Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fat Pigeons, Sprained Ankle, and Awkward Hand Holding

The pigeons in Biella are the fattest in the world. They are all at least three times bigger than the pigeons in Vercelli . . . . they can't even fly. My companion tried chasing them . . . gravity is tough on these birds.

You all know I'm the most clumsy and most awkward person in the world. I wish it weren't true . . . but hey, at least life is interesting. Let me tell you a few stories.

Saturday morning strada . . . always a fun time, until you forget that you live in Italy and thus all the sidewalks are cobblestones. Have you ever walked on cobblestones . . . not easy . . . not easy. Sometimes you trip a little. Sometimes you trip a lot and end up with a sprained ankle. It's okay though. So I trip; my ankle hurt just a wee bit, but it wasn't too bad. We go home for lunch . . . the ankle still really isn't that bad, so I don't think too much about it. 

Later in the day we meet some of the young women at the train station, and we head to Novara for a Young Women activity. My favorite little Gianella came . . . yay! The night was wonderful. We sang. We ate. We talked. Life was good. Erika gave us a ride to the station . . . we were two minutes too late for the train. On the way back to the car, I swear my foot broke open. That is literally the only explanation for the sudden and intense pain I felt the rest of the night. I stopped being able to walk. So we catch another train an hour later. We're late . . . like super late by the time the train pulls in to Vercelli. I know we're going to have to call President Dibb, and I'm just not excited. It's okay though, because I had 20 minutes to prepare myself. The pain was so bad my ability to walk just melts away. A 3-minute walk turned into a 20-minute walk.

It's okay though, because the next day I wore slippers to church. Yeah . . . my whole ward was like, Ervin you have to stop buying shoes! Then they realized they were slippers and just started freaking out . . . Are you okay? Do you need drugs? A hospital? Maybe we should skip the hospital and just call the mortician, because I'm sure you're about to die. Manuel has his gun right? Let’s just put you out of your misery . . . Don't worry, this is exactly what happens when I come to church with wet hair as well. So . . . every week, I'm used to it.

Now I'm sure you want to know about the hand holding. Yes . . . my life is a mess. So I had to go get fingerprinted at the questura this week for my permesso . . . that handy little card that makes it possible for me to live in Italy. Anyway, this was the most intense fingerprinting of my life . . . it wasn't even fingerprinting, it was more like full hand printing. First these two guys start arguing about whether my eyes are blue or green. What does that even have to do with my hands? The younger one gets right up in my face trying to figure it out. Good job boys . . . my eyes are grey. Then he tells me to come stand by him, and then he grabs both of my hands and just holds them for a minute. I'm just like . . . so am I in the right place? Sorella Jones starts laughing as he just massages them for a minute and tells me to relax. YOU DO NOT HOLD A SISTER MISSIONARY'S HAND AND TELL HER TO RELAX. Non si può! Then he takes his time as he presses my hands in this machine and just holds them there while it takes pictures of my hands. After what feels like a lifetime later he tells me to sit down. Thank you. Then he escorts us out of the building. He was trying to talk to me . . . I think it was about Obama or something. It's okay . . . all over. 

So . . . when I come home from my mission . . . maybe don't try to touch me for a while. I don't like it :)

I love you all! I hope your lives are less awkward than mine. That's probably the best thing I could wish for you. 

Sorella Ellen Rose Ervin

Torino Sorelle!

I feel like the only time I ever take pictures is with posters . . . but who
can resist Igudesman & Joo?

Just another beautiful day in Biella.


  1. Gosh! I've never walked on cobblestone streets before. I'd probably hurt myself bad with my extra klutziness. Haha! Good thing you were not hurt much, though. I can just imagine the hassle it'll bring to your mission if you got a cast on your foot because of a bad fall. Anyway, that awkward incident with the finger printing sure cracked me up, although the guard was really crossing the line there. I hope June comes a lot better and a bit less awkward for you! Cheers! :)

    Laverne Bodnar @ U.S. Healthworks

  2. It only shows that you should never overlook the sprain, no matter how minor it might be. Not only did it hurt so much, it also kept you from doing some activities in a week or so. That’s why it’s best to seek medical attention right away, in case either of your foot was injured. It’s hard to tell how severe it would make your ankle if you just ignore the pain and let it pass.

    Jacqueline Hodges @ Dr. Koziol