Wednesday, August 31, 2011

my favorite malady!! tonsilitis (this is really long but really good!)

well it happened. you know how hillary NEVER gets sick? except for that occasional bought of tonsillitis! yeah. it was a rough weekend hahaha and i didnt have good ol' dad to call in a z pac for me. well lets rewind. to last week. we went to acquaviva to see the costanzo family. these people are the most HUMBLE SIMPLE people that have ever walked the planet. BUT (ok how do i say this...) they are not stupid but they just dont think for themselves. they are catholic literally just because their parents raised them like that. thats it. its tradition couldnt matter less if its true. they have never even thought to question catholicism. it was interesting. many of our investigators are very intellectual, very much thinkers. these people just say 'well the priests say its like this...' but they are sooooo nice. they are literally humble also in the sense that they live off the earth. they gave us to eat figs, cherries and pastries, the figs and cherries from their own property. they have a son who is mentally handicapped, and he is a doll. his name is tomaso and they always say 'vero, toma? giusto, toma? che dici, toma?' its so cute!!! pinch their little cheeks!!!! they need to be baptized. the next lesson we teach them is going to be about KNOWLEDGE and finding our own answers 
thursday we had a lesson with love of my life antonio then we went to disneyland-- i mean carbonara. its a part of bari thats soooo cute old fashioned everything. you get on the bus number 4, you pass under this bridge and then a tinkerbell comes and poofs you into animated characters and when you get off the bus birds come and sit on your shoulder. its really quite wonderful. but really it is another world in carbonara. bari is more or less with the times. carbonara is at least 157 years ago. we stopped by slla avanatario and there was also sorella juan with her two sons (she is married to a man from mexico-- i couldnt bring myself to call him mexican because for some reason that has become a really negative thing in america to call someone mexican) and her sons are sooooo cute. there are seriously like dungen............ dungen..... dungen..dungen dungen BUTTERBALLLLL!!!! both of them. and when the mom said, ok its time for the prayer, the younger one, who was sprawled out on the couch looking at the ceiling half dead with boredon springs up FINALMENTE!!! they are soooo cute. then we went on a nice little adventure. we asked the son of slla avantario where strada 'la grave' was and he showed us how to get there and he said, its kind of far though, it might take you 45 minutes to walk. and i thought psssh we are missionaries. watch us do it in 20-- 22 max. so we start walking, and we walk past this complex with an open door. we walk inside and there is door with a baby announcement on it. we rang the doorbell and they didnt answer so we kept going. the city started to fade away.... and pretty soon we were in siena out in the vineyards at nonna's house (i know you all remember!) and i was thinking ok either we took a wrong turn or he wasn't kidding... so we kept going and as we walked we made the most of it. there were fig trees everywhere where we picked the figs. there were delish! and made our hands super sticky. then we saw some pomegranates! it was a feast! so pretty much that whole time we were in the middle of nowhere we were looking for the street la grave and then when we came to the end of it, we realized that that street IS via la grave. not that it leads to via la grave like i was thinking. anyhoo now we know. also happens to be the street where orazio lives. (coincidence? i think not!) then we went home (after getting a gelato...) and BEATRICE called us!!! we did a lesson with her in the park and it was awesome. she talk us about her nervous breakdown that she had. she destoyed her house. she knocked down all the walls. and now her house in in ruins and her son is angry with her. and i was sitting there the whole time picturing us in grubby work clothes reconstructing the house, painting the new rooms, decorating everything, frolicking through fields of daisies with paint chips and fabric swatches, just like the happily ever after on traiding spaces. so i said to beatrice this is perfect! my degree is in interior design! then the montage of happy images came screaching to a hault when she reminded me that houses in italy of made of cement, not wood. wa wa i dont know how to do anything with that. anyhoo.... we'll see what happens. friday we are going to her house to see the damage. can't wait! seriously though hahaha after that we had a lesson with michele. ok this was soooooo funny. the poor kid thought that all the members were like us, so when we were talking he is like 'i have bad news. i can't get baptized. it is absolutely not possible. i have work school and a family. this is not a lifestyle that i can lead.' i almost laughed right there. poor kid. anyway we explained everything and we hope that he is feeling better.
friday was miraculous. antonio had his interview for the baptism and he passed! the district leader said he was amazing and wonderful and antonio the same. after that it was kind of a bust. we went to loseto where the bishop lives and no one was home. (we tried to see less actives) then we tried the cassano family and they were home! they are active, but thats ok they need love too. i just remember being really really thirsty kind of like my throat was hurting. foreshadowing of the next day!!!
when we woke up we both had sore throats but we took airborne so i was positive that nothing was going to happen. that day we went to the church and finished the program for the baptism and we started feeling pretty crummy. we went to the farmacy to get antibiotics (luckily i have had tonsillitis before!). it was quite funny. you walk into the farmacy, ask for amoxicillin and they just give it to you. no perscription, no 'whats wrong'. just like buying french fries at mcdonalds. and it cost about the same as a gelato. crazy europe. then we went home. this then paved the way for the most action packed sunday i have ever lived....
