Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Chapter 8: The One Where Kaylee Was in a Street Chase with the Relief Society President

Hi friends and family! Somehow I've managed to live another week outside the US (shocking really lol) and what a week it has been! Sorry for the long email again, but legit last night I witnessed a miracle so just try to "endure to the end" cuz I promise it's worth it😂

Thursday, we did our normal missionary stuff. Then that afternoon/evening we went with our ward's relief society president, Sister Quaresima, to visit some of the older sisters from our ward,which meant long drives to apartment complexes and resting homes. (Side note - the nursing homes are WEIRD! Legit nurses with crazy
colored hair and wearing crocks, meanwhile an old man is screaming and mass is being held in the hallway and the oldies not attending are watching dance moms lololol) Nonetheless, the women were super sweet. And small. And old. Sister Quaresima took us back to her family’s apartment for dinner. (Side note- they have millions of snakes… I swear every family has dogs, cats, snakes, turtles, birds, or all of the above. They say we get to hold the huge snakes for a picture next time... I say we'll see how brave I am lol😂) they fed us tons of yummy pasta and then a rather interesting large bowl of tomatoes and tuna… Luckily, it was followed by gelato so no complaints here!

Sister Quaresima and her son were driving us home. I was super out of it; like just tired as heck bc that's just missionary life lol. All of a sudden some dude's motorcycle hits our car and someone else's car and then takes off through the intersection. And so what does one do in this situation when in Italy? Swerve between cars and go after them of course! I was wide awake at this point haha. The best part was how into it cute lil sister Quaresima was! Keep in mind, she's one of the
quieter, less crazy Italians I've ever met! Aaaand she's yelling at her son to go faster lol! The other car had joined in with us at this point. Sadly, the motorcyclist cut through a park so we barely lost him! Then the Quaresimas had a nice chat with the other car, and then they calmly got back into our car and essentially acted as though nothing had happened lololol... Never thought I'd be able to say I’d been in a street chase with the relief society president, but when in Collegno I guess haha!

Last weekend, ten of us lil missionaries got the opportunity to help with a project for refugees! (Side note- ever since general conference when they talked about the efforts to help refugees, I've been semi-obsessed with wanting to be part of it! So you can imagine my excitement when we got a call from the zone leaders to come help out!) the church was hosting an event in Torino and had invited ward members from the Collegno ward and Torino wards, as well as representatives from various organizations. So we got to meet everyone (and of course we had plenty of Books of Mormon and pamphlets for them, just like good lil missionaries😬) and we put together refugee kits, ate food and mingled, and watched Meet the Mormons! Super fun and crazy way to spend the weekend!

Monday we had zone conf in Torino for 5ish hours. Tons of good training from President Dibb, the Zone Leaders, and the Sister Training Leaders! Pres Dibb had me introduce myself (which was a struggle cuz I'm awkward lol) and then give my "birth" testimony. Then we had lunch which was fab as per usual (bc Italy😍) and then we had 2 "dying" testimonies from Sorella Harris and Anziano Blazzard (both of whom leave after this transfer, and are in my district) and needless
to say, it was hard to not leak from my eyes lol. Cuz here I am JUST BARELY starting my lil adventure called a mission, and these two humans whom I love are FINISHING theirs! It's seriously crazy!

After the zone conf, my comp & I hopped on a train with the STLs to do scambia (exchanges) which was super tiring but way fun (as is every mission-related thing!). So for the next 24 hours, Sorella Smith was comps with Sorella Fuller, and I was comps with Sorella Stephens. Oh how I freaking love S. Stephens! She goes home this transfer too which is rather tragic because I love her!! We got to their apartment in Milano later that night. Then that morning, it was off to work! S. Stephens & I studied and then headed off to meet with Paula, a new convert. We checked up on her, and then invited her with us to teach at another appointment. It went great! Paula was so solid and confident despite being so new in the church! Then she joined S. Stephens and I for pizza at Rossopomodoro- my first super-legit Italian pizza! The verdict: totally in love! So freaking good!! Plus a much more enjoyable alternative to the oyster pasta S. Smith and Fuller had at a member's house... (Really though, I'm fairly sure God just knew I couldn't handle eating oysters, so he let me have pizza instead:) prayer works guys! Lol)

