Well I have to say that I have done a complete 180 this week. From being really sad to leave Bari I am now absolutely loving Rome. How could you not? Rome is the eternal city after all. And there is so much missionary work. We have found so many new people AND we are SO busy.
Monday was a really great day. For pday we went to the Pantheon and I got to see SO many missionaries that I haven't seen since the beginning. I love being in Rome. It is so beautiful and there are so many cool things to see. And I get to go to places that I went to on my study abroad. I took everyone to one of my favorite gelaterie from two years ago and it was just a walk down memory lane. In the evening we had two lessons so we had to do a split with a member (I love how much we have to do). I stayed with Sorella Vasilachi and taught Gabriela. She is from Romania and is going through a really rough time. We taught her about the Atonement and she accepted the invite to continue meeting with us. And the she stayed for the FHE activity. The activity was really awesome. The GANS all get together with the senior couples every monday. There are a lot of youth here.
Tuesday morning we did another member split and this time I was with Alessandra, a 20 year old who is putting in her papers to go on a mission. I got to take her to do finding. IT was actually really fun. I have never done finding with a member and it was fun to see how much she relied on me, but also how brave and creative she was. She actually asked a lady on the metro, "Posso regalarti un libro." (Can I give you a book?) She said no, but I was just so impressed with Alessandra's courage. The Finding went pretty well. We met some really cool people and a couple who even wanted to see us again. The coolest experience was with a woman named Lumi. She is from Romania. At first she said that she would never change, but we just got talking and by the end we said a prayer together and got her number. It was awesome. We ended up getting home SUPER late for lunch, but it was worth it. In the evening we went to meet our investigator Graziella with the bishop. We had an awesome lesson about the gospel. She was touched and is praying about baptism, but doesn't feel ready yet. Then we took her to a special course that a member of the ward is doing.
Wednesday was another great day, despite the fact that three of our lessons cancelled. In the morning we went to see Louisa. She is Peru and has recently been reactivated. She is AWESOME and might even want to seve a mission. We had a really awesome lesson about doing missionary work. She is super disposta to help us out! Then our next lesson cancelled so we were actually able to eat lunch and do language study. After that we headed to a farther part of the ward and met the Lesano family, also less active. They are from the Phillipines and we spoke a very interesting mix of English and Italian. I was so moved by how humble and ready to listen they were. We talked about keeping the Sabbath day holy and they commited to come to church. YAY! Then we headed to church for what we thought were two lesson. They didn't show up... Then we taught English course. It went really well. Our class is so FUN. Then we had ward council and I was blown away by how functioning this ward is. They were so bravi and so on top of things. I also really like our ward mission leader, Fratello Rigby, he is American and works at the embassy here.
Thursday morning we had DDM. Not much to say there. But then we met up with the other district that meets in our church and had Thanksgiving lunch. It was impressively good. And it was really fun to be with everyone. Then we had a cancelled appointment. Then we had another lesson with Gabriela. We taught her the Restoration and it went really well. She has a lot of questions about other things, but she was touched at the end and stayed after to pray by herself. It was cool. Then we had an "addestramento" (training) with one of the ward missionaries, Sheyla. She is 20 and wants to go on a mission. We were able to give her her own Preach My Gospel and she was so touched.
Friday morning was planning. Woot. In the afternoon we had a training with Antonella, another ward missionary. Then we had alesson with Gabriela. WE taught the plan of salvation. It went well, but I think it was a little bit too rushed. After we taught corso. Once again, great. Then we had a lesson with a student named Rosadina. She is adorable and she totally opened up to us. She has a lot of questions about Joseph Smith, but she really wants to know. I know that if she asks she will know. SO I am excited to see how things go.
Saturday morning was spent travelling. We had a lunch appointment with a family who live far, FAR away. But it was so worth it. They are the famiglia Cruz and they are from Peru. I just LOVE them. It was one of those things where I just felt like I could be myself right off the bat. They are fun and sarcastic. And we had a fantastic lesson about the gospel. And the dad who is not a member actually participated and accepted the commitment to read. I am so excited to work with them. In the evening after our LONG return voyage we went to the church for a quick meeting with the anziani and our ward mission leader and then an ward activity. It was a photography contest based on the creation and the gospel. It was really cool. I was very impressed by the photos. And a lot of nonmembers came! YAY!
Sunday was great. All of the church meetings were great. This ward is adorable. And Gabriela came!! And I think she liked it. And the Lesano family came. After we had the most amazing lesson with with a new convert named Kathlene. She is ADORABLE. We talked about missionary work. And she just opened up to us about her life and how the church is changing her relationship with her family. She has such a desire to be united with them and she so badly wants to share the gospel. It was really enlighting and touching. I love how much people teach me. And then we had a dinner with some of the senior sister missionaries. It was really cool. They are really great examples.
Today is of course pday. We are going to the Vatican and St. Peter's. No big deal.
Gotta love Roma.
The gospel is true, I promise.
Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Katie Francom
1) With Kathlene