Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Monday, July 18, 2016

Chapter 17: Scallops and Wine and Transfers- Oh My!

Well folks, it's been another crazy week here in Italia, and I am no longer a greenie, so that's exciting!

Okay so Thursday, we had a lesson with the Tribastone family (the wife is less-active, the husband is active, and the daughter is not a
member). The lesson went well, and we talked with them for a while. Then they got our dinner for us, and as per usual, there was waaaaay
too much food lol. Pasta, some sort of meat, salad, fruit, cookies, etc. Haha, so my comp asked them what the meat was... And they told
us, but neither of us recognized the Italian word... Then, when we got home, we made the mistake of looking up what it was... Scallops. For
those of you who aren't as familiar with creepy seafood, Anziano England once described scallops as "strange sea marshmallows". So,
yup... We literally ate pounded out scallops... Covered in wine… Gotta love life lol

Friday, we had studies and weekly planning. Then, we had English class. Immediately following that, we rushed over to our lesson with
Gabriele. We were mainly covering the word of wisdom. He's the neatest dude, because he's so open about things! Like he has no problem
admitting he has struggled with different aspects but is actively trying to repent. He's just awesome!

Saturday was a big day because WE GOT TRANSFER NEWS! To quote Sorella Ardnt, "Transfer call day is like Christmas... Minus all the fun...
And with 10x the stress." Anyways, we found out that Sorella Smith was going to Florence to be an STL, and that I was going to get Sorella
McHardy, who's been out for around 6 months! Even though we had figured Smith was going to be leaving, it made for a hectic weekend
with packing and saying goodbye to people! She got to give a final testimony in church on Sunday, and then I got to play photographer,
snapping pictures of her with everyone! Obviously I'm super happy and excited for her, but it is gonna be a sad change! Plus, since she'd
spent 7 months here, the people are all pretty attached to her!

Monday, we had district meeting. Super sad, because we had to say goodbye to Sorella Smith (obviously) as well as Anziano Sanchez and
Sorella Ardnt. Pretty depressing, since I've had them all for 2 transfers, but that's ok! Then, we tried to pass by Machi, but he
wasn't there! So we headed to the church where we were supposed to meet with our ward mission leader. A little bit about him. He's part
of the amazing Furia family, and he's an RM from the Rome mission. However, he was hit with a super tough trial about a year ago, and it
made him angry at God. He stopped coming to church, praying, and even talking to his family. Thus, the bishopric assigned him to be the ward
mission leader, hoping it would re-activate him, because he has a soft spot for the missionaries. Well, he hasn't been able to meet with us
for over a month, but last weekend, we texted him to see how he was doing and if there was anything we could do to help him. 
He responded sarcastically that we could teach him the missionary lessons, so we sassily said "Okay- see you Monday!"

Ok so we were waiting at the church, and he showed up! I was super nervous, because even though this guy is super nice and normal, he's
still kind of intimidating. Ever since before Smith had gotten here, he refused to pray and couldn't talk about anything-gospel related
because it made him so furious. And as we were walking in, I started to feel like we needed to change our lesson plan to talking about how
God is our loving Heavenly Father. However, the situation was already starting and was pretty fragile, so instead I just said a mental
prayer that God would help us. We started off the lesson, and my trainer changed our plan and asked him what his favorite principle of
the first missionary lesson was. He thought for a minute, and then chose "God is our loving Heavenly Father". Well isn't that just
perfect. We asked him to teach that principle to us. Afterwards, Smith asked him if he believed it. He hesitated, and then said it was hard
sometimes, given all the hard things God had put him through. All of a sudden, I got the impression to ask him if he remembered the story of
Job in the bible. He said he kind of did. So I launched into a lil summary of it- how Job had everything in his life taken away from him,
but he still didn't lose faith in God. I then started talking about how even though God loves us, He has to be fair and just. This means
that a) Satan can tempt us and make things difficult for us, and b) because everyone has their free agency, we sometimes have to suffer
from the actions or consequences of someone else. However, these things don't mean God has abandoned us. I brought up our investigator
Gabriele who's wife died. God didn't stop her from dying, but He sent Gabriele the missionaries and the gospel so that he would be able to
make it through that trial. He can't always take our trials and problems away, but He does help us and strengthen us so we can withstand them.

He seemed to take this well, and sat there in thought for a while. As the lesson wrapped up, Smith asked him if he would please pray, since
she was leaving. He said no, and had just about every excuse in the book. His final excuse was that because he was angry with God, he
would probably end up swearing. I said that that was fine, because I wouldn't be able to understand it anyways­čśé He reluctantly agreed, and
he prayed. And it was seriously the best prayer of my life. He thanked God for us, and for us never giving up on him. He asked God to help
him to understand why he had the trial he had. He asked for forgiveness and for help. Being me, I peeked open one eye just in time
to see him wipe a tear off his face. It had been so long since he’d talked to God, but he did! When we said goodbye to him, Smith and I
basically died! We were just so happy to see the change, and to know that we'd helped him start to get back in the right path!

Tuesday, we said some more goodbyes. We stopped by Luciana, who gave me yet another Italian book to practice with, haha. Then, we went home
to clean the apartment in preparation for transfers. So... I went to take the garbages out (our garbages are outside on the back porch) and
I totes tripped and knocked over the organic one... So food fell all over and they were suddenly a freak ton of flies... I yelled for Smith
to shut the door, and then I got to spend 30 minutes chilling on the porch with the garbage until most of the flies left... Yes, super
smooth move on my part as per usual... After the fly fiasco, we went over to the Quaresimas. They are seriously my favorite family, and I
feel my language skills improve more as I'm with them, because I'm so comfortable with them. They showed us some journals from their
ancestors dating back to the 1700s... And the book nerd in me literally wanted to die... We partied to the music going on across the
street, and it was a great way to spend Sorella Smith's last night!

Wednesday, we did some last minute cleaning and then took Smith to the train station. Saying goodbye was so hard! Then, I was in a trio with
Ardnt and Lau for the rest of the day, because Sorella McHardy wasn’t arriving until around 8pm. So we walked out around centro Torino, did
some shopping, and just hung out until the train came in.

I haven't had very much time with my new comp yet, but she seems great! I'm excited for the things we're going to do here in Collegno­čśü
Love you all, and hope you all have a fantastic week!

Sorella Smedley

1&2- Tribastones  3-6 District Mtg.
7- Quaresimas  8-10 Goodbyes & Hellos




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