How happy was I to get the package from home? Let me tell you. Very. In fact, the Elders in the older district made fun of me because I had to lug it to dinner and back (because we checked the mail before dinner) and I guess I looked sort of pathetic because they were like, "Wow. Looks like you're carrying the gold plates there." but I said, "It's alright, it's just crammed full of a mother's love." And Anziano Strobolt was like, "Well, I got a letter." and I was like, "Hm, not as good." I made a couple people feel how heavy it was, etc and carried on for a while. Then Anz. Healey finally made me open it even though we were supposed to be studying, "C'mon, it's as exciting for us as it is for you." Then, they weren't super excited because it really was just things I asked for that made me really excited (like that gray sweatshirt, mmmmmm, so cozy!!!) and my notebook from Italy has my first talk ever in Italian in it and it made me really happy to know that I get to do that all the time now.
Speaking of talks, guess who talked on Sunday. Me. Guess how they do it here...Well, they wait until it's time for people to speak and say, "We will now be hearing from Elder so-and-so and Sorella Laws" and I go, "Great, thanks." Guess what else. I SANG on Sunday, like in a small group. And did I mess up? Yes, significantly, because the Elders decided to practice without us and change things around. But so it goes. Sorella Mullen and I have learned to count on them to not be all that considerate.
Guess what else. "Solo" means lonely in Italian. And Sorella Mullen and I are the Lonely Sister. I will be even lonelier and more orphan like because SHE IS LEAVING A WEEK FROM TODAY! All my roommates are. And I wish I could follow them, but...Alas.
My mom mentioned that I am probably owning the place and making a name for myself, and of course it's true. I've become a legend of sorts for a number of things. You know, people I don't even know come up and mention things I've done. Example, I wowed everyone on the softball field with an AMAZING catch that got someone out. We will leave out the part about how I ran towards it yelling, "Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no!" the important part is I caught it. And then I sang the mission rap Lynzie and I came up with two years ago to one of the Elders and at dinner. Then another Elder goes, "So I hear you have a rap..." Our branch is huge because we have a lot of people who were supposed to go to Brazil but got their visas denied and random people have been coming up to me and telling me how great my talk was, people I didn't realize were there, but I appreciate nonetheless.
And then there's the one Elder I accidentally cussed at, who will probably never forget me. So, we were in line for a sack-breakfast and I tried to get a bagel off a tray and knocked the whole tray over (classic, right?) and so I said, "Ufa!" Which in Italian means "good grief" well, an Elder turns around and goes, "What language was that??" and I was like, "Um, Italian." and he goes, "Oh, well, that's a bad word in Samoan." Yep. I'm a swearing missionary.
Meanwhile, the Anziani in the older district have apparently been trying to figure out what Disney character I remind them of. I know this, one because they told me and two because sometimes they look at me and go, "Maybe, but I just don't know if I can imagine her chopping off the head of some Hun." I love the older district and am SO sad to see them go. The other day they decided they were only going to speak in Italian and they all told me about a ceremony they had where they said their "last English phrase" and then walked across the room never to speak English again. Well, they did this right before dinner and we always sit all together (the 3 Italian districts) and it was the most entertaining dinner ever. They were trying to communicate with each other and those of us who don't speak Italian all that well and it was sort of a mess. But in a delightful way. I got to practice translating and when all else failed they pretended to shoot at each other and Anz. Parker (who is close to my favorite these days) did an impeccable Iron Man impression and shot back at them.
Never a dull moment. Which I enjoy.
I love the Hermanas (Sisters in Spanish) in my room. One of them has tons of drama with a boy that she's finally hopefully over, but it was good, because there's got to be some drama right? And the other one had a stuff jackalope by her bed (so I knew I'd like her right away) and she is endlessly amused by how often I just lay on the floor (being on the top bunk is haaaaaaard) and they all think I'm hilarious. We go to the field together for gym...And sometimes we parcore on the way back.
Another friend we have in our district is la voce or the voice. There's a lady from the travel office that always calls in over the intercom asking for "Anziano Ma-aaaaaal-duh-ween" (Mauldwin) because his visa isn't in yet. And basically, English isn't her first language and it cuts out a lot so we have a good time whispering what we think she wants to each other and with our ideas combined usually figuring out what she wants.
We really just study all day. And eat sometimes. Studying is fun though. We try and focus it all on a lesson we teach in the TRC each Monday this Monday Sor. Mullen and I got to teach together! Because our teachers thought they'd throw us a bone and it was fun and we were trying to think about how to teach people and talking about why the Fall was actually important and I go, "Yeah, without the Fall there would be no decisions to make, it'd be like, 'Hm, do I want to play with the lion or the lamb today?'"
So the companionship I am with the most is Anz. Barnes and Anz. Knutson. And Anz. Barnes LOVES to study in total silence (I don't feel the same, but I'm working on appeasement) and so we always lock ourselves away in the classroom, but the other companionship Anz. Healey and Anz. Mauldwin love to burst through the door like Kramer to interrupt (which I always love and definitely encourage). Last night they flung open the door and Anz. Healey goes, "Why do you think God created dinosaurs" and Anz. Barnes, without hesitating goes, "Fossil fuels. He knew we'd need them." Then we have a 20 minute discussion that ended in a completely different place and I go, "What did you come in here to talk about?" And Anz H goes, "Dinosaurs" and they leave.
Sometimes they are very much 19-year-old boys, like when we were getting ready to sing a hymn and all the sudden I realize they're talking about fiber...and it's effects... and I start to join in before I'm like, wait, why are we talking about this? Or like when I made a football analogy to Anz. Knutson about how prophets are like coaches and it blew his mind. But other times they're so profound it blows me away and it reminds me why the Lord continues to call 19 year old boys to preach His Gospel. Like when Anz Healey said, "everything we have to do has nothing to do with us." or when I catch a glimpse of them beginning to learn what it really means to love the people you teach. Not to mention that they are so patient with me and try to understand the girl-like things I do. Like the fact that I get really upset when all the mint brownies run out before I get there or that if anyone has curly fries I will always want "just one or two" or when I go, "I just dented my shoes when we were praying" and they go, "you what?" and try and see why it was a semi-traumatic occurrence. But they love me and told me they appreciate my comments and my fun-lovingness.
Lest we forget how FUN I am.
Oh, and the big news of the week, ELDER HOLLAND CAME! Does every missionary here love him to death? Yes. Did everyone stop breathing when he walked in to the gym where we were all seated? Yes. He told us loads of amazing things about missionary work, but one thing I really love that he said is that we simply have to give "The best you've got for as long as you can give it" Which I thing is important to remember in everything that we do.
I miss pockets and I miss hugs and I miss you all. But I am constantly reminded that I am exactly where I should be.
And that is an amazing thing.
30 seconds. Ahhhh, good thing I'm the fastest typer ever.