Well as stated in the email last week we had an awesome Pday in Matera. Yes, we went again. Staying in one city longer than else means doing the same pdays over and over again. But it's ok. Matera is gorgeous. Unfortunately my camera was broken so there will be no pictures :( This time was particularly fun because we went with some of the GANS (YSA) and two investigators. It was WAY fun. That night we had a planning meeting for an upcoming activity we are doing with the ward, an MTC for members. I have to say that I love activities, but I hate the time it takes to plan them. Life problems...
On Tuesday morning we had a DDM and it actually went pretty well. President Waddoups challenged us to all pray for each other instead of praying for ourselves so we had a DDM that helped boost up our selflessness. We all wrote nice notes to each other. Cheesy, right? But I do love the missionaries that I serve with. In the afternoon we had a lesson with Sorella Pepe. I am SOOO happy to be on her good side again. No we can actually work on helping her progress again. After her we headed to English course. Then we had a pizza night with the Santoro family, Piero (the Anziani's new convert), and Daniela (his girlfriend). It was AWESOME. Daniela and Piero are HILARIOUS. I really hope we can start to teach Daniela. She comes to all of the activities and has come to church a few times. The anziani are challenging Piero to ask her to take the lessons this week! Woohoo!
Wednesday was a day of meetings. Meetings and I have such a love hate relationship. However, ward council that night was pretty awesome and pretty hilarious in a way that only an Italian ward council could be. Something you should know about Italians is that talking loudly and aggressively is not yelling, just friendly banter and persuasion. I love it. So ward council was a lot of loud, but also a lot progress. We talked about some really meaningful things and our ward is becoming increasingly involved in missionary work. I love it.
Thursday morning was a morning of finding. YES! Ogni tanto I just really need a day out talking to people on the street. We were able to contact a few referrals and then we did some finding in the park. My companion is a boss and has fallen in love with using geneology to do finding. We ended up meeting this really cool man in the park who is evangelical, but super interesting in coming to do geneology with us. Random fact: the Puglia Italia stake is the 11th satke in the world for doing family history. Cool, right? In the afternoon we went to an appointment with Maria Grazia and when we rang the citofono (intercom doorbell thing) the babysitter answered and said she wasn't there. Hmm. Then we had English course to end the night.
Friday morning we had weekly planning! Woot. It felt so good to do it ALL at the right time and to just be prepared for the coming week. I can't remember the last time we were able to do that. Thus I am super excited to carry out our plans for this week! In the afternoon we went to Casamassima for a lesson with Lidia and Giovanni. It was AMAZING! We read 3 Nefi 11 with them and the loved it. Lidia's face was just glowing. And we were able to talk about the Atonement and how much the Savior loves us. It was beautiful. BEAUTIFUL. And we found out that Lidia has actually been keeping her commitments to read the Libro di Mormon. YES! Then we had a cancelled appointment so we ended up going to the GANS activity. There were a TON of nonmembers there and it was really cool to get to know them better and introduce/reinforce their relationships with members. Also, I just have to say that playing Taboo in Italian is VERY hard.
Saturday morning we had a district blitz here in Bari Poggio Franco. I was with Sorella Chandler for the morning and it was pretty much her first time doing finding so it was fun to get to show her how I like to do it. We talked to a TON of people. And we pretty much got shut down everytime. But it was still a pretty good morning. I never thought I would actually enjoy finding. Dang, I've changed. In the evening we went to the Santoro family's house to make crepes (I love having a French companion) with some investigators and one of the young women we are working with. The Santoros do so much for missionary work. Love them. They also have the cutest nephew, Domenico, who is literally in love with my companion (no worries, he's 4). The Armenise family was also there. Oh. my. gosh. I love them. Every once in a while you just meet families that you fit in with. They are definitely one of them for me. Sarcasm flying everywhere.
Yesterday was a really amazing Sunday. Church went SUPER well. We were able to give out mission calls to all of the members to invite them to the MTC activity. It was really cool to see the excitement, especially from the primary kids. Then we went to Sunday School with the GANS and the lesson was AMAZING. The anziani's investigator, Mario, was there. He's atheist and has really been struggling to know if God exists. He is more active than any of the members. He just needs a testimony. And he said the closing prayer in sunday school. And he said that he finally understood what God wants for him and that he hopes to have the ability to do it. Amazing. Amazing. I really hope this means something has changed. Then came Sacrament meeting. AND Violetta came!!!! YES! I got to sit by her and I am just amazed by her. She is such a humble woman and has so much faith. I felt honored to be able to share a hymnbook and sing with her. I know it's cheesy, but things like that just get to me on the mission. And there was an awesome talk. The lady who gave it started by reading the title. In English something like "How to nourish our spirits as we nourish our bodies." She made a joke about how she is not skinny and thus obviously eats. But she pointed out that just because she eats it doesn't mean that she nourishes her body. To nourish herself she actually needs to take in the vitamins and proteins that will give her strength. She talked about how it is the same with our spirits. We can't just read the scriptures. We actually have to gather nutriment from them. It was really cool. For pranzo we went to Sorella Ceddia's house. Her inactive daughter was there and were able to have a rather long spiritual lesson/discussion with her. It went well. Then we had a lesson with Marinella Lagatolla and had the most amazing discussion of the Atonement that I think I have had on the mission. Then we ended the night with gesso. It went SUPER well. We talked to so many people. I even met a group of girls who are friends with a member. One of them even had a Book of Mormon. Time to do follow up with the member... I love being a missionary.
So here's to a great week!
The gospel is true, I promise.
Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Katie Francom
1) Sorella Robinson and I dressed up as each other.