Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Chapter 41: Christmas at the Discoteca

Heyyyy party people! I hope Christmas was as amazing for you all as it was for us here in Italia! ๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น๐ŸŽ‰❄❤
   Plus, yay for hiking to a fort to watch the sunrise for our last P-day together!

Thursday, we received an invite to go visit Rose and Diana for lunch... as a recap, Rose (age 90ish) and Diana (age 60ish) are originally from America but lived most of their lives in Italy, are a tad crazy, own a plethora of cats, and basically live on top of a mountain๐Ÿ” So, we took the hour long sketchy bus ride that literally winds up the mountain... as soon as we got off, I went to go vomit but stopped myself (yay) because WE SAW SNOW❄️☃️๐Ÿ—ป๐ŸŒจ so so so exciting! Well, Rose and Diana were super generous and had made us a roast for lunch and it was sooo good๐Ÿ˜ the conversation aspect, however, was... special... topics included:
  • The cats (all named after Twilight characters, mind you)
  • Rose's ex boyfriend who supposedly led a revolution somewhere in Africa, was a doctor in Panama (where he led yet another revolution?), was elected to be the leader of Panama but four days later they found him by a bus stop without a head? 
  • A million and one extremely racist comments from Rose 
  • Diana telling us all about pet therapy for horses? ๐ŸŽ
Despite all of that, it ended well. We showed them the Christmas video, and they were extremely touched by it! Rose especially, and it was nice to have a good, spirit-filled moment with them❤ And then, back on the bus we went๐Ÿ™ƒ

We went early to English class that night so that Omar and Nicole could teach us how to make Focaccia!! So fun and soooooooo good๐Ÿ˜› Plus they are just my favorite couple. They even gave us all Christmas presents after class❤ They're truly some of my fav people I've met here in Italy!

Friday morning & afternoon were pretty much filled with studies and then getting everything ready for the Christmas party that night. We weren't really sure if it'd be much of a success or not, since our past activities had a smaller turnout. But wow- we had around 40 people come (members and some of their nonmember families and friends). We started off by showing the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, which was super awesome!! Then, we had a huge dinner! I'm talking multiple HUGE pans of lasagna, lots of pizza, salad, and dessert of course. We also learned how to take shots (solely with coke and aranciata, mind you). So, that was new๐Ÿ˜‚๐ŸŽ‰

We played with the kids for a while too๐Ÿ˜‚ First, the girls wanted me to play dead whilst they attempted to save me๐Ÿ˜‚ #greysanatomy #amiright Then, Giulia and Martina took mine and Sorella Richards' name tags, jackets, bags, and reindeer antlers and pretended to be us๐Ÿ˜‚ they even tried teaching a lesson lol, so cute❤

Then, we went to the discoteca.

Aka, they'd turned our church into the most insane club in all of Italy. Possibly the world. I'm talking flashing lights, Italian rap, and my personal favorite, Just Dance ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐ŸผYou best believe we missionaries were front and center, totally killing it ๐Ÿ•บ๐ŸผYeah... we were dead tired by the time we went home, but the branch was still going strong๐Ÿ˜‚

Saturday was kind of a blur, thanks to our discoteca/coca-cola induced hangovers๐Ÿคฃ But we spent the day dropping treats off to our investigators and a few other people we'd been working with, and then doing some prep for Christmas! Sorella Richards and I wanted to treat ourselves with a very Italian Christmas Eve dinner. So we bought a stick of salami, a wedge of cheese, some grapes, and fresh loaves of bread, and basically had the best night-before-Christmas๐ŸŽ„

The highlight of the week, of course was Christmas itself! Seriously, there's something special about Christmas as a missionary๐Ÿ’š❤️ We woke up and got ourselves ready, and then sat by the tree to open presents. Sorella Richards was super adorable and got me a huge, mint green blanket๐Ÿ˜ plus it was fun opening the packages from the fam, so graciously filled with American treats and Harry Potter/Marvel/Disney stuff๐ŸŽ Then we headed to church, where we got to take the sacrament and sing Christmas songs together. At the end of the meeting, our cute branch brought each of us a huge bag (too heavy to carry, mind you) filled with all sorts of food, treats, cleaning supplies, etc. Everyone had given something, and it was seriously the cutest thing ever๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ญ 

Presidente had given us permission to watch a pg rated movie on Christmas, so we all watched How to Train Your Dragon ๐Ÿ‰ Oh, how I miss movies๐Ÿ˜‚ Then the senior couple had us over for lunch, and we all had soooooo much fun! The absolute best part of the entire day was, of course, skyping home! Nothing like chatting with the fam for a good long while, and introducing them to our district and whatnot! I seriously could've stayed on for days๐Ÿ˜‚ lol oh ๐Ÿ‹, only like 5 months till Mother's Day, right?๐Ÿ˜‰

Monday and Tuesday have been filled with packing, saying goodbye, etc. Yep, transfer week has come upon us again. We had no clue what would happen this transfer. Since we opened here, we didn't know which one of us would stay, and which one of us would go. Well folks, I don't have to worry about packing up for another 6 weeks!!๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿค— However... my fantastic, amazing, practically-perfect greenie does. Tomorrow, I have to send Sorella Richards on a train to Milano, where she'll be serving in the Lampugnano area. I'm so so so stoked for her, because I know she'll do so great and that she'll learn and grow! But... I'm pretty sad to be parting ways. It brings back the same feelings I felt sending various friends off on missions, and saying goodbye to my family and friends when I left, and bidding farewell to companions and cities. 

There's something Sorella McHardy always said that describes this so well. She'd say, "I'm an eternal being stuck in a mortal experience, and in eternity, friendships don't end." There you have it- all my feelings put into a single phrase. And so, as sad as goodbyes are, I guess that's one of the beautiful things... that, thanks to the atonement of Jesus Christ, goodbyes don't need to be permanent! Whether the "goodbyes" come as a result of death or difficult circumstance, or whether they're something as small as changing companions, these goodbyes don't have to last forever! In fact, they're not supposed to! It's a natural part of life- passing in and out of the lives of others. But thanks to our Savior, we may also have joyful reunions with those we loved, as did Alma in Alma 17:1-2
1 And now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying from the land of Gideon southward, away to the land of Manti, behold, to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah journeying towards the land of Zarahemla.
2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.

I've loved experiencing this in life. Seeing old mission friends at conferences; random visits with people from past cities, like my precious Camilla; even skyping home on Sunday! And I can't help but think how great this will be when I get to see all of YOU- my family and friends, once again!

That will certainly be the best day ever, now won't it?

{now now, no getting trunky... that's my job๐Ÿ˜‰}

See you next year๐Ÿ˜‰๐ŸŽ‰

Sorella Kaylee Smedley 

1&2- Genova  3-SNOW!!  4-Making Focaccia   5-9 Branch Christmas party
10 &11-Christmas Eve dinner   12-14 Christmas Morning   15- Cannoli!!

16&17 Skyping with my family  18-28 Last P-day together :( Sunrise hike






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