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Mar 31, 2011

Where did March go?.......

Can you believe that its pretty much April?? We are waiting with anticipation for transfer calls this Saturday and once again I am really attached to the current city I am in and do not want to leave.
And now even more so if a package is coming for me :)

But it all works out in the end. And whereever I go next, whenever I go, I will also fall madly in love with so we will see. Feel free to cast your votes as to what will happen this transfer call. we did kinder egg predictions (where you open the kinder egg and interpret the toy inside) and I got a Beaver. Slla Foote got a dinosaur. So I was like, "I will be really busy? building dams..." to which we both thought, "so...stopping progress" haha. and i told her she was going to go extinct. p.s. if you were wondering our chocolate fast is over, ha. but our english fast went really well and we improved lots. only thing is we really should keep it up as we are already going down hill again.

It has been deliciously sunny lately (though the Italians will still yell at you for not wearing tights no matter how much the sun is shining). In fact, we just had gelato for lunch. Today was pretty great. We had an appointment and decided to go even though it was pday because it was the only time she could do it and she was really interested. Well, of course we go to Loseto (a bit outside Bari) and shes not there, doesnt answer the phone. So we knock on some doors and miracle of miracle, people opened their doors! One man wanted to let us in, but we couldnt because he was alone and we talked to another lady for a while, she has lots of health problems and was pretty sad, we told her God has a plan for her and loves her and she said, "is this his plan for me?" and gestured to her ceiling that was all exposed with wires and pipes and things. She let us in and we promised her that we could have hope, we talked to her about her kids and her nipoti and all her health problems (which is what all people like to talk about here, if they have them) and when we left she was happier than we came...and thats all I could ever ask for.

We just found an awesome guy in Loseto. We were friends with his wife because we had asked her for directions before and we went to give her a Book of Mormon and ended up talking to her husband. He told us he didnt have time to read another book. He told us how he studied to be a priest for 20 or so years and was 4 years short of becoming a priest when he decided not to. He said he wasnt sure why. We talked to him for probably 30 minutes about the Book of Mormon and how it answers questions. He said he doesnt understand why everyone interprets the Bible differently.Then he asked us questions like, "where are we going after this?" "why do bad things happen" so on and so forth and every question we were like, "its in this book." He said "are you sure?" and we said, "yes." I told him how I have complete confidence in why I am here and where I am going and that he could too if he would just read and pray. By the end he was much more interested in reading it and told us to stop by again.

Life is busy but amazing. Somehow we are so often in the right place at the right time. It comes with the title I suppose. We found out that a members husband had died and we happened to be right by the busstop that would take us to her house. So then we went and got flowers from the flowershop man that we are friends with and took them to her. Her family was there and they were so grateful. Her daughter has a boyfriend who now wants to meet with the missionaries.

A few days later we had a funeral-party and it was awesome. I love the members in this ward so much. We ate and talked and everyone was happy despite the sad ocassion. And Bishop was like, "We have really elegant sister missionaries these days" and me and Slla Foote were like, what? Because I, for one, have never felt less elegant in my life with my current wardrobe and little did he know that that evening I happened to be wearing tights with a HUGE run in the back that Slla Foote pointed out to me far too late. But the crazy thing is...everyone has been telling us how good looking we are lately. Okay, that sounded conceited. But random old ladies on the street and people on the bus and members etc. and of course the endless string of awkward men. but I dont know what will happen when the sun comes out and I cant wear cardigans anymore...

We made fliers that we have been passing out to people for conference. They say, "if there was a prophet on the earth, would you listen to him?" with the information. I AM SO EXCITED FOR CONFERENCE. Yep, I have become a Church-nerd. These are the things that excite me and I couldnt be happier about it. Everyone, God speaks to us today.
He has not forgotten us like so many people believe.

Now, if someone really loved me they would do me this favor...Download a bunch of conference talks in Italian, burn it to a disk, and mail it to me. That way I could practice my Italian better. Okay, I just discovered that these computers have itunes so maybe I could download them onto my iPod myself. I just told that to Slla Foote and she told me I sounded like a nerd. I said,
"thats exactly what i just wrote."

