Yes, this week indeed has a theme following the movie "Freaky Friday". (For those of you who aren't as obsessed with media as I am, it's the movie where the mom and daughter end up switching bodies for a week... yeah...). Awkward explanation aside, this week is SENIOR WEEK which means for one week, Sorella Richards has to be the trainer/senior comp and I get to be the greenie/junior comp lol. It also means, coincidentally, that our "Days Without Incident" calendar back at the apartment needs to be set back to "0"...Lol, sto scherzando. Honestly she's a better trainer than I am😂 a couple funny experiences here and there come sempre lol. But hey.. we’re both still alive💁🏼 although, senior week is only half over so... vediamo...Friday was institute, and then another appointment with our investigator Francesca. Well, it started off super weird. I think I've mentioned that she has various issues going on and definitely isn't all there mentally. Well the night before, we had texted her to see if we could meet at like 4. We didn't hear back from her by the time we went to bed, but we woke up with a frick ton of messages that went a little something like this:11pm- Hi I'm Francesca. Yes let's meet tomorrow at 4, ok?1am- respond! Will it work to meet at 4?!3am- also stop texting me so often- I get the point!Lol we woke up and were so confused😂 especially since we'd suggested meeting at 4 in the first place, and idk why she was expecting us to respond in the middle of the night, and I have no clue what texts she was referring to... but whatevs I guess😂Honestly she doesn't make a ton of progress week to week and we get weird vibes from her sometimes, but I do truly feel like we're making a difference for her. Reading the Book of Mormon and discussing it brings such a good spirit, and it reaffirms my own testimony of the scriptures. Teaching her does bring me joy, even if she does interrupt our prayers sometimes because she thinks things should be phrased differently...After that, we headed to the church to get the church ready for our activity! It was also Anziani Jones' birthday, so Sorella Richards and I made a chocolate cake from scratch to surprise him! He was so stoked, especially to have an actual American cake, as opposed to the weird torte things here 🎂🍰 you Italian missionaries know exactly what I'm talking about lol. Then we had our branch activity which was all on temples. As I mentioned in a few of my past emails, the branch was begging for activities! Any guesses on how many people from our branch showed up? Our Branch President's family, and Sorella Montalto and her son... well, we tried😂 Simonetta (the lady who wanted to make us pasta with shellfish that one time) has been pushing for activities all year. When we saw her a few days prior, this convo went down.Me: You know Simonetta, we're having our first branch activity on Friday!Sorella Richards: Yeah! Will we see you there?Simonetta: Yes, if I'm not dead first....Simonetta: Every person in Savona is too negative for me, and the stress makes me feel as though I have the plague. So it might kill me before the activity....Anziano Jones: Well... I hope that doesn't happen!...Yeah... she didn't come to the activity. But she also is most definitely alive, so...😂 nah it's all good, we also had two people from our English class come! One of them was Omar, this super cool dude who we've become super good friends with. He and his girlfriend Nicole come to our class. They are both extremely successful and as a result are by far the most wealthy people I've ever met in my life! Anyways, Omar was fascinated by the temple! Granted, we don't know if that's because he felt the spirit while we discussed it, or because he wants to buy one...? But that's okay! All in all, the activity went well!Saturday we had studies and seminary, and then we hung out with the youth for a bit. The rest of the day was packed with some prep the branch president needed us to do and some weekly planning🎉Sunday we had church like always. Our stake presidency came and spoke. Sadly, we didn't get to be part of it because they shut us missionaries in the back of the church with all the youth and primary and it was basically chaos with a moment or two of actual teaching and whatnot but oh well... thats life I suppose😂😂 we came home for studies and food, and then we had another lesson with Constanza. She always brings up some really difficult questions, but I seriously love every minute of it! It's one of those situations where a person has been 100% prepared by God to receive the gospel. At this point it's just up to us to teach her, and for her to choose to accept the gospel into her life❤️Monday was day 1 of