Taking My Wand for a Nametag

Friday, March 31, 2017

Chapter 54: Shut Up and Take My Money

Hey friends๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿผ

So much has happened in the last week! It's been super awesome but also pretty tiring, so I naturally have -92574 desire to write emails at all today. Guess that means we're doing bullet points today, plus some pictures (they're each worth a thousand words, right?)
-Said goodbye to Muggiรฒ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”
-Saw Anz Rogers and his greenie!!!!!
-Said goodbye to the fabulous Sorella Orr๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”
-Met with our investigator Elizabeth and talked about how she doesn't have to decide if this church is true or not- in reality, the answer comes through the spirit. Very good news for us indecisive people lol.
-I'm already covered in mosquito bites. And it's barely spring. Summer will probs kill me. #prayforsmeds2k17
-We got a new investigator Maria! Had an awesome lesson in her car explaining why we don't worship the madonna (classic). We're super stoked to have met her because she's someone really in need of the blessings of the gospel!
-Our ward is awesome!! And our investigator Norca came to church and even fasted! What a stud.
-The daughter in an active family in the ward was baptized, and literally thirty family friends came over! So we got to explain the baptismal service to them, as well as other various gospel truths. Got some numbers and, as one lady put it, "You Mormons are good at praying and food!" Yes, yes we are.
-Sleep over with the senior couple, since we had to leave for Milano the next day at like 6am. I'm still recovering from that one.
-Had concilio in Milano with Presidente and the other zone leaders and STLs! Which meant I got to see Anz Wilkinson, Gibb, and Farneman from my past cities, my bottlebreaker Slla McHardy, and Slla Anderson, Lo Russo, and Perkins from my MTC group! And as a surprise, I saw Anz Jones and Slla Richards (the mission kids) since concilio was being held in their area! Plus, got to meet Anz Jones's greenie! Guess I'm a nonna now?๐Ÿ‘ต๐Ÿผ
-We've been working on sharing our ward mission plan with the members. It's been amazing to learn more about their conversion stories, and then to help them share this gospel with their loved ones.
-We've also been taking time to plan scambi (exchanges) and figure out what we need to do to help the sorelle we are over❣️
-Pday today was spent going all around Firenze⚜️ have I mentioned I live in the most beautiful place in the world? Because I do. I absolutely love it here. And I wanna spend all my money.

Ok random awkward moment... not that this actually happened or anything, obviously๐Ÿ˜… ok so picture this. You're sitting in the park, having a lesson with your investigator. All is going well, the spirit is strong and everything. The sun is shining, birds are singing, and it's basically perfect. 


Then you notice a rather creepy spider chilling on the neighboring bench...

And then, the spider starts army crawling on its web over to your bench...

And slowly but surely makes its way into your investigator's hair...

What. Do. You. Do???๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ•ท

Just asking for a friend, of course๐Ÿ˜… 


I wouldn't be a proper missionary if I didn't mention that GENERAL CONFERENCE IS THIS WEEKEND! I'm beyond stoked, and you all oughta be too! Seriously, we are beyond blessed to get this chance to hear from a living prophet and other various leaders called of God! If you haven't already, think of a few questions in preparation for conference. Maybe there's a decision you need to make. Maybe you're going through a rough patch. Maybe you've just got a gospel question. Idk, there are lots of possibilities. The beautiful thing is that we know God loves us, and so we naturally know He does answer our prayers. I'm just saying (not as a missionary, but as awkward lil old Kaylee) that so many of my prayers and life questions are answered through general conference. Literally, what an opportunity! Hearing God's words for you- specifically!-through His prophet. Wow, that even beats Netflix! So yeah, it's gonna be a weekend of stellar stories and experiences, pilot analogies, and crazy awesome instruction not just from random church leaders, but literally from God Himself❤

Pop some popcorn and get comfy๐Ÿฟ


1& 2- Saying goodbye to Rogers & Orr last week  3-6 Concilio ft. MTC group, McHardy & The Fam 

7-16 Pday exploring beautiful Firenze(Florence)





Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chapter 53: *Sees Investigator @ McDonalds*

Well friends, it's been a week. Lots of awesome people, lots of laughs, aaaaand lots of stress because {transfer calls}๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ™ƒ What's happening to me this transfer? I am... going to make you read the entire email to find out๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

Thursday was the much anticipated one year mark! It also happened to be the biannual deep-cleaning day for our mission. We were stoked. Blasting the music and cleaning the apartment was too good... I think we enjoyed it far more than we should have. Plus pizza and the traditional year-mark skirt-burning that almost resulted in a small house fire... yeah, we didn't really think that one through... oh whale.

