Taking My Wand for a Nametag

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 gelato🍦 Yep, the  best 6 months of my life so far💁🏼 Yes, you heard correctly, 6 MONTHS DOWN (as of this Friday lol) Happy
6 months to my lovely MTC group🎉 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? Ok👌🏼

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 ya😂

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 Anderson🤗 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 guess😂 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 times😂

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 party🎉🎉🎉

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✌🏼
only to hear a random Italian woman mutter "ugh dai, i Stati Uniti” in a tono of utter disgust😂 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 plays😂  18-20 Verona & the Arena





No comments:

Post a Comment