anziano Garner, Anziano Malzone, and I went into an empty room. Anziano Garner asked if Anziano Malzone could give the blessing. Of course! Anziano Malzone was really nervous about it. I don't think he'd ever given a blessing of comfort before, at least not in English. I'm not going to go into too much detail here, suffice it to say, this was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. We are an incredibly lucky people and I pray that we are ever grateful that we have God's authority on the earth today. How blessed we are to have been born in a time where we can receive priesthood blessings and receive specific information we need, directly from God. 

Sorella McNamara -
one of my favorite people ever.
Thursday is where the week got really weird. For all my friends who have served or are currently serving missions, I defy you to have a better scambio (exchange) then I had this day. By better, I mean weirder, of course. It started out normally; Sorella Stewart and I went to meet Sorellle Santoro and McNamara at the metro. When we meet them, it turns out I get to spend the day with Sorella McNamara again. YES! She's one of my all time favorite people, it kills me this is her last transfer. We went to la mia casa and did our normal studies and then had lunch because we had to leave early to get to our appointment in Corsico. We went out to Romana's again to teach about the Gospel of Christ. Other than the three hours of travel, this lesson was pretty normal. It was actually quite wonderful and beautiful. Then of course, we had to travel back into the city. We get off the metro and start walking towards the exit. There is a small group of people standing looking outside. Why? Because it's raining. Not a big deal, because I'm from Washington, right? False. Big deal. A man walks in from outside, looking like he just got out of the shower, in all of his clothes. He left mini puddles everywhere he stepped and had huge pieces of hail on his shoulders. Well, we were not looking forward to going outside and put it off as long as we possibly could. We start running to Janet's house. We're outside for less than 30 seconds, and all of our clothes are completely soaked. We run past this weird bike covered in leopard print fur. This bike also had a tail. (This is just extra weird information; it's not really important.) We get to Janet's house and teach her and Gustavo a short lesson. As always they were wonderful, and the spirit was incredibly strong. Then we had to leave again, in the rain. We head to the church because we have to let Anziani Malzone and Garner use our phone. Why? They ran out of minutes . . . great.
Water damage at the church.

We get to the church, and I open the door. There are ceiling tiles on the ground, and water is everywhere. Yes, the roof was leaking, and our entire church was flooded. I called the Anziani; they were 20ish minutes away. Great. I called Kamau our archivista. Yes, I understand this seems like a strange person to call when the church is flooded, but he speaks English, and I don't know how to describe a flood in Italian. He said he'd call the bishop for us and see what they could do. So we start cleaning. We put buckets everywhere, and then start mopping up water. Really, we had to put the mop down and squeeze out the water. The Anziani showed up, and for three hours we cleaned the church. The Bishop called us; there wasn't going to be anyone coming to help us clean. That's ok, because we got it done. It really was insane though. One room had 2ish inches of water in it.  

More water damage.
Friday was a fairly unexciting day. We taught a really great family home evening at church though. The best part of the day was when Anziano Payne showed up to the church with Anziano Malzone. He pulls an envelope out of his backpack and hands it to me. He and Anziano Heaton drew me pictures! I will be keeping them forever. Because they're wonderful! Life is good.

On Sunday, we met President and Sorella Dibb. They're adorable! True story. They got up to share their testimonies with the ward. Sorella Dibb had written out her entire testimony in Italian so she could share it. It was the sweetest thing! After them, I sang "Anima Mia" (Be Still My Soul) for the ward. I'll be honest, I wasn't looking forward to singing. It's so obvious to me that I haven't practiced in three months that I don't really like hearing my voice. However, after we sat down, Fratello Angiulli (1st counselor to the bishop) got up. He said he had no words, because the spirit was so strong. Of course, that doesn't mean much for Italians so he continued speaking for 15 minutes, but it was a truly beautiful moment. Guess what? He likes me now! Not that he disliked me before, but Fratello Angiulli doesn't get super close to the missionaries. He always shakes our hands and then continues on our way. Now he loves us! He and his wife invited us over for lunch this Sunday. I never thought that would ever happen! The whole ward was very sweet after sacrament meeting on Sunday. Almost every member came up to me and told me I have the voice of an angel. I know this is not true, but I appreciate it anyway. They are just all so sweet. I wish I could introduce you all to them; they are without a doubt some of the most incredible people I have ever met. 

Monday night, our appointment cancelled on us. It was very sad, but it turned into a miracle! We went up to Parco Basiliche to do some finding. I'm going to be honest, like most missionaries, I don't like finding. It's not usually effective, because the best way to find people to teach really is through the members. I wasn't feeling the most optimistic, and when my companion asked me which direction I wanted to walk I just kind of shrugged my shoulders. But then I saw a sweet old man sitting by himself on a park bench. I said hello, and he immediately asked us to sit down. This man is awesome; his name is Peter, and he's the sweetest. Sorella Stewart described him as the 80 year-old man version of me, but I don't think I'll ever be that wonderful. This man loves everyone! We taught a lesson, and the spirit was incredibly strong. At the end we asked him to pray. He wasn't sure at first, but he went ahead and offered one of the most beautiful prayers I've ever heard. He asked the Lord to bless me and my companion with love in marriage and in children after our missions. This one phrase was so incredible to me, because he told us this is something he's never had. He wants every single person to be able to have love in their life though. It is truly an example of turning outwards. 

Tuesday we taught five lessons! It was the longest day of my life. The best part of the day though was ward council. Well, we had been told it was ward council, but really it was a training meeting. I had been talking with Kamau, and my headache was getting a little too strong to handle so I took a pain killer. He freaked. He hates pills, so much. He told Fratello Angiulli we had a problem. Fratello Angiulli asks us if we need money and hands Kamau 20£. He then asks me if I need shoes and takes off his shoes. (See, he likes me enough to have a conversation with me, a hilarious one at that.) Kamau tells him that I take too many pills. His answer is, "Oh well, she has a beautiful voice." He then laughs and walks into training. Kamau proceeds to laugh and tells me he thinks I'm a drug addict. Not true, don't worry. We go sit down in the training. What are we talking about, dependency. Yes, so the Fratello from the stake starts talking about drugs. Kamau just turns and looks at me. So did everyone else in the meeting. Most uncomfortable moment of my life; please remind me to never take ibuprofen in front of anyone. Ever. 

That's all for this week. I'm sorry it's not more spiritually uplifting. I promise, there were spiritual moments, many actually. I love you all so very much. Thanks for being wonderful. 

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