Well, guess who is still here? Yep. Me. The Sorella. 9 weeks ago I felt like I owned this place, just imagine how I feel now.
So I am the vagabond. The best part is that when I went to the doctor they were like, "Well, we'll give you some Gatorade" and they come back with a huge Coca Cola cup. So I am walking around the MTC in missionary clothes looking like I just got back from a 7-11 run and all the insegnati just look at me and go, "Who do you think you are?" And I just shrug, "Sono Sorella Laws".
When am I leaving? My response has started to be "forse mai." (maybe never). But no, I have high hopes for this week. They have me on probiotics now (yep, I'm eating germs) and so far it feels better. And I HAVE to leave next week because a new generation of Italians are coming in and it's bad enough being the mom right now, but if I stick around too long I'll be a grandma.
We don't really know what's going on except my stomach is ALWAYS making strange noises and sort of cramping and it's swelled up so that I look 4 months pregnant (I have no idea what 4 months pregnant looks like, so that's just an estimate) we've named the baby Giacomo. He's going to be a calciatore (soccer player)
It's hard to figure out how to spend my time, but I've been coming up with some good things. My two teachers are "floating" right now. So I write paragraphs of spiritual thoughts on the boards and Frate Tate corrects them for me. For some reason I am completely in love with writing on the board. It's better than anything.
I've been thinking a lot about the Five Things We Need to Do When Faced With Trials (based on the Savior's example) that you sent me mom. Here's how I think I've done:
1. Seek to do God's will. I knew on Sunday I wouldn't be leaving. I could feel it, not to mention I relapsed back into awful stomach land as soon as I tried to eat something besides rice and Ritz (because I had been getting better). And I just got on my knees and said, "Okay, I'm ready to do this your way." I KNOW that I will get to Italy, I have no doubt about that, but if it takes forever, that's alright too. (By the way, Pres. Shippen let slip that he knew who my trainer was and where my first city is, but I won't tell you where...ha). I've been studying a lot about faith and hope and the fireside we had on Sunday was about doing what the Lord wants you to do versus what other people think you should do. Because trust me, everyone thinks I should be gone by now (as much as they love having me here).
2. Learn not to complain. I've started catching myself, and when people ask how I'm doing I just smile. Ha.
3. Seek help from God. I've never prayed more in my life and feasted more on the scriptures. And it really works.
4. Learn to Serve.
This is the fun part. I've started what has been dubbed by Anz. Flitton "L'Universita di Leggi" (Laws University or Law School). This started last night by one companionship asking if I'd teach them Italian. I of course said yes. Next thing we know I'm standing in front of a whiteboard and there are 5 Anziani sitting in desks looking at me. Well I'm teaching animatedly in half English and half Italian and maybe being helpful. And halfway through someone asks how I'm feeling and I just thought, "Hey, this is the first time my stomach hasn't been angry since Friday." So, number 4 really works too. Also they were meeting with Fr. Tate as a progressing investigator and I was like, "Get him to read the!!" "Don't be afraid of speaking Italian!!" "YOU CAN DO IT!!"
5. Forgive. Lately I've been yelling at my stomach in Italian. "Ma dai. Cosa voule mangiare!?!!!" but I've learned to forgive too.
But I am not yet as Job. And not even yet as the Visa waiters who have been here for 15 weeks. I can do this.
So when I told Fratello Skanchy I had to stay an extra week and I guess I could help out the other Italians he said, "well, you could always teach them swear words." Which I actually can't because I don't know any, but I realize that more and more the missionaries are learning Sorella Laws Italian...Which is sort of a problem. I've got everyone saying "Managia" (bummer) and "Dai" (c'mon!!) and "Forse si, forse no" (maybe yes maybe not)
Dai is a good one, because you yell it at people and it sounds like you're saying "Die."
They all love me, as I've written this about eight people have walked by and said, "Hi, Sorella Laws!"
Oh, Sor. Stebar and I took about 1 minute in gym and figured out what kind of dog everyone in the district is, just to lay it out for you:
our district leader (who is also German) is a bloodhound, he's companions with a golden retriever puppy and a bulldog.
zone leaders: husky puppy and beagle
sorelle: rough collie (lassie), pomeranian puppy, standard poodle, and they decided I'm a dalmatian
other companionship: greyhound and a terrier of some kind.
just wait til you get a picture, then you'll understand.
Oh, and Herm. Rodrigues has to stay too and I get to be her companion!! She has to go in for aso I am going to hold her hand and then film her when she comes too. I think this might be one of the reasons I was supposed to stay because she is way not excited about it and would have been assigned to a random companion if I wasn't here.
And I love everyone. Here, there, in Italy. I love you all.