Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Friday, February 10, 2017

Chapter 47: in which smeds 'salutes' savona

Well folks, I hurt right now. My head hurts. My heart hurts. My body hurts. Why, you may ask? {Granted, my body hurts from doing the worm a few times too many on Monday, but that's besides the point} Well friends, this past week was the dreaded day that comes once every six weeks for us missionaries: transfer calls.

Duh duhn duhhhhhn

And the verdict is: Milano! Yep, I'm headed to the area of Muggiò in Milano to be sr comp with Sorella Orr! I'm beyond stoked because she's also a dancer from Utah, and I've had multiple people tell me that we'd probs be perfect comps, so it's funny that it's actually happening! And I'm extremely excited to go up to Milano! Lol, my suitcases are already bursting at the seams with Italian clothing so this should be interesting😅 I'm so happy I've been able in so many different zones! However, it's been a rough week saying goodbye to the people who, for the last 4 1/2 months, have become my family and my best friends💔

Fur-Cloaked Francesca☕️
Ah, crazy Francesca... well, she claims she's gonna come visit me in the US lol. Honestly though she's pretty crazy but I'm definitely going to miss her. I've seen the changes happening in her life, and it's honestly such a blessing to get to be a part of that❤

The Branch of Savona💕
The last Sunday in Savona nearly killed me. Anziano Jones and I had to do our "goodbye" testimonies in church, and I nearly lost it. These crazies have literally become my family. The youth were pretty sad, which was really touching given that I normally refer to them as my precious little demons lol. Marco, the 15 year old ringleader texted me after church, thanking us for all we'd done and saying he was sorry if we'd ever "despaired" because of their craziness, but that they'd really changed a lot because of us! Pretty neat especially since during the lesson, he kept typing things into google translate so it would speak English at us... "Shut up Elder Jones. We are tired" lol😂 Seriously though, saying goodbye to comps and cities and people is by far harder than any challenge faced during the mission.

Anziani (ft. My Son)👔
Saying goodbye to the Anziani was def easier than saying goodbye to the Italians, but it was still rough! I met Anz Alder in the MTC right before my group left, and he's going to do amazing training in Savona! And Anziano Jones... well, I've spent 1/4 of my mission with him, and it's been amazing seeing him grow! He's easily become one of my best friends, but I know he's going to do amazing things in Milano Lampugnano! Plus we can see each other at zone conference, so all is well🤗

The Epic English Class🏆
Oh my heck, this group of people lights up my life! By far my favorite English class out of all of my cities! I've learned so much from their life experiences, and we've had more than enough awesome gospel convos! Seriously such a special group❤

My Sicilian Family🌴
Saying goodbye to Maria and Aurora was extremely difficult. They are some of the people I'm closest to out of all of Italy! I've felt so much love from them! Ive never felt so comfortable in someone else's home before! What can I say, the pink walls and spazzy puppy just suit me😉 Maria is essentially my mom in the mission😂😂😂 and Aurora is more than an investigator- she's like a sister. Literally counting down the days till I get to come back and see them!

The "Nonni" 👵🏼👴🏼
The De Milatos invited us over for lunch when we told them I was leaving! I was super stoked to go visit their home up in the mountains and say goodbye!⛰The senior couple wanted to tag along, which was fine until they got us rather fantastically lost winding up the mountain... see, this has never been a problem for me because we've always taken trains up there. Whale, the winding and starting and stopping didn't really do much for the weak stomach of Smeds. {Yeah mom and dad, you already know what's coming} I'd thought I was past my car sickness days, but circling mountain roads and crazy driving proved me wrong on that fateful day. The funniest thing was the senior couple kept asking me if they were going the right way... I mean, we've got 2 huge problems going for us here folks... 1) There was zero chance I'd know the way up the mountain 2) Even if I did know, I knew if I tried speaking I was gonna literally hurl. Then, they kept asking me questions and asking me to call the De Milatos. If I hadn't felt so sick, I'd probably have laughed at the whole situation. Honestly I'm pretty sure the only reason I didn't end up totaling puking was my ego, since I was sitting there like "ok, I'm annoyed and sick as frick. But I'm a mother-hugging missionary, and I refuse to let these people see me vomit." Not the best or most humble thought process, but it worked so...
We finally made it to their beautiful home and had the biggest meal I've had in at least 4 transfers. We're talking salad, pasta, meats, breads, tuna (#why), pizza, eggplants, cheese, chicken, turkey, fruit, and dessert lol. The adorable De Milatos gave me a decoration from their house, and they said that I was considered their 12th grandchild. I basically died on the spot, they are too cute for me to handle. I didn't even feel sick the drive back because my heart was too busy hurting💔

