Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chapter 28: Never Go In Against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the Line!

If you didn't mentally read this title in his (Vizzini from Princess Bride) voice, we can't be friends.

Also there are legitimate R.O.U.S.s (Rodents of unusual size) here.

Also, I've been waiting the whole transfer to use this title, since my comp is from Sicily.

Also, turns out the crickets in Italy are the size of small birds... (C.O.U.S.s?)

Also, I discovered rather tragically that my comp has never seen The Princess Bride (along with a whole slew of other favorites) which is quite a shame.

But that is ok. The church is still true.

Alright, wanna hear about the crazy stuff that happened this week? Cool.

Thursday, we tried to pass by a couple of less actives. Literally no one was there. So I insisted we go get kebab for lunch. Nothin like drowning your sorrows into a bit of mystery meat ๐Ÿ–๐ŸŒฏ {Side note: we found a kebab place that is my new favorite. Although, the fact that it's called "Donner Kebab" seems a bit morbid to me...?}. That afternoon, we had an appointment with the Gonzalez fam. We were planning on teaching Juliannie the Plan of Salvation. However, when her mom picked us up, she pulled me aside and said that today, she just wanted us to talk with her daughter. I guess she has been getting bullied and whatnot, and Sister Gonzalez had wanted her to see a counselor. Buuut Julie refused, so Sister Gonzalez was like "But she really likes you and trusts you, so maybe you can help her!" And I was pretty much like "ok! ๐Ÿ™‚" on the outside but like ๐Ÿ˜ถ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿ˜ต on the inside. Because how was I supposed to do that? Lol, I literally remember last week, Sorella Arndt and I were talking and we were like "Gosh, I can't help everyone with their issues! I can't even deal with my own issues"๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ But like really though. That's one of the hard things I realized during the mission- like these people have legitimate trials and problems, and somehow a 19 year-old awkward human is supposed to help fix said problems? Hmm. But luckily it's God who fixes the problems- He just does so through us. Thank goodness because He's a million times more qualified than I am! So back to Juliannie. We go in and I'm just praying the whole time for help lol. And then we started talking with her. And I remember nothing of what was said. Nothing. Because it wasn't me talking with her. Yeah. It was a pretty crazy day, to say the least.

Friday, we had weekly planning, followed by correlation with the ward mission leader for the Italian ward. And theeeeen our appt cancelled on us, so we did some finding followed by gelato, come sempre๐Ÿฆ 

Saturday, the Gonzalez family invited us to Juliannie's swim meet!๐ŸŠ‍♀️๐Ÿ…It was cool, because other families in the ward participated in the swim meet as well, so it was nice to be there to support them all! It lasted most of the day, but it was so worth it because Julie felt so special! She kept hugging us and introducing us to all her teammates๐Ÿ˜‚❤️

Sunday was great as usual! Kind of hectic at times going back and forth between two wards, but I literally love it so much! The Gonzalez family came to church this week, along with some of the less actives we've been meeting with! We got to participate in the fast for the Rome temple, so it was seriously just awesome!

Monday, we visited a less active named Enjoy! We weren't able to meet with her for super long since she had work, but she told us her teenage daughter isn't a member and is interested in having us teach her!!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Tuesday morning, we had district meeting and transfer predictions! Afterwards, we tried to pass by a less active who'd been dodging our calls lol. Idk, my new thing lately is I love to bother the less actives๐Ÿ˜‚ like cool, if you're not gonna answer my calls, imma come to your house at least once a week,  claiming I was "just in the area"๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผ idk why, but it amuses me a lot. So we did so. And this lady finally answered {possibly because I ducked down so she couldn't see it was us} and this is how the convo went down, only it was in Italian:
Lady: who is it?
Me: We're the sister missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! We were "in the area" and wondered if we could visit with you for a minute, and share a quick message.
Lady: ...
Zombra: So... can we?
Lady: ...
Us: ...
Lady: I'm not Mormon!
Us: ...
Me: Yes we know you're not Mormon... He died a long time ago... maybe we can talk with you about that...
*cue two sorelle trying not to laugh outside an apartment complex*
Lady: Ok... well I'm very busy. Try calling me next time.
Me internally: Funny story... WE HAVE! Like, 30 times!!
Me externally: Ok ๐Ÿ™‚
Zombra: Have a nice evening.

