Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2016-03-30 First Week in Italy!

(Note: These are edited versions of a couple of Jill's emails.  She is responding to many of my questions in the first, and describing Italy in the second)

Haha pi day! I love it! I guess we don't have that here cuz they do dates differently so I won't try to describe it to anyone, also because I don't know the word for pie in Italian. Right now I'm sitting with my comp and an older Italian lady named Angela and we're talking about names. Both of my names are about as un-Italian as they could possibly be. The letter J doesn't exist in Italian except in foreign words. And also it's too short to have a bounce. But Angela says it's beautiful so I have all of Italy's approval. She just told us she didn't want to name her daughter after her mother in law so she lied to her and said she saw a vision of the Madonna who told her she needs to be named what she wanted hahaha. Anyways, As for my last name everyone wants to say the D, more than in america, so one week in I've developed an introduction that includes: "no di dice la D e il nome e tedesco, ma io vengo da America" haha (don't say the d and the name is German but I'm from America). 

I'm not responding to everything but thank you for writing it!!!
Tell us about where you are serving. Are you right in Turin? 
-yes, Torino :) 
Did you listen to the women's conference?  It was actually not too bad. 
-no, didn't know that happened lol. Mission hasn't changed that about me
How is your companion? 
-she's fro, Idaho. We talk fairly often but it's almost always get to know you stuff, it's not like we joke around with each other. I've come to accept that maybe all my comps will be like that so I'll need to have my sense of humor revived when I come home, or take advantage of being with the anziani
Do you have investigators? 
-Yes. Lots are still investigators because they're immigrants who are unmarried and getting documents takes FOREVER in Italy and it's EXPENSIVE so they're kind of in limbo, it's....yeah. But we have a girl about our age who's about to get baptized and an old Italian lady who we've been teaching for 3 years and somehow haven't given up on yet haha. Because she goes to church every week and keeps commitments I guess. She's scared of tithing. She was my first lesson in the field ever, she's great. We teach very few Italians. Probably 3/4 are immigrants from Peru or Nigeria, no idea why they come to the land of 25% unemployment. But a lot of our time is meeting with less actives and recent converts.
And how are you doing with the language? 
-really good. Writing on s train and starting to feel sick. My language is better than most people's sorry I'm bragging but it is what is. People are always surprised I'm only here for a week. I had to bear my testimony in one of our two wards this week and people said it was really good. But still, people talk fast and over-pronunciate so what they're saying is hard to hear cuz it sounds really complicated and it's hard to catch what they're saying. They're either nice or roll their eyes when I say "mi scuzi, il mio italiano non e molto benne" one or the other.
It may sound completely different that what you learned in the MTC, but you will get it soon enough.  How will you hear GC? 
-in our apartment because we are the lucky few, if only, who have wifi in our apartment.
With it being 7 hours behind your schedule, it will be in the mid to late evening for you if you listened live.
Okay I plan on telling you much more on Mother's Day but this will do for now!! I have lots lots more to say but I'm gonna puke! Ciao!

Second.  Just keeping it real with her language :)
Ciao from Italy,

Italy is beautiful. It's just like the pictures, it's almost not real.
We just took a long train ride for about 5 hours total and it can't be
real. With cities on the hillside and castles up top all over,
everything is so picturesque f*** I just deleted a crapton of stuff I
wrote and now it won't come back I effing hate iPads. Whatever it's
beautiful here and the gelato is fine. I've eaten a lot of really good
things in my life. Moms brownies are really good. Anything is really
good if it's fresh and sweet and fattening.

So far I'd say the defining feature of Italy is a result of there not
being driers in anyone's house so what Italian cities really look like
is a bunch of beautiful old apartments with the families laundry
drying in the breeze on the railing outside (because EVERYONE has a
balcony. Even if you're homeless, balcony). I've attached some
pictures :) it's the view from one of three sides of our balcony. The
first one you can see one of the many daily street markets in Torino,
this one just happens to be on the street right below us. Also it
extends far past what the picture shows.

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