Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Chapter 42: I See Dead People...

To those who haven't already abandoned their New Year's resolutions,

Heyyyyyyy party people- welcome to the 2017 edition of "La Missione di
Sorella Smedley" lol๐ŸŽ‰ fun fact: we tried talking about New Years
resolutions with our English class, to which they informed us that
"resolutions are stupid and only ever done in America". As a follow
up, during Thursday's session of English class, we were informed that
"the true meaning of New Years isn't meant to be wrapped in
commercialism... the true meaning is simple: drinking and

Whale, there you have it folks... now without further ado, let's get
onto this week's highlights✨

Thursday was crazy and sad. We had to pack Sorella Richards up and get
her ready to leave, and say a few last goodbyes! Then that night, I
sent her on a train to Milano๐Ÿ’” I was dying basically. And stressing
all night wondering if she'd gotten there ok. And being super sad to
lose one of my best friends. But it's all good cuz I also got my
amazing new comp, Sorella Carter from Alaska! She and I went to
English class, and just like that the day was totally over!

Friday, I wanted to show Sorella Carter around Savona. So we challenged the
Anziani to some finding and had a way good time! A lot of our people
have been out of town this week, so we called a few of them to check
up on them๐Ÿ’žWe also met with Francesca again to read the Book of
Mormon. Lol... never a dull moment with her. She got a new fur coat
for Christmas... it's green... #italianfashion #amiright

Saturday, we had weekly planning. It was fun telling Sorella Carter
all about these crazy people I've grown to love!! We also had our
branch New Years party! Wow, and I thought Christmas was crazy!
Italians sure know how to party! Especially our branch! Seriously,
there's nothing like an Italian party. A frick ton of food (plus the
branch teasing me for my lack of love for insalata rosso, a nasty
concoction of vegetables and mayo created by satan himself), more Just
Dance, (the missionaries totally stealing the show, come sempre),
talking shots of cider (at least, we think it was cider... lol), and a
New Year's countdown featuring my fav Italian hit, "Tutto Molto

And yes, I got a kiss at midnight ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’‹

Okay fine, it was really just all the women "bacci"-ing us haha, but
that counts, right? Once again, we missionaries left and the branch
was still going strong. I mean, I thought I was a crazy partier, but
these people are something else!

{haha, who am I kidding- my idea of a crazy party is staying up past
10 and maybe ordering a pizza... #itsfine}

Sunday was, in a word, exhausting! I'm glad New Year's Eve isn't every
night hahaha. It was fun to come to church though haha even though
everyone seemed basically dead๐Ÿ˜‚ we met with Constanza again, and
started reading the Book of Mormon together! She's so sweet, and I
really think establishing a solid testimony of the Book of Mormon
is our best shot at helping her!

Monday, we decided to pass by Rosa Asturi. She's the
mother/mother-in-law of half our branch hahaha. We did some finding in
the town she lives in, and then tracked down her house. Such a
surprise when we opened the door to find that THERE WAS A FREAKING
FESTA GOING ON ๐ŸŽ‰ Lol, it was the eight-year-old birthday party for
one of Rosa's granddaughters, and all her family was there! Which, of
course, means half our branch was there lol.

You know that feeling when you're home alone binge-watching Netflix
and then you check Instagram and see your squad having a party without
you? Or like when you hit up arctic circle for a milkshake, and you
run into half of your high school... and you play it off like you're
waiting for a friend but really you're single as a pringle? Lol that
was us... jk jk not quite๐Ÿ˜‚

Sweet Rosa insisted we stay for the entire party, and she kept
bringing us food and drinks. Cute Giulia and Martina (the lil girls
from the Christmas party pics) were there! Giulia is the daughter of
our branch president, but Martina's family are all non members! She's
so cute, she kept asking me to be her dance partner, and asking when
we were going to come to her house ๐Ÿ˜‚❤ her mom and I were talking
later, and we ended up exchanging numbers, and are going to see each
other sometime next week! After some cake and being pelted with
confetti by the girls, we headed home.

Tuesday in addition to normal missionary work, we had a special
district meeting where the zone leaders came to teach us about some
things Presidente Allen had brought up in leadership council. There
was one thing I really liked. He said that relationships between
mission presidents and missionaries, within companionships, and
between missionaries and the people can have four potential
combinations and outcomes:
1. High expectations + low love = defiance
2. Low expectations + low love = rebellion
3. Low expectations + high love = friendships
4. High expectations + high love = miracles
I absolutely love this. I think we sometimes focus too much on the
"friend" aspect that we lower our expectations for others, whether
it's with kids, family members, comps, friends, students, etc. Other
times, it's the opposite, and we focus so hard on the expectations on
ourselves or on others, that we end up severely lacking in the love
department! I've seen both of these sides in my interactions with
comps, investigators, family/friends, etc. It also made me think of
times in my life where the roles have been reversed (my relationship
with my parents, with teachers, with Presidente Allen, and with God).
This combination of high standards of discipline and high volumes of
love is essential, and it makes all the difference. Someone once said
that "the greatest lesson you can learn is to do the right thing,
because you love the Lord". Friends, it's only when we have both love
and high expectations that we see the miracles. So let's not complain
about the high expectations and focus instead on disciplining
ourselves whilst living a life of love ❤️

We ended the day with family home evening with the Africans in our
branch. It's always SUCH a blast being with them๐Ÿ˜‚ we played
"spiritual ball" and some other mind games, and then had a lesson.
It's so funny because they get so into the games๐Ÿ˜‚

Today, we spent p day in Genova checking out this super cool cemetery
"Stagliano Cimitero Monumentale" we'd heard a ton about! It was huge
and beautiful! Aaaaand kind of creepy. Really though, I'd never seen
anything like it!! Elaborate statues and buildings and towers, and by
far the biggest cemetery I've ever seen! Super cool! Did I mention it
was creepy though? I mean, they spared no expense, even having creepy
crows and cats! Also, a pigeon ran into my head mid-flight, which was
pretty disenchanting tbh. Oh whale. Point being, don't be too shocked
when Stephen King's next novel takes place in the gorgeously horrific
Stagliano Cimitero Monumentale.

On that lovely note, buona settimana e buon capodanno cari miei๐ŸŽ‡๐ŸŽ†


1-3  Goodbye Sorella Richards ๐Ÿ’”  4-7 New Years Eve

8-19 Cemetery 







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