Lol, the life we lead.

Today for P day, we spent the afternoon in centro. Did some shopping, ate some kebab. AND THEN we went to the bunny park. Beautiful, large Italian park with rivers and statues. And huge fish. And swans. And chickens. And bunnies. And by bunnies, I mean there are literally hundreds. I almost died they were too cute! And I'm very excited because tonight we're going to "just be in the area" of one of my fav less actives lol. Ha I love pestering people about Jesus, it's literally the best๐Ÿ˜‚๐ŸŽ‰

As to my email title, I've realized I haven't shared much of what it's like being comps with an Italian... so in honor of the potentially ominous transfer calls headed our way this weekend, here are few things you can expect when being comps with an Italian:
  • Thinking I'm mildly decent at both English and Italian. When in reality, both kind of suck right now?
  • *Weather drops to 70 degrees* *comp puts on a sweater*
  • Her: "hey why does this word do _____ in English?" Me: "Oh, because... hmmm... now that you mention it... idk man english is weird..."
  • Me making a million and one movie/book references... and then my comp staring at me like a crazy person cuz she's not obsessed with media like I am...
  • Awkward phrases that are a horrendous blend of Italian and English words...
  • Her: "Want to order pizza?" Me: "Dude it's like 9pm. We really don't need it. We should just go to bed................ ugh ok fine, #3 on speed dial... thanks Satan..."
  • *Comp starts singing a super popular American song without realizing it swears or talks about rather non-missionary appropriate things* ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ณ do I tell her?
  • Us speaking Italian together, and then she switches to Sicilian just to screw with my head๐Ÿ˜‚

Alrighty let's move from the telestial to the celestial because........ ITS GENERAL CONFERENCE THIS WEEKEND AND I COULDNT BE MORE EXCITED! Like we're lucky enough to get to read the words of God in the scriptures, but like Conference is an opportunity to hear from a living prophet and gain inspiration from God! And that's fantastic! President Uchtdorf said, "As you prepare for general conference, I invite you to ponder questions you need to have answered. … There are messages in each general conference given as a gift and a blessing from heaven specifically for our personal life situations." So let's do this. Let's watch General Conference, but more than that, let's prepare to receive direct, personal revelation from God through those He has called๐Ÿค—❤️

Sorella Smedley 

1- Kebap  2- puppies, puppies, puppies! 3- sign for our church!
4&5- Swim meet for Juliannie  6-Centro
7-10 Bunny Park!




Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Chapter 27: This Isn't Burger King (and other wise words from an apostle)

Ciao loved ones๐Ÿ’Œ

It was another week of awesome adventures and miracles (The most of which was the HOLLAND CONFERENCE, the least of which being that I stopped the small kitchen fire from turning into an actual fire... lol I promise i can somewhat "adult" properly haha๐Ÿ˜…)

Thursday was amazing! We had an appointment scheduled with Rocio Gonzalez, a less active, and the only member in her family. But we showed up and she was like "yeah, I want you guys to start teaching my 11 year old, and my husband says that if she can give him a good reason, he's cool with her being baptized." Ummmm ok! We started slow, wanting her to understand what we were teaching, but she seriously just got it! I mean, we were talking about the apostasy and she was like "well, I guess they just have to wait until God calls a new prophet." Um, yes!๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ And then as we were talking about Joseph Smith, and how he was confused by the other churches, because they were all good, but he wanted to find the true one, she was like "oh, because none of them had the Priesthood, right?" Holy frick this girl knows more than most adults!! This kind of stuff just kept happening throughout the whole lesson! After recounting the story of the First Vision, we stopped and asked her how she was feeling, and then identified those feelings as being the Spirit. At the end, she said the prayer and thanked God for helping her to understand the truth, and asked Him to let her see us again so she can feel the spirit at least one more time. I just about died๐Ÿ’” this girl is so adorable I want to just die! Her mom was super happy about how it went, so we're now essentially part of the family๐Ÿ˜‚ we've now received multiple invites to swim meets, birthday parties, and soccer games haha I just love them!!

