Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Chapter 9: The Devil wears Prada (and so can missionaries, right?)

Hi favorite people! No car chases or anything this week, but definitely some fun, difficult, and spiritual experiences (lol just me living the missionary dream over here✌🏿) P-day today was rather fun (and tiring lol). Went shopping in Torino- freaking huge and beautiful! Tons of typical stores (Prada, Gucci, and everything in-between) all surrounding the gorgeous Piazza San Carlo. Got myself some fav books in Italian, and my first official Italian shoes (the first of many, I can already tell😍)

English is weird. Yes, I do like English better than Italian most of the time since I'm at least somewhat fluent in it. But English is weird. Which is why it's easy to understand why the people in our English class get confused easily and make mistakes. I understand that firsthand (look at all the hilarious mistakes I've made in Italian) However, usually in this English class, I can keep my composure. Well, we were describing the color of objects, when this older lady stands up and says "I... is... brown!" Which she's not lol- she was referring to her hair. But I completely lost it and had to turn and face the board. I was dying😂

We celebrated Anziano Yee (our district leader) last week cuz it was his birthday! Any excuse for pizza and party hats, am I right? Never a dull moment with Italian missionaries lol! We also had an appointment with the Tribastone family. The parents are members, but their daughter is not. She & her boyfriend are super nice to us though so it's fun to visit with them & teach them. They fed us wayyy too much food as usual but it's delicious so you do what ya have to do🙃😂 did I mention they have a super cute, funny puppy? His name is Pepe & he loves toys (esp dinosaurs) & I adore him cuz he reminds me of my dogs. He kept trying to distract me throughout the night by being hilariously adorable. He's the perfect blend of yoda and dobby😍 lol now that I've spent basically a paragraph describing a family's dog, I
guess we'll move on lol😂

Not gonna lie, this has been a harder week for me. I love visiting with members & doing finding, but let's be honest; it's rough not teaching 5 investigators every day! Or even 5 every week! The language is frustrating because there's SO MUCH I still don't know or understand yet. It's easy to feel frustrated with people as well- people cancelling on us, being with a comp 24/7 (although I do adore her the majority of the time so yay!), and people being super rude when all I wanna do is tell them about Jesus! And funny story, I woke up the other morning and felt sick, but I wasn't gonna let that get in the way of our work! So I kept giving myself mental pep-talks on staying positive & looking for the beautiful things throughout the day! After all, I live in Italy so it shouldn't be too hard. As we were waiting at the bus stop, I saw a bird- super cute, totally singing. Awww. And then. A bigger bird swooped down and killed it. Yeah, screw positivity.

Just kidding though- perspective is everything! Missionary life is freaking hard. Anyone who says otherwise is smokin something (did I mention that's a huge thing here? Yep, gotta love Europe lol) Being a missionary is both harder and more fun than ya ever think beforehand. But perspective helps. I was sick of riding bikes the other day, but then I was like wait. I'm riding a bike. Through the trees (Italy is so green- they even have palm trees!). Past fields and train stations. Over both dirt trails and cobblestone streets. In Italy! And ya know what? I was happy! And not just because I felt like I was in a quidditch match or something as I flew through the trees😉 yeah life is hard (not just mission life lol but life in general!) but it's up to us to decide how to react to it all! It's up to us to trust in God's timing over our own (and to trust that, like in Mosiah 4:9, He knows more than us!) It's up to us to enjoy our lives, not just simply endure them!

Want another funny story? We have an investigator named Luciana, who’s the mother of the Sassi family in our ward (they converted about a year ago). She's darling, & calls us her granddaughters. She insists on calling us by our first names & having us call her "Nona” which makes teaching rather... Interesting. She crochets herself rainbow sweaters & hats, & makes matching outfits for her millions of dolls located all throughout the house. She brought us out some lil treats (we shortly realized that half of them had coffee in them, & the other half had alcohol lol). She likes to play "games" aka have us roll up her yarn or fix her jewelry as we teach her lol. And she's obsessed with the fact that I'm a "baby" missionary. Thus, while my comp talks to her, Luciana makes me read the Italian dictionary... Which is a
struggle given that I don't know enough Italian to even understand the definitions she wants me to learn😂 yesterday, she handed me this weird, deformed bird thing and told me to play with it! And all throughout the lesson she kept reminding me to play with this creepy bird thing, and I'm like wow what even is my life?😂😂 she left the room for a bit and my comp and I were dying bc I'm supposed to play with this stupid bird! And then we look over and notice all of Luciana's lil Dalmatian toys and we completely lose it lol😂 legit tears of laughter! Even better, she gave me the bird as a gift😂😂

We did some finding in the park yesterday, and invited Deborah with us. She's in our ward, and just got back from her mission in Rome last year. I adore her- she's seriously just the best! We talked to a lot of people, although got rejected 90% of the time. It's kinda a struggle when the people don't even want God or Jesus Christ in their lives, let alone organized religion. Just kinda breaks my heart. But we try nonetheless😊 I found myself understanding Deborah's Italian for the most part, which made me feel better about the language. However, at one point we asked her opinion on an investigator we have
named Berta (she and her sons believe all that has been taught & are ready to be baptized- the only holdup is that she was baptized in her old religion, and doesn't understand why she needs to be baptized again. She's just not understanding priesthood authority). Deborah was speaking faster at this point so I couldn't really understand. However, I felt the spirit prompt me as she was talking. I felt the impression that if Berta wasn't getting this concept, she needed to be taught about the restoration of the church (specifically priesthood authority) in a different way. A specific object lesson came to mind. We said goodbye to Deborah, and on our way home, I decided to tell my comp about the idea. After I finished, she was looking at me strangely and I was like oh crap. And she was like "Sorel, how much of what
Deborah said did you understand?" I told her I understood pretty much everything up until she was talking about her advice for teaching Berta. So S. Smith told me what Deborah had said; the EXACT same things I'd just told smith I'd felt prompted about. Legit the exact same object lesson and everything. Wow the spirit is cool, am I right? Wish us luck as we teach Berta this weekend👍🏿😁

Sorry for the long email. Again. I love and miss you all. In fact, the only thing stopping me from swimming across the ocean to be with y’all is this amazing gospel I'm so blessed to share. I know it is God's true, restored church, and that at its center is our brother and savior, Jesus Christ. Have an amazing week, my favorite humans, and remember that I love y'all (and so does God! Yay!)

Sorella Smedley

1&2-visiting a new family in the area, playing with Omar & Zachariah  3&4- Anziano Yee’s birthday!  5- I love it here!  6-Me and Pepe the dog  7&8- Apparently I’m fluent in Italian Lol   9-12- Riding our bikes to the church and enjoying this beautiful country!
   10- Cleaning the baptismal font  11-We found the Golden Arches in Italy! 12-Studying the dictionary at Luciana’s house :)  13-Piazza San Carlo
   14-17 Pday shopping at Piazza San Carlo
   18-20 Shopping, the ginormous bookstore and a video of Piazza San Carlo
   21-23  A productive shopping day: My first Italian leather shoes, The Hobbit & our family’s favorite Where the Wild Things Are







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