Friday we spent the morning with Franny, our new convert. Pizza, again, plus talking with her about the possibility of her serving a mission one day! Pretty fun! That evening, we met with Juana and Claudio. Seriously one of my absolute favorite families I've met during my time out here! This time, we took their responses from our baptism interview lesson last week and made an action plan for moving forward. They are going to get baptized, I just know it!

Saturday was spent with weekly planning and passbys for the first half. That evening, we met first with Sorella Bassi, a less active in the ward who seriously just warms your soul. Then we met with our investigator Milli and her family! Ate some amazing South American food and talked about the importance of aligning our will with God's. Also, there was a baptism for 5 people in Lecco on Sunday, so that was super fun as well!

Monday we got to visit the Huapaya family from Peru! It was awesome, and their family just makes me so happy! However... they wanted to sing hymns. We were down obviously, but then things got a tad out of hand... Turns out, the Huapaya family is 100% tone deaf. I was dying inside but told myself to keep it together. The problem was, Orr and I were sharing a hymn book, so I could literally feel her starting to lose it. We were dying laughing, but the best part was that the family didn't even notice๐Ÿ˜‚ it was the kind of laughter that is literally silent, because you're laughing so hard. Oh my heck it was so bad! Lolol family, you know I legitimately can't stop laughing once I've started, and that's how it was this time. I kid you not, we were just crying by the end of it๐Ÿ˜‚ and yet, no one noticed a thing. So all was well! Until the closing song, that is...

The we went and saw the Cabezas family, another one of my absolute favorite families in Italy. We talked about how we can use the Atonement every day- how not only do we get to live again after this life, but that through the Atonement, we can have a 'new life' every day! Also, I just have to say again how much I adore this family. Valeria is literally one of my favorite people in the world! She gave me a little card saying goodbye, and that she was glad we were best friends๐Ÿ’”

Yep, I had to say 'goodbye'.

Transfer news. Last Friday during language studies, we got a surprise call from president. And the verdict is: I'm leaving. Yep, another "one and done". My mission thus far has literally been a transfer trend of 3 (Collegno), 1 (Vicenza), 3 (Savona), 1 (Muggiรฒ). I'm pretty dang heartbroken about leaving Muggiรฒ and Sorella Orr. It was seriously a dream. However, I'm also stoked... because tomorrow I'm heading to *wait for iiiiiiiit* FIRENZE⚜️⚜️⚜️ AKA Florence, the land of leather and fancy ties and art and just awesome Tuscany. I'm stoked. I'll be a Sister Training Leader (STL, which is equivalent to a Zone leader for Elders) with *wait for iiiiiiiit* Sorella Arndt! Funny story, so I've literally just served basically my whole mission with her. She's a transfer above me, and we overlapped in the MTC. She started out in Torino, and I was in Collegno (neighboring areas) so we did Pdays together all the time. Than she headed to the base in Pordenone and I later followed to the base in Vicenza. Then we both headed down to Liguria to whitewash train (her in Genova, and me in Savona). And now, we'll be together in Firenze. Super hilarious because it's been our running joke for the last year that we'd be STLs together, and now it's happening!

So yeah, I'm beyond stoked for this coming transfer, buuuut I'm also sad. Transfers are exciting, but they also suck. Saying goodbye is the worst. I'm so bummed about leaving the awesome (and hilarious) missionaries up here. I definitely do not want to pack again. I'm basically distraught about leaving Sorella Orr- it's been a fun ride together. Jamming to high school musical, Les Mis, and everything in between. Having amazingly cool lessons together. Way too many laugh attacks and inside jokes. Seeing miracles every day. Lip sync battles and funny vids. Literally too many awesome memories to list, and so it sucks to say goodbye to that. And don't get me started on the people here. It's only been six weeks, and I've met some of my favorite people! Amazing members, insanely cool investigators- just a ton of stellar people! And so in some ways, I was feeling a little bit ripped off honestly lol. Like, six weeks is not much time to fulfill your purpose for a group of people, let alone to realize what your purpose was for them.

