Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Chapter 15: "Your Body is a Miracle"...?

Hey guys! It's been kind of a craaaaazy week! We've had to go and be in the Anziani apartment while stuff gets fixed, so that took up the majority of Monday-Wednesday of this week, and is why we are having p-day today (Thursday) instead of Wednesday. Not gonna lie, it's been a harder week. However, when I first left on my mission, I decided these group emails would show the good times and the harder times of mission life. Because the good experiences are uplifting or funny or whatever, but the harder experiences are where we learn the most, are they not? So I promise when I'm talking about more than rainbows and butterflies, I'm not depressed or dying lol. I'm just being blessed with more opportunities to grow and learn haha and figured I may as well share them with y'all.

Okay, so last Thursday, we went over to visit the Sassi family. As per usual, the crazy wiener dog duo of Samantha and Daisy were running all over the place. Also as per usual, chubby little Francesco took exactly a million and one selfies on my iPad (and applied his own pictures, of course!). Aaaand as per usual, they tried to turn on a movie for us. It doesn't matter how many times we tell them we aren't allowed to; they still insist on playing a movie the entire time we're there. This week was harder than most, however, because they chose to turn on Lord of the Rings. I wanted to die! Too much temptation #ThanksSatan lol. We taught them, and then they brought out lunch, starting with some sort of ravioli things.

They told us there was cat meat in it.

We thought they were joking.

But now we're not so sure...

It was grayish and chewy and I literally couldn't tell if it was even meat or not lol! Maybe liver? Idk. Then they brought out weird concoctions of vegetables, eggs, and like 30 lbs of salt, I swear! Mom and dad- remember that time in 7th grade when I made German pancakes and drastically mixed up the salt measurements? Lol. Think that, but like 10 times worse! I wanted to die. Then that afternoon, we tried to stop by Tamara. However, she had family over for the weekend and couldn't meet with us. It ended up kind of being for the best, however, because S. Smith and I were starting to feel kind of weird...

Friday, we tried to pass by a potential investigator, but got lost and then had to head to our next appointment. This appointment was with Luciana (mother of Fratello Sassi; crazy lady who gave me the bird to play with and had me read the dictionary... Remember her? Yeah...) Well first, she tried to sell us some random clothes she had. Then, she told us she probs didn't have anything in our sizes, and we should probs exercise more #thanks🙃 Then, she got us multiple bowls of nothing but whipped cream, which she then shaved chocolate over. We already weren't feeling so good, and the sugar overdose didn't help. Plus like did she not just tell us we needed to work out? Why was she giving us this food then? Lol. Then she informed me I must not have worked on my Italian at all since the last time we'd seen her, because I still sucked #thanks🙃 Then, I tried to save the disasters us appointment by giving her a word art of a scripture we'd made her. Not gonna lie, I'd spent a long time on it and was pretty pleased with it😎 Luciana, however, was less than impressed. She pointed out everything she thought should have been done differently, and then proceeded to sit on it... 🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃Needless to say, I was glad we needed to leave right then for English class lol.

Saturday and Sunday were crazy... We woke up Saturday and both felt super sick and lightheaded whenever we tried to stand or walk. So we made some calls, worked on the area book, and took a nap. Then that night, we literally didn't sleep at all. Just took turns in the bathroom, vomiting about twice every hour. That morning, we knew church was not gonna happen lol. So as per mission rules, we called Sorella Dibb. Well, president Dibb answered the first time and it caught me so off guard, I was just like "heeeeeeey" and then he hung up on me😂 After I'd stopped laughing over the awkwardness, I called back and the convo went something like this:
"Hi, sorry about that."
"No problem Sorella Dibb! This is Sorella Smedley!"
"Yes dear, I know."
"Haha okay... Um... How are you?"
"Fine. How are you?"
"Ummmm I've been better actually... My comp and I were up all night puking."
"Oh! Did you guys drink enough water yesterday?"
"Ummm... Yes?"
"Did you drink TOO much?"
"Uhhhh... No..."
"Ok. Well, you guys don't worry about church today."
"And maybe you can get a yogurt later or something."
"Haha, okay..."
Awkward silence.
"Your body is a miracle... It'll probably fix itself."
*Bites tongue to keep from laughing* "Haha, okay."
"Well, you can call me if you're still vomiting tomorrow."
"Haha alright. Have a nice day at church!"
"You too." Even though we aren't going to church lol? But whatevs.
You could tell she and Presidente were frazzled lol, but it was their final Sunday, so they get an out lol😂