Antonia is getting baptized the 9th or 16th...probably the 16th and she had an amazing experience where she told her sister that she was done with problems and that she was going to become a new Antonia and that she didnt care what anyone said because she was happy and felt better than ever before and she had found 2 angels and the church of Christ. Her sister asked her what church it was because she could tell she was so much happier. And this is the same Antonia that we thought would never want to leave the Catholic church. But she read and prayed and came to church and she knows its true. Its so simple.
And now...everyone go watch this video. I love it. So the new year was like four months ago (feels like yesterday to me) but http://mormon.org/videos the one called "Look Not Behind You". Basically, I love New Yorkers.
And I just want to make movies for the Church.
Oh gosh, again with the Church nerd.
But, seriously, they are really improving their films.

Know that my love for you all is a never ending cascade like Niagra Falls (everyone here is obsessed with Niagra Falls and the Grand Canyon and I fail them as I havent seen either) that gushes endlessly but I will say it once more

I love you,

(and I love Bari, pray that I dont get transferred quite yet)

Sorella Laws

oh, ps.

Happy Birthday, Alex-baby!! Even though I havent heard a darn thing from you I assume you made it to 21. go on a mission.


Sorella Casaro who had us vacuum her books before we packed them up. Her husband was teaching Anz. Avesani martial arts during the funeral party.

Notice anything different about my face?
Yeah, that ugly thing is gone.
Don't worry I definitely had it professionally removed...

Mar 23, 2011

You Know You're a Missionary in Italy When..

Well, it was an exciting week. I am going to apologize now for how this email ends up because we have speaking only Italian this week* which means my English is going downhill fast. Its hard to think/speak in English. I am going to be one of those people when I get back...

*Of course as soon as you decide to speak only Italian you get an appointment with the one American lady in the ward. She was awesome and fed us chocolate chip cookies. But she is definitely ready to return to America. So, no worries mom, I think I'll hold to the promise I made about not marrying an Italian.

Well, life in Italy is magical. I am convinced that I see the same people all the time and we are pretty sure that Bari is actually the Truman show and that God is just playing one big joke on us. The other day on our way to Adelfia I talked to this lady on the bus who told me that we are all gods because the scriptures say god knows how many hairs are on our heads and only WE can know how many hairs are on our head to which I thought, I have no idea how many hairs are on my head. Anyway, she got off at a different stop...and then 30 minutes later when we are eating beans on the street (it happens) she walks by and waves and saltures me and then walks off.

And when we taught our favorite friend Francesca who is too afraid to leave her house but amazing at painting and stopped going to church when her mom died. She is always talking to us about this show "Misterio" that finally ended but where they use bible scriptures to prove that there are UFOs and other phenomenons like how people are going to have 120 microchips in them. At the end of the day Slla Foote said, "Well, she wont be in church tomorrow but meno male [at last] Misterio is over."

I gave a talk on Sunday. I think my Italian was awful but the members here are just gems and when I got back to my seat there was candy waiting for me...There is one Sorella. Sorella Valenti who always has candy and the Juan boys always go and ask her for it and Andres will say, "I dont know if he likes that kind" and walk all the way back to his brother Leo and then all the way back to Sorella and say, "No, he doesnt like that kind" It is so amusing to watch.

Our English Course students continue to entertain us as they argue about Italy and Japan and every other topic in broken English. Frank brought us foccaccia the other day even though...

Everyone thinks we are fat. The fat jokes never end. Whether its, "she can have more pasta because she is skinnier than you" or "you've eaten well lately" "you are fatter than you were last time" etc. etc. They are so blunt. It cracks me up. And yet they freak out when we say we only eat vegetables or a sandwich for lunch. the problem is that the pasta fat goes straight to your face. so even if my skirts are falling off I still look like the dough boy.

We talked to this other lady on the train and when we told her we know how to be happy she said, "is it a secret?" Once again everyone thinks we are running a secret church even though we put in all this effort to tell people about it.