Then, we had church. I had to go up and say my goodbye testimony, which is always rough. However, those 3 final hours with the ward were seriously such a gift from God. I felt so much love as I said goodbye to these amazing people who've literally become my family these past six weeks. More than that, I felt their love for me. I know that was seriously God helping me recognize that although I may not know ALL the reasons I was here in Muggiรฒ for such a short time, I was meant to be here. I needed to be here, and they needed to be here. And as I look back at how my mission has gone, it's always been this way. The city and the comp and the other missionaries- its been the way it had been because we all needed each other at that point in time.

It got me thinking the other night (shocker) about Jesus. Lol how typical missionary of me, but just bear with me for a sec. He's obviously the perfect example of, well, everything, but especially of missionary work. His entire life was one big mission, but especially His last three years of life. I was reading a couple talks this week in addition to my New Testament study, and one talked about how three years was such a short time for Jesus to accomplish all that He did. Not long at all to establish His church, teach the truth, and prepare the people for His eventual sacrifice and the apostasy and persecution that would follow. Above all, it wasn't enough time for the people to be with Christ, or for Christ to be with the people. However, that's one of the beautiful things Sorella Orr and I have been talking about lately. As people, we pass in and out of each other's lives. Some people stay for long, and others are there for only a short season. We cross paths to fulfill our role in each other's lives and once that's been achieved, God moves us over to the next person. And it's sad but it's beautiful. Sometimes it involves saying goodbye which sucks, but you never forget those people God puts in your life.

I'm beyond stoked to see why God needs me to cross paths with Sorella Arndt and the people of Firenze. I'll keep ya'll updated. It'll likely involve lots of awkward moments, miracles, and leather

Sorella Smeds

 1-4 Year mark celebrations  5-Juana, Claudio 6&7 love these Italians!

8-10 Lecco baptism  11&12 Cabezas 13&14 District pics 15&16 Pday



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Chapter 52: The Anniversary Special

{Mission Journal of Smeds} March 16th, 2016
"I was sitting in the shower, just thinking about today, honestly just feeling stressed and tired and sad. Buuut then I was like 'Self! You're finally on a mission, and you're here with amazing people getting ready to bring the gospel to Italy!!'  and I felt better. Until I realized I'd left my towel back in the room. It's gonna be a long year and a half..."

Welcome to what I like to call "the Anniversary special edition of smeds' weekly emails" lol. My emails are already long enough as it is, so we'll just give you some highlights:
- Cabezas: We taught them the Plan of Salvation and it was awesome! I love that family sososo much!
- Weird guy on the train had his shoes and socks off and I was absolutely disgusted.
- Seclens: Less active fam that is now planning to come back to church! Also, they made us an amazing Peruvian meal during which Orr and I each tried a spoonful of the spiciest sauce I've ever tasted in my life. Hotter than peperoncini ๐ŸŒถ  But it was a great night!
- My comp and I were chasing a bus (classic) and she managed to take out a hedge...? We caught the bus though so it's worth it, yeah?
- Titziana: Cool less active member who actually messaged me on fb before the mission! Crazy how things turn out, yeah?
- Cattaneo: Stopped by to see dear Gianna (the lady with short term memory loss and an obsession over her stupid dog Margo) and we've determined she's literally crazy. She kept talking about people and swearing and you'd think that after a year of this stuff, I'd be all mature and used to it lol. In reality, no lololol I was literally losing it the entire time๐Ÿ˜‚
- Nonna Uras: Precious woman who will be translated one day. She told us we were beautiful and amazing, which is a nice change from the comments we normally get. She fed us and taught us and loved us, and I basically want to be her when I grow up. Our time with her made me sit and reflect on how much I love this country and these people.
- aaaand a million other awesome appointments, funny memories, and stellar meals. Oh also we saw this beautiful guy strutting down the street. We couldn't help but stop and stare. And he knew we were staring. And so he kept strutting. And then he found a curb. And toooootally fell on his face but then kind of caught himself on a wall thing. And we lost it๐Ÿ˜‚
- Today's Pday was spent in beautiful Bellagio! No, not the one in Vegas lol although this is where the hotel was based off of. Just imagine a beautiful town bordering lake Como (which is where they filmed the scenes for Naboo in Star Wars, fun fact). I was in heaven. So it was a great day.

