Monday, October 5, 2015

First week in Italy

I'm here! Italy is beautiful and it has been quite the adventure so far. We left Provo last Monday morning, we got up at 2:30 a.m. and we were on the bus around 5 a.m. The four of us that were going to Rome had a layover in Chicago and got to talk to our families for a short bit at the airport so that was nice. At the airport in Chicago I talked with some people that were going to Rome as well, but they were Italian and let me tell you, it is the coolest thing speaking another language, even though it's slow and broken, and having someone else who speaks it natively understand you.

We arrived in Rome at 7:30 am on Tuesday, and Tuesday was a very long day but now it feels so long ago I don't really remember what happened. I'm sure we saw some cool things in Rome and talked to people. We spent the night at the villa, which is a home that used to be owned by Mussolini (it's sweet!). Then Wednesday we had all our training, and Wednesday night we opened our golden envelopes, which is just a cute thing that the mission does to let you know where your first area will be, but it was a lot of fun. I know you're all dying to know where I was sent for my first area .... *drum roll* RAGUSA !!! It's this city on the island of Sicily :). It's way cute and the people here are so so sweet. The members have my heart. They're so giving and they really look out for us. The chapel is this cute yellow building, and I took a picture but it doesn't really do it justice.

I left Rome at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday morning and did not get to Ragusa until 1 p.m. on Friday. The train ride was craaaazy. I slept a little bit because I came to Italy pretty sick, so it was a blessing I had time to rest. Our train got to Cantania around 6, but we missed the bus to Ragusa and we're not supposed to travel past 9:30 so they asked us to spend the night with the sisters in Cantania. We went to the English class with them that night. We teach English classes twice a week here, and at the end of the class we share a spiritual thought.

Oh yeah! My trainer is Sorella Battezzato! A trainer is who they call your first companion once you get to the place you're serving, and we'll be together for at least the first three months. She was born in Sicily and she has family in Cantania but she was raised in the states, Boston. :) she loves art, played rugby at BYU before the mission and is perfectly fluent in Italian and English so I basically hit the jackpot as far as trainers go. Everyone here is really cool though, Sister Taylor (my MTC companion) got sent to Bari and her trainer was on Broadway before her mission! She was in the lion king. How cool is that?

Ragusa is made up of a bunch of hills. Our apartment is at a top of the city. Some parts of the city are really old.

Yesterday we had dinner at the bishops house, and his family is really great. They have two of the cutest little kids ever. A little girl who is around 4 and a boy who is about 16 months. The little girl reminds of my niece Faith so much! She was crazy, and had on an Elsa shirt, and a bunch of Frozen toys.
Seriously, the members are amazing. After conference last night one family gave us sausage (Sicilian meat is the best btw), another gave us a bunch of yogurt because their daughter doesn't like it, and another sister gave us ciambellone, which is kind of like cake and really good.

Sunday I did an English fast, starting Saturday night. In our church we usually fast from food the first Sunday of each month, but since this month was general conference no one really did that, but I gave up English and it was super helpful.
Shoutout to Fratello Wortham for teaching me how to say "melo cavo". One of our investigators came to conference last night and she was pretty impressed with my Italian once I used that, haha.

I love you all! More miracles are about to happen in Ragusa, I can feel it.

-Sister Holiday :)

P.s. Italian Nutella is waaaay better than Nutella in the states! I didn't believe, but I've had it now, and the rumors are true.

Sister Taylor and Sister Holiday on the bus on the way to the airport

Waiting for the train to SLC


Everyone thinks the Vatican is the Pope's church but it's not. This is the Pope's church and where they have all of their important meetings.
St. Giovanni, the Pope's chair
Some cool ruins

Our train took a ship from the mainland to Sicily
Sorella Holiday and Sorella Battezzato

Sorella Battezzato decorated my closet to welcome me and I added some things from home

First Italian Pizza


Chapel in Ragusa

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