Buon giorno, tutti! I don't have much to write this week because I've been sick the WHOLE TIME. I'm not sure who told you we're all sick, but that's not true. In fact, I tried to go to a New Missionary Conference in Milano on Friday, but AFTER getting all the way there my fever hit full swing and dear Sister Wolfgramm sent me back to Padova to see a doctor. I was kind of expecting some other new missionaries to be sick, like we got it on the plane or something, but that wasn't the case. I'm the only missionary out for the count in all of Italy. It's a horrible feeling, but at least I'm getting better--thanks to a ton of medicine.
We got home late on Friday. The train between Milano and Padova is about 3 hours. It's way fun for me to ride a train because, y'know, it's new. Just like EVERYTHING else. But nothing's very fun when you have a fever, no matter how new or Italian it is. The best part of the train ride is passing through Verona and looking out the window... oh my goodness. It's gorgeous. Anyway, we got back to Padova and took a bus through the pouring rain back to our apartment, and then I just fell asleep. The next day, the capi (zone leaders) we live with drove me to the local hospital... and we waiting in a little room for three hours before just leaving. I don't know if it's because I'm American or because I didn't look sick or what, but we weren't getting in any time soon. So we went home.
Then on Pasqua (Easter), the ward mission leader, Tiziano, and his wife, Marta, were kind enough to drive Anziano Burr and I to this place called a Guarda Medica (or something like that), which I guess is like a clinic... or something... I dunno. It was in this oooooold building that was really nice on the inside and seemed like all sorts of different little things went on in there, and we followed these signs taped to the wall to the Medica where a woman doctor helped us right away. A bit more helpful than the hospital, eh? She listened to me breath through my back, and then prescribed me a thousand different antibiotics and medicines and stuff to get rid of some virus/bacteria I have. Mind you, this whole time Tiziano is speaking at a thousand words a minute to this doctor lady, and I have NO idea what's going on or what's being said until we're back in the car driving to the pharmacy and I ask Anziano Burr to give me some idea as to what is happening.
I have a new appreciation for people who come to America. I can remember being in situations--especially here recently at the MTC--where I giggled at the expressions on people's faces who couldn't understand English. It seemed so foreign of an idea to me to not understand what was being said. Well, not anymore. It happens all the time. I can't wait to understand this language, but people keep telling me it won't happen for a few transfers. I still think I can at least understand it before this first transfer is over, but we'll see. My 2 week hiatus from missionary work was probably unhelpful to that affect, but at least it was humbling.
I take 3 different medicines a day, and it's been helping a lot. I also breathe through this machine that pumps a bunch of weird steam into my lungs from these various solutions I dump into a little bottle. I'll get a picture of it and send it with a bunch of other pictures next P-Day. It looks... pretty funny. Ha! But that's all right, it helps loosen up the junk in my lungs.
We went on "splits" the last two days, which Italian missionaries call "scambi", which was basically just "Anziano Burr gets to leave the house while another Elder stays with this sick kid". But he got to go see one of our investigators with a baptismal date, which was really important. His name is Emmanuel, and he's from Nigeria. There are a ton of Africans here. They come to Italy to find work, but none of them speak the language. They just speak English. It seems like a weird situation. There also seem to be quite a few immigrants from South America. There are Africans and South Americans in our ward who speak English, and there's an Italian brother here who served in England on his mission and translates for them every Sunday. I'm not allowed to have a headset. Ha! That's all right, I want to learn Italian anyway. I think I'll probably be watching General Conference in English, though. They're broadcasting in Mestre, if I'm not mistaken... that's the city where the capi work every day, and the namesake of our zone.
All right, next time I write I'll finally have some real missionary stories to tell you! I'm so excited!!! I was reading in the D&C today... wish I could remember where... but there was a verse that talked about the necessity for bitter for us to know the sweet, just like Lehi talks about. There's got to be a reason I'm sick right now--probably several reasons--and I like to think that one of them is that for me to taste the true sweetness of the work here in Italy, I had to go through something bitter first. This dang virus sure fits that ticket!
I love you all. Tutto posto!