bidones (4 for 4 one evening, can't make this stuff up), but also some
epic casa finding. It was a pretty great week, but what's most fresh
in my memory is what happened yesterday, because it was yesterday and
it was awesome! Yesterday afternoon we went to one of the rest homes
in Ragusa with some members in our ward to sing Christmas carols.
There's one Fratello in our ward who is really into singing, he's an
older guy like late sixties, but he loves music and so he organized
the whole thing. It was fun and the people there were really grateful,
it made me wish I went to rest homes more before my mission. They have
the best stories and most interesting lives. So we sang some Christmas
hymns, we sang "I am a Child of God" and "Love One Another" (those are
two in the LDS hymn books). AND THEN, SURPRISE. Fratello Magrograssi
pulled out the big guns and handed us all sheet music for different
Italian classics. We started off with "Volare" which I could barely
sing because I was so happy and so excited to be singing this song in
Italy with a bunch of Italian people and a man with a killer operatic
voice. My face was like red as I was singing and also awkwardly
laughing because I was going to burst with happiness. We sang a couple
other ones, and one that was in siciliano which I could barely read
because they even have extra characters in the alphabet for that
language, but it was a lot of fun.
Then yesterday evening, our ward mission leader had a Christmas
devotional with his family and a couple other people and he invited
the missionaries to come and share something also. Each person shared
a Christmas scripture or story or song, I played the piano, it was a
lot like the Christmas devotional my family does on Christmas. In the
morning before we open presents every year we sing a Christmas hymn
and then read the scriptures in the Book of Mormon and bible about the
birth of Jesus Christ and then sing again, prayer, all that good
stuff. After we finished with the prayer last night I was thinking
okay, now we'll head home. Nope, instead, the mom started bringing out
snacks and then dad left, and after a couple minutes in comes Santa
Claus! He was saying "ho ho ho" and my mind was like "AMERICA" and
also in a bit of shock it felt like for a moment I woke up from the
dream that is my mission. We were not informed about the Santa Claus
thing haha. But things returned to Italian and it was all good and
normal again. Their kids all opened their presents, and they even got
one for each of the missionaries! We didn't open it yet, because we're
weird foreigners who like opening Christmas presents on the day of
Christmas. Presents aren't as big of a thing for Christmas down here
in Sicily. Not everyone does it, people are more about getting
together with family and eating good food. This country is all about
food, family, and Jesus. I like it, they're my kind of people, haha.
They're really humble and make me realize how selfish I've always
been! I would have never liked having the missionaries over for
Christmas, because like that's MY family time, haha. But the people
here are so open and giving, we've been invited to so many people's
homes for Christmas, obviously we're not going to all of them, but
it's the thought that counts!
That's about all I have to say. Merry Christmas, Buon Natale! Remember
why we celebrate this holiday all over the world, because God gave us
the greatest gift we could receive, and it was a Savior, Jesus Christ.
I GET TO SKYPE MY FAMILY ON FRIDAY! I'm so excited.
Oh and pandoro is this cake bread food that is probably in every
single Italian home for Christmas right now. It's really good.
Sorella Roberts took a panaromic of this little Christmas devotional
This is our ward mission leader dressed as Santa Claus and his daughter and father-in-law
It's not Christmas in Italy without some Pandorro and Panatone
They gave the missionaries Christmas presents! Their family is so
cute I could have cried
Italians are like crazy for brownies, haha, I don't know what it is
but they love them. So this lady also made Sorella Roberts a brownie
cake and put birthday candles on it and everything. It was really cute.
Wednesday was my companions birthday and this one lady made us pranzo.
She's actually like a professional chef and has been working in
restaurants for a very long time. She made spaghetti dallo scaglio and
these delicious roll biscuit things, chicken and peppers
We were waiting for the bus in Catania so we took a picture. We got
new pillows for the apartment at zone conference yay!
Christmas lights in Ragusa