The rest of this week was kinda crazy. Monday-Wednesday we spent most of our time sitting at the anziani apartment watching repair workers go in and out. We just had to sit there and make calls or study. Dumb, but unavoidable. Monday morning started out rather awful though. We woke up to a phone call from Doina. We were excited because last week, we'd started sending out scripture texts everyday to our investigators, as well as any potential or ex investigators. We'd been getting a lot of texts and calls from some of these people, all super grateful for it (and some who now want to meet with us!) so we were expecting this call from Doina to be that way. Not so. She was yelling and bashing our church and freaking out at us- so different from the kind, calm person we'd first met; the person who'd legitimately wanted to learn more about the gospel. Also her reasonings for not being interested in our message were that her father was Catholic and her cousin was Pentecostal, so there's that😂 Yeah, not the best convo. I couldn't understand all of it either because she was so loud and fast and has a thick Romanian accent. However, my comp refused to translate some of what she said for me, because it was just that rude and awful.

It totally bummed me out for the rest of the day. Doina was someone I'd been thinking about and praying for daily. Plus, I couldn't help but wonder why God would put me in a situation to meet her and all this stuff, only to have her not want to accept the hopeless, or even meet with us! However, through this experience I've learned 2 super stellar things:
1- God is sooooo aware of us. It's not even funny. Monday morning after the awful phone call, we headed to district meeting. I was in a not so good mood cuz I still felt sick, and I was just pretty heartbroken over Doina. However, I recognized so many little miracles God placed in my path! For example, as a result of being sick, we'd been without wifi since Friday. As soon as we got wifi at district mtg, I got a ton of emails from you lovely people saying exact things I needed to hear! Words of encouragement as well as so,e tough love and it was all just so helpful to me! So thank you, you lovely people❤️ Also in the metro there was a huge ad with dogs in birthday hats (pictured below) and laugh all you want, but I was very grateful to God for that lil miracle. I kid you not, on harder days, I usually end up seeing more people out walking their dogs and I'm just like "wow hanks God!" Because puppies brighten days. It's a fact.
2- missionary work is good and important, but the gift of agency will always be in place. This one comes from a talk my dearest mother sent me on Monday, . My fav part is this
It doesn't matter how good of a missionary you are; in the end, people still have their agency and can choose whether or not to accept the beautiful message of the gospel. Look at Jesus Christ- He was the PERFECT teacher, and yet He was still rejected by many. Our job as missionaries is to do everything in our power to make he message of the restored gospel available to everyone! However, ultimately each person will still get to choose for themselves. I'm still super disappointed about some of the stuff that happened this week with some of our investigators. However, I feel more at peace knowing that I did my part, and I can just continue praying for Doina. So yay🤗

We pretty much didn't get a Pday this week. We finished up at the anziani apartment just in time to make it back for English class. We had someone new show up named Sepideh, and I adore her! I gu so when I left to the bathroom, she asked Sorella smith how old I was and how long I'd been in Italy and was shocked when she found out, saying I sounded really good for being so young and new. So yay cuz evidently not everyone thinks my Italian sucks😬😂So we were supposed to move things around and have Pday Thursday, but then Thursday became the only day we could meet with our investigator Gabriele. So today's Pday has consisted of usual mission stuff, McDonald's, a nap, teaching Gabriele, and now emails!

Much love to all of you! Thanks you all for your love and whatnot. All the time obvi, but especially this week. Y'all are the greatest, and I hope those of you in America have a fantastic Fourth of July for me😘🇺🇸

Sorella Kaylee Smedley

1&2- Selfies with Francesco  3-5- God blesses me with dogs (including Daisy & Samantha, the powerful wiener dog duo!)
6- 2monthaversary gelato  7- Pre-food poisoning LOTR  8-Goodbye Dibbs, hello Allen’s!  
9&10- Beautiful Italy

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Chapter 14- My Life as a Disney Princess Part 2

Happy summer, lovely humans! Life is great, Italy is great… Summer has officially hit here... It's hot and humid and I literally spend
every day sweating like a sinner in church (see pic below lol). I’ll be honest, this past week has kinda blurred together so I don't really
remember what things happened on which day... So I'll just give a quick update on each of our people!

