Oh, boy. Did I have a weird week. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! Haha!
I'd love to make this a really trippy email, starting at the end and working my way back through the story like a Christopher Nolan film. So I think I will. Surprise of the week: I'm writing this email from Ancona, in all the same clothes I wore yesterday, sweating over phone calls from a bunch of important numbers I don't know.
How did I get 260 kilometers from my assigned area of beautiful Reggio Emilia? Well, it all starts several days ago when I got the call from office in Milan: "Your Permesso di Soggiorno is ready!" Last time I heard that I was in Verona and traveled with Anziano Kessler to Padova to simply pick up the legal document that lets me stay here in Italy. So when I got the call, Anziano Carter and I went to the train station, bought (really expensive) tickets for Tuesday, and went back to work.
One of our investigators is an older Italian man named Roberto. He's very intelligent and wants to be able to figure everything out factually, intellectually, and logically. Faith is difficult for him, though he often applauds us for ours. We're doing everything we can to help him find his own faith in Jesus Christ, and we're using prayer and God's amazing Plan of Salvation to do it. We've had lots of great spiritual experiences with him in his home (which is full of old records, model planes, and a cool weapons collection) and he likes us a lot. So much, in fact, that when he found out about my love for writing, he showed me one of his old typewriters. I got to play with it and loved it SO MUCH that he found another one he never uses... and gave it to me. I was shocked and so grateful for his generosity. No idea how I'm gonna get it home, but I now have a legit Italian typewriter on my desk at Reggio Emilia. I played with it for hours, ha!
Tuesday rolled around, and we jumped on our train. Anziano Horrocks and his companion were on the same one, headed down to Ancona with us! Several hours later, we arrived and all ate together at the Ancona apartment. It was bizarre to be talking and laughing with Anziano Horrocks, Howell, Hallulli, Carter, and Gomez all at the same time. It was like Batman meets Spiderman or something.
Then we went to the Questura (police station)... and I found out there are these super important documents that I didn't bring from Reggio. Whoops! So I called the office in Milan and the other elders in Reggio and we figured out that we could ship them down with DHL that night. So they did, it was super expensive, and it should be arriving here in Ancona soon where we stayed last night with zero preparation. We feel kind of homeless, nothing but the clothes on our backs and unbrushed smiles. Eww!
We had a lot of fun in Ancona yesterday, though. Saw some beautiful things and I got to spend time with Paolo, who I miss and love so much. Hopefully all of this gets worked out soon and we get to go back to Reggio this afternoon. I guess you'll find out next PDay, depending on where I am when I get to email again. Ha!
I'm so happy that my mom had a good birthday, and I'm so excited for Audrey headed into the MTC. Clearly, the mission is full of adventure and surprises. And I wouldn't have it any other way!
Love from this happy missionary,