We then had more study & prep, and then got to teach Sonia (who we had passed earlier that day, saw her working, and set up an appointment). She, like most Italians, was fascinated with my hair lol. It didn’t help that it was rainy, which meant humidity, which meant my hair was more of a mane than usual lol. But the Italians love it and always want to touch it, so I guess it's the poodle life for me!🐩 After teaching her, we got gelato (cuz why not) and then met up with the others so we could head home. I was super sad to leave Sorella Stephens, but I learned a ton from her and got some new ideas for us to use in Collegno! So our 24 hours of scambia in foggy, rainy Milano was a lovely success!

Also we had a minor miracle. So traveling home from Milano was super hectic and stressful, and we freaking missed our train! So we had to catch one a half an hour later. Then our train kept getting stopped, so we got to the station late. And then the metro took 5ever. And then we got to the bus stop at like 9ish😪 buuuut guess what? Things happen for a reason. We're sitting there exhausted, when I look over and see this woman (probs in her 50s) sitting alone on the bench. And all of a
sudden, I feel this super strong impression from the spirit- just like a clear mental message. Wanna guess what that message was? Yup, clear as can be, "go talk to her". And I'm like, no. Cuz talking to people is a normal mission thing, but here, most the people typically not so kind. If they do talk to you, they're pretty much never interested in our religion. Again, I get the same message. Again, I'm like no. I don't know enough Italian to chat with this lady. Again, I get the same message, but more urgent. "Go talk to her NOW!". And so i turned to my comp and I was like "hey Sorella I'm supposed to talk to this lady" and she's like ugh and so I just go sit and then she follows.

And I'm awkward as heck.

And I have 0 confidence in the language.

But I try.

And so I start small talk. And I'd like to say I got the gift of tongues right then and there, but I so didn't lol. But I still had the spirit, and my comp pitched in with her AWESOME language skills and totally made up for my weaknesses in the language. This woman's name is Doina, & she's from Romania! We found out about her family and her job. And then she asked about what we did as missionaries, and get this- she's never heard of Mormons (whaaaat) and we were more than
happy to tell her:) my comp gave her our number, and then started to look for the bus. But the Holy Ghost was like "lol you're not done Kaylee" and I'm like aw danggers. So then in my awful broken Italian I tell her how much we've enjoyed talking with her and ask her if she’d like us to meet with her sometime to talk some more about her church. And get this- she said yes! And we got her number! And basically there's never been a person happier than I was! Because there are no
such thing as coincidences. And because after a week and a half of no success with finding investigators, we found someone who is ready for the gospel- someone who not only needs Christ, but who is at the gateway of being prepared to accept His atonement. And to a lot of you, this little experience is probs small and insignificant, but I feel so blessed to have been able to witness a small glimpse of God’s hand in our lives. Because as I look back, everything that took place
during the day on Tuesday was leading up to this 20 minute interaction. The role plays from zone conf; the things I'd learned from S. Stephens; missing our train literally by minutes; and a million other things. All for Doina. Oh how much love God has for her; how much love He has for EACH OF US INDIVIDUALLY.

And that is something even more beautiful than any castle or city I’ve seen here.

How great is our joy in bringing but one soul unto Christ. And even if I only find but one soul in all of Collegno, or even all of Italy, my joy will be full!

Have an outstanding week, you amazing humans❤️

Sorella Smedley

1. We have to pass by this billboard almost daily-so tempting, but I’ll be strong! 2. Gelato on the daily  3. Mother’s Day
4 & 5. Views of Collegno and the mountains  6. In front of our church- yes, we have an actual LDS chapel in Collegno!
7. & 8. At this weeks Zone Conference  9. Street car in Milano (Milan, for you Westerners:) )
10 & 11. My first real Italian pizza with Sorella Stephens & Paula  12. Yes, I’m eating gelato again- but with Sorella Stephens this time:)
13, 14 &15. The streets of Milano






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