Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Birthday Surprises and the Best Present . . . a Verdina!

Tina and Ralf!
Grazie, Grazie, Grazie for all of the birthday wishes. I can, without a doubt, say it was my favorite birthday I've ever had. It was also the most stressful birthday I've ever had because it was transfer call day. In the morning, we were cleaning the house and waiting for a call about transfers. I have the best ward in the world, and members were calling all morning to wish me a happy birthday. The problem is that on transfer call day every time the phone rings, my heart stops. Va bene.

Birthday Surprise with the Simoncinis
At about noon, we received another phone call; this time it was Presidente Dibb. We put him on the speakerphone, and he says, "Sorella Ervin I need you to stay in Vercelli." Then he tells me I'm TRAINING. He goes on to talk about how I'll pick up my verdina on Thursday and gives me tons of information. We were just freaking out wanting to know where he's sending Walch. Well, she's opening with Sorella Holloway! He talked about specific things he wanted them to do for about five minutes before he casually slipped in that she'll be opening in Modena. I'm so excited for them; they're going to have so much fun, every single day. 

So that's my birthday present from President Dibb - a verdina. I'm picking her up tomorrow morning, and I'm a little freaked about it, but I know it will be just fine. The members are super excited as well. I think we're all expecting some greenie miracles. 

Birthday dinner
After cleaning, we went to teach Bea, who is still one of my favorite people in the world. We were talking about the Relief Society, and she was so thankful for this group of women. I loved watching her face light up as she talked about how much they've influenced her life. We went to teach Gianella, but she was sick, so we ran to the other side of town to pick something up before we had to catch the train. We ended up with an extra 20 minutes and Sorella Walch said she was going back towards Gianella's house so she could buy some shoes in one of our favorite stores. I was super confused and less then excited, but Walch refused to come to the station with me. I followed her, knowing we were going to miss the train. Don't think my companion's disobedient; she was just trying to surprise me with a visit to the Simoncini's. We were at their house for just a little bit, but they were all so sweet. While we were there Eliana and Manuel called to wish me happy birthday, then they called back about ten minutes later. Emilio and Ilaria had called them and asked them to wish me a happy birthday. Best. Call. Ever. It was so amazing to hear from them, even if I can't personally talk to them right now. 

Fratello Simoncini drove us to the station so we could catch the next train, and then we went to Ralf and Tina's. I love these people. Ralf made us a pasta dish he invented himself and then we had family home evening with them. Ralf always bears the strongest testimony, and it never fails to make me cry. We sang a hymn, and then Ralf walked out of the room. We were talking for a while, and then Ralf came back in and told me he had to show me something. He then shoves me into the black kitchen, and there's a cake with a candle. It was so sweet. They all started singing; I started crying, and we just had a grand time. Let me tell you . . . it was a real cake. You never get real cake in Italy, but it was a real, proprio cake. We had to run to catch the train home, but it was the best little surprise party. 

That's all I have time for this week, although that doesn't even cover the tip of the iceberg. I saw so many miracles this last week. I was also reminded with force how lucky I have been in my life and especially reminded that there are many who have not been so fortunate. I'm so grateful for the gospel and for the healing powers of the Atonement. I honestly don't know how I would live without these things in my life. 

Last random side note, Sorella Walch really wants me to tell you this story, because I've forgotten for the last few weeks. Well, a few weeks ago, I went a little crazy. We have this stamp with our number on it, and I was stamping everything I could get a hold of. Don't ask me why, I have no answer. Comunque, I was on the floor by her bed so I could stamp an ovs bag underneath her bed. She was lying in bed but her feet were off of it. She lifted them up for a minute and shifted. Suddenly she kicked me in the head full force. It was an accident, so she says. Her foot was in so much pain; my head was in even more. I think this might be why we can't stay together anymore; we're dangerous together. 

What's going on with your lives? Tell me a story. 

Vi Voglio Bene!

Sorella Ervin

Andrea, one of our favorite English students.
Two of my favorite people in the world, Be a and Matteo.
All the things Sorella Walch and I bought together . . .
maybe it's good we're getting seperated.

Two of our favorite English Students! Stafano and Andrea!

How cute are the Martoranas?

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