Friday, we got another new investigator! So a couple members from the American ward have been taking cooking lessons from this 50 year old Italian named Francesca. Well, Sister Leveille has become very close with her. She talked with Francesca about the gospel and gave her a Book of Mormon, and Francesca wanted to know more! So we went over for dinner with her, the Leveilles, and the Bushmans (Brother Bushman served in Italy, so he pitched in on the lesson). TBH it was one of the craziest lessons I'd ever taught, because there were so many people and languages ha but it was truly amazing! The spirit was so strong and everyone was crying. Idk, as missionaries, we are always told that there are some people who the Lord has prepared to receive the gospel, and I've truly never met anyone more prepared than Francesca. Honestly, I think she already knows it's true. Now it's just going through the rest of the lessons with her❤️

Saturday was about fifty shades less exciting than than the previous two days of new investigators and amazing lessons, but it was still a blast๐ŸŽ‰ Aaaalll our appointments either cancelled on us or didn't show up, so we did a few solid "pass by"s and called it a day.

SUNDAY was way too exciting and amazing so I just gotta save that for last #sorrynotsorry✌๐Ÿผ️

Monday, we had an appointment with Maria! She's progressing so well! She's praying and reading the Book of Mormon! So right now, our main goal for her is to start coming to church. She's understanding the lessons and whatnot really well, and she's committed to be baptized after we've taught everything!

Tuesday, we had district meeting, and then went out to do some finding. Lol, it's always a funny experience... didn't find many interested people, but we partied in the rain ☔️ and explored our city a bit whilst sharing the gospel, so it doesn't really get much better than that! Then that night, we had English class. And I'm realizing now, I'm equally bad at both English and Italian, haha fun times fun times๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Today for P day, we decided to just kind of have a chill day for a few reasons. 1) The senior couple was doing apartment inspections 2) my poor comp is very accustomed to Sicilian weather, so the weather dropping from literal hades to about 65 degrees Fahrenheit made her sick ๐Ÿ˜ท 3) its really not fair for y'all if I send home pictures of fantastic Italian adventures EVERY week, right? Ha comunque, today was a napping, pizza ordering day.

Yes, the pizza man does know our names and address by memory.

No, I don't sit at the door waiting (rather like an obsessed girlfriend) for said pizza man to show up.

Oh wait, yes I do. And sometimes I sing depressing romance songs whilst waiting just for kicks and giggles.

My poor comp, lol.

