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Aug 1, 2011

Oh the people you will meet

First I want everyone reading this to know that I am looking at the Middle-Eastern version of Napoleon Dynamite right now.
I love
internet points.

Second of all, Zoe and Casey are so totally gorgeous and in love,
I loved the pictures.

This week has been an adventure.

Thursday night we walked past this art shop and I paused for a moment and thought, "that's a cool place" then we noticed that Ester and Federico that we had just tried to see were sitting inside. So we went in. And who were they chatting with. A philosopher of grand proportion! He told us not to worry that he had already read the whole Book of Mormon and that he had a subscription to the Liahona (the church's magazine translated into Italian) and reads it every month. We were like, oh, that is a good sign...

Not exactly. He proceeds to tell us how he created himself. As in, he believes he WILLED "an egg from his mother and a sperm from his father to come together" and thus, created himself. I have heard a lot of interesting there-is-no-God theories, but that might top them all.
Yes, he does wear large glasses and smoke cigars.

Friday we taught a man from Africa (one of the countries where they speak French not English, I dont remember where though) and we showed him all the general authorities and he told us the church needed to have more diversity. He points to the one African member of the 70s and said, "this is the only man of another race that I see." and I said, "wrong, because (pointing to different people) he is from France, he is from Portugal, he is Japanese, Chinese, half of them are from South America...Those are all different 'races'" He knows the answers he just likes to harass us because he can't actually go to church here because he is in Italy on a religious visa, for another church, so if he comes to our church he could get sent home.

Saturday...BAPTISM at the sea.

It was beautiful.

the Anziani were on top of the world

and Christian was super excited and nervous at the same time.

the branch members (all 12 or so of them) were so excited,
they havent had a baptism in Gela for 4 years.

We walked out onto the beach

and the Branch Presidents wife Slla Pasqualina just hugged me for a few minutes. Then we went back and Slla Lewis and I sang Joseph Smiths First Prayer in English and Italian because it is Christians favorite.

It also started an hour and a half late so we got home super late (and when I say super late I mean after 9:30). The members who gave us a ride, the Magrograssi's (sidenote: their name means skinny-fats) consists of Slla who is Brasilian and speaks a hilarious blend of Italian and Brasilian (so being with the Portugese Sisters in the MTC really paid off).

She is so lovely and so lively and was singing Once There Was a Snowman to her baby (adorable with thick curly hair) in Portugese. Her husband is calm and in control and corrects every other mistake she makes with the language and was completely patient even though we got lost on the way there and on the way back.

On the way back he was like, "we should say a prayer." and as his wife is praying (in a mix of two lanuages) and he is driving I look to the left and the side of the road is ON FIRE. You know, just some everyday side of the road fire...And I felt like it could have been the Second Coming right then and there and of course we were late getting home. But he is probably the safest driver I know and we got home almost by bedtime and Pres. still somehow thinks we are good missionaries (which we are, we just have to call him sometimes because we get into extraordinary circumstances).

Sunday Romeo came to church and was talking in Sunday School and he started his statement with, "As a new member of this church.." he already feels like a member! Its so perfect. Translating was its usual adventure, no one was at the pulpit and I said, "and now we are going to sing the closing hymn, number..." and Romeo just looks at me and goes, "Now you are making stuff up." and I was like,
"Well, even if they didnt say it, thats what we are doing."

Also, if anyone from my study abroad group is reading this...I met Anziano DeRuvo (our branch president in Siena)'s mom. Small world, eh? She was in Ragusa visiting.

Yesterday was ZONE CONFERENCE. In Palermo. Which meant a 4 hour drive with the Franceschinis. It was quite the leg, and President decided that we are not going to be a part of the Palermo zone anymore because Catania is only 2 hours away. Palermo, by the way, is crazy, no one was heeding traffic laws and there were sacks of garbage everywhere.

But it was good to see some old friends from my first district

and the Sorelle and of course it was uplifting and inspiring and we got back in time to stop by Romeo and talk with him for a bit about prophets. I talked to president about him and how much we love him. He is a very special human being. He found some work, which is good, but he also told us he would never work on Sunday! Woohoo.

I including these pictures to show you that I am not joking when I say there are hills here.

My calves...huge. Luckily its actually been cool here, We wore a sweater in the evenings, but today its pretty hot again.
was very grateful for the break though.
And grateful to be in Ragusa
instead of some other places.

Also, RITA is back. This beautiful african sister of ours who Slla Foote found,taught,baptized. She has the strongest testimony I have EVER heard. We went to visit her and we were near tears (even me, I should note that Slla Lewis is always near tears, she is way more tender than me). Her husband just got enough to pay for her dowry (yes, dowry) so he should be coming soon from Nigeria to be with her!
You know what that means?

Slla Lewis and I are planning a wedding...party.

K, well, I LOVE YOU ALL. Hope you all.

Sorella Laws

one last thought:
“Our promised blessings are beyond measure,” President Thomas S. Monson declares. “Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments.
There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.
My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not.
Be of good cheer.
The future is as bright as your faith.”

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