Friday, January 2, 2015

All Roads Lead to Rome. 11/24/14

Cara Famiglia,
Well it has officially been the CRAZIEST, most emotionally draining week of my mission. 

I'm in Rome. More on that later.

Last Monday we had a super chill pday. We went shopping and just hung out with the anziani. Gotta love those kids. I am lucky to serve with the people that I have served with. After Pday we had a family home evening with Sorella Mongelli and her mom. Their husbands are at the temple and they asked us to come share a thought with them. And well they live pretty far away. And we got pretty lost. It was exciting. But we did eventually make it. And we had the most amazing lesson. We talked about the "Hope of God's Light" by President Uchtdorf. The Spirit was so very strong. I felt prompted to share an experience that I had with that talk in Cagliari. And they were super touched. It was just a beautiful night. I love the people of Bari.

Then came Tuesday morning......................... We were sitting in a the church with the Hansens and the Anziani putting the finishing touches on our MTC activity. And then... A call from President. "Sorella Francom this is your transfer call. You are going to Rome 6 and Sorella DeFranchi is coming with you." WHAT?!?!?!?! I thought he was joking. We are only three weeks into the transfer after all. But nope. A sister had been waiting for her visa to go serve in Portugal and she finally got it. SO that left a sorella alone in Rome. And well Sorella DeFranchi and I were called to be her companions. So we are now in a tripanionship with Sorella Vasilachi. And well I'd be lying if I said I was ok with it. I felt like my world fell apart. It reminds me of when Matt got transferred after only one transfer. I think I understand now. It's amazing how your life can just totally change overnight. Well after the shocking news it took a little bit of time to put ourselves back together. But then we finished getting ready for the activity. Then we went to an impromptu goodbye lunch with Santoro family. And well I haven't really cried much the whole mission and with them the flood gates just opened. I love that family. We got to spend the rest of the evening with them because Sorella Santoro took us to a lesson with Violetta and Sahondra. The lesson went SUPER well. We taught the gospel and it was really tender. Then we said goodbye to them. We're leaving and Violetta is going to Madagascar. We all teared up a bit. But luckily I know that one day we will all see each other again. Be it in this life or the next. On the ride home Sorella Santoro gave us a motivational speech about dreaming. She told us to always dream. "Sognate, sempre sognate."

Well all of our plans for the rest of the week went out the window so the rest is kind of all over the place, and all over Italy.

On Wednesday morning we had DDM. Gosh, I have loved this district. I got to give a parting addestramento. It was nice. After we all went to get sandwiches for the last time. The sandwich men were quite sad and sang us songs to bid us farewell. Then in the evening we finally had our MTC activity. I am happy to say that it actually went pretty well. A decent amount of people came and it gave us a chance to say some goodbyes.

Thursday morning was CRAZY! We were supposed to have time to pack... But we didn't. We ended up visiting a member in the hospital and we got SUPER lost in the hospital complex. By the time we found him it was lunch time... But he was doing well and it was nice to salute him. Then we met up with Gianni and Gabriela for lunch. It was so sad. But I did get to eat my last piece of focaccia. And it was nice to spend time with them. In the afternoon we dropped by Maria's house to salute her. Her brother was there and he has lived in Paris for 45 years so Sorella DeFranchi was able to talk with him. It was so sad to say goodbye. And as we left Maria's brother told me the "s word" in French and said that it meant good luck. Sorella Defranchi said that it does not... Then went to say goodbye to Mariagrazia. We had a really great spiritual thought. I just love her. Then we had English course. So hard to say goodbye. They were so sad. And then we exchanged photos with the Anziani. And then we went to grab panzerotti with the GANS. Gosh, I hate goobyes.

Friday morning we packed and then went to say goodbye to Susy. I love her. It was really hard to leave her. Then at 12:30 we head to the station. And the whole district and several members came to see us off. Sorella Santoro even made us sack lunches. And then I said goodbye to everyone. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hardest goodbyes of the mission. I don't know why. I loved the people in Cagliari just as much. But man, this was hard. I am going to miss the english course students, investigators, members, and missionaries of Bari. And then the train left. And I was zooming through the Italian countryside. At 5 we got to Rome. And no one was there to pick us up. Luckily, they eventually showed up and we were whisked away to  English course. Corso was fun. We have a really great class with lots of potential. Also, our new companion, Sorella Vasilachi, is great. She is from Moldova. So we are a very international trio.

Saturday morning we planned. There is a fair amount of work to do here in Roma 6 and I am excited to meet everyone. In the afternoon we went to a baptism. It was for the missionaries of Rome 5. It was really cool. And I got to meet Sorella Margheriti. She served in both Caglari and Catania after me, but we have never really met. So it was really cool to talk to her and get updates on my cities. She is awesome. Then we went to a relief society activity and two english course students came. It went pretty well. And it was fun to meet people. 

Sunday was cool. There are two wards in the building so that was cool. Our ward is so multicultural that I don't know what language to speak to people. So many people from Peru and the Phillipines, and just a few Italians. Everyone is awesome. And happy. And the wards functions as well as a ward back home. It's strange. After church we had a lesson with a new convert, Kathlene. It went really well. Then we went home for lunch. Then we came back to the church for a baptism. So many baptisms up in Rome. It's AWESOME!

And today we are going to the pantheon. With Sorella Jackson, my MTC companion. We haven't seen each other since day 1. I am excited to see her and to go to the places I went to on my study abroad. 

That's all for now. Life is crazy. Never take tomorrow for granted.

The gospel is true, I promise.

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Katie Francom

1) Sahondra and Violetta

2) Fun santa hats

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