Ok, now for the highlight of this already-awesome week: SUNDAY! It was the Holland conference! Things we're said. Notes were written. Friends were seen. Tears were shed. And there was much rejoicing for the missionaries of Milan. Here are a few highlights!
  • I got to take a train to Milano! Gosh dang it I love trains.
  • Saw my AMAZING MTC group again #sorellanza and I legit almost cried. Gosh, those girls are my family. And yay cuz we're not greenies anymore!๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผ
  • I GOT TO SEE MAMMA SMITH which is extremely happy, especially since idk if I'll get to see her again before I come home! We got to sit together for the conference and talk and hug and bond and it was just precious❤️❤️❤️
  • I got to see my mission dad too! Well, both of them lol (long story), Yee and England๐Ÿค—
  • I saw aaaalllll my precious missionaries! McHardy and Arndt and Lau and Wilson and Rogers and McIver and Sanchez and literally every missionary and it was seriously just toooooo goooood.
  • I shook Elder Holland's hand!
  • And hugged his wife!
  • "We see manna every day in this mission!" -Sister Allen
  • "Seeing you all here is like a little slice of the celestial kingdom!" -Sister Allen
  • "Dear, you're gonna make your mascara look funny..."  -President Allen as he hugged an emotional Sister Allen. Holy frick these two are too cute๐Ÿ˜‚❤️
  • "The Atonement is certainly beyond my comprehension, but a Son heard His Father, and then He endured to the end."  -President Allen
  • "Translate that into Italian!"  -President Allen, sassing the translators
  • "It's a marvelous thing you do- in fact, its a miracle to do what you do!" -President Allen
  • "President Allen will probably argue with me, but we'll duke it out in the parking lot."-Elder Holland
  • "The most important thing you can do in this world is to participate in the salvation of the human soul!"-Elder Holland
  • "If you can't muster it for this, you can't do it for ANYTHING!"-Elder Holland
  • "The good days, the bad days- it doesn't matter! They're all the Lord's days!"-Elder Holland
  • "The offer is: do you want to do this, or don't you? And if you don't, you can leave. But if you stay, you stay to the end!"-Elder Holland
  • "Don't do it your way- this isn't Burger King!"-Elder Holland
  • "For this one moment, you get to be what I am. You get to be apostolic."-Elder Holland
  • "The STUPIDIST answer that has ever been given in the history of the gospel. In time or eternity, there is no dumber answer a person could give, than verse 4". -Elder Holland, and his angst towards Nicodemus
  • "All you've got are spirit-driven, love-filled words." -Elder Holland
  • "Christ died of a broken heart, and He died bearing the sins of the world, and He died feeling the contrition of everybody's sin and sorrows since Adam and Eve. Well, you're invited to feel a little of that." -Elder Holland
  • "Well, if you're disciples of Christ, you'd better be prepared to walk where He walked, and feel what He felt, and shed some of the tears that He shed." -Elder Holland

Ah, what a fun and spiritual day! I was beyond excited to see all my mission friends, and hearing from Elder Holland and the Allens was amazing!! That morning, I had written down a couple of questions to think about throughout the conference, and literally every one was directly answered! Isn't that great that God answers our prayers, many times, through other people๐Ÿค— 

Have the best week ever, you lovely humans๐ŸŽˆ


1-Selfies with my MTC Sisters  3&4- My MTC group (notice Pres. Allen photo bombing us lol- love him)
4- Mama Smith!  5-Sis. McHardy  6-Elder Sanchez
7-9 Mission Dads
10&11- More mission friends  12-Partying in the rain!


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chapter 26: Letters to Juliet: Starring Smeds

Ciao loved ones❤️ It's been another crazy, blessed week here in Italia. Still the most beautiful place on earth, and I'm still totally
addicted to gelato๐Ÿฆ Yep, the  best 6 months of my life so far๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผ Yes, you heard correctly, 6 MONTHS DOWN (as of this Friday lol) Happy
6 months to my lovely MTC group๐ŸŽ‰ Lol tbh idk if I should be sad or happy, so I'm gonna ignore this whirlwind of emotions and just give
the rundown of this week. Ok? Ok๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ

Thursday, we had a lunch appointment with our new convert Micaela. It was amazing as usual- she inspires me so much! She's so truly
converted, and this week we are going to see about making her 12 year old son an investigator, because he loves coming to church and sitting
in on our lessons! Aside from the amazing spiritualness that went down, we literally ate a frick ton of pumpkin and eggplant for lunch
and that was all. Not that that's a super relevant fact or anything… but, like, be proud of me for forcing it down... After Micaela, we had
an appointment with Dana, a less active from the American ward. She wants to start coming back to church! Also, she has an adorable baby
and a huge dog who I swear is actually a lion. His name is Latte. Her two cats are named Pumpkin and Spice. Yes, together they are Pumpkin
Spice Latte. Folks, this is as American as it gets. And I love it lol❤️ Hmm come to think of it, literally every appointment that day
was pumpkin related. Again, an irrelevant fact... Sorry not sorry cuz this is what 6 months of culture shock and celibacy do to ya๐Ÿ˜‚

