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Sep 4, 2011

Greeting from The Luckiest Missionary in the World

In the picture from last week it's not a gold skirt, silly. They are genie pants, of course. From Israel. The magical traveling genie pants. Traveling pants. It's an idea we came up with all on our own.

I don't know if I mentioned when we went to Taormina we were told to go tagless and blend in. It was weird, like loosing my identity a bit, I managed to tell everyone we encountered that we were missionaries anyway.

Speaking of fashion I also forgot to mention that the green skirt you made me is also a crowd pleaser, the amazement came from everyone, "there are pockets in your skirt!!" "If I had to wear a skirt I would wear one like that." I guess the Anziani dont realize that with their suits they have 5 times as many pockets as anyone and that they wouldnt look good in a skirt, no matter how many pockets it has.

So, why am I the luckiest thing in the world?
SO many reasons.

Also sorry if the pictures are ultra gross
but I feel like every missionary has to have their

"look at this gross thing I saw/happened to me"
and I want you all to have the full effect.

It was while I was in Siracusa so Slla Stebar kepts going,

"ew, gross!!" and then taking pictures.

But as you can see in another picture

I am rubbing my arms because they are just so baby soft smooth now! Even my elbows, who ever has soft elbows? Well, I do.
My legs/feet are still in the process of shedding,
It is really quite ridiculous.

Sunday about a billion people (5) said they would come to church, as in SATURDAY we talked to them and they said, yes, yes, I am coming!
And how many showed up? None.

And one of the members got ticked because we asked him to give someone a ride who ended up not wanting to come and somehow everyone ended up offended and I just wanted to cry
(which doesn't happen often)
because I was sad enough no one came
and just what I needed was an angry member on top of all that
who asked us to never ask him for help again.

But I was sitting there as the sacrament was being passed and I just had an overwhelming feeling that God loved me and he was so proud of what I was doing even though the results aren't always tangible. Because we had done everything we could, we had made calls, gotten rides, made sure everyone knew how and where and what and why, but sometimes, things come up that are out of everyone's control.

And sometimes people just choose not to do what they say they will. Which stinks, but agency is just that great that
we put up with everything that goes along with it.

Okay, so that doesn't sound all so lucky, does it...BUT! We met the greatest most fabulous person everrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Friday after we finished scambi we went and made cookies for the boys at the communita and then we thought, okay, what now...because with scambi(exchange) nightly planning did not get done. So we went to visit Park Boys.

And they were their usual selves. Pablo was there without the dogs so they so arent even a good excuse anymore. And I was like, "okay, this isnt productive" but I didnt feel like we could leave and then Carmello shows up with Pablo's(his brother) dogs. We start talking and he says, "Oh I am very catholic, I am one of the pallbearers in the St, John the Baptist procession on Monday" and then all the sudden he is telling us all the things he doesnt like about the catholic church, how the priests are paid and dont have families and how some things they teach aren't from the Bible, and then he is sitting down next to us on the bench and we are explaining Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and how our church is organized and he says, "So your church is like ours, but purer."

And he said the things every missionary wants to hear,
"I will read this book." "I pray every day"
"I will tell all my friends about this and see if they are interested"
"when can I meet with you"
and "I don't work on Saturday or Sunday."
and as he left, "you can call me whenever,
it won't bother me."

While we were talking to him this man and his little boy walked up and he excused himself to go talk to them, when he came back he told us how they are from Africa and the mom work all day long and how he just loves the whole family, especially the little boy and how he is not racist. Which is just icing on the cake since 20% of our ward is African with little babies running around.

So we had an appointment for yesterday but he couldn't come because he was taking his brothers dogs to the vet
(thats the problem with charitable people)
but he was like, "when can I see you???"

And he was super upset that he accidentally slept through church and when he woke up he realized he didnt have a tie and we explained of course he could come without a tie. And his name pretty much means candy so it couldnt get much better.

We got permission to go and watch the procession on Monday

and we saw him and I yelled and waved and then I actually got a video of him waving back, which of course we just love.

Slla Stebar's mom sends her my blog posts sometimes and she asked me how I always end up teaching 30-something year old men.
I dont know,
but the same day she said that we found another one.

