(Ell's note: This was written as a letter to my parents)
Well, it's been a week since I last talked to you and Dad, you win the prize because my first city is Prato!
Here's what I can remember about the past week! It's been awesome, tiring, overwhelming, exciting, hard, and so many other things!
We flew into Rome Wednesday morning Italy time and the three of us started getting so nervous. We were waiting for our bags to come out of the baggage claim and we were all saying to each other, "What have we gotten ourselves into!" Anziano Ethington looked at the "uscita" or "way out" sign and said, "suddenly, that takes on a new meaning!" Haha.
We got our bags and Sister Rhien and the APs were waiting for us. Unfortunately President Rhien was in the hospital with a kidney stone so we didn't meet him till later. Poor guy!
We went on a tour of Rome with the APs. Saw St. Pauls, went to the Vatican, the Coliseum, some of the Roman Forum (it was getting dark) and then even made it over to the Trevi Fountains! WAY COOL! I hope I get to serve in Rome at some point!
We had dinner at the huge mission home and then finally got to go to bed around 8 or 9. I fell asleep in the middle of my prayer that night! hehe.
We woke up the next morning and went and did some permesso di soggiorno stuff and then also went over to the land that has been purchased for a temple some day! It was great and I can't wait for the day when there will be a temple there!
Then it was off to Prato. What an interesting place it is! There's Chinese people all over the place. Weird. And the accent cracks me up. Dad your probably familiar with it, they just don't pronounce their c's, it sounds weird but whatev.
We live in a beautiful apartment. I don't really know where it is yet cause I'm still pretty turned around.
I have the coolest trainer ever, Sorella Roper, from California.
She's been out a year and is such a good missionary. I've already learned so much from her. I'm really lucky! I don't remember much about my setting apart, but I do remember Pres. Olsen saying that I'd be blessed with "great" companions. So I'm coming to find out how true that is and am counting my blessings!
The work is going along here in Prato. We have a few investigators and then the other times when were not teaching them we visit less-actives, do casa in casa, or talk to people in the park or in giro.
The language is proving to be a trial for me but that's what I expected! Poor Sorella Roper has to do the majority of the talking in Italian and I just sit there. It's hard to get the courage to pipe in because I'm not sure if I've totally understood what's been said and I just don't want to ruin the lesson. But I'm sure it will come with time and also unfortunately with lots of mistakes! It's exciting though.
We've also had a few english lessons though. We are working with an Italian lady, Sabrina, who is awesome. She knows english and like to speak to us in english. So we taught her in the park because her aunts or someone don't like her to meet with us. We taught and then at the end she said the prayer. I guess it was the first time she prayed with the missionaries so Sorella Roper was sooo excited. I already have such a love for Sabrina and can't wait to keep meeting with her.
We are also meeting with a Pakistani couple, Nurshia and Anil. He's here working and she's pregnant and due in like July or something. But they also speak english so it's nice to be able to speak with them! We were trying to fulfill our daily contacting goal the other day and so we made some notes to deliver to people. We got to Nurshia and Anil's and it was so funny! Sorella Roper went down a couple steps to drop the note in their mailbox and then a man came out from another door. I had no idea but it was Anil! Sorella Roper tried to hide behind me but it didn't work out. He saw us and we tried to just leave the note but he insisted that we come in. We really didn't want to stay because we had already called them earlier and they said they were busy that night and so we didn't want to come off as not believeing them. Ha senso? Anyways, to make a long story short we ended up eating some really spicy rice and some pizza with them. We left them with a message. Sorella Roper felt so bad because she doesn't want to ruin it with them and we just felt like we might have overstepped our bounds. But I'm convinced it was for a reason. There were too many other little things that happened before that, like waiting for-ev-er for a bus, for it to have been a coincidence that he came out right then and caught us in the act. Cheesy but true.
There's been so many miracles that I've already seen here. We've been able (Well, I've been able to introduce us, and Sor. R. teaches) to teach many lessons at the door. Last night was incredible, there's people who are listening to us. It's just hard to get a return appointment is all!
So, life is good and I love being a missionary. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve. I'm constantly reminded of what a blessed life I have been given; sometimes it makes me sick!
I hope everything's going well with you all. Dad, I want to know where all the Anziani and Sorella Winslow and Sarsozo ended up so email me that! Oh also, I was at church on Sunday and a guy came up to me and said he knew you and Mom about 35 years ago, his name is Renato. I'm pretty sure I've heard you and mom talk about him before. He's the one who owned a restaurant in Florence right? Anyways, cool, I think he's going to have us over for dinner soon... so thanks for the hook-up! hehe.
(Another note from Ell: Please scroll down to the next post for information on sending Sorella Boynton mail/packages. I will also update the address in the upper right hand corner of this blog and will continue to update it as I get new addresses for her throughout her mission, so watch that space! Unfortunately blogger won't let me put her address on separate lines, so I put hyphens where it should be a new line. Hope that makes sense!)