Friday, January 2, 2015

Reunions, Verdini, and One Death Testimony 12-16-14

Cara Famiglia,
Sorry that I am writing a day late!!! Yesterday was zone conference. More on that later....

Well last Monday we had a super fun pday and went ice skating with the GANS. Our new investigator Chiara came too! It was super fun to just hang out with everyone AND I didn't even fall once!! Yes! Monday night we had a lesson with Gabriella. We were able to clarify her desires about getting baptized and teach her the ten commandments. After we had FHE with all of the GANS. Chiara came to that too and it was a blast. I really like the young people here in Rome. They come from all over the world, but they're all such great friends!

Tuesday morning we had DDM. It was of the odder DDMs that I have been to. The greenies from Italy arrived and sat in with us, President Waddoups walked in, and the housing director for the mission gave us a little lecture, AND everyone who was being transfered had to say their goodbyes. But hey, it was nice. After lunch we went to go see Dora. She is a referral from her mom who is a member in another ward. She is 19, but she already has her own apartment, goes to college, and is very independent. That's not really normal in Italy. But she is SO cool. And she really wants to know more. We were able to focus in on the Libro di Mormon and she was super excited to read it and learn more. It's cool because she is half south american and studies anthropology so she was excited in that way, but also in a spiritual sense. After that we booked it the church for antoher lesson with Gabriella. Then we went to Graziella's house and accompanied her to the church for a special course that our ward is doing. Busy day.

Wednesday we got to do exchanges with the Italian verdine (greenies) as they waited for the American ones to arrive. I went to the Villa (the mission home) for the first time since my first day. It was WEIRD! But cool. So I was on a scambio with Sorella Rossi. She is from Genova. And speaks some of the fastest Italian that I have ever heard. And she was awesome. We had a good morning of finding and met some really cool people. One of whom ran by with an afro and said "I'm George Bush." 'Twas odd. I took her for lunch, did a little more finding and then headed back to the villa. That even we taught English course. It went SUPER well. One of our students volunteered to say the prayer and then came up to us and told us that she would be coming to church on Sunday. Exciting, right?

Thursday morning we did weekly planning. Woot! It was kind of odd because now that we are in 4 sisters we only have half of the work, but I am excited to build it back up. Here's to doing lots of finding! That even we did some finding on the metro. Then we had a lesson with Chiara. She is from China, but she was born and raised in Italy. She's almost 21 and probably one of the coolest people that I have met on my mission. We kind of just spent time getting to know her over a pizza and the talked about the Book of Mormon. She is amazing! I just feel the Spirit so strongly when she is around.

Well Friday morning there was sciopero.................................................... STRIKE. So the buses weren't running regularly and the metro was totally shut down. Yep. Think about that in a GINORMOUS city. But hey, I experience claustrophobia for the first time in my life. We were on a bus that was so packed that the only reason I could stay standing as we drove was all of the other bodies pushing me around. Yep. So we didn't ended up getting to where were supposed to so we did finding. But I did have a really cool experience. As we were walking home I felt that I should stop this random lady.  So I started talking about English course. And she started making odd comments that made it seem like she knew the missionaries. Like "you guys are used to walking." And well eventually I asked if she knews us. And well, she was a member. And she's been inactive for 13 years. But I think I convinced her to come to the Christmas party. In the afternoon we attempted to go to a relief society activity, but they weren't there. Then we had a lesson with Chiara. We brought Jomar, a recent convert and talked about the gospel. It went really well. I was especially touched by Jomar's story. We then challenged Chiara to be baptized on January 10th. She was so scared that she was trembling, but she accepted. We talked about how this is somethig we will work towards together, but that the choice will always be hers. I love that she takes it so seriously and that she really gets it. Then we ended the night with English course. This time we taught the class with the bambini. It was really fun. And we taught the song about the wheels on the bus.

Saturday morning we went to the Villa Borghese to meet with a contact that Sorella Defranchi met when she was doing finding with a verdina. He works renting bikes there. It was cool to get to walk through the park to see him because it was a gloriously sunny and warm day and it did me well to be in nature. But seeing him was rather sad. He was talmente triste that he couldn't even speak. I mean he literally said almost nothing. It was so SO sad. I don't know what happened to make him that way, but I hope that he will let us help. In the afternoon we tried to go see Luisella, but we got so lost that by the time we figured out where she was she had alreay left. So we went home and went through the area book. Because we are both new to the area and have started a new companionship we are working on calling all of the old investigators and there are actually quite a few that want to see us. It's cool.

Sunday morning was church as usual. It was good, but not unusual. Then we had choir practice. Then we had a lesson wth Kathlene. She is just adorable. We talked about families and invited her to bring her family to the activity. I think she is opening up to the idea. I am hoping that we can teach them! By the time we got home it was three so we shoved lunch down our throats and ran out the door. We actually went to see Luisella this time. And we were able to explain to her and a friend where the Book of Mormon comes from. She was really curious so we will see how this goes. Then we headed to church to watch the Christmas devotional, but no one who knew how to work the technology showed up.

Yesterday. Oh man. Well it was my last zone conference. Duh duh duh. It was sad, guys. However, one really cool thing is that a LOT of my friends have been transfered up to Rome so we were all able to see each other. For example, I saw Sorella Henson. We just ran to each other. I've missed that girl. And well I gave my departing testimony. It was weird because I still have so much time left. But I think it would have been weird anyways. Gosh. The mission has flown. But it was really neat to be able to share some of my experiences and to realize how much the Lord really has blessed me in this last year and a half. After I had an interview with president. It was just really nice to talk to him. He's a good man. Then I went to FHE with Sorella Vasilachi and a less active. 

Today we are going to the Modern Art Museum and then doing a little bit of Christmas shopping. Woot woot.

The gospel is true, I promise.

Vi voglio bene!
Sorella Katie Francom

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