I'm starting to realize how the world was created in 6 days. SO MUCH happens in a week. Where do I even begin? AND ONLY 29 MINUTES.
Class continues to be enjoyable. Frat. Sk. continues to teach us all kinds of threats in Italian and the other day told me to go to my corner, which leads me to wonder if he has been conversing with Tom (my 187 teacher) but it's so good. I love the time we have with our teachers. And I can tell how much they absolutely love us.
The average missionary at the MTC has one companion throughout their stay here. Right now, I have ten. I guess they feel like they can trust me with lots of people. OR they know no one person could handle a Sorella Laws.
It goes like this, I sleep in the same room at the Portuguese speaking sisters. I LOVE THEM. They are in my branch and their classroom is in my hall, but other than that we are on completely different schedules. I love them. I always make faces at them when I walk by their classroom and I think their teacher probably thinks I am insane, but it never gets old. Sunday we got to study together, but mostly I'm the vagabond who comes in around 10pm and leaves at 6:30am pausing now and again to share an inspirational story. They love me. They really wanted me to move in when I found out I was going to be homeless and I worked it with the scheduling people so that I could.
Meanwhile, all my stuff is still in the other room because I'll be moving back in a week when more Italian sisters are coming! So it's like a private dressing room and way random. I love it though because they won't see me all day and then I'll burst through the door and tell them how I met someone who served in Rome and knows the sister of my old bishopric member who he told me to go teach and blah blah blah. And I said, "My life is rather serendipitously lately" and then Sister Michael goes, "It's because it's not your own" and all the sudden I realize that I am in a place where everyone is phenomenal. The next day I walk through the door and say, "You are all the greatest...We are the Lord's greatest." and they laugh, but we all know it's true.
Then there are the hermanas. I have them for prep-day and gym time. I love them too. Two of them are going to WA and one to AZ all Spanish speaking. I love to tell them crazy stories about my past and share quotes from Elder Holland with them. They love me. I am trying to convince them that the Lord also sends his greatest to the United States, because some people around here don't have the best attitude about that, but I know it's true. We Americans need good missionaries because we're stubborn.
And then of course I have the four elders in my district as companions. I am spreading my influence far and wide and I feel like everyone here knows me in some way or another. I keep running into sisters who were in my freshman ward, or I ran into one of the Hennrick's. Or people just know me because I yell loudly in Italian-- Sister Wynder, who I have a picture with on the card I am sending you came up to me and goes, "Are you one of the Italian sisters?" "Yes" "I heard you yelling boun giorno the other day and I thought, I am going to be friends with her someday." And now we are. Maybe I already told you that story, oh well. And then I met an Australian who comes and goes, "Are you going to Italy? You have the greatest outfits...Last week you were wearing a blue skirt with a red cardy and a black shirt." "Yep, that's me...The Elders said I looked like a Primary Program."
And then I manage to see everyone I know from the real world too. On the way to the clinic I saw Ukiah on his bike and we were both really surprised to see each other. Then I ran into Jacob Kunzler because he teachers here. I saw another girl from freshman year running by. I think sometimes the Elders are dumbfounded by how I manage to know absolutely everyone. And those I don't know I soon will.
The other day we went out and decided to practice teaching. So I made a beeline for two sisters and sat down and taught them--it was supposed to be short but they had lots of questions, because they were new and I had so much to share. I look over and see all the Elders and Frat. Skanchy watching me, but I felt like I really needed to continue talking with them so I did. About how they will survive the MTC and that the language will come and all of that. At the end one of them asked if she could hug me (and you all know how I feel about hugs these days) and so of course I was pleased and I could tell the Elders were like, "What?" But it was SO invigorating. I love teaching and loving and serving!!! It is addicting. So I came back and Anz. Healey goes, "You were supposed to teach, not make friends!" and I ignored him and went off about how wonderful it is to do both--teach and make friends--which is really what we're doing and I went on and on and was so pumped and Fr. Sk. goes, "You've caught the missionary fire."
And I have.
We were doing companionship inventory last night and talking about strengths Anz. Knutson goes, "you're just on fire." And I said, "Thanks. It's good and I highly recommend it."
Sorella Swensen told us a little bit about the Italians she got to know while she was on a mission and let me tell you...I am going to the right place. She told us how in one city old men would just sit outside on benches all day. They'd be there when they went out and still be there when they came home. And she was friends with all of them and knew all their live stories. YAY! And she said in Southern Italy she got to teach lots of African people who are just the most loving people in the world. And then she told us that when you compliment an Italian they'll say, "Eh...lo so." (I know it). Which is so fantastic. They are definitely my people. So today in the laundry room an Elder told me he liked my red mocs and my sweatshirt "..and you're jacket." and I said, "I know. I look good right?" Don't worry, I prefaced by saying that I am going to Italy and that's how they do it there...
So to sum up, when I get back I will wave my hands like crazy and be more expressive about my self confidence (so nothing is changing really)
We've started to do more forcing ourselves to speak Italian and it is so brilliant. Because you start to learn what words are most important to people. Example: We all know how to say "I want" Anz. Healey is good at saying "Now!" and we can all say "I need to go to the bathroom" flawlessly. Sometimes when we're supposed to be speaking Italian we well go, "Come se dice 'that's dumb?" and argue with each other in English, but preceding it all with "how do you say" in Italian. Other times I will say, "Mi dispiace" I'm sorry and Anz. healey will go, "Mi dispiace, LEI!" Which translates to "I'm sorry, YOU!" Which, of course, does not make sense. But is some sort of insult??? We know how to say some things about the gospel in Italian too--don't worry. Also, whenever we speak Italian the volume automatically goes up at least double.
In our room we have a candy "sill" because our window sill has tons of treats on it. Which is way nice and keeps people generally happy, especially Fr. Sk. who complains we are making him fat.
Along with being popular I am also the most clumsy in the MTC. I ran into a door. A huge heavy one--rather it ran into me because I was walking and someone opened it. That hurt. And ironically it is the only door in the MTC that actually opens out instead of in. Then I was trying to balance a million things and dropped a cup on my foot...Fun stuff.
I love teaching! I love that I get to have teaching experiences all the time. We did an activity where everyone in the district sat at the front one at a time and we taught them. It was SO good. We asked them what they were dealing with and shared thoughts. After mine Sor. Swensen made everyone say why they needed me and Anz. Knuston (who ALWAYS has a sports analogy) said, "You're are star running back...You just have that surprise element. You keep the adversary on its toes."
They are SO precious! And all the sisters are jealous that I have four boys who walk me home every night and said goodnight in Italian.
I am, and always have been, the luckiest thing in the world.
I LOVE YOU ALL,
KELSO: I madly wanted to write you today, I still will if I can find time, but I met someone who knows you and is going to Cali, I recognized her accent straightaway and asked where in Aussie she was from. More on that later.
LINDS: Love you too! Your letter was so inspirational and lovely. Again, I will find time one of these weeks to respond, but I'm sending buckets of love your way.