Machi: We got to see his two-year-old daughter Iris, and she is absolutely precious with crazy curly hair. I wanna adopt her... But I
guess I'll settle for converting her father😉 Machi is progressing well. We were going to set a baptism date with him, but he wants to
read and study the entire Book of Mormon first! I mean, we'd def prefer to set a date and THEN continue working with him... But I guess
he at least has a good reason! He really is taking this whole thing seriously!

Gabriele: We finally met with Gabriele, the investigator we got from the anziani when they left. He's so precious. It's sad, cuz he had a
baptismal date, but then his wife died. So now, he wants to get back to where he was before, so that he can be baptized. He treats it as a
serious and sacred decision, saying he doesn't want to jump into baptism until he knows he's done everything he needs to, otherwise it
would be as though he were mocking God. Such a stellar dude! Looking at how he was being taught before, I'm really glad he's our
investigator now. I feel like previously, the missionaries were just kinda skirting around the main issues, just visiting him and sharing
an inspirational quote. Ha I just kinda straight up asked him why he wasn't being baptized lol because why not?😂 it seemed to work well
and we had a good convo, so hopefully we're starting to get to the root of what's stopping him from progressing. So that's our next goal;
just helping him regain his testimony so that he can be baptized!

Tamara: We tried visiting her last week, but she was sick, so we’re stopping by to see her tomorrow. I love this woman so much. Prayers on
her behalf (and ours!) would be MUCH appreciated because this week, we're gonna breach the friend zone aka we're gonna try to change her
status from "potential investigator" to "investigator". Wish us luck  lolololol.

We also took a couple hours this week to call some of the potentials we had on our phone from like 6 months ago. Lots of rejection as per
usual, but there were some pretty solid convos. We also had 3 of the people we got ahold of who want to meet with us this week, so that's
exciting! Definitely worth the not so good phone calls lol am I right? Hopefully things go well with some or all of them!

As for the title of my email, I've had two outstanding princess moments this week💁🏼
1- After church on Sunday, our precious primary kids wanted us to play with them outside so obvi we did. Camilla (my absolute favorite)
wanted to teach me a game she'd made up lol... She says my name is too hard to say or read. But one day, she saw I had a sticker of rapunzel
(her fav princess) on the back of my name tag. Soooo now Cami calls me "Sorella Rapunzel" and it is literally the most precious thing of my
entire life

2- For Pday today, we went Torino with the other sorelle and just went to various cathedrals and a castle (which closed 30 min before we got
there so we only got pics outside of it #stillsalty) I know what y’all are thinking, "Really Kaylee, ANOTHER castle?" Yes. Yes it is. Deal with it💁🏼

Not gonna lie, it's been a harder week for me. Almost all of our initial plans fell through, and we didn't meet our goals in the way we
wanted to. The language was k i l l i n g me. The humidity was LITERALLY killing me. And I just miss stupid America things right now
like burgers and Reese's cups (I attempted to make my own- see picture below) and drinking fountains and English lol. These people here are
stubborn and blunt and crazy and just unlike any other group of people in the entire world, but ya know what? I still can't help but love
them so so SO much! In district meeting this week, one of our zone leaders brought up something I love, because it puts my feelings
towards the Italian people into words. Think of a time you truly loved someone. No, not any of the Romeo and Juliet crap lol get your minds
out of the gutter😂🙄 But like truly loved someone! Not for anything they did, or for what heave done for you or anything. But like,
someone who you've genuinely loved simply for who they are. You see their strengths and their faults, and you love them fully regardless.
The kind of sincere love that just fills you with joy and with light. Got someone in mind? Yeah, that is 100% how I feel about these
beautiful people. Even cooler? That's a fraction of the pure love Christ has for each of us. He sees us for what we are; He sees the
good and the bad. And He loves us! How exciting is that!

I know He loves each and every one of us, and that His love and His atonement will always be there for us. I'm not gonna try and hide that
things are kinda hard right now. However it's all so so so worth it, because of the love I have for these crazy Italians! I'm so grateful
to be blessed with this Christlike love for these people; for this amazing opportunity to feel even a small fraction of the love Christ
has for us. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week! Go swimming and eat a burger for me cuz I miss America...

