I heard from Matthew. He wrote me a separate letter. I think he is doing quite well and he says that his letters are short because he doesn't like to write like I do. I am so proud of the Seahawks! Thanks for the constant updates! It's fun to have some normal news to think about. Tell Noah I said happy birthday!!! I can't believe he is 16! I haven't had the chance to send him anything, but I thought about him! You guys get to leave to the cabin so soon. I am SO jealous! You will have so much fun. Do some serious sledding for me. Also, Dad, I am anxiously awaiting those pictures.
And as always... It's question answering time!!
About the packages. I got all of the ones from Amazon, as long as there were only two. I also got the one from Grandma. THANK YOU! I wasn't sure what they were so I opened them.... Well now I know what I am getting for Christmas... OOPS! I have not gotten the letter package yet, but they are bringing down packages this week so hopefully I will get it.
Ok, skype. The current plan is to do skype around 7 in the evening our time on Christmas. I think that would make it 10 in the morning for you guys. We permission to make phone calls to arrange skyping so I might call Sunday or Monday night to let you know more details. But hopefully all will be well for Christmas and I won't need to call.
WE HAVE SO MANY INVITES FOR CHRISTMAS! Appointments are never, ever, EVER lacking in Catania. Ok, that is an exaggeration, but for Christmas it is true. All of the Sunday through Tuesday (Christmas Eve) we have dinner appointments with American families. On Christmas we are planning to have breakfast together as a district. Then we will have pranzo with the Rochira family. Then we will top the day off with SKYPE! The day after is a big holiday in Italy too. I am not sure what are plans are, but I am guessing we will catch up on movie watching because we get to watch TWO movies for Christmas. Oh, we also get to sleep in an hour on Christmas! I cannot wait!
Ok, it has been a jammed packed week. And a crazy week, but that is not new.
On Tuesday we had zone conference! I LOVE zone conference. It is always perfectly timed for when you need it the most. Also, thank you for the mail. I got SO much. Pretty sure it was more than I have gotten my whole mission. The conference was all about unity and loving each other. Basically, it was perfect for Christmas. President and Sorella Waddoups did an addestramento on teaching with simplicity. So we acted out the nativity for it. I was angel. Are we surprised? HAHAHA Yes, yes we are. I am just glad I wasn't Mary. It's a little awkward to have your Joseph be a fellow missionary.
After zone conference I started my first scambio of THIS week. SO many scambi! It was with Sorella Hainey from Siracusa. We had a blast. That night we tried to drop by an investigator's house with no success. Then we taught English Course. I just love our students. They are so fun! The next morning Sorella Hainey and I went to see Mario's mother in law who is a less active member. She still has a really strong testimony, but doesn't like to come to church. However, she wants to start taking the missionary lessons again. So let's hope we can get her motivated to change. After we had a lesson with Monia, Mario's wife. We talked about the Atonement with her. sorella Hainey clicked so well with her. It was such a blessing. Then we had pranzo with Mario. We kind of had a DTR with them. We have decided to work on strengthening the family so that they will stay strong after the baptism. So we have decided to wait before making another date. It was really hard for me. But it is more important to help him progress.
I sent Sorella Hainey home on Wednesday afternoon. Then Sorella Fuller and I met the other missionaries at a rest home where we went caroling! It was so fun. The elderly people loved it. They were singing and crying. Caroling is not common in Italy so the nurses were all really curious about what we were doing. We were able to tell them about us and give them Books of Mormon. A few of them want to see us again. Huzzah!
On Thursday after a little bit of ricerca all of the sisters had a pranzo appointment with Marika and Eva. We taught what we're calling a "how do you know" lesson. They are reading the Book of Mormon, but they don't seem to get the point of why they have us over. Sounds like time for a gospel lesson! We have to help them see that the gospel really requires a change. Not just church attendance. We gave them study notebooks and they seemed to really like them.
On Friday we did planning and had another scambio. But before the scambio I got another transfer call. Remember how we just had transfers like two weeks ago? Yeah... Well we knew I was getting a new companion because Sorella Fuller is going home, but we didn't know it would affect the whole mission. Pretty much everywhere in the mission is being affected. For example, Anziano Cremonesi is being transfered from here to Napoli. But the best part is who my new companion is.... I am getting an Italian! Sorella Fossa. I am excited to get to work with her and hopefully improve my Italian! Anyways... This scambio I was with Sorella Anderson. This is my thrid scambio with her and I just love her. Her energy was really the pick me up I needed. We went to see Jenny and her husband for FHE. We went with the Anziani and committed them to start a no smoking program. They want to and I know they can do it!
On Saturday morning we ended the scambio with a rather ineffective Christmas caroling mostra. Only two people asked to see who we were... Bummer! Oh well, it was fun. We'll just have to plan it better next time. That night we went to the Sigonella Christmas party. It was great! It really helped me to feel the Christmas Spirit. They all borught nonmember friends, spouses, and less actives. It was great to have really casual contact there. I hope the friendships we made there will pay off. AND they gave all of the missionaries stockings stuffed with American goodies. Can you say eight very happy missionaries?
Yesterday, being Sunday, was also fantastic. I know that pday is supposed to be the relaxing day of the week, but for me it is always Sunday. We had double church in Catania and Sigonella. Then a dinner appointment at Sigonella where I ate cheddar cheese for the first time on my mission.
I am excited for all of the change happening this week. You're never comfrotable on the mission and if you are everything changes soon thereafter. I am learning to love it.
The church is true, I promise.
Vi voglio bene!