Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chapter 21: I'm An Avenger, NOT a Demon Gosh Dang It!

At least... I wish I was an Avenger... 

Hallo again to my favorite humans! This week has been crazy (shocker, I know).

As to the first part of my email this week, today for P-Day, we found ourselves again in the city of Aosta😍😍😍 As a recap, Aosta is a beautiful city nestled into the Alps, legit right on the borders of Italy, France, and Switzerland. It's near the base of both the Matterhorn and Paramount mountain. There are 10+ castles surrounding the city. And above all, it's the city where they filmed Avengers 2🤓 Also they sell chicken nuggets here. I don't know why I feel the need to include that fact, but whatevs😅 So we had to take the 2 hour train ride through the alps (poor us lol) back to my favorite place in the world! This time, we explored the Roman ruins (some of which looked like hogwarts corridors😍) and the tombs. Not a bad way to spend the day💕

And I'm not feeling trunky for Marvel at all. Nope. *insert nervous giggle here*

As to the second part of the title, I realize there are a lot of interesting little details about living in Italy that I fail to include from week to week, simply because they've become so normal lol. I kind of forget these aren't normal things back home haha. So for my lovely friends without the amazing privilege of living in the blessed land of Italia, here are a few things that always occur at least once during the day as a missionary!
- People actually greeting each other as you pass on the streets. Well, except for those few who see the name tags and are scared we come from Satan... 
- That one guy/girl who looks how you'd imagine a "typical Italian" to look
- At least 2 pizzerias 
- And at least 3 gelatarias
- A nun. 10 points to gryffindor if you get a selfie with her.
- Someone's laundry hanging out the window
- At least one awkward couple totally exchanging saliva, typically somewhere odd like on an escalator. Because PDA boundaries don't seem to exist here
- Neither do "non-smoking" areas lololol it's fine we can all die of lung cancer together 
- A shrine to the Madonna
- That one guy who looks like Mario 
- And is probs actually named Mario (you think I'm lyin but I'm totes not)
- Dogs. Pets are such a big thing here and are allowed on all public transportation and in most businesses. I am so blessed🐶🐱
- A gypsie. Because why not?
- Various shirtless dudes. Like whyyyyyyy #eww
- Someone who crosses themselves when they see you on the bus
Literally though, if I had a nickel for every time someone crossed themselves when they saw us, I could buy so much gelato. Like hello, I am NOT a demon lol my name tag literally says "Gesù Cristo" it's fine it's fine I'm not salty at all🙄 it happened again this morning but this lady was going hard core😂 after the seventh time she crossed herself, I just smiled awkwardly and waved... She took off running lol. Life is weird.

Lol, so there's that. Certainly makes going out finding people a pretty unique experience😂 I'm just living the dream lol. So on to some of the people we saw this week!

Thursday we got to have a lesson with the Tribastones. Their nonmember daughter Raffaella was there the whole time and I LOVED just talking with her! She's super funny and obsessed with puppies sooooo it wasn't hard for us to find things to talk about! As per usual, we were fed way too much. And also as per usual, I went home with a freak ton of pictures of Pepe, their precious dog who looks just like Dobby the elf. Love my life!

Last weekend, we stayed overnight in Milano with our STLs S. Jones and my precious Bastian! So fun! I was with Sorella Bastian and we had too much fun! Taught some really awesome lessons, and did a freak ton of finding! We helped some super wealthy tourists from Dubai (they were like "have you visited Dubai" and I'm just like lolol do I look like I've visited Dubai? Like yes, we used to go every summer but then I got sick of the long flight on my private jet and so I decided to buy an island instead. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to wash my Ferrari. In 100$ bills. Lol) they were way cool though haha! Tons of fun and I learned a lot!

We met with our investigator Gabriele again! Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers for him! However, he has decided to push his baptism date into September rather than doing it this week. I thought I was going to be extremely upset/sad at this news, however as we talked with him, I felt so at peace with it. I instantly felt a sure spiritual confirmation that this was how God wanted things to go, and that Gabriele would be baptized! I can't describe the feeling- it flat out doesn't make sense. But I just feel like things are going in accordance to God's plan, aaaaand I've learned its best not to argue with Him lol. But really though, you guys have no idea how much it meant to him when I told him about everyone who was praying for him. This guy is changing through Christ's atonement, and I can't take the credit for it. It's happened as a result of your prayers and the spirit of God, and what a miracle that is to witness!