Sorella Smedley

1-Awko selfies with Cami  2-Homemade Reese’s  
3- outside our apt.(always raining) 4-6- #collegno
7-15  P-day fun in Torino   16- "Sweatin like sinners in church” lololol




Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Chapter 13: Don't Mind Me Chillin Above Italy

Hey peeps! Hope you're all having the happiest of summer days! I’m kinda freaking out cuz tomorrow is my three month mission mark😁
seriously idk why mission time is so weird. It feels like it's been an eternity since I first got here but other times I'm like "wait am I
even a missionary yet?" Lol idk man. But it was a fab week, and WE GOT A NEW INVESTIGATOR so you could say I'm pretty much the happiest
camper in all of Italy, and possibly the whole world!

Thursday, we had zone training in Torino! It was super good and I learned a ton from our awesome zone leaders! We also got to hear the
dying testimonies of two anziani in our zone. We then got to hear from President and Sorella Dibb, since at the end of this transfer, we'll
get our new mission president. I'm really sad to see them go! They are so amazing- I've learned a lot from the Dibbs, and they have such a
love for the missionaries and people of Italy!

After zone training, we stopped by Tamara's house to give her back her umbrella (she's the one from our flood miracle last week). She was so
excited to see us, and invited us in to visit. I love that woman! When it was time to leave, she told us to keep her umbrella for a bit, and
to come visit her again very very soon! We are still trying to figure out a way to introduce our message with her. We've had a lot of solid
religious conversations, and I really think she might be ready. I want this for her so bad! Then, we got to go over to the anziani apartment
with the landlord to get some stuff fixed. Not very exciting, but it had to be done lol.

Friday and Saturday, we had scambio with the STLs in Milano. I went with Sorella Fuller, and Sorella Smith went with Sorella Jones. I
learned so much from Sorella Fuller! Our appointment Friday night fell through, so we went out to do finding for a few hours. Fuller is
outstanding when it comes to finding. She's so great at going up and talking to EVERYONE! I learned so much from her! Then the APs called
us and challenged us to find a new investigator... And we totes did! It was like 15 minutes before we had to be home, and we found this
little old lady feeding ducks. Literally, she had at least 5 loaves of bread she was feeding to these birds lol. She was precious though, and
we had a good lesson with her! Then that night, Fuller and Jones read in the New Testament about when Christ washed His disciples' feet.
They then insisted on giving us pedicures, saying that we, too, are disciples of Christ doing His work. Aww they're just precious!

Saturday, Fuller an I had an appointment with a less active who is a literal cat lady. She has ten cats, and all her dishes and everything
had cats on them. Lol, she gave us Orso, which essentially has the taste of coffee, but it has a barley base rather than a coffee bean
base, and no caffeine. Essentially Mormon coffee. And it was nasty😂 I went to put sugar and milk in it but then one of her cats that was
chilling on the table at the time knocked the milk over. Ugh. Then in the middle of the lesson, the lady asks me to fix her printer... And
let's keep in mind that a) I really don't know much about printers b) I still don't know a ton of Italian c) I certainly don't know printer
words in Italian lol. So she's giving me instructions and getting mad that I don't understand lol and I look at Fuller and she doesn't
understand either😂 And like wow, when I thought about what mission life would be like, I certainly didn't picture myself trying to fix a
printer whilst being yelled at in Italian all while cats are climbing over me, but va bene lol.

Sunday was super stellar. We had stake conference in Alessandria which meant I GOT TO SEE MY PERKINS! Lol we had to leave our house by like
6am to catch the train. It was cool cuz the stake conference was held in like a theater #comfyseats so yay! Sad day though cuz our ward's
bishop is gonna be in the stake presidency now. But we got to hear from them and from President Dibb and from Elder Kearon (who spoke at
the most recent session of general conference.) It was so awesome! Afterward, it was fun to talk to the members, and to the two zones'
worth of missionaries who were there. Then, we had lunch with Sorella Bastian and Sorella Perkins which was a rather fun time because I
adore them both so dang much! Then Smith and I caught our train. On our way back home, we called one of our referrals we'd received, and ended
up meeting him at a bar lol... Then we walked over to a park and began teaching him. So....

We got ourselves a new investigator!!

And he is seriously GOLDEN!

His name is Machi. He's actually from Tanzania, so he speaks Swahilian, English, and Italian. He's lived in Italy for a few years,
because he married an Italian. They have a two year old daughter. Machi has been meeting with lawyers, because he wants to get a
separation from his wife, and take his daughter back to Tanzania. His wife drinks and uses marijuana, and he doesn't want that life for his
daughter. He wants religion in his life, mainly because he wants the best for his daughter. He's investigated pretty much every church
there is, but hasn't felt like any of them were true. Hmmm...

