Well, let's start off with this: Thank you so much for all the emails and love and just...everything! Spencer and Amy, I got your emails and I'll try to write you back after this. Even if it's just a couple of sentences. :) Also, A PACKAGE! The peanut butter has made my day every day this past week. Long day? Peanut butter! Constantly rejected? Peanut butter! 73 mosquito bites? Peanut butter! (Don't worry, Mom, I'm fine! :) They're almost all gone anyway. And I've learned to actually wear mosquito spray, so that's good.) Seriously though, you're all incredible.
Random thoughts about Italy: It smells like smoke everywhere. Not the good kind of camping smoke, but the cigarette kind. I'll probably just smell like a cigarette by the time I return back to the states. Old men really do ride bikes on cobblestone roads, while whistling. The first time that happened I pretty much freaked out because I thought I was in a movie. Guys, it's real. Milk tastes kind of weird. And it comes in very small, unrefrigerated containers. Anyone who knows me well knows I like my milk, so this has been a small adjustment. Also, remember regular, salted butter?? Those were the days. We live in a somewhat ghetto part of Milan, and there are Jehovah's Witnesses EVERYWHERE. I think they have a church where we live, in Cologno, or something because whenever we do strada (street contacting) near our house, people either think we're Jehovah's Witnesses or the people we're talking to ARE Jehovah's Witnesses. So that's fun. The landlord of our apartment lives above us. We haven't met them yet, BUT one of them plays the piano incredibly. I think Heavenly Father placed their piano right above my room on purpose. Sometimes, in the morning, or at night while we're planning, we'll hear them start to play the most beautiful music. Ugh, I love it. I wrote them a thank you note and stuck it in their mailbox. Next time, it'll be a pass-along card. ;) Sometimes, on the metro, people will get on with a musical instrument and just start to play. Of course, they want money and we're not allowed to give them any. But it's still cool. Very Italian.
To answer some questions: No, I'm not on a bike. YET. (And I am thanking my lucky stars for that.) We just take the metro or the bus everywhere. And our two feet. Our ward is huge. One of the two biggest wards in all of Italy. There are actually about 700 members of our ward, with about 150 active. So we try to work with less-actives a lot. We actually do this thing on Sunday afternoons where members meet us at the church and we do splits with them to go find people that are on our ward list. It's awesome because it really helps us to work with the members. I still don't know what they're saying most of the time, but I've become really good at smiling and nodding. I honestly have no idea what my street address is... Hopefully I can figure that out this week and get it to you next week? I asked Sorella Palumbo about sending packages within Italy and she said customs is still an issue, but I don't know if that's real. You might need to do some extra research on that... Sounds like everything is still pretty crazy at Grandma's house but, hey, progress is being made! That's awesome!
Other than that, I'm doing well. This week was better than the last, and for that I am incredibly grateful. The language is...coming. Slowly, but surely. I'm starting to understand people more. So that's nice. We had a new missionary training yesterday that got me all pumped to be a better missionary. And I got to see Sorella Carter! So that was fun. We're pretty busy around here - either teaching a less-active or talking to members or trying to find real investigators to teach. Finding is hard, but I know it's important. Something one of the Assistants to the President said yesterday at the training really stuck out to me. He said, "The Lord depends on you every single hour." I'm so used to depending on the Lord for everything, but now is the time for the Lord to depend on me to find His children who are ready for this message of happiness. So I'm working on getting out of my comfort zone, learning the language, and just being an overall better missionary.
Thanks again for your love and support. I miss and love you all! Give the nieces and nephews extra love and hugs from me! :) AMORE!
The church where The Last Supper is. We had to go get tickets to see it today, so that we can see it one of these next couple of weeks. Pretty sweet, huh?
GELATO. This was biscotti and nutella gelato. Oh my goodness. The best.
It rains a lot here. And this is the proof. :)
I LOVE ITALY.