Sorry I am writing a day late. We had zone conference yesterday and thus pday today.
Well peeps I am officially in my second to last transfer. Penultimate. What? And I am officially staying in Bari with Sorella DeFranchi. Guys, this is seriously freaky. The end. It hits me more and more every day how close it is. And I never want it to come. I love this mission. I don't want to be anywhere else. I just have so much more to do and become!!! But hey, two and a half months is still a substantial chunk of time, right?
Ok, I keep getting asked about my dearest French companion. Well she is half American and thus speaks English perfectly, with an American accent. However, her Italian has a super heavy and adorable French accent.
It's been another odd week. To be honest I think that was one of the odder transfers of my mission. I am just learning to be okay with Plan Z.
On Monday night we did weekly planning. We really need to work on fitting it in during the week...
On Tuesday morning we had two cancelled appointments... So we ended up going to get flu shots and then going to contact two referalls. No luck. The in the afternoon we were supposed to have a lesson with the Verdillo family, but the mom had to work so we ended up just walking Valentina and her little brother to church. We had a nice thought as we walked about how God can sostenerci (sustain us?). I am always so amazed by Valentina. She is 15 and the only active member in her family, but she is SO strong. Then we went to English course. It was fun as usual. We got to talk about fruit and vegetables this time. After we stayed a little to help the young women make decorations for the Halloween party.
Wednesday morning we had the most AMAZING DDM. Anziano Roman is the only one leaving from our district and so he gave an addestramento. He talked about real intent and it was AWESOME. It was really just what I need to hear. I love getting to be inspired by the missionaries around me. Then came the weird part of DDM. Anziano Romano threw his back out and well Sorella Robinson is a massage therapist. So he called Sorella Waddoups to get permission to receive a massage. And he got permission. And we all watched. Definitely one of the odder moments of my mission.Then we all went to get sandwiches. After lunch we had a lesson with Sorella Pepe. She loves me again! HALLELUJAH! We talked about faith and she really enjoyed Alma's analogy about seeds. 'Twas cute. Then we headed to Torre a Mare to see Sahondra and Violetta. We had a REALLY good lesson about eternal families. They were so touched. It was really tender. And it turns out that they were practically royalty in Madagascar. Cool, right?
Thursday morning we had a lesson with Susy. To be honest it didn't go that well. We tried to teach her about eternal families and the temple. But something was just off. Not sure why. I hope that those truths will touch her none the less. Then came a CRAZY miracle. So when I first got to Bari we were told about this young investigator who was almost baptized, Samanta. We tried and tried to contact her, but nothing. And then in a transition between phones we lost her number. And so she was lost. I never even met her. It's so cool to see how Heavenly Father places the right people in our path at the right time. Then on the bus home from Susy's house a random girl started talking with Sorella DeFranchi. And it was SAMANTA! Woohoo! We were able to exchange numbers and she wants to see us again. YES! After lunch we did some emergency halloween party planning and then had English course. And it POURED rain as we walked. And see as my boots are broken I was in normal slip on shoes and my feet got soaked. But hey, I am a Washingtonian and of course have webbed feet. English course went well. I really love our students.
Friday morning we started weekly planning. Well at least we started. Then we had to head to the church to meet up with the GANS to set up the Halloween Party. It was a stressful mess, but we ended up pulling off a pretty great party. And there were more nonmembers than members so that was really great. As missionaries we put on a little program. The missionaries from Bari Libertà were frozen characters and we of Poggio Franco were Disney villains and tried to destroy the show. I was Mother Gothel from Tangled. Twas quite fun. All in all the night was a success.
Saturday morning we cleaned up the church and the headed to lunch with the Verdillo family. November 1st is a holiday in Italy so the nonmember dad was so excited to have us over. They went all out on an ALL seafood mood. And guess what? I loved it. Especially the octopus. It's safe to say that I am a changed woman. After we had a really great lesson on scripture study. Even the dad was attentive and involved. Valentina shared and AMAZING testimony. I love seeing that family change. The Lord is really working on them. Then we came home and finished planning. Hey, at least we finished it during the right week.
Church was SOOOOOOOOOOOO good on Sunday. So good. Although none of our investigators came to church we had some really cool things happen. The first is that a man named Francesco wandered into the church. He was an english course student in Pescara (up by Rome) 15 years ago. On Sunday he was walking down the street, saw the church, recognized the name, and thus decided to come. He stayed for all three meeting and seemed to really enjoy it. And then we had a knockout fast and testimony meeting. So good. So many testimonies touched me. I was particularly touched by Anziano Kennedy's. He shared the lyrics of a Josh Groban song. Something about "don't give up, it's just the weight of the world" and how Christ is there to help lift that weight. It was really beautiful and what I needed. We are not alone in this life. So we should let Him help us. After lunch we had a lesson with Angelo and Marinella. We talked about charity and service and they both really liked it. They are so cute. The we had interviews with President Waddoups. I am continually amazed by what and inspired man he is. I am proud to be missionary in his mission.
Yesterday was zone conference. It was really good. And really tender... I don't know how to explain it. I love being a missionary. After we had a lesson with Maria Grazia. I love that girl! We were able to give her a personal progress program and she was so excited to get started.
And well today is pday.
Guys, I just love being a missionary. Sure it's hard. But it is so worth it. We have the coolest experiences and get to see the Atonement work firsthand in peoples' lives.
The gospel is true, I promise.
Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Katie Francom
1) Zone Conference
2) Constructing a haunted house
3) Watching a massage...