Friday, we had weekly planning, and then took a 2 hour train ride to Bologna for Scambio! I accidentally had way too much fun... Our STLs
right now are Visconti and Taylor, both from my dear trainer Sorella Smith's group❤️❤️❤️ I was with the French Sorella Visconti, which was
extra cool since she trained my bff Sorella Anderson๐Ÿค— Visconti and I basically partied the whole weekend. First, we went to the library for
an appointment with a guy from Peru who they had met the other day. He speaks straight Spanish, but can understand Italian. We were about to
start the lesson when all of a sudden is Persian dude came and joined us. Ok. Cool. Haha an interesting lesson given that the participants
were American, Persian, French, and Peruvian, but like meno male the spirit was totally there, and by the end, both dudes wanted Books of
Mormon, and to continue being taught. Not a bad afternoon! That evening, we had an appointment with a less active who insisted that we
clean her kitchen before teaching haha. When in Bologna I guess๐Ÿ˜‚ This was followed by the customary scambio gelato. Awkward moment when
Visconti tells the lady "surprise me" regarding the flavors… And what gelato did she receive? The coffee one of course. Whoops- like,
the one gelato we can't have... Lol fun times, fun times๐Ÿ˜‚

Saturday, we went to our appointment, only to find that this lady wasn't even in Bologna... Awesome... So we did some finding in a
sketchy park and had some good chats with the crazies who were there haha. I love doing exchanges because I feel like there's so much to
learn from every missionary you come in contact with! I learned so much from Sorella Visconti- she's really great at working hard and
being obedient, but also having more fun than you think is possible!

Sunday was awesome, because it was stake conf! It was one of the best stake conferences I'd been to! Here are a few of my fav things that
were said:
- "The temple will not be ready this year, but WE must be ready for the temple this year!" (Quote from Pres. Uchtdorf regarding the Rome
- The Savior always self invites. When you read in the New Testament, He is constantly inviting Himself into places. And He does that for
us! He's constantly here- if we want to partake of the blessings of His atonement, we need only ask.
- Our stake president (who happens to be an amazing dude from our ward) brought up this self evaluation: Am I active in the church, or
am I active in the gospel? When at church, am I simply physically there, or am I spiritually present, learning from the Holy Ghost? Am I
truly living the principles and changing myself to be better, or am I content with just the title of "Latter Day Saint"?
Yeah, it was great. And cool, because since there are American and Italian wards in our stake, there was translating going on and
whatnot! President and Sister Allen were there! A ton of our less-actives came, and Aurora (one of the daughters we met last week
who is now investigating the church) came! All the members were so welcoming and loving to her! It was amazing!

Monday, we had a lesson with our investigator Maria on the restoration. The spirit was so strong! When we brought up baptism, she
said she would pray and ask God, and after receiving a response, she would be baptized!! Then that evening, we had an appointment with Ana
and her daughters (the new investigators we got last week) Aurora, Lara, and Diletta. They really are obsessed with all things America,
and were like "let's make American food" and like yay ok. But problem: I'm the only American. Which means I was the one making American food
for like 4 hours... Lol mom and dad I know you're cringing now remember some certain nearly-fatal cooking mistakes I've made in the
past... Well nobody died! Haha jokes jokes, the food turned out good and they loved it, or maybe they're just being polite haha who knows.