senior week! Bimba did great! We weren't able to set any solid appointments, so Sorella Richards picked a few less actives and potential investigators and we headed out! Since it was senior week, I stayed silent and made her get us to places. She planned a lot and took it seriously and I was such a proud mamma... even though majority of them ended up being people we tried to visit before... and the rest told us to go away... and she got lost a couple times... but it was still great!Tuesday we had district meeting. That night, we met with Constanza again! We were teaching the Plan of Salvation, which went rather interestingly due to a couple of factors... for starters, Constanza is Romanian... and we're American... so naturally trying to have a conversation in Italian can prove to be difficult at times😅 thank goodness for the spirit! Another hard thing is that she ADORES the Bible and takes everything 100% literally as a result. Not an impossible task, but it's hard because she has such deep questions, and the best answers are found in the Book of Mormon rather than in the Bible. So our next goal is to help her to receive a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Honestly if she had that, all our problems would be pretty much gone!Today for Pday, we got up early and went on a hike! Well, we almost didn't... because they've been doing construction during the night, and so we've been sleeping pretty badly haha😴But miraculously, we got ourselves up😂 Totally worth it because we got to see the sunrise over the ocean, and it was pretty much the coolest thing ever!🌅 lol honestly other than that, today's Pday ended up being pretty lame lol... Sorella Richards got selected to do a culture class before receiving her permesso, and the assigned date was today🙃We showed up and it was just as sketchy as the questura. To make matters worse, they made me literally sit outside the building for the whole class. Did I mention the class is 4 hours long?! Yeah, not fun. They didn't even have benches, and honestly sitting alone for those hours gave me anxiety lol😂 But vabbè thats life😂 I'm sick again grazie a questo but I also made friends with some Arabic women while waited outside, so that was fun. I mean, like, I don't speak Arabic. And, like, they didn't speak English or Italian. But I think we are friends? Also, a dog literally sat on me. Also, turns out Bimba's culture presentation was out of English headsets for her to use, so she viewed it in French... with a nun... you non-European missionaries don't have to deal with this weirdness😂 the ladies in charge of the class stopped us afterwards wanting to talk about our religion and whatnot for like 30 minutes though, so that was pretty legit!Wow, this was like the lamest group email ever... mi spiace... let's spice it up with some quotes and a spiritual thought yeah?THIS WEEK'S MVQS:*wandering lost trying to find a house*Sorella Richards: You know Sorella Smedley, this is ridiculous.Me: No dai, you're doing great! Be positive!Sorella Richards: I'm not a good fake trainer!*talking about creating our own worlds one day*Me: See, I'm just stressed cuz I won't be as good at it as God, ya know?Anziani Jones: My world is gonna have volcanos that shoot buffalo sauce!Sorella Richards: *reads text from the Anziani outloud*Me: *doesnt look up from Italian Book of Mormon* Shhh Anziani are just stupid.*listening to a new church cd*Sorella Richards: *singing along regardless of this fact* We're not just the candle; we are the caaaaake!Me: ... "flame", Sorel... the word we were going for was "flame"...*wakes up to construction at 3am*Me internally: Why the fetch is Sorella Richards carving a turkey right now?Sorella Richards: See, my struggle with Jonah is that I just can't believe a guy getting swallowed by a whale, living in said whale's acidic digestive system, and then being carried by said whale 30mph to a new country!Anziano Alder: ...But it's the Lord's whale...*sees old church during hike*Sorella Richards: What did they do here, I wonder?Me: idk man, probably worshipped...?Sorella Richards: ...yeah...Also, the fact that Sorella Richards has been trying to eat with chopsticks this week.I mentioned a couple times in this email how grateful I am for the Book of Mormon, so it seems only appropriate that I share a verse from it that I read this week.Alma 30:44 All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.Remember this, and have a fantastic winter week!XOxoSmedssssPS DONT FORGET THIS WEEK'S "Light the World" CHALLENGES!
1&2- Anziano Jones Bday 3- The Branch President’s daughter calls me Sorella Smelly
4-17 Sunrise Hike 18-Mistletoe 19- Richard’s taking culture class in French with a nun