We talked with him about God's love for us, and the importance of families. We taught about Christ's ministry, and the apostasy
following His death. Basic 1st lesson stuff, pretty much. And then we talked about the Restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith. This
was my first time teaching the story of the restoration to someone who'd never heard it before. And it was a seriously beautiful experience.

We told Machi of how back in 18 a young boy named Joseph smith wondered, like him, which church was true. How this boy had, like
Machi, looked into many other religions, but none seemed right. Then reading James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that
giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him”. And then, acting on what he read, went into a secluded place and
asked God which church was true. And Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared before Joseph Smith, telling him that none of the churches on
the earth at that time were true.

And thus began the restoration of the true church on the earth.

It was absolutely amazing to share this glorious, true story with someone who had never heard it before! The spirit was soooo there and
Machi really seemed to feel it! He just was eating up everything we told him. The Lord has definitely prepared him to receive this truth.
It was so neat for him to see the similarities between him and Joseph Smith (both searching for God's true church, both investigating
various religions, etc). And wow, this guy is the most humble guy ever! Many people upon hearing the story of Joseph smith scoff at how
improbable it sounds. Not Machi. He was essentially like "wow that’s awesome. And it makes sense. God is all-powerful, and he loves us. So
it makes sense that He would do that." And we're like "yes yes it does." And we start telling him about the Book of Mormon and he's like
"Yes that makes sense that Christ would visit ALL of God's children after His resurrection, not just the Jews." And we're like "yes yes it
does." And before we can say another word, Machi says "I need you to bring me this book to our next meeting" and we're like "why yes, yes we can”.
1st Lesson ✔️
Book of Mormon invite ✔️
Return appointment ✔️

He's seriously so solid. Talking to him was absolutely great. We have an appointment with him this weekend, and we're gonna try and set a
baptism date with him! It's so exciting! The rest of this week has been spent with meetings and contacting referrals, and it's just so
great to be a part of this great work!

Today for pday, we went to the Torino Mole, which was quite the adventure. I essentially got to chill above Italy for the small price
of 7€😁 We went with the Torino Sorelle so it was even more of a party cuz they're my favs. It was fascinating chillin in the completely
glass elevator as we headed to the top, and even cooler stepping out and seeing such a beautiful view of this place I love so much!

I'm awkward and don't really know how to end this random, jumbled email lol. But I'm grateful to have spent another blessed week in
beautiful Italia. Much love to all you dearest humans of mine❤️

Sorella Smedley
1. Zone training  2-3. Anziani Apartment 
4-5. Scampi fun with Sorella Fuller & Jones!
6-7. Stake Conference in Alessandria  8-10. With Sorella Perkins & Bastian at Stake Conf.
11-18 P-day at the Torino Mole (ft. my new $10 oxfords and the Torino Sorelle & Smith)    







Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Chapter 12 A "Floody" Miracle lol

I'm gonna apologize in advance for the length of this email, but it's simply because this has probs been one of the best weeks of my mission so far! This week was "21 Lesson Week", which is when you try to get 21 lessons or more that week. Basically everyone I talked to here said getting the 21 lessons was basically impossible, but that it pushed you, and you usually ended up with more lessons than usual, so I was excited! My comp and I set up a ton of appointments and set aside time every day to go do finding. However, almost everything fell through, & it kept on raining, so there weren't many people for us to find and teach☹ needless to say, we didn't get our miracle 21 lessons. However, it was def a week of miracles for us, & I feel so blessed🤗

Thursday, we met with Barbara. I adore her family so much. Cute Zachariah is my lil buddy- he always offers his hand to "help" me out of the car😂He and Omar have this stuffed dog named Dan (lol perfect dog name, right?) & basically I'm just always laughing with these precious kids! Anyways, we really felt like we wanted to talk with Barbara about the atonement. During personal study, I found some stuff that I felt really might apply to her needs. However, we didn't want the lesson to be too crazily long so I just picked one. As we were doing the lesson, I felt like I still needed to share both of the things I'd found. She really reacted well to both of them, & I was glad I'd followed the prompting to share them. Always a good reminder to me that when we feel prompted to do/share something, we need to do it. We typically have no clue why, but we need to be faithful & go for it. I can't even count how many times I've gotten an email or something from one of you that was something I needed to hear, or gave me an idea of what to teach a specific person! You never know when you may be the answer to someone else's prayer❤️Barbara fed us (What a gem!) & dropped us off at the church. We finished our stuff there, & we got ready to leave. Buutt there was a car full of people just chillin outside the church gate... kinda freaked us out, cuz our church is out in the middle of nowhere. Like legit in a field lol. And they've been having problems lately with people breaking in. We called our zone leaders & bishop, & kinda just waited it out. After almost two hours, they finally left. Def a weird day...