We also saw Corado at the procession walking along with his arm in a sling and we were confused as to what happened but we saw him yesterday and he. is. amazing. He is not the best at reading but the is going through the pamphlets word by word, paragraph by paragraph really trying to understand and he always tells us how since he met us something has changed and how he really wants to change and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, he usually works on Sunday so it's a mini blessing in disguise that he broke his arm because now he can come and he is so excited to come.

He used to always bring all his friends with him to lessons, we never knew how many people would show up, but the past couple of times we have been able to meet with just him and he has such a sweet, gentle spirit, he brings us watermelon and comes with all the pamplets and his reading glasses ready to learn. He always tells us to be patient with him because he is slow but he really wants to understand and to be baptized when he knows.

Of course we are patient, because we love him to death.

Right before the procession we went by Ziu Pinu, our favourite sandwich truck and two of them were just sitting outside at the table and we sat down and started talking and two of the workers, from Albania were very interested, one of them has a big family and we told him about how important the family was, etc, and he was very interested.

Ziu Pinu (sicilian for Uncle Pino) is the eccentric sandwich man that is always in his bright orange shirt and refers to himself in third person and drinks Tabasco sauce.

There are something that are just so Sicilian.

He calls Slla L "gioia (joy)" and is always excited to see us. We are glad he is back because he took his truck and went to the seaside for the summer, but he came back Friday.

Oh, and the best part of the procession...No joke.
The tuba player in the marching band
was smoking.

The past little while when I have been praying I have asked Heavenly Father to send us someone who really wants to meet with us, who really wants these things. And we have found them. Because all the sudden everyone wants to meet with us and is making appointments with us, even people we don't know, like when we tried to call a lady we met in the park and a man answered and he said, "She's at work, but I know where your church is, I'll come meet you there when I am not working" and we were like, "Um, okay" we still don't know who this person is, but we will find out tomorrow. So even though we still get stood up a lot there are miracles everywhere..

Not to mention I was very sad because it is fig season and there are none in Ragusa and I was thinking, of course, I am in the one city in Italy without figs. And I resigned myself to the fact that you can't have everything, but guess what, you can. Corado brought us figs last night and I said, "My favourite!!!" and he said, "Oh, really?
Ill go get you more, five minutes"

so he left his pamphlets and glasses (see picture) and went and got more. I dont know if I have ever met anyone more tender hearted.

Ragusa is more and more like Disneyland...the day of San Giovanni there were fireworks...the night before, the night of and...THE MORNING OF. Yes, fireworks...in broad daylight.

And there were booths run by old men selling stale candy and not stale nuts and sausages and I even saw cotton candy. And everyone waves at us and we pose for pictures.

I wake up and do aerobics to Prince of Eygpt and..did I mention they gave us DVD players to use for companionship study? They are fabulous and makes my job as senior comp way easier because we can watch and discuss, not to mention the user guide is written in...not quite english, such as "Avoid of Thunder."
"Put not near water source or vase nearby." etc.

We also devote 10-15 minutes to singing because we are trying to sing our way through the hymn book before the transfer ends).
So every day starts out great.
And we meet new fantastic people every day
some who want to be our friends
and some who want us to get lost
but it is always a pleasure.

And Carmello sent us a text telling us we are wonderful. And the African babies never cease to be adorable even if they come close to hitting us in the face with objects on a regular basis.

I am just so very, very happy. And its because no matter what afflictions I have or what comes our way there is always someone to love and I wouldnt trade anything for those moments of seeing people's eyes light up as they realize they have found something
they have been looking for their whole lives.
Faith and love change lives,
they can even change human nature if we let them.

I love you all.
Always have. Always will.
Sorella Laws


do you like our matching 3 euro dresses?

we are VERY unified.

even if she falls asleep while i am talking to her. ;)

also a picture of us picking MULBERRIES.

i have never known what a mulberry was before
except that awesome band Mulberry Drive.

and a member of our ward is running for mayor.

and that cute little jacket is thanks to clothing exchange during our companionship exchange.

woohoo! it totally didnt fit slla Stebar,
but fits me,
thanks Slla Stebar's mom.

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