Friday, April 19, 2013

I Live It. I Love It.

First:  Sorella Egbert is totally my Barbara (mom's college roomate). That's so crazy they're related. hahahah It matches so perfectly. I read that letter, and for a split second in my brain I was like, "I'm related to Sorella Egbert?!" and then I remembered the Barbara isn't actually related to me, she is not my aunt. hahah

Second:  Anz. G. knows ALL those people on that list you sent me. small world!

Third:  I HATE THE FOOD. I can't stand to eat another spinach & vinegar salad with a quesadilla.  I am so so excited to eat human food. I am also going to buy myself a giant fountain drink in the airport. Aren't I wild?

But, this week was so good!  I am so happy!  All the time.  It's crazy. THE CHURCH IS TRUE! 

Our Tuesday devotional was.... RICHARD G. SCOTT.  I love him with all my heart and soul. 

It was fantastic! You will never regret trying your hardest. Heavenly Father didn't put us on this earth to fail! 

spit it out
He gave me the best confidence in the language. I do not know Italian, but somehow it's been spitting out of my mouth more frequently. 

Last Friday we spoke Italian ALL day, kinda.  It was really really hard and I said some inappropriate things on accident but I feel like I'm getting the hang of it. 

Thank you for my shoes. All the anziani in our ZONE caught me opening my package after dinner and trying them on outside of the post office and wearing them back to class. They all think they're super cute too.

that's what makes you beautiful
So on Sat, we had a substitute teacher Fratello Cena (translated in english: Brother Dinner) who is actually Italian! 

He said, in his suave way of speaking, that missions are fantastic because we're asked to give up the things we need the least (pride, selfishness, iphones, Kardashians, Nordstrom, etc.) to gain really beautiful attributes.  

Missions make us beautiful!  Everyone go on a mission.

travel plans
SO, we thought we got our travel plans. hahahhahah 

Our District Leader came in and said, "I have something very important.  BUT not everyone has theirs yet, so I don't want you to look at them until everyone gets it." 

We were so excited. We ran up and down the halls being excited and mad we couldn't open them.  

So someone (guess who?) not being able to wait (me) and opened it in the bathroom stall only to find out it was not my travel plans but a sweet note from our future mission president hahahah. 

hahahhaha. It's still funny. And makes those pictures even funnier.  

hahahaha.  So I do not have my travel plans yet.

I want to talk about my teachers. I LOVE THEM! 

We are Fratello Merrell's last district at the MTC. (He graduates next week!) and Fratello Jeter's first! (He just came home in December.)  They really are just the best. 

Yesturday Fratello Jeter came in to do "progressing investigator" (missionary role play), and he was just sad about school and tuition and rent and he had lost his debit card. Then in our lesson, he just was so happy to be there. 

He bore his testimony to the district about how much he loves our district and how he thinks he got the job not because he's the best teacher, but because the Lord knows he needed us. It was very sweet. 

And then I used all that emotion Fratello Jeter was feeling to commit "Sebastian" to baptism. hahahha Is that bad? 

I also commited Guisepe (Fratello Merrell) to baptism that day too! I was on a roll hahahah.

The rest of the district was "happy" for us, but they were jelly. 

ANYWAYS I was wondering if you could send me two ties from home to give to our teachers from our district.  I really feel like they need something to remember us by. 

I would love that other YSL tie I gave Scott that he doesnt wear. (Fratello Jeter has a major obsession with fashion, and I think he would appreciate it more that my 12-year-old brother.)  Dad can be in charge of picking out good ones. not expensive, just cool.

north and south
Also Fratello Jeter got into a little tiff with one of the TRC ladies... it was so funny.

This lady was from the south and Fratello Jeter served in the northern part of Italy.  The lady was making fun of his accent saying it was snooty. 

I can only imagine how bad Kaitlin and I are gonna make fun of each other for my classy northern accent and her hick southern one. hahahhah

gag me
During service this week I threw up. hahah  We had to clean the showers. Which is normally really fun! We wear funny boots and protective eyewear and then just squirt this firehose type thing all over and it squirts out bubbles. 

That part was fun. 

The not-so-fun part was cleaning the hair out of the drains, by hand. 

I had gloves on but. it. was. so. gross. literally 8 handfuls of long, wet hair with soap and other things intertwined. It was so nasty. 

I got the letter from Brittany.  I am so so so happy!  I got that letter and Ashley's wedding announcement the same day! best mail day ever. oh my!

Tell Diana that I've been craving Diet Coke and that makes me feel weird.