Friday, was weekly planning. Then, the day was spent with appointments falling through, & a ton of rain. Oh joy. Luckily, we had English class that night still, so it didn't feel like a total waste lol.

Saturday was probs one of the craziest days of my life! Or at least of my mission lol! We'd lined up a ton of stuff for Saturday, to try and meet our goals. It was a miracle day, but not in the way we'd expected...That morning, we did some service for Barbara. Then we had an appointment with the Vicedominis in Rivoli, my favorite part of our area! Barbara was kind enough to drive us there❤️ now lemme explain a bit about the Vicedominis. Fratello Vicedomini is super strong in the church. Sorella Vicedomini is darling and amazing, but doesn't come to church anymore... Why? Cuz she's into voodoo... Literally it's her job. Her apartment has all the curtains & candles & all of that. And yet, it's not cuz of the voodoo stuff that she doesn't come to church (although obvi our church doesn't believe in that kind of stuff). Nope-she felt like the members were judging her for her career. Kind of broke my heart to hear that. Cuz I realize that I'm kinda a judgy person... I mean, we all are to an extent! But I certainly don't wanna be the reason someone doesn't come to church! I def don't wanna be what stands in the way of someone coming closer to Christ! We had a super solid lesson with her, & I loved getting to know this lovely, crazy lady!

On an unrelated note, she made us hot chocolate... Hot chocolate in Italy is different. They typically use milk & other ingredients, giving it a thicker consistency, kinda like pudding or something. Whale, she starts making us this hot chocolate & she brings out like boxed milk and all these random ingredients. She takes a sip & was like "ugh this tastes too sweet" & of course we're like "duh don't even worry I'm sure it's awesome"... Holy heck, this was probs the nastiest hot chocolate I'd ever had in my life. I legit wanted to vomit. She said it tasted too sweet... But it was so bitter & weird! My comp and I decided afterwards that it kinda tasted like wheat... Well anyways, we both forced it all down lol... And ya know what? It was nasty but I def will not judge her for it and make her not come to church bc of it. So let's not judge people, yeah? 😂Even if they are into voodoo & hot chocolate/wheat drink things. My new life motto, basically.

When we left, we started walking through Rivoli. We were gonna take the bus to see Berta, our investigator. Whelp, as per usual, Satan made it rain on us. I didn't mind at first, cuz it wasn't too hard & it made the streets look super pretty. Then it got a little harder. Side note: I'm weird & awkward & sometimes just have little mental prayers/convos with God lol. Well I was having one as we were walking, & it kinda went something like this: "Ok Heavenly Father... It's raining, & I wanna throw up my lil hot chocolate thing. But I promise we'll still go over & see Berta if you help us out a little" And so I felt pleased with this little arrangement, & kept going, ignoring the fact that I felt like I needed to vomit. (Don't worry- I didn't! It's not one of those kinds of stories lol) But I think Satan was annoyed at this little mental promise I'd made, cuz then he made it rain harder... Like legit, the streets were flooded. We see our bus and hop on super fast. My comp sits down and is like "yeah, we're not gonna see Berta today. This is crazy and probs not safe." And I'm over here like oh crap, but I already made a mental promise with God... So this is gonna be awkward. And I wait a bit as we drive and then I'm like "uhhhhh Sorel... Don't hate me... But I really think we need to go see Berta..." And she just kinda looks out the window and is like "fine. But we're going home and getting umbrellas first." A reasonable request obvi. But then I felt a crazy prompting that we needed to go right away. And agin, I'm just sitting there like are you kidding me? Ugh this sucks lol. So I wait a sec, and then am like "uh yeah... I kinda think we need to go straight to her house...". And she turns to me and is like "you're really feeling like we need to go there now, it can't wait?" And I can tell she's annoyed- I don't blame her, this seems like an awful idea😂 and I'm like "ummm... Yeah..."