I have been reading the Liahona loads lately. Its SO good. Turns out the prophets tell us exactly what we need to do...I just never really listened before. I feel like every day I have a Homer Simpson "DOH" moment when I realize that life is so easy. We are the ones who make it complicated. We could be so much happier if we just let ourselves be happy.

The church is true. I have holes in all my tights. I broke my watch and all our umbrellas. And we are loving, serving, and teaching our hearts out here in Bari.

Because it is the best.

Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.
-Alma 26:16

Sorella Laws


We went to a city called Alberobello...

and it was really windy as you can see.

There were tons of little houses called Trulli.

The story is that back in the day you wouldnt be taxed if your house didnt have a roof so they built houses where they could remove the roof if they needed to to avoid paying taxes. Typical.

And a group shot of all the Sisters in Bari. We had an activity about the Relief Society, it was, of course, delightful. I love them all.

So we went upstairs to our neighbor because the Sorelle from Taranto had stolen our phone and we see this lady making homemade pasta. And we were in awe. It was our favorite kind too. Orecchio. She was so cute and nice.

Sorella Footes bag: Panchetta (bacon) and a Book of Mormon.

The same day that we went upstairs and saw our neighbor making homemade pasta we turned down a street and saw a group of people cooking a GIANT pot of beans...In the middle of the street.

And of course they made us eat some.

It was a day where we really felt like we were in Italy
(not to mention later that day when we had a lesson in a pizzeria)

I forgot to mention lovely Sorella Magno.
I have mentioned her before and how she is made of legitimacy.
Even without hair.

Mar 16, 2011

Another (P)Day, Another Destiny

Seems that no matter how many hymns and EFY songs I listen to, Les Miserable still manages to get stuck in my head now and again. Somethings are just ingrained that deep. ;)

Right now we are with the sorelle from Taranto and going to a little city for some sight-seeing we had an amazing conference yesterday that changed my life. Sunday we went to visit the branch in Bitonto. They loved us and fed us a great lunch. Friday we went to find these less actives and all their addresses were printed wrong, but I felt like FBI or something because I would be like, "this says 15, I bet they meant 5." and then we found it. Or one didnt have the street, but we asked people until someone knew where it was. There is no hiding from the Sorelle! ha.

And we met this man on the bus who was talking about all the things he believed and I said, "yes, because God loves us" and he goes "GOD LOVES US!! YES!!" I almost fell off my seat. It was the best reaction Ive gotten to that simple statement of truth.


I may or may not have hopped the fence so we could
get flowers to give people.

Sorella Foote told me I looked like a giraffe and I was like, "what are you talking about?" upon seeing the picture it makes more sense.

Our ward mission leader and his wife. They are both delightful.

Anziano Reyes offered to pull the granny cart for us. They are good to us. (and he was tired of seeing it flip over
every time I pulled it off the curb, ha)

the last picture is us helping a member pack. That is really what her entryway looks like.

What more really is there to say than I love you.
Heavenly Father loves you.
He loves me. He loves the people here in Bari
and he just wants immense happiness for all of us.
And I love the people here in Bari.

Its so easy to get caught up in selfishness. We worry about the things we need, about what we are going to eat for lunch, about whether we will get off on the right busstop or not and then if you take two seconds you realize that, that old lady needs help climbing onto the bus. And the sixteen year old sitting next to you licking her used bus ticket so that she can restamp (because she had one for her, but not for her crazy friend) is struggling to find happiness in her troubled life. Or the many foreigners that have no jobs, but are still happier than they were in their homeland.

Or when you knock on a door and they cant talk to you because they are busy taking care of their husband who can no longer bathe himself, or a young mother answers the door with a half eaten banana in hand and a child clinging to each leg. Or the grandmother whose house is covered in toys and forts. Or when you buy a foccaccia and you discover that everyone that works there is a family and they
have recently lost their father.

How many people do you see each day? How many stories go untold, unnoticed? Just because we never ask.

The scriptures tell us, ask and ye shall receive. As I and also my companion have pondered and discussed this we have come to the conclusion that this is an eternal principle that applies no only to God but to others. Ask if you can help and you receive a friendship.

