Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Chapter 34: Can I Write in Robert Downey Jr for President or Nah?

Im not going to get into politics because I'm on a mission and whatnot but I'm just gonna leave this title here and move on with it.

But just think...

I'm certain he would wear his Iron Man suit to every important speech or meeting and frankly that's what our country needs, among other pressing issues.

I'm sorry I'm sorry... Moving on...

I'm sure many of you are wondering, "Why is the lovely Sorella Smedley stooping so low on the scale of apostasy as to email NOT on Pday??"

Well my dears, chill✋🏼 cuz Pday IS in fact on a Thursday this week, because yesterday we were up in Milano for New Missionary Training. Which means today we got to take a train ride to the lovely Porto Fino❤️🌴🌊 What is Porto Fino you may ask? Only one of the most beautiful places in our mission; occasionally called the "Cinque Terre" of Liguria. I could write an essay on this beautiful place, but instead I'll opt to send a few photos, cuz a picture is worth a thousand words right?

Anyways, now to the important part of the email: missionary work💕

Last Thursday and Friday we had Scambio with the Milano STLs, Sorella Bastian and Sorella Deem. Typically, we go up to Milano to do scambio. However, this time I got a call about 2 weeks before that was basically like this:
STLs: Yo Smeds you guys cool to do scambio in 2 weeks?
Me: Yeah works for us!
STLs: Cool, cuz we're actually gonna come down to Savona. You're planning scambio this transfer!
I didn't know whether to get power hungry or stressed or both, so I decided to do neither and have a gelato. Good coping method, 10/10 would recommend.

I think it went well overall. I sent Sorella Richards and Sorella Bastian to an appointment with our investigator and then to English class, while Sorella Deem and I went to Celle Ligure to visit a less-active family, the Garcias! They are such a cute family, and the spirit was really strong during our lesson! I left feeling a really distinct connection to their family, like they are one of the reasons I'm supposed to be in Savona! Cool stuff! Then we met up with the other sorelle to get gelato, before returning home... where we may or may not have made a Prince of Egypt music video... in which Sorella Bastian and I may or may not have beards and ragazzacci hair... possibly...

Friday Sorella Deem and I did a few passbys before getting the Milano STLs on their train. Then Sorella Richards and I took a train to Cadare, where our new convert family the Robiolos live. We were really excited to start teaching Aicha, their 12 year old daughter who wasn't baptized. Interestingly enough, as we started teaching her I realized that she had absolutely zero religious background or knowledge... that's when we found out the sad truth: Sorella Robiolo's ex husband essentially put a ton of restrictions on their daughter, and one of them was on religion. So she doesn't even know anything about God or Jesus Christ. But she wants to! After much conversation (in which the spirit was there helping me every step of the way so I could understand all the details), we realized that we are able to teach Aicha in the presence of her mother, and she can come to church and church activities. However, she cannot be baptized until she is 18 unless her father miraculously grants permission. Prayers on this family's behalf would be much appreciated! So for the time being, we are starting fresh and teaching her the basics! It's gonna be a long but beautiful route. I adore her and her family so much, and it's kind of exciting to think that this coming weekend, she's going to learn that not only is God real, but that He is her loving father in heaven! I'm too stoked!

Saturday it rained and it poured. We took an hour and a half bus ride up into the mountains to visit a lady and her daughter who are unable to come to church consistently due to health problems and distance. The drive was beautiful, because we were literally in the mountains the whole time! However, winding roads in a bus full of people smoking for over an hour doesn't do many good things for your stomach. But it's fine because I could tell it meant a lot to them that we came❤️ Although they have a freak ton of cats... all named after characters from Twilight... and they were treated like royalty...? At one point, I was supposed to move seats so that cats were more comfortable... Idk how I feel about that... like dai, puppies I understand. I'd give my seat to a puppy🐶

