Friday, September 19, 2014

See You Soon Then

 I mean I'll see you all soon... or at least I hope... Salmon just informed me that my flight to Paris got cancelled! I'm sure it will be fine. 

I don't think they'll make/let me stay another transfer.  

(Her itinerary is through London, not Paris. It doesn't affect her.)

The news this week is this:  I'm going to be a GRANDMA! I'll live one day in the mission to see my prosperity grow.. Sorella Gillespie is training!  

I cant believe I'll see you all so soon.  It seems unreal! Last week I was really sad about leaving, I don't know if you noticed, hahah.  But I think it'll be ok.  I'm surprisingly calm. for now. happy & healthy (maybee too healthy?)

I loved all my emails this week.  They were exactly what I needed. 

Everything in Pavia is going good.  It's fun because three of us are "departing missionaries" and one has been here for 5 transfers.  We're all leaving and we're not having parties because that's against the rules... but we are eating SO MUCH! and getting invited everywhere.  We've been so busy. 

Simona and Big Max ... lunch at the bar

ok, we're having parties. 


Simona & Max (the BEST new converts I've ever seen) made us try analcolico beer!  We hated it so they mixed sprit with it & it was better.  They have a bar & they're trying to sell it so they can move to Utah. 

Love you all LONG TIME. voglio bene. A PRESTO!!!!!!!!!

 1 Nephi 1:7 And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed

p.s. I really hope I can get my bags under 50.  They're sitting at a solid 52 & 46 so I have to move things around or rethink some of the things I'm bringing back... it's just like, I wanna keep my helmet & umbrella for sentimental reasons even though I know I won't use themmm.. dangit.

Valentina getting out of the hospital for the first time in four months!
She cried & it was the best.

Adellio..... love him. 

(Email Sent - September 1, 2014)

Shake it Off

This week was rough, but it was so good.

It's just sad because I'm having so much fun but in the back of my mind I know I'm leaving... it's not a happy feeling.

I'm excited to see you all though! I'm scared about traveling by myself! but it will be ok hahahah 

Yesterday I had a little breakdoowwnnn ahahaha 

So it was my laasstttt zone conference and I had to give a training, bear my departing testimony, sing the mission hymn for the last time & say goodbye to all my friends.  It was hard.  

Then we had to go to the Cimiano chapel to watch a women's conference for the sorelle in Europe by Ballard and Bednar.  It was too much good stuff.  

Then a member gave us a ride home & we were sooooo tired but neither of us wanted to stop talking to our sweet member.  She was giving us marriage advice (I've recieved soooooo much marriage advice this week hahah) and talking to us and feeding us snacks and water. and we got home too late. then our zone & district leaders called us to make sure we got home ok. 

It was good but also a bad day. 

Today I want kebab. deal wit it. 

I hope you all have a good week. 
I know I will.
I'm going to workk soooooooo hard. 

Love, Paige. (I'm trying to get used to that)

(Email Sent - September 10, 2014)

I Regret to Inform You

It is to my deepest displeasure to inform you that I will be returning to American continent in bad conditions. 

I will be in a slight form of depression from leaving the Italian culture:  the food, the italian saints, cobble stone streets, markets, gypsies, fluffy clouds, little homes older than America itself, the bathrooms, arancini, fruit stands on every corner, my fellow missionaries, il ticino, bakeries, aqua frizzante, kinder products, and much more. 

I will have the pain that medicine cannot cure but it is curable. This is a special injury that can only be cured by Marielle's special muddy buddies. Or Shaila's Texas sheet cake, Andrea's Christmas brittle, my mom's lemon pie with a little help from Nonna's lemons, even Alanna's world renowned desserts could cure it. I know that I am curable. 

Together I hope we can work thru this.

With deepest sorrows
Your daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend,


(Email Sent - September 10, 2014)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tanti Auguri

the rundown
As you can tell, I spent most of my email time sending pictures... so brace with me as I give you a quick rundown of the week. 

Last week we went to Milano literally 5 days in a row & it was awful.  I love Milano but traveling makes you soooo tired. I was a zombie. 

I did a scambio in Pavia with a greenie Wednesday after pday until Thursday afternoon... Then we had FHE in church with the de Simone family and the elders.  

On Friday the 29th of August Sorella Condie blew up a million balloons and confettied our apartment and made me hash browns from real potatoes and zucc and eggs.. with juice.. 

