So this week some fun things that happened were:
1. I broke a jar of Nutella and cut my hands cleaning it up because it turns out that glass jars shatter
2. We had three pranzo's (dinner apts.) this week
3. We went running three times this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4. And we are going to Rome!!!!! Elder Kearon (who gave the really awesome talk about refugees this past conference) is coming to our mission so I will be in Rome on the 14 and 15 of September.
So many of you heard, well probably everyone has heard about the earthquake that hit right above Rome. No, I was not effected by it because I am six hours south of that, but it was very sad. There are some missionaries in a little town in the very north of our mission called Ascoli that were woken up by it and felt it and all of the aftershocks, but they are fine. Because of the continued aftershocks they have been sleeping outside because there is a possibility their building could fall. There aren't any missionaries in any of the little cities that were destroyed and I don't know if they are sending any to help. I would assume so, but not that I am aware of. That being said, all I really know is that there was an earthquake. But it's a very sad thing and a lot of people have been talking about it, which leads us into another topic......
So we met with Lucia this week again and had this really awesome lesson planned for her and we were going to try to get it all cleared up that we are not associated with the Catholic Church. We got there and she was very angry. Not necessarily at us. She just is at a hard point in her life right now I think. She has some heart problems I think so she has to go to the hospital a lot and says the medicine they give her makes her really tired so she can't get anything done. She also lives in her house by herself because her two daughters live up in Milan and her husband passed away, which has been devastating
for her. She is trying to sell her house so she can go live with her daughters, but it is not even close to being ready to sell and she won't let us help. So then I think the earthquake just topped it all off. I asked her what she had eaten that day, because usually that is something Italians like talking about, and she like yelled at me BRODO which I didn't know what that was. It's broth haha. Anyway. We tried teaching our lesson and she proceeded to tell us that God didn't love us. She kept asking why we have to suffer for the sins of two people (Adam and Eve). And we would try to tell her that it was part of Heavenly Father's plan so we could come to earth and learn and grow and this was why Heavenly Father gave us a Savior so we don't have to suffer for their sins. And she would just cut us off and say, "Non è così." (It's not like that). She was trying to tell us that the purpose of life is to suffer. I told her that we believe she can see her husband again after this life and then she said something like, let me go dig up my aunt and show you that I'm not going to see her again. The last thing she said which hurt the most was she said, "your church brainwashed you and you guys came here to brainwash me." And then we just had to leave. We told her that we loved her and she hit us with a cold arrivederci. Which usually when you are like friends with someone and you like them you use ci vediamo. But when you use arrivederci it's like a "see you soon" but really "see you never again".
So that was quite the experience. We had to go get a gelato after that. It mainly just made me super sad. We have a message and a way of living that could change her life. Yes life is hard. It's hard for everyone. I don't know all of the reasons why people suffer. I don't know why earth quakes happen, but I DO know there is a reason and a plan. I have no doubt about that. I just am really sad that it ended like that, even if she is a little crazy to begin with. She is a daughter of Heavenly Father and He loves her just as much as He loves me.
On the way to English course I couldn't help, but feel a little discouraged, BUT there was a song that came into my mind from my last girls camp. Camp WALK TALL. The song goes, "Walk tall you're a daughter, a child of God. Be strong, please remember who you are. Try to understand you're part of His great plan. He's closer than you think, reach up, He'll take your hand." That helped me a lot. And also our English students are the best people ever.
We had a party because we are starting all of the lessons over starting in September and we asked them to bring food. Well they all brought SO much food I was going to feel bad if they had to take it all home. The good news was that they were able to eat almost all of it. After the food part we trying playing jeopardy with them haha and it was fun. The only problem is Italians will argue with you on every single fact even if they are wrong. So in the end we ended up just telling them they were right because they wouldn't accept the fact that a chili pepper is not the hottest pepper in the world. But they always make certain that we start and end with a prayer, even if we forget sometimes. They will never say the prayer, but they love them so that's at least a start!!!!
Hahaha another funny thing was in relief society the topic was on forgiveness, from a talk given in this past general conference. And the cool thing about Italians is they LOVE to talk and they all have opinions on everything. So this was kind of a sensitive topic because at least half, if not all, of the people in our relief society have been offended by someone or something before so it was good to talk about learning to forgive. I couldn't follow all of the comments unfortunately, but some day I will be able to.
We didn't have a pranzo appointment because the people who signed up went out of town, but Sorella Mazzolari invited us to come over. She is so awesome. She teaches primary, runs all of the activities at our church, has been the seminary teacher for 15 years, takes care of her mom, and feeds the missionaries like every week. We had gnocchi. And let me just tell you. Gnocchi is A LOT harder to get down than pasta. It is so much more dense. I won't go into all of the details of everything else that I ate because you are probably sick of hearing about it, but that meal and the apple I ate for breakfast was all that I ate yesterday. And I was doing everything in my power to not lay my face on the table and give up haha. Not exaggerating.
It turned out that Sorella Mazzolari was very grateful that we had come. She has such a strong testimony and does so much for the church. She just has been sad lately because she has five children and none of them are active. It's hard for her to see all of these other families where the parents are less active and the children are active and she is very active and feels like she raised her children correctly, but none of them are active. She has just been sad about it lately, but she said it was really nice for her to have us over because it helped her get her mind off it for a little. I wish there was something more we could do for her.
Anyway. I think that's it for the most part this week.
You sent me with a bunch of talks and stuff mom and this week I pulled out Caitlin's conversion story that she gave on Mother's Day and it made me cry. I was fourteen when she gave that talk and I remember going and listening to it and being touched by it, but I feel like now I can really understand it. She had so much faith and so many promoting a by the spirit that she acted upon. She had the faith and the courage to respond to those promptings and although it was probably one of the most difficult experiences she has had so far, but will bring her so much happiness.
She ended the talk with some lyrics from one of her favorite songs that I loved and that I am trying to apply to my mission. It goes like this:
What shall I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can,
I can give Him
Give my heart
I love and miss you all dearly. I hope all is well.
No matter how crazy the Italians are, I love them and am so grateful
to be a missionary.