I never realized before how much Sunday can rejuvinate someone. Today was my first day going to church since I've been in Italy (the first week we didn't go, and last week I was on my deathbed.) It took a while to get there (we had to take a bus for about 20 minutes and walk a bit), but it was totally worth it. Our group of almost 30 pretty much doubled the branch there, and they didn't meet in a church you would see in America. It looked more like a small school. Sacrament was held in a multipurpose room with a nice pulpit, with two microphones. Since there were so many of us, they had a translator. It sure does make the talk longer when someone has to repeat what you say. I was very grateful that the branch accommodated us. I think my group realized that we were kind of a burden on the branch, so we left after sacrament meeting, so they wouldn't have to translate every hour. The area president, or someone big, was there with his wife. She told a short story about two friends. When one friend did the other wrong, the second wrote it in the sand. When the friend did something nice for him, he wrote it in stone. The moral of the story was that we should let the wind blow away our negative feelings and set the good ones in stone. I thought it was a good, simple principle.
Of course we got lost on the way home from church. We went too far on the bus and ended up stranded. We were still on the map, but too far to walk. All I have to say is, I'm not surprised we got lost.
When we got home around 12, I made lunch at my place with Emmy, Amber and Kelsey. It was nice to cook. My roommates usually cook and I eat it since I never seem to catch them cooking, and then I walk in the room and it's ready. It's actually kind of nice to have someone else cook. But it also felt good to be in charge of a meal again. I like feeling responsible. We planned horribly and had almost nothing to eat, so I had to go to the grocery store and buy things to eat. I felt kind of bad, seeing as it's Sunday and we don't buy things today to observe the Sabbath. Does this count as me still "traveling"? Cuz in that case, it's ok right? ;-)
I took the most wonderful nap, and went to the San Lorenzo market with Kelsey to talk to a man she met there. He sold her her leather jacket, and has a Book of Mormon. She went back to give him a written copy of her testimony in English and Italian, and he gave her a cool rosary with dirt from Jerusalem in it. It's a really pretty cross with a metal medal of Mary and Jesus. He was a very nice man and I hope he enjoys her testimony. I was really impressed that she had the guts to do that. She doesn't think much is going to come of it, but if anything, he now has another good tie to the Church. Kelsey's a good example of missionary work.
I didn't realize how small the church is here. Florence is a pretty big city, and they have two small branches. I really have taken the Church for granted. Even in California, where I complain about there being no Mormons around, there are tons compared to here! I really appreciate having a lot of people of my faith around in Utah, even if Provo is kind of Vanilla.
They guy at San Lorenzo told us that an LDS choir sings every Sunday in a piazza. But his accent was so heavy that we didn't hear which one, so we picked one. Well, in Italy, where there are piazzas all over the place, the chances were pretty slim. So we didn't get to see the singers, which I thought would have been pretty cool. We just sat at the Duomo and people/ pigeon-watched for a while. Pigeons, just like people, have such different personalities! I love how they bob their heads. They gross me out but I like laughing at them.
It's getting pretty hot here. As a result there are a lot of bugs around. I seriously don't understand how I have literally 30 bugbites on me when I have seen maybe two bugs. They're invisible and vicious! They're viciously invisible! I thought I bought anti-itch spray at the store, but I guess I just bought repellant. Almost as important...Sometimes I wish I could understand Italian! It would make this experience easier. Oh well, I'm learning as I go :)
I forgot to write that I went and saw the real-life DAVID by Michelangelo yesterday at the Accademia. He is HUGE. He sits on a stand about four feet high, then goes up another 10, I'd say. People just flock to him. It really is an amazing sculpture and I'm sad that I didn't get to take pictures. Check another famous site off my list! That's so cool!
I made dinner with Amber, Kelsey and Becca tonight. We ate on my balcony outside in the sweet light an hour or two before the sun set. It was so perfect, and the food was delicious!
Anyway, thanks to all who read this blog. Sorry if it's not so much funny as a recap of what I do each day. I'm just trying to write things down so I can remember them later! We all know how bad my memory is. Love you.