Anyways, the Church is true. ciao ciao 

This week in pictures:
Anziani imitating my pose

This is a portrait of me.
Sad, I know.

A welcome break from the MTC cafeteria

Thanks Dad!

A picture of me and Sorella Rossell.
 She's going to Rome but we get along well. 
She took a mission prep class from Kirk Christ. 
I hope with all my heart that Kaitlin serves with her.

(Email Sent: April 14, 2013)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Half-Way Mark in the MTC

So yesterday was my fourth Wednesday at the MTC (Missionary Training Center). weird.  I'm officially on the countdown to Italia! 

I don't really know Italian, but tomorrow is our 24-hour English "fast" -- ONLY ITALIAN!  I'm nervous about it.   I'll be using my hands most of the day, and I am just looking at it as a giant day of charades.  

My spelling in English has become very bad because everything in Italian is said how its spelled.  I apologize in advance. 

general conference
CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING.  I think is was fantastico!
I loved it all.  I think every talk was on missionary work, but that's probably because my ears are tuned to a different frequency here at the MTC with my black nametag.  

I loved all the talks and need you to send them to me!  In English and Italian.  Also the talk from the Young Women's Broadcast by our sweet President Uchtdorf.  It was molto bella.  grazie!

Thanks to Andrea's and Dad's care packages, we pigged out all weekend hahah.  The anziani eat SO MUCH!

Our Sunday devotional was Vocal Point and it was amazing.  Such a great end to conference.

But now all the 18-year-old elders are obsessed with making instrument noises with their mouths.  I'm not amused.

gym time
I played a game of basketball. hahahahhahaha

Like an actual game.  Sorella Astel and I and four other elders.  I just kept saying, "You guys don't understand; this is not something I do." 

It was me, Anziano Gneiting and Anziano Nicole against Sorella Astel, Anziano Miller, and Anziano Ostegar hahahah.  We don't keep score.  The elders aren't allowed to block the sisters and vice versa so it was funny.  I think we lost.  I'm not good, but Sorella Astel played in high school and Anziano Ostegar is just as bad as me, so it evened out hahah.

Anziano Gneiting just said that he thinks we won.

watch your language
funny story. 
Yesterday Sorella Astel swore so bad in Italian by accident.  I can't even say how bad it is what she said. hahah.  Fratello Jeter just literally fell on the floor laughing and yelling at us at the same time to never say what Sorella Astel said.  I cried laughing.

Also that reminds me.. I SLEPT TALKED IN ITALIAN!!!
I can't speak it awake but apparently I'm quite the proficient in my sleep :)

this week
This week I've gotten really good at scaring the other sorelle.  bunk beds make it way toooooo eassyyy.

That's so crazy about Grandma's house getting broken into!  I'm writing her a letter today, but hear me out.   Last week in the temple I put her name on the prayer roll and I didn't know why and then the same day she got robbed! weird!  I dont know.  All 3,000 missionaries in the MTC who went to the temple this week prayed for her though, so that has to count for something right?

I'm running out of things to say.  I feel like yesterday was p-day.

Oh we got new sisters in our room.  They're going to Washington so they will leave before we do. They're nice from what I've seen so far.

I got to move to a bottom bunk, so that's exciting. 

Tell Diana that missions change people.  I've started to prefer Diet Coke over Regular. WHO AM I?!

missing my babies
I miss Krew and Weston & I'm not even related to them.

Everyone else in my district loves to show off pictures of their nieces and nephews and I just show them pictures of Weston and Krew. haha I'm so weird.

Also thanks for my package Dad! but dont send me anymore treats! I need to be healthy now. You can send me healthy treats. 

(Email Sent:  April 11, 2013)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Easter Packages and the "Back" Story

Ciao!  So this week has been so long but also so fast!  Like I said before, it's impossible to explain the time warp.  

Can I talk about how much I love my district?!  Especially the Anziani; especially the Anziani going to Milan. (I'm talking in an appropriate missionary way.)  Here's why:

So on Saturday, I was feeling kinda weird and really distracted.  Kelsey wrote me a letter about how mom was super sad, which is probably true -- and really can you blame her? I'm awesome -- but it just makes me sad to think other people are sad, especially mom. 

Easter packages
ANYWAYS, after lunch our DL hands me TWO package slips and I am so stoked.  It's just an answer to my prayers.  But then the DL starts telling me, in the nice missionary way, that I have to wait until after personal study to get them.  So I'm super antsy in personal study time and then run over to get my Easter packages!  (Everyone in the district got theirs the day before.)

