Well it has been a LONG week. So I guess I should just start writing :)
Monday night we had a lesson with Susy and a member named Marianna. Susy was EXHAUSTED because of some health problems that her son is having so she couldn't concentrate well. We talked a little bit about the purpose of our life here on earth and then left her to rest.
Tuesday morning was rough. Not going to lie. We got dropped. Again. But this time it was buy Sorella Pepe. Yeah, the less active that we go to see every week. She had been preparing to go to the temple so she asked if we could teach her more about tithing. So last week we did. And it actually went well. Or so I thought. Well when we called to set up another appointment she just let us have it. She told me that no sister missionary should think to talk of such things (tithing) and that we were horrible people and that we had ruined her life. Yep. That was probably one of the harder moments of my mission. She was the person who was really progressing here in Bari. She was changing and now it's kind of all up in smoke. I don't know why we are facing so much rejection lately, but it is certainly forcing me to rely more on the Lord and for that I am grateful. However, one really wonderful thing did happen on Tuesday morning. We got a new investigator! Her name is Blessing and she is from Nigeria, but she is married to an Italian. And she is an industrial chemist. SO cool! She was so interested as we talked about the gospel, was touched by us giving her a Book of Mormon, and set up her own return appointment. I am so excited to get to know her better. In the afternoon we had an AMAZING lesson with Maria Grazia. And her mom was there. And her mom speaks french. And Sorella DeFranchi was super brave and invited her to let us share a message. And the mom accepted!!! YES! And then she told us that Maria Grazia didn't need help with English, but that we should stay and talk about the gospel anyways. So we taught Maria Grazia about the first vision. She was touched and she accepted the invite to watch conference and pray about Joseph Smith. She even wrote it down on a note to remind herself. Then in the prayer at the end she asked God to give her an answer. There is something so powerful about the sincerity of a twelve year old. And I can't wait to teach her family. We ended the night with English course and a final farewell to Luca, the missionary who just left.
Wednesday morning we had DDM. Pretty uneventful. Of course we continued the district tradition and got panini after. After language study and some twelve weeks training we commenced the long walk to Japigia (a little side city) to see Francesca Leo. The lesson got a lot of nowhere. We tried to teach her using 2 Nephi 31, but she is just not there yet. We really need to work on helping her feel the Spirit. But it's HARD. That night we also made what were are call crepe cake. Lots of crepes with chocolate ganache between them. Yum. Having a French companion is nice.
Thursday morning we went to see Susy and the appointment actually went really well. Her kids were all at school so the house was peaceful and she was attentive. We taught the Plan of Salvation (finally!) and she had some really good questions. She committed to come to conference and to read 2 Nefi 31. Afterwards we brought some food to Antonella because her and her daughters are sick. In the afternoon we went to see Maria. We saw her a couple of weeks ago and I didn't think much of it because she is rather elderly and she didn't seem particularly interested. But this time it went really well. Her daughter and grandkids were over and they want us to come visit them! We were able to teach Maria about the Book of Mormon, the book that her brother is always reading. She was particularly touched and will be reading. Woohoo! We ended the night with English course.
Friday morning we did some planning. I say some because at noon we had to go pick up my permesso di soggiorno. And I got it! It only took five minutes. This second time was so much EASIER. No flights back. No extra appointments. It was a breeze. In the afternoon we went to see Valentina, a fourteen year old convert of about two years, and her family. Her mom is a less active and her dad is not a member. The lesson actually went really well. We just all clicked really well. And they agreed to read the scriptures as a family. Then we met the anziani to do gesso. But there were no people out. So we ended up doing street contacting. It went decently well.
Then came Saturday. We did casa (house to house finding) on Saturday morning because Sorella DeFranchi wanted to try it. I just haven't seen much success with it on my mission, but it was nice to mix it up. Then came GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!! I have become such a conference NERD. I feel like I arrive at conference crawling because I am so tired, but that I leave running. On Saturday we watched the Womens's meeting and the Saturday morning session. All so good.
Sunday was more conference. I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVEEEEE conference. Can you tell? We watched the priesthood session in the morning. I agree with Dad, Presidente Uchtdorg's talk was fantastic. Then we had pranzo altogether as missionaries. (There were 8 of us) And then we watched the Saturday afternoon session. It was definitely my favorite. SO good. I especially enjoyed Jorg Klebingat's talk. It broke my boxes, but was definitely what I needed to here. After a brief stretching break we watched the Sunday morning session. I am excited to get to the afternoon session some time in the future. I am always amazed by the inspiration that comes from conference. Answers left and right.
I hope you all have a great week and that we can all keep the conference spirit alive.
The gospel is true, I promise!
Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Katie Francom
1) Going crazy at conference
2) Me with some cute grafiti we found this week.