Hey friends, it's been another c r a z y week as always! I'm going to apologize in advance if I don't get to all the personal emails this week... normally if I run out of time, it's cuz we're busy seeing something cool like idk Venice or something. Today however, my only excuse is feeling like I'm the walking dead lol 😅 Still a fab week though, I promise😂❤
Thursday started off with a two hour train ride through the misty mountains to Alessandria for a combined zone conference (Genova zone and Torino zone). It was so fun to see Sorella Fife, the missionaries currently serving in my birth city Collegno, and obviously Presidente and Sorella Allen. We received some really awesome trainings from our various leaders, especially regarding the changes made during the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast from last week. And I absolutely love just being with the Allen's. They love us so much. I was so impressed by just how many things Presidente brought up that specifically addressed needs or questions I had. Some of them were things I'd brought up in the weekly emails we send him each Pday, and I just felt very touched by how much he loves both the missionaries and the people within our mission!
Friday after institute, we met with Maria and her daughter Aurora (one of our investigators) and it was great as always! I feel so comfortable in their home now, it's awesome! Maria made us waaay too much food as always. One of the courses included half a chicken for each of us and I nearly died🤦🏼♀️ It was amazing though, and they're one of those families in need of a lot of comfort. Aurora has opened up to us so much lately, and I feel like we're really making progress with her❤
Saturday was the beginning of the end. We started the day off with seminary, which is always great! Then we had a lunch appointment with Barbara and her mother, who isn't a member. The lesson went really well overall! That is, until Barbara's mom interrupted mid lesson to ask about President Trump🤦🏼♀️ I swear, everyone in their dog brings him up and it usually goes like this:
Member/investigator/stranger: "What do you think about your new president?"
Me: "guys... I literally don't even know anything going on"
Them: "Oh... just check the news tho..."
Me: "But I'm on a mission tho..."
Anyways, it was a great appointment once we got back to the actual lesson lol. Barbara is so neat to me. She's in her twenties, pretty shy, and has some social awkwardness. However, when it comes to the gospel, her testimony is so strong! Her comments and experiences are amazing, and she's such an example to her mom!
During the appointment with Barbara and her mom, I started feeling a tad under the weather. I figured it was probs just from the cold, so we went out for our appointment with Francesca. About halfway through the lesson, she turned to me and asked if I was annoyed😂 I was like "haha, no...?" And she was like "oh... you look kinda weird..." And internally I'm like "Interesting, because I'm not the one wearing a green fur coat" but externally I'm like "I just feel a little sick, that's all."
Biggest understatement of the century.
Since Saturday afternoon, I've had the plague. Kind of lol. Super lightheaded and weak, coughing up a lung, getting maybe 2 hours of sleep each night, having no voice whatsoever, and a million and one other symptoms that make me want to stay in bed for the next month lol. But that's a bit difficult to do as a missionary...
Sunday, I turned 20. I assumed my first thought of the day would be something along the lines of "wow I survived two decades". Instead, it was more like "I feel like death". Eh, close enough. But we went to church anyway. There was a snowstorm in the upper areas of our province so roads were shut down, meaning all our appointments fell through for the day (a blessing in disguise honestly) so we just had church and some rest time. Also, thanks so much for the birthday emails and letters❤ made my week, and I have so much love for you all💕 Despite feeling semi dead, the day was honestly great! Highlights include:
- My amazing comp getting me a Harry Potter coloring book
- Crazy Dario showing up in church again
- Also Angelo (the "poet" from English class)
- My mission son Anz Jones playing a song he'd found that literally said "Happy birthday Kaylee" in it, and then giving me a Star Wars hoodie
- The branch members singing me happy birthday
- Anz Alder giving me waaay too much chocolate
- Sorella Carter making birthday cupcakes
- The Anziani making empanadas
- Patrick going in to baci me (the cheek kiss thing Italians do), and Fratello Montalto freaking out, saying "no Patrick! You can't baci the sorelle! They're sacred!"...?
- NAP TIME😍
Monday, we were planning on taking things easy in the morning, and then maybe doing a passby in the evening. However, Rosanna (new convert) is going to be super held up at work for the next two weeks, and with transfer calls coming up, I really wanted to see her again. Any guesses on the one time she was going to be free! Yep, Monday morning. Oh life. Seriously that morning I just prayed and prayed to feel good enough just to get through the appointment with her! Lucky for us, God was down to let that happen haha. The minute we were with her, I felt better. Well, like, I still felt like the walking dead, but we were able to meet with her and teach her. She freaked out about me not feeling well though, saying she'd take on the "mom" role for me lol. When we were saying goodbye, she started crying talking about how unfair transfers were, and my heart basically broke. She wanted to give me so many gifts haha including but not limited to
- a torte
- a pot holder
- some soap
- pasta and sauce
- Breadsticks and crackers
- a frozen fish...?
She's adorable though. I was so glad we'd visited her anyways. Plus, I felt extremely humbled to see the way God helped me. I didn't feel perfectly better at any point, but I did notice that a lot of the symptoms lessened just for while we were with her. So neat, because Rosanna really needed us that day, and it's obvious to me that the Lord made it happen.
Tuesday, pretty much the same scenario happened with Maria Carnemolla. I'm not trying to be melodramatic in any way obviously, but it literally took a ton out of me just to walk to the appointments, or even to our church. So it was beyond amazing for me to see the way God helped me- He truly lessened my weaknesses and burdens so that we could serve others, and that's kind of a miracle to me.
It's ironic, because these experiences I've had this week have paralleled so much with a few things I studied recently. We all know the Savior served those around Him and was perfectly selfless. However, this week I noticed multiple moments in Christ's life where it must've been pretty difficult to do this. One example is when He had just found out that John the Baptist had been killed. Jesus left to mourn and find some peace, but the multitudes followed Him. Other times, He'd be trying to get somewhere or visit someone, and people would follow Him or try to stop Him. I mean, if it was me, I'd probs be like "really guys? I need some space. A little 'me' time. I need a break". I mean, that's essentially how I've felt this week, as I've been sick. Like, all I want is to turn the phone off and sleep for 3 days lol. But that's not what Christ did. Every instance where this happened, He put the people first. He pushed His own needs and problems aside to ease their burdens. He healed them. He taught them. He served them. My absolute favorite thing is that in each of these moments, there's a phrase used. It says, "And He was moved with compassion towards them". I mean, His disciples responded basically the way I said I would, almost being annoyed. But Christ didn't feel any of that at all, because He was so overcome with compassion for the people. I'm not going to even try to pretend that I comprehend even a portion of the compassion the Savior has for us. However, I did feel that this week as we met with people. Sacrificing naps (lol) felt worth it, because of the love I felt for these people and the desire to help them.
I mean, with this idea in mind, is it really any surprise that the first two great commandments are what they are? Matt 22:27-40
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Verse 40 is especially interesting to me. If we truly are living these two commandments to the best of our abilities- if we're living a life of loving and serving God, and having that Christlike compassion towards our fellowmen- everything else falls rather perfectly into place❤
Stay happy. Stay healthy. Stay holy.
1- Me & Sorella Fife! 2- The Collegno Greenies 3- Another selfie with Pres. & Sis. Allen 4-My Zone
5- Maria & Aurora 6- Birthday gift from Anziano Jones! 7-Birthday dinner 8-Rosanna’s fat dog:)