I get up to the package place and it is closed.  SATURDAY CLOSES AT 2:00!!  By this time it's 2:08.  I'm upset.  So the rest of the day I was kind of mopey and really mad and on the verge of crying all day.  So after gym and dinner and language study, I walk up to class and stick my head on the desk.  

And our sweet, sweet Anziano Gneiting and Anziano Miller  pulled together a little package of their favorite things from their Easter packages and made me an Easter package!!  

They gave me homemade cookies from Gneiting's grandma and Miller's favorite candy "Nips," a whole pack of Oreos and Lifesavers.  It was just really sweet.  I cried happy tears.  I think they were alarmed.  ANYWAYS I love my district. They are watching out for me. 

what are you looking at?
Another story!  This one is funny.  Or it may not be, but here as missionaries the dumbest things make us so so happy

So we're in class and I've been pegged as the sister who looks at the teacher's "rear end."  BUT I DONT!  

Davide our investigator is now our teacher and its so weird calling him Fratello Jeter.  David Jeter is his real name.  Anyways, he accidently sat on the chalk board and got a huge line of chalk on his rear and I just pointed and motioned like "ohhhhh!" without him noticing.  

But then the class says, "Sorella O'Connor, don't look at Fratello Jeter's rear."  

But that's not the real story; it's just the "back" story.  

So the NEXT DAY, Fratello Merrell is teaching us.  He turns around and has a HUGE slit in the back of his pants-- like 6 inches, I kid you not.  But guess who is the first one to notice?... Sorella O'Connor.  

Anyways, I'm dying and no one notices.  I tell the other sisters about it on our break and we decide that we have to tell the Anziani so that they can tell him.  It would just be embarrassing to hear that from the sisters.  

Then the anziani decide that "it's not that big of a deal" and don't want to tell him!!!!  "bottom" line is, nobody tells Fratello Merrell about the hole in his pants and Monday he came to class with a different pair of slacks.  Someone else must have told him.  hahahah it was so funny!

Easter Sunday

Easter was great!  I waited to get into devotional in the very cold for THREE HOURS (who have I turned into?)  

Anyways Bishop Causse came!  He was so perfect.  He is from France and I love him.  

Then at devotional that night, Sheri Dew spoke.  All the the feminist sister missionaries were dying.  It was fine, but my comp loved it as well as Sorella Nef. hahah if only you knew their personalities ... they LOVE Sheri Dew. 

I started playing volleyball at gym hahaha.  I fall down alot. 

secret sister stuff
All the teachers say my Italian sounds EXACTLY like Kaitlin's, which is good to know because Kaitlin knows Italian.  But it also makes me feel weird because I know how I felt about Kaitlin speaking Italian at home hahahah. 

I love learning Italian and I love my teachers! 

the gospel in haiku
So in class we had a sub and he was like,  "Okay I want you to describe the gospel in ten words."  

Then Egbert gets up and she said in the most serious face, "I made my ten words into a haiku."  hahahah.  

She is just so funny and super sarcastic, but also really sensitive. tricky combo.  Her dad is a therapist so she is really good at pep talks. We like to compare our fathers' "dear elders" to us because they are SUPER similar. hahah
Paige and Sorella Egbert
(and Anziano Gneiting photobombing)

Thanks for my packages!!!!  I loved all of them!  Everyone makes fun of me for taking lemons to breakfast and microwaving water to squeeze them into but I don't care. I just love my warm drink in the morning. hahah

Aunt Marcey sent me the BEST package!! and the cutest card, including a mini Preach My Gospel!!!  Sent from heaven!!! She is the best.

I'm bad at writing back handwritten letters, so don't be offended.  It just means I'm working really hard at learning Italian instead.  I'll try better this week.

We've been making the dumbest jokes in Italian.  Just like,  "HIGH FIVE. down low. too slow"  It is so so so funny to do in Italian.  We've been learning the Italian hand gestures too; it's so fun.  Almost halfway through with the MTC! 

Also something bad we do on Thursday nights is Astel, Woodmancy and Willard and I get cheese-filled breadsticks from a vending machine!!!  It sounds super nasty, but it is so good. 

Did I tell you about the sisters we room with?  They're going to Chile!  and so I get confused in my lessons between Italian and Spanish -- BUT I DONT EVEN KNOW SPANISH -- I blame it on the Chile girls.  I love them.  

So my room is me, Bennett, Astel, Egbert, Woodmancy and Willard.  The other girls in our district going to Rome don't have to share a room!  It's fine.  The Chile girls leave Monday, and I'm moving to a bottom bunk.  
Paige and Sorella Astel

Sad to see them go, but glad to not climb a ladder every morning and night. 