Utter silence till we get to our stop. We get out and still had to walk a ways, and we are literally soaked. There were oceans in my shoes pretty much & I don't think it's possible for us to have been wetter... And I hear my comp yell through the rain "you'd better be right about this!" And I'm just like oh shoot I really hope I'm right on this lol. And we can't even see anything, & my comp goes & leans against an apartment and I go by her and I can tell she's just done. And I just kinda look up & start doing a verbal prayer/convo (cuz the rain and thunder was too loud for anyone else to hear me) & I legit start yelling "okay God! You brought us out here! And I'm wet! And cold! And the hot chocolate is making me sick! And we're lost. And I really need you to do something like now... Cuz if not, my comp is gonna kill me... And I'm gonna cry or something... So I'm not asking for anything insane, but just for a little miracle! Please please please please!"

And then I hear someone yell at us..

My first thought was "God, is that you?" Lolololol😂😂😂 my second thought was that it was probs someone telling us to go away or something. 

And then we hear the voice again... It's a lady...

We look up, & there's this older lady on her balcony smoking in the rainstorm, cuz why not? Lol. And she's yelling "are you guys ok?" & I'm like lolol nope. & she says "do you need to dry off?" And we're like "umm" 

And then she buzzed us in. We sat on the stairs inside, just grateful to be out of the rain for a minute. Then we hear a door open upstairs, & the lady starts calling for us to come inside. And we're like "oh that's ok, we're super wet" but she insisted that we came inside. She sits us on her couch, despite the fact that we are literally gushing water everywhere. Her adorable dog comes & plays with us, & she gets us some frizzante. Her name is Tamara, & she's gotta be one of the nicest people I've ever met. She starts asking us about ourselves, & asks if we're students. We reply that no, we are missionaries for our church. She starts telling us about how she was raised Catholic & how she loves Catholicism cuz it reminds her of her mom who passed away.

Then her daughter Ariana shows up. They both start asking us all these questions about what we do as missionaries. When they found out I was 19, they were freaking out cuz they thought I was essentially a baby. Why wasn't I at home? Why would I choose to come out here? Were we getting paid? Tons of questions. They also brought this really expensive, delicious gelato for us. We were there for an hour! Then, the rain slowed a lil bit, & we got up to go. We gave them some info, including stuff for our English class that they were both interested in. As we were leaving, I decided to play my "adorable, innocent, 19-year old" card & asked if we could leave them with a prayer out of gratitude for their kindness. They thought that was adorable lol. So I prayed for them specifically. They hugged us as we left. Both Tamara and Ariana were fascinated my hair, and just kept calling me their beautiful little girl. I just adore them. Then as we were leaving, Tamara made us take her umbrella with us, saying we could just bring it back next week & visit her😁 YAYAYAY! As soon as we got home, I threw my sopping wet self onto my knees, so thankful to God for leading us where we needed to go. It was one of those beautiful moments of being in the right place, at the right time!

Sunday was another special day. It was the Western Europe conference, and our whole ward was so excited to see the broadcast. As we were walking home, the darling Quaresimas saw us and offered us a ride. During the drive home, they gave us a miracle referral! A woman with 4 kids who is interested in learning more about the church! Best of all, the Quaresimas want to help us with this family, and even offered to make us dinner when we go teach them! Their family is such an amazing example to me! They go out of their way to help the missionaries, and to bring all family members and friends to the gospel of Jesus Christ! Needless to say, we're pretty excited!

This week has been uneventful so far cuz my comp & I are both sick from being out in the rain😂 

So 21 lesson week could be seen as a failure week or a week of success, but I prefer to view it as our miracle week. We definitely did not get our 21 lesson goal, but it was beautiful for us to see how God blessed us for our work. I can honestly say we worked harder and prepared more (and prayed more) this week than we ever had before. And as a result, we got more lessons this week than we ever have, had our miracle with Tamara and Ariana, and got our new referral! And I feel super achy and tired and sick as I write this, but I've also never been happier. I will gladly feel sick and face literal floods and drink nasty wheat hot chocolate EVERY DAY for the rest of my life if that's what's necessary to bring these souls back unto Christ❤️

Alma 29:9
9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

Have a lovely week, my dear humans❤️

Sorella Smedley

1- 5 Omar, Zacariah, Barbara, and Dan the dog having lessons and making pizza❤️
6-10 Rivoli (Before the flood) 
11- Our "we just survived a flood and a miracle and just tried blow-drying ourselves” selfie
12-Victory gelato for making it through 21 lesson week!