This week has been great. Thursday we had Zone Conference with Elder Causse, an area authority. He is awesome. He taught us about how to approach people, how to plan, how to talk about baptism, and how to help people who want to get baptized. Basically all the steps to missionary work. And it was awesome. He taught us about a program where you meet with people three times a week for four weeks and afterwards if they are also reading the Book of Mormon and praying and coming to church they will be ready to be baptized.
There was also this hilarious British area authority who came with him and another who was Italian. We got Christmas packets from Sorella Kelly (mission President’s wife) that had Christmas stories and missionary success stories and a picture of the Italy Rome temple plan (which every member has in their house--some in every room) and a toothbrush. Which was actually exactly what I needed, so I was happy about that. It doesn’t really feel like Christmas time even though there are lights up everywhere and everyone’s homes are quite festive, I am sure it’ll hit me eventually. It is very cold. The Italians love to talk about the weather and they all hate that it is cold and are always concerned that we are cold but cold here is still not as bad as many other places so we cant complain.
I gave blood. They had a blood drive at the church in Rome so I thought, why not? they even gave me a t'shirt. Don’t worry mom, it was safe...ish.
Sunday we went to our branch presidents for lunch. They have this adorable little dog that loved me and kept lying on my feet, which of course was sad because it made me think of Laika. But we ate good food and watched the Christmas devotional. Many of the other members came over to watch it as well. It’s always a party around here. One of the members of our ward, Francesco, translates the voice for Pres. Eyring and he was sitting on the couch next to us so that was kind of funny.
Oh, and I didn’t end up playing for the primary program even though I practiced diligently for it, they booted me at the last minute. Primary Programs are always great though. They had signs that said, °I know that my redeemer lives° taped on the wall and the one that said °Savior° fell down halfway through. And there was one boy who every time they got up to sing he just hid his face.
During the week we had been walking down the street and we ran into this man. He was like, "sister missionaries." and we said, "yes?" he said he was a member but worked often on Sundays and last time he came no one was there (it was stake conference in Rome) so we told him to come this week and he did. He seems super awesome and he has a son and wife who aren’t members. When we were talking with the branch president he said that we were going to have a Christmas activity because this man had taken his son to a Christmas activity at the church once and remembered there being Santa. So Pres. Vigletta said, "We are going to have a Christmas dinner, even if its just for this man and his son, and there will be a Santa." Have I mentioned the members here are amazing?? They understand the importance of missionary work.
Sorella Alicino is awesome and gets excited when we call her or stop by and has a million people she is trying to share the gospel with. She calls me "Sorellina" and is always petting my face.
It’s been a bittersweet week because we "dropped" some people who we really love. There are people who love meeting with us and feeling the spirit that we bring when we talk about the scriptures and such, but they have no interest in ever getting baptized. So we told them that we love them, but as missionaries we are here to help people who want to get baptized and who want to come to church and read and pray.
We also had a wonderful district meeting where Anz. Buisco had us all sit in the "Love Chair" and we all had to say something we loved about the person in the love chair. It reminded me of the MTC. It’s so funny to me how we can hardly know each other and still love each other so much. Some of the Anziani have been together off and on and they’ve been able to see the changes in each other and how they’ve each grown, Want to know what people said about me? That I am unique. Ha. They said other nice things too, but I don’t need to brag. Then we all said what we love about Jesus Christ. That, obviously, was the best part.
We also ate Pandoro because it was Anz Busicos last meeting (there is a small group going home midtransfer). Pandoro is good.
I am trying to be more fearless about talking to people. It is HARD. I freak out all the time because I know how all these people need the gospel so every single person who walks by I fall instantly in love with but then I dint know how to speak Italian. The other day we were at the train station and I saw this guy waiting for a train on the other side and I felt like I should talk to him, so I start walking (I decided I just can’t think anymore, I have to just have faith and do). And I say Hi and talk to him about his life a little and he tells me he is studying architecture and then I ask him what he’s studying and he says architecture and I go, oh, right, because he had just told me that. But he laughed and then he was getting on the train and i just shoved a pamphlet about the restoration in his hand. And he was like, what the? Keep in mind I had spent the night before putting our information on all these pamphlets and writing ci chiami! (call us) and had intended on handing them out to everyone. Every time I pray I ask Heavenly Father to help me open my mouth on the street (never thought THAT would be a problem)
So maybe next time I will actually talk to someone by myself about the gospel before I force things on them. But I’m progressing, one step at a time.
There was also this lady on the street, Eugenia, who was standing by the beach all by herself. She looked sad and I said, I think we should talk to her. So we did. And she was sad. She’s here all by herself and going through treatments. We told her that we love her and God loves her and that we want to meet with her. She said yes, but keeps standing us up, so we are hoping for the best with her, that she will actually come.
There are so many other people I wish you all could meet, they are fabulous. I love Italians.
Well, happy Christmas season!! You all have plenty of excuses to talk about Christ with other people.
All my love,