Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Chapter 22: The Only Thing Worse Than Food Poisoning and Mafia Threats

Well folks, it's been a crazy time here in Italia because IT’S TRANSFER WEEK!! I apologize in advance for not answering all personal
emails this week... Buuuut I kind of don't get a P-day today cuz I’m taking a train to the other side of the country so...

The craziness of this week actually started out last Wednesday. Remember how we went to Aosta and had all those adventures? Yeah, one
of those adventures was getting lunch... As usual, we went to a kebap place, but this time we smelled something different than the usual
spinning mystery meat... Burgers! Legit American burgers๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ so of course, that's what we ordered! It looked so perfectly American, and
it smelled like beef and freedom. Bald eagles were soaring overhead, and the Star Spangled Banner was playing in the background.

And then I took a bite.

And I've probs never experienced deeper disappointment in my life. Lol I have no clue what I ate, but it was definitely not beef. A disgrace
to the name of "burger", honestly. And so we spent Thursday throwing up. So much fun lol. Moral of the story: when at a sketchy Middle
Eastern food joint, only order sketchy Middle Eastern food; NOT burgers...๐Ÿ”

Friday was a nerve-wrecking day... About half-way through English class, we got a call from President Allen... TRANSFER CALLS WERE UPON
US! He talked to my comp first, telling her she would be staying in Collegno to train! Then he gave me my transfer news! *drumroll* I'M
GOING TO BE SENIOR COMP IN VICENZA! A beautiful city near Venice, and it has an Italian ward and an American ward because... It has a U.S.
military base!! Haha yay cuz that also means American food lol! My new comp is going to be Sorella Zombra who's from... Sicily! Haha guess
I'd better start learning Italian, yeah?๐Ÿ˜‚ No, it'll be good. She’s only had Italian comps, so pres said she can help me with Italian, and
I can teach her English! I'm so excited! It's gonna be such a good experience!

Stefano Quaresima was in the church when we got the call. We told him what was happening, and he was like "No Sorella Smedley, you're
staying here forever! I'll write your president! 'Yes President Allen, you do realize we have the mafia here in Italy... It'd be smart of you
to leave Smedley here'..." Lol ok Stefano ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ณ

So now we get to the title of my email, the ONE thing worst than mafia threats and sketchy food poisoning: goodbyes☹️ A lot of the rest of
this week was spent saying goodbyes... My least fav thing. I of course had to do the usual goodbye testimony in sacrament meeting. Which I
started crying during haha๐Ÿ’” And then came the goodbyes. A lot of members were out of town for ferragosto, but there were still a lot of
hard goodbyes to be said. I'd said goodbye to the Furias last week thankfully, but I still had to bid farewell to some of my favorite people.

Saying goodbye to our investigator Gabriele was so sad. He made a little business card for me with all his contact info so we could keep
in touch. He shook my hand for the longest time, and then started crying. He said that of all the missionaries that he's met with over
the years, I was his favorite. I was shocked. I mean, I felt like we had a good relationship and I'd really worked hard for him, but there
have been a lot of awesome missionaries who've met with him in the past. He told me it was because "ho sentito che tuo coure e vicino
mio". I felt that your heart was near me. Which of course made me start to cry, so we left and bought a pizza for me to drown my sorrows in lol.๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ•

We had to say goodbye to our crazy Nona Luciana. Any guesses on what she gave me this time to play with? Since she still views me as a 5
year old lol... Well folks, joining my crazy collection of stuffed birds, Italian readers digest, tea sets, and jewelry, I now have a
miniature guitar and a butterfly hair clip the size of a baseball. #blessed

We went over to the Gallo's house. Fratello Gallo was at work, but we had lunch with Olga and Sara and played Liar's Dice (the game from
Pirates of the Caribbean) as usual. All these little normal things that I took for granted... And now I'm leaving๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜ฅ

One of the hardest goodbyes by far was with the Aramu family, because I had to say goodbye to my precious Camilla. We played a bit after
church as usual. Then, it was time for me say goodbye. It was one of the hardest things I'd ever done, because she doesn't understand. I
kept trying to explain that I was leaving, but she kept saying “no, we're going to play next week!" Finally, I just told her I loved her,
after which she threw her arms around me and hugged me while I attempted not to cry. When I said goodbye to her parents, her mom told
me she'd continue sending me pictures and updates so I could see Cami grow up. At this point, I truly did lose it. If you'd told me a year
ago that I'd be living in Italy, crying over leaving a 4 year-old, I probs wouldn't have believed you, but that's kind of where I'm at right now๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‚

Last night, we had my other hardest goodbye. We went over to the Quaresimas to say goodbye. My Italian family❤️ Had some awesome food
and waaaaay too many laughs. I got to hold their snakes (I felt like I was Voldemort or something!) and then hold their newest pets: flying
squirrels...? Because why not. Craziest night ever. Saying goodbye sucked. Fratello Quaresima made me promise to visit them first if I
ever come back to Italy ("hopefully with an Anziano" he added. Lololol). I hugged Sorella Quaresima for what felt like forever. I
just don't want to leave these people!

And now I'm sitting here in Porta Nuova, waiting for the train that will take me to my new home, new comp, and new people. I'm excited and
anxious, but it's also been a sad/stressful week as I've worried about leaving my people here in Collegno. I worry about the different trials
these people I love are facing. I worry about new missionaries loving and taking care of these people. However, the scripture in 1 Nephi 21
has given me a great deal of comfort and peace๐Ÿค“

14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord
hath forgotten me--but he will show that he hath not.

15 For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have
compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I
not forget thee, O house of Israel.

16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls
are continually before me.

Yes, the people of Collegno have been mine for the past 3 1/2 months, but they've been God's people for a lot longer. As much as I worry
about the welfare of these people, I'm rather certain God is even more invested. Above all, I think of how much I love these people here in
Collegno... And as hard as it is for me to comprehend, I realize that it's only a fraction of the immense love Heavenly Father has for them,
and for each of us. And that gives me comfort. These people will be in my thoughts and prayers for forever. However, I'm excited to go give
Vicenza my all, trusting that God will take care of Collegno while I’m away๐Ÿ˜Œ❤️

Until next time๐Ÿ’• The church is true and God loves you๐Ÿค—

Sorella Smedley

  LOTS of goodbye pics:( 
1&2- Gabriele (My favorite investigator) 3- Ada, the English class student
4- Sis. Tribastone  5-Allesandro 6-‘Back row crew’
7- The Sassis  8- Francesco 9-Sassy Fratello Lusso who always curtsies at me
10- The Petrarulos  11- Bishop and his wife
12-14 My hardest goodbye: Aramu family, Camilla
15- My church  16-first house I ever taught at 17- S.Caruso, first member I taught
18- Crazy Luciana  19- Owners of our favorite gelataria  20-Olga & Sara Gallo
21- My District  22-Selfies with my main man Big Daddy G!
23-25 My Family- The Quaresimas (Ft. their snakes!)


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