Wow, what a week. First off, LOVED the pictures of Scotlyn! What a cutie! Can't wait to meet her in person. Hope everyone's doing well.
Okay, can we just talk about how hot it is here right now? I am just constantly sweating. The heat here is definitely not like the heat in Salt Lake. It is so wet and awful! I am not a fan. I'm just constantly sticky. And the bus is miserable because there's no AC and everyone stinks and.....this is just the beginning of summer. Everyone keeps warning us about July and August. I am so afraid. All of a sudden the heat struck on Friday. And ever since then it has been death. I'm just praying I survive at this point. Also, apparently I have allergies and they make my acid reflux a million times worse. Fun! Wow, I'm complain-y today. Sorry about that.
We had stake conference this weekend, so that was exciting. We headed down to Alessandria on Saturday afternoon for the session there at a hotel. It was good! All focused on missionary work. Although, strange story: One of the members of our stake presidency decided that in order to talk about missionary work he wanted to show a clip of Forrest Gump. So it's the part where Forrest is talking about how he just felt like running one day and so he started running and then just kept running. For, like, years. And people start following and blah blah blah. There's a part where a car drives away and the camera does a close-up of the bumper sticker. The problem is, the bumper sticker has an English swear word on it. But, apparently the guy in the stake presidency didn't know that... So it comes up on the screen and all of the missionaries in the room just gasp and look around at each other and then all of the members were like, "What! What did it say?" Oh man, so awkward. Ya know, sometimes these things just happen here in Italy. We're constantly reminded that the church is still pretty young here. Also...language barriers. And then the stake conference on Sunday was actually President Uchtdorf in Switzerland. It was broadcast to stakes in Italy and Switzerland and France, maybe? I can't really remember. But it was really good! Although he talked about how apparently they have to re-dedicate the country of Switzerland for missionary work or something? Has anyone heard anything about this? Anyway, it was great. The church is true.
Friday was just...not a good day. We had a full day of appointments and then they ALL cancelled. I was so frustrated. But we tried to be positive and we went to the park to go do some finding. (A classic back-up plan activity.) So we get there and we start talking to this man. He didn't seem very interested. But usually when we walk up to people and they say they're not interested, I try to have a conversation with them anyway. Because usually we can get somewhere. But he was like, "Oh you guys are Mormons. I know exactly who you are and what you believe." And I was like, "Oh really? How do you know so much about us?" And he was like, "I saw a movie about you guys." RED FLAG. Once upon a time there was a movie made about Amish people and when it was translated into Italian, the word "Mormons" was used instead of "Amish." So people think we're Amish ALL THE TIME. So, naturally, I started asking what he had learned and then I started explaining that that's not us. And then he was just being SO frustrating. He wouldn't let me speak! He was talking about my religion as if he knew what it was and he didn't know anything! And he was like, "Oh, I just feel so bad for all the Mormon children." Cue blank, confused stares. "...Why?" I asked. They can't be children! They don't play! They have to live out of the world. Look around this park! See all the ragazzi playing?" (It was the last day of school so the park was FULL of ragazzi and they were all just playing water games.) "Yeah, we see them..." "Mormons can't play like that!" At first I thought I was maybe just understanding him incorrectly, so I was like, "They can't do what? ...Play? ...With water? ...Of course they can..." "Nope. They can't." And then he started talking about how we must not believe in the same Jesus that he and all the Catholics believe in. Pretty sure we read the same bible, sir. But he didn't believe that either. And then he started talking about how thank goodness the Pope isn't Mormon or else everyone would have to walk around in top hats and beards and cloaks down to their ankles. At this point I started to realize how confused he really was. A Mormon Pope. Ha! I kept trying to clarify, but to no avail. I was getting so frustrated and it was just growing and growing inside me. Finally I was just like, "It was nice to meet you!" And we walked away. And then, for some reason, I just sat down on a bench and started crying. Haha, I don't even know why. It's not even the worst rejection I've ever gotten as a missionary. For some reason the whole conversation just really bothered me. And then I got over it and went on with life as usual. It was just so frustrating. So, if you guys want to send me your best/worst/funniest/most ridiculous rejection stories from your mission, that would be great. Then we can all just laugh about it together. :)
We finally got to see M.H. this week after, like, 2 weeks of nothing. She got really sick for a couple of weeks - like, stomach problems so bad that she had to go to the doctor and get blood drawn and an ultrasound. But she's doing better now. Thank goodness. Also, we went to E.'s yesterday and made brownies with her. (Her son wants her to have the recipe...so that she can make them for him. Classic Italian Male.) She still has a lot of doubts. We're trying to help her grow her faith, but there's only so much you can do when they have a really hard time acting. Faith without works is dead, y'all. Anyway, we tried setting a baptismal goal with her and she wouldn't do that either. She was like, "When I get the answer, I'll know and then I'll be happy to be baptized the next day!" The thing is, she's gotten her answer, she just doesn't realize it. Anyway, it's all good. I know she'll be baptized someday. Unfortunately, I won't be here to see it. I just love her and I've seen her progress leaps and bounds in the last 5 months. The mission is the worst but also the best. There just really isn't an accurate word to describe it... I'm just happy to be here! Anyway, I think that's about it for this week. :) AMORE!