Sunday we had members of our stake presidency come and speak. They announced that exactly a year from now, the church is going to make one of two decisions regarding our branch: either move them to a newer, better building, or close the branch😳 woah, crazy stuff. But the stake presidency is amazing and handled it all so well, so our branch is now a lot more motivated and ready to create what we are calling "Il Miracolo di Savona". It's a perfect motivation, because our branch wants a new building soooooo badly! However, they aren't paying their tithing, and aren't helping to bring others into the church. Lol our stake president, being the perfect blend of spiritual and sassy, said something to the effect of "Yo we get that y'all want and need a new building, but how can we get you that without money and members?! It's literally in your hands at this point guys." Lol it was perfect! The members really seem to be taking the challenge! Also, the Garcia family came to church today!! And she told us she wants us to start teaching her sister! Seriously great! Then our stake president met with us missionaries to discuss our part to play in this grand plan, after which we made Mexican food with the Anziani to break our fasts!

Monday was a day of area book, area book, and more area book. However, in attempts to not be totally stir crazy (and to be a "cool trainer" lol) we left the house that afternoon for a special lingua study... aka reading the Book of Mormon in Italian by the beach 🌊 which was essentially our best idea ever! The tide has gone up and there were tons of surfers and it was just a really nice break from updating our area book! We returned home afterwards to work on it some more, and then finished the night up with watching "The District" for 12 week, which basically turned into a pajama party 🎉 And we definitely didn't laugh at the people in "The District", nope not once!

Tuesday morning we had an appointment set with a potential investigator we'd found last weekend. However, when we showed up, her husband told us she'd been taken into the immigration office...? We'll see how that one pans out lol... Then we had district meeting where we did kinder egg predictions since transfer calls are this weekend! Lol, a lot less stress this time around since Sorella Richards and I know we're staying together to finish training haha, but we're anxious to see what'll happen to our Anziani😬 Vediamo. Then we spent the rest of the day finally finishing our area book!

Wednesday was c r a z y because we were in Milano most of the day for new missionary training! So so so fun! I absolutely love seeing and meeting other missionaries, and especially getting to be reunited with Sorella Anderson, Sorella Fife, Sorella McCormick, and Sorella Stephens from my MTC group! We got some seriously awesome trainings from President Allen, Sorella Allen, and the APs. I also got a surprise goodbye with my darling trainer Sorella Smith... so crazy that she heads home to Trumpsville, I mean America, next week! Lol jokes aside, I wanted to just hug her and never let go!

One of my favorite things President Allen mentioned was what defines someone as a successful missionary. He mentioned that a successful missionary isn't determined by numbers or achievements, but on whether or not you are doing your best. Well, I'd heard that before and didn't think much of it, but then Presidente continued. He said that when we are doing our best- when we are being obedient and acting on our faith and doing all we can- we are giving ourselves to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. At this point, the Holy Ghost can exercise God's will through you! And maybe God's will isn't for you to baptize 3,000 people. But maybe it is. What's important is that we are doing our part so that whatever His will is will be accomplished!

If you go home from a mission not having baptized a single person, you can still be considered a successful missionary IF you know without a shadow of a doubt that you did your best. Essentially knowing that if someone didn't get baptized or wasn't interested in the gospel of Christ, that that was due solely to their agency or God's will, and not as a result of slothfulness on your part.

I absolutely loved this. I looked back on my mission so far and evaluated how successful I'd been. I noticed areas where I truly have succeeded, and areas where there is more I could do. Seriously, couldn't have had a better training!

This principle is so beautiful, because it's not just for those of us who are missionaries- it applies to everyone in all phases of life! How often do we wonder what our purpose is in life. Maybe wondering which college to go to, who to date/marry, what major/career to have, where to live, etc? Because deep down we know that if we are doing what God wants us to do in this life, we will be as happy as we possibly can be! So how do we ensure that the path we're on and the choices we are making are right? Well, we do our best and be as worthy as possible, and then have the patience and faith to know that God's will shall be made manifest to us❤️

Remember this. Have a good week. And if the state of America is getting you down, just check out these sick Porto Fino pics below and be happy instead🤗

Sorella Smedley

1-3 Exchanges  4&5 Music video  6-My favorite investigator🐶
7-9 Church and Mexican dinner  10&11 Studying :)  12-Pajama Party
13- 3 Generation Picture (Mama Smith, Me & my baby Richards)  14-21 Porto Fino








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