We were in a rush to get ready because we had to catch a train into Milano for leadership council.. It was so fun!!!  All my friends were there!  Even Anziano Chipman got space transferred the last three weeks of his mission to be ZL in TORINO! 

everyone from my MTC group at leadership council

anziani from my MTC district

My MTC district (missing Astel)

 But seriously, all my friends weere theerreee. 

Consiglio was in all Italian.  But it was fine because Anziano Tanner gave me a hint and was like, 

"You'll need to know what a 'catalyst' is..." 

in district meeting the week before so I had Sorella Grossarth (the greenie) tell me what a catalyst was.. 

Then I had Anziano Langlois (my district leader) translate it for me into Italian.. 

then I memorized it: "qualcosa che abbassa l'energia necessaria per fare una reazione."  

Then when they asked what it was in consiglio, I gracefully raised my hand and SCHOOLED everyone. 

President said, (quote) "and she even knew it in Italian." (end quote)  Someone asked me if I was a chem major hahahah. #whattheydontknowwonthurtthem

Then everyone sang to me and I turned red.
Then we hit up the bar.

& got a brioche.

Then we went back to Pavia & went to the hospital to see Valentina & she painted my nails 

finished product

Having fun with the balloons Mom sent.  She was so happy.

and played the acoustic version of Beyonce singing halo in the hospital because she knows it's my fav.

a good scare
Then on our way home we were walking down the tiny alleyway to our house and I turn the corner and there is this African man hiding in a stoop with a guy in a white shirt and they jump out at us!!! 

Literally scared me half to death.  

But it was just Nelson and Anziano Salmon.  I looked back and saw the other two elders run across the street and Anziano Taylor walks out of a bush. 

They planned a surprise party for me.. They really just wanted to scare us but whatever. 

They made a cake & Nelson bought me a rose. 

So we found some bike racks to sit on and ate cake while Nelson played "The Spirit of God" from lds. org on his tablet until he got tired of it and started jamming to African tribal music... It was so much fun. 

"well fit birds"

Also Anziano Salmon made me a plastic casket keychain with a cross on it and a piece of pasta in it to remind me of my mission out of moldable plastic.  (It's really big among the elders over here.. they love that stuff.) 

And then we went to bed and I was really tired the next day.

Monday we went on scambio and I went to Lodi with Slla. Gillespie!! 

baby Gillespie

 It was fun because she was in charge and I just got to be with my baby for the day. & now were done with SCAMBIOS forever. meno male.

Well those are the highlights of the week. 

"Fat Boy Qui"

I love Pavia and my companion and the members and the other missionaries. 

xx P

(Email Sent - September 3, 2014)

Feel So Italian

This week I canned tomatoes for a service activity and I felt so Italian.  It was so fun!  Now I know how to do it(= 

(that's not my polo.... it's only for smashing pomodori)

If you go on the Pavia facebook page to the Agosto 2014 album you will find magical things.

We ate suuccchhhh good food.

keeping busy
I went on a scambio back to Muggi├▓ and I had never felt so at home.  I love Carmen.
Too bad Ronald and Mariuxi were on their honeymoon!

We have thhhheeee craziest week this next week.  I'm already exhausted.

Monday/Tuesday scambio in Muggio Wednesday after pday, Thursday afternoon scambio in Cimiano,  FRIDAY I get to go to mission consiglio which is the BBEESSTTTT!!!  I've never been; I'm so excited.  All my friends will be there. 

I can't believe Chad is on a mission!!!!!!!

fight night
Last night I witnessed two gypsy teenagers BEATING THE CRAP OUT OF EACH OTHER!!!!! 

They were brother and sister and it was really late at night and she started bashing her brother's head into the window and hitting him with her spikey heel!!!! and he would kick her and I saw him pull her hair reallly hard all the way across the street and the mom was laughing at the the whhhoooollleee time. and Sorella Gross was telling me about the time she got her hair cut off by a gypsy in Verona! nuts. 

The assistants brought mail on Monday and I got my package and allll my birthday wishes from the ward.  It was exactly what I needed. 

The guacamole mix was perfect because we teach a less active and her non-member daughter who has cancer and is from South America and I get to share it with her on my birthday and she's going to paint my nails. 

We had the besst arancini I've ever had ever this week. 

and we went to a creepy bone church in Milano

and we have a new Chinese investigator and she came to church all three hours!!!  
She loves to take selfies with us. 

 (Email Sent - August 27, 2014)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Ferragosto!

