Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Italy, Week 1

I am officially here in Italy! AHHHH!!! Sooo crazy. So I'm sorry to say, but my last week in the MTC is kind of a blurr now because it's been so busy since I got here. I have a lot a pictures, but alas, I forgot my camera (as sempre), but I will remember it next week! I only have one picture from Italy (the Duomo, what?!), but I'll take more this week. Italian keyboards are weird, so sorry if some random symbols are thrown in where apostrophes (is that how you spell it?) or question marks are supposed to be. Anywho, you probably want to hear about Italy and how everything is going.  First of all, I have been called to Busto Arsizio which is in the zone that includes Milano and the district in Switzerland. Which means P-days are going to be absolutely fabulous. I'm so excited.
My trainer is Sorella Yost and, fun fact, she is the cousin of Sister Smoot who is serving in my home ward in New York!! Crazy! I got to go teach and tract with Sister Smoot and now I'm being trained and teaching and tracting with her cousin. Plus, Sister Smoot totally called that she would train me. How ironic is that? Anywho, she is super awesome. She's a Sister Training Leader, plus she's training for the second time, PLUS we're white-washing the city. She's got a lot on her plate. But she is such a boss.
So yeah, we're white-washing the city which means neither of us have ever served here! So we have no idea where anything is or who anyone is. Thankfully there is one Elder who has been serving here for a while, but he is training as well. So basically he's teaching three missionaries how to get around this city. He's a saint. Also, another fun fact, Anziano Hubbard is the Elder that he's training! Anziano Hubbard was in my district in the MTC so it's fun having a familiar face to see once in a while.
Also, we're living in a villa. In Italy. With a huge balcony. Um. What. It's two floors, it has two bathrooms and now that we've figured out the heating, it is absolutely incredible. What an experience. I'll have pictures next week, I promise. But I still can't get over the fact that I'm in Italy, living in a Villa. So classic, I love it.
So this week has been the CRAZIEST week of my life, it's been fabulous. Other than getting lost trying to find our way around the city more times than I care to count, we have had a lot of adventures. That sentence didn't really make sense... oh well. Anywho, we tried saving a cat out of a tree. That was probably my biggest greenie moment. Let me explain.
So we walked all the way to try to find this one simp. that the sisters before us had told us about. When we got there, I saw a kitten that was stuck in a tree and the first thing that popped in my mind was "what a great opportunity. We get the cat out of the tree, we bring it to the owner, the owner is so grateful they let us in. We teach, they feel the Spirit and they want to get baptized. Beautiful." So I convince my comp. that this is going to happen. So I stand there trying to get this cat out of the tree, but of course I'm too short. So I look at my comp. and with a straight face, she suggests I stand on her back. So she comes over, get's down on all fours and I take my shoes off and get on her back. But of course, now that I can reach this dumb cat and help it, it won't come down. I literally had it in my hands and was trying to pull it down but it wouldn't come down. Stupido. So I finally gave up and as I turned to get off my comp's back, I see this man walking by, looking down and walking very quickly trying to pass us as fast as possible. I was really upset at the moment because I was convinced God had put that cat in that tree for us to find it and bring it to its owner. I knew it had an owner because it had a collar. Don't worry, I'm not just finding random stray cats in trees and trying to bring them to people and convince them that it's theirs. Anywho, that was probably the funniest moment from this week.
Last night we taught an English class of four people which was really fun. I think they had more fun helping me and correcting me on my Italian than anything else. But it was a lot of fun. And I got to bear my testimony in Italian at the end which was really nice, I haven't been able to do that too much yet. 
This city reminds me a lot of New York City, but the smaller parts, like the outskirts I guess. There aren't a lot of really big buildings, but it's busy. But it's still pretty small. I actually really love it. I always said I wasn't a city girl, but I'm absolutely loving it here. Milano is more like the big city NYC.
Yesterday on our way to the church for the English course, I stepped in a puddle that went halfway up my calf. I'm buying rain boots today.
Oh my gosh, this week has been so difficult but sooo amazing. Missionary work is dang hard work, but it is the most satisfying work. 
We met a woman named (Danielle's Dad Insert - I'm replacing names with aliases for privacy - we'll call this woman Kathy) on the train yesterday and she's the first person that seemed really genuinely interested in what we had to say. She's Catholic and she really believes in God, but she really loved the concept of having a relationship with God and how a prayer is a conversation. We got her number! There's hope for a new simp! (Simp means investigator, sorry). But yeah, she's really busy because she studies med, but we really hope she's interested enough to find time. There's another woman named (Another alias: Rebecca) that we met our first night to teach English and we ended up teaching her the first lesson about the restoration. AWESOME. We're going to see her tomorrow night :)
My ward is awesome! Everyone is CRAZY! And so fabulous, I love them all. I'm so excited to get to know them better as time goes by.
The language is so different from the MTC. Not really, it's just a million times faster. So it's hard to keep up. But I get the gist of what people say. Also, I got my first andate via! (go away). It was exciting to see it was actually a thing.
Anywho, time is running short but this email is running long. All in all, things are great :) I was blessed with great teachers in the MTC who really helped prepare me for being in the field. I had a great district in the MTC. I have an AMAZING trainer and we're working together to figure everything out, which is nice. I love where I am. I love the people and I love being a missionary. I have felt God's love more than ever while I've been here. I'm learning more each day about the Lord's time and having the faith that although our prayers may not be answered immediately, the Lord knows everything and He has everything planned just right. 
I love you all so much. Thank you for all of your love and support, now and throughout all the years. Vi voglio un MONDO di bene!!!
Sorella Hawks :)

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