This is the best time of my life because I dont have to think about all the things the rest of you are thinking about. Instead, I get to spend day after day serving, teaching, and loving. In short, following the example of our Savior. Its not easy, we are rejected, just like he was. But I promise you there is nothing more satisfying than stepping up and taking your place with the greatest life this world has ever known.

People are always asking us how we are doing, if we are teaching, if its hard. They tell us that Bari is tough and the people are cold. But the thing is...It is not true. I have a testimony that this Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of God on the earth. And you know why? Because people say yes. People tell us that this is what they have been looking for all their lives.

They are teaching me. I have never known what its like to not know that I have a loving Heavenly Father who created a plan for me. I have always know that there was a Savior Jesus Christ who loves me. But there are people who wander through life without these. Alone. Without the comfort of the Holy Spirit guiding their lives. Or people who once knew, but have forgotten. And they are just kept from the truth because they dont know where to find it. Theres a reason the church sends out
50,000 missionaries at a time.

"Along your pathway of life you will observe that you are not the only traveler. There are others who need your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save." -President Thomas S. Monson

This work is not just for full-time missionaries. There are far too many blessings to go around than we can handle. Yesterday at a Specialized Training Meeting we were invited to write down two or three things each day that we did to make the world a better place.
I invite all of you to do the same.

I love you, it sounds like you are all doing quite amazingly
and that many of you are in love (gross)

I promise as you take the small moments each day, to let someone cut in line or to smile at a stranger, you will come to find that you are happier and that your soul is fuller. Not to mention the lives of those you will touch will be blessed as well.

Sorella Laws

tomorrow is Italy Independence Day
we sang the national anthem on Sunday
Italia chiamò!!

Mar 9, 2011

The rain cant stop us now

So I just found out that my trainer who went home in December is already married. What the?? Also heard it from an anziano who heard it from another anziano so who knows how reliable that is, but if its true,
all I have to say is, I told you so.
And I hope that its not that one guy.

I have to say how much I LOVE all of you.
Seriously, were ever more beautiful people created than the ones that have been put in my life? I am the luckiest.

a few shout-outs because the mail system is unreliable
and who knows what is getting through:
COURTNEY--got both your emails and i love you times a million and i did write you a couple weeks ago, but to your LA address. so lets hope it somehow gets to you because it was a good letter full of wedding inspiration and drama and all the things you wanted. but i will send another soon.

KELS,BABZ,JEN -- those valentines day photos. made. my. life. i have one of the ones we took last year in my album that I show everyone and they are like, you are crazy, but awesome. and i say, i know. and someone tell the Jordans that both their capstone projects sound legit.

Okay, moving on.

This week, was like usual, full of adventure. Its been raining, snowing (snowing would mean there are 20 snowflakes in the air) After I emailed you last week we got lost in Carbonara (which is a part of Bari) for a few hours (well, not really that long). We even asked a policeman and he pulled out the official city map because no one knew where the tiny street was and the member we were trying to visit wouldnt answer her phone and no one else who might know answered the phone. But we met a guy in a flowershop who used to have friends who were Mormon and American and he gave us directions and we talked to him and he told us to come back and visit him sometime, so we are going to tonight. He said, "my name is Michele...Fratello Michele."

Another Chilotam line (sadly we probably arent going to teach him anymore because he is sort of homeless and dealing with a lot of things) but on the phone he told us, "Make sure you are doing it for God and not that man Mormon" and afterwards Sorella Foote goes, "Obviously he didnt understand any of that lesson" But we still love him loads. He is in our prayers.

Sunday...oh my gosh. We ate SO much. We went and ate at this family with two hilarious boys. They are huge. Their dad is from Mexico and their mom is Italian and they just fed us so much. But guess what. They made guacamole!! IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD. We were freaking out. And it was fast Sunday so we were really hungry anyway. And then we had guacamole and tortillas and one of the boys, Leo was like, "I have a diary and I write all my secrets in it." and then they were showing us their lego firestation and it was hilarious because he was explaining every part and when I would ask questions he would just ignore me and keep going.