sunday morning we went to church coughing and sniffling and fairly tired but happy the same. there is an eternal investigator, titta, who is literally insane, who comes faithfully every week but can't be baptized because she isn't right in the head and therefore has no need. anyway. we got all the way through relief society no problem. then when we were in sunday school. slla lecates coughed and titta started asking quesitons like whats wrong what are you taking have you seen a doctor etc. she started getting anxious. asking do i need to call the ambulance are you ok?? and we assured her that we were fine, we were taking medicine and that there was nothing to worry about. she is now disturbing the lesson. she startd freaking out saying that we are on the verge of death (as we are sitting there smiling) and that someone had to call 911 right now (118 in italy) or she was going to. pietro (who is the coolest guy ever--big and buff probably 32 y.o. was innactive until about a month ago) was laughing a bit and trying so hard to convince her that we were fine. the teacher who was fllo curci was very kind and told her this was not the place and that we were fine. well that did not go over well. titta (now on her feet) yells 'these girls are dying! it is my resposibilty as a doctor to call an ambulance!!' (she isnt a doctor....) pietro then says 'they have seen a doctor and the doctor prescribed them the antibiotics that they are taking.' titta got this curious look on her face. what doctor? when? where? fllo curci tells her that we saw doctor bellomo. titta thinks for a second. 'he's a dentist!!' and she is furious again. curci explains that we saw the other dr. bellomo and if she would please take her seat we could continue the lesson. she sits down. 'gimme a piece of paper and a pen' she says to me. she then writes us a perscription and says the SECOND we leave church we need to go pick it up. hahaha. we do the lesson for a few seconds when she flips out again on her feet saying that she can feel our infected tonsills pulsing in our throats and that she was going to call 118 because we were in danger of death. so she leaves. and i forget more or less what she was doing until in sacrament meeting she comes in taps us on the shoulder and says 'there is a doctor here. come and let him see you' i wonder what the ward was thinking.... well there really was a doctor. the ambulance wouldnt come but somehow she had called some doctor to come to the church. pietro (our hero) also came out in the hall with us and we let the doctor take a look at us, he told us we has tonsillitis and that the medicine we were taking was fine. titta felt soooo victorious. she was like 'how do you feel?' as though having the doctor look at our throats cured all our illnesses. bascially it was the highlight of the day. after church we had a huge confusion with one of the brothers who invited us to lunch without another woman etc etc. you'd think the MEMBERS would repect the white handbook.... anyway we went to stake president's house instead where his daughter and her boyfriend were all over each other. bleck! i hope i am never like that. we went to stake choir practice and i almost died because i just completely exhausted myself. so we went home early and made soup and read mormon doctrine.
monday we had a lesson with antonio then district meeting. at district meeting one of the italian elders, anziano errante, jokingly said that he didnt like it when the returned missionaries married italians and then took them to america because the church in italy needs members!!! with that comment i started thinking a lot about my future. what he described was pretty much my life plan until that moment.... but its true. the church in italy needs help. and i started thinking about all the good that i could do if i married an italian and raised my family in italy. then i thought about how much i would miss my family but that we will be together forever... no yes no yes no yes no... thank goodness i dont have to decide yet, but it did make me think. after we did some work in the area book and chose some ex investigators that we want to make into currents. then we went to the valentinis to steal some information from them because they know everything about everyone. then we went on a long adventure to find a less active member, maddelena. we went and she wasnt there but her sister was. her sister is ANTIissimo but gave us a glass of water. she wouldnt even let us say a prayer. we came back and as we got off the bus these two african boys got off also. they were looking for an address so we walked them there and as we were heading home, we saw two women sitting at the bus stop and one of them was eleonora (remember the crazy story of the lady on the phone who was in the hospital? it was her) she looked bad. really bad. i barely recognized her. anyway we talked to her for a few minutes when the Spirit told me to call the elders. so i did and they came. she was very happy to see them but she is changed 100% its sooooo weird. i wonder what happened to her.
yesterday was ZONE CONFERENCE!!! it was awesome!!! again i translated and its so fun to be one of the italians. anziano errante is the italian version of bryan myer if you remember him from high school. he is great. president made a bunch of comments about how we need to respect italian culture and not speak english all the time and anziano errante felt very vendicated i think. anyway the number one thing i want to talk away from the conference-- obedient means doing the things that they tell us to do. consecrated means asking 'what more can i do today?' that was beautiful to me.
well this morning we did a trial run baptism. antonio is SUPER excited. he tried on his clothes and he was all smiles. then we read some of the Book of Mormon together. i thought we would read a chapter. after three, he started reading 1 nefi 4 and we had to stop him because we were out of time. i wouldnt be surprised if he is still reading right now. he said he wanted to keep reading. when he said the closing prayer, he prayed thanking Heavenly Father for the Book of Mormon and he said 'i know that nefi is a real prophet'. it was beautiful. i can't wait. his white clothes are in the washer right now. his baptismal certificate is on my desk. this is real.
thank you all for everything. i also want to apologize that i haven't remembered anyone's birthdays. i've been out for coming up on a year so everyone has had a birthday and i remember them in the moment but never while im at the computer. sorry!! i love you. i know when your birthdays are, and when i get home i will give you the presents that i have for you.
all my love
sorella ashman

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