I don't know what else to say!  I love it here.  It's hard, but I love it. I Can Do Hard Things 

I go to Italy THIS MONTH! 

(Email Sent:  April 4, 2013)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Week One - MTC Time Warp

Ciao everyone! The MTC is so ... weird.  I can't even put into words the time warp that happens while you're here. I don't even know what day it is!  Days go by like weeks and weeks go by like seconds.

I sent home a quick letter about my first day... but I'll recap, I was late to class (not suprising).  My teacher's name is Brother Merrell.   He knows Kaitlin and was so excited to see me.  I met my companion Sorella Bennett (she is a combination of Rowley on Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Mrs. Patmore on Downton Abbey - so sweet) and the rest of my district.

Sorella O'Connor and Sorella Bennett

We have three sorelle companionships and two anziani companionships.   We have Sorella Bennet (Alpine, UT) and me;  Sorella Astel (Idaho Falls) and Sorella Egbert (Salt Lake); Sorella Nef (San Jose) and Sorella Mckenna (Atlanta).   The elders are:  Anziani Padilla (Colorado Springs) ... Just like my sweet Jean Padilla!! ... and Anziano Burnham (Alpine); Anziano Gnetting (Las Vegas) and Anziano Miller (San Diego).  I LOVE MY DISTRICT.

Left Side = Rome Missionaries  Right Side = Milan Missionaries

I fell down the stairs my first day... all the way down... in my dress.  Right then I was wishing i had packed my first aid kit instead of having mom send it to me the next day.  I have bruises everywhere. hahah what can i do?

I saw Aimee right when I got there & started to cry (I don't even know why).  I saw her daily and love her so so much.  She was so ready to get into the field.

Everyone is singing Disney songs right now.. totes annoying.

We didn't get district leaders till two days in, so I didn't get letters or packages till Day Two or Three.. I don't remember.. but when we did, I got 8 letters & 4 packages!  Best Day Ever. 

The food here is weird but I make it work.  There is a wrap bar and everyday I just tell them to make me a wrap with no tortilla. Spinach salads with bean sprouts, black or kidney beans, green onions, olives and olive oil and vinegar.. it works..  Sometimes I just get tortillas with cheese and stick it in the microwave and have a quesadilla. They make us eat all the time!

Friday was the worst day, lets be honest.  But Sunday was great I LOVE SUNDAYS!

The MTC is nothing like I thought it would be.  We're kind of on our own all the time to fend for ourselves.  

Friday we taught our first investigator DAVIDE!!  I love him (in a missionary-appropriate way), so it was stressful because I do not know Italian; but we made it work.  It's hard because almost everyone in my district knows Italian or has some kind of backround learning of Italian except me, Atstel and Miller. 

Back to Davide... He totes knows Dallin!!  I was showing him my pictures and I have one of me, Aimee, Kaitlin and Dallin at the airport when he got home, and "Davide" flipped out because he knows Dallin and then realized he was supposed to be Davide.  It was funny.

Anyways, we teach him everyday and i just love him.  He kind of represents all the Italian people in my mind and I already love the Italian people SO MUCH!  Davide will always have a special place in my heart.

OH!  We are Brother Merrell's last district because he is GRADUATING in April.  I got a little emotional because I remembered how bad I wanted to hear Dad speak at commencement. (Way to go Dad!!) 

Anyways, he was excited to hear that he would see Dad because he taught both Kaitlin and I.  Brother Merrell is such a good teacher.

My Italian is "molto male" but I'm not stressing.  Some of the other missionaries get upset about learning it, and I think, "YOU ALREADY KNOW IT!"  but what can you do?  I just embrace my bad Italian.

Sad story!  So we've had to move classrooms THREE times in the past week (we have so many books).  But in the process of moving yesterday, I lost my Preach My Gospel, my Italian Preach My Gospel, my filtered water bottle, AND my Italian board displays (the book that teaches me how to make a sentence in Italian).  

I know how to pray, bear my testimony, and recite Joseph Smith's First Vision in Italian!

DAVIDE commited to baptism yesterday! but that means we get a new investigator )=

Anyways, I Love You!!

Send all my things separately, so I get more packages. bene? 

Maybe "Dear Elder" me what the weather is gonna be like? That part is the worst! I didn't even know it was gonna snow one day!   Send me a ton of "Dear Elders"  I want them. ( Mom was right, whatever.)  Anyways I gotta go!  


(Email sent: March 28, 2013)