Then we went and taught this lady we have been trying to go by for ages but she is always gone she was like, "I want to come to church and bring my sister. And we said, okay. And Sorella Foote goes, "I have a map!" and she pulls it out and we show her exactly how to get to church,haha.

We also have a lovely youngerster Valentina who really wants to get baptized but her parents wont let her and I was like, why wouldnt you want her to grow up religious with all these programs to help her grow up well?? So we told her she just has to prove to her parents that she is serious by reading and praying everyday
and bearing her testimony to them.

Yesterday was Feste delle Donne (So Auguri to all the women out there) and we took everyone these yellow flowers, as is tradition here, and they happen to grow on a tree right behind the church
so we conveniently were able to grab a bunch.

Then we are on a street corner and we hear the Anziani yell at us
(they were about to buy some flowers at a stand nearby)
and they were like, "Who gave you those?"
And instead of telling them they were from all our boyfriends
we told them we got them from the church and that we were taking them to people. It worked well. Turns out if you want people to like you you just have to carry flowers around. It makes them happy. Two ladies on the street were like, "you two are just beautiful" the thing is,
they dont realize that its not our good looks,
its the spirit of the Lord we take with us eveywhere.

These magical flowers also got us into the house of a lady we have been trying to see for a long time. But she is moving away. Its sad because she is really sad and doesnt know where to go to be happier. We know, however, but she didnt have time to talk for long.

It was also Carnivale and one of our investigators told us that the ragazzacci (fun word to say, means essentially mean boys) throw eggs at people. I was like, "oh great, we are missioanries, we are prime targets for egg throwing!" So we wore ugly jackets from the death closet all day, but never got hit by anything. Anticlimatic.

We went and visited this one lady, Sorella Pepe, and guess what...Her son is a filmmaker in Rome. She was showing us all her stuff that he had left in the house and I wanted to steal it all. 8mm cameras and all these books and this one huge old camera. She was just like, "I dont know what this is" and "this is some other thing". And I wanted to be like, can I borrow this? Ha. It made me a little homesick, Ill be honest. She is also crazy good at knitting and can knit a sweater in two days.

I have to tell you that I love our mission president. I was on the phone with Sorella Kelly and she goes, I am going to pass you to President and he goes, "I just heard Sorella Kelly talking to you and I thought I want to get in on the fun!!" He is the nicest and somehow manages to take care of 100 missionairies and make us all feel loved and important at the same time. All the members tell us how much they love him all the time.

Also we decided to give up chocolate for lent. I know, this is huge. that includes nutella. You are probably wondering why Mormon Missionaries are celebrating lent...I dont know, the Italians are wearing off on us (not that any of them are celebrating Lent as far as I can tell) the other day in district meeting I was talking about general conference and I said, "Its the simple things, the apostles are always like read your prayers" instead of read the scriptures and pray and everyone laughed. We also had all the anziani in our district falling out of their chairs as we reinacted our lesson with Chilotam. We are...really funny. Cant help it.

Have you been to lds.org lately? Its amazing.

“The greatest good we can do in helping others become what they can become will be to lead them to the Savior.”

D. Todd Christofferson

It is so not about us. I have realized that missionary work is just as affective when you cant say much at all, because you take them to the scriptures...to their Savior. Read the scriptures. Pray to Him. Listen to the prophet and apostles. Then do what they say. Do you all realize that we can become better than we are everyday? That our potential is absolutely limitless? lately I have been thinking about how often I have settled for mediocracy because it was easier. But easier is not better. Heavenly Father has given us all these tools so that we can know our Savior and become like Him. So lets do it. Day by day we can be a little kinder a little more dedicated to serving a little more repentent.

I love you all. For realz.


Sorella Laws

Mar 2, 2011

"...is this the secret church"

Ohmigosh, the news about Zoe!?
Tell her she has to date him for at least a year to be sure
(and so I can be at the wedding)
and then tell her to email me and tell me all about it.
And then tell her that when you meet an RM who likes the same things as you for the first time it always feels like love.
And THEN tell her if she gets married while I am gone I will kill her.
Sorry, but there are some places I just cant make exceptions.

