Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Chapter 23: Hello From The Other Siiiiiiideeeee...Of Italy...

Well folks, I've survived week one as senior comp in a new city😅 Not gonna lie, the first couple of days were rough. I missed Collegno. I felt overwhelmed between the two wards. I missed Collegno. Trying to make plans and take the lead in a brand new city stressed me out a lot. Oh, and did I mention I miss Collegno? Yeah, but moping accomplishes nothing, so I put on my big girl pants and started to work, and oh the difference it has made!🤓

So last Wednesday, I took a train to my new city Vicenza. While on the train, I helped some American tourists, and tried not to think about the fact that I was leaving Collegno haha. Vicenza is beautiful though! It's really green- lots of trees and hills! We live in the upstairs apartment of a cute yellow house. Plus, Vicenza has a US military base (which is where the senior couple is). My new companion Sorella Zombra is awesome😊 We speak straight English in the house and straight Italian all the rest of the time. As we're re walking from place to place, we pick topics and teach each other the words, so it's been great so far💚 I'm shocked by how much I've learned already!

Anyways, back to Wednesday. I arrived in Vicenza around 5:30 and then Sorella Zombra and I headed to an appointment with the Mariani family in our ward. They're totally amazing! They gave a referral to the missionaries a while back for their friend Micaela, and this week, she got baptized! But I'll get to that later🤗

Thursday, we went to the church to take care of the program for the baptism. Then Sorella Zombra and I made some calls, and then made cookies for the baptism.

Friday, we had studies and weekly planning, and then an appointment with our investigator Orfel. She's originally from the Philippines, but she's married to a guy in the military, so they're living here on the base. She's awesome! We mainly went over the first lesson, The Restoration. She's so neat, because she truly wants to find the right church to join. She has such a strong testimony of God, and the plan He has for us!

Saturday, we had the baptism for Micaela! It was so exciting! A ton of the ward came to support her, as did President and Sorella Allen! Micaela is so amazing! She was so happy and excited to be baptized, and her testimony is so solid and beautiful! Her husband and her kids, who aren't religious, came too! The ward was so good to them! It was a great opportunity for me to meet some of our members!

Sunday was kind of crazy but super fun! Here in Vicenza! We have two wards, which means we spend a lot of time at church haha. First, we have the American ward! It's the ward for all of the LDS families who are on the US military base here. It was strange to have church in English haha, but kinda fun too! We also have the Italian ward, which isn't as large as the ward in Collegno, but pretty close. We had Micaela's confirmation during sacrament and it was amazing! Her family came again!! So exciting! That night, we had an appointment with the Cowells, a less actives family from the American ward. They made us steak and potatoes😋 I thought I'd died and gone to heaven👼🏼

I noticed something interesting this week. I've tried asking the other missionaries here in Vicenza about the members and less-actives in both wards and, well, none of them know more than a couple people! Very strange for me, since back in Collegno, I knew everyone and had visited almost every person by the time I left. So on Sunday, I decided to try and introduce myself to as many people as possible! And some interesting things happened... I had multiple people in the American ward who didn't even realize there were missionaries here in Vicenza😳 Also, as I tried to get to know the people, we received soooooo many invitations for meal appointments! I had members offer to visit my family when they go to Utah, or bring things back and forth between us. The bishops from both wards gave us some names of people they wanted us to contact! And I had members from both wards say they wanted us to come teach the youth sometime, or come help with activities. Plus, a ton of the American members ask me if there were things in the American base they could get for me... Guys, they have Doritos! And peanut butter! And Taco Bell! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 No, but even better than those things, I noticed a lot of people were surprised to have the missionaries talk to them. It makes me so excited to think of the good things that can be done with these members and less actives! And I'm in no way saying that the last/current missionaries here aren't doing things right or anything like that, but I feel truly blessed because I feel like I'm being guided by the spirit to know what this city needs!

Monday we had district meeting, followed by sushi for Anziano Sosa's birthday! Remember how much I love fish? (For those of you who've forgotten, fish are about as low on my list as kebap burgers so...) But I did it lol😅 Then we had an appointment with the Williams from the American ward. Sorella Zombra got to try bacon for the first time!! Unsurprisingly, she loved it! And it was so great to talk with them for a while, and learn about what life is really like in the military, for both the actual person, and for their family. It really helped me to assess the needs of the American ward, especially since they've been neglected for a while. Plus, we found out Emarey Williams totally lived near  me all growing up, so it was a crazy awesome night!

Tuesday was boring in some aspects but really beneficial in the long run! Aaaall of our appointments for the day cancelled on us. So we took the ward lists for both wards and spent hours organizing and figuring out who we needed to see. We also called every single person the bishops had given us! Got some solid appointments set up (mainly for next week). Not a major number day, but so many good things were accomplished!

And today for P day, we went on the American base! We got to buy American food😍 cuz Sorella Zombra hadn't ever tried any of it!! Aaaand also cuz I maybe sorta kinda miss American food😅 We saw a ton of ward members on base who we stopped and talked to as well, so it was a super fun morning! Then this afternoon, we went to centro to do some shopping since Saldi (Huge sales in Italy that only happen twice a year) is almost over, and tonight we're going to a less active's house, because she's decided she wants to come back to church and go to the temple! All in all, an exciting week!!

So many things learned this week, but perhaps my favorite was the reminder of how aware of us God is! I was really nervous this week, but I had 2 people email me reminding me how the Lord qualifies who He calls (divine inspiration, yeah?) and that is sooo true. God is with us for every step of the way! He puts people and situations in our life for a specific reason (even though it's sometimes difficult initially, or we don't understand the reasons behind it). And why is He so aware of us? Love. I didn't even begin to grasp His immense love for us until I left out here. I look at the crazy, unconditional love I have for the people of Collegno, and now for the people of Vicenza, and I can begin to comprehend a small bit of God's love for us.

So if you don't get anything else from my crazy, scatterbrained email this week, at the very least, remember this: God loves you. Not "you guys"- you. Individually. And how neat is that?🤗


1-3 Train station goodbyes
4-Micaela’s Baptism! 5-Pres. & Sis. Allen 6-Church selfies
7-Sushi with my new District 8-The Williams 9-Our American stash!!
10-The Duomo  11&12-Bella Vicenza




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