Wanna hear something rather ironic that I realized as I burnt myself for the seventh time making fries that night? Ok, well just that
morning, I was rereading Jesus the Christ, and it was the chapter about Mary and Martha. As a refresher, it's the story where Christ
comes over to visit, and Martha spends the day cleaning and cooking and getting everything all ready, while Mary spent the time conversing
with Jesus. And this part in the book talked about how often, we feel the need to judge one of the sisters (for example, maybe Mary
should've helped with the food, or perhaps Martha should've focused on listening to the Savior's teachings). However, the author stated that
in reality, both of the sisters were just, because efy were both showing their love for the Savior in their own ways. Anyway, that
story was in my thoughts while we were at their house, because I was sweating and dying making all this food, and my comp was talking to
the girls. And it was just kind of a beautiful experience for me, because we were both serving this family, even though it was in
different ways.

Anyways, after dinner, we taught them about the restoration. All three of the girls were really paying attention, and we've come to realize
that Ana has forgotten a lot, so the lessons are good for the whole family! Aurora had so many awesome questions! And Lara was SUPER into
it! When she said the closing prayer, she asked God to help her know if she should be baptized or not! I'm so excited for this family-
they're progressing so quickly!!

Tuesday was a relatively uneventful day in comparison with the rest of the week. We had more routine things like district meeting and English
class, but that's ok cuz every day of missionary life is a party๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

Today, we took a quick trip up to (wait for iiiiit) VERONA! Ok, before y'all freak out, no, Verona is not in our zone, but it's a 40 min
train ride... And one day a few weeks ago Zombra and I were complaining about not being able to go to Verona and I jokingly said
we may as well call up president... Apparently I need to brush up on my sarcasm because Zombra wrote president asking him if we could go,
and he said sure! Haha so today we visited Shakespeare's fair Verona, where we first visited Juliet's home and famous balcony. We were
typical tourists and wrote letters to Juliet, added our names to the courtyard, and got pictures with the famous statue of Juliet herself.
(Side note: evidently I need to stop doing stupid things in pictures, cuz at one point, I pulled a Tony Stark and threw up the peace sign✌๐Ÿผ
only to hear a random Italian woman mutter "ugh dai, i Stati Uniti” in a tono of utter disgust๐Ÿ˜‚ lol awkward). We had a picnic by the arena,
checked out the shops, and, of course, ended the day with a gelato.

Verona is a lovely way to end this email. The only thing lovelier would be a quick spiritual thought, so let's add one, shall we?

Whale, remember how I was 100% done with reading about the stupidity of the children of Israel in the bible? Well, to ease my angst and
receive some sort of cool inspiration, I decided to start reading the institute Old Testament guide alongside it. And it has saved my sanity
lololol but anyways, there's a part I really liked!

    Note that there are three great intelligent powers in the universe: God, man, and Satan. There is no question about which of
those powers is the greatest. God has all power and therefore no one has greater power than He. But of these, who has greater power--man or
    Whether man’s power is greater than Satan’s depends on man’s willingness to bind himself to God and draw on His power. If he does
not, then he comes increasingly under Satan’s power and dominion.

Love love love this. When we choose to be obedient and stay close to God, our power surpasses that of Satan's. After reading this, I've
decided I need to more deeply commit myself to living life in humility, obedience, and an honest desire to stay close to God. It's
something we can all work on to some degree, and I know that doing so will grant us with power over the temptations and challenges of the

Sorella Smedley

1-Micaelas dog❤️ 2- Selfies with Pres. & Sis. Allen  3-5 Exchanges with Sis. Visconti & Taylor
6&7- Adding myself to the Verona Courtyard (with an Iron Man band-aid obvi)  8- Courtyard/balcony
9- Juliet Statue  10-13 Romeo, Romeo…  14&15- Letters to Juliet  16-Me & Dante, no biggie

17-Will is 100% done with me mocking his plays๐Ÿ˜‚  18-20 Verona & the Arena





Chapter 25: I'm a Missionary, Not a Nun!

If I had to sum up life as a sister missionary in one sentence, this week's title would be it. Also, this phrase has further relevance in
accordance with a crazy miracle this week, but more on that later...

