I reminded Ky: If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill (a great quote from Grandma Eyring).
I love the "right path is uphill" quote. I've been using that since the MTC and I didn't even know it. Ha! Also, last night, I was dying to remember President Lybbert's name. For the life of me I couldn't get past the L-Y. I was laying there, half asleep: "Lyman, Lyter, Lythuania, Lysterine..." It was so frustrating. I could see his awesome hair and smiling face, and could even feel his excited handshake after I told him where I was called to serve. I'm not even sure why I was thinking of him. Maybe he was thinking of me. Who knows? Anyway, the second I woke up I said, "Lybbert!" and that put a spring in my step for the rest of the day. Random start to this email, but it's making me smile, so va be'.
Happy Mother's Day, indeed! I've sent you a big sappy letter, Mom, so be expecting that. I have the best mother in the world, and even though every missionary says that, I'm the only one that's telling the truth. I know because the Spirit is nodding smugly in my heart right now.
No questions? None at all? Well... all right, then. Andiamo!
I'm feeling way better. Don't get that confused with "Wow, it's getting so much easier!" It's not. But I'm feeling loved, and that makes everything feel a bit easier, or at least more worth it. It's the start of my second transfer (what the WHAAAT!?), Anziano Burr and I are friends who sing Coldplay together all the time, I've finally ordered and eaten bread from a real Italian panificio, and I made a new friend at church.
Now that I can almost understand what some people might be trying to say in Italian, I'm beginning to establish myself as more than a wide-eyed greenie in the Padova Ward. We've been to several members' homes and I'm starting to connect children with their parents and that kind of stuff. Also I'm, like... walking up to people and starting conversations. In another language. Now that's bizarre.
One family we visited is la famiglia Zambolin with whom I enjoyed my first Italian meal with an Italian family in Italy. They were delighted with how excited I am by everything and how much I love everything-Italy. Once they realized I'm a bottomless pit with an unquenchable craving for pasta, bread, and cheese, they started pulling out their fancy cheeses and stuff and having me try them, and then asking how I liked this one compared to that one and... oh, it was heavenly. All I had to do was what came naturally: sigh, gasp, "mmmm", say buonissimo, and generally What-About-Bob my way through a five course meal. Thank you, body, for loving Italian food. (I'm gonna gain so much weight here.)
Another family is the Rotaru couple and their three and half year old daughter, S. Anyone who knows me well knows how much I lovelovelovelovelove children, so--as you can imagine--S and I are pretty much best friends. She is absolutely adorable. I can barely understand a word she says, but that's the nice thing about our friendship: both of us are learning Italian, so we don't mind each others' mistakes. She gets so excited when she sees me now (probably because I'm always so excited to see her) and she always wants to play and laugh with me. If only I was called to serve the bambini of Italy on a fulltime basis. My moments with S are enough to charge my Joy-o-Meter for a good couple of days, though, so these first few days after church have been great.
Gentry will be very happy to know that, aside from the fact that I think about her every day, I used her recipe book this week! It was my turn to cook a meal for all four of us, and I had no idea what to do (surprise), so I just grabbed that book and made broccoli spaghetti. It was... a lot different from the stuff we have at home. Mostly because every ingredient was fresh and real and nearly burnt. But it ended up being pretty good! We all had seconds and finished the whole pot. So a big THANK YOU to Gentry for saving my reputation.
Anziano Burr has tonsilitus. So... that's kinda scary. Right now all he has to do is take medicine and hopefully it'll go away. I was privileged enough to give him a priesthood blessing, so I believe he'll heal. If not he might have to go home for a while to get surgery, but let's not think about that just yet. Either way, keep him and his health in your prayers.
I think that's about it. The weather has been super weird lately. Even the Italians are saying so. It'll be sunny and the birds are just a-chirpin' away in the beautiful, leafy trees... and then suddenly it's pouring rain like nothing I've ever experienced. It's pretty cool. And now I get to say I've biked in the pouring rain! In Italy! HA! Life is so good.
So, yeah, I'm really happy this week. Tons of potential investigators to visit, and we've gotten 3 new ones recently who are keeping their commitments. That's always a pickerupper for a sullen missionary. Thank you all for reading my blurbs, for loving and caring and praying for me, and know that I'm filled with love for all of you as well. And for those of you reading who aren't LDS, be nice to the missionaries. Even if you don't want to hear their message, give 'em the time of day once in a while. Wave or smile or ask how they're doing. It's amazing how much a "Buongiorno" from a stranger brightens my whole day.