It was kind of crazy on Sunday. Our bishop had all the adults combined for 3rd hour. We talked a lot about making our ward Zion. This ward is already soooooo amazing! However, during ward council last week, we addressed some various areas in which we as a ward can improve, and those things were brought up on Sunday. This ward is so amazing! You have your few stubborn people who I think were a little offended by Bishop's challenge, but the majority of the ward has really committed to step up in literally every way possible! They are all such examples to me!

As for the rest of this week, we've had district meeting, and then have had to deal with some technological crap. Our phone keeps having issues which causes a lot of stress as a missionary haha but it's slowly getting fixed... We hope...?

Last night, we had an appointment with the Furias because they're going out of town this weekend. We get transfer calls this weekend😁😁 and then transfers are next week. There's a chance I'll get transferred since I've done 3 transfers here, so the Furias wanted to say goodbye just in case. Wow, talk about one of the hardest nights of my life! I don't want to even imagine the emotional state I'll be in whenever I do end up getting transferred and have to say goodbye to everyone! We had dinner and a really good lesson with them, and then just sat and talked for a bit. I talked with the girls about Harry Potter for a good long while, because they'd just marathoned them the day before (side note: you know you are a true disciple of Christ when you say no to an invite to marathon Harry Potter with your fav people, because you're too busy trying to be a missionary. So so so so so hard hahaha). They were so cute haha! It was so hard for me to leave! As we left, Sorella Furia said they were going to write President Allen to say I need to stay in Collegno for my full mission, and Fratello Furia told me that after the mission I could come stay in their house! Debora, Stefania, and Christina drove us home, and when we got to our apartment, I was very sad. I hugged them all, and anytime I tried to say goodbye, they'd reply "No- ci vediamo!" ("No- we will see each other"). So I went inside and cried a tiny bit haha because goodbyes are the literal worst lol. It's fine.

But yeah, so there's my week🤗 A little scrambled as always, but just part of the Kaylee Smedley package haha💁🏼 As a side thought, I've been trying to make my studies very much Christ-centered; I still alternate between conference talks and scriptures and churchy books and whatnot, but specifically looking for Christ, and His central (and essential) role in God's plan. And- shocker! -I've found that pretty much everything is about Jesus Christ haha which is pretty much the best thing ever. And there was something I read yesterday that kind of struck me! There was a point in Christ's ministry where He had His 12 apostles, but also had various disciples who followed Him and obeyed His teachings and essentially just tried to learn from Him so they could be like Him. But quite a few of them fell away (despite the fact that they'd full-on witnessed Christ perform miracles and teach the true gospel) because it got too hard, or because they got offended, or various other reasons. After many had fallen away, the Savior turned to His apostles and asked, "Will ye also go away?". Will we? Obviously He wasn't just asking His apostles; He asks each of us. Will we go away because that's what all of our friends are doing? Will we leave His fold because being obedient is too difficult? Will we let ourselves be offended and slowly led away from our Savior?

I know that this is Christ's church and His work, and it's an honor and a privilege to wear Christ's name every day and be His representative for the Italian people❤️ Let us commit this week and every week after to more fully embrace the joys of discipleship! Above all, let us live our lives that we may respond as Peter did in John 6:67-68

67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

Sorella Smedley💕

1. Pepe!  2.&3- Tribastone family (& Pepe!)
4&5-Scambio with Sorella Bastian (side note, her cousin is married to my mom’s cousin & I love her!) 6-8 Typical day of finding on our way to an appt.
9-Can I be a Saint yet? 10- Also look, another castle- poor me!
11&12- Furia’s 
13- AOSTA!! 14&15-Ruins
16&17- The tombs under the city  18-20 idk what these are tbh…But they were under the city and looked like Hogwarts
21&22- Don’t worry- Ultron didn’t show up while I was there guys







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