everything fell through. So we did what we could to feel like we were
accomplishing our purpose even if tons of our appointments cancelled.
My trainer, Sorella Harris, is finishing her mission next week
(😥😥😥) so we are kind of getting her ready to leave but also were
keeping super busy and she's not tiring out on me at all.
The biggest news this week is that we had a baptism. A baptism!! It
was Elena's baptism!! She's been being taught for three years, about
since her son and his wife were baptized. Their story is crazy enough
as it is (he was atheist, started believing in God after studying
space science, after they had been investigating the church for a
while they decided to be baptized and the missionaries set up
baptismal interviews for them that week before they even told them
because they knew they were finally gonna get baptized), but Elena's
is a whole other story. Two full sisters missions have been done
teaching this lady, a LOT of sisters have come and gone...and Sorella
Harris and I were lucky enough to be the ones to see the fruit.
The baptism was beautiful, the family was really stressed when they
showed up at the church and just really hurrying and it was a big day
so we were all like "whoa ah!" But people started showing up and it
was so great because Elena's been going to church for so long that the
ward really knows her and are friends with her and love and care about
her. When Fratello Mazzolari started the meeting, he started off by
saying: this day is for you Elena, we are all here to celebrate you.
And at that point until the service was over she proprio just cried,
she was like a fountain. I had the privilege of sitting right next to
her during the service before and after she was baptized and she was
just a steady flow of Spirit-filled tears. When she came up from below
the water she started to cough because she's older and had just been
dunked but then she was embraced by her son in the sweetest hug I've
ever seen in my life. Sorry I didn't take a picture, it was too
special to try to ruin by whipping out my iPad and rushing to get the
shot. But I'll never forget that moment.
It was interesting because I'd only met with Elena about 7-8 times
before that, so I was here when she decided to get baptized, but I
didn't see her whole 3 years of progress obviously. It's interesting
because she always seemed ready to be baptized in my opinion. But we
had a scambio yesterday and my STL actually served here for her first
city like i am, but she served here a year ago. Obviously she wanted
to go visit Elena so we did that and it was really nice. After we met
with her though, my STL told me how much of a difference there was in
her. She said when she taught her, it was up and down like one lesson
she's ready to be baptized and the next lesson she'd be like "I had a
doubt I can't be baptized." Whereas Sorella Harris and I both saw how
sure Elena was to be baptized and then my STL got to see it, too. She
said she's so tranquil now, really sure, and is more peaceful. I was
glad to get her perspective because I only saw a small part of her
life changing into this tranquil, sure, peaceful person. But I know
that even though I only did a small part, Elena's life really is
changed for the good because when she came up from that water she was
clean and had promised help from the Lord and I think that's really
really a blessing.
Anyways, we also had a less-active who can't read very well FINALLY
find the faith and desire to read the ONE verse we left her! She said
she read it every day! I was beaming! As a missionary, and in life I
think, there's nothing that hurts worse than seeing people you love
develop bad habits. And there's nothing more rewarding than seeing
those same people make changes for good in their life! Our last lesson
we sort of were disappointed with her, not because we don't love her,
but because we DO. We're like, Helen, you can't expect God to help you
with the problems you're having if you're not willing to read just ONE
VERSE this week. But after ssevverall lessons on this, we finally were
able to find what we needed to say to help her realize that this is
important and she found the faith she needed and now hopefully we can
help her continue to read.
I seriously love the people out here so much, it's not even hard.
Maybe in my next city or something haha but not right now.
We also had a good second lesson with Lucy where we really found out
what her problems are. In a few words, she believes in God, knows He
loves her, but has never really seen that love with all the
difficulties she's faced. And, in my mind, I think she's probably
searching for that love since she's very much alone right now. I asked
her to consider that maybe this gospel is the answer to her prayer
that she's been looking for and then she said that she would read the
Book of Mormon we gave her.
I don't preach to anyone because I want to baptize tons of people or
look like a good missionary or increase numbers in the church. I
preach to people because the gospel improves my life and I want to
improve other people's lives because I love them.
Anyways, we had other appointments and stuff but we also spent a lunch
hour at HyperCoop which is like the Walmart of Italy, it was amazing.
You all think little markets are cute and fun and better, no. Not when
you've been living without good makeup remover for months because your
little market does not carry it and never will carry it, so you either
live without it or you live without it because you don't have freaking
time to shop or the knowledge of which store is hiding the things you
need. So that was really fun, idk if my mom can post videos but
Sorella Harris took a video of the pasta aisle here that was pretty
hilarious cuz it's an eternity long. We don't just have more pasta
here, we also have tons of shapes you guys don't have in America. The
Italy/pasta stereotype is so true.
And we went to another castle for p-day. Went with a member, she's the
best. The castle has a little village attached to it that we didn't
have time to see but we saw its gardens which it's famous for.
B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. Si chiama Veneria Reale. Also I learned after 1.5+
months that the thing that I thought was a sink/urinal in my bathroom
is actually a bidet that I'm scared to use. Like, how do you use it?
Also bidets get their own nasty towels for drying your hands after or
your bum idk which? All I know is that at this point there's a small
chance I've accidentally dried my hands on a bidet towel at somebody's
house and that's not an idea I want to entertain any longer.
At district meeting, we have two missionaries who are going home next
week (including my trainerr) so our district leader asked them both to
tell a funny and a spiritual story. Anziano Blazzard's story involved
a typical 'someone going to the bathroom on the street' situation and
Sorella Harris's included getting trapped in an awkward beauty party
where her and her comp were the only ones and obviously didn't have
any money to buy anything. So quote for the week from our district
"Missions are full of awkward beauty parties and people relieving
themselves on the street."
Amen to that.
This week will be crazy. We don't even have time to eat because we
have so many appointments, but it's okay because we know they'll feed
us haha. But Sorella Harris is leaving so we're going to see a lot of
people and then she's gonna LEAVE ME and I'm gonna have to TEACH THIS
CITY TO SOMEBODY ELSE. AH. 10 weeks seemed so long 9 weeks ago but now
we're running out of time to eat a whole pizza together and watch The
Testaments at night together and eat gelato every day, time really
flies on the mission (says the girl who has 14 months left).
So next week I'll have a new companion! I hope we get along! Either
way you just do your best and trust that the lord is happy with you
even if it seems really hard. We can do hard things. And life rolls
on. Love you all at home and think of you every day.
LESLIE TEXTED US A FEW MINUTES AGO AND SAID SHE HAS TO TELL US
SOMETHING AND WERE AND THEN A WARD MEMBER WHO WERE ALL CLOSE WITH
TEXTED JUST NOW AND SAID THAT LESLIE TOLD HER SHE WANTS TO GET
BAPTIZED BUT NOT TO TELL LESLIE THAT WE KNOW AAAAAAAHHHH!!!!! THIS IS
CRAZY WE HAVE TEARS IN OUR EYES MAYBE SOMETHING CRAZY WILL HAPPEN AND
SHELL BE BAPTIZED ON HARRISS LAST DAY HONESTLY THIS IS
SUCH A HUGE MIRACLE THAT ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN. I CANT BELIEVE THIS IS
HAPPENING, PRAYERS ARE BEING ANSWERED.
|Jill's Comfort Fashion|
|Elena's Baptism, Men|
|Elena's Baptism, Women|
|Jill, Elena, Sis Harris|
|Alessio (her son), and Elena|
|Jill checking out shoes|
I would post videos, but I cannot figure out how to move them from her photo sharing to a place where I can access them for this blog. Maybe I will figure that out before Jill comes home.