Year mark, Toe surgery, and Mexican Food!
What a week! Haha are you all tired of me saying that??? Well this week has actually been really long and I don't have much to write about. Some of you know I've had some problems since my third Transfer with in-grown toe nails that just wouldn't give up! So I told President would just cut off my toe and he said "Well we better try to get it fixed first..." so I had to get it fixed!
So Monday and Tuesday were normal, we had P-Day I sent you all pictures of the beautiful beach in Polignano and everything was good and then that night we went to Francesco and Angela's house out in Bitonto! So Francesco is a returned missionary and him and his wife are newly weds of less than a year. They're bravissimi and Francesco loves Mexican food. So we organized a Family Home Evening to kind of show them that even though they don't have kids yet they can still have family night! So I made some picco di gallo and we made tacos Italian style... they were really good and we all are way too much! They were nice and spicy just the way my Mom likes them! We had a great time and then for our spiritual thought we discussed these three verses
9 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.
10 And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.
11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
I really enjoyed it and I really like the first part verse 9, it's so simple and so straight forward. Believe in God. It all starts with a belief, a hope, and little faith!
We ran out of time for a game but we really did have a good time with them and I think they did too! That night we started an exchange with the PoggioFranco Elders... we met at our house and then Anziano Osmond and I went to PF for the night to start our scambio.
So Tuesday morning we got up and did our studies and everything, Anziano Osmond is learning how to cook slowly but surely! He says "What do you want for breakfast?" In response to my indifferent answer he says "Lets make eggs" and he opens the fridge and grabs the eggs and a package of bacon too and says "Lets make both!" So bacon in Italy isn't in strips like in America, it's cut up into chunks like little tiny pieces and we usually make like an omelet thing and then mix the bacon and the eggs together. He mixes the eggs up and puts them in the pan and then you can see the confusion as he tries to decide how to cook the bacon because they only have one pan. I said "Do you think we should have cooked the bacon first and then added the eggs?" His response "On second thought lets just have eggs!" Haha it was a lot funnier in the moment!
We had District Meeting that morning and we talked actually about the movie "Remember the Titans." Shout out to Zack for making me watch that movie so I actually knew what we were talking about. For those of you who don't know it's a movie about a black football team and a white football team, they get put together to play as one and first they stay very segregated, there is a team captain from each side they don't work together and they aren't very good at Football playing like this. Well the coach is incredible and in the end he integrates both teams and through various means and communication they become an incredible team, they work together and win the championship but more important than that they put aside their differences. We as missionaries are all so very different, we came from different places, different backgrounds and not a one of us is identical to the other. But we have a goal in mind and we have some common ground in Jesus Christ and we have to work together! We have one purpose and it takes communication, love, patience and so many other things to work together and be successful, but we can do it! At the end of the movie one of the black players gets I think hit by a car and taken to the hospital. The players all go to the hospital and the nurse says "I'm sorry, you can't see your friend right now" and the white player says "He's not my friend, we're brothers." And then pushes past the nurse. It was a really cool comparison to missionary relationships and I definitely learned a lot! Just because we're different doesn't mean we can't develop a great relationship!
Back to our scambio... we had a great language study and we're able to learn a lot together. Anziano Osmond is a stud and learning fast. He's in his third Transfer and is doing great! We then planned to go to the park and it was kind of a mess... we walked out of the house and I saw someone and said hi to him and realized I left all the lass-a-long cards at home so we turned around and got them. We were carrying a Football to do some finding with it and we dropped off our bags at the Church and walked to the park. We got to the park and I asked Anziano Osmond where the Football was and he thought I had it and I thought he had it. We both could have sworn we took it from the Church and then I remembered where I left it but Anziano Osmond was sure that we had it when we left. We made a bet that if it was in the Church he had to buy me gelato and if it wasn't I had to buy him gelato and a new Football. Good thing it was in the Church! Haha I bought him gelato anyway, we found a really good place and got "Frutti di bosco" which is like Forrest fruit which are just berries and then I got coconut too, another one of my mom's favorites!
Then we were off to English Course and it was a lot of fun! That was the end of our day... now I had to write a lot about those two days because the rest not much interesting happened!
Wednesday was the day of the surgery, so what they decided to do was take out my whole toenail but leave the nail bed so it will regrow. So the surgery was at10:30 and we go and take a number to go through the insurance. It's a little different here because most people don't have insurance because there's universal health care and so they were taking forever and never called us and so I go up and ask and she says that there's problems with the insurance so like an hour later after translating for the mission nurse and everything they get me in there and 10-15 minutes later it's all done! She wrapped it all up and sent me on my way. I didn't feel a thing but in the car ride home the anesthesia wore off and I was ready for some drugs... I got home, all drugged up and made a mountain of blankets to elevate my foot and went to sleep for most of the day. We also got an email on Tuesday that my companion's Visa was ready to be picked up in Taranto on Thursday morning so he took Anziano Wilkey with him to Taranto and I stayed here with Anziano Velardi who played nurse for me...
Thursday was my year mark in the mission! I can't believe its been a year! So much has happened, I have met so many people and fell in love with a culture that I will never be able to forget. I have learned a beautiful language, studied so much but most importantly I have grown in my love for my Savior Jesus Christ. My testimony in Jesus Christ has doubled, tripled, quadrupled who knows how many times and I will always be grateful for that! The Sisters made me muffins and the Anziani brought me home a pizza. I stayed home all day because I wasn't supposed to put weight on my foot, all day with my foot in the air... if there was ceiling tiles in our apartment I could probably tell you how many there are. I'm not very good at letting people take care of me, I got my desk chair and scooted around the house in that trying to be self-sufficient while Anziano Velardi yelled at me to get back in bed. Oops...
Friday I was going crazy! I made lunch for everyone, I used Sister Pappagallo's recipe from a few weeks ago to make the baked chicken with the eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers and the breadcrumbs. It was super good, I got a picture before I put it in the oven but afterwards the Anziani ate it too fast to get one of the finished product. It was good though! That's pretty much all I didFriday...
Saturday I had to leave the house, I was going to go crazy if I didn't. We had Italian class at noon and then afterwards we all went downstairs to this Chinese place across the street to get lunch. It wasn't much of an outing but I definitely needed it! I hobbled my way across the street and ate some fried rice and sweet and sour chicken!
Sunday was great, I got to go to Church in Bitonto, all the members were so nice and wanted to help me. All the Sisters wanted to give me Mom hugs since my Mom wasn't here to give me one ;) Anziano Bates who I flew to Sardegna with when I first got here was here with his family to visit the Bitonto Branch. He's been home for about 6 months and they came to visit. We got invited to Pranzo by Francesco and Angela and it was a great and simple Pranzo! They're great and again we had a lot of fun! After lunch though my foot was pretty swollen and we had to go home so I could put it back up again...
This week I've had a lot of time to study, I think I've read about half of the Book of Mormon or at least it feels like that! I've watched Meet the Mormons as well as How Rare a possession and I've studied a ton of Italian. But more than anything I've had a lot of time to reflect and think about what has happened in this last year and what is going to happen in the year to come. I'm excited more than anything to change some things, to work harder and to make the most of the time I have left!
This next week unfortunately will not be the most exciting, I'm still not supposed to walk too much and so I'll be home quite a bit but I have a Post-op appointment Thursday and they will take the bandage off and the stitches and we'll see what the doctor says!
If you would like to share with me your favorite talks from General Conference I would love to know which ones they are and study them in the coming days. I hope you all have a great week and enjoy the warm weather that is bringing in these summer months!
Un abbraccio fraterno,