Well, it's been a heck of a year! I could sit here and be cliche talking about how it's been the best and hardest year of my life (because it has), but I'd rather just let Elder Holland explain it. He's said it multiple times, but I'm biased and prefer the account he gave in Milano six months ago:

"Why is it so hard?! I have a theory about that. I've thought about it for fifty years- since I was a missionary. My doctrinal theory is that it's hard because it was hard for Christ; that salvation is not a cheap experience. Nobody ever said it was gonna be easy. Nobody ever. I think it's hard, because salvation was wrought by anguish, and tears, and blood, and toil. Christ died of a broken heart, and He died bearing the sins of the world feeling the contrition of everyone's sins and sorrows since Adam and Eve. Well, you're invited to feel a little of that. It's just symbolic. You're not going to feel much anguish. You're not gonna bleed. You're not gonna die. But you're entitled to feel some pain for the sins of the world. You're entitled to feel something about the Atonement. Because you're running around the Milan mission saying that you've got the truth. 'We've got the truth! This is it! We're the true disciples of Christ!' Well, if you're disciples of Christ, you'd better be prepared to walk where He walked, and feel what He felt, and shed some of the tears He shed! Or else I don't know what 'discipleship' means. It's a funny kind of discipleship that doesn't do anything that He did! What does it mean to be a witness? Well... I think we bear witness of His tears. I think we bear witness of His pain. We bear witness of His anguish and His sufferings, and we have to feel a little of that. Don't spend your entire mission wondering why it isn't easier. It's never going to be easy. It is rewarding. It is magnificent. But it's not easy, and that's what I think it means to be a disciple. We go where He goes, and we do what He does, and we feel what He feels."

The mission is hard. It's the most exhausting thing out there- physically, emotionally, mentally, ALL THE WAYS. However, President Allen told Sorella Orr and I something I really loved, and this is how it went down:
Pres: I kind if lose it when missionaries say they're tired.
Us: *nervous sweating* 
Pres: Yeah, we don't do 'tired' in this mission. 'Weary' however, now that we do. Coming in at the end of each day and crashing because you've given all you've got to the Lord's work.

I love that with every part of me, because here's the thing... if we look at Holland's theory, this idea of 'weariness' makes perfect sense. And I'm not just talking about missionaries here. All who choose to be His disciples are committing to be like His disciples when He was on the earth. We're choosing to walk His same path and do as He did. So how beautiful is it that we, the lil incompetent mortals that we are, are granted this opportunity to stand side by side with the Savior. We can do a lot of amazing things in this life- through work, athletics, schooling, music, and a million and one other things. And those things are pretty great, but none of them quite rank with the salvation of the human soul.

Looking back on this year, and looking forward to these next six months, I'm feeling pretty weary. And the natural man in me is just wanting some Netflix right now, but the rest of me is just beyond stoked to be livin the dream in the *cough* best *cough* mission in the world.

Like I said, it's been the best year of my life, and a lot has changed. I don't stop and take a mediocre picture of every cathedral I see (cuz, you know, it's a daily thing). I'm surrounded by people who talk so loudly, you can't tell if they're upset or stoked or just normal. I make pasta and pizza and tiramisรน like it's nothing lol. I only sometimes get lost now. The ambulances finally sound normal. Sometimes, I can actually Italian. The culture shock is 95% gone. I eat vegetables sometimes now. I don't get quite as freaked out by the fact that Italians drive like it's grand theft auto. Random dance parties... well... they still happen actually. Chasing after buses and trains is the norm. Christian music is my jam. I have no qualms with breaking into my own apartment. And I've gotten a bit better at not forgetting my towel when I go to shower, lol.

There's a lot of things that have made this year the best one of my life. Maybe the fact that I live in Italy. Maybe it's the spiritual high that comes from bringing others to Christ all day every day. Maybe it's the insanely good food. There's a million and one amazing things, but just like our pal Holland said, one thing takes the cake. The answer is clearly the Atonement. Utilizing it to better myself as a missionary, but better yet, using it to bless these crazy Italians who've essentially stolen my heart. I love these people and this country more than I've ever loved anything. Yeah, gelato and Venice are pretty stellar, but nothing brings me more joy than being with these people who've become my family. More than that, getting the opportunity to share this gospel that I love so so so very much with the people I love more than life! My understanding of our relationship with divinity has completely changed as I've witnessed the love our savior and our Heavenly Father have for these Italian people, and for all of us honestly.