Hello and welcome back to another crazy episode in "The Life and Times of Smeds" haha, and what a week it's been! Crazy Italians and
Americans and Peruvians and miracles and barbecues and basically just another typical week in the life of an Italian missionary lol๐Ÿ˜‚❤️

Thursday we had a meeting in the morning with the relief society president from the American ward, to talk about the needs of the
members and less actives in the ward. She's such an amazing example to me- I mean, as we went down the list, she knew SO MUCH about every
family. Like, literally EVERYTHING. It was so great to get an idea of who, outside of our investigators, was in need of the most help.
Afterwards, she surprised us by taking us to Taco Bell! My first time in almost 6 months, and my comp's first time ever! Haha, she wasn't
too impressed, but I was in heaven๐Ÿ˜›๐ŸŒฎ We also had an appointment with Nancy, a less-active who wants to come back to church and go to the
temple! I was over-the-moon happy because her adorable mom was there. She's this tiny Peruvian woman. Blind as a bat and can only speak
Spanish. And I adore her. I just want to take her home with me haha๐Ÿ˜‚

Friday, we had weekly planning, followed by an appointment with our investigator Orfel. She's going through a really rough time right now,
but it's cool because she really recognizes God's hand in her life. She acknowledges that He sent us to her, and it's really such a
blessing and a privilege to get to be a part of it! We got her a Book of Mormon in Tagalog (since she's originally from the Philippines),
and man I wish I could've recorded her reaction! Because initially she was like "oh, no thanks, I'm not very good at reading things in
English," but then she saw the inside... and immediately burst into a lot of high pitched squealing! She was so excited, and really touched
that we'd found a copy in her language! When we finished the lesson and said goodbye, she stayed in the park and started reading!! Ahhh so
exciting!! Then that night, we had an appointment with the Armstrongs, a less active family from the American ward! Brother Armstrong leaves
this weekend, and will be gone for 6 months, so we're super glad to have already formed a friendship with his wife! It's gonna be a looong
6 months for her. I'm continually impressed by the strength of these military families! They do things I can't imagine going through, and
they truly inspire me! Aaaaand also help me to not murmur as much…      Sometimes...๐Ÿ˜…

Saturday was a day full of literally no one showing up for the appointments๐Ÿ˜‚ ah, love life. But that's okay because we decided to
pass by Rosario, Nancy's sister who is also less active. To my joy and surprise, their mother was there! Holy freak can I say again how much
I just love that woman๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ so much sass and strength, and she’s literally like half my height haha. A great appointment with great people!!

Sunday, we taught in Relief Society in the Italian ward. Sadly, the lesson was on tithing... And literally every lesson I've been to in
Italy on tithing has resulted into many an argument (though rest assured, Italian women may spend an entire hour yelling at one
another, but afterwards will calmly be like "ok bff see ya Tuesday for pasta haha xoxo" because Italians. Literally I have no further
explanation because I'm still unable to comprehend the phenomenon that is the Italian people. But I love it). Oh, and then we had a miracle.
But I will save that for last. Because, well, the writer in me loves ending on a crazy-awesome note!๐Ÿค“

Monday, literally every appointment canceled on us, yet somehow we ended up having a packed day of lessons, so that was exciting! We
passed by a less active because, well, she lives in the bottom half of our house. Awesome lesson, and I got to play with her puppy๐Ÿถ (and by
puppy, I mean giant dog that is almost a bear, but comunque). Then we did some service for the less active Cowell family on the military
base. And then we ended the night having dinner and a lesson with 2 member families and our new convert Sarah, so it ended up being a
fantastic day!

Tuesday was district meeting, English class, and finding. Was kind of a tougher day for me, not gonna lie, but it made me really grateful
for the things God gives us to help us make it through the harder times. I mean sure, it was a less than awesome day, but God gave me
amazing friends (those at home and those here in the mission) who are such a blessing to me. And also the Book of Mormon; man, does that
book bring me heaps and heaps of comfort and knowledge. And above all, His son, Jesus Christ. So we're rather lucky people haha❤️ Can't
really complain when you look at it like that!

