Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rimini, Again . . . Just What I Wished For

Sorella Alley and Me (Thanks to Alley for the picture!)
So this was without a doubt the longest week of my life. Okay, I say that about every transfer week, but this week it was definitely true. It's impossible to concentrate when you don't know what's happening to your life. But don't worry; I'm staying right here in perfect little Rimini with my dear sweet Sorella Strong . . . more about transfers later.

We had the coolest miracle this last week. We had planned to do casa [knocking on doors], so we did. But after one apartment complex we both had decided we wanted to go to the park. Neither of us wanted to, but we both felt really strongly about it. When we were at the park, we didn't know which way to go or who we were supposed to talk to. So we just chose a direction and started walking. We talked to a man who was with his young son. After saying hello, he said, "Buongiorno Sorelle, come state?" We had no idea who he was, but he knew us. We asked his name, and he told us it is Hugo. Instantly I knew who he was. I have been trying to contact this man for the last 12 weeks. He's a less-active member of the church and every time I saw his name, I thought we were supposed to meet with him. We had a beautiful lesson in the park and he told us why he doesn't come to church. It's a long and complicated story, but he knows the church is true, and he loves the gospel. I'm super excited to work with him. Sometimes God leads you to exactly where you need to be. It's a beautiful gift.

Sorelle Strong & Alley, Emilio, Sorella Burkman & me
(Thanks again to Alley for the pic.)
Sorella Burkman and Sorella Alley had a baptism on Friday. Abraham was baptized! It was a beautiful baptismal service. About two hours before Sorella Alley called me. She said Emilio had put it in the program that the sorelle would be doing a special musical number and she needed us to come to the church to practice. Sorella Burkman ended up playing and I sang, “I Know That My Reedemer Lives.” I love having the opportunity to sing in this branch often. GiGi has started calling me Sorella Callas. So that's just about the most flattering thing that's ever happened to me. There were some very beautiful talks at the service. Anziano Jefferies gave a beautiful testimony. He spoke directly to Abraham and explained that as a member of the Church he has a beautiful opportunity to share the gospel now, just like Sunny shared the gospel with him. He told him he was receiving a new name - the name of Jesus Christ - that he would carry forever. I can't tell you how beautiful this testimony was. I was crying the entire time. Granted . . . that's not too unusual for me.
Sorelle Burkman & Alley, Me, & Sorella Strong
(once again, thanks to Alley for the pic)

After the baptism we went to get gelato at our favorite gelataria. Then Sorella Alley and I went to pick up piadas at Lella's and Sorella Burkman and Sorella Strong went home. Lella's was packed! It was the first night they were open, because they just moved locations. Most of you don't know what a piada or a cassoni is or why Lella's is super important. Let me just tell you, I hope you all have the opportunity to come to Rimini someday so you can discover this beautiful place. Lella's is pretty much the best little restaurant ever. The Rimini area supposedly has the best piadas in Italy. It would not be surprising. It's kind of like a thick tortilla, only way better. Sorella Alley and I were so excited to stop by the grand opening of the new location for a few minutes. It's a big deal in Rimini. They kept giving us free food and taking our pictures. Lella was even there. She's so much fun, and she loves the missionaries. 

Sunday, I sang with an Italian man! Sorella Burkman and I sang “O Mio Signor” with Fratello Draghi for sacrament meeting. Sorella Strong played the piano. It was so much fun. I love music! It opens hearts like nothing else. I'm excited I'll be here another transfer; we're hoping to do something fun with music. Also at district conference (as in stake conference, not district meeting), all of the missionaries in this district will be doing a musical number, and they asked us to sing with them. It will be wonderful. 

So transfers. Monday the assistants called Sorella Alley and Sorella Burkman. They told them that Sorella Alley would be going to Lodi with Sorella Killpack. (FYI, the Molinari's serve in Lodi, so she is one lucky girl to get to serve with two of my favorite people.) Sorella Burkman is pretty lucky as well. She's going to serve in Varese (near como) with Sorella BOLLWINKEL! I can't even handle how excited I am for her. They will do great things. We were told Sorella Strong and I would be staying in Rimini together . . . alone. No anziani and no other sorelle coming in. 

Well, yesterday we got a call from our zone leaders. Apparently we weren't told correctly. We are staying here, but we're getting two sisters as well . . . two sister training leaders! We're really excited because we know the branch will love these sisters. It's nice to know we won't be all the way down in Rimini alone. We're a little sad we didn't get Anziani, but maybe next transfer. 

Other news, my dear Sorella Stewart is a sister training leader in FIRENZE! How did she get to be so lucky? Also serving in Firenze is Sorella Holloway, so that's beautiful. Sorella Brown is going up to Como to be with my lovely Sorella Baer. Anziano Miller is going to Milano Navigli! That's right, he's going to my birthplace, lucky man. Basically, everyone I love is going to serve with or near someone else I love. I'm so excited for them all.

Mostly though, I'm just grateful I get to be here another transfer. I feel so blessed to spend at least another six weeks with Sorella Strong. We have learned so much from each other, and I love her more every day. I'm so glad I don't have to say goodbye to this branch yet. The members here are incredible, and they are really getting excited about missionary work. Last night two of the older young women told me they want to go on missions so they want to come to lessons with us. How fantastic! 

I love you all, and I hope you're continuing to see miracles.
Sorella Ellen Rose Ervin

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