Friday, November 27, 2009

Sorelle Wilcox Says Good-bye to Milan♥

 So Kayla has been transferred. I enjoyed her letter so much that I just shared the whole thing with you! No pictures until next week I hope...

Ciao from Pordenone!

Well, I made it! It was quite the adventure too. But I have to start off with the night before. To be honest, when I got the call to go and open a new city, close to Venice and with a companion I already knew I was really excited. We went out and bought new shirts that are bike friendly and boots for Slla Simons. Then we went to the Cemetery and then we went to the church. That was where it got me that I was actually leaving. I walked in the gate for the church and saw Slla Savino and Irene and I asked them to put in their information so I could keep in touch. Then I walked in the church and saw Slla Grimaldi who started crying and came and hugged me and I couldnt contain myself. I started sobbing and she was too and I felt like my heart was breaking. Then, Sussanah, a young woman who I really worked with, started crying and I was so sad! Then Maria, our beautiful investigator came, sick, to say goodbye and I cried, she cried, but with her I felt pretty certain that I would see her again so it wasnt so hard to say goodbye. We had gone to the church to teach a lesson with Victoria, an INCREDIBLE woman from Peru, and so I was a mess, she was sad I was leaving and goodness I didnt know what to do. So, I pulled myself together and we went and taught a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation. Coincidently, that was the only thing that was really getting me through this transfer because I know that I will live with these people again if we live the way we should. It was beautiful and I really loved it.
Then Slla Fiorenza, her husband and their 2 children came. She came up to me, crying and just clung to me. I cried and told her how much I loved her and she told me thank you a million times for all that we did for her and how much she loved me too. We had gone to her house during a really hard moment for her and had an incredible lesson inspired from D&C section 25 (could be wrong, maybe 24?) when the Lord is talking to Emma Smith about being an elect lady. I saw the darkness lift from her eyes and saw them being filled with love. She is incredible and I want to stay incontact with her and her family forever! She gave me a purse that I had told her months ago that I thought was cute and she said that it was for me to always remember her.
Emily and her boys came to say goodbey too and they are so sweet. I loved doing service with them every week and Emily saved my summer when she got me my shoes! Im really glad she is from Utah and lives in Italy. Little does she know that Im moving back to Milano and paying 1/2 rent for a while!!
As hard as all this was, the hardest part of all was when I had to say goodbye to my sister, Valentina. It was the hardest part of all. She was upstairs making Christmas ornaments with  the Relief Society (she is Secretary!) She came downstairs to get me and then we went upstairs where Marco was playing the guitar and there were a lot of members around. She took me by the hand and let me over to where Marco was and gave me two presents. One was a little Hello Kitty stuffed kitten that I love and keep on my bed now and the other was the movie "Questo Piccolo Grande Amore" and the cd with the song that I love from the singer Claudio Baglioni. She then gave me the biggest hug and told me how much she would miss me, how much she loved me, how I am her sister and how grateful she was for me. I cried and cried and cried. My heart was truly broken and I clung to her, not wanting to ever let her go. If I could hug men, I would have hugged Marco too, but I couldnt. They are the biggest reason of why I love Milano so much. Every appointment with them I learned something that made me a better person. Her baptism was the most spiritually powerful baptisms I have ever been to. Their wedding was so incredible and there was a beautiful spirit of love and devotion there. They gave us a ride home from the church and Valentina held my hand the whole time. I loved sitting next to her in church because the spirit is always so strong wherever she is and the love she has for me and the love I have for her is so strong! I love her as a sister and she really is my sister! If all I ever got out of my mission was the chance to meet her, it would be enough. She and Marco are incredible, strong members and I know the church in Italy is much stronger thanks to them! Leaving them was just as hard as leaving you all back in America.
Well, I got home and couldnt stop crying. Slla Simons tried to be simpathetic, but to be honest, I was unconsoleable. Plus then I had to pack all of my stuff! AHH! But in the end, it was all taken care of and we got to go to bed fairly early!
The next day Slla Simons and I got ready and headed for the train station and oh my goodness my bags are SO HEAVY! I was really afraid for us because both Slla Doxey and I have been in our cities for 9 months and you collect a lot of stuff in that amount of time! But we managed it. I cried in the trainstation, not too much though because I got to see a lot of people I havent seen in a long time! Like Anz. Franklin (not since the MTC) and Anz. Bowman and Anz. Toronto! So exciting! Plus, all of the Sorelle were there except the ones in Genova and Bergamo. We had to wait at the trainstation from 9 something until 12:30 and then we almost missed our train! Ha! We would. We ran with all of our stuff, the Anziani helped thank goodness, and then we jumped on and settled in for a long ride. At the trainstation we talked to a girl on her way to France to visit her boyfriend and who would be interested in learning more and on the train from Milano to Verona we talked to another woman who wasnt too interested, but was really nice anyway!
We had to say goodbye to the sisters in Verona and switch trains to Mestre. Yes, we had to switch trains with all of our stuff! Ah!So heavy! But there were Anziani to help us. We ran to our train (again almost missing it) and realized that we had all of my stuff, but none of Slla Doxeys stuff and only one bag of one of the Anziani and the other Anziano had all of his stuff. Turns out, one of the Anziani got left with 4 bags and didnt catch the train in time! So he caught a EuroStar train (really fast) and beat us to Mestre. While there, we had to fight off gypsies and then got on the wrong train! Luckily, one of the Anziani realized this and blocked the door with his body while Slla Doxey and I climbed out and made it just in time! We all laughed, watched the preview for the New Moon movie (train stations have preview things, like tvs) and finally got our train for Pordenone.
We were all so tired! We got on the train and then made it just in time off the platform to meet Slla Durazzani who took us to our apartment. Oh my goodness, our apartment STINKS!!!!! 20 years of Anziani and it smells like a locker room. SICK! So, we drop off our stuff, have about 30 minutes and then we get picked up again by Slla Durazzani and her husband to go teach a lesson to our baptismal date Hilarios. We teach, half dazed, and get home in time to program. The couple at the millitary base here brought us some food because we didnt have a whole lot in our house and then we slept. We get up the next day, unpack and then the Martins (the couple) pick us up to go to the American base to eat TACO BELL!!!
So, we get there, eat Taco bell and Cinnabun and then we are on our way to go see the Commessary. I have to buy a bike, grrrrr, but we found one! We called President if it was ok if we bought it and he reminded us of the rule that we are not allowed to give people money to buy things from the American Base for us. So, since we arent allowed to actually buy it ourselves, we have to give the Martins money because they have id for the base, we dont get to buy it. They were all for letting us twink the rules, but we stood firm and decided that it was better to be honest and just wait for the Lord to provide a way. We are currently still waiting and doing A LOT of walking, but its going to be ok. We may go and buy a bike today at a store. That night we were picked up by the stake president (talk about nerves! I hadnt even showered yet because I didnt bring my towel but was just going to buy one here!) to go and teach Hilarious again. It was a great lesson on repentance and I fell in love with Slla Chieasurin and Pres. Chiesurin. They are incredible! There is always a family that is just YOUR FAMILY and I found mine! In Milano I had a couple and I think it will be the same here. Sunday came and we both just felt like we were in a whirlwind!
However, your prayers were COMPLETELY AND FULLY answered! The ward is absolutely in love with us! Everyone was so excited to see us and wanted us over to their house and everyone is feeding us! We are both afraid to gain weight! The ward leaders are incredible and so happy to be working with us and this ward is so full of unity and love! Everyone is so nice! It was the Primary program and the kids are so cute! I love Italian children who sing the primay songs! So adorable!
There is a big American ward here too and we are invited for Thanksgiving and they are ok with us bringing our incredible less-active almost reactivated member Orietta Giovenazzi. She is just beautiful and we are so happy to be working with her.
We do have a baptism this Saturday, yeah, I know right?! And he is incredible. His name is Hilarios, he is from Ghana and his wife is taught by the Martins. She, Diana, will be baptised in January. I will for sure send pictures!
Ready for some miracles??!!
Ok, so we offered to help our neighbor load groceries into her home and turns out they know a lot about missionaries. Sylvanna is 25 and a baker, Marilenna is her mom and works at home as a massage therapist and her daughter Katia is a high school student. We taught them a lesson Sunday and they are incredible! Got to help them quit smoking. I really hope for the best, especially Sylvanna.
Then, we were doing casa (knocking doors) by the church and we got into an apartment! They are the Artan family from Albania and they were so nice! They let us in, gave us water (wanted to give us tea or coffee) were mildly interested and said we could come back. They are muslim, but not really practicing. They have 2 sons and are truly so precious.
We have so many people we have met on the street or who have said to call them or anything really and its just a city of miracles! Not to mention absolutely adorable. Very 1950's feeling.
There is a great market here every Wednesday and Saturday and their town square is so precious! They have a two level carosel that lights up and plays every night. I really feel like Im in some sort of amazing dream. The work is growing, our members are incredible (model perfect) the city is so charming and we get along so well! What more can you ask for, except maybe a really strong candle. Our apartment is getting better, kind of. Stinky Anziani!
Anyway, this is my week so far! Its been quite the ride! But Im happy, really healthy, but still a little heartbroken for Milano. Its really hard at night. I miss it so much! But, like Slla Simons told me, its a part of the mission. I just have to work on feeling that way about Pordenone.