Also, is someone going to send me an announcement for Ukiah and Abby? Or you could even just email me pictures if there are any on facebook or whatnot. I need to see evidence of these things to actually believe them (oops, thats the opposite of what I tell people all day).

Wedding announcements on the mission are always sort of surreal, you assume nothing changes while you are gone and then all the sudden people are grown up and married and you are like, "what?" Slla. Foote just got one from her cousin who is marrying the son of one of the 70s (his last name has an I and an x in it, I think) and she was like,
"shes wearing make-up and jewelry and marrying someone legit?
She used to wear tie-dye and date every boy in the ward."
It was funny.

Where do I start, there have been so many good stories this week. Every day has just been like,
"I love being a missionary, this is the best ever, my life is the best.
I am doing the best thing with my life."

After email last week we went to visit Slla Magno (who is legit and even has a facebook if you want to look her up Rosa Magno, and I showed her how to put pictures up so theres one of us on there) and we brought her flowers and she made us soup with homemade broth and it was delicious and then we hardly walk home. But she is the most legit (ok, for whatever reason I use that word all the time now) person ever. When she isnt visiting people/doing missionary work she is doing indexing for geneology work or going to church activities. Oh, and this is all when shes not doing chemo. Yeah. I am going to say it again, legit.
And she can cook. I love the people here.

But before that someone knocks on OUR door.
Yeah, we were on our way out. And then, we taught this man, Nino, on our doorstep. No one lets us teach them on their doorstep, but then they come to us. We even said a prayer.

Saturday we were doing house. I'll be honest. I really didnt like house. Its so hard when people either just dont answer or immediately shut the door. But then I remember that we are bringing them the greatest thing ever and it is completely free and we are bringing it to their doorsteps and they should be infintely grateful, and if they shut the door at least we tried.

So we get to this building where we know one of Antonias friends live (because she told us she wasnt interested in having us over but then told us her address and exactly how to get there). Only problem, we dont know her last name and there are like four buildings with 10 stories. And so we think, "Okay, lets find her" and we start knocking doors. No one answers.

One man answers and asks who we are he was like, "Oh yeah, I had missionaries over here for dinner once, we talked about Smith." and we were like, "really?" and he says, "yeah, but Im Catholic, no thanks." Okay, so we move on, and on. and then we knock a door and they ask who it is "Were the Sorelle" and then the door opens and its her. AnaMaria "Figlie mie!" (my daughters) she says and invites us in. Next thing we know we are on a tour of the house and shes showing us old photos.
But it gets better.

We head back and its like 2oclock (usually we go in for lunch at 1.30) and I see this girl who looks exactly like someone I know, and I know shes not, but she walks by and I smile and she smiles and then I turn around and go, "sei americana?" and she says, "No Im French" and all the sudden we are talking in English about life and the gospel and she is SO cute (but leaving to go back home in 3 weeks) and she asks who the prophet is and Sorella Foote whips out a picture of Thomas S Monson

and then...out of nowhere...comes what I have wished for everyday since I got called to Southern Itay...

An African man comes up to us.
"Okay, so, um, are you speaking English? What are you talking about?"
"Jesus. And a prophet."
"Okay, so what do you want me to believe about this man?"
"That he is a prophet of God."
"Mmm. Okay. and this man, has he prophesised anything that has come true?"

Meanwhile Pia (the French girl): "Um, I am going to go."
So we set up a time to meet with him and here are some highlights.
"Okay, so this man Mormon. I have never heard about this man my whole life. Does he have a family? Where are they now?"
"Do you have the book of God with you?"
(neither of us happened to have our Bibles on us)

"Let me tell you something, if you are going to go preaching about this man Mormon, you need to have the word of God with you."
"I do not think they have this church in Nigeria." We explained that it is. "No, because I have never heard about this church...
Is this a secret church?"

Um, no, we go around telling people about it all day.
We showed him a picture of Joseph Smiths First Vision
"Um, okay, so who was there to witness this."
No one. We know about it because he wrote about it.

"No, who was there...Who took this picture."
Its not a photo its a painting
"No, no, that is a photo, who took it?"

