WOW my family!
I am here in italia! (real quick, the italian keyboard is different, so pardon if i don't capitalize anything or have random symbols everywhere!)
I can't believe it has been a week since i have been here. It feels like forever since i talked to you all! Oh that was absolutely the best! Mom, I am pretty sure those were expensive phone calls because I have only withdrawn 40 euros since i have been here! I have 1 hour to write here in the mission field so I'll quickley give you a rundown of what happened since I talked to you all!
Wednesday- we arrived in Milan and Pres. and S.lla Wolfgramm picked us up. They are wonderful!! We went back to the mission office for a minute and then they gave us each a Book of Mormon and we set out! Talk about throwing you right in! We went and saw the duomo in Milan... it was beautiful! I have pics and I will try to email them home next week. We just walked around contacting and trying to give away our Libro di Mormon. It was HARD! goodness it seemed like no one wanted to listen... welcome to missionary work :) but no worries... we saw the inside of the Duomo, ate a panzerotto, and then tried again! This time... SUCCESS! S.lla oakes saw a girl trying to take a picture of herself in front of the Duomo. She asked if she could help and then we started talking to her... her name was stella. After a few minutes, we told her we were from the united states. She was like... YOU SPEAK ENGLISH? we said yes! She was so relieved! She is actually a student fromchina, who is studying at the university of bergamo. She speaks Italian, Chinese, and English, but english was easier for her than italian. She lives in a city called forli. She told us she doesn't have a religion, but she thinks it is important that people do! Perfect! We explained a bit about our church, gave her the book of mormon, told her to go to lds.or and read online in chinese, and got her info for the missionaries!! IT WAS SO GREAT! we were so tired and exausted and so when someone finally listened it just made our day! When we told the AP's they were really excited because there was a chinese girl who was just baptized in forli, so it will be perfect for stella! Then we ate some gelato and went home. It was probably a combination of only eating airplane food and panzerotti and gelato, basically no sleep and carsickness from the crazy ride home, but when I got back to the presidents house for dinner, yes... I was quite ill. Acutally, for sure I went into the bathroom and threw up! Yep... I would do that my first day in Italy! BEST DAY! but don't worry, I was fine after that. We were able to go to our hotel and I crashed immediately!
ANY WAY Thursday we found out where I was going. My teacher in the MTC, S.lla Fairbanks, guessed before we left that I would open Genova (there haven't been sisters here for a long time!) And what do you know, SHE WAS RIGHT! I can't believe it! So after waiting in the train station for about 6 hours since our train got cancelled, I got to Genova at about 10:30 thursday night!
Since then things have just been crazy! Since we were opening an area, we had to get stuff for our apartment, meet the ward leaders, and get all settled in. It has been a lot of work, but I am really excited to finally start getting on a normal schedule and doing lots of missionary work! A bit about Genova... I totally though Genovia from Princess Diaries when I first heard the name :) Actually it is the home of Christopher Columbus! yahoo! So they have replicas of the 3 ships he sailed right by our apt. We are RIGHT on the ocean, Literally! It is sooo close! So it makes for lovely weather. Supposedly it won't get too cold here either! It has been lovely and sunny everyday since I have been here, well except sunday when it was pouring on the way to church. We live about 25 minutes outside our area so we take the bus everyday. It is a really big city. I thought I was going to be all fine since I have already been to Italy, but Genova is totally NOT like Siena ;) it's like Siena is Alpine and Genova is NYC! Em, I totally feel like you! It is like living in Manhattan! Shopping galore, sooo many people, and Lots of crowded bus rides and metros ;) But I really am loving it! Never thought I would live in the city, but look at me now!
On Sunday, we went to the ward here. We have an AMAZING ward! and they are all very excited to have sisters again which is so nice that we have support. They called on us to bear our testimonies... yep... first disaster of the mish. You'd think I wouldn't have a problem, but I guess I just got nervous. Really it wasn't a disaster, but I did tell them all that I had been in Italy for 5 years instead of 5 days, which is why i didn't talk to great... yep they all got a good laugh out of that one!! Everyone teased me after! BUT now for the story of the week... My first lesson!
We taught a girl named claudia. she met a member of our ward last week as she was flying home to genova. There are lots of immigrants here in Genova, Claudia is from Capo Verde. We taught her on monday and she is golden. she kept saying how she wants to read more and more of the book of mormon and wants to change her life! WHAT?? How did I get so lucky to have her as my first experience!! I think Heavenly Father was well aware that I was a bit overwelmed at being here, and opening a city- my comp S.lla Bowman is awesome! But we are both new to the city, so we have been trying to get the hang of buses and everything! ANYWAY- At the end of our lesson, we invited her to pray. She said she would and we told her she could say it in whatever language she felt most comfortable (the member she met, keeps telling her to pray in English so she can practice her english, but we told her prayers are personal, so she could talk to heavenly father in whatever language she felt most comfortable) She asked if she could pray in creole. we of course said yes. She said a beautiful prayer and the spirit was so strong after she jumped up and told us she had chills and had never felt this way before. We told her that was the spirit! we invited her to be baptized and she said yes! AHHH! we are sooo excited! Heavenly Father definately had a hand in leading Claudia to us!
Well, This has been an absolute whirlwind of a week! It's been quite the adjustment and already I have learned that the mission certainly has its ups and downs... (We lost an investigator to the JW's yesterday) But this is the Lord's work and he will stand by you! I know that through prayer, Heavenly Father will be right by our side to boost us up always and thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we will be enabled to do this work!
I love you all and miss you bunches!,
P.S. JOS! AHHHHH!!! I AM SOOO PROUD OF YOU!!! Sabi and Jake, good luck at shakespeare! Ems, I think you need to get an email so I can e-mail you too! Love you all!