Carrie said...

Wow. What a great letter. Kayla sounds like she is one incredible missionary! What a learning and growing time for her. Thank you for sharing.

Carol said...

Hey Ephra,
How are you doin, Cuz? I'm so happy Kayla is doing so well on her mission. She's exactly the kind of missionary I loved to work with! What a great experience for her, something she'll always cherish. Thanx for sharing, I love to check out your blog, just didn't realize I could leave a comment until now. Take care!

Kay said...

Love reading Kayla's letters. Thanks! I wish you could put up a map and show us Milan and then Perdonne(sp) to see how far she had to travel to her next city. The trains there are amazing and so dang efficient and on time! How many months does she have left? I'm thinking it's going by really fast! I hope you and Jay can go to Italy to 'bring her home'. It's a lovely country, if you ignore the gypsies.

Kay said...

Oops, I just read the previous post you put up and it told me she's heading home in March. She'll be home before you know it!! What a trooper she is! It's great to have a missionary in the family, huh. Oh, and FYI, me and Carol have been to the Duomo as well. It will be fun to swap stories with Kayla when she gets home. Hugs!

Annette said...

Awesome letter! She's amazing and I hope she is keeping a journal! Oh, I guess her emails are a journal, huh? I hope she keeps us updated on all these people she mentioned. I would love to see this place--it sounds amazing. P.S. it was fun to see comments from Carol and Kay! Do you know if they have blogs? I would love for them to read you have their email addresses? Later sis!