Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Look Out

I've been writing lots of songs lately and thinking about words.  It's amazing how we can string together a bunch of lines and curves and communicate ideas beyond images: we can share emotion, questions, answers, and who knows what else?  Music is eternal.

My gut hurts.  I think it's stress.  I'm trying to zen and let things go and just keep going.  F'naaa.  It's hard.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited for life back home, but the last thing I ever want to do is leave Italy. Conflict.  I guess there has to be opposition in all things.

Not much to say this week.  Thanksgiving is coming up.  I'll just write a list of what I'm thankful for.

I'm most thankful for God, and that He talks to me.
I'm thankful that I'm learning how to hear Him better.
I'm thankful for all the things I've learned out here.
I'm thankful for family and that I know what it means now.
I'm thankful for friends, and that they mean everything to me.
I'm thankful for love, because it's the reason for every good thing.
I'm thankful for music.
I'm thankful for stories.
I'm thankful for moments where life feels like a movie.
I'm thankful for sacrifice, and what it teaches me.
I'm thankful for all the missionaries who have reached out and loved me.
I'm thankful that I got to help other missionaries.
I'm thankful for the families that made me feel at home.
I'm thankful for understanding and wisdom.
I'm thankful for light.
I'm thankful for the internet.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sento Qualcosa!

I heard that President Eyring went to the Vatican.  That's so great.  The weird thing about Italy is that there is not much communication from region to region.  There's really no such thing as an "Italian", just Veneti and Napoletani and Siciliani and Romani.  The members of the church here are an amazing example of strong family life.  

Sorry for not having emailed yesterday, but we went up to Verona for the conference.  We ended up only having about 10 minutes to practice as the choir, but they were all talented singers and the performance went fine.  The conference was fantastic, all about increasing every area of performance by just 1%.  It looks like nothing at first, but if we continue with 1% increases in every field, the eventual improvement is dramatic.  Elder and Sister Fingerle came from Germany for the presentation.  They were wonderful.

After the conference, there in Verona, I saw and heard from a few families I used to visit often, just about a year ago.  They remembered me by name and were so happy to see me.  I nearly burst.  I love Verona and its wonderful people.

There's a family here in Reggio I'm falling in love with, too.  They're from Venezuela.  The uncle, Elviro, is a member since two years ago.  The father of the family and his 9 and 7 year old children are not yet members.  We've been working with them as a family and I've been experiencing some of the best moments of the mission.  I loooove family, and I love children.  I especially love when little girls say a prayer, look up at their father, point to their chest, and say, "Sento qualcosa!"  I feel something.

It's true.  It's so true, and she knows it.  She felt it.  So can I.  I cried on the bike ride home.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I can't stand the wind.  It's funny you'd write about it, Mom.  The other week it was super windy here in Reggio and I remembered how windy it gets back in Pasco.  Yuck.  They say it'll snow here during the winter.  I sure hope so -- I haven't seen la neve in Italy.  I had a dream it snowed.  My dreams are getting more and more realistic lately.  I wonder if that's good or bad.  It's sure boring.

It's really weird to think I'll be bilingual when I come home.  Er, I already am bilingual, I guess.  It's cute to read through my first journals.  All I ever talk about is how badly I want to understand and speak Italian.  Now, as long as the conversation stays in regular territory, I can communicate as easily as I do in English.  My dreams frequently feature Italian.  It's all the things I wanted in the first months, and now it's all so... normal.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

There Ya Go

The autumn days are cold and wet
In Reggio nell'Emilia.
The other elders here regret
The weather unfamiliar.
But I, from rainy Washington,
Pretend to be at home,
Even though my farming town
Is drier than a bone.

I just made that up right now.  Guess I've still got it, ha!  Reminds me most of English Class.  We've gotten to the point that people come just to hang out with us Americans, play games while they conversate in English, and hear the nice, feel-good spiritual thoughts we offer at the end of every lesson.  We've done classes on poetry and autumn lately, so there ya go.

I can't think of anything interesting that happened this week.  Oh, except TRANSFERS.  Heheh. Anziano Vaclaw is awesome.  He fits in super well and has a little bit of each of our personalities. Plus he's a really good singer, so we're harmonizing all over the apartment.  It's great.