Today for P day, we had a barbecue in Pordenone with the whole zone! I'm seriously so blessed with this zone, especially since it includes
3 of my favorite missionaries (Sorella Arndt, and Anziano Rogers and McIver). Plus I like all these new friends quite a lot. I mean, it's
not Venice, but, like, it's pretty great๐Ÿค“

Ok, so back to our little Sunday miracle. So there's a less-active in the Italian ward named Ana who we've been trying to get ahold of for
forever! Well, we finally did last week, and she said we could come over Sunday evening. So we went over there, not really knowing what to
expect. We got to know her a bit, and did a little lesson on Christ, and all of a sudden she started telling us all about her life. How she
works a ton, but really wants to come back to church. How she always feels tired and sick. How she's constantly worrying about her
daughters. She just kept crying, and my heart was breaking. Cuz, like, Ana is amazing, but she has these challenges and I have no clue how to
fix it. We hugged her and asked what we could do to help her. She looked up, still crying, and asked us to simply pray for her, because
other than that, she doesn't know what to do.๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ’” we continued to talk with her, and then she invited us to stay for dinner.

And then her daughters showed up.

And then things got interesting.

Ana has 3 daughters: Aurora (age 15), Lara (age 14), and Diletta (age 12). 3 adorable girls who love dancing, reading, boys, and all things
America. As you can guess, it wasn't too difficult for us to find things to talk about๐Ÿ˜‚ we had dinner, and Ana went to bed because she
wasn't feeling well, but we stayed with her daughters for forever haha. We talked about anything and everything, and I immediately
started to LOVE this family!! Well, somehow the topic came to religion. I think it was right around when this dialogue occurred (in
Italian of course)
Lara: David Beckham's wife is coming to Italy soon!
Aurora: Ugh, David Beckham is so attractive!
Me: But really doe! ๐Ÿ˜
*All 3 girls squealing and laughing*
Me: What guys? I'm a sister missionary, not a nun!
Yes, I think it was right around this point that the religion questions occurred. Well, we did what missionaries do and started
explaining the main points we believe in. We weren't even fully finished when Aurora asked if we could teach them the lessons!๐Ÿ˜ณ Guys,
when does THAT ever happen?! The other two were like "Yeah! You guys can come over every Sunday and teach us an American recipe and a
lesson!" Um, hang out with my new favorite family AND teach them about the gospel of Jesus Christ AND eat some American food? Um, yes please!
This is going to bless their whole family so much!

I've realized from this miracle (and about a million and one other experiences from the mission) that I put too much stock into mankind
at times. Let me explain. So often, I assume we are the ones that do all the work, which is not the case, and typically leads to pride. Or
stress. Typically both. I look at situations and think, "oh, I need to figure out ________" or, in situations like with Ana, "oh gosh how am
I supposed to fix all of her problems?" But the cool thing about God, is that He doesn't expect us to fix everything, or solve every
problem. He knows we're not capable of all of this! All He asks is that we be His hands. We follow spiritual promptings and do our best
to be righteous, that way God can accomplish His works through us. 
What a beautiful thing! It's like having a mission companion! But,
like, the companion is God, so, like, a million times better๐Ÿค—

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go relearn how to make American food.

Haha jokes, jokes๐Ÿ”๐ŸŸ๐ŸŒญ๐Ÿฟ

But kinda really though...๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜… Think they'll be content with ramen and
hot pockets, or nah?

Sorella Smedley

1- TACO BELL!!!❤️ 2- Selfies with the Bishop’s son, he reminds me of my lil bro:) 3-Love these boys!
4-American lunch vs. Italian lunch (Mac n cheese/fish) 5- Language study ft. my new fan cuz it’s hotter than Hades!

5&6- My new Italian friends  7-10 Zone BBQ!