Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rome Temple Groundbreaking is Saturday!

We had a very unusual week this week and as a result, didnt get to work too much! I'll tell you a little bit about the week and how it was so different!
It was the start of the new transfer with just Sorella Urban. We dropped off our companion Sorella Riffaldi on Wednesday night at the bus stop, she is now in Siracusa! Thursday was the official transfer day and we spent a big chunk of the day at the train station in Rome, helping sister missionaries get to their new companions or on their way. We have three sets of sisters in this zone, us, Rome 3 and Ladispoli. Sorella Stevenson, my trainer, is transferred up to Rome 3 now and I am so excited to be in the same city as her and get to do Pdays together and such. Wohoo! Both the sisters in Ladispoli went home and one sister came up from down south to train a new sister who doesnt arrive until next week (things are really off this transfer because of a mission president conference in germany). She is currently with the Rome 3 sorelle until her new sister arrives. She is so sweet though, I am glad we have her in our zone!
Good news! The Rome temple groundbreaking date was finally announced and it is this Saturday! President Monson is coming (wohoo) although we dont get to go to the actual groundbreaking; instead we see it broadcast the next day in church. I can't even explain how excited I am for this temple. I have never really realized until now the great power in temples and missionary work. The temple will be built close to where we live and it will be visible from a major freeway and a major mall and it will have a visitors center. A temple with a visitor's center, I cant even imagine what a difference that will make in the missionary work here!! In just a few years, there will be visitor center sister missionaries!!! WOW!! I feel great anticipation for the temple to be started and built quickly, although I probably wont be around when it is finished. It really is difficult for me to describe my feelings, but I have such a testimony of the blessings of temples around the world and the power that they bring. This temple in Rome will be such a privilege and I feel the privilege and responsibility that I have being able to serve in the same area of the city where the temple will be. I get to be involved in helping the Church grow in preparation for this temple! I hope to be in Rome for quite a while longer. I am ready to settle and get to know the members well and work with them in missionary work. And I would love to be here for a while as the temple construction is started.
Sunday was a great day for starting our missionary work with the members. S. Urban and I split up and each talked to a lot of members about meeting with them this week and next. We plan on talking a lot about the things Elder Ballard said a month ago about member missionary work. We want to know them and have them trust us so that they will have the desire to help us do missionary work. I know that it is so important to help members get involved in missionary work and I am thrilled to be able to help them do it more!
On monday, we took a trip to Taranto to pick up my permesso di soggiorno! 6 hour train ride, but it was great to be back in my home city and hear about how the work is picking up and see the great sisters working there. We went on Tuesday morning to pick it up, only to find out that it was only open Tuesday afternoon! Our ticket back to Rome was for a train at 2;:00 but it opened at 3:00! Ah!!! Luckily, we had a little miracle. We explained to them our situation and they were kind and helped me to get my permesso, even when they were officially closed. Phew!!! It was pouring rain in Taranto too and we had no umbrella, that made for a nice adventure back to the train and a very wet train ride home. Also, on the train ride, when the person checked our tickets, we discovered that we accidently bought the return ticket for the day before! They made us get off the train in Napoli, and with 8 minutes until the train left again, we bought two new tickets from Napoli to Rome. What an adventure! We made it back on the train with about 1 minute to spare!

Today we went sightseeing with the Rome 3 sisters and anziani. We saw the pope this morning! I dont know how often he speaks, but we waited in St. Peters with thousands and thousands of other people for him to drive by on his pope-mobile and speak to the crowds! Sweet! We were so impatient by the time he arrived though that we didnt really care to hear him speak. We also went in the Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel. It is so cool to see all the things I learned about in Art History classes forever ago, I wish I remembered more so I could appreciate it better.
I love Rome!

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