Hello!!!!! haha mom you are crazy!!! how in the world did you know i was going to italy and then know that i was going to sicily first?? its insane. i really feel like i just have so much to say i dont even know where to start. ok. well i got here a week ago and we had time to just get to the mission home, eat some dinner and then basically find out where we were going. i was SHOCKED. to say the least. (by the way the shift is hard to use here so no capitals.) then the next morning we got out at 530 to get on a train to get down to catania. there were a couple of us that had to go to catania. it was a 10 hour train ride so that was a little tough after we had been travelling in airports for 2 days already. it was fun though. there were 6 of us coming down here together, 3 old and 3 new. but 3 of the 6 dont speak english as a first language. so that was a little difficult. the train ride was sweet though. we were by the ocean a lot of the time and that was so pretty!!! the water is so blue here!!! it really doesnt compare to anything i have seen. when we got to the end of the boot, the train got onto a boat and we took a boat thing over. we got to get out and take pics on the boat. i will have to send them to you!
anyway, i got to catania and my trainer was there to get me. seriously i couldn't have been blessed with a better trainer. i love her so much. she is just a fun, bubbly, great girl. we get along really well and she is just so sweet to me. i love her. heavenly father really knew that i needed her. she is from northern california, mt shasta. and she is 23. she graduated in my same thing and wants to do pt. so we have a lot in common that way. i really am so grateful for her. we are going to have a lot of fun together. this is her 4th transfer in catania so i might only have her for 1 transfer but im going to beg president to let her stay with me. she is almost at her year mark and has loved her mission. we have a pretty big apartment because when there are transfers, lots of sisters come to stay with us. so there are 2 bathrooms, a big bedroom with 4 beds and then air matresses. then we have a whole other room that is just our clothes and study room. its perfect. we are right above a bread shop and we are on the second floor. the outside of it is pink. oh and when we look out our window, we see the ocean! its beautiful! i will send you a pic of that too.
ok, of all the things, this is the biggest tender mercy. remember the family we met at the temple, mom??? they are in one of the wards we serve with!!! can you believe that? and she totally remembered us and so when i got into my room here there was a picture of me and you that sister bay gave to my trainer. i havent seen her yet because they were out of town last sunday but i will see her this sunday. tender mercy! also, since they are on the base, you can send packages to me to her house and it only costs as much as it would to send to new york. everything gets here and it only takes like 12 days!!!! we couldnt find her address this morning so we are going to ask her on sunday and then i will let you know. but i do have somethings that i need so this is just great! just a heads up, im going to need more black shoes. i dont know what kind i want yet but i really scraped mine up some how. and while im here is a great time to send me things.
so, we serve in 2 wards as you just saw. we have an italian ward in the morning, a whole ward! and then an american branch in the afternoon. its sweet! i get to understand things for 3 hours on sunday. and the americans get us stuff from the base that is from america an cook for us and everything. its wonderful! well... actually i havent been there yet but i hear its great. we went with one of the american families on a hike today for p day. the wife is a member but her husband isnt. they have 2 kids and it was great to just be with a family again. they are great and just take care of us. also, one of our investigators is an american on the base so i am actually going to be able to understand everything that is being said!!! hahaha. im really excited for that. my first lesson with her is going to be on friday night and they are having a bbq for us.
as for the language, HOLY COW! i learned nothing in the MTC. people ask me questions and i just turn to my companion for help. a lot of people speak sicilian too so it is just hard to understand. they say that here and napoli are the hardest places to understand people. so my comprehension is low. everyone says it will come and i just need to keep faith that it will. cause at this point, i really dont understand much. i bear my testimony at the end though and because i am new i have to say the opening prayer for EVERYTHING!!! haha its so funny. i just know that it is going to be me when we ask who they want to say the prayer. i just feel bad for my trainer because i feel like she has to do everything... i guess when i can understand it will be better. they say it takes till about half way through your second transfer... i love when she talks though because generally i understand everything. especially in lessons! so keep praying for me!
as for the work, its going pretty good. we have 9 investigators but not all are really progressing. we found one last week, sophia, from english course and she is sooooooo great. we went and taught her last saturday for the first time and then went and taught her yesterday too. she read the intro to the BOM and said that it was like her thoughts were written on the pages!! so cool to hear. she really just believes that the BOM is true. the only bad thing is that she is going to interview for a job in rome the beginning of may so if she gets it she is leaving in a month... it will be really cool to see what happens with her. as for our other investigators, they are great but all of them have things that are holding them back from getting baptized. and they all LOVED sorella pearson's last companion and its hard because i cant really get to know them and fill in that hole because i cant talk to them. i just need to learn italian adesso!!!! seriously.
transportation here is kinda a joke... haha. the buses dont really have schedules so we just cross our fingers and hope that one comes. we basically just walk everywhere. it makes it hard to teach because it takes us at least an hour to get to most our investigators houses.... but we are going our best. we try at talk to people on the bus or waiting but other than that we dont really have time to just contact. we havent done any house to house yet.
I think that is all for right now. i still need to write my mission president. I am good and really happy. not understanding anything but i couldnt ask for a better companion or first area. its great! i love it! thank you for your emails! i dont think that i will have time to really write everyone individually this week because i had so much to say in this email. but know that i love you all and am so grateful for each of you! Send me letters k?? I will write back but i can only email family. thanks for everything! oh and before i forget. they got to skype (video chat) at christmas. try to get that and set up an account just in case we can again. love you all so much. i am so grateful to my heavenly father for all the tender mercies he has shown me since i have been on a mission. i love him so much and love to help those around come to feel of his love in their lives as well! talk to you soon!!!!