Friday, December 31, 2010

month a versary!!!

ciao tutti carissimi miei!!!
i got an AWESOME letter from suzanne with tons of great questions that i havent responded to yet, so lets do it!
1. how are you?- FANTASTIC. i live in italy.
2. are you walking, driving, or riding a bike?- we walk EVERYWHERE. we are currently visiting and inactive family that literally lives at the edge of the city. but the city is small. it takes about 45 minutes to walk all the way. 
3. have you had to use any money?- yes a little bit. getting settled always costs money but now we are settled so i should be ok unless i want to do some shopping for myself, and until  i decide on some glasses frames....
4. are your shoes holding up?- yes! i brought like 10 pair and i switch out all the time so they are getting pretty evenly worn so far. i wear my boots that i got at DI for $7 more than anything else since its cold here. 
5. do you get calls or visits from the mission home?- not really. we are the furthest city from the mission home (except malta, but that is a different country...)
6. what is christmas like in ragusa?- its not as big of a deal as i thought it would be. i actually loved it because people are just not ashamed whatsoever to celebrate the birth of christ. but few houses were decorated, people werent stressed out about gifts and making the family christmas card with everyones biography.... it was all about the food. as it should be. 
7. have you had anytime to see the history?- no not really. one day we went on an impromtu tour of a town called vittoria with a member, but we thought it was going to be a lesson.... miscommunication but it was cool to see some of the parts outside ragusa. the main church here is INCREDIBLE. the design in sicily is very muslim inspired, since we are so close to africa, so the cathedrals have onion domes, and they are made of a uniform sandstone, not like by baby, the gaudy striped cathedral of siena. 
8. is it big population wise? is it crowded?- YES and i think that every person in the city feels it necessary to own a car. the streets are PACKED all the time with cars. there arent usually a ton of people out (since italians are so whimpy and refuse to leave the house when its cold), except on via roma. its the swanky downtown district that spans all of about a kilometer. but people are out in giro on via roma every night, especially sunday. there are lots of old men out often. they are always in groups of 3-5 dressed to the nines: hats, vests, canes, clean shaven, shoes polished. and they are all about 5 feet tall. usually they watch me and sister foote probably thinking they woke up in the twilight zone. who knows if they have ever left ragusa in their lives! and usually slla foote and i say 'BUONGIORNO!' and they smile. sicilians are very respectful of our choice to serve missions. 
9. how goes street proselyting?- i LOVE doing street. yesterday we stopped a man named salvatore (like probably 50% of other males in sicily) we talked to him about a profet, and he gave us the same response and most italians. i believe in God, and anyone else who does too is saved. doesnt matter what church they go to. it was fun talking to him because he was saying that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. so we told him that it why we have a profet, because there was a profet 3000 years ago, and there is one today. he was also talking about how he doesnt need to be baptized by water. he can be reborn spiritally. when he said that, i just said, 'interessante. jesus was baptised, and if God is always the same, shouldnt we have the same baptism?' then i told him that WE have the same baptism, we have twelve apostles, we have the same authority that Jesus Christ did. you know that you were relying on the Spirit when you can silence a sicilian.....good moment.
10. our man with a baptismal date- if you will read back to the email two weeks ago, about my week, he was the one who didnt want to study with us anymore. well we kept praying for  him and visiting  him. on saturday, we saw him and he said he wanted to study with us again! so we saw him on monday but he wasnt not being very nice. he was actually quite rude to slla foote. in this moment, i dont feel like hes really into this. i dont think he is making the best choices. i dont really know him at all, but its hard for slla foote who has been teaching him from the beginning. 
11. have you had anymore contacts?- oh yes! tons. we talk to people all day everyday (excpet when we have to sit on our fat butts in the smelly internet cafe....) we  have an indian friend that we found while we were knocking doors. he came to the ward christmas party. we are teaching a new african family, gloria (the wife) uyi (the husband) and joseph (the son who is less than 2). we taught them the first lesson, and uyi said 'i already know what you are telling me is true.' hahaha africans make this work seem easy.... but i really want to be teaching italians. everyone needs the gospel of course, but the africans are usually here in a period of transition, and we need to build up this city!!
12. what is church like?- church is hilarious. relief society is awesome because the sisters will often get into.... 'dicussions' about the doctrine. (they are all italian women, what can you do...) sunday school is great, and often slla foote and i end up in the english class, which is the class for all the africans (they are the only non-italians in the ward besides us). this is where we hear things like 'we have our white sisters here, so we need to listen to their words' and 'daddy, open our brains and put your knowledge in.' sacrament meeting is great. its so nice to have a ward and not a branch. usually slla foote and i translate/ babysit in the back. one of our new converts has a very active two year old. he is SOOOOO cute but loves to run up to the pulpit during the middle of a talk. but church is always great. everyone is so short though, i can just imagine what church looks like to everyone else: a sea of tiny little sicilians, a few africans, and then sorella modella, almost 2 meters tall!! (one of the members in a nearby city nicknamed me sorella modella  ahahhahaahah) 

so thats it! thanks for the letter. thanks for all the letters everyone! you are great! i love you and i am so glad i got to talk to you all on christmas. 

my vote for the baby is Luca. its italian. and its the perfect mix of luke and lucas. Luca William Ashman. its perfect. 

the gospel is true. otherwise i wouldnt be in this smelly internet bar wearing a frumpy flannel skirt on the 28 of december 2010. i would probably drive down to the strip, watch the bellagio fountains and go to the prada store to drool over everything. but i wouldnt change switch the two scenarios if i had the chance. i have 16 months left to change the world and Heavenly Father himself asked me to do this work. sometimes i dont think of it that way, but when i do, i really feel humbled. He asked me to do this work, because He can't do it Himself. i know this work is ordained of God and that we have a profet today. we need a profet more than ever, and because God loves us, He gave us Thomas S. Monson, a righteous man with no desire for accliam or laud. invite your friends to partake of the fruit, family! help the missionaries in your city. we need the not full time missionaries to help us. love you all!!
sorella ashman

1 comment:

  1. Hey my love I need your address! I wrote you a stinkin long letter. Love love laur