So here's to six months more of lots of pasta, lots of love, and lots of group emails that are waaaaay too long๐Ÿ˜‰

Sorella Kaylee Smedley๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

1-Titziana  2-Seclens  3-More grafitti  4-New converts  5&6-Sorella Uras  7-16 Pday in Bellagio!  (#13- Celebrating 1 year with Sorella Anderson from my MTC group!)





Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Chapter 51:"I Hope You Like Feminist Rants, Cuz It's Kind of My Thing"

*shout out to my comp for the stellar New Girl quote for this week's title*

Happy Internarional Women's Day๐ŸŽ€๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’„๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘—๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿผ๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ’•Contrary to what the title suggests, I'm not a feminist. Pro-women, yes. Super bold feminist, no. In fact, I reeeeeally like guys a lot. 


Yeah. International women's day. Which Italy loves, so all museums and cultural stuff are free for women today. Woohoo that's us! So we headed to Milano today to take advantage of getting free stuff solely thanks to our gender. Yay Italy๐Ÿ˜ธ

It was kind of a weekend of challenges for #teamsmorr honestly, but that's life lol. We lived. We worked. Stuff happened. It was great. Yay for amazing comps and stellar people to visit and teach! ❤Thursday we met with Sorella Povia, a super cool less active lady who lives far away. We had an awesome lesson about the restoration, walked through a market, and she bought us pizza (not necessarily in that order). That night, we had a super great lesson with the Cabezas where we taught Valeria the Restoration! Oh my heck, I just love that girl with my whole heart!!

Friday started with weekly planning/ making tiramisรน๐Ÿ˜›Then we met w/Grace, this adorable less active from China! We were talking about how the gospel of Christ blesses families, and asked her how she could use the gospel to help her family. In her cute accent, she told us she could be an example to her husband (who's not a member), and her son. Woohoo Grace! Nailed it ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ then we met with the Alvarados who came to church on Sunday! They're one of those couples that's 100% active in the gospel, but considered "less active" since their work makes it so they can't always be in church. It's a huge problem in Italy, especially for members who've migrated here from South America or other areas. We've been going through the missionary lessons with them, and this week was the Plan of Salvation. It turned into such a amazing discussion about how beautiful God's plan is, and how essential the Atonement is for it to succeed. Then, we met with the Cattaneo fam (they have the nonmember mother who has short-term memory loss). She stared telling us about how she likes going to church, but only where they let her precious dog Margo come. We hate Margo just a little bit. She barks like crazy if you don't pet her nasty fur. Literally I love this family, but they treat Margo like she's human. They have a weird obsession over this dog, and that's saying something coming from me!๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‚ eh, my puppies are cuter and smarter and better though ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ

Saturday was full of cancellations, so we tried passing by a few people. We ended up getting in with this super cool fam. The husband Francesco is inactive and actually British, and his wife and kids are Italian. They have the nicest apartment I've ever seen in my entire life. I felt so dang fancy. We didn't stay for long because they had guests coming over, but we had a really good conversation about Christ. Turns out, Francesco has a super high-up position in this international accounting firm. He was talking about the difficulties of that environment, and how a lot of the world focuses on monetary aspects of life. He bore beautiful testimony of the importance of remembering Christ and taking on His attributes. All in all, a great night!

Sunday was church, amazing as always. Afterwards, we had lunch with the Ferantis! That family just makes me stoked on life! You just can't help but feel soooo at home with them! Also, Sorella Feranti has this hilarious habit of asking if you want more food... as she's already putting it on your plate... She informed us that we're able to eat more than the Anziani... #girlpower...?๐ŸŽ€

Monday was awesome! First we went over to visit Sorella Rea. She has so many health problems, it literally breaks my heart. She's awesome though! Aaaaaaand that night we had an AMAZING lesson with my favorite people and it was soooo good so imma save it for the end๐Ÿ˜ gotta keep you guys reading these hecka long emails somehow๐Ÿ˜‰

