Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sorella Fitches is Back with a Vengeance!

To our great surprise, Sister Fitches was actually transferred to Brescia and we were companions for the 2nd time. The pic above shows the two of us with our good friend Augusta.
Fortunately our 2nd time around as companions was much more successful than our first. We both spoke Italian much better, we weren't opening a new area, we had a lot of fun adventures together, and we even had a baptism.
It doesn't happen very often that a missionary will spend 1/3rd of their mission with the same companion. My husband actually had 23 companions during his mission. I only had 7, including the threesome from the MTC.
One funny thing that happened soon after we became companions again was meeting a bunch of Yugoslavian kids while going park tracting. An extremely obese kid among them came up to us and asked “what do you weigh?” We were flabbergasted and responded “what do you weigh?” He proudly responded "70 kilograms"! We actually ended up doing a discussion with them when they asked who we were. We described the Book of Mormon to them as if we were talking about the next big movie show. We included lots of blood and gore in our descriptions.

One of my favorite days from my mission was taking a trip to Verona to see the opera “Aida” at the Arena.

All of the Milan missionaries had a once per mission opportunity to go outside of their zone and see a big event. Lots of people chose to go to soccer games, but President Boynton said that seeing "Aida" could be my special event. Sister Fitches got lucky and saw the opera with me as well as two soccer games with her other companions.

Since we wouldn't be able to catch a train home after the opera, we got to have slumber party with the Verona sisters. It was a blast! Sorella Clayton (who I knew from my zone in Milano) and Sorella Kuqi (pronounced cookie) were both sweet and funny and really made us feel at home. They even booked it out of the house and down to the train station as fast as they could since I'd left my glasses at their apartment.

Verona really is amazing! It was a beautiful day and president had given us permission to get there early and see the sites. It was the final day of the opera season that year and lots of people were out selling memorabilia at discount prices. We also got to see the Verona Elders by chance. I'd served with both of them in previous zones and was really happy to see them again.

I was as giddy as a school girl before the opera started, especially when we walked into the Arena and sat down on the steps. The scenery was incredible! We were just sitting there in awe and marveling at it. We had amazing seats. They were unnumbered (you bought your ticket by section), and since we got there an hour early, we got to be on the front row on the right side of the stage. We could have spat on the performers! They were the cheapest tickets too! The more expensive ones were more centered, but I'd much rather be close than centered. It was fantastic, well performed and absolutely beautiful! I was absolutely, perfectly content.

We had an "interesting" experience the next morning at the train station. While waiting for the Verona sisters to bring down my glasses, a Moraccan guy came up and kept propositioning us. He even said “come on, I like my women to have a little extra meat on their bones,” which somehow lowered our opinion of him even more (I can't imagine why). We explained to him who we were and that we didn't date in the mission, but he kept insisting and even said "what, you don't like having sex?" We flat out told him several times to go away and that we wouldn't be interested even if we weren't missionaries. He just would not listen. Finally we had to leave and meet the sisters somewhere else. Some guys just never take a hint.

Mariella, a member from the Milano 3 ward, came to visit us in Brescia. We did the touristy stuff with her and took her to the Brescia dome. While walking down the stairs in the center of the chapel, I slid backwards and biffed it down three stairs! My camera and everything else went flying. It was hilarious, but since I was in the middle of a church, I had to do everything I could to not burst out laughing. I must have been punished for making so much commotion in a church because my butt hurt a LOT for the next few days.

Another funny experience happened while teaching a new member lesson at the Schiano's house. Their house dog, Milly, couldn't stop licking my legs. I was covered in mosquito bites, and since I'd scratched them mercilessly, it must have appeared to the dog that I'd been wounded. Every once in awhile one of the Schianos would grab her and distract her for awhile, but then she'd get bored, jump off their lap, and then come back and lick my mosquito bites again. It was even funnier because I'm ridiculously ticklish.
One day after interviews that had gone way too late, we stayed the night in Bergamo with the Bergamo sisters. Sorella Erdmann from West Jordan and Sorella Adamo from Taranto, Italy were super fun, and it was great to feel like a college student again! Sister Adamo had been baptized just 2 years before her mission, and her family were adamantly against her decision. Her father had actually told her that if she didn't call home every week to let him know she was alright, he would send the police up to come and get her. President ended up allowing her to have a cell phone in order to appease her father.
We'd been told at interviews that day that all missionaries were now being given an extra half hour a day for exercise. So the next day we started the new exercise programs, and I danced around doing "sweatin to the oldies" moves. Everyone laughed and took pictures. Too bad I don't have any of me sweatin' it old school!

It delighted Sister Fitches to be able to see Bergamo again since she'd served her first 3 months there. We had fun touring it, and we even found one store called "in the city of babylon." We cracked up laughing. We also took a lift up to see Bergamo from a bird's eye view, and then toured the downtown area.

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