Wednesday, October 12, 2011


well things are going great. i wanna stay here forever. and i might do it. being with sorella hicks makes me feel like a huge sinner though because she is perfect. and i am realizing more and more the spiritual cancer that i have had without ever knowing it. its great to have someone different than you because you even each other out. she is seriously the best. she is quite, tidy and simple. have any of those words ever been used to describe me? uuuuuuh.... yeah i didnt think so. i was such a horrible child. im so sorry. not that i am much better now...
anyway i want to start by telling you all about the story that i am writing. while we were reading the Book of Mormon the other day, i had the thought i my writing skills must be going down the tubes, even though i was a pretty good writer (in english and italian) when i was a student. so i decided that i wanted to write a story. its not just a two page fun story, its already 10 pages by hand and its just getting started. i think it will be like 40 pages. not a novel but you know. anyway, its about me and what will happen if i stay in italy. miriam comes to visit and run a half marathon with me. at the very beginning for about a paragraph life is perfect with me and my hot husband and then my friend carmen (a member here) comes to our house because she got kicked out of hers and then the story goes from there and all the problems that happen. anyway yesterday slla hicks was sick so we sat at home all morning. she slept and i wrote the story. (i also have a weiner dog in the story hahahaha!!!) anyway as im writing it, i am seeing myself, as selfish and distracted as i am, and also seeing that im not always right. i read the story to slla hicks and im thinking that ive created all these problems for myslef in the story and when i finished reading what i have so far she says "poor husband" and i was like "poor husband???" then i realized that she was right and i was a selfish pig. hahahaha when i get home i will type it and translate it in english.
last thursday there was an awesome huge miracle. we had a lesson with angelo our new little love. fllo curci got there before us, and they had talked about how he needs to quite smoking. then the Spirit overcame him and he said, "fine i dont smoke anymore" and he threw his lighter and cigarettes in the garbage. now dont get too excited because he has smoked since then, BUT very very little and not for the last two days. he was smoking three packs a day, and though he didnt quite go 100% he is now smoke free :) that afternoon we saw annalisa and stefania and we talked about the restaurazione, but they had so many questions about.... well lets just say "the law of chastity"...... i told them next time we see them, we are teaching the law of chastity and they can ask us whatever questions they want. one of the questions they had was "isnt it sad for you to know that when you are in love with a person you cant share that love fully?" i almost slapped them across the face. THE WORLD HAS NO IDEA WHAT LOVE IS!!!!!!!!!! after their lesson we saw grazia and gianni. they are a lovely couple (she is GORGIOARMANI!!!!!!) she has been separated from her husband for a while and gianni is her new boy. they live together, but grazia is having problems with him and she is scared because she was already separated from her husband and doesnt want to be separated again. anyway gianni is younger than her and she basically feels like his mom. but grazia is an ex investigator and she is smart because she knows that the answer to their problems is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. good girl. we have to work a lot with them....
friday we saw orazio and maria and we taught them the word of wisdom. they are not ripe yet. we set a date with them and i know that we needed to set it, but it might have been to show them (and me!) that this is real and that they need to be baptized. the lesson went well, but they still dont have a testimony of the Church so they weren't convinced about the word of wisdom.... hahaha that night we had a big fat party. slla magno, the most perfect person on the planet, organized this awesome activity at her house with 4 investigators (antonia dibenardo, maria pia montone, alessandro, and then another friend of sis magno)  and it was just the bees knees. she even made focaccia (mom, dad and mim do you remember focaccia??? that delicious salty bread???? in bari its a little different, but you get the idea)  we talked about faith. there was a really good discussion, lead of course by fllo curci. when you guys meet him man o man..... he is a character. he is awesome.