Yesterday we had district meeting before an appointment with Sorella Sacco. Let me explain. Sorella Sacco is sweet and has many health problems. We love her. However... I. Have. Never. Met. Someone. Who. Complains. So. Much. Words were said. Patience was tested. Aaaaaaand it was discovered that although #teamsmorr is rather fabulous, #teamsmorr is not overly patient. We went in wanting to talk about the restoration, & how we can use it in our lives today. It turned into her saying how her eyes get irritated so she can't read scriptures, her sons are idiots, & she can't pray because her leg hurts. Literally we gave her every idea or solution possible, & she managed to come up with some lame excuse for all of it. Soooo #teamsmorr handled it in maybe what wasn't the best way, but it made us feel better... we brought out a couple scriptures about how through Christ, everything is possible... & literally every time she brought out a claim or excuse, we just smiled & said "no". We bore simple testimonies and that was the end of that lol. It's so frustrating haha like lady trust us, we know God's got you. Just let Him in already. Oh whale, it was a pretty hilarious experience also hahahaha

Aaaand that brings us to today. International Women's Day. This day has me rather stoked (even though I forgot it was a thing until like last night around 7), not because of myself, but because of the stellar women in the world and in my life! One of them is named Juana. Lemme tell ya a bit about her, and about the experience we had with her and her amazing family Monday night.

I talked last week about meeting with Juana and Claudio and their two kids, who are all investigators. I absolutely love them. They are possibly my favorite family I've met out here. They know that this church is true, and they are rock solid. Why aren't they baptized members then? Well, Juana has some huge struggles with the word of wisdom. She believes it, and she wants it, but she's trapped in addiction right now. And she hates it. It makes her hate herself. We've been wanting to help her, but don't know how because it's pretty bad. We were fasting and praying about it all week. We were stoked when Juana said we could meet on Monday, because lately she's been super busy. After a lot of thought and prayer, we decided to go over the baptismal interview questions with them.

So we did.

We finished some amaaaaazing Brazilian food, & brought up what we wanted to do. Juana got this nervous look on her face & said some elders had done that in the past, & she'd just felt guilty & hopeless the entire time. We grabbed some paper & told her instead of answering out loud, we just wanted them to write it down personally. We went through the questions, & at the end talked with them about how the Atonement allows us to overcome weaknesses. We also discussed how our purpose as their missionaries was to help them overcome these roadblocks standing in their way. Juana looked up crying, & told us that she felt different than she'd felt the last time she'd gone through the questions. The first time, she felt like her dreams of becoming a member of the church were 100% gone. She felt like she was lacking in every question and had no chance. This time, she saw how she'd grown. She still has her struggles with the word of wisdom, but she was able to bear testimony of the other points! As she was explaining this to us, she stopped & said, "I think I'm finally getting the Atonement. Like, it's not like you can just goof around and then be forgiven or whatever. But Christ knows I'm going to mess up and He wants me to be able to repent and make it back!"

*comp fist bump under the table*

It was amazing to watch her just get it! Then we asked her what we could do for her to help with her word of wisdom struggles. She was quiet for a minute and then said "do you know why I've been so busy lately?" We said no. She proceeded to tell us she'd started an addiction recovery program at the hospital, and was going there almost every morning! Guys this is huge! She's never gone and gotten help for this! Then she said she'd gotten a gym membership and a part time job, that way while her kids are at school, she stays busy and distracted from the addiction! She then said she wants to start meeting with us separately some mornings to work on a plan. We start Friday, and I couldn't be happier! We literally left that lesson a mess of tears and smiles! I don't know if I've met anyone as strong as Juana!

Yeah. Pretty dope. So like I said before, I'm def not celebrating myself today (although we did get ourselves some steak&shake for lunch today). Nah, today I'm celebrating women like my mom. Young women like my sister. Women like my grandmas, aunts, etc. Women like my bffs, those in Croatia, the US, and good old Italia. Women like Esther and Debora and Mary (wow I sound so missionary #sorry). Strong women. Courageous women. Women like Juana. 

Yeah, that's definitely worth celebrating.

Sorella Smeds 

1- Valeria 2-What happens every night… 3&4 Graffiti LOL 
5-Saw a member I knew from Vicenza!  6-Juana & Claudio 7-Pizza time!

8-11 Pday fun:)  12- video- hanging with Juana’s family