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Aug 24, 2010

Day 7

Okay, there is so much to tell you I don't even know where to begin.
1. Yes, it is me, Wendy and the lost boys again. I, Sorella (Sister) Laws, have no companion. I didn't know it was possible but it's true. I am with 4 Anziani (Elders) and have to be with at least 2 of them when I am not with Sorella Mullen (the wonderful sister who leaves for Italy in 2 week, but is going to Milan, sadly). I love them all though. They take good care of me and I am starting to get them to laugh at my jokes. When we had companionship inventory they told me my best strength is that I'm always happy and optimistic and that I tell stories that connect with our "investigators". Teaching with them is hard sometimes though, because we're sort of one different pages as far as HOW to teach, but we'll figure it out soon enough. It's sort of like being Hermione. I do love them, but sometimes it feels like, "Ugh, boys!" and I get so excited every time I see Sorella Swensen, or the three going-to-Brazil sisters on my floor.
It was hard convincing them I had a sense of humor, but I did break them once when Sorella Swensen said, "Okay, now I am going to continue in Italian" and then in English says, "raise your hand" and I said, "Ohmigosh, gift of tongues! That sounded like English"
Anziano Mauldwin's current favorite story is the time we were walking and I saw Lisa Tate my old visiting teacher. I was so excited to see her and we started walking and talking. Then some other Elders tried to stop my Elders to teach them and I said, "They can't, they're with me!!!" And they were like, "Oh, um, gotta go." And then, even though I immediately felt bad, they teased me endlessly about how I didn't give others the opportunity to teach.
2. Real quick thought--In Relief Society on Sunday they announced that in a month a sister will be coming from Lebanon, near the Syrian border! She is the first sister from her country. I have a feeling I will run into her when she gets here and cannot wait to meet her!
3. We had our first pretend contacting/teaching yesterday with volunteers who speak Italian. Well, we were supposed to pretend like we were in a park and introduce ourselves and then tell them a little bit about our messagio. You know "We believe God loves us and has a plan for us. Christ atoned for our sins, etc." Well, there were three real Italians we talked to and they were like, "How is your Church different than the Catholic church" and before I knew it I mentioned the Book of Mormon and then fumbled through the entire Joesph Smith story--In Italian. Yeah, I didn't know I could do that either. The Elders stood there and didn't say anything. I apologized later, but turns out it made me a sort of legend with the older Italian district (who have all been the sweetest to us and giving us advice and support and quizzing us on our Italian).
I have to tell you about my teachers. I LOVE them. Sorella Swensen is the sweetest little thing you will ever meet. She always asks us how we're doing/adjusting. She practically dances as she comes in and told us, "I'm the teacher that makes you talk about your feelings" and that pretty much sums her up. She is always near tears when we talk about teaching and loving people and has such a passion. I love her! She pulled me aside and said if I ever need girl talk I can tell her, even if she's in the middle of teaching.
And don't worry, I warned the Elders that I might sometimes cry and that when I do I won't be lying to them when I say, "Really, nothing's wrong, I'm just crying" but no breakdowns yet!
Then there is Fratello Skanchy (actually prounounced skanky, bless his heart) He is my main source of entertainment here. It is SO funny to watch him try and teach the Elders Italian. Last night he threw his hands in the air and fell to his knees for a second before getting up and starting again. The Elders, of course, didn't even notice. They will ask the same questions over and over. And no matter how many times he tells them not to speak English, they will. Meanwhile I just sit and laugh because I can relate to all sides of the conversation and he gives me pathetic looks and I try and help him.
Hopefully we don't break him. He really is a kind soul who always tells us he loves us (which the Elders don't understand, of course).
"Ciao! Vi voglio bene...It means I love you...The good kind of love."
"Is there a bad kind of love?"
"No, but--"
"It's like the kind of love you can have as a missionary."
"Yes, it translates to 'I want you good'"
[no one really tries to contain laughter]
"Ugh, you know what I mean!"
"Well, we know what that means."
[Sighs, and leaves]
When he was really frustrated yesterday we got him talking about what of the people he taught in Italy and he got really happy again. I said something about Rome that made him think I hated Milan and he said, "No, we all love each other because we are all going to Italy." And, since I was wrongly accused, I now make jokes about how Southern Italy is way better than Northern Italy whenever the opportunity presents itself and he makes a face and ignores me.
I know you're probably thinking I'm ridiculous, but Sorella Mullen (who's had him as a sub) thinks I'm good for him.
I have three minutes--but I want you all to know that I am SO happy to be here. I am sure this honeymoon phase won't last forever. But I cannot even describe how amazing it is to be spiritually uplifted every moment of the day. There are really brilliant people here who are teaching me so much about loving, teaching, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's true! It's true! It's true!! We can do ANYTHING because our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and want us to succeed. We're not here to be miserable. We're here to have joy. I want you to know that I realized that I am doing this not just because I want to love and serve, but because I want the world to know that they can be as happy as I am because I have this knowledge!!

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Laws

Hi, I'm Mama Laws and I'm the keeper of this blog for the next 18 months (minus 1 week), Feel free to leave comments and I'll forward them to Sorella Laws. I know she would love to hear from you.


Candy Smith said...

Dear Mama Laws,
Thank you for updating for Lauren. I'd be lost without her little bits of wisdom in my life. I'm writing her letters and such, but I just wanted to thank you for passing her words back to us. :)

Jordan said...

I would like to add my grateful voice to thanking you, Mama Laws, for doing this. The periodical injections of Sister Laws' voice into my life will be a boon.

From now on, I'll post comments as direct responses to the letter--

Imagining you at the MTC surrounded by people who aren't used to your infectious happiness tickles me half to death. And thank goodness you're such a fast typist.