Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Italy, Week 32 (6/17/15) - Livin' On A Prayer!

Whoaaaaaaa I’m halfway theeeere! Whoooaaa-oh!  Livin’ on a prayer!  But really though, I can't believe I've actually reached this point, and so soon!  It's gone by so fast!  But at the same time when I look back at my first transfer it feels so long ago and then when I think about the MTC it feels like a completely different life. Time on the mission is such a strange thing.... But all I can say is:  I’m so excited for the next nine months! These first nine have been incredible and I’m so stoked for the adventures, miracles, tears and laughter that await me.  Woohoo!

So we had such a good week! We had Zone Training and it was incredible, as always. But we met this super cool girl on the train on the way there that was our age, half Italian half English, and was interested in reading the Book of Mormon! She was super nice and it was such a cool experience! High hopes! The next day we had a woman go off about how great we are and how proud of us our mothers must be and all this stuff and she just made us feel so good and warm and fuzzy inside.  It's funny how being on the missions, compliments mean so much more. Probably because we get so many rejections that every compliment is like finding gold. We had a lady on the street wave us down to salute us and tell us that she took lessons in the past from missionaries, which was super cool! Her mom was so gosh dang adorable, she just kept smiling so big at us.  She was so cute.  Sunday was a very interesting day. So we were out walking and we see that a storm is brewing in the skies and we're super stoked because it's been so hot here lately. And we just love storms. So we're standing at the bus stop and we feel a couple drops and we're getting super excited. And then the Italian skies unleashed their fury. It was like the whole Adriatic Sea was above us being held by a tarp that was slowly getting stretched thinner and thinner until it just ripped and all the water came down in one giant downpour. The streets were flooded instantly. And we were soaked in a second. It was so fun. We were going to go "knock" on some doors, but after walking in the cold rain we decided it probably would be more effective to prepare ourselves for this instead of risking ourselves getting sick and getting bed-ridden and losing a week of work. So we get back on the bus and head towards home. And on the way home we were stopped by three creepy men. We're pretty used to old guys calling us belle ragazze (beautiful girls), like that's nothing new. It's the life of a sister missionary in Europe. One of them actually told us he took lessons and had a BoM and everything. The third guy however, is where this story gets interesting. We were walking toward home when this younger guy comes between us and is asking us what time it is, but he's speaking in Triestino, the dialect here. So we don't understand him. But he starts pointing at my companion's wrist (where there is obviously no watch) and so we tell him what time it is and he's just like "hmm. Cool. So what church are you guys for? Where's your church? Do you live there?  Where do you live?" And all this stuff. So we give him a pass along card and invite him to church. And he's like "sweet cool. My name is Alex. I’m a masseuse." But neither of us recognizes that word and he just keeps saying it over and over even though we don't understand.  Finally it clicked in my brain (aka the Spirit told me what it meant and was like "get ouuuuttttt") and we're like ohhhhhhhh haha no. And he's like we can go to my place or yours! And we're like leave us alone. And Sorella Christensen says, "in fact, we have an appointment and were just heading home to change out of our clothes." And he's like "Va bene! Andiamo!" (Okay! Let's go!) finally we stopped trying to get out of it the nice way and be sweet little sister missionaries and were like no, we're going. Bye! And we took a nice little detour home. He wasn't dangerous, so we were not in any sort of danger. It was just a really funny situation. Creepy Italian men, woooo!  We had a great day yesterday too and saw and met a lot of great wonderful people. 

In Gospel Principles on Sunday we talked about Sacrifice and we talked about Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac. I had the sudden thought about how the parents of missionaries are like Abraham, being asked to send their children off, far away, with no way to take care of them. No, they're not sending us to our death, but they are putting us in God's hands with a full trust in the Lord's plan for us. It wasn't easy for Abraham and it's certainly not easy for our parents.  But how beautiful it is that they have enough trust in God, and in us, to pretty much lay us on the altar, as an offering to God, for us to do His work. It gave me a new understanding and renewed respect and love for my parents for doing that. Their testimony and faith in God to take care of us and in His plan strengthens mine. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for not only allowing me to do this and be here, but for supporting me. Thank you for all the sacrifices you make so that I can be here. So I can continue to follow the path that God has set for me and help others find theirs. I love you so much and think and pray for you each day.  I love you all and I appreciate all your love and support. Keep looking for the miracles and the hand of God in your life and always seek to follow His will and walk the path that has your name on it. Vi voglio un mondo di bene! (I want a world of good)!
Love, Sorella Hawks :)


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