This week was so so so so good. 

Kait can tell you what Ferragosto means in the missionary world...  (I love that I don't have to explain all my references now because Kaitlin can just tell you.)
but usually it sucks.

This year.   We had an all-day ward activity at a member's house up in the cutest little city filled with vineyards and rolling hills. 

It was so much fun.

We got there at 10am all 6 missionaries rode in the member's car up to their house and helped them set up. (P.S.  I saw the craziest music video and I can't get it out of my head... What does the fox say? weird.) 

where we chit chatted about everything I like. 

Our elders are so much fun.  One has been in Pavia 5 transfers now and he's training this tiny elder who is American but lived in Wales for 5 years so he teaches us proper mint British slang.  The other is really dry in the funniest way and his companion just compliments all the others so well. 

We showed the members how to play baseball, which just turned into the missionaries playing baseball.

They built a crazy swing which I fell off of twice. 

We ate sooooo many figs.

and they bbq'd so much meat. 

We had a water ballon fight>=) where somehow it turned into a war between me and this old member and I won and now he's making us food Saturday (arancini and pizza and some other Sicilian food that I've never heard of but everyone says he's the best cook in the ward and for members to ADMIT that is saying alot).

I got sunburnt!  It's raining today (Pavia is moody) 

and then all 6 of the missionaries left early because we had an appointment at 8 (yeah, thats early) with Valentina and we get to wear hospital masks and it's always so much fun.  

They only speak Spanish.  NO ITALIAN!  So I'm getting mucho bueno. 

I'm not sad about leaving Italy, but I'm not excited to come home and counting the days. I think I'm in denial.  It hasn't hit me that I'll come home sometime, you know? 

Me and Condie are just living the life:  being happy and having fun and doing missionary work. 

We started teaching a Chinese girl who sings opera.  I think we'll baptize her before we "die." 

Best thing of the week:  Anziano Salmon only wants to do the invitations for his wedding.  Everything else he doesn't care about.  But he's reallllyy picky about invitations, so for district meeting we made EVERYONE bring all the wedding invites they've received on their mission and then we rated them. 

I took so many good pictures this week; I just have no time to send them all. 

Just wait a couple of weeks, va bene?

I love you too much. 

I want to go to New York sooooooo bad when I get back! Little Italy!!!!!!!!

(Email Sent - August 20, 2014) 

With Love from Italy....still

Hey I have one million mosquito bites everywhere.  Blisters that have blisters on top of them.

But I'm seriously the happiest I've ever been... ever. 

I love Pavia.  Not because of its heat and insect population, but because I love my companion & the elders I'm working with here.  We have people to teach, I have my io viaggio charged and ready to go anywhere in Lombardia I please, Sorella McCann left some skirts I can use until I "die," & I get to go back to Milano for pday, aka today. 

Soooooo many things happened this week & I didn't write it down.  Well, I did, but I forgot to bring it with me.  

First things first:  I was reunited with Ronald and Mariuxi.  I love them with my whole heart & I think they love me back.  

We saw each other at a baptism in Cimiano, but we had to leave right after the ordinance because it takes like an hour to get back to Pavia.  

But they took Killpack and Warnke (Vanka, she's German) OUT OF MUGGI├▓ and PINK WASHED THEM WITH A TRAINEE!  So now Sorella Gross is trying to figure out the city with a trainee... it's fun because I get to call them and tell them about everything and chit chat about all my friends there and what buses to take etc.. 

& guess who is in my district? Sorella Gillespie! & Anziano Tanner! 

I went on a scambio yesterday in Cimiano (Milano) with Sorella Haslem and Sorella Carter & it was so fun! 

We forced the anziani to watch Charly. enough said. 

We've gotten gelato almost every day. 

I had pizza twice this week.

I'm being naughty, but it's like... just let me.

An African gave me a fan from his pocket on the train.

Everyone looks so American... I... do not. 

Sorella Condie and I don't really think about home often, which is nice because we're both just working our hardest our last couple weeks. 

omg I FORGOT TO WEAR MY NAMETAG LAST SUNDAY!!!! & so did Sorella Condie.  Good first impressions.  So we had to wear the elders' suitjacket name tags... I was Anziano Taylor for the day & Sorella Condie was known as Anziano Johnson.. there was much confusion.  I was embarrassed. It was awful & funny.  Who does that? 

Love you all long time.
from Lomabrdia,

Paige O'Connor

(Email Sent - August 13, 2014)