We told him the Book of Mormon was written by prophets who prophesied of Christ before he came...

"No, young lady, you are mistaken, Christ was the first man. He and God created the earth. There was no one before Jesus Christ"
Yes, but they were born on the earth before Christ.
"Yes. yes."

"Okay, can you talk to this prophet?
I want you to ask him exactly how old I am and where I am from and then I will believe that this man is a prophet" Then Sorella Foote whips out the scripture that says not to ask for a sign.

"How much are they paying you to work for this man?"
We explained we actually pay to be here because it makes us happy.
"Do you have a DVD of this man that I can watch at home so I can hear the words of this man?"

It all ended up well though as my companion smoothly asked if he would pray and accept feelings in his heart as a sign that there is a prophet on the earth. He said yes.

Me and Sorella Foote just laugh about everything. Every day we get into situations that could be overwhelming but instead they are a joy. Like, when we have investigators that are 14 and 11 and the 14 year old sleeps through our appointment (which was 5 oclock at night, a time when no one should be asleep) and the 11 year old says, "I dont know, we are really busy this week" She is 11. And the same 14 year old doesnt come to church because she is hanging out with her friend (who is a member) just outside the church.

Or that we can get 5 investigators to a talent show,
but only one to church.

Oh and our 72 year old is currently praying that she wont say so many swear words when she gets mad. Or how our ward mission leader always calls us angels and tells everyone within hearing how we are "angelette" and "brave" and goes on and on. And he was like,
"why didnt you answer my call, were you in heaven?"
or he will comment on my name and say that
I am the master of the laws of heaven.

I dont even know, people love us way more than they should. ha.
Or how even our service project bidonned us. We were going to help a sister in the ward move and got called because they didnt need us anymore.

And how every single day we have the oppurtunity to talk to someone who is wondering if there is purpose in their life. We had a new student in English Course and he was waiting for his bus and we just talked about life, or just a minute ago we went and got focaccia where the missionaries always go after (or before) internet and the girl goes,
"Okay, who are you guys with these tags?"
and next thing we know we are explaining
the plan of salvation and she is crying.

This work is real.
I have never felt more worthwhile in my life.
Even when we get rejected or caught in the rain and even if there is always something wrong with my body. This is real. Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for us. All he asks is that we trust him. Trust that the commandments will make us happy even when we dont understand them. Trust that we can pray for everything, that he will be comforted. Come unto him and repent and be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. Even when the world says that religion is silly or
just an excuse for people who cant find answers.

We have all the answers.
Its logical.
But more than that, it is what our very spirits yearn for.

And it is real. And anyone can know.
Heavenly Father wants so much more for us than we think we can have. Just because we always try and do it our own way instead of His.

I love you all.
Send me Easter candy
(no, just kidding, but I just remembered how GOOD Easter candy is...those sour jelly bean gummy things? and the marshmallow things?
Oh man. But they have this really good stuff here that they make for Carnivale which has lasted like a month which is nice, but soon its over and then everyone just gives stuff up...but its like deep fried dough and covered in powdered sugar, I dont know, but its good--
(I promise Im not getting that fat)

Anyway, I love you.
Be happy. It really is a matter of choice.
God has given us this gift of agency so that we can be happy even when the whole world is turned against us.

tutto l'amore nel mio cuore,

Sorella Laws

Picture explanations:

So my boots that I got entirely for the intent to keep me dry got a hole in them so now I have to rig them up all ghettoly with plastic bags.
We went to SHANG HAI today (the chinese IPERSTORE)
so I could find new ones. And well, I didnt, but I did find everything else I could ever want in this life.
Including a sweet jacket and an argyle sweater.
And somethings that are very much not missionary appropriate
but will be very fun to wear at home.

Ludo. Her baptism doesnt "count" for us, because shes 8.
But it definitely counts for her.
She is awesome and we love her.

We finally got to ride in a tiny car.
Sorella Footes dream come true.

We got caught in a huge storm.
Tons of rain and wind and broken umbrellas.
That was yesterday. Today we didnt even need coats.

Welcome to March in Bari!