Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

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 lol😂❤️

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 heaven😛🌮 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 haha😂

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...😅

Saturday was a day full of literally no one showing up for the appointments😂 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 woman😂😂 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!🤓

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 puppy🐶 (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 great🤓

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.😭💔 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 about😂 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! 😍
*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!😳 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 better🤗

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

Haha jokes, jokes🍔🍟🌭🍿

But kinda really though...😳😅 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!



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