The Romanian Seventh Day Adventist 🌻
Saying goodbye to Constanza pretty much killed me. The experiences we've had teaching her have been some of the most challenging and most amazing of my whole mission. It made my whole day because when she got her Book of Mormon out to read, she was chapters ahead of where we'd left off! It seriously warms my whole soul because I know that her gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon is what will help her overcome the roadblocks standing in the way of her conversion. As we finished the lesson, I bore testimony to her of how I'd felt like God had helped us to find her. In her prayer at the end, she specifically asked God to bless the people of Muggiò and to guide me to find those in need. I was so touched. As we left, she hugged me and told me she knew our message was true, and to continue praying for her to overcome her doubts. I know without a doubt that she has been prepared to receive the gospel, and I feel with all my heart that she eventually will accept it!❤

My Moroccan Best Friend 👯
We met up with Asmaa one night to say goodbye. She kept stopping me and hugging me for no reason haha. I remember the first night I met her feeling the distinct impression that we were meant to cross paths. Literally its so rare to click with someone as easily or as quickly as she and I did. It's so surreal, and such a beautiful little miracle to me honestly.

There's so much more I could say about these beautiful people. My people. But honestly it just makes me too sad thinking about it! It was fun seeing how excited they were when I told them I'd be back in September at the end of my mission! {They are under the impression we will be playing Just Dance. They are correct💃🏼} 

I look back on how my mission has gone, and it is literally such a miracle to me. Every transfer it has been so clear to me that this is God's work. You know me, I'm a planner and I love having things go my way. Funny thing is, the mission has most definitely not gone according to my plans. And that can be a tad frustrating at times😂 however it's so beautiful to have seen how God's plan is a million times better than my plans have been! Of course, we all like to think we know what's up lol, but honestly He sees so much more than we do. I've been in the right cities and with the right companions, and it amazes me daily how aware of us God is.

Also, I hate the feeling we get with goodbyes. It hurts and is honestly annoying. I was recently talking with a friend about how it's kind of easier at times to just not love. Whether we're talking about mission love or family love or friend love or romantic love😉 or whatevs, love is hard. You run the risk of rejection. It involves sacrifice. Worst/best of all, you leave a part of your heart behind with each person our place. And it's rough! I mean, once you start loving people, you start worrying about them. You think about them. Their sadnesses or their successes are yours. And that's a bit of an emotional overload! And sometimes it's like "actually I cannot deal right now. I just want a nap". I mean like guys, im a mess trying to deal with my own stuff, let alone other people's craziness. And yet, for some reason, we keep on loving. We humans are obsessed with love. And why is this? With all of the pain and problems associated with love, why do we continue again and again to love? 

Well, because it's worth it. 100%. No matter what happens as a result. Whether there's rejection or acceptance, loss or endurance, pain or joy, ANYTHING! Somehow, in spite of all that, it's worth it. It's a privilege to love someone or something with your whole heart. In fact, rather than in spite of those attached issues, maybe it's because of them. I mean, what other experience in life allows you to give all of yourself to another person or group of people? There's nothing in life better than the opportunity to love. I mean yeah, we could sit here and complain about how love hurts and you run the risk of losing so much. However, I feel like love is the most beautiful thing we've got as humans and as children of an almighty God. During my studies this week, I realized what a risk the Atonement was! I mean, if Christ had slipped up even one bit, all would have been lost! His sacrifice and life and His father's plan would be completely void! You look at all the events of Christ's life leading up to His atoning sacrifice. You look at the pains endured for the Atonement itself. Then everything leading up to and including His eventual death on the cross. So many opportunities to mess up or give up; chances for Him to say "No, it's too much. I'm out". Even the most minuscule sin, and every child of God would've been subject to the eternal torments of the Adversary. Like, no pressure or anything! And how was this miraculous feat accomplished? How was the war of Salvation won? It was through Christ's pure love for each and every one of us. A love so complete we can't even begin to comprehend it! A selfless love, a love unconditional (for surely He knew even during His great sacrifice that not all would accept). 

And so, what a privilege is is for us to be able to feel a small portion of that love for someone else. I can't even pretend to understand or see the full capacities of Christ's love for us. However, my time in Collegno, Vicenza, and now Savona has made me begin to appreciate it more fully. In summary of my rant {lol, sorry}, yeah my heart is kind of breaking a bit this week. It's by no means the most comfortable feeling. And yet, I feel beyond blessed to have been given this time to love the people of Savona❤

Muggiò, I'm ready for ya!

Sorella Kaylee Smedley 🇮🇹

1- Saying goodbye to the branch   2-Rosa Asturi  3-5-Giulia  6-Marco the thug:) 7-The crazy legend that is Rose
8-Deborah   9-More branch goodbyes   10- Maria & Aurora  11-We found donuts!!  12-15  De Milaltos  16- Constanza

17-18 Asmaa  19-20  English class  21-27 Goodbyes & goofing off with our Anziani







No comments:

Post a Comment