Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Transfer to Rome!
Transfer calls came and I am headed up to Rome! I leave tomorrow and I will be in Rome 2 (there are three sections of the city where missionaries serve), although I dont know exactly where that is yet! Its the same ward though as my mission president. Also, I am going to have two companions in Rome! One is Italian, Sorella Riffaldi, and the other is Sorella Urban, who lived in Italy for 9 years when she was younger. That means I am probably going to be speaking a lot of Italian this next transfer, wohoo!! I am ready to start learning a little faster, sometimes I feel like I am not progressing in the language, although I know it probably isn't true. What a joy it will be! The idea of such a big city makes me really excited, I love having lots and lots of people to talk to.
I want to reflect a little on my experience in Taranto. I will truly miss these people and have learned so much this first transfer.
I am so glad that Sorella Stevenson has been my trainer. I have learned so much about love and working together as a companionship. She has taught me how to work with members and how important it is. I never realized before coming to Italy that a big part of what we do as missionaries is to help build up the ward or branch in the area. Missionaries come and go so often and we can make a big difference in the area, but when we leave, its the ward that needs to support any new converts. The strength of the ward has a huge effect on how the work in the area goes, and a part of our purpose is to help the Italian members see this!
I learned also in Taranto once again that Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for us. I have seen so clearly in this last month, more than ever before, that we are prepared for the things we need or want to accomplish. I can pick out specific experiences I have had that were necessary for me to be a missionary right now, with these companions, in Italy. I have been prepared so well and I never realized it at the time! But over the years, God has been shaping me to be here right now! Also, I have seen more clearly than before how our prayers are answered. Some things that I have asked for years ago are finally being realized and I can see now how I was being prepared to receive my answers all along but I just couldnt recognize it at the time! But we do have a loving Heavenly Father who loves us and knows that He is doing. My faith and trust in Him is growing.
I have also learned that the Atonement bears burdens. How grateful I am that Someone completely understands my struggles and sorrows!
I see also much more clearly how everyone needs the gospel of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful gift it is that we offer!
Random experiences from this week:
We were walking with an older woman on the street and talking to her. The street was pretty empty, we were walking just in front of her and turning around to talk. Suddenly, someone ran out from another street and grabbed her purse and took off running! I started chasing after him because it was just a kid and I was really mad! But I thought to myself "I think chasing after thieves is against the mission rules" and I stopped and watched him get on the back of a motorcycle of someone who was waiting and drive off. Arg, I was so mad though! Right in front of our eyes, middle of the day! The poor woman was really upset about having lost her house key. We walked her to a police station and they helped her from there.
We were inside an apartment building the other day where the elevator was broken. As we were coming down the stairs, there was an old old woman walking down with a cane, sobbing. Apparently her husband was at the bottom of the stairs and couldnt get up by himself and she was trying to get down to help him. She could barely walk though! Luckily we were there to help out, one with the husband and one with the old woman. I am not sure how long it has been since she has left her apartment but it took about 20 minutes to get her up the stairs and she was sobbing the whole time. I was so worried, she would pause and gasp and close her eyes, and I thought she might have a heart attack right there on the stairs! But then she would open her eyes and yell at her husband, so we knew that everything was okay :) Someone came out of their apartment and started yelling at me and I tried to explain to them that we were only trying to help but its a struggle with my Italian! Sorella Stevenson told me after that they thought we were stealing the old couple from their house. I have no idea why! Haha. Struggles with the language barrier!
We met another wonderful old couple on the street and talked with them for a while. At the end, the old woman pulled out a watch from her purse and gave it to me! It will be a reminder for the rest of my mission on how generous these Italian people are.
We also had our first rainy day this week. It poured! I realize how unprepared I am for the rain, yikes!
Best place to write me now is the mission home address.
This is hard work but I trust that all will be well!