I am bagnata!! That means soaked in Italian. I am soaked because we left our apartment not knowing it was raining and when we got outside it was just sprinkling and we thought we would be okay without umbrellas. We walked across town (didnt realize how far it would be) to find a referral (who wasnt home) and it started pouring! We didnt want to go home and changed so now we are sitting at the internet point and we are soaking wet and cold. BURR!! Our apartment is freezing too, its always in the 40s and when we turn the heater on, it gets up to the low 60s. We turn the heater on in the bedroom and refuse to leave it while we are home studying. If someone forgets something in the other room, we take turns running out into the dark and dreary wilderness of the rest of our apartment. Good mission memories.
Ladispoli is still great, just a little colder this week.
Last pday we went into Rome because Sorella Tutt hadnt seen the city yet. I wore a ridiculous brightly striped skirt I found in the death closet (where past missionaries leave clothes they dont want) We were walking down the street and saw this mini parade of dancing Hare Krishnas coming towards us. It looked awesome and so I pulled out my camera and started recording just as they were approaching. Then, one of them grabbed me and another one grabbed Sorella Tutt and pulled us into their parade and started dancing with us. We didnt know what to do, we were taken by surprise! Another one took my camera and recorded the whole thing. It is a hilarious video, I will have to find a way to send it to you.
Thursday: finding and running away from African men who started following us. I didnt know they were creepy until after we approached them and started talking!
Friday: Taught an old investigator Maria Anna who tells us that her picture of Jesus broke without falling and it must be a sign that we are meant to come into her life right now. I didnt quite see the connection. I would have thought that a broken picture of Jesus would be a sign to avoid us if it was going to be a sign at all.
We met with two spectacular members who fed us pasta carbonara (pretty much the best thing ever), Martina and Maurizio. They have only been married for two months and are ridiculously in love and they have a fantastic story, just like in a film. Martina was working in a supermarket at the time and something fell over and she bent over to pick it up and Maurizio was there doing his shopping and went to help her. As they both bent over, they bumped heads. It was love at first sight for Maurizio but Martina had no interest at all. Maurizio kept stopping by the store to ask her out on a date and she finally said yes to get him to stop bugging her. She had this brilliant idea that she could tell him all about her religion and the rules that she lived like not drinking and the law of chastity so that he would lose interest. So she did just that on their first date. However, instead of being turned off, Maurizio was like "wow, that is great. I really respect you for that". As she kept telling him more, he become more and more interested and then took the missionary lessons and was baptized!! Martina fell in love and they were married a year later in the temple. They are adorable together.
Saturday: We started english course for Ladispoli Saturday night. We do a free english course in the church on Tuesday and Saturday. We had spent hours doing pubblicity, and we passed out over a hundred fliers to people we talked to and received a whole bunch of phone calls asking for more information and a whole bunch of people we talked to said they were coming. We were so excited and prepared ourselves well, expecting a good turn out. A member from the branch came as well to help out. We received a phone call 20 minutes before 5 from someone who was already there so we ran to the church. People were already showing up!! We talked to them and they couldnt attend that night but said they would come back on tuesday. We waited and waited and 5:00 came and went and not a single person showed up! Crazy!! Of all the people who seem so excited and interested and all the people who said they wanted to come, not one actually came!!! It was a big disappointment for us, but at the same time a little bit of relief to know that its not just on gospel-related appointments that people dont follow through on their commitments. I think something Sorella Pickett once said is true; Italians are people of habit which is why it is hard to get them to change. But if you can, they become very faithful and strong members of the church for the same reason. Our member friend consoled us with stories from his mission.
On Saturday we also had an incredible lesson with our friend Giovanni. We had two young members with us, one an RM and the other waiting for his call, and they helped us so much. I am still convinced that bringing members to appointments is the best idea ever. Giovanni talked and talked and talked (all of them deep, valid, thought-provoking concerns) and we together taught him principles from pretty much every missionary lesson. At the end, we decided together with him that he would read the Book of Mormon (for the second time) and since he now has a more sincere desire (rather than mostly curiosity), he would retry the promise in Moroni 10. He is spectacular.
Sunday: Worked with Ermana Alicino and her husband (a family in the branch) and she told us everything about all the less actives in the area. We have a lot of good work ahead of us. I am still amazed at how incredible Italians are. They are so full of life and passion and express themselves in incredible ways that I have never seen an American do. Phew. She is one of my new favorite people ever. Her husband and she have this crazy relationship where they are constantly fighting but almost in a loving, teasing way, where they both are ridiculously stubborn. They are just incredibly Italian, there is no better way to describe it.
Tuesday: Success!! 15 people at english course and it was wonderful! We taught and laughed and played games together. I am amazed that you can throw two american girls into a little town in Italy and they can put together an english course from nothing and teach it with no experience. We can do incredible things with the Lord's help. Sorella Tutt gave a perfect introduction to the Book of Mormon at the end as our spiritual thought. Things are picking up!
Lots of other good things to talk about but I have to go!