saturday was awesome. slla hicks was kinda sick so we didnt do much the morning, then the afternoon we saw jared, who is our new african investigator. he is AWESOME. the first time we saw him, he was all hung up on joseph smith. so we planned a lesson with no joseph (even though it was hard for me because a HUGE part of my testimony is about JS especailly since i went to the sacred grove) anyway so we talked about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and then he was like "this is what you all need to preach. dont talk about joseph smith blah blah blah" and i said "im sorry jared, but have we said one thing about joesph smith today? our message is about Jesus Christ, and joesph smith is a part of it, but its really about Christ." BOOM! anyway then we talked all about prayer and we left him the commitment to pray to God and ask Him why we met each other. then that night there was a baptism. giuseppe dabbicco, who is the boyfriend of a member. the baptism was incredible. the girlfriend was sooooooooo happy. she gave a talk and she bawled the whole time. it was so cute. he had to get baptized twice, just like me. but man the Spirit was strong!!!! then after the baptism, fllo curci asked me to share my testimony so i did and then the baptism just happened to happen the same day as the ward dance party. now here's the thing, everyone was saying that missionaries can't dance, but its not written anywhere ANYWHERE that we cant... anyway... i think we can. so we did. and it was the most fun i have had in my WHOLE mission. and i am NOT just saying that. i spent the whole night twirling around the daughter of one of the investigators and feeling supremely momish. it was wonderful. and then one of the other little girls came and wanted to dance too and i had one little baby on each hand and it was sooooo fun.
sunday ROCKED!!!! it was POURING rain alllllll day (its weird for me that there is enough water in the air that it can rain all day... hahaha in henderhole if it rains, it rains for 30 minutes and thats it.) angelo and his beautiful wife came to church!!! they loved it. she was thrilled that he went to church and they said they are coming to our church from now on. his wife's name is marinella. she is sooo different from him, but we all know now how i feel about having your compliment. :) after we had a huge lunch with the puglisi family and it just so happened that the girlfriend of the guy who got baptized on saturday is the granddaughter of a member who lives in ragusa, who is married to the father of another member here in bari (she is a widow and he a widower) yeah its a really complicated family tree, but long story short, a couple from ragusa was here too and i was SOOOOO happy to see them. i LOVE them. and we all had lunch together. it was bomb. then we tried to do a bunch of stuff but nothing was going well, so we just went to the young single adult activity and it was wonderful.
monday was awesome. we taught angelo and his wife together. she is sooo great!! i cant stop saying how much i love her. then we went to see titta. she could have a whole book herself.... ill save it for another time. then we spent the whole afternoon with angela cafagno. she is a member that was baptized 7 years ago. she is my favorite person in bari. i'll just be honest. we went with her to see slla lassandro and her husband who never got baptized even though she was a member when they got married. there is still hope!!!!! then we had fhe with antonio at slla magno's house. antonio told us that sunday night he was out until 5 am at the discoteca. i was a little shocked. and i told him that that's not really something you do on sunday!!! but i was too hard on him and i felt bad. i know he's just a baby, but i felt partly responsible because i must not have taught him well enough.... but its all good, i just hope he didnt drink anything. that night as we were walking, we saw a huge stack of board games in the garbage!!!!!! so of course i took the harry potter game--- never used!!!!!!! and its in italian. haha!
yesterday we stayed at home in the morning cuz sis hicks was dying (by dying i mean still sick). i wrote the story and she died. then that afternoon, we saw fllo costantino, who is less active, and his mom who is not a member. he is so cute, he needs some love because he has no friends in the ward. his siblings are active but they all live in other cities. and we found out that his home teachers never come. so thats no good. anyway, then we saw angelo again. he says he wants to see us as often as we want to come :) it was an ok lesson. i wish marinella had been there, but she was sick. anyway it was good.... then we taught english course and fllo curci walked us to the church and as we walked i told him about how i am rebellious and i used to fight a lot with my parents and that i dont trust some people and he loved it. he loves hearing things about people, especially their weaknesses. he says it is a very big problem as he smiles from ear to ear. hahaha english course was great. we taught the students how to play baseball and football and we decided that next week we are going to have a kickball game.
ok that is about it.... i hope the letter is good, we are kind of in a rush. also sis hicks doesnt take as long as i do....
about the end of my mission..... :(:(:(:(:( my release date as of now is june 1 2012. i might extend but probably not, since i already got an extra transfer in the field. start looking at flights. i dont care who comes. you can all come if you want to!! lodging and food i am sure will not be problems. we will stay with members. they wouldnt have it any other way. and i think we do 15 days or so? its all up to you. you should arrive on the 31st of may though. and we'll go to sicily :)
thank you so much for everything. shout out to vanessa jr. and aunt janelle for her birthday!!!! ya hoo!!!! tanti auguri bella!!!
i love you all i miss you like crazy.....
all my love
sorella ashman

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